• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
2m 4s

Episode 74: Crystal Serenity’s Historic Voyage

By KTVA Alaska 5:00 PM September 25, 2016

When the Crystal Serenity pulled into New York Harbor on Sept. 16 in the early morning light, it signaled the dawn of a new age for the Arctic.

It was the largest ship of its kind to transit the Northwest Passage. The cruise liner carried more than a thousand passengers, outfitted with the latest in sonar and radar technology, as well as two helicopters to scan for ice. The ship made the journey from Seward to New York City in just 32 days.

Compare that to 1906: It took Roald Amundsen, the first explorer to navigate the Northwest Passage, three years to complete his journey in a fishing boat with a crew of six.

Some Crystal Serenity passengers paid more than $100,000 a piece for this historic ride. On this episode of Frontiers, we revisit the ship’s journey and look at what it means to Alaska’s future.

Some of the highlights:

– KTVA meteorologist Melissa Frey retraces the historic route of the ship. The Crystal Serenity had lots of cameras on board, so Melissa compiled some of the cruise liner’s footage to give us a comprehensive look at this adventure – from scenes of the eerie floating ice fields to stops along the way. Melissa also has an overview of current ice conditions in the Arctic.

– Kevin Harun, the Arctic program director for Pacific Environment, weighs in on the impact of the Crystal Serenity’s voyage — how it opens the door to more Arctic shipping traffic, which poses threats to safety and subsistence.

– Our guest is the mayor of Nome, Richard Beneville, who shares his perspective on the visit of the Crystal Serenity to Nome and what’s at stake for his community.

– Also on the show, KTVA’s Heather Hintze takes us to the Alaska Native Heritage Center for a look at how to skin a seal.

Soon, the Arctic ice will begin to close in for the winter. If oceans continue to warm, we’ll see thinner ice form and melt in time for more crossings of the Northwest Passage every summer. In reality, it’s not one route. Each crossing will depend on where the remaining ice exists, with different hazards every year.

Change is happening faster than most of us realize. We hope this program gives you a sense of both the dangers and opportunities to come.

Latest Stories

  • Sports

    Native Youth Olympics highlight culture, camaraderie for competitors

    by Heather Hintze on Apr 27, 20:21

    For athletes at the 2017 Native Youth Olympics (NYO), the games are all about culture and community. “My favorite part about NYO is the camaraderie between everyone,” said Allie Ivanoff, a sophomore in Unalakleet. “You can go up to a person and they’ll coach you if you need it. Everything is about sportsmanship in this […]

  • Politics

    Wasilla representative casts lone no vote on bill honoring Alaska’s Hmong veterans

    by Liz Raines on Apr 27, 20:07

    A state lawmaker known for going against the grain on votes with racial undercurrents sparked controversy Thursday. Rep. David Eastman (R-Wasilla) was the lone vote against a bill in the Alaska House to honor Hmong veterans who supported the United States in the Vietnam War. Eastman also voted against a bill honoring black soldiers earlier […]

  • Politics

    Eastman calls for reprimand after LeDoux blocks committee debate

    by Liz Raines on Apr 27, 19:38

    There are more signs of friction in Juneau this week. The latest example came between two fellow Republicans in the House, when a seemingly non-controversial committee meeting became anything but. It ended with one lawmaker calling for a reprimand of the House Rules Committee chair, Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux (R-Anchorage). Rep. David Eastman (R-Wasilla) is calling […]

  • News

    State fire investigator takes stand on Day 5 of Sockeye Fire trial

    by Shannon Ballard on Apr 27, 19:15

    Memories of the 2015 Sockeye Fire were reignited Thursday, five days into the state’s case against the Anchorage couple accused of starting the destructive blaze — Greg Imig and Amy DeWitt. In recorded interviews, Imig repeatedly told fire investigators there was no way the more than 7,000 acre wildfire could have started on his property, but state […]

  • News

    Trump to sign order aimed at expanding offshore drilling

    by Associated Press on Apr 27, 17:11

    President Donald Trump will sign an executive order Friday that could lead to the future expansion of drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic oceans. The order will direct his interior secretary to review a plan that dictates which locations are open to offshore drilling. It’s Trump’s latest effort to dismantle his predecessor’s environmental legacy and […]

  • On-Air

    Reality check w/ John Tracy: Grading Trump’s first 100 days in office

    by John Tracy on Apr 27, 16:57

    The press is fixated this week on grading Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office. The grade depends on exactly what you’re grading the president on. First, by objective standards, the president has signed 28 bills into law — far more than his two predecessors, and more than Bill Clinton. He’s also signed more executive […]

  • Anchorage police make 2 DUI arrests at same location

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Apr 27, 16:35

    Police arrested two separate motorists on DUI charges at an Anchorage gas station early Sunday morning. The first driver, 33-year-old Duane Nash, was pulled over for speeding on Minnesota Drive shortly before 4 a.m., according to a release from the Anchorage Police Department. After he pulled into a gas station parking lot on Spenard Road, police noticed […]

  • News

    Latest: Tillerson says China asked North Korea to stop nuke tests

    by Associated Press on Apr 27, 16:06

    The Latest on tensions on the Korean Peninsula (all times local): 6:35 p.m. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says China has asked North Korea to conduct no further nuclear tests. Tillerson says China also told the U.S. that it had informed North Korea “that if they did conduct further nuclear tests, China would be […]