Ultimate Encounter

José Sarica on Scouting the Ice

We slip behind the scenes of Ponant’s newest exciting itinerary to frozen Canada with the line’s director of Research and Development, José Sarica.

Fresh from his latest scouting trip to set the itinerary for Ponant’s ground breaking St Lawrence River cruises, where he was joined by Emerick le Mouel, First Officer on Le Commandant Charcot, José Sarica, director of Research and Development for the Ponant expedition experience, gives us insights into what it takes to explore beyond the beaten path.

What is the purpose of a scouting trip?

Doing a recce like this is key to forging strong ties with local communities and co-building exceptional experiences. Generally, we arrive on site with a very clear idea of the area and go away with a totally different point of view which is what happened for this location.

How is it that Ponant is a pioneer of exploration voyages on the St Lawrence in winter? 

Le Commandant Charcot‘s ice-breaking capabilities are arousing the curiosity and interest of local communities, who are eagerly awaiting our arrival. It’s not just about being pioneers, our CSR approach is paving the way for new and meaningful polar exploration voyages.

Which stage will be the highlight of this expedition? 

Saguenay is the cornerstone of this voyage. Le Commandant Charcot will be docked in the ice for three days. Guests will be able to disembark directly from the ship and enjoy unique experiences in close contact with nature and ancestral customs. Dog sledding, hiking, ice fishing, and so on. Saguenay embodies the philosophy of Le Commandant Charcot.

We slip behind the scenes of Ponant's newest exciting itinerary to frozen Canada with the line's director of Research and Development, José Sarica.

What do you think will be the most rewarding moment on the voyage? 

Meeting the Innu people will be a magical moment of exchange and discovery. Our guests will become ambassadors for these people who deserve to be in the spotlight.

What is the philosophy?

In an environment like this you feel so alive, so in tune with everything, you’re in a constant state of wonder. Thanks to the short distances between each stage and nights spent on site, guests will have plenty of time to explore, discover and listen to some wonderful stories. It really is an initiation voyage.

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