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Le Commandant Charcot: a new chapter in the saga of polar exploration

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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

Commandant Charcot, navire d’exploration polaire

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.
  • 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.

Out-of-this-world navigation

Commandant Charcot, navire d’exploration polaire

 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 or for the mysterious and wild Peter I Island.
  • Geographic North Pole or magnetic North Pole? Learn more about this mythical point.
  • 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

Chiens de Traîneau en milieu polaire

Sail through the ice and feel the thrill of adventure as you explore a new world, as untouched distant lands come into view. Exploring aboard Le Commandant Charcot is an immersive experience that enables you to discover the authentic soul of the Poles.


  • Take a closer look at dog sledding: discover the story of the Inuit’s ancestral mode 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, and more: connect with the polar environment and discover all its benefits.
  • Meeting 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.

Experts ready for a unique journey

Groupe de guide de haute montagne

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. 


  • 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.

Find out more:

Photos credits: © Daphné Buiron / © Nicolas Dubreuil / © Studio PONANT/Olivier Blaud / © PONANT / © iStock / © iStock-Philip Richter

Navire d'exploration polaire se reflétant sur l'eau

Reach the absolute

Polar exploration goes one step further aboard Le Commandant Charcot

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