A cruise ship with over 1000 passengers has completed the trip that Henry Hudson and hundreds of other explorers dreamed of: to sail the Northwest Passage, a sea route across the top of North America, connecting Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
Of course, 600 years ago, when they tried, it wouldn't have been possible because the northern ice never melted enough to allow an ocean-going ship to pass. Today's era of climate change made it possible for Crystal Cruises' Crystal Serenity to make the trip, accompanied by its own ice-breaker, the Ernest Shackleton.
The trip from Anchorage, Alaska to New York was anything but a routine cruise. Aside from the accompanying ice-breaker, there were years of planning for every possible ice-related contingency, including safety drills by the U.S. and Canadian coast guards, and plans for how to evacuate the entire ship if it became damaged or stuck in ice.
The cruise included educational components, with geologists, biologists and naturalists on board, as well as visits to the isolated villages along the way in the Canadian arctic. And yes, there were polar bears and whales to be seen. For more details, from Cruise Critic, click HERE