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The Northwest Passage | Le Commandant Charcot

25 Days
From AUD 60,970

STYLE: Expedition Cruise

Trip Code: ACPOMNP

DIFFICULTY RATING: 2 (light adventure)

SHIP: Le Commandant Charcot

DestinationDestination

Arctic, Greenland

DestinationDeparture Date

11/09/2023

TransportAccommodation

Cabin on board ship



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OVERVIEW

For the very first time, take an incredible journey to the mythical and emblematic North-West Passage. 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 you will sail along the magical South Coast of Greenland before reaching the Hudson Strait. You will chart a course through the Bellot Strait, offering you incredible views of countless icebergs. Experience the surreal journey through the Fury & Helca Strait as you cover ice passages that are inaccessible by most other vessels. This is truly a unique journey into the incredible labyrinth of ice where the most mysterious and incredible opportunities await.

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 newest vessel in the Ponant fleet. 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. 

With just 135 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 and a wellness center.

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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Pricing per person & date

The Northwest Passage | Le Commandant Charcot from AUD 60,970
Departing Ending Duration
11 Sep 2023 05 Oct 2023 25

Important Info

  • Cabin accommodation on board Le Commondant 
    All meals whilst on board
    All drinks (excluding premium brands) 
    All scheduled landings/excursions
    Guiding and lectures by English speaking expedition leader and team 
    All port fees
    All landing fees
    Expedition jacket provided (yours to keep) 
    A pair of expedition boots for use during your voyage
    Flight Nome to Seattle on Day 25

    Exclusions

    Airfare to embarkation city 
    Visa fees (if applicable) 
    Travel insurance
    Personal expenses
    Gratuities for the crew
    Pre or post cruise trael expenses
    Optional activities, refer to opritonal activities section for details

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

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

    Itinerary is subject to change depending on weather and ice conditions.

  • Departure date, season and availability.