Northwest Passage

Exploring the Last Frontier

Sponsored by Crystal Cruises

Have you been searching for a truly unique Alaskan cruise?

Unlike most Alaskan cruise ships that take their passengers to the Inside Passage or cross the Gulf of Alaska, Crystal Serenity luxury cruise ship is now exploring relatively virgin territory: the Northwest Passage.

Until now, this icy region, which lies beyond the Arctic Circle, could only be explored via small vessels or by heavy-duty expedition vessels.

What is the Northwest Passage?

According to NASA’s Earth Observatory website, the Northwest Passage was once considered a maritime Holy Grail by mariners looking for a sea route through the Arctic Region that would take them from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean.

Until recently, the passage existed to some extent, but was almost always clogged with ice, making it virtually impassable. The first explorer to successfully cross the Northwest Passage was Roald Amundsen who accomplished this feat in 1906. It took him three long years to finally complete this perilous journey.

With global warming, however, the polar ice that once blocked this passage has slowly retreated, making it more accessible.

Now a luxury cruise line has decided to ferry passengers to this amazing destination that few have been able to visit.

What Can You See?

In the past, a passenger on an Alaskan cruise had very little chance of seeing a polar bear, as these magnificent creatures don’t live in the southern Alaskan areas where most ships visit. However, on a trip to the Northwest Passage, you might have the opportunity to spot one of these endangered creatures.

But that’s not the only exciting creature, you’ll spy from your balcony on this incredible journey. Here are a few others:

  • Narwhals
  • Beluga whales
  • Musk Oxen
  • Caribou
  • Walrus
  • Arctic fox

Is This Trip Right for You?

While this is a fantastic trip, it may not be for everyone. For one thing, this voyage, which leaves Anchorage and ends in New York City is 32 days long, it could be difficult to take for anyone who has a full-time job or is in school.

In addition, this trip is not for anyone on a tight budget. Traveling to the Northwest Passage on a cruise ship requires special equipment. For example, to ensure that the ship won’t get trapped, it will be escorted by a vessel with ice-breaking capabilities. The 1,070-passenger Crystal Serenity will also be traveling with two helicopters so that guests can get a birds-eye view of the stunning scenery of the Northwest Passage.

Also onboard this ship will be 14 expedition experts who can provide background and rich details that will enhance your Northwest Passage cruise. In addition, the Crystal Serenity will also provide guests with kayaks and Zodiacs so that they can explore this region up close and personal. Of course, all of these niceties aren’t cheap.

A Perfect Trip for the Luxury Vacation Connoisseur

Are you a vacation connoisseur? Someone who’s adventurous and prefers traveling to destinations that aren’t on everyone else’s bucket list? And do you prefer to do your exploration in comfort? Then you’re a vacation connoisseur, and a journey to the Northwest Passage is the perfect trip for you.

You’ll be able to enjoy spectacular scenery and the ultimate in pristine wilderness without having to endure the hardships that the early explorers to the Northwest Passage had to suffer through. Instead, you’ll be dining on gourmet fare and — for most of your trip — you’ll even have access to the Internet.

This trip is also perfect for travelers who:

  • Enjoy being active while on vacation. There will be several times when you’ll be able to get off the ship and explore this region on foot, kayak, Zodiac, or onboard a helicopter.
  • Are flexible. Your itinerary may vary depending on ice conditions and the weather.