From Patagonia to the Antarctic peninsula, via South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, this all-new itinerary will take you into the heart of the Scotia Arc.
This volcanic archipelago at the junction of the Andes cordillera and the Antarctandes will be revealed to you in all its riches and splendour. All the wildlife of the Far South can be found there: king and gentoo penguins, elephant seals, fur seals mingle on the beautiful dark sand beaches… At sea, orcas, humpback whales and other cetaceans will escort you along your navigation through frozen waters.
This cruise will also be an opportunity to discover four very different ecosystems, from the wooded heights of the Tierra del Fuego and the table top icebergs of the Weddell Sea to the glacier-covered mountains of the South Sandwich Islands and the snow-capped summits of South Georgia.
We are privileged guests in these extreme lands where we are at the mercy of weather and ice conditions. Our navigation will be determined by the type of ice we come across; as the coastal ice must be preserved, we will take this factor into account from day to day in our itineraries. The sailing schedule and any landings, activities and wildlife encounters are subject to weather and ice conditions. These experiences are unique and vary with each departure. The Captain and the Expedition Leader will make every effort to ensure that your experience is as rich as possible, while respecting safety instructions and regulations imposed by the IAATO.
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Included in your cruise
For more peace of mind, PONANT organizes your trip before or after the cruise. This package is included in the price of your cruise.
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*Price is per person, based on double occupancy, based on availability, and subject to change at any time. The category of stateroom to which this price applies may no longer be available.
For your serenity, PONANT has organised the following included programme for you, which starts the day prior to embarkation.
The day before embarkation – Santiago
Transfer from airport to PONANT selected hotel.
In order to organise your transfer, please inform your travel agent 60 days before departure:
- your flight number as well as your arrival time and day
- your chosen pick-up location if not at the airport, within a 50-kilometer range of Santiago city centre
Meet and greet at the hotel by our local representative. Check-in from late morning.
Lunch on your own and time at leisure in the afternoon.
Overnight at the hotel.
Embarkation Day – Santiago/Ushuaia
A light morning breakfast will be served before leaving for the airport for your Santiago/Ushuaia flight.
Transfer to the airport.
Flight Santiago/Ushuaia selected by PONANT in economy class.
Seats in business class may be available, please contact your travel agent.
Approximate flight duration: 3 hours
Meet and greet at Ushuaia airport (English-speaking assistance).
Transfer to Le Commandant Charcot.
– Cruise on board your ship –
Your programme includes:
Your programme does not include:
Programme is subject to change.
To know your PONANT flight schedule, please contact your travel agent; it is also indicated on your electronic ticket included in your travel documents.
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Important trip details
Passport valid for at least six (6) months beyond the completion of your trip. Passport must contain at least two completely clear, blank, unused visa pages for each visa required, not including any amendment pages. Visa pages with stains or ink from other pages in the passport are not usable. Guests who deviate from the scheduled embarkation or disembarkation port should research the foreign entry requirements for the port country. Due to government regulations, regrettably, Ponant will have to deny boarding to any guest who fails to obtain the appropriate travel documentation for this trip.
The information below is current but subject to change at any time without advance notice from government authorities. Please consult your respective government agencies for visa and health information.
Chile: Australian citizens entering/exiting Chile must pay a RECIPROCITY TAX that will be issued for a stay of up to 90 days upon payment. Currently, the fee is only charged at the Santiago International Airport. Payment can be made in U.S. currency or by credit card.
We remind you that all our ships have a doctor on board and medical facilities. However, these cannot, under any circumstances, be compared to any medical structure on land. Given the remote areas in which we will be sailing for a number of days, safety requirements mean that we are obliged to ask each passenger signing up for this program to provide us, no more than 45 days before departure, with a medical certificate from their GP, as well as the completed medical questionnaire received during registration.
Warning about the use of drones: the use of drones aboard PONANT ships, whether they are sailing at sea, at a port of call or anchored, is strictly forbidden. The use of drones on land in the Arctic and Antarctic regions is also strictly forbidden by international polar regulations. In other regions, it may be possible to use drones on land if permission has been obtained from the relevant authorities of each country and each region travelled through, as well as a pilot’s licence that should be obtained from your home country. Passengers are responsible for obtaining these permits; they should be able to present them at all times. Passengers who do not obtain these authorisations expose themselves to the risk of legal proceedings.
The evolving COVID-19 health formalities are available in real time by clicking here.
Given the particularly changing international sanitary context, this itinerary as well as the land programmes and shore excursions may have to evolve according to port authorisations and governmental regulations in force at the time of your trip.
Therefore, for even greater peace of mind, we strongly recommend that you book your land programmes and flights before and after your cruise with PONANT.
Health formalities related to COVID-19 will be confirmed to you before your departure.
In this exceptional context, your safety remains our first priority. The effectiveness of our procedures, our cutting-edge medical equipment and the smaller scale of our ships means we can offer maximum safety so that you can relax and enjoy your cruise. The revised passenger circuit and our enhanced hygiene measures can be found on this page: https://en.ponant.com/sail-with-confidence.
Activities: please note that for polar plunge and ice floating, an EKG (electrocardiogram) by your general practitioner in addition to the PONANT medical questionnaire will be required.
Also, for persons under 18 wishing to take part in these activities as well as kayaking, a sworn statement from the parents or legal guardians that they are able to swim will be asked. A parent or legal guardian must be present at the time of the activity.
We remind you that for this departure, it is imperative to return the medical questionnaire duly completed by your doctor 45 days before your cruise departure. This questionnaire must be returned via the dedicated medical application (explanations in the e-mail) or by return e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have not received it, you can download it by clicking here, print it, fill it in, then scan it and send it back to us.
Expedition programmes include activities such as zodiac outings and landings (sometimes with "wet landing"), moderate walks to more active hikes, all accompanied by your expedition team of naturalist guides.
Ports of call, visited sites, outings and landings will depend on weather conditions, position of ice, winds and the state of the sea. These can force a change of plans at any time. The Captain and the Expedition Leader may at any time cancel or stop any activity, or even modify the itinerary. The final itinerary will be confirmed by the Captain, who will take into account the touristic quality of the sites and above all, the safety of the passengers. His decision will be based on advice from experts and authorities.
Travelling to polar/isolated regions is an exhilarating experience in remote areas: please remember that you are far from modern hospitals with full medical facilities, thus evacuation is extremely expensive. Without adequate medical coverage, all expenses will have to be immediately paid with your personal funds. We urge you to subscribe to full coverage insurance, choose your insurance company very carefully, be extremely vigilant and ensure your insurance is fully comprehensive, especially if you are insured by your credit card. PONANT offers an insurance contract with extensive guarantees, please contact us for more information.
Ideal clothes for life on board:
During the days spent on board, you are advised to wear comfortable clothes or casual outfits. The entire ship is air-conditioned, so a light sweater, a light jacket or a shawl may be necessary. When moving about in the public areas of the ship and the decks, light but comfortable shoes are recommended.
In the evening, you are advised to wear smart-casual attire, especially when dining in our restaurants where wearing shorts and tee-shirts is not allowed.
Depending on the itinerary and the program of your cruise, an Officer’s Evening with a white dress code may be organized. Therefore, we encourage you to bring a stylish white outfit for the occasion (otherwise black and white).
During the cruise, two gala evenings will be organised on board. Thus, we recommend that you bring one or two formal outfits.
A small shop is available on board offering a wide range of outfits, jewellery, leather goods and many accessories.
A laundry service (washing/ironing) is available on board, but unfortunately there are no dry cleaning services. For safety reasons, your cabin is not equipped with an iron.
INSULATED BASE LAYER:
WATERPROOF OUTER LAYER:
OUTFITS ON BOARD:
Polar water activities
Experience the unrivalled sensations of immersion in cold water. Whether you take a polar plunge in a swimsuit or a dip in a dry-suit* that allows you to float, you will enjoy a unique experience in an exceptional setting, surrounded by ice. Feel intense thrills and enjoy the energy boost you get as your body warms back up after the swim!
*with limited places available
Outings and shore visits in Zodiac® inflatables
Aboard Le Commandant Charcot, a fleet of 14 zodiacs expedition dinghies will be used for outings and shore visits throughout the cruise. Getting closer to a glacier calving huge icebergs, setting foot on a sheet of ice floe, observing the fauna up close: so many unforgettable moments that very few people will ever have the chance of experiencing in these regions that are hostile to man and home to unique wildlife.
Kayaking - Le Commandant Charcot
Glide on the clear waters or between the ice floes and get as close as possible to the immaculate nature of the poles. Supervised by licenced expert guides, you will try your hand in a kayak, a boat that has been favoured by the Inuits for at least 4,000 years. The kayak was initially used for hunting and fishing; for you, it will be a means of making the very most of your adventure on the White Continent or in the Far North.*
*with limited places available
Hiking or snowshoeing
During each shore landing, depending on the ecological resilience of the biome encountered, we will propose hikes at different levels, in the company of your experienced naturalist guides: from a simple stroll along the coast to walks lasting several hours to reach particular viewpoints or historical sites. When the itineraries allow it, you’ll put on snowshoes* to set off, like the explorers of old, to discover areas that have barely known Man.
*with limited places available
Le Commandant Charcot is fitted with the most modern oceanographic equipment and all the facilities necessary to accompany a scientific team in its research. Guided by naturalists trained in participatory science, you will thus have the opportunity to make a direct contribution to the global scientific effort. Assist research by taking part in a turbidity study using a Secchi disk, counting wildlife, studying the state of the pack ice or taking water samples: thanks to simple protocols, you’ll be able to discover part of the scientific adventure in the polar regions and contribute to improving the knowledge of biodiversity, marine mammals or glaciology and better understand Climate/Ecosystem/Man interactions.
14 March 2022 Ushuaia
Embarkation 14/3/2022 from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Departure 14/3/2022 at 6:00 pm
Capital of Argentina's Tierra del Fuego province, Ushuaia is considered the gateway to the White Continent and the South Pole. Nicknamed “El fin del mundo” by the Argentinian people, this city at the end of the world nestles in the shelter of mountains surrounded by fertile plains that the wildlife seem to have chosen as the ultimate sanctuary. With its exceptional site, where the Andes plunge straight into the sea, Ushuaia is one of the most fascinating places on earth, its very name evocative of journeys to the unlikely and the inaccessible…
15 March 2022 16 March 2022 Crossing the Drake Passage
Use your days spent in the Drake Passage to familiarise yourself with your ship and deepen your knowledge of the Antarctic. The Expedition Leader will first present the IAATO rules of conduct that must be observed during landings in the region and will explain everything you need to know about the zodiac outings. Lectures about the history and wildlife of the Antarctic will be an opportunity for you to learn more about this magical region, where every cruise is a unique experience. From the ship’s bridge, you will experience exceptional sailing moments before joining the naturalist-guides on your ship’s exterior decks to look out for albatrosses, cape petrels, and other seabirds flying over the Drake Passage.
17 March 2022 South Shetland Islands
On the edge of the Antarctic Peninsula, 120 km (70 miles) from the White Continent, the South Shetland Islands offer surreal and mysterious scenery. On these volcanic islands of dark rock, the landscapes alternate between long, jagged and snow-covered coast and large, gently sloping bays. These lunar and wild lands are home to important scientific research stations and a large number of animal species: chinstrap penguins, crabeater seals or Weddell seals, Antarctic terns, giant petrels and elephant seals have taken up residence here.
18 March 2022 North Antarctic Peninsula
Throughout your time in the north of the Antarctic Peninsula, you will find yourself in the heart of a spectacular decor in subtle shades of blue and white, surrounded by exceptional wildlife. You will sail through the Antarctic Sound, named after Swedish explorer Otto Nordenskjöld’s ship, which was trapped by the ice during an important scientific expedition in 1902. The gateway to the Weddell Sea, this sound is filled with gigantic tabular icebergs and plates of sea ice drifting northward from the coastal areas of this vast sea. It is home to Adelie penguins and a great many leopard seals.
19 March 2022 20 March 2022 The Weddell Sea
Amid the eerie stillness of the Weddell Sea, wend your way through a labyrinth of dense ice floe and majestic table-top icebergs. Sweeping ice platforms sculpt a landscape unlike any other, populated by fur seals, penguins, wandering albatross and other remarkable seabirds. The Weddell seal – king of this realm – will welcome you to his territory with a haunting cry that pierces the surrounding silence. You can recognise him by his dark grey coat and spotted belly. Weddell seals have the impressive skill of being able to stay underwater for more than an hour.
21 March 2022 Southern Thule, South Sandwich Islands
The southernmost island in the Sandwich Islands is a volcano that rises to an altitude of 700 metres. For a long time, this former military base was the source of conflicts between the British and the Argentinians, who finally took possession of the island in 1982 after the Falklands War. While you are there, you may get the chance to observe impressive elephant seals and Adelie or chinstrap penguins.
21 March 2022 Cook Island, South Sandwich Islands
Cook Island, an uninhabited volcano buried under a thick white coat, seems to float on the surface of the ocean. There is a striking contrast between the imposing and peaceful mass of glistening ice and the brown sheer cliffs that loom over its shores. Its highest peak, Mount Harmer, rises to an altitude of 1,115 metres. This island, the largest in the Southern Thule island group, was discovered by James Cook in 1775, the first explorer to have crossed the Antarctic Circle in search of a new continent. In 1819, the Russian explorer Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen christened it as a tribute to this illustrious explorer.
22 March 2022 Saunders Island, South Sandwich Islands
The brown volcanic silhouette of Saunders Island, overlooked by Mount Michael, which rises to an altitude of more than 900 metres, will then come into view on the horizon. The island’s frozen and rugged shores are considered very difficult to access. If you have the good fortune of being able to land in this lunar landscape, you will be able to meet chinstrap and Adelie penguins or attempt to observe the Cape petrels nesting in crevices along the cliff faces. It is one of only eight volcanoes in the world whose summit crater, with a diameter of 700 metres, contains a persistent lava lake. Its most recent eruption was in 2005.
23 March 2022 Zavodovski Island, South Sandwich Islands
Lying in the north of this archipelago, this majestic volcanic island is often ice-free year round, unlike the islands further south. Different species can be found on either side of this bio-geographic border: Subantarctic species in the north and Antarctic species in the south. Enveloped in the warmth of the volcanic fumeroles, one of the world’s largest colonies of chinstrap penguins (over two million individuals) thrives in this ideal environment. This volcanic island was discovered in 1819 by the Russian explorer Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen, who named it in honour of his ship’s captain.
24 March 2022 At sea aboard Le Commandant Charcot
Spend exceptional moments sailing aboard Le Commandant Charcot, the world’s first luxury polar exploration vessel and the first PC2-class polar cruise ship capable of sailing into the very heart of the ice, on seas and oceans which the frozen conditions render inaccessible to ordinary ships. Le Commandant Charcot is fitted with oceanographic and scientific equipment selected by a committee of experts. Take advantage of the on-board lectures and opportunities for discussion with these specialists to learn more about the poles. Participate in furthering scientific research with PONANT and let us discover together what these fascinating destinations have yet to reveal to us.
25 March 2022 26 March 2022 South Georgia
Aboard your ship, discover South Georgia, a region formed by an underwater mountain chain that extends from the Andes to the Antarctic Peninsula. All the wildlife of the Far South can be found there: king and Gentoo penguins, elephant seals, fur seals… You might get the chance to discover the majestic glaciers of Gold Harbour and the vast plains of Fortuna Bay. If you are fortunate enough to land at Salisbury Plain, you can expect a wonderful spectacle: more than 300,000 king penguins, which you will recognise by the bright orange mark on their head and neck, have taken up residence there.
27 March 2022