Crystal Cruises Plans Arctic Voyage

Crystal Cruises has revealed plans for a new, expedition-style voyage traversing the Arctic Ocean via the legendary Northwest Passage first completed successfully by explorer Roald Amundsen just over 100 years ago. Departing from Anchorage on 16 August 2016, the Crystal Serenity will maneuver through the majestic waterways lined with spectacular glaciers, towering fjords and vast unspoiled landscapes to arrive in New York City 32 days later.


Following in the footsteps of intrepid explorers, the journey through once-impassable waterways will see Crystal adopt enhanced approaches to itinerary scheduling, destination visits, shipboard offerings and safety standards.


The ship will follow a flexible itinerary with additional “surprise” days built into the schedule to allow unplanned “calls of the wild” for polar bear-viewing, whale-watching, glacier-cruising, scenic helicopter flights, and/or seeking out the best wildlife and weather on the advice of local specialist guides. The line’s award-winning Crystal Adventures shore excursion programme will incorporate a wilderness segment, where guests venture across polar tundra, ice-strewn fjords and scenic coves on “Arctic Safaris” to visit remote communities, as well as fishing, hiking, climbing, golfing at the world’s northernmost 9-hole course, camping and/or overnighting away from the ship where possible.


To ensure that the journey offers guests an enriching experience, a 14-person expedition team of experts in various fields (including a local Arctic guide, scientists, and accomplished wildlife and landscape photographers) will provide lectures on subjects such as the science and history of the area, offer hands-on seminars and workshops, host dinners with guests, guide wildlife watching from the ship and accompany excursions. Port visits will afford guests the opportunity to immerse in Arctic lifestyles and showcase the rich cultural heritage of the region, with Crystal Cruises and local communities organizing activities including demonstrations of local arts and crafts, Arctic sports, traditional drum dancing and throat singing, and tastings of local foods.


The atmosphere onboard Crystal Serenity will be highly relaxed and guests will benefit from complimentary parkas, boot rentals, outfitter recommendations and no “black tie optional” evenings. The cuisine remains gourmet in-line with Crystal Cruises’ usual offerings, but will be modified to reflect the locale and limitations in resupply and waste storage during the expedition. Ports-of-call for the ship include Cambridge Bay and Pond Inlet, Dutch Harbor, Kodiak, Nome, Ilulissat, Sisimiut, Nuuk, Bar Harbor, Boston and Newport, with notable waterways including the Bering Sea, Amundsen Gulf, Queen Maud Gulf, Victoria Strait, Larsen Sound, Prince Regent Inlet, Davis Strait and Labrador Sea. Accompanying Crystal Serenity will be an escort vessel carrying additional safety and environmental protection equipment, with that ship also serving as a platform for the helicopter and zodiac boats.


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