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In the Ice of the Arctic - from Greenland to Svalbard | Le Commandant

17 Days
From USD 33,620

STYLE:

Small Ship Luxury Expedition Cruise

Trip Code: ACPOIAS

DIFFICULTY RATING: 2 (light adventure)

Start: Reykjavik, Iceland

Finish: Paris, France

SHIP: Le Commandant Charcot

DestinationDestination

Greenland, Spitsbergen, Svalbard

DestinationDeparture Date

21/06/2025

MealsMeals

All Meals & Beverage Package Whilst On board the Ship

TransportTransport

Group Transfers in Longyearbyen & Flight From Longyearbyen to Paris In Economy Class

TransportAccommodation

Cabin on board a ship



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Included SightseeingIncluded Sightseeing

Daily Arctic Excursions in location, Zodiac Cruising, Onboard Expert Lectures & Briefings by the Experienced Expedition Team

 

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

OVERVIEW

To sail to the lands beyond the Arctic Circle is to push the boundaries of exploration in the wake of those who made discovering the polar regions their life’s mission. With humility, you will set a course for the north-east of Greenland, inaccessible to traditional ships in early summer, before cruising to Svalbard and its untouched landscapes. Aboard Le Commandant Charcot, a marvel of technology, you will be amazed by the opportunities for guided exploration in these remote parts. You will progress through one of the hardest to reach areas in the Far North.

 

Prices are correct at time of publishing (8 July 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

Arrive Reykjavik & Embark

Arrive in Reykjavik and embark from 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm with departure at 10:00 pm.

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.

At Sea through the Denmark Strait

Lying between Greenland and Iceland, the Denmark Strait was crossed for the first time by theVikings in the late 10th century, during Erik the Red’s expeditions. In the Second World War, its waters were the theatre of a battle between the Kriegsmarine and the Royal Navy, on 24 May 1941. In the wintertime, extremely dense pack ice forms along the Greenlandic coasts and, while the Transpolar Drift sweeps icebergs along throughout the year, the strait is generally clear of ice during the summer. In the depths of the strait lies the world’s largest waterfall, an undersea cataract formed by the difference in temperature between the cold waters of the Greenland Sea and the warmer waters of the Irminger Sea. Numerous cetacean species thrive in this rich ecosystem.

Ammassalik Region

Still almost unknown just a century ago, the east coast of Greenland remains the most authentic and majestic region. Here, the alpine mountains merge intimately with the sea, while the fjords are adorned with high snow-capped peaks and drifting icebergs. Follow in the wake of Captain Jean-Baptiste Charcot’s famous ship, the Pourquoi Pas?, which set off with its crew to discover Ammassalik, a small island of primitive and wild beauty where the Inuit people chose to live. The name of this island is a reference to the capelin, a small flamboyant silver coloured fish, whose presence in the thousands announces to inhabitants the return of spring. A surprising discovery in a spectacular setting.

Blosseville Coast

Aboard your ship, follow in the footsteps of Jules Poret de Blosseville, a French explorer and sailor. In 1833, aboard La Lilloise, he set off to discover this isolated and unexplored part of eastern Greenland and gave French names to various sites on the coast. The adventure probably has an unfortunate outcome, since the crew was never found. This uninhabited territory, which now bears his name, lies to the south of Scoresby Sund. Surrounded by ice, icebergs and pieces of pack ice, Blosseville Coast is one of these wild and hard-to-reach places that very few people are lucky enough to explore.

Ittoqqortoormiit Region

On the East coast of Greenland, in the Ittoqqortoormiit region, you will have the rare opportunity of immersing yourself in the heart of isolated scenery and exploring the beauty of its landscapes. The high alpine mountains stand out in the sky, revealing dark rock edges. The region is home to the longest fjord system in the world, Scoresby Sound. On the edge of the fjord, the eponymous village is considered one of the most remote inhabited places in the world. The colourful houses, so typical of Greenland, dot the landscape with small red, yellow and blue patches that stand out against the surrounding arid landscape. Immersing yourself in this region will allow you to discover the ancestral way of life of the last hunters of the polar region. This will be a veritable deep-dive into the lives of the Arctic’s inhabitants.

Exploration of North East Greenland - Day 6-9

Set sail for North-East Greenland to immerse yourself further and up higher in the Arctic region to explore the unexpected riches of the sea ice, where traditional ships cannot travel at this time of the year. As the light shifts and the moods of the sky change, the different states of the ice and the infinite diversity of its textures create an exceptionally stunning tableau. With patience and humility, you will sail amid the pearl-white floating cathedrals and the ice carried by the Transpolar Drift. En route, icebergs have their journey halted by ice and pressure ridges reveal their sharp edges. In the midst of this icy vastness, beauty is found in the detail and the magic of the moment. In the realm of polar bears, Le Commandant Charcot is a reassuring cocoon built for polar exploration and offers you wonderful opportunities to observe these lords of the ice when you happen upon them. You may even get the chance to admire the moving sight of a mother and her cub travelling across the immaculate icy expanse.

At Sea - Day 10-11

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.

Nordaust-Svalbard Nature Reserve - Day 12-13

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.

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.

Søraust-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.

Disembark in Longyearbyen & fly to Paris

Arrive in Longyearbyen and disembark around 8:00am before taking a charter flight to Paris.

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.

DOWNLOAD ITINERARY PDF
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

View Ship Details

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

* Please note pricing is a guide only. Contact us now for the most up to date cost.

Important Information

  • INCLUSIONS 

    Cabin accommodation whilst on board Le Commandant Charcot
    Flight Longyearbyen/Paris on Disembarkation Day
    Group transfer from pier to airport for disembarkation
    Meet & greet at the airport by our local English-speaking representative.
    All meals whilst on board including snacks
    Open Bar (excluding premium brands)
    Room Service & Mini Bar (excluding Champagne) 
    All scheduled landings and excursions, conditions permitting
    Guiding and lectures by expedition team 
    Complimentary Polar expedition jacket (yours to keep) 
    Free use of rubber boots for shore excursions
    All port taxes
    Comprehensive pre and post voyage informational material 
    Free WIFI  

     

    EXCLUSIONS 

    Airfares other than specified 
    Pre and post land arrangements and accommodation
    Visa and reciprocity fees (if applicable)
    Travel Insurance
    Personal expenses such as laundry
    Gratuities for the crew (recommend US$15 per person per day)
    Optional Activities whilst on-board

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

  • One way flight from Longyearbyen to Paris is included in cruise cost. We highly recommend to arrange at least one night in Paris on arrival. 

    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.

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