Last updated: 03:30 PM ET, Mon September 12 2016

What It’s Like to Cruise the Northwest Passage

Cruise Line & Cruise Ship | Crystal Cruises | Janeen Christoff | September 12, 2016

What It’s Like to Cruise the Northwest Passage

PHOTO: Crystal Serenity (Photo courtesy of Crystal Cruises) 

Is cruising the Northwest Passage celebrating the coming apocalypse or exploring new frontiers? 

The answer is a mixed bag. While the Crystal Serenity, on Sept. 5, became the first cruise liner to successfully navigate the Northwest Passage, the milestone comes at the expense of a melting landscape. 

Katie Orlinsky and Eva Holland write about the experience for Bloomberg, discussing the what the voyage was like. 

“When the Crystal Serenity emerged free and clear of the maze on Sept. 5, there were no accounts of scurvy or cannibalism, only tales of bingeing on themed buffets and grumbles from shutterbugs about the Arctic’s monotonous landscape,” they say. 

The successful navigation may have been an achievement but Orlinsky and Holland note that the journey was met with controversy. 

“Rates on the Serenity started at around $22,000 per person. For that, passengers were anointed, by Slate, “the world’s worst people”—for venturing into a vulnerable ecosystem in a diesel-burning, 69,000-ton behemoth. Canada’s National Post described the cruise as an “invasion” of indigenous communities. Britain’s Telegraph hinted at Titanic hubris, asking, Is this “the world’s most dangerous cruise?” they share. 

While controversial headlines don’t seem like a boon for Crystal Cruises, president Edie Rodriguez told Bloomberg the company would offer the cruise again. 

“Assuming it does, Crystal Cruises plans to offer the route again next year, departing Anchorage on Aug. 15. Edie Rodriguez, the company’s chief executive officer, says that a few passengers have already rebooked,” writes Holland and Orlinsky. 

READ MORE: Crystal Cruises Makes And Explores History  

Despite what you believe of the ethical nature of the sailing, one thing is for sure. The opening of this unreachable part of the planet is a moment in history. 

For more on the cruise, including photos from the voyage, read on here.

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