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The Arctic explored as it has never been before.

May 28, 2021 Cruise News, Headline News No Comments
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While some adventures epitomise the very essence of the word ‘expedition’, the once-in-a-lifetime dream fulfilled after meticulous planning and preparation…until now…enter exploration of the Arctic, from on board the world-first high polar luxury exploration ship, Le Commandant Charcot.

Announcing the opening of sales for the northern summer 2022 season, Deb Corbett, PONANT General Manager Sales & Marketing Asia Pacific is inviting adventurous travellers 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, where she says once in a lifetime out of this world travel experiences await.

Discussing the inaugural season of Le Commandant Charcot’s Arctic voyages, Deb said, “Knowing the thrill of embarking on totally new routes, at a pace governed by nature, the 10 sailings from April to September 2022 are odysseys in every sense of the word, exposés discovering our planet’s northernmost pristine wildernesses”, adding, “Imagine 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.” And “The privilege of not just observing but learning from nature, seen in all her remarkable splendour.”

PONANT says that ppening 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.

23 experts on board all passionate about their subjects, include glaciologists, ornithologists, biologists, archaeologists – guests will discover this fascinating region through original and engaging experiences in harmony with the natural environment.

PONANT says that 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, with 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, plus dedicated expedition boarding and disembarking rooms for seamless shore excursions in Zodiacs®, or perhaps the electric hovercraft, either way, perfect for exploring.

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, with the innovation driving this ship underlining PONANT’s unwavering commitment to sustainable tourism, with in addition to its Polar Class 2 (PC2) certification, the vessel’s design incorporates the very latest in green technologies, including wastewater treatment, 100% of waste recycled onboard and a ban on all single-use plastics.

With Le Commandant Charcot said to symbolise the culmination of PONANT’s corporate commitment to reduce its environmental impact – a reflection of the company’s wealth of experience and expertise gained since inception in 1988, a selection of the Arctic 2022 luxury expeditions on board Le Commandant Charcot include:-

The Geographic North Pole

Who has not dreamed of going to the ends of the earth? At 90° North, the geographic pole is a legendary point covered in pack ice all year round. 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.

Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen – Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen – 15 nights aboard Le Commandant Charcot.

3 sailings from July to August 2022.

Exploring Nordaustlandet

PONANT is offering a choice of two cruises, nine or 11 days, to explore the remote territories north of Spitsbergen as far as NorthEast Land island – Nordaustlandet.

On the programme:  stunning scenery in Kongsfjorden, then the Northwest Spitsbergen National Park, the Northeast Svalbard Nature Reserve, Kvitoya – “White Island” – and sailing 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.

Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen – Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen – 8/10 nights aboard Le Commandant Charcot

2 sailings: 15 to 23 June ’22, or 28 June to 8 July ’22.

Watch this newly released video of Le Commandant Charcot – click here.

A report by John Alwyn-Jones, Cruise Editor

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