In Greenland Behind the Scenes of a Once in a Lifetime Human Adventure

This spring, while the farthest reaches of Greenland were still covered in ice, the PONANT teams set out to meet the inhabitants of the small community of Kullorsuaq. This expedition to the heart of Inuit culture will become a reality in 2025 during an unprecedented cruise aboard Le Commandant Charcot, the world's only luxury icebreaker powered by liquefied natural gas. On the programme: sailing through the ice amidst stunning scenery, immersive experiences in the polar environment and human encounters on the ice floe.

Immersive Experiences with the last guardians of the pole

March 2024, Kullorsuaq, northwest Greenland. A thousand kilometers north of the Arctic Circle. Feels like temperature: -30°C. Snow covers the colourful houses of this small traditional Inuit village surrounded by sea ice. In the dim light of a polar day, the dogs wait patiently as men from the community finish loading the sleds.

José Sarica, Expedition Experience Director, and Mathieu Tsingrilaras, Staff Captain on the PONANT fleet, have joined Nicolas Dubreuil, French polar expert and founder of the polar consulting company SEDNA for an unprecedented scouting expedition in Greenland.

The goal is to co-create new polar activities in immersion with those known as “the last guardians of the pole” at the beginning of the Arctic spring. A human adventure that is all about sharing, exchange and listening.

Long-lasting relationships

Engaging with the local population to implement the activities they wish to offer to the guests was at the heart of this scouting trip. This has only been possible due to the mutual trust built up over the years between PONANT teams and the inhabitants of Kullorsuaq, thanks to Nicolas Dubreuil, who lives part of the year in this area and brought the first PONANT ships there over 10 years ago; his bonds of friendship with the Inuit community are the gateway to the polar world.

More than a Voyage this is a Human Adventure

This new itinerary exclusive to PONANT is engaging in human interaction with local communities. Immersed in a magnificent environment, where anyone can quickly lose their bearings, the full meaning of solidarity comes into its own. For this is a rite of passage, an initiation, in the company of the last hunters of the North Pole. They are motivated by a desire to share what their daily lives are really like in these vast white open spaces, far from the tourist clichés. The secret of the masters of these places: humility – always acting in harmony with the surrounding nature, never in spite of it.

If there is one word to remember from this voyage, it’s ‘Imaqa’. It’s the notion that Inuits express with a gesture that seems to mean ‘maybe’ or ‘just let things happen, let nature be your guide.

José Sarica, Expedition Experience Director at PONANT

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Photo and video credits : ©PONANT / J. Fabro