Crystal Cruises’ Crystal Serenity has completed the epic undertaking, arriving in Manhattan this morning.
The successful voyage marks the first of its kind made by a large cruise ship, said Crystal. The sailing was 32 days, covering 7,297 miles.
“We are humbled and thrilled to have completed such a monumental journey,” said Edie Rodriguez, CEO and president at Crystal. “As Crystal is constantly seeking new ways to share the world with our guests, the Northwest Passage represents an especially massive undertaking that was made possible by the extreme dedication of our expert destination team and expedition partners. We now look forward to beginning the planning process in delivering another memorable experience for guests on our 2017 sailing. ”
The vessel was captained by Master Birger J. Vorland. During the northernmost portion of the journey, Crystal Serenity was escorted by the RRS Ernest Shackleton. In addition to being fully equipped as a first response vessel for virtually any emergency situation, the RRS Shackleton provided ice breaking capabilities, two helicopters for special adventures and additional expert expedition crew.
“From day one of planning the voyage, we were committed to ensuring the safety of our guests, crew and the ship,” said Captain Vorland. “In addition to carrying two veteran Canadian Ice Pilots, Crystal Serenity’s bridge team received ice navigation simulator training to prepare ourselves for the conditions, and prior to the voyage, the ship was outfitted with forward looking sonar, ice searchlights, ice radar, and a thermal imaging system were installed.”
“The importance of understanding the natural, cultural and historical implications of this sailing is tremendous,” added Rodriguez. “We did not set out on this expedition to simply sail through the Northwest Passage, but also to illuminate the region and its remarkable nuances while also making a positive impact on the communities we visited.”