From the Arctic to the Amazon: Luxury Adventures In the World’s Most Extreme Places

From the chill of the Northwest Passage to the striking humidity of the Amazon Basin, luxury cruises are getting more and more exotic as the line between luxury and expedition cruising blurs further with each passing season.

Hot on the heels of the company’s first successful transit of the Northwest Passage last year (with the largest passenger ship ever to make the journey), Crystal Cruises is once again sending its 1,070-guest Crystal Serenity through the fabled pass for a second year in a row.

From the Arctic to the Amazon, there’s an expedition cruise for you in 2017. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

The 32-day voyage departs from Anchorage, Alaska on August 15 and sails into New York City on September 16, 2017 after a journey that will take Crystal Serenity from Alaska through the Aleutian Islands to the Bering Sea before cruising the icy expanse of the Beaufort Sea, which borders Alaska and the Canadian territories of the Yukon and the Northwest Territories.

The Canadian Arctic is a harsh and wild expanse, with few settlements. It is difficult to reach by air, and nearly impossible to reach by land. A full 11 days are spent exploring this impressive area, from the rocky shores of Beechey Island, where the remains of the first three fatalities from the Franklin Expedition of 1845 are buried; to the remote Canadian communities of Pond Inlet and Cambridge Bay, both of which are located in the territory of Nunavut. The average high in Cambridge Bay during August is just 6.8°C – warm for a region that frequently fails to break -24°C in the darkest days of December.

In addition to visiting these remote communities and learning about the ways of the Canadian First Nations peoples that call this region home, guests are treated to the Arctic’s spectacular wonders, from the famous “Midnight Sun” that provides 24-hour daylight during the summer months, to the never-ending pack ice, polar bears and marine life.

You’ll want to wear a parka for this journey – but you certainly won’t need one for Regent Seven Seas’ voyage along another equally-famous stretch of water: the Amazon River.

Regent’s exotic cruise through the Amazon stops first in the Caribbean, including picturesque St. Lucia. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Departing from Miami on May 23 aboard the 490-guest Seven Seas Navigator, this 25-night voyage to South America and the Amazon River is a must for serious cruisers and port collectors.

Heading southbound, Seven Seas Navigator makes time to stop in the sparkling Caribbean ports of Gustavia; Castries; St. George’s, Grenada; and Port of Spain in Trinidad and Tobago. She then winds her way along the Atlantic Ocean and up the mouth of the fabled Amazon River, which guests will be able to explore for an entire week.

In addition to cruising the Amazon, guests aboard Seven Seas Navigator will be able to disembark and participate in adventures ashore in Santarem, Boca da Valeria, Parintins, and Alter Do Chao. An overnight call in Manaus is also provided.

On the way out of the Amazon, guests can step ashore on Devil’s Island in French Guiana and enjoy a bit more sun-and-sand in the Caribbean, with visits to Barbados, Antigua and Puerto Rico on the return journey to Miami.

If you like your cruises adventurous and luxurious, your ship has truly come in with these two unique sailings.

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