In Crystal Adventures, Crystal Cruises®

Crystal’s Unexpected Adventures Part 1: Ursus Maritimus

Featured image credit: Crystal guest Peter Graffagnino

A polar bear sits in view of Crystal Serenity's luxurious decks and surveys the Arctic ice. (photo: Paragon Pixels)
A polar bear sits in view of Crystal Serenity’s luxurious decks and surveys the Arctic ice. (photo: Paragon Pixels)

By Katie Jackson

You know when you’re in the middle of a really, really good dream and then suddenly, you wake up? You want to just roll over, close your eyes and continue the dream. That was me this morning. But instead of rolling over, I answered the ringing phone.

A group of polar bears in view from the zodiacs carrying Crystal Serenity's intrepid guests. (photo: Crystal Serenity bandmaster, Raph)
A group of polar bears in view from the zodiacs carrying Crystal Serenity’s intrepid guests. (photo: Crystal Serenity bandmaster, Raph)

“Katie, want to go out in the zodiac??? We found some ice!” John Stoll, Crystal’s vice president of land programs and mastermind behind extraordinary experiences like this, asked enthusiastically into my ear.  I shot out of bed and said yes.

A few layers and a big red parka later, I was out in the black rubber watercraft, parked in a sea of floating ice. Eight other lucky guests were with me. All of us had signed up for the “unexpected adventures” offered as excursions, and this was our first.

“If you see a trail of urine down the rear, it’s a female,” said our guide. “If it’s down the belly, it’s a male.”

“It” was the polar bear we were fixated on. Less than 100 yards away, the elusive Ursus maritimus napped. To the naked eye, he looked tiny, but through the binoculars’ lens, he was magnificent. We sat there, silent and in awe, for a good 15 minutes. We didn’t dare wake him. After all, he was probably in the middle of a really, really good dream.

Keep following the Crystal Insider for Katie’s dispatches from the Northwest Passage, or subscribe to get the latest delivered directly to your inbox.

If the updates of these epic adventures spark your wanderlust, book your 2017 Northwest Passage journey now for the best value!

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5 Comments

  1. Joe Glasgow
    2 years ago

    Great pictures….Iconically a Crystal Cruise 1st in the Northwest Passage
    Polar Bears pics are awesome…..

    Reply
  2. Craig P.
    2 years ago

    What a fabulous way to start ones day. A phone call for a trip on the zodiac and a view of polar bears. It’s a Crystal moment that will never be forgotten by these lucky guests on the sailing of a lifetime.

    Reply
  3. Mary Petropoulos
    2 years ago

    Awesome! Beautiful photos!

    Reply
  4. Barbara Berger
    2 years ago

    Is Gary Hunter out there in the zodiacs with everyone freezing his feet off? These are great And I feel that I am there with all of my friends!

    Reply
    1. Crystal Cruises
      2 years ago

      Hello, Barbara. We’re so pleased that you’re enjoying the updates! Rick Spath is the lucky Cruise Director aboard this sailing, navigating all of the onboard entertainment adventures.

      Reply

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