Now Reading
PONANT Luxury Cruises & Expeditions, returns to Antarctica

PONANT Luxury Cruises & Expeditions, returns to Antarctica

Le Commandant Charcot

From Humpback Whales to Gentoo Penguins, and Leopard Seals.

Le Commandant Charcot
Le Commandant Charcot Image courtesy of Ponant

Le Commandent Charcot sets sail

PONANT is the first operator to resume luxury expeditions to the White Continent with its hybrid-electric LNG-operated luxury polar exploration vessel, Le Commandent Charcot, having set sail on its maiden voyage south from Punta Arenas, Argentina on 1 November 2021.

With Antarctica in great demand, PONANT’s 2021/22 season comprises 14 different itineraries and 33 sailings scheduled from November 2021 to March 2022. In addition to Le Commandant Charcot, the company’s four sister ships Le LyrialL’AustralLe Boréal and Le Soléal will also be on site sailing south. Winter season 2022/2023 is already open with new itineraries from and to New Zealand. 

PONANT is offering 13 different exploration itineraries for Winter 2022/2023 across 34 sailings. As part of the 2022/2023 season, PONANT has unveiled two entirely new itineraries from and to New Zealand providing unforgettable, semi-circumnavigations of the Antarctic between New Zealand and South America. 

Humpback whales, Gentoo penguins, king penguins, Adélie penguins, chinstrap penguins and leopard seals

These voyages offer entirely new itineraries in the wake of the great explorers and opportunities to observe extraordinary, secretive wildlife: humpback whales, Gentoo penguins, king penguins, Adélie penguins, chinstrap penguins, leopard seals, crabeater seals, Weddell seals, seabirds galore, and more. Activities organised for guests include Zodiac® landings, sea kayaking supervised by state-qualified guides, talks, hovercraft outings, activities in polar waters, and hikes on foot or snowshoes. Guests will also be able to participate in participative science lectures and workshops intended to raise awareness and inspire them to protect these fragile environments.

Le Commandant Charcot will also be sailing to the Far North for the European summer in 2022 with 11 sailings planned: odysseys in the true sense of the word to discover the planet’s northernmost wildernesses. Travellers have the chance to reach the end of the world, that mythical point on the edge of extreme lands, the geographic North Pole. 

PONANT’s 2022/2023 Antarctica season will offer 25 expeditions to Antarctica onboard the company’s four sisterships including Le Boréal, as well as L’Austral, Le Lyrial, and Le Soléal, with itineraries exploring the Antarctic Peninsula, South Georgia, the Ross Sea, and more.  

Le Commandant Charcot
Le Commandant Charcot Image courtesy of Ponant

About PONANT’s new to/from New Zealand itineraries and perspectives aboard Le Commandant Charcot 

Expedition “Unexplored Antarctic between Two Continents” 

For the very first time, Le Commandant Charcot is inviting guests to follow in the footsteps of the great Antarctic explorers during a truly exceptional semi-circumnavigation, a voyage of exploration linking the southern end of the South American continent to New Zealand. This exclusive expedition into the heart of the icefields explores the Bellingshausen, Amundsen, and Ross Seas, the world’s largest marine sanctuary, where whales, orcas, seals, and penguins can be seen, as well as Marie Byrd Land, the last Terra Nullius (unclaimed land) on our planet.  

Ushuaia – Dunedin 

30 days, 28 nights 

15 January to 13 February 2023 

From AUD 60,545 per person

Find more about the expedition

Expedition “From Dumont d’Urville to Mawson: retracing Heroic Age expeditions”

This first-ever polar odyssey to earth’s boundary retraces the steps of early explorers to the White Continent, sharpening the senses during a voyage where all the nuances of the ice come into their own. From the shores of New Zealand to those of Ushuaia, a city at the end of the world, with this itinerary PONANT is offering another semi-circumnavigation of the Antarctic. On the way, guests will discover Adélie Land, Victoria Land, and Marie Byrd Land, as well as Macquarie Island, a sub-Antarctic Australian Island, classified a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its extraordinary biodiversity. A unique voyage of exploration steeped in French and Australian polar history.

Dunedin – Ushuaia

28 days, 26 nights

13 February to 12 March 2023

From AUD 57,261 per person

Find more about the expedition

About Le Commandant Charcot

With an eco-design at the cutting edge of technology, Le Commandant Charcot is undoubtedly the most advanced and innovative vessel in the PONANT fleet. The ship’s ground-breaking Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) hybrid-electric propulsion system is an integral part of the company’s commitment to sustainable tourism. Every attention to detail has been paid in terms of safety, comfort, and respect for the environment to enable this PC2 Polar Class ship to sail and explore the far reaches of extreme lands in the Arctic and Antarctic. A certified ‘Clean Ship’ by Bureau Veritas, Le Commandant Charcot is equipped with the latest green technologies, including having the capacity to sort all waste and treat wastewater on board.  With 123 staterooms, the innovative polar ship can accommodate up to 245 guests and is equipped with research facilities available to the scientific community as a platform for observation, research, and analysis of polar ecosystems.

About Ponant

Created in 1988, by officers of the French Merchant Navy, PONANT has created a new style of cruising, under the French flag, through a unique conception of sea travel blending a pioneering spirit, French-inspired hospitality, and a commitment to promoting sustainable and responsible tourism. Accessing exceptional territories aboard small-capacity luxury expedition ships featuring refined design, on which the art of living and excellent cuisine takes pride of place: such is the promise of a unique and authentic voyage with PONANT, the world leader of luxury expeditions. 

For more information visit

Read More

Scroll To Top