This Aug. 21, 2016, photo shows a man standing on the Bering Sea shore looking at the luxury cruise ship Crystal Serenity anchored just outside Nome, Alaska. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)
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The giant luxury cruise liner was anchored just off Nome, too hulking to use the Bering Sea community's docks on its inaugural visit.Instead, its more than 900 passengers piled into small transport boats and motored to shore, where they snapped photos of wild musk oxen, lifted glasses in the town's colorful bars and nibbled blueberry pie while admiring Alaska Native dancers at Nome's summer celebration.At nearly three football fields long and 13 stories tall, the cruise ship is the largest ever to traverse the Northwest Passage, where its well-heeled guests glimpsed polar bears, kayaked along Canada's north shore, landed on pristine beaches and hiked where few have stepped.Smaller cruise ships, those that hold about 200 people, routinely make a port call in Nome and continue through the passage, but this ship is different.This cruise was three years in the making, and just about everything is unique to the trip, said John Stoll, a Crystal vice president who organized it.The cruise company is planning another Alaska-to-New York City voyage next August, catering to travelers like the Lentzes.
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