Some of you may already have heard about how this year
a cruise ship called Crystal Serenity is going to sail the Northwest Passage with more than 1000 guests. Prices range from $22,000 to $121,000 dollars per passenger (drinks included). Here's how the journey is being advertized:
Follow in the footsteps of intrepid explorers as you sail through unparalleled landscapes of grand glaciers, stunning fjords, and rare wildlife sightings as you learn the Arctic culture and its fascinating people.
1000 people who are eternally desperate to inflate their egos and reduce their boredom, will follow in the footsteps of McClure, Parry, Amundsen and Larsen. From their top-deck jacuzzis they will observe the blueness of that which once was white. Maybe they'll take helicopter flights to Jakobshavn Glacier and hope for a good calving, make selfies on Beechey Island in front of the Franklin crew graves, leave some trash behind. 'Look, honey, that's where the Gjøa was stuck in the ice. Can you pass me the shrimp-o-naise?'
In short, they're going to check personally the result of their actions.
With great wealth comes great responsibility. Tell the grandkids.
I'm trying to stay polite here. Someone who is more successful at staying polite and explaining the problems of this slap-in-the-face example of disaster tourism, is Suzanne Goldenberg, perhaps the best reporter on Arctic matters at the moment. Here are the final paragraphs of her latest column on The Guardian, but the stuff preceding it, is well worth reading as well: