Huge Cruise Ship Traverses the Northwest Passage in Canadian Arctic   Leave a comment


CBC

Massive cruise ship brings new era of Arctic tourism to Cambridge Bay

Visit was encouraged by artisans who stand to make thousands of dollars in sales in 1 day

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Not an ice floe was in sight as a warming climate and a huge cruise ship combined to usher in a new era of mass tourism in Canada’s Arctic.

After a stop at the community of Ulukhaktok, N.W.T., the 280-metre long Crystal Serenity entered the fabled but dangerous Northwest Passage Sunday and arrived at the hamlet of Cambridge Bay, Nunavut on Monday morning.

It is the largest vessel to ever attempt to go through the passage, the cruise ship company says.

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Cambridge Bay is home to about 1,300 people, with an average daily high temperature in August of about 10 C.

On board are six hundred crew members and 1,000 passengers, each of whom paid between $30,000 and $120,000 for the trip.

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Passengers came ashore on zodiacs, 150 people at a time so as to not overwhelm the community.

In Cambridge Bay, planning to host so many visitors at once has taken almost 2½ years.

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The passengers posed for pictures on the beach, the second time they’ve landed in Canada on their month-long voyage through the Arctic.

The visit was encouraged by local artisans who stand to make thousands of dollars in sales in a single day. The Nunavut Arts Festival also held its annual meeting in the community to coincide with the ship’s arrival.

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Inuit carver Roy Klengenberg created and hoped to sell about 10 pieces of art for between $200 and $300 each to Crystal Serenity passengers.

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Passengers streamed down the streets of Cambridge Bay on foot, purchasing artwork at a special festival and food at local stores.

Smaller cruise ships are not uncommon in Cambridge Bay — the community usually gets about six a year, mostly with Canadians as passengers. The Crystal Serenity’s passengers are 80 per cent American and local organizers say they expected they would be far less familiar with the Arctic way of life.

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The landscape around Cambridge Bay is mainly flat and pocketed by ponds that are only ice-free for a few weeks a year.

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Posted August 30, 2016 by markosun in Geography

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