Crystal Cruises will sail where no other luxury cruise line has sailed before, when it completes a month-long cruise through the remote Northwest Passage.
Until recently, the passage has been frozen in ice and has been inaccessible by cruise ships.
However, the recent retreat of polar ice has opened parts of the route up to commercial cruise lines.
Crystal Cruises will be the first to complete the journey with its 32-day Arctic Circle cruise.
Departing Alaska on 16 August 2016, Crystal Serenity will take cruisers on an expedition from Kodiak to Dutch Harbor, Nome, Cambridge Bay, Pond Inlet, Sisimiut, Nuuk, Bar Harbor, Boston, Newport, Rhode Island and New York.
Activities will include polar bear-viewing, whale-watching, glacier-cruising, scenic helicopter flights, hiking, climbing and golfing at the world’s northernmost nine-hole course.
Guests will also partake in arts and crafts with locals, traditional drum dancing and throat singing and local food tasting.
Easing environmental concerns, Crystal Serenity will be cruising with low-sulphur Marine Gas oil fuel, which the line says exceeds environmental regulations. There will also be additional safety and environmental protection equipment on board.
Thomas Mazloum, Crystal’s executive vice president and the man who spearheaded the development of the itinerary, said it was the right time for the line to make this voyage and lead the way for the rest of the travel industry.
“With the recent retreat of polar ice, the time is right for us to lead the way within the travel industry, as Crystal has done throughout our 25-year history,” he said.
“From reviewing operations with Canadian officials to meeting with Inuit elders of the Arctic who have provided their backing, our team has spent almost two years diligently gathering the field experts, information, resources, and support to ensure an epic experience that is exceptionally rewarding and safe for guests and crew, and respectful of local lands and cultures.”
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