The largest cruise ship to sail the Northwest Passage docked yesterday on the West Side of Manhattan. The voyage of Crystal Serenity is part of growing Arctic cruise industry that is spurred by rising temperatures and receding ice.
The route was first navigated more than a century ago by Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen, but has been ice-free only in recent years.
The journey raises questions about further human degradation of a region disproportionately affected by climate change, where temperatures are rising twice as quickly as the world average.
The cruise was priced at a minimum of $19,755 per passenger, which is more than $600 per day higher than last year’s average daily cruise price of $168.43, according to the industry analytics firm Cruise Market Watch.
The Arctic has been warming quickly because a thaw of white ice and snow exposes darker ground and water below that absorb more of the sun’s heat.
RRS Ernest Shackleton icebreaker escorted the cruise ship.