Crystal Serenity will be the largest ship to pass the Northwest Passage, and Nome, the little city from Western Alaska, is its last stop before entering the Arctic waters.
Soon upon arrival, the cruisers went into small vessels to reach the land and visit the city.
The total number of persons on Crystal Serenity is 1,060. The trip has been made possible by the warming temperatures in the Arctic, which made the Northwest Passage to be navigable for large ships. However, Crystal Serenity is accompanied by a US icebreaker to help it through difficult areas.
Nome is the home of 3,800 people, and it is accustomed to tourists, as each year the town represents the finish of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. However, none of their previous visitors were as luxurious as the travelers on Crystal Serenity.
The mayor prepared for over eight months for the arrival of the ship, as they hope it will bring the community closer, and it will help inject more spending from visitors.
After reaching the shore, the Crystal Serenity cruisers embarked in yellow school buses and went on a city tour. The locals also prepared them a gold panning presentation, a sled-dog demonstration and a walk-through the National Park Service. Other cruisers preferred to wander in the city on their own.
The Nome Berry Festival had been rescheduled to coincide with the arrival of the ship, and the locals organized tundra wildlife tours, hikes to Anvil Mountain, and flights over the Bering Strait. However, the weather was rainy, and the visitors had to adjust to the cloudy skies.
The local authorities had also installed portable toilets and welcome signs; they had hundreds of meetings and sent numerous emails. The small sellers offered products made out of local materials, like walrus ivory or sealskin.
Crystal Serenity Goes Shopping
The result was that the little artisans and local artists had one of the best selling days of their lives, and the cruise is seen as an important chance to the Alaska Federation of Natives.
The Crystal Cruise owners have also met a great success with the Arctic trip. The tickets had sold out in only 48 hours; there had been no booking discounts, and the waiting list was of almost 7,000 people.
The trip is supposed to be organized once more in 2017, and the Genting Hong Kong leisure and hospitality conglomerate plan to build a new megayacht especially for the occasion. The new ship will have the name “Crystal Endeavor” and it will be an homage to Captain James Cook.
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