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In the Wake of Charcot | Le Commandant Charcot

15 Days FROM USD 22,960

Overview

Discover some of the most remote and unique islands of Antarctica as you undertake this incredible 15 day voyage. Cruise into the vast mysteries of the Bellingshausen Sea and discover the remote Peter I Island of which the, summit still remains untouched today. Be among some of the only people to ever travel to these two incredible islands beyond the Antarctic Polar Circle. 

*package price includes a pre-night accommodation in Santiago, a flight from Santiago to Ushuaia on Embarkation day, and a return flight to Santiago on the final day with transfers.

Optional Activities :

Trip Code: ACPOCPI

Travel Style: Expedition Cruise

Location: Antarctic Circle, Antarctic Peninsula

Ship: Le Commandant Charcot

Flights: We offer a range of flight options to meet your cruise. Contact us today to discuss

WHY CHOOSE THIS CRUISE?

  • Discover the incredible and mysterious Peter I Island, discovered in 1821 and only approached for the first time in 1929. 

  • Encounter the unique wildlife of Antarctica including humpback whales, gentoo penguins and Weddell Seals. 

  • Undertake this incredible voyage on board Le Commandant. The first luxury polar vessel, guests will find the highest degree of luxury and elegance to provide one of the most sophisticated expedition experiences.

CRUISE ITINERARY

Embarkation Is scheduled between 4 and 5pm with departure set for approximately 6pm.

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.

*package price includes a pre-night accommodation in Santiago, a flight from Santiago to Ushuaia on Embarkation day, and a return flight to Santiago on the final day with transfers.

Arrival & embarkation in Ushuaia

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.

Crossing the Drake - Day 2 and 3

Weather permitting, we'll cross the mythic line of the Antarctic Polar Circle, located along 66°33’ south of the Equator. This iconic area demarcates the point from which it is possible to view the midnight sun during the December solstice. Within this circle, the sun remains above the horizon for 24 consecutive hours at least once a year. Crossing this line, an experience known to few people, is sure to be an unforgettable highlight of your cruise through the polar regions.

Crossing the Antarctic Circle

The sumptuous landscapes of this narrow channel between Adelaide Island and Graham Land attract all visitors sailing towards Marguerite Bay. It is like an ice palace, its immaculate white walls reflected in the frozen mirror formed by the waters of the Southern Ocean, scattered with icebergs and gleaming blocks of ice. This passage was explored for the first time by the Jean-Baptiste Charcot expedition in 1909, which sketched its position. It was then surveyed in 1936 by the British expedition under John Rymill. It is here in this magical setting that some of the first subaquatic images of the Antarctic were shot during Philippe Cousteau’s four-month expedition to Antarctica between 1972 and 1973.

The Gullet

When he discovered this island surrounded by sea ice in 1910 from aboard the Pourquoi Pas ? as he mapped Alexander Island, Jean-Baptiste Charcot had not be able to get less than 40 miles away from it. Situated in a zone that experiences frequent low-pressure systems and regular cloud cover, the island remains in many ways an enigma. It is entirely covered in ice and sheer cliffs, with the exception of the rocky outcrops extending over a dozen kilometres in the far north-west. The ice in the narrowest part of Wilkins Sound has been cracking in recent times, thus officially detaching this island from its neighbour, Alexander Island, lying 50 km away. Very few people have landed on this largely untouched island, whose waters attract numerous seabirds, such as petrels, Antarctic terns and skuas.

Charcot Island - Day 6-7

Stretching from the west of the Antarctic Peninsula to the Amundsen Sea, the Bellingshausen Sea was named after the Russian admiral and explorer who has been attributed the first confirmed sighting of mainland Antarctica, in 1820. Among others, its waters surround two of the Antarctic’s largest islands: Alexander Island and Thurston Island. You will explore this sea amid ice floe, blocks of sea ice and majestic icebergs. The coastal areas along the Bellingshausen Sea are also renowned as the home of colonies of emperor penguins. Depending on the month of the southern summer, you will perhaps be lucky enough to observe isolated adults, adolescents seeking emancipation or recently independent new adults.

Bellingshausen Sea

The icebergs are each more majestic than the next and scattered around the deep and intense blue waters of Marguerite Bay, one of the most beautiful regions in the Antarctic. It is delimited in the north by the mountainous Adelaide Island, in the south by George VI Sound and Alexander Island, and in the east by the Fallières Coast. Charcot named it after his wife during his second expedition to the Antarctic between 1908 and 1910. In 1909, in the southern summer when the skies are at their clearest, he led an important scientific mission to map and study this region. The bay is home to a number of cetaceans and you may get the chance to observe leopard seals or Adelie penguins.

Marguerite Bay

Le Commandant Charcot will land on the coast of Pourquoi Pas Island, so named in the 1930s by John Riddoch Rymill in honour of Jean-Baptiste Charcot, who discovered it from aboard his ship Le Pourquoi Pas ? during his second expedition to Antarctica between 1908 and 1910. This mountainous island, situated in the north of Marguerite Bay between Graham Land and Adelaide Island, is 28 km long and 14 km large. It is scattered with narrow fjords and snow-covered mountains. You will go to shore in a zodiac dinghy with your expedition team and you could get the chance to observe Adelie penguins going about their business on the island’s rocky shores.

Pourquoi Pas Island

Succumb to the magic of a place unlike any other. To this day, the mythical Antarctic Peninsula still holds real fascination and promises its visitors unforgettable moments. Throughout your adventure in this icy realm, you will find yourself in the heart of a spectacular decor in subtle shades of blue and white, surrounded by exceptional wildlife. Penguins, humpback whales, seals and giant petrels are at home here, as are elephant seals, fur seals, Antarctic minke whales, and orcas. Depending on which sites you will be lucky enough to visit, you may get the chance to observe them and share with them the beauty of these extreme parts.

Each day, based on ice conditions, the Captain and the Expedition Leader will suggest zodiac outings or landings to discover the infinite riches of the Antarctic Peninsula. Glaciers, ice floe, tabletop icebergs, mountain peaks that plunge straight into the sea, volcanic beaches, research stations, enchanting bays, and vestiges of the whaling industry: these are the faces of the Antarctic that will likely reveal themselves to you, in a hushed and surreal atmosphere. You will sail in the wake of Jean-Baptiste Charcot, Adrien de Gerlache and Sir Ernest Shackleton, great Antarctic explorers who, from the 19th century, set out to conquer these remote and uninhabited lands.

Antarctic Peninsula - Day 11 and 12

If there is one place, one sea, one waterway dreaded by tourists, researchers and hardened seafarers alike, it is undoubtedly Drake Passage. Situated at the latitude of the infamous Furious Fifties winds, between Cape Horn and the South Shetland Islands, it is the shortest route to connect Antarctica to South America. Seasoned navigators will tell you that you must earn your visit to the White Continent! As the Antarctic convergence zone where cold currents rising up from the South Pole meet warmer equatorial water masses, Drake Passage harbours a very diverse marine fauna. Don't forget to look to the sky to catch a glimpse of elegant albatross and Cape petrels, playfully floating about in the wind around your ship.

Crossing the Drake - Day 13 and 14

Your expedition has come to an end!
Disembarkation will take place approximately 8:30am. You will be taken to the airport for your flight back to Santiago.

Disembarkation in Ushuaia
DOWNLOAD ITINERARY PDF

ITINERARY ADD-ONS

  • Why not start your Antarctic Journey with a visit to the “Paris of the south”? Discover the wonders of Buenos Aires on this 4-day itinerary. Explore a unique fusion of European elegance and Latin American energy as you explore the history of this magnificent city. Take part in a unique tango show or take a break from cities and visit the gaucho town of San Antonio de Areco. Find out more

  • Before embarking on your Antarctic voyage, why not experience the amazing wonders of two of South America’s most vibrant cities. A 9 Day Rio to Buenos Aires journey will be the perfect way to indulge in a mix of Latin American cultural experience and sights. From the awe-inspiring Christ the Redeemer, to the roaring cascades of Iguazu falls and the European avenues of Buenos Aires this is a spectacular way to experience this unique and dynamic corner of our world. Find out more

  • Explore the Chilean capital of Santiago, before heading to Torres del Paine National Park, one of the most spectacular parks in South America. Head to El Calafate on the edge of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field and from here visit the world famous Perito Moreno Glacier. Find out more

Pricing per person & date

In the Wake of Charcot | Le Commandant Charcot from USD 22,960
Departing Ending Duration
01 Jan 2023 15 Jan 2023 15
28 Nov 2023 12 Dec 2023 15
12 Dec 2023 26 Dec 2023 15

Important Information

  • Cabin accommodation whilst on board Le Commandant
    All meals whilst on board
    Beverages (excluding premium alcohol labels)
    All scheduled landings and excursions
    Guiding and lectures by expedition team 
    Complimentary Polar expedition jacket
    Free use of rubber boots for shore excursions
    All port taxes 
    Kayaking Activities
    Comprehensive pre and post voyage informational material 
    One night pre-night accommodation in Santiago
    Return flight from Santiago to Ushuaia

    Exclusions 

    Airfares to and from Santiago, Chile 
    Visa fees (if applicable) 
    Travel insurance 
    Personal expenses such as laundry, on board communication (telephone calls, faxes, email) 
    Gratuities for the crew
    Pre or post cruise travel expenses
    Optional activities

  • 2 (light adventure)
  • Available upon request, contact us for more details. 

  • Please note this itinerary is subject to change depending on weather and ice conditions. 

    Package price includes a pre-night accommodation in Santiago, a flight from Santiago to Ushuaia on Embarkation day, and a return flight to Santiago on the final day with transfers.

  • Departure date, seasonality and availability. 

SPEAK TO A SPECIALIST

Sustainability

Chimu Adventures is passionate and dedicated to sustainbility measures and understands the crucial part sustainability plays within the tourism industry.

A trip to the Antarctic is a completely different experience and quite unlike any other trip you have probably been on. We use a highly regulated, licensed vessel which is well equipped to operate in this vulnerable ecosystem. We are fully compliant with all rules set down by the IAATO and all activities are governed by the Antarctic Treaty System. We carefully select all ships we work with and choose them for their small size as this creates far less impact on shore landings with wildlife. We view the voyage to the Antarctic as an expedition, not a sightseeing trip. Smaller boats such as ours can navigate narrow waterways and are far less polluting than the larger ships in Antarctic waters. By carrying less passengers, we have far less waste, and all waste is carried back to the home port to allow for environmentally conscious waste management and disposal, unlike some of the larger ships which do not facilitate this. This trip begins in Ushuaia where you will have time to sample local food and shop at local boutiques which we encourage individuals to take part in for experience and in support of the local community. We also try to create opportunity to see research and historical sites including the former research station/now museum of Port Lockroy and engage with local history. We discourage the buying of souvenirs made from endangered species or wrongfully taken from the environment i.e. shells. Our pre-departure pack provides you with all the information required for your tour, from what to take with you to practical advice about how to minimise your impact on the Antarctic environment. This pack highlights initiatives such as waste reduction, and how to appropriately engage with wildlife and the environment around you.

For more information visit our sustainability page.

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