Le commandant Charcot - Pioneer of the Poles!

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Le commandant Charcot - Pioneer of the Poles!

There's adventure cruising and then there is REAL adventure cruising. Real adventure cruising (in comfort) commences in 2021 when specialist French polar cruise company Ponant introduce Le Commandant Charcot.

As the world's leading polar cruise company with over 20 years of experience in extreme conditions, PONANT intend to bring the traveller's dream of adventure to life. This new member of the fleet will offer guests the chance to follow in the wake of the great polar explorers of the past, but in sophisticated surroundings, enhanced with luxury amenities never before seen at the very top or bottom of the globe. Areas to be explored will include crossing the Arctic Ocean, being one of the few to experience the Geographic North Pole (latitude 90 degrees North), the far northeast of Greenland and areas of Antarctica such as the Ross Sea, Peter Island and Charcot island that are normally inaccessible for most of the year.

Your home for these experiences of a lifetime will be Le Commandant Charcot, the first electric hybrid icebreaker cruise ship powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG). The Icebreaker features perfected "Clean Ship" fittings that go well beyond the current industry-standard environmental regulations and include:

  • 85% reduction in nitrogen oxide emissions
  • 95% reduction in fine particle emissions
  • Latest generation of electric batteries to reduce energy consumption
  • An advanced waste water treatment system
  • A waste heat recovery system
  • An energy optimisation system that measures consumption and efficiency of the ships sailing methods
Outdoor Pool

Suites and Staterooms Include:

  • Balcony
  • Individual air conditioning
  • A double bed or two single beds; interconnecting cabins can be arranged; children welcome
  • Minibar (refreshed daily)
  • Flat-screen TV, satellite channels
  • On-demand video
  • iPod™ station
  • Electronic safe
  • Selection of Hermés toiletries
  • Dressing table and hairdryer
  • Direct satellite telephone line
  • Electricity: 110/220 volts
  • Room service 24 hours a day
  • Wi-Fi
  • Terrace Jacuzzi (Duplex Suite, Owner's Suite)
  • Indoor Jacuzzi (Duplex Suite, Owner's Suite, Prestige Suite)
  • Terrace (Duplex Suite, Owner's Suite)

Ship Facts

Cabins and Suites with Balcony
(Including 68 suites with patio doors and a private balcony)
Length150 m
Width28 m
Draught10 m
PropulsionLNG and Hybrid Electric
Panoramic Restaurant1
Grill Restaurant1
Spa & Wellness1
Onboard Zodiacs16

The Perpetually Moving Ice Field ...

Rather than a homogeneous mass, sea ice is a perpetually moving entity which grows, shrinks, fractures, contracts, folds, breaks and deforms in certain places to re-establish itself in others.

Despite appearances, icebreaker ships do not affect this constant movement. When sailing an icebreaker, it is important to aim for those areas of ice which are easiest to break up. Therefore, most icebreaker navigation involves travelling through ice leads (fractures) which are naturally open.

The broken ice then knits itself back together when the ship has passed through, in a process that can take between 15 minutes and a day depending on the weather conditions.

In this challenging environment, PONANT have developed a high-technology ship fitted with its own ice routing software, enabling it to visit places where others do not go. The latest and most reliable ice and weather information is used to forecast ice behaviour over a five-day period. The ship will be able to navigate forwards through compact ice and reverse through extreme ice conditions, achieving unrivalled icebreaking performance. There will also be a scientific laboratory for conducting operational oceanography missions and research.

Le Commandant Charcot has been named in honour of Captain Jean-Baptiste Charcot, who was known fondly as "the gentleman of the Poles". A doctor by convention, an explorer by vocation and a man with a love for sailing, Jean-Baptiste Charcot was a key player in early French polar expeditions. Developing a passion for travel in adolescence, in the early 20th century, he conducted a series of expeditions to both the Arctic and Antarctic.

He returned from each of his missions with maps and sea charts detailing extensive kilometres of coastline, as well as dozens of cases filled with notes, oceanographic samples and zoological/botanical collections, many of which are still on display today at the Oceanographic Institute in Monaco.

On the 15 September 1936, after having repaired his ship, which had suffered damage when sailing between Greenland and Iceland, Jean-Baptiste Charcot prepared to set out to sea once again. He wrote a telegram: "Storm at 2 am; now calm and flat; we are preparing to set off during the morning after receiving the weather forecast. We are going to depart. What will this crossing be like?" These are the last words of the man now remembered as an outstanding navigator, a seasoned explorer, a doctor and a double Olympic medal winner. A true pioneer.


Deck 6
  Duplex/ Suite
(80 m2 excluding balcony)
(27 m2 excluding balcony)
(20 m2 excluding balcony)
Deck 7
  Duplex Suite
(80 m2 excluding balcony)
Deluxe Suite
(40 m2 excluding balcony)
(27 m2 excluding balcony)
(20 m2 excluding balcony)
Deck 8
Owner's Suite
(125 m2 excluding balcony)
Prestige Suite
(50 m2 excluding balcony)
Deluxe Suite
(40 m2 excluding balcony)
(27 m2 excluding balcony)
(20 m2 excluding balcony)
Deck 5
Deck 9