As a luxury cruise ship comes to town, Nome confronts its future - Alaska Dispatch News
NOME — Residents in this Western Alaska town awoke Sunday morning to the novel sight of the largest cruise ship that has ever visited anchored just offshore.
On board the luxury-class Crystal Serenity were 1,060 cruisers making their last Alaska port call before the ship they paid many thousands of dollars to board attempts to become the largest passenger vessel to sail the Northwest Passage.
Not an hour after the ship’s arrival, they filed onto smaller vessels that would take them into Nome, where the port isn’t deep enough to accommodate the Serenity’s draft.
Is the Arctic ready for the Crystal Serenity?
The luxury liner Crystal Serenity is on its way from Seward to New York City through the Northwest Passage.
It’s the largest cruise ship to navigate the route, which hugs the coasts of Alaska, Canada and Greenland. And it’s attracted international attention, with many wondering if it’s a sign of what’s to come as the Arctic sees increasingly ice-free summers.
The Arctic Circle may be more than 400 miles north, but Seward has become an Arctic port - Alaska Dispatch News
SEWARD — In this picturesque Alaska port town more than 400 miles south of the Arctic Circle, two big symbols of U.S. Arctic ambition loomed over the harbor.
Docked side by side, both preparing to head north, were the cutter Healy, the only polar-class U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker working in the Arctic, and the Crystal Serenity, the huge luxury cruise ship destined for an unprecedented journey through newly ice-sparse waters of the Northwest Passage over the top of Canada. Both ships’ paths converged in Seward, a tourist destination, fishing center and recreation hub that is emerging as a support center and port for Arctic marine and science activities.