The Northwest Passage

25 days / 24 nights
    Expedition
    The Northwest Passage

    Cruise The Arctic, Alaska

    from 7 September 2021 to 1 October 2021
    25 days / 24 nights

    Departure Port : Reykjavík
    Arrival Port : Nome, Alaska

    Ship : LE COMMANDANT CHARCOT

    • Ref : O070921

    For the very first time, PONANT invites you to discover the most emblematic but also the remotest sites of the mythical North-West Passage.

    Aboard the Commandant Charcot, the first hybrid electric polar exploration ship, relive the polar adventures of previous generations of explorers at the heart of this vast labyrinth of icy channels, exploring the three main routes that allow the North-West Passage to be crossed.

    Leaving from Reykjavik, you will sail along the south coast of Greenland, before reaching the Hudson Strait, named after the English sailor Henry Hudson, who mapped it for the first time in the early 17th Century.

    Then you will chart a course towards the Fury and Hecla Strait, named after the ships of the explorer William Parry. Constantly covered in ice, this seawater channel, some 1900 metres wide at its narrowest point, represents an impassable obstacle for most ships. When you enter the passage, you will have the privilege of visiting Igloolik, an Inuit village that was only discovered in 1822.

    A little further on, the Bellot Strait will offer you a unique sailing experience, in the midst of countless icebergs. You will then sail along Banks Island, famous for the wreck of HMS Investigator lying off shore – the ship was tasked to search for Sir John Franklin’s lost expedition, but also for its national park, which is home to extremely rich fauna.

     

    We are privileged guests in these extreme lands where we are at the mercy of weather and ice conditions. The itinerary, landings on certain sites and the observation of certain wildlife cannot be guaranteed. They vary from day to day, making each PONANT cruise a unique experience. The Captain and the Expedition Leader will make every effort to ensure that your experience is as rich as possible, while complying with the safety rules and instructions imposed by the AECO. 

    • Free parka Free parka
    • Naturalists Naturalists
    • Free boot rental Free boot rental
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    Highlights

    • Crossing the Northwest Passage to discover the most remote places and most emblematic waterways of this legendary maritime zone, accessible only thanks to Le Commandant-Charcot.
    • Outings and shore visits in Zodiac® dinghies with the naturalists.
    • Visit of a traditional Inuit village at the entrance to the Fury and Hecla Strait.
    • Discovery of the Aulavik National Park, renowned for the largest concentration of musk oxen in the world.
    • Landscapes: vast expanses of ice floe, myriads of “jagged” islands, blue-toned glaciers, mountain chains, expanses of tundra, vertiginous walls.
    • Fauna: Arctic foxes, sea birds, narwhals, belugas, walruses and the possibility of seeing polar bears.

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    Staterooms & Suites

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    Prestige Stateroom Deck 7

    • Area : 20 m²
    • Capacity : up to 2 guests per stateroom
    • 5 m² private balcony
    • Shower
    • Individually-controlled airconditioning
    • Stateroom layout: king-size bed or twin beds - communicating staterooms available
    • Minibar - 24hr room service
    • Flat screen satellite TV
    • Video on demand
    • IPod™ docks
    • Safe
    • French bath products
    • Dressing table with hairdryer
    • Direct line telephone
    • 110V American (two flat pins)/220V European (round sockets with two round pins)
    • Internet access Wifi.
    Price Ponant Bonus
    Book now and get the guaranteed best price. 20%off the public rates, per person,  based on  double occupancy.   
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    Prestige Stateroom Deck 8

    • Area : 20 m²
    • Capacity : up to 2 guests per stateroom
    • 5 m² private balcony
    • Shower
    • Individually-controlled airconditioning
    • Stateroom layout: king-size bed or twin beds - communicating staterooms available
    • Minibar - 24hr room service
    • Flat screen satellite TV
    • Video on demand
    • IPod™ docks
    • Safe
    • French bath products
    • Dressing table with hairdryer
    • Direct line telephone
    • 110V American (two flat pins)/220V European (round sockets with two round pins)
    • Internet access Wifi.
    Price Ponant Bonus
    Book now and get the guaranteed best price. 20%off the public rates, per person,  based on  double occupancy.   
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    Privilege Stateroom Deck 6

    • Area : 28 m²
    • Capacity : up to 3 guests per stateroom
    • 5 m² private balcony
    • Shower
    • Individually-controlled airconditioning
    • Stateroom layout: king-size bed or twin beds - communicating staterooms available
    • Minibar - 24hr room service
    • Flat screen satellite TV
    • Video on demand
    • IPod™ docks
    • Safe
    • French bath products
    • Dressing table with hairdryer
    • Direct line telephone
    • 110V American (two flat pins)/220V European (round sockets with two round pins)
    • Internet access Wifi.
    Price Ponant Bonus
    Book now and get the guaranteed best price. 20%off the public rates, per person,  based on  double occupancy.   
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    Privilege Stateroom Deck 7

    • Area : 28 m²
    • Capacity : up to 3 guests per stateroom
    • 5 m² private balcony
    • Shower
    • Individually-controlled airconditioning
    • Stateroom layout: king-size bed or twin beds - communicating staterooms available
    • Minibar - 24hr room service
    • Flat screen satellite TV
    • Video on demand
    • IPod™ docks
    • Safe
    • French bath products
    • Dressing table with hairdryer
    • Direct line telephone
    • 110V American (two flat pins)/220V European (round sockets with two round pins)
    • Internet access Wifi.
    Price Ponant Bonus
    Book now and get the guaranteed best price. 20%off the public rates, per person,  based on  double occupancy.   
    2593246.jpg

    Privilege Stateroom Deck 8

    • Area : 28 m²
    • Capacity : up to 3 guests per stateroom
    • 5 m² private balcony
    • Shower
    • Individually-controlled airconditioning
    • Stateroom layout: king-size bed or twin beds - communicating staterooms available
    • Minibar - 24hr room service
    • Flat screen satellite TV
    • Video on demand
    • IPod™ docks
    • Safe
    • French bath products
    • Dressing table with hairdryer
    • Direct line telephone
    • 110V American (two flat pins)/220V European (round sockets with two round pins)
    • Internet access Wifi.
    Price Ponant Bonus
    Book now and get the guaranteed best price. 20%off the public rates, per person,  based on  double occupancy.   
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    Privilege Suite Deck 8

    • Area : 48 m²
    • Capacity : up to 4 guests per stateroom
    • 12.5 m² private balcony
    • Shower & Balneo bathtub
    • Butler service
    • Individually-controlled airconditioning
    • Stateroom layout: king-size bed or twin beds - communicating staterooms available
    • Minibar - 24hr room service
    • Flat screen satellite TV
    • Video on demand
    • IPod™ docks
    • Safe
    • French bath products
    • Dressing table with hairdryer
    • Direct line telephone
    • 110V American (two flat pins)/220V European (round sockets with two round pins)
    • Internet access Wifi.
    Price Ponant Bonus
    Book now and get the guaranteed best price. 20%off the public rates, per person,  based on  double occupancy.   
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    Privilege Suite Deck 6

    • Area : 48 m²
    • Capacity : up to 4 guests per stateroom
    • 12.5 m² private balcony
    • Shower & Balneo bathtub
    • Butler service
    • Individually-controlled airconditioning
    • Stateroom layout: king-size bed or twin beds - communicating staterooms available
    • Minibar - 24hr room service
    • Flat screen satellite TV
    • Video on demand
    • IPod™ docks
    • Safe
    • French bath products
    • Dressing table with hairdryer
    • Direct line telephone
    • 110V American (two flat pins)/220V European (round sockets with two round pins)
    • Internet access Wifi.
    Price Ponant Bonus
    Book now and get the guaranteed best price. 20%off the public rates, per person,  based on  double occupancy.   
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    Suite Duplex

    • Area : 48 m²
    • Capacity : up to 4 guests per stateroom
    • 26 m² private balcony with jacuzzi
    • Shower & Balneo bathtub
    • Butler service
    • Individually-controlled airconditioning
    • Stateroom layout: king-size bed or twin beds - communicating staterooms available
    • Minibar - 24hr room service
    • Flat screen satellite TV
    • Video on demand
    • IPod™ docks
    • Safe
    • French bath products
    • Dressing table with hairdryer
    • Direct line telephone
    • 110V American (two flat pins)/220V European (round sockets with two round pins)
    • Internet access Wifi.
    Price Ponant Bonus
    Book now and get the guaranteed best price. 20%off the public rates, per person,  based on  double occupancy.   

    LE COMMANDANT CHARCOT

    • LE COMMANDANT CHARCOT
    • LE COMMANDANT CHARCOT
    • LE COMMANDANT CHARCOT
    • LE COMMANDANT CHARCOT
    • LE COMMANDANT CHARCOT
    • LE COMMANDANT CHARCOT
    • LE COMMANDANT CHARCOT
    • LE COMMANDANT CHARCOT
    • LE COMMANDANT CHARCOT
    • LE COMMANDANT CHARCOT
    • LE COMMANDANT CHARCOT
    • LE COMMANDANT CHARCOT
    • LE COMMANDANT CHARCOT
    • LE COMMANDANT CHARCOT
    • LE COMMANDANT CHARCOT
    • LE COMMANDANT CHARCOT

    LE COMMANDANT CHARCOT

    Be the first aboard Le Commandant-Charcot, the world's luxury polar exploration vessel, and enjoy a unique sailing experience in the Arctic or Antarctic!

    With its hybrid propulsion combining liquefied natural gas (LNG) and electric generators, Le Commandant-Charcot has been designed to minimise the environmental impact of travel to the furthest latitudes. 

    The decoration of the ship, imagined by two internationally renowned design and architecture firms - the studio of Jean-Philippe Nuel and Wilmotte & Associés - is designed to be in harmony with the environment. The approach is contemporary with the desire to create a warm and elegant setting; stone, wood and leather recall the natural environment in which the ship is sailing.

    Equipped with just 135 staterooms including 31 suites with balconies and outside views, Le Commandant-Charcot welcomes you in an intimate and refined atmosphere. Outstanding gastronomy in the two restaurants, relaxation in the indoor pool surrounded by its winter garden, relaxation in the well-being area with sauna and Snow Room... Like on a private yacht, each of our guests is unique.

    Port of call & excursions

    7 September 2021 – At sea

    Reykjavík

    Embarkation 07/09/2021 from 16H00 to 17H00 . Departure 07/09/2021 at 18H00 .

    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.

    8 September 2021 – At sea

    8 September 2021 – At sea

    Arrival 08/09/2021. Departure 08/09/2021.

    During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

    9 September 2021▸10 September 2021 – Southern coast of Greenland

    9 September 2021▸10 September 2021 – Southern coast of Greenland

    Arrival 09/09/2021. Departure 10/09/2021.

    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 Prinz Christian Sund. This sumptuous natural canal, surrounded by craggy mountains and impressive glaciers will offer you stunning landscapes. During your journey, you will also get a glimpse of the spectacular cliffs of Akpatok, a mysterious and uninhabited island where it is not uncommon in the summertime to encounter bears, drawn by the impressive colony of thick-billed murres that have taken up residence there.

    11 September 2021▸12 September 2021 – At sea

    11 September 2021▸12 September 2021 – At sea

    Arrival 11/09/2021. Departure 12/09/2021.

    During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

    13 September 2021▸16 September 2021 – Hudson Strait

    13 September 2021▸16 September 2021 – Hudson Strait

    Arrival 13/09/2021. Departure 16/09/2021.

    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.

    17 September 2021▸18 September 2021 – Fury and Hecla Strait

    17 September 2021▸18 September 2021 – Fury and Hecla Strait

    Arrival 17/09/2021. Departure 18/09/2021.

    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.

    19 September 2021▸20 September 2021 – Bellot Strait

    19 September 2021▸20 September 2021 – Bellot Strait

    Arrival 19/09/2021. Departure 20/09/2021.

    A key stage in the North West Passage, the Bellot Strait, crossed by strong currents, promises you an unforgettable sailing experience. The entrance to the strait is dominated by the Ross Cairn. The buildings of Fort Ross also stand not far from here. Separating Somerset Island from the Boothia Peninsula, this 2-km-wide strait was discovered in 1852 by Captain William Kennedy of the Royal Navy, and the Frenchman Joseph-René Bellot, during an expedition in search of Sir John Franklin. Discover a magnificent décor covered in snow, fragmented by large ice floes. As you sail between them, your ship will perhaps be accompanied by a few polar bears.

    21 September 2021▸24 September 2021 – Sailing ice floes in the north of the Arctic archipelago

    21 September 2021▸24 September 2021 – Sailing ice floes in the north of the Arctic archipelago

    Arrival 21/09/2021. Departure 24/09/2021.

    At the far north of the American continent, you will sail in the most northerly part of the Arctic archipelago. Covering some 1.4 million km² and boasting more than 35,000 islands, this region offers spectacular landscapes made up of sheer reliefs and gigantic fjords. Notably characterised by the particularly impressive scale of its channels, sculpted by glacial erosion and trapped in a thick ice floe for most of the year, the region has been little mapped or explored.

    25 September 2021▸26 September 2021 – Banks Island

    25 September 2021▸26 September 2021 – Banks Island

    Arrival 25/09/2021. Departure 26/09/2021.

    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.

    27 September 2021▸30 September 2021 – Sailing ice floes in Beaufort Sea

    27 September 2021▸30 September 2021 – Sailing ice floes in Beaufort Sea

    Arrival 27/09/2021. Departure 30/09/2021.

    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.

    1 October 2021▸30 September 2021 – Nome, Alaska

    Nome, Alaska

    Disembarkation 01/10/2021 at 07H00 .

    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 ヨ people here live from their manual labour. The surrounding plains provide stunning vantage points for observing Arctic fauna.

    Formalities

    • The information below is current but subject to change at any time without advance notice from government authorities. Please consult your respective government agencies for visa and health information.

    • Passport valid for at least six (6) months beyond the completion of your trip. Passport must contain at least two completely clear, blank, unused visa pages for each visa required, not including any amendment pages. Visa pages with stains or ink from other pages in the passport are not usable. Guests who deviate from the scheduled embarkation or disembarkation port should research the foreign entry requirements for the port country. Due to government regulations, regrettably, Ponant will have to deny boarding to any guest who fails to obtain the appropriate travel documentation for this trip.

    • Warning about the use of drones: the use of drones aboard PONANT ships, whether they are sailing at sea, at a port of call or anchored, is strictly forbidden. The use of drones on land in the Arctic and Antarctic regions is also strictly forbidden by international polar regulations. In other regions, it may be possible to use drones on land if permission has been obtained from the relevant authorities of each country and each region travelled through, as well as a pilot’s licence that should be obtained from your home country. Passengers are responsible for obtaining these permits; they should be able to present them at all times. Passengers who do not obtain these authorisations expose themselves to the risk of legal proceedings.

    • USA : Depending on your nationality, an ESTA or Visa may be required. Please contact USA consulate website for details. A copy of your visa or ESTA must be sent to PONANT at the very latest 45 days prior to your cruise date. In case the ESTA is sufficient to enter the USA, we also ask you to keep a copy of your ESTA with your passport throughout the duration of your trip.

    • Canada: travel by sea - The eTA is not required for US, Australian and British citizens. Other nationalities: a Visa may be required, please contact Canada consulate website for details. http://www.canada.ca/en/index.html

    • We remind you that all our ships have a doctor on board and medical facilities. However, these cannot, under any circumstances, be compared to any medical structure on land. Given the remote areas in which we will be sailing for a number of days, safety requirements mean that we are obliged to ask each passenger signing up for this program to provide us, no more than 45 days before departure, with a medical certificate from their GP, as well as the completed medical questionnaire received during registration.

    Theme

    Polar Expedition

    Polar Expedition

    Discover the unique concept of PONANT polar expedition cruises: explore the world’s extreme regions while enjoying luxurious comfort and service.

    A luxury expedition voyage

    Choosing a PONANT expedition cruise means choosing a state of mind: the alliance of elegance and authenticity, of exploration and comfort, of adventure and refinement… The comfort of your ship and your stateroom, personalised and attentive service, refined gastronomy: a very special atmosphere that we take great care to maintain. In the heart of the ice floes of the Arctic and the Antarctic, our luxurious services will ensure that your expedition cruise is an unforgettable experience.

    PONANT, polar specialists

    With almost 20 years of experience in the extreme regions, PONANT, the world’s number 1 polar cruise company, is a real polar specialist. PONANT will take you to the most remote regions in total safety: our Captains and crew are professionals, specially trained to sail in icy waters. Our latest-generation fleet has the most modern technology to guarantee both your safety and respect for the regions visited. The size of our ships means we can get as close as possible to areas that are difficult to reach, offering a privileged access to preserved sites. Our flexibility enables us to adapt to the surprises inherent to these expedition itineraries.

    Professional expedition teams, varied activities

    After scouting missions in the field, our Expedition Leaders and their teams of naturalist guides design exceptional itineraries in the polar regions. During the cruise, they organise daily outings and shore visits in Zodiac® dinghies and hikes on land so as to get as close as possible to nature and wild fauna. In the Arctic and in Alaska, the close relationships that our teams have been able to build with the local communities will enable you to understand the life of these peoples of the Far North, and to share it for a few hours. On board, the naturalist guides will share their knowledge during various conferences on fauna, the history of the great explorations, geology and climatology…

    Important information

    Expedition programmes include activities such as Zodiac® outings and landings (sometimes with "wet landing"), moderate walks to more active hikes, all accompanied by your expedition team of naturalist guides.

    Ports of call, visited sites, outings and landings will depend on weather conditions, position of ice, winds and the state of the sea. These can force a change of plans at any time. The Captain and the Expedition Leader may at any time cancel or stop any activity, or even modify the itinerary. The final itinerary will be confirmed by the Captain, who will take into account the touristic quality of the sites and above all, the safety of the passengers. His decision will be based on advice from experts and authorities.

    Travelling to polar/isolated regions is an exhilarating experience in remote areas: please remember that you are far from modern hospitals with full medical facilities, thus evacuation is extremely expensive. Without adequate medical coverage, all expenses will have to be immediately paid with your personal funds. We urge you to subscribe to full coverage insurance, choose your insurance company very carefully, be extremely vigilant and ensure your insurance is fully comprehensive, especially if you are insured by your credit card. PONANT offers an insurance contract with extensive guarantees, please contact us for more information.

    Clothing tips:

    • A PONANT polar water-resistant parka is offered on board for all departures with the logo “Free Parka” (no children sizes, in case of consecutive cruises, only one complimentary parka).
    • Half calf rubber boots with non-slip soles, which will allow you to go ashore in 20 cm of cold water, keeping your feet dry for walks and visits on steep paths. Boot rental will be offered onboard (for adults only) on Expedition cruises where the logo “Free Boot Rental” appears. Book your boots up to 7 days prior to departure, on our dedicated website https://boutique.ponant.com/, boots section. You will find them on board after embarkation. For more information, please contact us.
    • Comfortable trousers: classic Winter trousers, warm cotton tracksuit, wool leggings
    • Waterproof and windproof over-trousers – MANDATORY
    • Winter trousers with waterproof over trousers are the ideal combination: water-resistance and comfort of trousers are essential
    • Pullover, sweat-shirt or fleece jacket
    • Woollen or thermolactyl Thermal underwear
    • A warm hat, woollen ear muffs or fleece ear muffs, fleece or woollen neck warmer (avoid scarves that do not stay in place)- MANDATORY
    • Wool or silk glove liners, water-resistant and supple gloves
    • Thick warm socks (ideally woollen)

    Accessories:

    • Small waterproof backpack (to protect your camera from water).
    • Binoculars (strongly recommended for wildlife viewing).
    • Highly protective sunglasses.
    • Walking poles (highly recommended).

    Do not hesitate to visit the online PONANT store which offers a selection of equipment and accessories adapted to our destinations, at the following address: https://boutique.ponant.com

    Benefits of the PONANT store:

    • Advice on equipment from our experts to help you prepare for your polar expedition
    • A wide range of technical equipment for polar expeditions, approved by our experts
    • Two delivery options: delivery to your home or directly to your cabin on board the ship
    • Duty Free shopping for cabin delivered items
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