Luxury liner explores Northwest Passage
Luxury line Crystal introduces a month-long expedition through the famed Northwest Passage this year.
The 32-day Arctic trip on the Crystal Serenity sails Aug. 16 from Seward to New York, heading north of mainland Canada. It will sail by glaciers and fjords as it traverses the Arctic Ocean, passing from the Pacific to the Atlantic.
The passage, first completed successfully by explorer Roald Amundsen just over 100 years ago, only recently became navigable, when melting ice opened the route.
Crystal says it's the first luxury cruise line to navigate the passage. The company planned the itinerary with the help of Expedition Voyage Consulting by EYOS Expeditions, providers of bespoke expeditions to the world's most remote regions.
Ports of call include Kodiak, Dutch Harbor and Nome in Alaska; Ulukhaktok, Northwest Territories, Canada; Cambridge Bay and Pond Inlet, Nunavut, Canada; Ilulissat, Sisimiut and Nuuk, Greenland; and Bar Harbor, Maine; Boston, Newport, R.I and New York. Several of these will be maiden calls for the line.
The ship will follow a flexible itinerary, allowing the captain to change routes for viewing polar bears, whale-watching, glacier-cruising, scenic helicopter flights, and to seek out the best weather on the advice of local specialist guides.
The trip will include a 14-person enrichment team, including a native Arctic guide, scientists, and wildlife and landscape photographers. Keeping to the adventurous spirit of the trip, there will be no "black tie optional" nights, and cuisine will be modified to reflect the locale and limited ability to re-supply goods and store waste during the month-long voyage.
Fares start at $19,755 per person, double occupancy.
What’s happening worldwide?
A record 24 million passengers are expected to take a cruise this year. Cruise lines are enticing travelers with nearly 1,000 ports of call in new, exotic locations, especially in the fast-growing Asian and Arctic markets. CLIA’s member lines are scheduled to debut 27 new ocean, river and specialty ships in 2016 for a total investment of more than $6.5 billion.
The cruise industry delivers a major economic impact globally. In 2014, the global economic output of the cruise industry was about $120 billion; the industry supported nearly 939,232 jobs and contributed to $39.3 billion in wages.