Discover the log of the newest member of the PONANT fleet
Read on to learn more about the development Le Commandant Charcot, the first hybrid-electric advanced polar exploration cruise ship designed to sail right to the heart of the polar regions while respecting the natural environment. Hear about building and designing the ship, plotting the itineraries and developing unique, authentic and unforgettable experiences and activities.
A vessel designed for advanced polar exploration
This is a story of people, vision, design, passion and respect for the environment, a story of the scientific and maritime exploration of the Poles. The story of this new ship is nothing if not unusual, and it is well worth telling. Let’s meet those who brought Le Commandant Charcot to life, from its architecture and design to its technical innovations.
- Discover how Le Commandant Charcot was designed to magnify the polar regions with elegance and power, large windows, and light-filled, energising on-board areas. Its designers share the story and its first passengers their impressions on the spot.
- Remarkable is a fitting word to describe the ship’s unusual capacities and innovations. Check out five of the ship’s key features.
- Meet the people who will be at the ship’s helm, ready to share an unusual adventure with the crew and passengers exploring the Poles.
- When exploration serves research and science is shared, the voyage takes on its full meaning on board this observatory of the evolution of polar environments.
The polar adventure of Le Commandant Charcot is a blank page that is being written collectively, combining maritime and scientific expertise and cooperation with local populations. Its single goal is to sail in the wake of the greatest explorers, to places few have ventured before, exploring beyond the known world.
- Travelling to Antarctica? Head for the Ross Sea, the largest marine park in the world, the ice shelves of the Weddell Sea, Adelie Land or for the mysterious and wild Peter I Island.
- In the Arctic, on the northeast coast of Greenland, Scoresby Sund, the world’s largest fjord, is a haven for wildlife that coexists with the country’s most isolated community: Ittoqqortoormiit.
- Geographic North Pole or magnetic North Pole? Learn more about this mythical point. Discover also the first trip to the North Pole by two Inuits on board Le Commandant Charcot.
- Sheet ice, icebergs, polynyas, and more. As you prepare to sail to the very heart of the Poles, do you know all there is to know about polar ice? Now’s the time to check!
- Le Commandant Charcot pushes back the limits of polar navigation and pays homage to Jean-Baptiste Charcot, the man British explorer Robert Falcon Scott called ‘the gentleman of the Poles’, as well as other explorers, including Sir Ernest Shackleton, Fridtjof Nansen, Paul-Emile Victor, James Clark Ross, Fabian Gottlieb Thaddeus von Bellingshausen and Jean-Louis Etienne.
The Poles like never before
- Take a closer look at dog sledding and sea kayaking: discover the story of the Inuit’s ancestral modes of transport.
- Why do Emperor penguins make turtle formations? And are polar bears really white? Get ready to meet the lords of Antarctica and the Arctic.
- Snowshoeing on the ice, contemplating the immaculate landscapes and wildlife as you paddle a kayak, gaining an insight into scientific research by collecting data on cetaceans for the Happywhale application, and more: connect with the polar environment and discover all its benefits.
- Meet the Inuit population when their villages are surrounded by sea ice offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in an age-old culture that has managed to adapt to this extreme environment.
- Share the emotion and the vision of polar enthusiasts, such as Luc Jacquet, the filmmaker of March of the Penguins, fascinated by the magnetic power of the White Continent.
Experts ready for a unique journey
A cruise aboard Le Commandant Charcot is a unique and authentic experience. Every single detail, every encounter, every extra mile we go to has been carefully thought out and planned. Slip behind the scenes to discover how we have woven our tapestry of magnificent experiences.
- Managing experiences and safety regulations in extreme environments and ensuring environmental preservation are our priorities: find out about our expedition team training.
- Le Commandant Charcot is home to the first Alain Ducasse cruise-ship restaurant: accompany the PONANT chefs to Monaco as they immerse themselves in the world of this celebrated explorer of flavours.
- Transmitting their passion for the Poles is the expedition team’s mission. Meet Florence Kuyper, an expedition leader or with a naturalist guide specialised in glaciology.
- Discover the first ice trials, the challenges raised and the views shared on board Le Commandant Charcot.
Find out more:
- Do all roads lead to the North Pole? Discover five routes to this mythical region.
- What are the differences between the Arctic and Antarctica? Where can you see polar bears? Where can you find the largest icebergs? When was the Arctic discovered? Escales answers all your questions to help you choose your next trip to explore the Poles.
- Do you know your sun dogs from your Northern and Southern Lights? Find out everything you need to know to observe these fascinating natural phenomena.
- Getting ready for a polar expedition : it’s more about the mind than the body.
- Reading tips to let your imagination travel before you leave…
Photos credits: © Daphné Buiron / © Nicolas Dubreuil / © Studio PONANT : Olivier Blaud / © PONANT / © iStock / © iStock-Philip Richter
Reach the absolute
Polar exploration goes one step further aboard Le Commandant Charcot