When Crystal Serenity returns to the Arctic north on August 15 for the second transit of the Northwest Passage, she will navigate a route through territories of Alaska, Canada and Greenland that are rarely explored by recreational travelers, remaining the only luxury cruise line to make the intrepid trip. During Crystal’s 2017 “Northwest Passage Explorer” voyage, guests will have more opportunities than ever to immerse themselves in the nuances of the local communities and breathtaking nature and terrain of the region. New Crystal Wilderness Adventures ashore have been added to the roster of more than 100 excursions available to travelers, including Crystal’s exclusive “Boutique Adventures,” which are not offered with any other cruise line. Among the new experiences are:
Three nights on the northernmost tip of Canada/Ellesmere/Greenland, during an exclusive Crystal Overland Adventure from Pond Inlet, Nunavut, Canada. Guests will venture on an extended visit to the community of Grise Fjord, and take in magnificent views of the waterways surrounding Canada and Greenland, as well as the Greenland Ice Sheet.
Chartered aircraft to the Hamlet of Gjoa Haven (Boutique Adventure), located on the southeast coast of King William Island at the heart of the Northwest Passage, an integral location of the expedition of John Ross (1829-1833) and near the point at which the Franklin Expedition met its fate in 1845. From Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, Canada.
Visit to Iglooplik (Boutique Adventure), located north of the Arctic Circle and home to a vibrant artistic community, considered to the cultural epicenter for the Inuit people. Crystal guests will be treated to a traditional performance by the Artcirq circus troupe, who performed during the opening ceremonies of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. From Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, Canada.
Fly fishing for Arctic Char on the Ekaluk River, where the favorite of the local people swims abundantly and grows to exceptionally large size. Guests will be transported to the ideal fishing spot along the river’s bank by float plane from Cambridge Bay.
Dozens of additional adventures ashore and on water range from possible sightings of polar bears, whales and narwhal to trekking across glaciers and golfing – yes, golfing – on the open tundra of Canada’s Northwest Territories. Throughout the cruise, additional crew, plus an expert expedition team, will be on hand for shore-side endeavors, while an escort ship will accompany Crystal Serenity the entire way, stocked with special “adventure equipment” including Zodiacs, kayaks and a helicopter.
In addition to the Crystal Adventures listed on Crystal’s website, the ship’s captain will position the ship to take advantage of impromptu “Unexpected Adventures,” including Zodiac landings on glaciers, kayaking in protected bays, helicopter departures off the deck of Ernest Shackleton for landings on remote and uninhabited areas with awe-inspiring views and trekking the tundra with an expert guide, favorable weather conditions permitting. Likewise, the expedition teams will be on the lookout for wildlife sightings along the journey, and will alert guests to visible polar bears, whales and other animals whenever possible.
Consistent with the extreme terrain and conditions found in the Arctic Circle and northernmost areas of the world, many Crystal Adventures on this voyage are recommended solely for physically capable travelers. In select destinations (Ulukhaktok, Cambridge Bay and Pond Inlet), simply accessing the port for a day at leisure requires a certain level of dexterity for “wet” landings, as the ports are only reachable by Zodiac and involve slippery conditions.
The 32-day Northwest Passage voyage sails from Seward to New York, calling in Kodiak, Dutch Harbor and Nome, Alaska; Ulukhaktok, Northwest Territories; Cambridge Bay and Pond Inlet, Nunavut, Canada; Ilulissat, Sisimiut and Nuuk, Greenland; Bar Harbor, Maine; Boston, Massachusetts; and Newport, Rhode Island. Notable passages include the Bering, Beaufort, Chukchi, and Labrador Seas, the fjords of Baffin Island, the Bellot, Victoria, Dolphin and Union Straits, Beechey Island/Radstock Bay, and Peel Sound.
All-inclusive cruise fares for Crystal Serenity’s 2017 Northwest Passage sailing start at $21,855 per person.