Sailing to Earth’s icy extremes doesn’t get much better than this. Your PONANT ship, Le Commandant Charcot, is a world-first, hybrid-electric, luxury polar exploration vessel. It offes truly immersive experiences to ensure you feel the authentic spirit of the poles.
Glide in the midst of the ice, at the very edges of the world to spot the penguins and feel the thrill of adventure. Your journey is on board PONANT’s newest vessel. Le Commandant Charcot offers an unrivalled level of sophistication, service and comfort while you embark on true polar odysseys to the edge of the Earth.
Le Commandant Charcot 2023 voyages
For the Northern Hemisphere summer of 2023, set sail for an exclusive, epic voyage aboard Le Commandant Charcot. Meet the peoples of the Far North, explore virtually uncharted territories, and observe the unique and protected wildlife. Want to travel this year instead? 2022 departures are still available.
The Geographic North Pole
Longyearbyen to Reykjavík | 15 nights
Departs 8 and 23 July, 7 and 22 August 2022, 10 and 27 July, and 11 and 26 August 2023
Encounters with the Inuit and Spring Traditions
Reykjavík to Reykjavík | 10 nights
Departs 5 and 15 May 2023
Or journey south
Have you been pining for travel to far-flung destinations and lands that are worlds away from the scenery of everyday life? An expedition to Antarctica is back on the menu, with the 2022/2023 season starting in October.
The Emperors Penguins of Weddell Sea
Punta Arenas to Ushuaia | 14 nights
Departs 2 and 16 November 2023*
Unexplored Antarctica between Two Continents
Ushuaia to Dunedin | 28 nights
Departs 16 January 2023
Book early and save up to 30%* +
Welcome Offer: $800 savings on your first PONANT voyage*
Contact your preferred Travel Agent or PONANT on 1300 737 178 (AU) or 0800 767 018 (NZ), or email email@example.com
Ponant’s Le Commandant Charcot is taking polar exploration to a new level of luxury
Ponant’s latest expedition ship Le Commandant Charcot has already sailed further south than any other ship. It offers guests a range of unique experiences in the last unspoilt wildernesses on Earth
Over a century after French Antarctic explorer Jean-Baptiste Charcot braved sub-zero temperatures to navigate uncharted waters close to the South Pole. The ship that now bears his name cruises the same icy seas offering its passengers a degree of luxury the brave adventurer could never have imagined.
The newest addition to Ponant’s world-class fleet of bespoke expedition ships, Le Commandant Charcot has been purpose-built to chart a course where other cruise liners wouldn’t dare. On March 5 this year, it sailed further south than any ship in history. While navigating the spectacular Ross Ice Shelf, giving its guests panoramic vistas across the sweeping, barren whiteness where Ernest Shackleton and Robert Scott began their historic treks.
Last September, its ultra-strong, ice-breaking hull allowed it to become only the eighth vessel in history to reach the North Pole. And the first luxury liner powered solely by environmentally friendly liquid gas and electricity to do so.
Le Commandant Charcot sets a new benchmark for opulent, sustainable tourism, with lavish staterooms, fine dining, a sumptuous spa and effortlessly elegant interior design. The experiences it offers, however, go beyond the extraordinary.
Exploring Antarctica and the Artic
You’ll spot penguins, orcas and even blue whales from the comfort of your balcony. But once ashore, you’ll witness first-hand the pristine perfection of the actual ends of the earth.
Depending on which voyage and pole you choose, there are opportunities to visit historic sites, go snowshoeing or dog sledding with Inuit activity leaders or local guides, try your hand at ice fishing and explore vast wildernesses by hovercraft or electric snowmobile. It is common to see families of polar bears on the ice shelves as Le Commandant Charcot passes at a safe distance. If you’re really brave, you can don a swimsuit and experience the intense sensation of immersing yourself in an ice hole.
There are also escorted kayaking and hiking tours, and wave-riding outings in inflatable boats called Zodiacs.
You’ll absorb a wealth of knowledge about the remarkable creatures that inhabit the land and oceans, and the hardy flora that survives winter temperatures of -60° Celsius.
The same thirst for knowledge that drove Commandant Charcot to journey to the ends of the Earth to carry out topographical surveys and collect scientific data drives the naturalists and historians who accompany guests on educational tours and provide unique insights into their important work.
There’s even the chance to become an honorary researcher yourself and take part in real scientific studies. They might involve gathering samples of plankton, hairgrass or soil, or perhaps measuring water temperatures or the thickness of an ice sheet. You may be asked to count a penguin colony or take photos of glaciers or birds. Whatever you end up helping with, it’ll be an incredible opportunity to immerse yourself in the issues that climate scientists and botanists are studying.
Pure Ponant cruise serenity
After all that exhilaration, you’ll be ready for some well-earned indulgence and relaxation.
The 123 impeccably appointed, spacious staterooms and suites all have balconies that are perfect for a quiet cocktail before dinner. Some even boast private terraces with your own spa. Their understated décor is the work of renowned architectural designers Jean-Philippe Nuel and Jean-Michel Wilmotte.
In fact, throughout the ship, you’ll appreciate a calming tonal palette of warm stone, natural wood, neutral fabrics and European leather. The colours and textures reflect the natural environment, a welcoming refuge from the harsh conditions outside.
When it comes to enjoying your time on board, you really are spoilt for choice. There are outdoor and indoor heated pools, a top tier beauty salon, a theatre, three lounges, cosy corners to curl up with a good book and two restaurants.
The Grand Salon offers the welcoming warmth of a living room, albeit with a dramatic seascape vista. While the expansive outlook from the Observation Lounge features a glass ceiling where thousands of stars glitter through the short hours of darkness.
You’ll be surprised at how warm the Blue Lagoon pool is – it’s heated using energy generated by the ship’s engine. But you might experience the odd shiver in the Finnish-style Snow Room, which is set to a bracing -10°C. Perfect after a muscle-relaxing session in the sauna.
One of the highlights of any Ponant cruise is the superlative food, and Le Commandant Charcot is no exception. French, multi-Michelin star chef Alain Ducasse works with his chefs to deliver the last word in exquisite cuisine and fine wines for extravagant gastronomic experiences you’ll never forget.
The sheer splendour of life aboard the ship belies its impeccable credentials when it comes to sustainable tourism. The world’s first hybrid ship powered entirely by liquid gas and electricity, its environmental impact is minimised. At the end of the journey, only footprints should remain on the ice.
To learn more about Le Commandant Charcot and its range of Arctic and Antarctic cruises, contact your preferred travel advisor or visit le-commandant-charcot.com. You can contact PONANT directly on 1300 737 178 (AU) or 0800 767 018 (NZ) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lead image: Weddell seal in the Weddell Sea with Le Commandant Charcot in the background © Sue Flood