Crystal appoints expert guides for first Northwest Passage voyage

Crystal appoints expert guides for first Northwest Passage voyage
Experts will notify guests when they spot wildlife, such as polar bears

Marine biologists, photographers, divers, climatologists and naturalists will be just some of the 21 experts who will lead onboard lectures and onshore excursions during Crystal Cruises’ first-ever Northwest Passage voyage this August.

Crystal Serenity will embark on the 32-night voyage from Seward, Alaska to New York, US on 16 August. Guests will be able to enjoy interactive onboard presentations on conservation, education and destination immersion from the 21 guest scientists, adventurers and lecturers.

Managed by professional expedition leader Tim Soper who has over two decades of experience in the polar regions, the onshore expeditions will also be organised by Linnea Soper and Saskia Travert who both have long experience of managing logistics for expeditions to the Northwest Passage and Greenland. Kevin Freeny will serve as the videographer for expeditions.

Experts include Polar explorer Sigrid Henjun, Arctic guide Laali Berthelsen who is a native of Nuuk, Greenland; National Geographic photographer and marine biologist Flip Nicklin who is focused on tracking whales; marine biologist and naturalist Linda Nicklin; Arctic marine mammal ecologist Lois Harwood; and marine biologist and diver Justin Hoffman who will use a remotely operated vehicle to capture images and video of the underwater world to be shared with guests in onboard presentations.

Guests will also be able to gain insights into conservation and animal behaviour from polar bear specialist Tom Smith, naturalist Art Sowls, geologist and climatologist Henry Pollack, geologist Tom Sharpe.

A team of local wildlife guides from Arctic communities will accompany the voyage to provide local perspectives, while historians Ken Burton and Hector Williams and archaeologist Margaret Bertulli will provide insights into the history and culture of destinations in the polar region.

“Every aspect of this voyage and the route Crystal Serenity will travel, holds historical and cultural significance, and understanding this significance while aboard this monumental journey will certainly heighten our guests’ experience,” said Edie Rodriguez, Crystal’s CEO and president. “The sheer number of experts set to enlighten travellers on the voyage speaks directly to how profoundly rich this itinerary is, and how much there is to discover about this part of the world.”

Expedition Voyage Consultants will provide shoreside support during the voyage, while Crystal Serenity’s escort vessel, RRS Ernest Shackleton, will carry additional guides and crew. In addition to planned expeditions, the ship’s captain will position the vessel to take advantage of impromptu ‘Unexpected Adventures’. These will include Zodiac excursions to view glaciers, kayaking in protected bays, trekking the tundra with an expert guide and helicopter flights to view the Arctic landscape from the air. Likewise, the expedition teams will alert guests to wildlife sightings along the journey.

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