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Crystal Cruises plans 'unprecedented' Northwest Passage cruise

Crystal Cruises plans its first 900-mile Northwest Passage cruise from Alaska to New York City

Crystal Cruises on Thursday announced its first cruise along the icy Northwest Passage from Alaska to New York on an itinerary that took two years to plan. The 900-mile journey sails through more than 20 waterways and stops in places such as Canada's Arctic region and Greenland on its west-to-east voyage scheduled for 2016.

Crystal, which will sail the Serenity from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean in 32 days, says it's the first luxury line to follow the route Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen discovered more than 100 years ago.

"Crystal’s inaugural Northwest Passage offers guests the opportunity to begin a new story of thrilling adventure, all the while indulging in the world’s very best luxury vacation experience," company President Edie Rodriguez said in a statement Thursday.

Hiking, climbing, fishing and even teeing off at the most northernmost golf course in the world are on the itinerary. The cruise line's announcement also talks about "surprise days" where passengers may go polar bear viewing or take a scenic helicopter ride over fiords and glaciers in the remote terrain.

A team of 14 experts, including scientists and a local Arctic guide, will be available to discuss everything from wildlife to climate change at lectures and workshops on board the ship. Ports of call include remote areas of the Canadian Arctic such as the Ulukhaktok, Northwest Territories and Cambridge Bay in Nunavut.

When: The cruise sails from Aug. 16 to Sept. 17, 2016.

Price: Starting at $19,755 per person, double occupancy. Crystal opened reservations Thursday only to prior passengers who must put down a 20% deposit to reserve a spot, $500 of which is nonrefundable. Remaining cabins go on sale to the public Sept. 2.

The price includes accommodations aboard ship, guides, experts and other activities.

Info: Crystal Cruises Northwest Passage, (888) 722-0021

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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