Aboard what will certainly be one truly momentous sailing, three of the United States’ most groundbreaking figures will share their inspiring stories with Crystal’s savvy globetrotting guests. NASA Astronaut Captains Scott Kelly and Mark Kelly, along with Mark’s wife, former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, will make their first-ever appearance together as guest lecturers aboard Crystal Serenity’s June 26 sailing from Anchorage to Vancouver. Additionally, for Scott Kelly, the Crystal cruise will be his first true luxury vacation experience since returning from his record-breaking year in space.
“It is a special honor for us to welcome these esteemed guests aboard our ship, and we are equally thrilled to share the privilege with our inquisitive and savvy guests,” says Edie Rodriguez, Crystal CEO and president. “Crystal has long enjoyed a reputation for offering enlightening and often cutting-edge enrichment on board that enhances travelers’ global explorations; this occasion is particularly exceptional.”
Indeed, the identical twin brother astronauts have tales to tell that reach far beyond the globe. Scott Kelly’s historic mission in space included NASA’s groundbreaking twin study, in which Mark Kelly served on the ground as a control model in an unprecedented experiment to understand how space affects the human body. Over his 20-year career with NASA, Scott Kelly has earned the coveted position as America’s first year-round astronaut. Prior to space travel, he served 25 years in the U.S. Navy, retiring as an experienced aviator and decorated Captain. Captain Mark Kelly enjoyed the distinction of commanding Space Shuttle Endeavour’s final mission in May 2011, punctuating a distinguished career of NASA research which involved being one of only two individuals who visited the International Space Station on four different occasions. Like his twin brother, Mark Kelly also served in the U.S. military.
Captain Mark Kelly’s wife, Representative Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) has led an illustrious career in the U.S. Congress, beginning in 2007. Her tenure was thrust into the spotlight in 2011 following an assassination attempt on her that critically wounded Giffords and 13 others, and killed six people. Following a remarkable recovery and retirement from Congress, Giffords has used her position to speak out on issues and pursue bipartisan collaboration.
Each of them engaging and dynamic speakers in their own right, the special guests will present their stories during live lectures and Q&A sessions in Crystal Serenity’s expansive lounges and theatres. The sailing visits Sitka, Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan, Alaska with fares starting at $3,175 per person.
Crystal Cruises is the World’s Most Awarded Luxury Cruise Line™, having earned more “World’s Best” accolades than any other cruise line, hotel, or resort in history. Crystal Cruises has won “World’s Best Cruise Ship” in Condé Nast Traveler’s Reader Choice Awards for 22 years; been voted “World’s Best Large Ship Cruise Line” by Travel + Leisure readers for 20 consecutive years; and the “Best Luxury Cruise Line” by Virtuoso for two-consecutive years (2014 & 2015). In summer 2015, Crystal embarked on the most significant brand expansion in the history of luxury travel and hospitality, introducing three new classes of cruising – the recently launched Crystal Yacht Cruises (December 2015), Crystal River Cruises (July 2016), Crystal Exclusive Class Ocean Cruises (Fall 2019), Crystal Luxury Air (April 2016) and Crystal AirCruises (2017).