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Transarctic: The Quest for the Two North Poles | Le Commandant Charcot

21 Days
From £ 39,913

STYLE: Small Ship Luxury Expedition Cruise 

Trip Code: ACPOTAQ

DIFFICULTY RATING: 2 (Light Adventure)

Start: Seattle, United States

Finish: Paris, France

SHIP: Le Commandant Charcot

DestinationDestination

Arctic, North Pole, Svalbard, Canadian Arctic

DestinationDeparture Date

06/09/2024, 05/09/2025

MealsMeals

All Meals Onboard The Ship, Including In Room Dining, Beverages (Excluding Premium Labels) And In-Room Mini Bar (Excluding Champagne) 

TransportTransport

Charter Flight in Economy Class From Seattle to Alaska and from  Longyearbyen to Paris And Transfers to/from the ship. 

TransportAccommodation

Cabin on board ship



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Included SightseeingIncluded Sightseeing

Arctic Ice Landings where possible, Zodiac Cruising, Onboard Expert Lectures & Briefings by the Experienced Expedition Team


NOTE: Itinerary is subject to change depending on weather & ice conditions 

OVERVIEW

Umberto Nobile crossed the Arctic, via the North Pole in 1926, becoming the first man in the world to do so. Le Commandant Charcot, a ship with world first luxury and ice breaking capacity, will follow in Nobile's footsteps by pursuing Arctic secrets during a research mission at the highest point of the north.

Explore the Arctic by sea, accompanied by a multi-disciplinary team of around twenty researchers. Discover unique ecosystems and the polar world's transformation stakes. This adventure provides an initiatory immersion, allowing you to observe and understand the unfolding show. Experience the ever-changing environment with an ice floe, savoring the constantly renewed poetry of the elements.

Taking an all-new route means pledging to enter an unexplored world with respect, taking the time to observe and understand, as a conscious witness, the unfolding show. With your senses awakened, with the ice floe as your travel companion, you will move through an ever-changing environment, its hypnotic panoramas of raw beauty sculpted by sea winds and plays on light. In the heart of the drifting ice, you will savour the constantly renewed poetry of the elements.
 

 

Prices are correct at time of publishing (11 June 2024) 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 and availability.

ITINERARY

Nome, Alaska

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.

Exploring Sea Ice in Beaufort Sea

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 its magnificent icy landscapes to you. With a bit of luck, maybe you will cross the path of some polar bears, since the region is renowned for sheltering the Lord of the Arctic.

Magnetic North Pole

The convergence point for the field lines of the Earth's magnetic field, the Magnetic North Pole attracts the magnetic needle of the compass. While the Geographic North Pole is the Earth’s northernmost fixed point, marking the intersection of the Globe's rotation axis with the Earth’s surface, the Magnetic North Pole moves over time. In fact, it is linked to the Earth's magnetic field which originates in the Earth's outer core, which is made up of molten metal and is subject to convection movements. Localised for the first time in 1831, in the Canadian Arctic, it has since moved towards Siberia and thus become closer to the Geographic North Pole. Set off in search of the Magnetic North Pole, try to get closer to it and, if luck allows it, attempt to reach it!

Exploring Sea Ice in Beaufort Sea

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 its magnificent icy landscapes to you. With a bit of luck, maybe you will cross the path of some polar bears, since the region is renowned for sheltering the Lord of the Arctic.

Geographic North Pole

Defined by a 90° North latitude, the Geographic North Pole lies on the Earth’s rotational axis, at the intersection of all meridians. Plunged into darkness for six months of the year, then lit by the sun for the following six months, this mythical site, permanently covered in ice and remote from any land, has fascinated generations of explorers. So far, only a very few people have ever reached it: an exploit which is now accessible to you aboard Le Commandant Charcot.

Navigating Through The Sea Ice

Enjoy the absolutely unique experience of sailing to the heart of the ice floe, this vast expanse of virgin, immaculate ice. The landscapes are constantly changing, shifting from a smooth, flat wilderness to a chaos of ice, then to channels of open water. Your ship will sail along these naturally open channels and through the areas where the frozen layer is thinnest, offering you the chance to experience magic maritime moments in the midst of drifting sea ice. It will also often be an opportunity to see a particular kind of fauna, totally dependent on the ice floe.

Nordaust-Svalbard Nature Reserve

The Nordaust-Svalbard Nature Reserve has been protecting the northernmost and coldest part of the archipelago, Nordaustlandet (North East Land), since 1973. This vast polar desert covered by two ice caps is the second largest island in the Svalbard archipelago. Protected by the Gulf Stream, the fjords and cliffs in the west and north are home to large colonies of birds and walruses. The landscapes in the colder east and south are dominated by imposing glaciers that calve majestic icebergs in the vast Hinlopen Strait. Large colonies of thick-billed murres have taken up residence on the sheer cliffs*. You may even get the chance to see a bear or an Arctic fox roaming in the vicinity.

*depending on nesting and migration period

Sailing In The Hinlopen Strait

Sailing in the Hinlopen Strait, in the heart of the Arctic Ocean, between the Norwegian islands of Spitsbergen and Nordaustlandet promises an unforgettable experience. This territory of the Nordaust-Svalbard Nature Reserve offers breathtaking panoramas, with magnificent basalt formations and the ice cap stretching as far as the eye can see, diving into the sea. The shore line cut by the fjords moving inland composes a magical landscape in which icebergs float here and there, the result of the calving of the surrounding glaciers. This place, today a popular spot to observe the seabirds nesting in the enormous cliffs, polar bears and walruses, was once intrinsically linked to the history of the whalers who frequented the region from the 17th century. Indeed, it was one of them, Thijmen Jacobsz Hinlopen, then director of a Dutch whaling company, who gave the strait its name. Later on, Russian trappers, European explorers, scientists and even mountaineers roamed this region, as hostile as it is sublime.

Soraust-Svalbard Nature Reserve

The Søraust-Svalbard Nature Reserve is the second largest protected area in Norway. Established in 1973, this nature conservation area stretching over more than 21,000 km2 will offer you stunning panoramas including coastal landscapes, rocky islets, mountain plateaux, vast tundra plains, and ice floes. With a little luck, you will be able to observe a wide variety of seabirds, given the site is listed as an Important Bird Area, as well as cetaceans, Svalbard reindeer, or even Arctic foxes. Among other things, Edgeoya Island is renowned for providing shelter to a number of polar bears during the breeding season.

Hornsund

Nestling between millennial glaciers and carved mountains, and considered to be “the crown of Arctic Norway”, Spitsbergen is a place that never sees the night. Your ship will take you closer to this fascinating archipelago and, more particularly, the Hornsund fjord. Considered to be Svalbard’s southernmost fjord, it is especially reputed to be its most stunning: at the end of its vast bay, 8 great glaciers slowly make their way down to the sea before giving way to the many icebergs elegantly drifting along its cold and mysterious waters.

Isfjorden

The vast Isfjorden is one of the main fjords in Svalbard. These different branches reach the heart of the island of Spitsbergen. Located deep inside the Billejforden, the Nordenskiöld Glacier with its front of ice, nearly 5 km wide, is one of the most spectacular in the Svalbard Archipelago. You will perhaps have the opportunity to discover the ghost town of Pyramiden. Constructed at the foot of a mountain in the form of a pyramid, this former mining town, founded by Sweden at the beginning of the 20th century before being sold a few years later to the Soviet Union, and abandoned in 1998, has conserved all the buildings from its glory days, when it lived off coal mining.

Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen

Longyearbyen is the capital of the Norwegian Svalbard archipelago, located on Svalbard’s main island, and is the northernmost territorial capital on the planet. With winter temperatures dropping to below 40°C, the landscapes of this mining town are simply breathtaking. The glaciers, the mountains stretching as far as the eye can see and the untouched nature, make you feel like you’re in completely unexplored territory.

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WHY CHOOSE THIS CRUISE?

  • Experience sailing past the Geographic and Magnetic South Pole. 

  • Be part of a scientific research mission onboard the pioneering icebreaker, Le Commandant Charcot. This ship combines groundbreaking technology with the ultimate in luxury cruising. 

  • See the best that the Canadian and European Arctic have to offer. Experience a once in a life time trip. 

  • Charter flights are included and your journey will start in Seattle and end in Paris, making this the perfect trip to add-on to if you want to extend. 

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!

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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

Transarctic: The Quest for the Two North Poles | Le Commandant Charcot from £ 39,913
Departing Ending Duration
06 Sep 2024 26 Sep 2024 21
05 Sep 2025 25 Sep 2025 21

Important Information

  • INCLUSIONS 

    All accommodation on board Le Commondant
    Charter flight in Economy class from Seattle to Nome, Alaska on Day 1 and Longyearbyen to  Paris on Day 21.
    Meet & greet at the airport by our local English-speaking representative.
    Transfer to the pier for embarkation.
    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

  • Return charter flights from Seattle on Day 1 and to Paris on Day 21 are included in cruise cost. Highly recommend to arrive in Seattle one day prior to commencement of itinerary.

     

    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.