When the 1,070-passenger Crystal Serenity begins its historic cruise through the Northwest Passage, from Anchorage to New York, in mid-August, it won’t be going solo. Crystal Cruises has struck a charter agreement with U.K.-based Tactical Marine Solutions to have the RRS Ernest Shackleton escort the luxury ship on its 32-day expedition.
The RRS Ernest Shackleton is an ICE 05 classed icebreaker that will provide operational support to Crystal Serenity, including ice breaking assistance should the need arise, and carry additional safety and adventure equipment.
“We have been planning this historic sailing for more than two years, working closely with expedition experts from EYOS-Expeditions, as well as Transport Canada, the U.S. and Canadian Coast Guards and local agencies along the route to ensure the ultimate safety and a most memorable experience for our guests,” says Crystal president and CEO, Edie Rodriguez. “The RRS Ernest Shackleton’s assistance in navigating this region will only enhance the safety of our voyage.”
The RRS Ernest Shackleton will carry two helicopters for real-time ice reconnaissance, emergency support and flightseeing activities. In addition to its robust ice navigation and communications equipment, the RRS Ernest Shackleton will have on board supplemental damage control equipment, oil pollution containment equipment, and survival rations for emergency use.
It also will support Crystal’s adventures ashore, carrying newly acquired zodiacs for “wet landings,” while the vessel’s crew will provide expert assistance during flightseeing adventures and the line’s recently unveiled “Unexpected Adventures,” which offer more spontaneous ways of exploring the region.
Prior to making the voyage Crystal Serenity will be outfitted with state of the art forward looking sonar, ice detection radar, ice searchlights and thermal imaging, as well as an ice navigation system that will display near real time satellite ice imagery and ice forecasts.
Crystal’s 2016 Northwest Passage voyage sails Aug. 16. Fares start at $21,855 per person.
Ports of call will include: Anchorage/Seward, Kodiak, Dutch Harbor, and Nome, Alaska; Ulukhaktok, NW Territories; Cambridge Bay and Pond Inlet, Nunavut; Ilulissat, Sisimiut, and Nuuk, Greenland; Bar Harbor, Maine; Boston, Massachusetts; Newport, Rhode Island, and New York, New York.
The ship will sail these waterways: North Pacific Ocean; Bering Sea & Bering Strait; Chukchi & Beaufort Seas; Amundsen Gulf; Dolphin & Union Strait; Coronation Gulf; Dease Strait; Queen Maud Gulf; Victoria Strait; Larsen Sound; Franklin & Bellot Straits; Peel Sound; Parry Channel; Barrow Strait; Prince Regent Inlet; Lancaster Sound; Croker Bay; Navy Board Inlet; Eclipse Sound; Baffin Bay; Davis Strait; Labrador Sea; North Atlantic Ocean.