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Le Commandant Charcot - 270 Guests

In The Wake Of Jean-Baptiste Charcot

Overnight in Santiago + flight Santiago/Ushuaia + transfers + flight Ushuaia/Santiago Your journey aboard Le Commandant Charcot will begin with your first look at this strikingly elegant ship, capable of navigating our planet's most extreme environments. You are about to begin an adventure that will lead you to the edges of the Earth, on the continent that no people have ever inhabited, the Antarctic. But while these lands belong to no one, they have been the theatre of the greatest expeditions and have proven the heroism exemplified by certain men. From the Antarctic Peninsula to the Bellingshausen Sea and its unknown islets, Le Commandant Charcot will humbly take you on a 15-day exploration of the Far South, in the wake of the legendary man to whom it owes its name. After crossing the mythical Drake Passage, beaten by the winds and home to soaring cape petrels, you will glimpse the last continent on the horizon. Jean-Baptiste Charcot led his first journey to the Antarctic over a century ago, but his exploits still resonate and his traces are tangible here. His first expedition with the ship Le Francais built his legend and made a mark on Salpetriere Bay. A little further south lies Marguerite Bay which he explored during his second expedition. He named this mountainous and magnificent land after his wife and Pourquoi-Pas Island after his eponymous ship. At the exit of the Lemaire Channel, Petermann Island still holds memories of the wintering of this fabulous expedition. As you sail on exploring the Bellingshausen Sea, the conditions become increasingly extreme. Ice takes over your horizon, the ice floe stretches out, and icebergs drift around you. The approach to Charcot Island guarantees intense emotions and gives you the unique feeling of being among the privileged few able to contemplate it.


 

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • An all-new exploration aboard Le Commandant Charcot, following in the footsteps of Jean-Baptiste Charcot’s two great polar expeditions, to the Bellingshausen Sea, discovering abundant biodiversity.
  • Crossing the Arctic Circle and the exploratory approach of the distant Charcot Island.
  • Outings and shore visits in a zodiac inflatables or hovercraft* with an reinforced team of naturalist-guides.
  • Conferences and information meetings on board with our passionate experts, specialists in the fauna, flora and history of the polar regions.
  • Landscapes: immense glaciers, monumental icebergs, immersion in the heart of the ice floes.
  • Wildlife: Adelie penguins, chinstrap penguins, gentoo penguins, leopard seals, crabeater seals, Weddell seals, humpback whales, Minke whales, orcas and the opportunity of observing Ross seals.
  • Many activities: kayaking, hiking or snowshoeing, polar plunge without suit, polar swim with drysuit, participative science. Discover all the activities in the “Ponant Activities” tab.
  • For your comfort, your cruise package includes an overnight in Santiago the day before embarkation, transfers and flights Santiago/Ushuaia (for details, see the “Included in your cruise” tab).
  • *Subject to the regulations in force.

DATES / RATES

Rates are listed per person
Start DateEnd DateFrom EURFrom USD
Nov 28, 2023Dec 13, 202320,240 22,136
Dec 12, 2023Dec 27, 202320,240 22,136
Mandatory Transfer Package Details:
Overnight in Santiago + flight Santiago/Ushuaia + transfers + flight Ushuaia/Santiago

For your serenity, PONANT has organised the following included programme for you, which starts the day prior to embarkation.

The day before embarkation – Santiago

Transfer from airport to PONANT selected hotel.

In order to organise your transfer, please inform your travel agent, 60 days before departure, your flight number as well as your arrival time and day.

Meet and greet at the hotel by our local representative. Check-in from late morning.

Lunch on your own and time at leisure in the afternoon.

Dinner.

Overnight at the hotel.

Embarkation Day – Santiago/Ushuaia

A light morning breakfast will be served before leaving for the airport for your Santiago/Ushuaia flight.
Transfer to the airport.

Flight Santiago/Ushuaia selected by PONANT in economy class.
Seats in business class may be available, please contact your travel agent.
Approximate flight duration: 3 hours

Meet and greet at Ushuaia airport (English-speaking assistance).
Transfer to Le Commandant-Charcot.
Embarkation.

– Cruise on board your ship –

Disembarkation Day – Ushuaia/Santiago

Disembarkation.
Meet and greet at the port (English-speaking assistance).

Transfer to the airport in time for check-in of the flight Ushuaia/Santiago selected by PONANT in economy class.
Approximate flight duration: 3 hours
Seats in business class may be available, please contact your travel agent.

It is highly recommended to have an international inbound flight the day after PONANT selected flight.
Rates are listed per person
Start DateEnd DateFrom EURFrom USD
Nov 28, 2023Dec 13, 202320,240 22,136
Dec 12, 2023Dec 27, 202320,240 22,136
Mandatory Transfer Package Details:
Overnight in Santiago + flight Santiago/Ushuaia + transfers + flight Ushuaia/Santiago

For your serenity, PONANT has organised the following included programme for you, which starts the day prior to embarkation.

The day before embarkation – Santiago

Transfer from airport to PONANT selected hotel.

In order to organise your transfer, please inform your travel agent, 60 days before departure, your flight number as well as your arrival time and day.

Meet and greet at the hotel by our local representative. Check-in from late morning.

Lunch on your own and time at leisure in the afternoon.

Dinner.

Overnight at the hotel.

Embarkation Day – Santiago/Ushuaia

A light morning breakfast will be served before leaving for the airport for your Santiago/Ushuaia flight.
Transfer to the airport.

Flight Santiago/Ushuaia selected by PONANT in economy class.
Seats in business class may be available, please contact your travel agent.
Approximate flight duration: 3 hours

Meet and greet at Ushuaia airport (English-speaking assistance).
Transfer to Le Commandant-Charcot.
Embarkation.

– Cruise on board your ship –

Disembarkation Day – Ushuaia/Santiago

Disembarkation.
Meet and greet at the port (English-speaking assistance).

Transfer to the airport in time for check-in of the flight Ushuaia/Santiago selected by PONANT in economy class.
Approximate flight duration: 3 hours
Seats in business class may be available, please contact your travel agent.

It is highly recommended to have an international inbound flight the day after PONANT selected flight.


ITINERARY


29 NOVEMBER 2023 - USHUAIA

Embarkation 29/11/2023 from 16:00 to 17:00
Departure 29/11/2023 at 18:00

Capital of Argentina's Tierra del Fuego province, Ushuaia is considered the gateway to the White Continent and the South Pole. Nicknamed “El fin del mundo” by the Argentinian people, this city at the end of the world nestles in the shelter of mountains surrounded by fertile plains that the wildlife seem to have chosen as the ultimate sanctuary. With its exceptional site, where the Andes plunge straight into the sea, Ushuaia is one of the most fascinating places on earth, its very name evocative of journeys to the unlikely and the inaccessible…

30 NOVEMBER 2023  1 DECEMBER 2023 - CROSSING THE DRAKE PASSAGE

Arrival 30/11/2023
Departure 01/12/2023

Use your days spent in the Drake Passage to familiarise yourself with your ship and deepen your knowledge of the Antarctic. The Expedition Leader will first present the IAATO rules of conduct that must be observed during landings in the region and will explain everything you need to know about the zodiac outings. Lectures about the history and wildlife of the Antarctic will be an opportunity for you to learn more about this magical region, where every cruise is a unique experience. From the ship’s bridge, you will experience exceptional sailing moments before joining the naturalist-guides on your ship’s exterior decks to look out for albatrosses, cape petrels, and other seabirds flying over the Drake Passage.

2 DECEMBER 2023 - CROSSING THE ANTARCTIC CIRCLE

Arrival 02/12/2023
Departure 02/12/2023

Weather permitting, we'll cross the mythic line of the Antarctic Polar Circle, located along 66°33’ south of the Equator. This iconic area demarcates the point from which it is possible to view the midnight sun during the December solstice. Within this circle, the sun remains above the horizon for 24 consecutive hours at least once a year. Crossing this line, an experience known to few people, is sure to be an unforgettable highlight of your cruise through the polar regions.

3 DECEMBER 2023 - THE GULLET

Arrival 03/12/2023
Departure 03/12/2023

The sumptuous landscapes of this narrow channel between Adelaide Island and Graham Land attract all visitors sailing towards Marguerite Bay. It is like an ice palace, its immaculate white walls reflected in the frozen mirror formed by the waters of the Southern Ocean, scattered with icebergs and gleaming blocks of ice. This passage was explored for the first time by the Jean-Baptiste Charcot expedition in 1909, which sketched its position. It was then surveyed in 1936 by the British expedition under John Rymill. It is here in this magical setting that some of the first subaquatic images of the Antarctic were shot during Philippe Cousteau’s four-month expedition to Antarctica between 1972 and 1973.

4 DECEMBER 2023  5 DECEMBER 2023 - EXPEDITION TO CHARCOT ISLAND

Arrival 04/12/2023
Departure 05/12/2023

When he discovered this island surrounded by sea ice in 1910 from aboard the Pourquoi Pas ? as he mapped Alexander Island, Jean-Baptiste Charcot had not be able to get less than 40 miles away from it. Situated in a zone that experiences frequent low-pressure systems and regular cloud cover, the island remains in many ways an enigma. It is entirely covered in ice and sheer cliffs, with the exception of the rocky outcrops extending over a dozen kilometres in the far north-west. The ice in the narrowest part of Wilkins Sound has been cracking in recent times, thus officially detaching this island from its neighbour, Alexander Island, lying 50 km away. Very few people have landed on this largely untouched island, whose waters attract numerous seabirds, such as petrels, Antarctic terns and skuas.

6 DECEMBER 2023 - BELLINGSHAUSEN SEA

Arrival 06/12/2023
Departure 06/12/2023

Stretching from the west of the Antarctic Peninsula to the Amundsen Sea, the Bellingshausen Sea was named after the Russian admiral and explorer who has been attributed the first confirmed sighting of mainland Antarctica, in 1820. Among others, its waters surround two of the Antarctic’s largest islands: Alexander Island and Thurston Island. You will explore this sea amid ice floe, blocks of sea ice and majestic icebergs. The coastal areas along the Bellingshausen Sea are also renowned as the home of colonies of emperor penguins. Depending on the month of the southern summer, you will perhaps be lucky enough to observe isolated adults, adolescents seeking emancipation or recently independent new adults.

7 DECEMBER 2023 - MARGUERITE BAY

Arrival 07/12/2023
Departure 07/12/2023

The icebergs are each more majestic than the next and scattered around the deep and intense blue waters of Marguerite Bay, one of the most beautiful regions in the Antarctic. It is delimited in the north by the mountainous Adelaide Island, in the south by George VI Sound and Alexander Island, and in the east by the Fallières Coast. Charcot named it after his wife during his second expedition to the Antarctic between 1908 and 1910. In 1909, in the southern summer when the skies are at their clearest, he led an important scientific mission to map and study this region. The bay is home to a number of cetaceans and you may get the chance to observe leopard seals or Adelie penguins.

8 DECEMBER 2023 - POURQUOI PAS ISLAND

Arrival 08/12/2023
Departure 08/12/2023

Le Commandant Charcot will land on the coast of Pourquoi Pas Island, so named in the 1930s by John Riddoch Rymill in honour of Jean-Baptiste Charcot, who discovered it from aboard his ship Le Pourquoi Pas ? during his second expedition to Antarctica between 1908 and 1910. This mountainous island, situated in the north of Marguerite Bay between Graham Land and Adelaide Island, is 28 km long and 14 km large. It is scattered with narrow fjords and snow-covered mountains. You will go to shore in a zodiac dinghy with your expedition team and you could get the chance to observe Adelie penguins going about their business on the island’s rocky shores.

9 DECEMBER 2023  10 DECEMBER 2023 - ANTARCTIC PENINSULA

Arrival 09/12/2023
Departure 10/12/2023

Succumb to the magic of a place unlike any other. To this day, the mythical Antarctic Peninsula still holds real fascination and promises its visitors unforgettable moments. Throughout your adventure in this icy realm, you will find yourself in the heart of a spectacular decor in subtle shades of blue and white, surrounded by exceptional wildlife. Penguins, humpback whales, seals and giant petrels are at home here, as are elephant seals, fur seals, Antarctic minke whales, and orcas. Depending on which sites you will be lucky enough to visit, you may get the chance to observe them and share with them the beauty of these extreme parts.

Each day, based on ice conditions, the Captain and the Expedition Leader will suggest zodiac outings or landings to discover the infinite riches of the Antarctic Peninsula.  Glaciers, ice floe, tabletop icebergs, mountain peaks that plunge straight into the sea, volcanic beaches, research stations, enchanting bays, and vestiges of the whaling industry: these are the faces of the Antarctic that will likely reveal themselves to you, in a hushed and surreal atmosphere. You will sail in the wake of Jean-Baptiste Charcot, Adrien de Gerlache and Sir Ernest Shackleton, great Antarctic explorers who, from the 19th century, set out to conquer these remote and uninhabited lands.

11 DECEMBER 2023  12 DECEMBER 2023 - CROSSING THE DRAKE PASSAGE

Arrival 11/12/2023
Departure 12/12/2023

If there is one place, one sea, one waterway dreaded by tourists, researchers and hardened seafarers alike, it is undoubtedly Drake Passage. Situated at the latitude of the infamous Furious Fifties winds, between Cape Horn and the South Shetland Islands, it is the shortest route to connect Antarctica to South America. Seasoned navigators will tell you that you must earn your visit to the White Continent! As the Antarctic convergence zone where cold currents rising up from the South Pole meet warmer equatorial water masses, Drake Passage harbours a very diverse marine fauna. Don't forget to look to the sky to catch a glimpse of elegant albatross and Cape petrels, playfully floating about in the wind around your ship.

13 DECEMBER 2023 - USHUAIA

Arrival 13/12/2023 early morning
Disembarkation 13/12/2023 at 08:00

Capital of Argentina's Tierra del Fuego province, Ushuaia is considered the gateway to the White Continent and the South Pole. Nicknamed “El fin del mundo” by the Argentinian people, this city at the end of the world nestles in the shelter of mountains surrounded by fertile plains that the wildlife seem to have chosen as the ultimate sanctuary. With its exceptional site, where the Andes plunge straight into the sea, Ushuaia is one of the most fascinating places on earth, its very name evocative of journeys to the unlikely and the inaccessible…

Le Commandant Charcot (Luxury Expedition, 270-guests)

Le Commandant-Charcot welcomes you to an intimate and refined atmosphere. Equipped with just 135 staterooms including 31 suites with balconies and outside views, the ship offers outstanding gastronomy in its two restaurants, relaxation in the indoor pool surrounded by its winter garden, relaxation in the well-being area with sauna and Snow Room... Like on a private yacht, each of our guests is unique.

(Click image to view Ship details)

WHAT'S INCLUDED

  • Transfer from airport upon flight arrival.
  • 1-night accommodation in a 5* hotel the night before embarkation.
  • Your hotel will be confirmed few weeks before your cruise.
  • Early check-in available from late morning.
  • Hospitality desk at the hotel in Santiago.
  • Return flight Santiago/Ushuaia/Santiago selected by PONANT, in economy class.
  • Seats in business class may be available, please contact your travel agent.
  • Meals as mentioned in the programme and beverage package.
  • Transfers as mentioned in the programme.

Your programme does not include:
  • Tips for the local guide.
  • Personal expenses.
  • Other meals and services not mentioned in the programme.
Please note:
The local currency is the Chilean Peso. You will be able to make most of your purchases in USD (in small denominations) or by credit card, accepted in most hotels, shopping centres and boutiques. You will also be able to retrieve Pesos from the ATM’s.
Summer season in Santiago: temperatures may be very hot, but often between 68 °F (20 °C) and 95 °F (35 °C).
Summer season in Ushuaia: temperatures vary between 41 °F (5 °C) and 65 °F (15 °C)
We recommend you wear warm clothing and comfortable walking shoes.
If case PONANT has not received your full flight details, services start at the hotel in time for check-in.

ADVENTURE OPTIONS
  • Participative Science
  • Hovercraft
  • Helium Balloon
  • Kayaking
  • Snowmobiles
  • Polar Diving
  • Hiking
  • Outings And Shore Visits In Zodiac Inflatables

 

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DISCLAIMER: Rates are per person and subject to change.