We are almost ready for our adventure to begin. As many times as we have traveled and cruised, we are so very excited about this trip.
We have many people to thank, including our wonderful Travel Designer Specialist, Gerri Grant, and her fabulous assistants.
There are many people throughout Crystal Cruises to thank, although too many for us to list here. They represent personnel from many areas including land based departments such as shore excursions, reservations, and on-board guest services to many personnel on-board Crystal Serenity.
We appreciate all the planning that has gone into this voyage by so many members of Crystal Cruises along with the outside firms they have assembled to assist with this unique transit of the Northwest Passage.
We are putting together the final touches before our adventure begins.
We wil post again in a few days.
Keith & Anne Marie
This voyage required a good deal more preparation compared to any previous cruise we have taken. This included determining the quantity and variety of outdoor clothing that will be needed along the way.
Although we have sailed cold weather itineraries on other voyages, this voyage requires additional clothing given forecasted temperature and wind.
Crystal Cruises collaborated with a company that specializes in expedition clothing and that was a big help to us.
Everyone on this voyage will receive a Northwest Passage Jacket. In addition, we ordered several items from the company that Crystal sourced with. We had the choice of having the items sent to our house or having them sent to the ship and we went with the latter. Items we ordered included:
Boots (this was the one and only item we rented)
Thermal Boot Socks
Expedition Top and Bottom
Gloves and Glove Liners
Foot Warmer Insoles
Nano Puff Jacket
Leakproof Seal Bags
We already had several other items that were recommended that we are taking with us including:
Thermal Tops and Bottoms
With all of these items, we will need to do another expedition cruise. These are just not items that will come in handy while at home.
NORTHWEST PASSAGE RESEARCH:
We did a lot of reading about the history of the Northwest Passage and each port of call. This provided us with a strong foundation about this voyage and also aided us as we selected our excursions for each port-of-call. We booked all of our excursions with Crystal Cruises in February. We have seven excursions planned for the NWP voyage and two booked for the voyage which precedes this one.
In each of the NWP ports, Crystal offers a complimentary community visit tour. We booked one of those. We booked several other tours that involve hiking, along with a scenic cruise and even a tastings tour.
Due to the remoteness of the Northwest Passage, Crystal required that we purchase $50,000 per person in evacuation insurance in case emergency evacuation should be required by aircraft. We have two plans that provide amounts significantly above this amount.
Other items that we took care of include typical items including preparing a packing list, booking shore excursions, reserving pre and post hotels, flights, transfers, restaurant reservations along with other arrangements to maximize our enjoyment of this trip.
This was a copy of a letter that we received from Crystal Cruises eight months prior to the start of the NWP voyage that we found to be very helpful as we prepared for this adventure.
This is from the Crystal Cruises Web Site where there was a special section about clothing for this adventure.
Keith & Anne Marie
We are very excited, honored and humbled to be on Crystal Cruises inaugural sailing of the Northwest Passage recognizing that this is truly a trip of a lifetime. Very few people will ever have the opportunity to sail this route and Crystal Serenity is the largest passenger cruise ship to navigate the Northwest Passage.
This voyage is even more unique, because very few guests, officers and other members of the crew who will be on-board Serenity have ever sailed the Northwest Passage.
Crystal Serenity will be escorted by the 1995 built British Antarctic Survey research vessel Ernest Shackleton. Crystal also made arrangements with Tactical Marine Solutions to arrange this charter.
The Northwest Passage route connects the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans with the Arctic Ocean. The passage runs along the northern coast of North America via waterways through the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. The many islands of the archipelago are connected by a series of waterways, collectively known as the Northwest Passage or Northwestern Passages. In December of 2009, the Parliament of Canada renamed these waterways the Canadian Northwest Passage.
For many centuries various explorers sought this route as a potential trade route. Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen first navigated it with a small expedition between 1903 and 1906. Up until 2009, this Arctic pack ice prevented regular marine shipping throughout most of the year. However, with changes in the pack ice, driven by the shrinking of the Arctic, it has allowed the waterways to be more navigable. What the future brings is anyone’s guess not only because of the overall climate but because the Canadian government considers the Northwestern Passages to be part of Canadian International Waters. However, the United States and several European countries maintain that they are an international strait and transit passage, allowing free and unencumbered passage.
Before we depart on the Northwest Passage on August 16, we will spend a few days in Vancouver, BC commencing August 2, followed by a ten-day cruise starting August 6 between Vancouver and Seward, Alaska.
Keep checking back for additional posts.
Keith & Anne Marie
Welcome to our Blog. We hope through our posts you will feel part of our voyage. We will post from time-to-time before this adventure begins on August 1. Upon our arrival to Vancouver for our pre-cruise stay, we will update this blog daily.
Should you wish to ask us questions, please use the question form that can be found at the bottom of the Home Page.
In the meantime, please make yourself at home.
Keith & Anne Marie