Ponant’s Le Commandant Charcot Prepares for North Summer Cruising

Small ship cruise line Ponant’s flagship vessel Le Commandant Charcot prepares for an unforgettable northern summer Arctic cruising season. 

Some adventures epitomise the very essence of the word ‘expedition’, the once-in-a-lifetime dream fulfilled after meticulous planning and preparation. Enter exploration of the Arctic, from on board the world-first high polar luxury exploration ship, Le Commandant Charcot.

The vessel’s northern summer 2022 season invites adventurous travelers who are in search of purpose, perspective and knowledge to explore the Arctic’s extreme latitudes, including expedition voyages to the geographic North Pole, Northeast Greenland, Nordaustlandet, Svalbard and the Northwest Passage.

Offering the thrill of embarking on totally new routes, at a pace governed by nature, the ten sailings from April to September 2022 are exposés discovering the planet’s northernmost pristine wildernesses. Guests will enjoy the excitement of stepping foot on lands previously only accessible to the occasional explorer, the shiver-down-the-spine thrill of sailing through the most spectacular landscapes, as well as the chance to meet local Inuit people to share in their spring cultural traditions.

Opening the eyes of guests to the rich culture, wildlife and geographic wonders of these territories embodies the Ponant philosophy. With Le Commandant Charcot, the company has conceived a new form of exploration, one of initiation, emotions and a sharing of knowledge. With 23 experts on board all passionate about their subjects – glaciologists, ornithologists, biologists, archaeologists – guests will discover this fascinating region through original and engaging experiences in harmony with the natural environment.

Voyaging onboard Le Commandant Charcot is truly unique. Previously the realm of rudimentary ice-breakers, she is the world’s first luxury expedition ship capable of reaching the North Pole – all the while in luxury. No hardships on these expeditions.

Guests can avail themselves of the heated swimming pools, choice of dining venues, spa and sauna, gym, boutique and winter garden, lounge, bar and theatre, of course, dedicated expedition boarding and disembarking rooms for seamless shore excursions in Zodiacs and even an electric hovercraft.

Currently completing sea trials, Le Commandant Charcot is the world’s first luxury high polar exploration vessel, with hybrid propulsion powered by LNG (liquefied natural gas), the most eco-friendly energy source currently available. The innovation driving this ship underlines PONANT’s unwavering commitment to sustainable tourism. In addition to its Polar Class 2 (PC2) certification, the vessel’s design incorporates the very latest in green technologies, including wastewater treatment, 100 percent  of waste recycled onboard and a ban on all single-use plastics.

Ponant will offer a variety of Arctic adventures in its 2022 season. These include a roundtrip journey to the Geographic North Pole, a legendary point covered in pack ice all year round, with departures from Spitsbergen from July to August. At 700km from any land surface, only a hardy few have had the chance to reach this point. Departing from Spitsbergen, Le Commandant Charcot will be sailing amidst spectacular scenery, ideal for observing the rich diversity of wildlife, to the pack ice. A slow yet determined journey forging to the very heart of this mystical world of extreme cold to have the rare privilege of arriving at our planet’s northernmost point.

Ponant will also offer a choice of two cruises, nine or 11 days in length, departing Spitsbergen in June, to explore the remote territories north of Spitsbergen as far as NorthEast Land island – Nordaustlandet. The programme includes stunning scenery in Kongsfjorden, and visits to Northwest Spitsbergen National Park, the Northeast Svalbard Nature Reserve, Kvitoya – “White Island” – and a chance to sail through the Hinlopen Strait renowned for its basaltic islands and majestic glaciers. An unforgettable odyssey awaits, during which Le Commandant Charcot will reach latitude 80 deg North where guests will have the once in a lifetime experience close to the top of the earth.

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About Author

Nick Walton

Nick Walton

Nick Walton is a leading travel and lifestyle journalist, magazine editor, publisher, photographer, travel commentator, and media trainer, based in Hong Kong. He is also managing editor of Artemis Communications, the titles of which include Ultimate Encounters, Alpha Men Asia, and The Art of Business Travel.

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