Exciting news! Crystal Cruise Line recently announced that it will offer the first ever cruise along the icy Northwest Passage from Alaska to New York on an itinerary that took nearly three years to plan. The 900-mile journey sails through more than 20 waterways and stops in Canada’s Arctic region and Greenland.
A Northwest Passage Cruise is nothing like the Alaska Inside Passage Cruises that cruise lines have been offering for years. The Inside Passage extends from southeastern Alaska (in the United States), through western British Columbia to northwestern Washington. It is heavily traveled by cruise ships, freighters, and fishing trawlers.
The Northwest Passage is a sea route connecting the northern Atlantic and Pacific Oceans through the Arctic Ocean, along the northern coast of North America via waterways through the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. The various islands of the archipelago are separated from one another and from the Canadian mainland by a series of Arctic waterways known as the Northwest Passages. It is seldom traveled by any ship (and for that reason some have voiced environmental concerns about big ships cruising this waterway).
Crystal’s Serenity is the first luxury line to follow the route Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen discovered more than 100 years ago. But the route is the only thing that will mimic Amundsen’s journey. Crystal will offer the on board amenities its passengers have come to expect as far as fine dining and shipboard activities, but they will offer shore excursions befitting such an expedition–hiking, fishing, and playing a round in the world’s northernmost golf course. Additionally, they will have “surprise days” with polar bear viewing excursions and scenic helicopter rides over fjords and glaciers during this 32-day itinerary.
More importantly, a team of experts–including scientists and Arctic guides–will offer special lectures and presentations about Arctic wildlife and related topics. But the best news is the ports of call, which include the Northwest Territories, Ulukhaktak, and Cambridge Bay in Nunauut. Passengers will discover this seldom seen region and trace Amundsen’s footsteps aboard a luxurious cruise ship. Sounds like a great adventure!