Le Commandant Charcot: fabulous itineraries

Le Commandant Charcot, the new ship by Ponant that runs on liquefied natural gas (LNG), has officially begun selling its splendid polar itineraries.  During the inaugural season the ship, the first small vessel to run on LNG, will be heading to Antarctica over the winter of 2021-22 and will offer a series of cruises that are truly marvelous.


There are lots of innovative features introduced on this ship. For Ponant paying special attention to the environment is nothing new, but this ship, Le Commandant Charcot, has introduced many novelties. We have already mentioned the propulsion that will occur with a hybrid system of LNG and electric generators. On board there will also be a scientific research laboratory filled with equipment to study the ecosystem and the biodiversity of the polar environment.

A cruise onboard the ship, Le Commandant Charcot, represents a true voyage of exploration: the Ross Sea, the Bellingshausen Sea, and Peter I Island. For the first time, guests will be able to discover these extremely remote areas of the world, an incredible undertaking made possible by Ponant.

The voyages will be enriched with excursions on hovercrafts, in kayaks and even in hot air balloons. For courageous guests it will even be possible to participate in underwater diving in the polar waters. The experiences offered on these cruises is 360° because of the expert guides and specialized staff onboard provided by Ponant. Under expert guidance, guests will be able to learn how to prepare a small polar basecamp, use a transmitter and gather water samples among other cool lessons.

Here are some examples of the fabulous itineraries that represent a truly unique life experience for passengers:

The emperor penguins of the Bellingshausen Sea Cruise

This exceptional cruise takes guests beyond the Peter I and Charcot Islands into the heart of the Bellingshausen Sea. Named in honor of the Russian admiral and explorer that discovered Antarctica in 1820, this sea within the Antarctic Ocean is covered by ice for most of the year, making it very difficult to reach and virtually unexplored. But the payoff is worth the challenge and effort: huge colonies of Emperor penguins that have been only rarely observed live here. A rare and magical sight viewed by only a privileged few.

The Ross Sea Cruise

Navigating the Ross Sea offers an occasion to discover one of the most extreme areas of the Antarctic. Here the cold is more intense, the wind is stronger, the ice is more impressive and the scenery is more spectacular. Partially occupied by the Ross Ice Shelf, the largest ice shelf in the Antarctic, this immense bay is located a few hundred kilometers from the South Pole and is one of the last remaining intact wilderness areas left on the planet. Here guests will have a chance to encounter miraculous wildlife and surreal landscapes with marvelous ice formations in incredible hues of blue.

The Weddell Sea & Larsen Ice Shelf Cruise

Emotional, extreme, captivating: these are the best words to describe the experience of visiting the Weddell Sea that is covered almost entirely by a dense layer of ice. It is a challenge and a privilege to navigate this sea which promises incredible landscapes and new encounters. In the north-west of the Weddell Sea is the imposing ice barrier named the Larsen Ice Shelf. Extending toward the open sea, this white giant is as unsettling as it is fascinating, if for nothing else than its colossal size and the incredible icebergs that it generates. This cruise will be the occasion for getting as close as possible to the fauna of the Weddell Sea, a true sanctuary for wildlife.

To discover more about these exploratory cruises and for more details and pricing please visit the Ponant website or your local travel agent.
Gabriele Bassi