In Crystal Cruises®, Gallivanting the Globe

Sunrise Celebration Marks the Completion of the Northwest Passage Voyage

By Katie Jackson

At 6:45 a.m. this morning, Friday, Sept. 16, 2016, Crystal Serenity’s guests were not sound asleep in their staterooms. Nor were they in Lido Café enjoying an early breakfast of brioche French toast. Instead, they were gathered outside on decks 12 and 13. How did Captain Birger J. Vorland get them up there at such an ungodly hour?

Crystal guests gather at the bow of Crystal Serenity as the ship arrives in New York City.
Crystal guests gather at the bow of Crystal Serenity as the ship arrives in New York City. (photo: Katie Jackson)

It wasn’t a safety drill. It wasn’t the mimosas being passed out by crew members balancing trays of silver platters. It wasn’t even the allure of being on TV. Yes, the news helicopters were circling above, but these travelers were accustomed to the attention on their cruise. Their Northwest Passage voyage had been covered by outlets around the world.

Each and every guest was up there because they wanted to be up there. And they wanted to be up there together. That’s the nature of an expedition. Your colleagues don’t just travel with you. They make history with you. And what do you do upon successfully finishing an expedition? You celebrate, regardless of what your alarm clock says. That’s also the nature of an expedition.

Yes, their voyage was a luxury cruise complete with all the Crystal bells and whistles, but it was also a bold journey into one of the most remote regions in the world. What they had signed up for had never been done before. Everyone was briefed to expect the unexpected, even if that meant they’d have to turn around. After all, the Northwest Passage is famous for its ice.

The guests saw plenty of ice—from the ship, zodiacs, fast boat, kayaks and shore. They also saw polar bears, glaciers, the Northern Lights and best of all, the unfamiliar faces of the curious locals—Inuit communities who welcomed them with unheard of hospitality and gave them a crash course in Arctic culture.

Crystal Serenity never turned around. She never even considered it. Instead, she triumphantly sailed into New York City’s harbor, 32 days after departing from Seward, Alaska. She was on schedule: timed to be welcomed by the sun rising over Manhattan, symbolically lighting Lady Liberty’s torch.

Mimosas in hand, helicopter overhead and most importantly, surrounded by new friends and family, it was time to celebrate. In other words, sleep could wait. That’s also the nature of an expedition.

While the momentous experience of the Northwest Passage is difficult to put into words, you can enjoy a glimpse into what awaits you in 2017…

https://youtu.be/687oZK9K5Pc

 

 

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10 Comments

  1. fran
    2 years ago

    Thank you, Katie, and Crystal Serenity Crew!!! We’re looking forward to our trip/experience in 2017! Our appetite is definitely whetted! F&P

    Reply
  2. Becky
    2 years ago

    Beautifully edited footage. Gave me chills!

    Reply
  3. Sarah jones
    2 years ago

    Thank you so much for sharing your experiences and adventures with us.

    Reply
  4. Juanita Furtado
    2 years ago

    Exciting & beautiful! Tell us there will be a longer video of the voyage for all us armchair travelers. So glad all returned safe & sound.

    Reply
  5. Joy Davis
    2 years ago

    How I hate missing that.. We had so looked forward to it. Thanks for the good work putting this and tracker together . It helped a lot. A trip of a lifetime. joy

    Reply
  6. Bonnie Childs
    2 years ago

    I knew you could do it and I did not miss a day of watching this sailing unfold. Thank you for all the pictures, blogs and comments.
    Crystal is simply the best!

    Reply
  7. Evanna Lynn Dunlop
    2 years ago

    Thank you for posting this beautiful footage. What a wonderful voyage for the passengers, crew and a fantastic Captain to guide everyone safely! An incredible memory for everyone, including the news crews, ice breaker and rescue teams as well. Not often are so many part of a historic venture as this. Congrats to all and applause to Crystal cruises-top notch!

    Reply
  8. Sorgalim
    2 years ago

    I am a travel agent in the caribbean. I followed your journey thru the blog and vessel tracker. It gave me chills! I was so excited for everyone onboard! Such a thrill and amazing journey! Thank you for sharing all the pictures and videos. I felt I was travelling with you. I was so happy you made it to New York safely!

    Reply
  9. Ruby Jung
    2 years ago

    Congratulations! I have a question. Did you ever need the icebreaker to clear a way for the ship?

    Reply
    1. Crystal Cruises
      2 years ago

      Hi Ruby, thank you for following the blog! The RSS Shackleton was needed for ice breaking in one area of Greenland; otherwise served primarily as an expert guide vessel and resource for additional specialty equipment and crew.

      Reply

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