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The Northwest Passage | Le Commandant Charcot

25 Days
From USD 51,080

STYLE: Expedition Cruise

Trip Code: ACPOMNP

DIFFICULTY RATING: 2 (light adventure)

Start: Reykjavík, Iceland

Finish: Seattle, United States

SHIP: Le Commandant Charcot

DestinationDestination

Canadian Arctic, Greenland & Iceland

DestinationDeparture Date

12/08/2024

TransportAccommodation

Cabin on board ship



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OVERVIEW

NO SINGLE SUPPLEMENT ON SELECTED DEPARTURES

Travel the legendary North-west Passage from Iceland to Alaska on an amazing polar voyage and discover the vastness of the Arctic region. Before Roald Amundsen's journey from 1903 to 1906, the greatest explorers had long dreamed of crossing the Atlantic to reach the Pacific via the Far North route.  On board Le Commondant, a new state-of-the-art hybrid electric polar vessel, you will undertake an incredible 25 day journey to the most remote sites in the Northwest Passage. Leaving from Reykjavik, this tour will lead you on a breathtaking rise along the west coast of Greenland to the majestic Disko Bay, like a wonderful introduction to your discovery of the polar realm. It will reveal itself to you between the majestic dance of massive icebergs and its legendary glacier, which is recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

You will next cross the ice of McClure Strait and reach the North-west Passage via Lancaster Sound. In the wake of one of the most legendary tales in arctic exploration, the ship will make its way to Banks Island, where it will progressively submerge you in an ice world that is always changing. The endless expanse of the ice floe will gradually reveal itself, captivating the viewer with its natural beauty and the way the light changes to accentuate it. You will continue into the Beaufort Sea and see scenery that is unreachable by conventional ships while travelling on board Le Commandant Charcot, an opulent environment built for navigating in harsh environments. For the modern explorers, the ice covering reshapes the relief and unveils an amazing sensory experience. You will meet the Inuit people for unique sharing opportunities based on their customs as a result of your immersion in the northern realm. Nature is at its most majestic when you find yourself in the middle of the ice or at the meeting point of the currents, when everything is pure and untamed and meeting a polar bear is always an amazing experience. Your senses will be further piqued by the sight of shimmering ice floes, blue-tinged glaciers, craggy mountain ranges, and undulating grasslands once you cross the Arctic Circle. The North-west Passage, which was long dreamed about but only discovered at the start of the 20th century, promises you an experience that is akin to returning to the fundamentals.

David Borish, a social scientist and documentary filmmaker, will be on this expedition. He is pushing the limits of using audiovisual techniques to investigate and comprehend the interactions between people and animals in the Arctic and Subarctic. With British Photo Ambassadors Ian Dawson and Sue Flood present also.

Please note: The navigation will be determined by weather and ice conditions. 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 associated governing bodies.

 

*Single Supplement waived on selected departures & cabins. Offer is correct at the time of publishing and only available until sold out on selected voyages and strictly limited availability. Not available on some premium suites and triple/quad share. the Discount is only available on the cabin fare. Prices are subject to change until the time of booking and terms and conditions apply. Please contact us for more information and enquire for details of offers and available dates. 

Prices are correct at time of publishing (29 Nov 2023) but are subject to change at any time until the time of booking and terms and conditions apply. Please contact us for more information and enquire for details of offers and available dates. 

ITINERARY

Embark from Reykjavik

Iceland’s capital stretches along the edge of a vast bay in the west of the country. Perlan, the “Pearl of Reykjavík”, a museum located on ’Oskjuhlið hill, offers a panoramic view of the lush, green landscapes. A little further, one can easily spot the signpost showing the way to the evangelical Hallgrímskirkja church, and to the historical centre where one can stroll along the Skólavördustígur and the Laugavegur, two lively streets with charming small shops. For some relaxation just outside of the city, visitors have the opportunity to visit the Reykjanes peninsula and its famous thermal lagoons of the Blue Lagoon.

Embarkation will be from 7:30 pm to 8:30 pm, and departure around 9:30 pm. We recommend arriving at least one day before departure.

At Sea

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.

Southern Coast of Greenland - Day 3-4

Set sail in the traces of the Norwegian explorer Erik Le Rouge by travelling along the south coast of Greenland. Your ship will head deep into the longest network of fjords in the region, the Prins Christian Sund. This sumptuous natural canal, surrounded by craggy mountains and impressive glaciers will offer you stunning landscapes.

At Sea - Day 5-6

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.

Hudson Strait - Day 7-9

Linking Hudson Bay, the second largest bay in the world, to the Atlantic Ocean, the Hudson Strait was identified for the first time by the Venetian explorer Sebastian Cabot in 1517. However, it wasn’t until 1660 that the English sailor Henry Hudson explored this maritime passage as far as the bay. Offering privileged access to the centre of Canada, in the 18th Century the Hudson Strait became a commercial route, notably used for fur trading. Some 800 km in length and congested with ice for most of the year, it will offer you a truly unique sailing experience.

Foxe Basin - Day 10-11

Named after the 17th-century explorer Luke Fox, who was the first to reach it, Foxe Basin marks the entry of the mythical Northwest Passage, much coveted since the 15th century and first crossed from one side to the other by Roald Amundsen in 1906. Blocked by ice for much of the year, Foxe Basin is home to the last emerged lands to be discovered in North America, in 1948, during aerial surveys: the Prince Charles, Air Force and Foley Islands. In summer, bowhead whales take up residence here to give birth.

Fury & Hecla Strait

At the heart of the Arctic Ocean, set sail in the footsteps of the British explorer W.E. Parris who in 1822, during his desperate quest to find the North West Passage, discovered the Fury and Hecla Strait. The expedition that he led with two Royal Navy vessels, HMS Fury and HMS Hecla, in the hope of crossing the mythical maritime passageway, ended in failure. Trapped in the ice, the two ships were blocked to the north of Foxe Basin, but this allowed them to identify the strait separating the Melville peninsula and Baffin Island. Covered by ice floe for the majority of the year, this narrow stretch of sea is very difficult to access. When you enter the passage, you will have the privilege of visiting the Inuit village of Igloolik.

Ice Crossing the Northwest Passage - Day 13-18

At the far north of the American continent, in the most northerly part of the Arctic archipelago, the Northwest Passage is the shortest waterway between the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans. Its crossing has been coveted since the 15th century and Roald Amundsen was the first to do so in 1906. Blocked by thick ice floe for most of the year, to date only a lucky few have managed to sail from one side to the other. The crossing of this little-mapped and little-explored region is a challenge worthy of Le Commandant Charcot, which was designed to sail in extreme environments. Sheltered in its refined and protective setting, you will make the most of this exploration of the ice with the inimitable appeal of the first time: just like the first explorers, you will sail in its channels sculpted by glacial erosion and discover spectacular landscapes, made up of craggy terrain and monumental fjords. You will be able to measure the privilege of undertaking such an exploration in the light of the experience’s rarity.

Banks Island - Day 19-20

Located in the north of Canadian archipelago of the Northwest Territories, Banks Island, also known as Banks Land offers landscapes that are as sumptuous as they are spectacular. The island, covering some 70,000 km², offers a landscape of hills and valleys as well as sheer cliffs and canyons, a result of the glacial erosion. To the north of the island, the Aulavik National Park is home to a very rich wildlife mainly consisting of Arctic wolves, muskox, caribou, Arctic foxes, lemmings and many varieties of birds.

Sailing Ice Floes in Beaufort Sea - Day 21-24

Bordering the north coasts of Alaska and Canada, the Beaufort Sea was feared for centuries because of its extreme climatic conditions. Covered for most of the year with a thick layer of ice, and unexplored until 1914, this part of the Arctic Ocean, named in honour of the British Admiral Francis Beaufort, will reveal to you its sumptuous icy landscapes. Will a bit of luck, maybe you will cross the path of some Beluga, the region being renowned for hosting many colonies of these white whales.

Disembark in Nome & Fly to Seattle

Located along the Bering Strait at the westernmost point of Alaska, Nome offers the rustic charm of a former gold-mining town, set in the middle of magnificent wilderness. As you weave in and out of the brightly coloured houses, you will discover the pioneering legacy that still marks local traditions. Fishing, reindeer rearing, sledge-racing... People here live from their manual labour. The surrounding plains provide stunning vantage points for observing Arctic fauna.

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WHY CHOOSE THIS CRUISE?

  • Undertake this voyage on board the incredible Le Commondant, the first hybrid electric polar exploration ship, purpose built for luxurious and sustainable expedition cruising experiences.

  • Cross the Northwest Passage to discover the most remote places and waterways that are only accessible due to this unique vessel. 

  • You will have the opportunity to visit a traditional Inuit village in the Fury and Helca strait, allowing you to have unique encounters and learn the lifestlyes and ways of these incredible peoples. 

  • Encounter unique wildlife of the Arctic including Arctic foxes, sea birds, narwhals, belugas, walrus and even polar bears.

  • Discover incredible landscapes from expanses of tundra to vast landscapes of ice floe, jagged mountain peaks and incredible blue glaciers.

Le Commandant Charcot

Le Commandant Charcot

A sleek and elegant vessel with an intricate dose of luxury and revolutionary technology. 

Sailing under the French Flag, Le Commandant Charcot is the worlds only Luxury Icebreaker. A design with sustainable development at its core, Le Commandant is the first Hybrid luxury Polar Exploration Vessel to be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG). Optimized with energy saving solutions, reduced energy consumption and advanced waste water treatment, this vessel truly combines luxury with a unique focus on the sustainability of the spellbinding and wonderful destinations it explores. 

This ship is one of the few in existence that can reach remote areas such as the North and South Poles and with it's ice breaking capabilities can go further than the rest, to really give a once in a lifetime experience.  

With just 123 cabins. including 68 suites with private terraces this ship remains true to the philosophy of providing every guest with the relaxed ambience of travelling on a private yacht. Even at the extreme temperatures of the poles, this vessel promises the upmost care for intimate comfort, discrete service, incredible gastronomy and extensive luxury amenities including spas, a hot and cold snow cabin and an immersive wellness center. The ship also has over 300 works of art and an onboard pianist. 

Enjoy an excellent expedition experience, with a team of 23 expert naturalist guides who will lead you into some of the most remote regions of the world. When onboard you will be able to indulge in a range of culinary delights from the main restaurant Nuna, or the outdoor restaurant Sila, which overlooks the heated pool onboard - the Blue Lagoon. With the choice of French and international cuisine. Your cruise will include fine wines, an in room included minibar and 24 hour room service, as well as a range of entertainment and expert lectures. The perfect mix of exploration and comfort. 

 

Ice Class: Length: 150m (492ft)
Breadth: 28m (91ft)Max
Draft: Cruising
Speed:
Electricity: Passenger
Capacity:
270

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Accommodation

We believe that appropriate accommodation should add to the authentic travel experience, as well as providing utmost enjoyment. For that reason our accommodation is scrutinised by our staff on the ground frequently, ensuring the properties adhere to our high standards. This key will help you understand the levels of accommodation available on this tour.

Standard

Comfortable properties with dependable facilities and service.

Superior

Comfortable properties with dependable facilities and service.

Deluxe

Luxurious properties with impeccable facilities and service.

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES

Optional Activities vary for each itinerary. Limited spaces available. Contact your Destination Specialist for pricing & availability.

Kayaking

Experience the unforgettable thrill and serenity of kayaking in Antarctica as part of a small, expertly guided paddling group.

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Hiking

Hiking excursions are among the most popular options in Antarctica as many itineraries are short and suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels. Guided hikes lead you to amazing vantage points and allow even closer interaction with local wildlife, so don’t forget to pack your camera!

Learn More

Snowshoeing

Go even deeper into Antarctica’s interior and reach less visited places where many other visitors simply don’t go! 

Learn More

Pricing per person & date

The Northwest Passage | Le Commandant Charcot from USD 51,080
Departing Ending Duration
12 Aug 2024 05 Sep 2024 25

Important Information

  • INCLUSIONS 

    All accommodation on board Le Commondant
    Charter flight in Economy class from Nome to Seattle on Day 25 (approx 5 hour flight time)
    Meet & greet at the airport by our local English-speaking representative.
    Group transfer from pier for disembarkation
    All meals whilst on board including snacks
    All scheduled landings and excursions
    Guiding and lectures by English-speaking expedition leader and team
    Expedition jacket provided (yours to keep) 
    A pair of expedition boots for use during your voyage 
    Open Bar (excluding premium brands)
    Room Service & Mini Bar (excluding Champagne) 
    All port taxes

     

    EXCLUSIONS 

    Airfares not mentioned above
    Visa fees (if applicable)
    Travel Insurance
    Personal expenses such as laundry, on-board communication (telephone calls, faxes)
    Gratuities for the crew (recommend US$15 per person per day)
    Optional Activities whilst on-board

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

  • Please note flight from Nome to Seattle on disembarkation day is included in your cruise price.

     

    Prices are based on per person, twin share* (unless otherwise stated for triple/quad cabins) 

    Prices are correct at time of publishing but are subject to change at any time. 

    Itinerary is subject to change depending on weather and ice conditions

  • Departure date,  fuel surcharges, cabin category, currency fluctuations, seasonality and availability.