We admit, we’re not doing a great job of hiding our enthusiasm about the upcoming Northwest Passage expedition voyage, especially with the announcement that we will again offer this epic cruise again in 2017! It’s nearly impossible to conceal how extraordinary it is to have the opportunity to journey through a region of the earth that is nearly impossible to reach and so rich in culture and stunning wildlife. And it’s no secret that the journey itself – even when sailing with the world’s most awarded luxury cruise line – is not for the faint of heart, given the rugged terrain and extreme adventures set for the expedition.
Last week, our vice president of land programs, John Stoll, shared a glimpse of the extensive effort and distance he has invested in developing Crystal Adventures ashore that will perfectly showcase the appeal of the region. It doesn’t take much to create a “wow factor” in a destination cloaked in massive ice, with breeching humpbacks and meandering polar bears. Still, John and the pros from Expedition Voyage Consultants (EVC), formerly EYOS Expeditions, went to extreme lengths to ensure that the natural wonders of the Northwest Passage, as well as the local customs, cultures and peoples are properly highlighted with a beautiful balance of the utmost respect and bold adventure.
Because John traveled far and wide in search of the perfect Arctic adventures, you do not need to. In fact, as of this week, you need only click on the “Crystal Adventures Shore Excursions” for the Northwest Passage voyage to start your own planning process. Since many of the dozens of once-in-a-lifetime excursions explore the wilderness beyond the wilderness, where wildlife habitats remain untouched by humanity and the summer highs reach a balmy mid-50’s, we highly recommend you peruse the “Important Notes” section of the excursion descriptions to properly prepare.
Beyond the logistics (for which Crystal’s team has accounted and prepared at virtually every turn), it’s time to consider the possibilities! These are seemingly as endless as the ice fields on the horizon, whether your style is culturally inquisitive or you have a pioneer’s spirit – or both! Venture out to the frozen tundra of Nome’s Seward Peninsula, where wolves coexist with wolverines; navigate your kayak through the floating ice that dots the frigid water; learn the customs and daily lifestyles of the local people in villages in Greenland, Nunuvat (Canada) and Canada’s Northern Territories; and spot whales and other sea life throughout the journey.
There are helicopter adventures in nearly every port, taking guests high above ice fjords, jagged mountaintops and expansive glaciers for eagle-eye views. Likewise, adventurers who prefer their (well-insulated, waterproof) boots to stay on the ground can trek across the many frozen terrain in each port.
There are even two Crystal Overland Adventures from Greenland ports offered for travelers wishing to immerse themselves in the environment – a three-day trek from Ilulissat to Glacier Lodge Eqi, where you’ll rarely be out of sight of Eqip Sermia, one of the most calving glaciers in the world. Another multi-day tour spends one night at Ice Camp Kangerlussauq (from Sisimuit), where guests will hike, dine and stay atop the second largest ice body in the world.
However if you choose to experience this monumental journey, we’re certain you’ll return with stories and memories that will expand your perspective on the world we travel…and maybe a little tired.
Each of the Northwest Passage Crystal Adventures includes special notes and recommended gear and considerations for participants. Read them carefully, and click here for more info.