(PRESS RELEASE)_MIAMI, July 14, 2021 – Today, Crystal Expedition Cruises announced its roster of expedition leaders and naturalist experts for Crystal Endeavor’s inaugural voyages in Iceland. The luxury expedition yacht’s highly anticipated maiden voyage will embark round-trip from Reykjavik on July 17, 2021, the first of five 10-night voyages circumnavigating Iceland, featuring naturalists Boris Wise and Maria Cashin as expedition leaders and Eva Molin Westerholm as assistant expedition leader, along with a cadre of noted scientists, naturalist experts, photographers and more among its expedition team.
Wise and Westerholm have assembled an impressive lineup of expedition guides including ornithologist Joe Cockram, marine biologist Lisa LaPoint, glaciologist and geologist Bob Gilmore, historian Captain Ken Burton, photographers Roger Pimenta and Bruno Cazarini, and artist in residence Bruce Pearson to enrich guests experiences aboard Crystal Endeavor’s inaugural voyages in Iceland where rich bird and marine life present fascinating studies against a backdrop of stunning land and seascapes.
“To have such a diverse and experienced team of experts leading guests on small group expeditions to provide insights on the wildlife and landscapes of Iceland’s rare and remote places is the heart of the true expedition experience we want to offer our guests,” said Walter Barinaga, Crystal’s director of destination experiences. “Crystal Endeavor was designed to provide unique experiences and up-close encounters with the natural world and this incredible team will certainly enrich that experience by offering our guests a deeper understanding of the special places they visit.”
Both Wise and Westerholm are veteran explorers of the Arctic and Antarctic, with vast experience leading expeditions in the polar regions and beyond. Wise, an accomplished photographer with a background in horticulture, has spent a decade sharing his expertise in Southeast Alaska, before he ventured to Greenland, Iceland, the Northwest Passage, Baffin Island, Svalbard Archipelago, Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falkland Islands. Cashin has always felt a deep connection to the natural world from her study of Geology and her work as a geoscientist to her adventures with National Geographic and as a tour operator for Canada’s premier mountain instruction and guiding school. Since 2012 she has combined her skills to work as a lecturer and expedition leader in the Arctic and Antarctic. Westerholm has a background in social anthropology and passion for the wilderness on expedition voyages for more than 13 years, guiding travelers through the Arctic and Antarctic, as well as Iceland, Central America, Eastern Canada and the British Isles.
The expedition team for Crystal Endeavor’s inaugural Luxury Iceland Expeditions includes:
Carrying its own fleet of sea kayaks, 18 Zodiacs and featuring a helipad, Crystal Endeavor was purpose built to offer a true expedition experience including a PC6 polar classification that enables her to sail in polar regions. Exploration equipment aboard the ship includes a Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV) to view the sea at a 300-meter (almost 1,000 feet) depth and a Gimble long range camera mounted on the mast that can zoom in to view wildlife and scenery over a mile away.
The camera system shoots 4K video that will be streamed directly on the HD TVs throughout the ship including public areas and guest suites, and on the large 65-inch screens in Palm Court, the 86-inch screens in the Expedition Lounge and on the Cove’s video wall, with a massive 218-inch center screen and two 145-inch side screens. Camera operator control locations in the Palm Court and in the Expedition Lounge will also offer interactive activity between the camera operator and guests, who can point out sights they would like to see up close.
All ports of call aboard Crystal Endeavor’s Iceland voyages feature complimentary explorations - from kayaking to Zodiac excursions to walking tours - all led by naturalist experts from the ship’s expedition team. Complimentary expeditions on the inaugural Iceland voyages include sea kayaking in Patreksfjörður to explore the waters of the Westfjords, a walk along the Arctic Circle on Grimsey Island to spy cliff-dwelling sea birds, and a Zodiac cruise through mountain landscapes in Djúpivogur, among others.
The German-built 20,200 GRT Crystal Endeavor is the ninth ship in the award-winning cruise line’s worldwide fleet, the fastest and most powerful expedition ship in the industry and features a PC6 classification that enables her to sail in Arctic and Antarctic regions. At 100 gross tons and 10,000 cubic feet per guest and a passenger space ratio of more than 100, she has the largest space per guest of any ship at sea. Luxuriously designed to offer discerning travelers elegantly expansive private and public spaces, the ship accommodates just 200 guests in 100 well-appointed all-verandah, all-butler serviced suites, among the largest and most spacious in expedition cruising. A one-to-one staff-to-guest ratio delivers the personal and genuine service for which Crystal is known.
Throughout the ship, Crystal hallmarks accent guests’ onboard experience: Michelin-inspired dining options including Umi Uma, the first and only Japanese restaurant on an expedition ship, fine Italian cuisine at Prego, 24-hour room service and optional Vintage Room experience; the only casino on an expedition yacht; a glass-covered, two-story solarium – housing the Seahorse Pool and Jacuzzi – providing panoramic views from sea to sky; and the full-service Crystal Life Salon & Spa with a state-of-the-art Fitness Center; as well as a wrap-around Promenade Deck, an iconic Crystal design element. Expedition-specific amenities will include high-tech enrichments spaces, designated mud rooms, an Expedition and Helicopter Lounge, and even the option of exploration in a six-guest submersible on select voyages.
Inaugural Voyages, Iceland, the Arctic Circle and Europe
As the first and only true luxury expedition yacht to restart cruising in the Arctic and Northern Europe, Crystal Endeavor’s maiden voyage sails from July 17 – 27, 2021 as part of a series of 10-night immersive voyages circumnavigating Iceland’s most dramatically beautiful and fascinating locales. The Luxury Iceland Expedition voyages sail round-trip from the ship’s homeport of Reykjavík, affording travelers convenient air options, just six hours from New York City, three hours from London and with frequent non-stop flights from many major cities in the U.S. and Europe. The series will be followed by the 10-night Journey of Vikings: Iceland & Norway from Reykjavík to Tromsø departing September 5, 2021.
Additional autumn departures include the 13-night Norwegian Fjords & Scottish Isles Exploration from Tromsø to London, departing September 15, 2021, featuring the fjords and UNESCO treasures of Norway and an overnight in Edinburgh, and the 11-night Breton, Bordeaux and Beyond from London to Lisbon departing September 28, 2021, and highlighted by two nights in the heart of Bordeaux and an overnight call in London.
Stay current with the latest news from the cruise lines.
Follow Gerry Barker
on All Things Cruise.