In 2016, Crystal Cruises‘ Crystal Serenity will sail seven voyages of 7 and 10 days, offering luxury travellers hundreds of opportunities to immerse themselves in the countless facets of Alaska’s culture, outdoor adventures and resident wildlife.
“With all of our Crystal Adventures, it is our goal to bring the destinations to life for our guests by offering authentic, memorable experiences,” says Crystal’s president and CEO, Edie Rodriguez. “The spirit of adventure permeates every part of life in Alaska, naturally, we strive to showcase this culture to travellers in every possible way.”
Crystal’s roster of Alaskan adventures in 2016 can be enjoyed from virtually any vantage point, by air, sea, land and glacier, with many adventures combining several of these. Highlights include:
Heli-Hike and White Pass Railway: Takes guests high above the Sawtooth Mountains, through the wilderness via train, and on a 4- to 5-mile hike along the Skagway River to the magnificent Laughton Glacier. Bears, moose and mountain goat sightings are an added perk (from Skagway, Alaska).
Glacier flightseeing and dog sledding: Another combo adventure that highlights two of Alaska’s most popular sports, taking travellers via helicopter to the top of Denver Glacier, where they’ll marvel at the endless sea of peaks and glaciers beyond before entering the world of mushing, guided by the professionals of the Iditarod Dog Races (from Skagway).
Whale-watching eco-adventure: Combining a favourite activity in Alaska’s waters with the Marine Conservation Alliance Foundation’s efforts to preserve the wilderness shorelines; affording views of orcas and humpback whales, as well as Stellar sea lions, harbor seals and more.
ATV adventure through the Tongass National Forest: Allowing travellers the opportunity to visit Alaskan Brown Bears and Sitka Black Tail Deer in their common habitat as they cruise along the rough terrain via 4×4, stopping for sea views of whale spouts and sea otters in the distance (from Sitka).
Fly fishing by floatplane: Flying far into the Alaskan wilderness to a remote spot not accessible to road access, where the catch-and-release fishing expedition begins in pursuit of salmon, Dolly Varden, cutthroat trout or steelhead.
Dozens of other Crystal Adventures offer numerous glacier treks, kayaking excursions, photography-focused expeditions, highlights of Alaska’s Russian and native heritage, zipline thrills, wildlife encounters and preservation education, and even crab feeds. Additionally, a 5-night Extended Land Programme through Denali National Park will be offered for guests sailing on the 16 August Northwest Passage voyage from Anchorage to New York.
Crystal Serenity’s 2016 Alaska cruise season runs from 19 June through 16 August, with a spring Asia voyage and a late-August Northwest Passage route also featuring Alaskan calls and adventures. For bookings by 30 December 2015, travelers can enjoy additional Book Now savings, with all-inclusive cruise fares starting at US$2915 per person.