Video: Crystal Serenity in the Northwest Passage
Crystal Cruises’ Crystal Serenity is on its way through the Northwest Passage. With more than 1,000 guests and 600 crew members on board, it is the largest number of travellers to traverse the route.
The 1,070-guest-capacity ship left Seward, Alaska on August 16 on a 32-day journey, which will conclude in New York City on September 16. Crystal Serenity is currently en route to Pond Inlet, Nunavut, Canada, scheduled to arrive on September 4, marking its final call along the Northwest Passage route.
“From the get-go of this epic cruise through the fabled Northwest Passage, Crystal Serenity has been filled with great excitement,” said Crystal Serenity Master, Captain Birger J. Vorland. “After successfully transiting the Bellot Strait as the largest vessel ever to have transited this challenging passage, we spotted an iceberg which appeared to be far, far away in the horizon. With time to spare we headed the direction of the sighting and found not one, but two large icebergs drifting. These icebergs likely came from Greenland and have probably been drifting for a couple of years.”
Beyond the itinerary’s historic implications, the visit to the region is also the culmination of more than three years of planning and careful collaboration with the local communities of the Arctic.
On August 27, Crystal Serenity anchored in Ulukhaktok, Northwest Territories, Canada, signifying a first for everyone, as the Inuit residents of the community had never before welcomed a luxury cruise ship to their shores. Traditional dancers boarded the ship for a special performance representative of their culture then showcased handcrafted goods at the area’s art center.
Crystal guests were brought ashore by zodiacs operated by the expedition team, Expedition Voyage Consultants. Two days later (August 29), during the ship’s next Arctic call, travelers were welcomed by residents of Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, Canada.
Guests also saw a polar bear family on floating ice whilst navigating the chilly waters by zodiac led by expert expedition guides.
Crystal Serenity is escorted by the RRS Ernest Shackleton, an ICE 05 classed icebreaker and is carrying expedition experts of its own, as well as environmental and adventure specialists from Expedition Voyage Consultants.
Due to the tremendous response from travellers regarding the 2016 Northwest Passage sailing, Crystal has announced it will sail the route again in 2017.