(6:02 p.m. EST) -- Crystal Cruises' new luxury expedition ship -- Crystal Endeavor -- will take adventure seekers through the Northeast Passage in 2021. The rare itinerary is a first for Crystal, which made history in 2016 when Crystal Serenity completed a 32-night Northwest Passage cruise as the largest passenger vessel to ever sail the icy Arctic waters of Canada.
Crystal Endeavor, scheduled to launch in summer 2020, will begin its 28-night Northeast Passage cruise on August 18, 2021, from Anadyr, Russia. It will visit several remote islands, archipelagos and coastlines before concluding in Tromso, Norway on September 15. The cruise is one of many off-the-beaten-path itineraries offered on Crystal Endeavor.
"The Northeast Passage is precisely the type of bold expedition for which Crystal Endeavor is designed, with her PC6 designation and ability to maneuver through medium first-year ice, as well as offshore dynamic positioning, zodiacs and virtually all other gear necessary for such intrepid exploration," said Crystal's president and CEO, Tom Wolber. "In addition to these technical amenities, she'll accommodate guests in the highest standard of comfort and luxury, even as they travel to the most remote destinations."
Highlights of Crystal Endeavor's Northeast Passage cruise include the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Wrangel Island; the former Russian military watch point of Franz Josef Land; the New Siberian Islands; Severnaya Zemlya, the last charted archipelago on earth; and Cape Chelyuskin on the Taimyr Peninsula. The ship will sail through the East Siberian Sea, the White Sea, the Barents Sea and the Laptev Sea during its journey.
Stops and activities on land will depend on weather and sea conditions, though there will be several opportunities for Zodiac landings and the navigation of ice floes. Expedition guides, scientists and destination experts also will be onboard for the duration of the sailing.
Crystal is not the first cruise line to offer a Northeast Passage itinerary. Luxury line Silversea Cruises will embark on a 25-night Northeast Passage cruise from Nome, Alaska, to Tromso, Norway, on August 10, 2019.
Crystal Endeavor will be a luxury ship, with private butler service for each suite, king-sized beds, walk-in closets and spa-style bathrooms with dual vanities, anti-fog mirrors and rain showerheads. The ship also will have heated storage for drying parkas, as well as adjustable heated floors in the bathrooms.
Bookings for Crystal Endeavor's Northeast Passage cruise open on February 20, 2019, to Crystal Society members and on March 13, 2019, to the public.