The Crystal Serenity, a luxury cruise of the Arctic was scheduled to set sail Tuesday from Seward, Alaska, through the famed Northwest Passage, and dock 32 days later in New York City.
The Arctic region, once the home of the ice-covered seas and polar bears has now melted enough to be opened for high-end tourism.
The Serenity will be accompanied by the RRS Ernest Shackleton ice-class vessel. Two Canadian ice pilots will lead the luxury cruise. The cruise ship will have a forward-looking sonar, two ice searchlights, a thermal imaging camera and special ice-locating software. The lucky guests will have the opportunity to see polar bears and other wildlife. They will be delighted by remote communities, expert onboard enrichment and intimate shore side as well as zodiac and kayak explorations.
The Serenity will carry 1,600 people, including more than 1,000 passengers and around 600 crew. Never before has a ship of this kind attempted to cross the Arctic. The cities that the luxury cruise is destined to pass through have never seen such tourism and the infrastructure or search and rescue capabilities are believed to be unprepared.
The U.S. Coast Guard and military have a joint exercise planned with Canadian forces next week in the Bering Strait. They will simulate rescuing people from a cruise ship, but, unfortunately, this would be done just a few days after the Crystal Serenity passes through the region.
It is believed to be a high-end cruise as the people that were close to the project mentioned that a stateroom is more than $20,000 and is equipped with a personal butler service.
The ship is also provided with eight restaurants, a dance club, a spa, a casino and designer boutiques. As there aren’t many stops along the way and it will be a long ride, people believe that equipping the Serenity with places for all tastes is a very good idea.
The luxury cruise will make stops at Kodiak, Unalaska and Nome on its way, as well as several others in Canada and Greenland and will take more than a month to travel from Seward to New York City.