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This just in - Arctic NW Passage in 2016


Seafairer
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Our travel agent just gave us the heads-up on this announcement of a first-ever, 32-day itinerary that Crystal will announce tomorrow. Crystal Society members have exclusive access for bookings until September:

 

=======================

Cruise Week Special Edition 7/16/14

 

A Luxury Cruise First

 

Until today, Cruise Week has never done a special edition on a new deployment, but what Crystal Cruises is doing this week is so unique that it's time to break precedence. Crystal will shortly be launching a 32-day Arctic expedition, any information of which will not be published on the cruise line's website or available for sale until Thursday, July 17. Hence, we're coming out a day early to give interested agents the heads up.

 

Crystal Vice President Mimi Weisband says this Anchorage-New York itinerary, departing August 16, 2016 on Serenity, has been almost two years in the planning. "It's not only a historic first for Crystal, but a revolutionary new cruise," she says. "We are going to do a whole completely new route traversing the Arctic Ocean via the Northwest Passage. We will be the only luxury cruise ship to do that, the largest cruise ship to have gone there."

 

Serenity won't go alone. There is going to be an expedition ship accompanying Serenity that will serve a host of purposes. "We've never had an itinerary where we've had a second vessel behind us," she says. "There will be a 14-person expedition team, including a native Arctic-guide."

 

The expedition ship will be put into use on so-called "Surprise days" that are built into the schedule to allow for unplanned calls of the wild for polar bear viewing, whale watching, glacier cruising and so forth.

 

Scheduled ports include a host of maiden calls for Crystal, ranging from Cambridge Bay to Sisimiut. Overall, there are 12 ports of call, 19 scheduled days at sea. The first port of call will be in a settlement of just a few hundred people on the shores of the Amundsen Gulf. There will also be three calls in Greenland, including regions that virtually no cruiser ever gets to.

 

The sailing will have countless other special touches, including Crystal's usage of low-sulfur fuel for the entire sailing, in itself unusual. Also in this vein, Crystal Exec VP Thomas Mazloum says, "During this voyage, speakers will enlighten guests on information regarding climate change, and how it has impacted this passage."

 

A plethora of excursions are planned involving kayaks, Zodiacs, and even golfing at the world's northernmost nine-hole course.

 

Cruise Week correspondent Art Sbarsky predicts this will sell out quickly. "Crystal Society members are always clamoring for something new, and the ports are not only brand new to almost all of them, but sensational in their own right," he observes. "I'll predict almost 90% will be past guests."

 

Tellingly, the sale is only being made available to Crystal Society past guests first for almost six weeks. Non-members may add their name to a wait list. Remaining space, if any, will open to the public on September 2.

 

Weather can be tricky, but the timing seems good. Sbarsky points out that Serenity's departure date of August 16, 2016 is still good for daylight, even though it's almost two months after the summer solstice in June.

 

Crystal's Arctic journey is the latest example of how the upscale cruise market is undergoing a revolution, not with hardware, but in the essence of what constitutes a modern-day luxury vacation.

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Linda,

 

WOW!!! I thought there would be something exciting offered during this timeframe!!!

 

THANK YOU for sharing this exciting news...wish I had the time to do this but I'm sure there will be many that will.

 

Nancy

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Indeed -- thanks for sharing early!

 

We all guessed something big was going in that schedule hole, but I personally had no clue it was going to be an arctic expedition! VERY cool! (Well, literally.) :o

 

Vince

Edited by BWIVince
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WOW!! Did i say WOW?!!!! John and I were just discussing if any contemporary cruise ship/line had done the Northwest passage. And now here comes Crystal. Pretty fabulous. Unfortunately probably not in our price range, but so very cool (haha) in every aspect! Congrats, Crystal on something new and special!

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Wow! Is there any way to satisfy PVSA other than a stop in Russia?

 

Roy

 

Maybe Greenland counts? It's a North American country, but isn't it under the Danish crown?

 

I know the PSVA bends away from most North American ports, but I have to call Greenland pretty distant -- at least from Anchorage and New York.

 

Vince

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Maybe Greenland counts? It's a North American country, but isn't it under the Danish crown?

 

I know the PSVA bends away from most North American ports, but I have to call Greenland pretty distant -- at least from Anchorage and New York.

 

Vince

 

Vince,

 

Greenland is under the Danish crown!!! I had the opportunity to go to Nuuk on the 2007 September crossing. It is a very distant country!!!!

 

Nancy

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Interesting insurance requirement:

Proof of $50,000.00 evacuation/repatriation insurance is required for all guests, any berth or age

 

Anyone contemplating this one needs to ensure their travel insurance covers that as evidence of cover needs to be submitted to Crystal

 

Here's the other booking conditions:

 

Booking Details:

· Exclusive booking period for CRYSTAL SOCIETY MEMBERS: July 17 – August 31, 2014

· Society Guests sailing in stateroom with New-to-Crystal guests can confirm as of July 17

· New-to-Crystal Bookings can be booked as waitlists: July 17 – August 31, 2014 and confirmed based on availability as of September 1, 2014.

· No name changes allowed

· 7 day options / Extensions will not be permitted

· 20% deposit required for confirmed bookings

· Initial $250.00 per guest for waitlists, and the full 20% deposit will be due once confirmed

· $500.00 per guest non-refundable fee applies for:

~ Cancellations

~ Stateroom changes after initial deposit is received

~ Name changes on bookings

· Final payment required at 180 days prior to sailing.

· 2.5% early final payment savings apply.

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Interesting insurance requirement:

Proof of $50,000.00 evacuation/repatriation insurance is required for all guests, any berth or age

 

Anyone contemplating this one needs to ensure their travel insurance covers that as evidence of cover needs to be submitted to Crystal

 

Here's the other booking conditions:

 

Booking Details:

· Exclusive booking period for CRYSTAL SOCIETY MEMBERS: July 17 – August 31, 2014

· Society Guests sailing in stateroom with New-to-Crystal guests can confirm as of July 17

· New-to-Crystal Bookings can be booked as waitlists: July 17 – August 31, 2014 and confirmed based on availability as of September 1, 2014.

· No name changes allowed

· 7 day options / Extensions will not be permitted

· 20% deposit required for confirmed bookings

· Initial $250.00 per guest for waitlists, and the full 20% deposit will be due once confirmed

· $500.00 per guest non-refundable fee applies for:

~ Cancellations

~ Stateroom changes after initial deposit is received

~ Name changes on bookings

· Final payment required at 180 days prior to sailing.

· 2.5% early final payment savings apply.

 

Thanks for posting this detailed info. it's the 17th down under, right? :)

 

 

Nancy

Edited by nancygp
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WOW - the mysterious gap between 6318 and 6322 is finally solved. Interesting, though, that Crystal "reserved" 3 segment numbers for this itinerary? Sounds like it will be just one voyage, though, instead of divided into three? Or am I missing something here? :confused:

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WOW - the mysterious gap between 6318 and 6322 is finally solved. Interesting, though, that Crystal "reserved" 3 segment numbers for this itinerary? Sounds like it will be just one voyage, though, instead of divided into three? Or am I missing something here? :confused:

What I'm seeing is v.6319 for the 32 days from Seward to NYC ending on 17 September 2016

 

And yes it is the morning of 17 July in Sydney

Edited by Bodogbodog
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They may have reserved three segment numbers just in case:

 

a) They needed to somehow break this sailing apart into segments in order to meet regulatory approval (PVSA or otherwise) or logistic need

 

or b), this plan didn't work out and they had to offer some other voyages to fill the gap.

 

It's easy to hold back three voyage numbers in scheduling as a contingency -- it's NOT easy re-numbering the voyages for the rest of the year after they're published/hold bookings.

 

Just a guess...

 

Vince

Edited by BWIVince
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Interesting insurance requirement:

Proof of $50,000.00 evacuation/repatriation insurance is required for all guests, any berth or age

 

Anyone contemplating this one needs to ensure their travel insurance covers that as evidence of cover needs to be submitted to Crystal

 

Here's the other booking conditions:

 

Booking Details:

· Exclusive booking period for CRYSTAL SOCIETY MEMBERS: July 17 – August 31, 2014

· Society Guests sailing in stateroom with New-to-Crystal guests can confirm as of July 17

· New-to-Crystal Bookings can be booked as waitlists: July 17 – August 31, 2014 and confirmed based on availability as of September 1, 2014.

· No name changes allowed

· 7 day options / Extensions will not be permitted

· 20% deposit required for confirmed bookings

· Initial $250.00 per guest for waitlists, and the full 20% deposit will be due once confirmed

· $500.00 per guest non-refundable fee applies for:

~ Cancellations

~ Stateroom changes after initial deposit is received

~ Name changes on bookings

· Final payment required at 180 days prior to sailing.

· 2.5% early final payment savings apply.

 

Are you sure that's just $50,000 evacuation/repatriation insurance? I doubt that would even begin to cover getting you/your body from the majority of remote places on this cruise. My regular travel insurance covers $300,000 for that.

 

Patty

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Bodogbodog,

Have they posted any pricing?

Yes

But I'm just not sure how much more to share...and just how the 17th is defined in Crystals eyes...I don't want to land my agent in any trouble....

For budgetary purposes think from approx $20,000 to $120,000 depending on category

The specific ports and itinerary are definitely "out there" - plenty of sea days included :D

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Yes

But I'm just not sure how much more to share...and just how the 17th is defined in Crystals eyes...I don't want to land my agent in any trouble....

For budgetary purposes think from approx $20,000 to $120,000 depending on category

The specific ports and itinerary are definitely "out there" - plenty of sea days included :D

 

Thanks for the heads up!

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Thanks bodog,

 

I figured the least expensive cabins would be at least $600 per day, per person.

 

I'm sure there will be lots of folks doing this extraordinary voyage and some are already contacting their agents and or crystal to secure a stateroom!!!

 

Silversea's expedition ship explorer currently sails in the Northwest passage but it's not Crystal and their itineraries are different...sold out journeys.

 

Nancy

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They may have reserved three segment numbers just in case:

 

a) They needed to somehow break this sailing apart into segments in order to meet regulatory approval (PVSA or otherwise) or logistic need

 

or b), this plan didn't work out and they had to offer some other voyages to fill the gap.

 

It's easy to hold back three voyage numbers in scheduling as a contingency -- it's NOT easy re-numbering the voyages for the rest of the year after they're published/hold bookings.

 

Just a guess...

 

Vince

 

I'm sure you're right. They needed some wiggle room here......

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Bodogbodog,

 

Have they posted any pricing?

 

This is Lexicruiser. Received an email from Crystal today with all pricings. we are on the West Coast of US in California. Quite an interesting voyage but also pricy! there are other cruise lines doing the same route. I guess quite a new territory. Will see what we'll do.

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Just a little under $30,000/person for a B2, including Port, Security and Handling. A really unique itinerary, but I think the pricing is just a little high.

Edited by Roland4
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