From Greenland to Svalbard in Luxury 19 DaysAboard: Le Commandant Charcot
Enjoy an exceptional experience roaming the Far North, as close as possible to the Arctic’s most legendary islands, from majestic Greenland to the immaculate territories of the Svalbard archipelago. During a brand-new 19-day exploration, you will sail into the heart of the ice aboard Le Commandant Charcot, in the footsteps of the great explorers and meeting the Greenlandic Inuit people. Plunge into the history of these remote territories in the relaxed setting of an exceptional ship, during a period of extreme conditions when the ice still envelops the wild and deserted landscape.
Thanks to Le Commandant Charcot, the first hybrid electric polar exploration ship, you will brave the elements, in a season that is inaccessible to the majority of ships, to reach Greenland and the Scoresby Sound region. In the heart of this hostile yet sublime world of ice, you will navigate in the wake of Jean-Baptiste Charcot, who was deeply connected to the Inuit land, where vestiges of his passage remain. The sumptuous decor is made up of snow-topped peaks and majestic fjords, icebergs of poetic shapes, and ice as far as the eye can see.
You will then set sail towards the Northeast Greenland National Park, the largest national park in the world and a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve: here, the trappers’ cabins are lost in the immensity of the magically coloured alpine landscapes and the impressive glaciers. You will go where few have had the chance, to the sites of the Arctic tales written by Jorn Riel. Polar bears and musk oxen live in these distant lands and you may be lucky enough to spot them on the horizon.
The shores of the Nordaust-Svalbard Nature Reserve will appear progressively on the horizon. This total immersion in the polar desert in search of the sea ice offers the promise of an unforgettable adventure. You will admire Europe’s largest ice cap and the impressive fjords that punctuate this icy landscape.
Your exploration amidst these remote lands continues to the east. Le Commandant Charcot will attempt to reach the easternmost island of the Svalbard archipelago, Kvitoya – the white island –, entirely covered by the ice cap and overrun by walruses. Before the end of your journey, you will cross the Hinlopen Strait where basalt islets and majestic glaciers hide a rich marine ecosystem.
The polar silence, the encounter with the people of the North, the pristine landscapes of the Arctic, the sudden appearance of a narwhal or a seal in the distance… Everything here will leave you with everlasting memories.
Various departures available. Please enquire for full dates and rates.
- Visit the beautiful Scoresby Sund, the longest fjord in the world!
- Discover Northeast Greenland National Park, the largest national park in the world
- Explore along the stunning west coast of Spitsbergen, Svalbard’s largest island
- Incredible scenery at every turn – from majestic fjords and snow-capped mountains to Polar deserts, glaciers, icecaps, and icebergs
- Search for sightings of a huge variety of iconic wildlife including Polar bears, orcas, narwhals, musk oxen, walruses, reindeer, and a myriad of seabirds
- Visit remote Inuit communities to share in their traditions and learn all about life this far north
- Enjoy thrilling Zodiac and hovercraft cruises, shore visits and hiking opportunities
- Exciting activity options including kayaking, hiking, snowshoeing, ice fishing, polar plunge, ice floating, dog sledding and participative science (select departures - fees may apply for some activities)
- Full board accommodation on board, including bar/beverage service
- Flight from Longyearbyen to Paris post-voyage
- Transfer from ship to airport post-voyage
- Zodiac cruises and shore excursions
- Entertainment and expert lecture programme
- Loan of rubber boots
- Expedition parka
So much to experience
Too much to choose from? This is where we come in
Take advantage of our vast experience, passion and expertise to help you hand craft the perfect Arctic adventure for you.
As Senior Travel Expert, Simon has an absolute wealth of experience in adventure travel in some of the most fascinating places in the world. With in-depth knowledge and fantastic organizational skills, Simon’s first-hand experience and genuine passion drive him to work to create your perfect itinerary.
Zoe’s abiding love of adventure travel has taken her to some of the most incredible wildlife-rich places on Earth. Her vast experience and genuine desire to share her knowledge makes her an outstanding and invaluable person to help you organise your wildlife adventure trip.
Mike has more than fifteen years hands-on experience in the industry, travelling to some of the most incredible wild places on the planet. His far-reaching knowledge and invaluable skills will ensure that your wildlife travel adventure is a dream come true.
Our popularitinerary Suggestions
All our itinerary holidays are fully customisable
Reykjavik - Embark
Your thrilling Arctic trip begins in Reykjavik, the vibrant Icelandic capital, where after arriving independently you will make your way to the port to board your luxury expedition vessel. After settling into your supremely comfortable cabin and familiarising yourself with the fantastic facilities on board, you might wish to make your way to the deck to watch as we leave Iceland behind and set sail into the Denmark Strait towards Greenland.
We recommend arriving in Reykjavik a few days ahead of departure to allow you time to soak up the sights of this very special city and its beautiful surroundings. Please let us know if you would like any advice on places to visit and stay.
Today will be spent at sea sailing towards Greenland. This will be the perfect time to relax and enjoy the luxurious facilities on board including the spa, wellness centre, fitness centre, swimming pool and panoramic lounge. You might also choose to spend some time on deck looking for seabirds and whales following the ship and soaking up the beautiful surroundings.
Your first adventure in Greenland is certain to be one to remember as your ship makes its way to the largest and deepest fjord system in the world for 3 days of unforgettable exploration. Scoresby Sund is wild and deserted, with high snow-capped peaks rising tall alongside icebergs immersed in clear, blue-tinged waters creating incredibly impressive scenery at every turn. During your time here you will enjoy thrilling Zodiac and hovercraft boat excursions, shore visits and nature walks designed to truly immerse you in this unique place. Whilst you’re here, a visit to Rode Fjord and its iconic iron-red cliffs are likely to be a highlight, along with possibly a visit to the Inuit community of Ittoqqortoormiit to meet the locals and learn all about life this far north.
Northeast Greenland National Park
We will now spend a day exploring along the jagged coastlines, gigantic fjords and breathtaking shores of Northeast Greenland National Park. Surrounded by magnificent alpine mountains, this is the largest National Park in the world and is a designated UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. As we explore by land and sea we will get up close to the area’s renowned nature and wildlife, hoping for sightings of the Polar bears and musk oxen that are often spotted in this wild and isolated area.
In Gael Hamke Bay, you will sail towards Dodmansbugten, or “dead man’s bay”, in the south of Clavering Island. This is where the last Inuit settlement of Northeast Greenland was discovered around 1823. Here, you can still find typical trapper cabins like those described by the Danish explorer and writer Jørn Riel in his stories of the Arctic, humoristic accounts drawn from the dozens of years he spent exploring the fascinating lands of what is now the Northeast Greenland National Park. Further west, you will be able to discover the vestiges of the former Eskimonaes radio and weather station, captured by German troops during World War II to achieve control of the meteorological intelligence for the region.
Sailing through the fascinating landscapes of the Northeast Greenland National Park, you will make your way to Danmarkshavn on the southern coast of Germania Land. Built in 1948, to this day Danmarkshavn remains a station of prime importance for determining meteorological conditions in Europe and North America. Despite the difficulty in accessing this coast often covered by ice, the spot was chosen during the wintering of the Danmark in 1906 as the base for an important scientific expedition through the region by dog sled. The north of this bay that is only free of ice for a very short time each year in August can only be reached by ships built to sail through ice.
Exploration of Northeast Greenland National Park
With a craggy coastline formed by gigantic fjords, magnificent alpine mountains looming over them, the shores of north-east Greenland offer breathtaking landscapes and are home to the largest national park in the world. Covering an area of around one million square kilometres, almost half the island, the North-East Greenland National Park, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, is a particularly isolated region. Cut off for many months of the year by the ice floe, it is renowned for its pristine nature and rich wildlife.
To the south of the Northeast Greenland National Park, near the Hold with Hope Peninsula, in the King Christian X Land region, you will visit Myggbukta, a former Norwegian whaling, meteorological and radio station established in 1922 by Johan A. Olsen. It was he who gave this site its name meaning “mosquito bay” in Norwegian. This large bay situated at more than 73° latitude north is covered in superb arctic tundra extending as far as the eye can see. This rich vegetation cover allows a large population of musk oxen to thrive. If you are lucky, you may get to spot a few.
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.
Sailing ice floes
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.
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.
Northwest Spitsbergen National Park
Today we will spend some time exploring around the Northwest Spitsbergen National Park where the Nunataks, glaciers, islands, large bays, and arctic tundra scattered with moss and lichen in shades of silver and gold provide a spectacular backdrop to Arctic adventures. Enjoying Zodiac cruises and shore visits, you will discover areas of historical importance and discover remnants of historical expeditions and trades of days gone by. We will also be on the lookout for sightings of wildlife including Arctic terns, Polar bears, walruses and seals.
Longyearbyen (disembark) to Paris
As you arrive into beautiful Longyearbyen, the administrative capital of Svalbard, after breakfast it will be time to disembark and join your included flight to Paris where your itinerary sadly comes to an end. Numerous further Arctic adventures are available in Longyearbyen so please enquire should you wish to extend your experience and spend a few more days in this unique Arctic town.
A view from Above
The truly luxurious, brand-new (2021) Le Commandant Charcot is the latest addition to the stunning fleet of high-class Ponant expedition ships. Re-imagining luxury Polar cruises, the ship is the very first hybrid-electric polar exploration ship powered by liquefied natural gas and has been designed with the greatest attention to detail in terms of safety and respect for the environment. Offering more comfort and luxury than any other expedition ship on the market, Le Commandant Charcot features a beautiful indoor swimming pool, a fantastic spa, gym and wellness area, and truly elegant common areas including a panoramic indoor restaurant, Blue Lagoon outdoor restaurant, lounge bar, observation lounge and conservatory. Every element of the ship has been designed to both convey French-style discreet luxury and arouse wonder and amazement. The 135 exceptional suites and staterooms, ranging in size from20 to 115 m², provide ultimate relaxation after a long day of exploring. With private balconies or terraces, each room allows for incredible views of your surroundings, and with their unique understated design each room exudes the feeling and sense of sailing on a private yacht. Large comfortable beds, air-conditioning, minibars, satellite TV, Bose Bluetooth speakers, Wi-Fi, bathrobes and top-of-the-line toiletries are just a few of the room features. Premium rooms also feature a butler service, and some even have their own private jacuzzis.
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