A U.S. cruise ship company plans to be the first to sail tourists all the way through the Northwest Passage.
The 32-day Crystal Cruise from Anchorage to New York is scheduled to set sail in August 2016 and will make stops in Ulukhaktok, N.W.T., and in Cambridge Bay and Pond Inlet, Nunavut.
It has taken nearly two years of planning and a lot of Canadian co-operation to make the voyage viable.
The company said it has been working with Transport Canada and the Canadian Coast Guard, and has arranged for Canadian Ice Services to monitor ice conditions in the passage.
The passage is mostly clear of ice during the summer, but the cruise ship will be accompanied by an ice-breaking escort vessel, the company said.
Most of the stops will be Inuit communities, sparsely populated and lacking some of the infrastructure passengers might expect on a "conventional" cruise.
Instead, Crystal intends to offer a cultural experience that also benefits the locals.
"Guests will see daily life in these remote communities first-hand. Community centres will be open, with cultural performances and demonstrations such as throat singing or traditional dress displays...along with the chance to shop for traditional Inuit art," the FAQ page says.
The company said it has consulted with Nunavut Tourism and the Nunavut Impact Review Board to ensure its "visit will be embraced by the local communities and be respectful of their traditions and daily way of life."
And passengers won't need to pack their bathing suits.
Daytime temperatures are expected to reach between 4 C and 9 C, and sink to about -2 C at night.
Prices range from $19,755 to $44,000 per person.