You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Historic cruise in melting Arctic

Associated Press Associated Press 12/09/2016 Mark Thiessen

The largest cruise ship to ever sail the Northwest Passage is en route to New York City from Alaska.

The Crystal Serenity left Seward, Alaska, in mid-August and plans to dock in New York on September 16.

<p>This Aug. 21, 2016, photo shows the luxury cruise ship Crystal Serenity anchored just outside Nome, Alaska.</p>

This Aug. 21, 2016, photo shows the luxury cruise ship Crystal Serenity anchored just outside Nome, Alaska.

© AP Photo/Mark Thiessen

The ship sailed up the Bering Strait, and made a port call in Nome where guests got a chance to see a herd of wild musk oxen that had taken up residence just outside town. The ship then continued north until reaching the Arctic Ocean, and then east toward Greenland.

The melting Arctic is making this type of trip possible. The irony isn't lost on Michael Byers, a professor in the political science department at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. He calls it ``extinction tourism.''

The 900 or so passengers on the luxury liner are going through the Arctic to seen an ecosystem before it disappears. But Byers say they are actually adding to the problem because of the ship's large carbon footprint.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon