Crystal Embarks on Historic Journey Through Northwest Passage

Crystal Cruises becomes first-ever luxury cruise line to make the
epic journey

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–In an industry first and extraordinarily rare endeavor, Crystal Serenity
today embarks on a 32-day journey through the Northwest Passage, the
Arctic region north of Canada that was unattainable until just 100 years
ago. Following more than three years of planning and preparation, Crystal’s
award-winning vessel welcomed nearly one thousand intrepid guests aboard
in Seward, Alaska, embarking on what promises to be an experience
punctuated with rare wildlife encounters; insightful visits to remote
communities; rugged treks on land and icy waters; and immersive onboard
enrichment from some of the world’s top expedition experts.

“Every aspect of this voyage is literally unparalleled in the luxury
cruise industry, and nearly the entire travel industry as well,” says
Crystal’s CEO and president, Edie Rodriguez. “It is a tremendous
undertaking to embark on such a historic journey, but also an honor for
us to be able to offer the world’s most discerning travelers the
opportunity to experience a region of the world that so few others have
or ever will.”

Throughout the voyage, which will conclude in New York City on September
16, Crystal Serenity will sail with additional crew, training and
equipment in consideration of the unique operating conditions in the far
north. Two veteran Canadian Ice Pilots will be on board to advise the
Master of Crystal Serenity, Captain Birger J. Vorland and his bridge
team. Earlier this year, the Captain and ice pilots attended an ice
navigation simulator training in St John’s Newfoundland, and during a
routine scheduled dry-dock in May, Crystal Serenity was outfitted with
two ice searchlights, forward looking sonar, a thermal imaging camera
and software to improve the ability to pick up small contacts on the
radar such as small amounts of ice. In addition, Crystal Serenity will
be receiving constant ice condition updates form Canadian Ice Services
that can be overlaid on its electronic navigation systems. This
technology is not typically found on cruise ships and represents the
best possible preventive measures to detect any unforeseen anomalies
along the ship’s path.

During the route of the Northwest Territories the ultra-luxury ship will
be accompanied by the RRS Ernest Shackleton, a powerful and high ice
classed vessel with a crew that has years of experience operating in
polar conditions. It is well outfitted to be a first responder to
virtually any emergency that might arise, and carries two helicopters
and supplemental safety equipment, as well as additional expert guides
and adventure equipment. Shackleton’s crew will also assist with
Crystal’s specially designed excursions ashore, which range from
adventurous to extreme in the remote conditions of the Arctic.
Flight-seeing journeys over glaciers; navigating floating sea ice via
kayaks; “wet landing” by zodiac; polar bear and other wildlife
sightings; and Crystal’s brand new Unexpected Adventures (impromptu
opportunities to explore ashore and in the surrounding areas) will all
expand travelers’ horizons.

True to its policy to continually “surprise and delight” guests by
exceeding their expectations of enriching world travel, Crystal has seen
to every detail to ensure travelers are comfortable and prepared for the
unprecedented trip. Specially designed parkas, boots and other outdoor
gear have been provided to guests, sporting official Crystal Northwest
Passage expedition patches, while added technological perks are evident
throughout the ship. Four premium telescopic binocular sets stand at the
ready near the floor-to-ceiling windows in Palm Court, as well as large
flat-screen TVs for streaming updates from crew and expedition team
members, safety precautions and fascinating facts about the voyage. An
in-depth photographic journey into the history of the passage and its
previous explorers is displayed near the posh Galaxy Lounge.

Adds Rodriguez, “The wealth of historical, cultural and natural wonders
waiting to be discovered in this region is seemingly endless, and our
guests are inquisitive, savvy world travelers who will certainly relish
the opportunity to explore it.”

From Seward, the Arctic itinerary includes port calls in Kodiak, Dutch
Harbor, and Nome, Alaska; Ulukhaktok, NW Territories; Cambridge Bay and
Pond Inlet, Nunavut; Ilulissat, Sisimiut, and Nuuk, Greenland; Bar
Harbor, Maine; Boston, Massachusetts; Newport, Rhode Island, and New
York, New York. The ship will transit waterways including the North
Pacific Ocean; Bering Sea & Bering Strait; Chukchi & Beaufort Seas;
Amundsen Gulf; Dolphin & Union Strait; Coronation Gulf; Dease Strait;
Queen Maud Gulf; Victoria Strait; Larsen Sound; Franklin & Bellot
Straits; Peel Sound; Parry Channel; Barrow Strait; Prince Regent Inlet;
Lancaster Sound; Croker Bay; Navy Board Inlet; Eclipse Sound; Baffin
Bay; Davis Strait; Labrador Sea; North Atlantic Ocean.

For cruise updates and destination highlights from Crystal’s first-ever
Northwest Passage journey, follow the company’s blog, the Crystal

Due to the tremendous response from travelers regarding the 2016
Northwest Passage sailing, Crystal has announced it will sail the route
again in 2017, available for booking now. The voyage has garnered
unprecedented international interest from intrepid travelers, welcoming
guests from the United States, Canada, Germany, Switzerland, Great
Britain, Australia, and more than a dozen other countries.

For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent,
call 888.799.2437, or visit
Join the hundreds of thousands who follow the Crystal
Cruises Facebook page
and @crystalcruises on Twitter
and Instagram,
and engage in the conversation with #crystalcruises.

Crystal Cruises is the World’s Most Awarded Luxury Cruise Line™, having
earned more “World’s Best” accolades than any other cruise line, hotel,
or resort in history. Crystal Cruises has won “World’s Best Cruise Ship”
in Condé Nast Traveler’s Reader Choice Awards for 22 years; been voted
“World’s Best Large Ship Cruise Line” by Travel + Leisure readers for 20
years; and the “Best Luxury Cruise Line” by Virtuoso for
three-consecutive years (2014, 2015 & 2016). In summer 2015, Crystal
embarked on the most significant brand expansion in the history of
luxury travel and hospitality, introducing three new classes of cruising
– the recently launched Crystal Yacht Cruises (December 2015), Crystal
River Cruises (July 2016), Crystal Exclusive Class Ocean Cruises (Fall
2019), Crystal Luxury Air (April 2016) and Crystal AirCruises (2017).

PHOTO: Captain


Crystal Cruises
Paul M. Garcia
Director, Global Public
Molly Morgan
Publicist, Public Relations