Le commandant Charcot

    Le commandant Charcot

    Le commandant Charcot

    Pioneer of the Poles

    Travel to the North Pole. Cross the Arctic Ocean. Explore the far northeast of Greenland... PONANT is designing tomorrow’s voyages with Le Commandant Charcot, the world’s first electric hybrid polar exploration ship powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG). Beginning in 2021, this newest member of the PONANT fleet will offer guests the chance to follow in the wake of the great polar explorers in sophisticated surroundings enhanced with luxury amenities never before seen at the very top or bottom of the globe.

    Discover Le Commandant-Charcot, the only polar exploration vessel in the world.


    Enjoy a unique cruise experience in the Arctic and Antarctica!


    At the rear of the ship on decks 6 and 7, discover four stunning 80m2 Duplex Suites, with private terrace and spa.


    On deck 8, find the luxurious 125m2 Suite de l’Armateur, complete with a private 122m2 terrace and spa.


    From the Blue Lagoon on deck 9, enjoy an incredible view over the sea ice!

    Non-contractual photo © PONANT- Wilmotte et Associés Architectes

    The Blue Lagoon : a heated outdoor swimming pool and a giant fire pit.

    Non-contractual photo © PONANT- Wilmotte et Associés Architectes

    The lobby, designed as a spectacular indoor atrium extends skyward, reaching the height of all the decks.

    Non-contractual photo © PONANT- Wilmotte et Associés Architectes

    A contemporary approach to design with particular care taken to the management of light.

    Non-contractual photo © PONANT- Wilmotte et Associés Architectes

    The panoramic gastronomic restaurant where you can enjoy delicious refined cuisine in the heart of the polar landscape.

    Non-contractual photo © PONANT-Cabinet Nuel

    The Captain's table; in the background, our cellar of fine wines.s

    Non-contractual photo © PONANT-Cabinet Nuel

    Le Lido, the restaurant-grill located on deck 9.

    Non-contractual photo © PONANT-Cabinet Nuel

    Le Grand Salon. Stone, wood and leather combine to form a welcoming and intimate ambiance.

    Non-contractual photo © PONANT-Cabinet Nuel

    The Observatory Lounge at the front of deck 9, where you can enjoy the view of the icy world around the ship from the comfort of one of the welcoming sofas.

    Non-contractual photo © PONANT- Wilmotte et Associés Architectes

    Also in the Observatory Lounge at the front of deck 9, a little piano music to enhance your relaxation experience...

    Non-contractual photo © PONANT- Wilmotte et Associés Architectes

    The Theatre on deck 5, for expedition team briefings and conferences, but also a true performance space for concerts and shows...

    Non-contractual photo © PONANT-Cabinet Nuel

    The indoor pool on deck 9; extended by a winter garden and bathed in the polar daylight from a huge glass roof.

    Non-contractual photo © PONANT- Wilmotte et Associés Architectes

    The Health and Well-Being space: pampering overlooking the icy vastness...

    Non-contractual photo © PONANT- Wilmotte et Associés Architectes

    A beauty treatment cabin, always with extensive view of the icy world outside...

    Non-contractual photo © PONANT- Wilmotte et Associés Architectes

    The gym, equipped with state-of-the-art fitness equipment.

    Non-contractual photo © PONANT- Wilmotte et Associés Architectes

    All our cabins offer a harmonious brown and glacier blue colour scheme with stylishly luxurious fittings, where every detail of the interior design is created for your comfort and pleasure.

    Non-contractual photo © PONANT-Cabinet Nuel

    Le commandant Charcot

    Pioneer of the Poles

    A doctor by convention, an explorer by vocation and a man with a love for sailing, Jean-Baptiste Charcot was also a key player in early French polar expeditions. By naming its forthcoming polar exploration vessel after him, PONANT is paying tribute to this “gentleman of the poles”, a man respected by all.

    1. Born in Neuilly-sur-Seine, Paris.

    2. Construction of three ships, the Pourquoi Pas ? I, Pourquoi Pas ? II and Pourquoi Pas ? III.

    3. Charcot crosses into the Arctic Circle
      and visits the Arctic region for the first time.

    4. Sailing first aboard the Français then the Pourquoi Pas ?, Charcot reaches Ushuaia then continues on to the Antarctic Territories. Notably, he discovers the island that would henceforth carry his name.

    5. He undertakes a succession of voyages to destinations ranging from the Hebrides to the East Coast of Greenland.

    Jean-Baptiste Charcot first developed a passion for travel in his adolescence. During this period of his life, he would accompany his father, the famous French neurologist Jean Martin Charcot, on voyages to Wales, the Shetland Islands, Holland, Spain and even Morocco.

    From 1902 onwards, he conducted several expeditions to both the Arctic and the Antarctic. His taste for adventure and discovery enabled France to begin undertaking major Polar expeditions once again. The last dated back to 1840 and the discovery of Adélie Land by Jules Dumont d'Urville.

    It was the beginning of a series of expeditions that would prove richly beneficial in terms of research. Jean-Baptiste Charcot returned from each of his missions with maps and sea charts of extensive kilometres of coastline, dozens of cases filled with notes, and both oceanographic samples and zoological/botanical collections, which are still on display today at the Oceanographic Institute in Monaco.

    On the 15 September 1936, after having repaired his ship, which had suffered damage when sailing between Greenland and Iceland, Jean-Baptiste Charcot prepared to set out to sea once again. He wrote a telegram: "Storm at 2 am; now calm and flat; we are preparing to set off during the morning after receiving the weather forecast… We are going to depart. What will this crossing be like? " These are the last words of the man now remembered as an outstanding navigator, a seasoned explorer, a doctor and a double Olympic medal winner. A true pioneer.

    A design with sustainable development at its core

    Thanks to preliminary exploration, environmental impact studies and protocols developed by PONANT, Le Commandant Charcot’s itineraries are carefully chosen to be entirely safe for, and respectful of, the environment.
    Above and beyond offering its passengers the adventure of a lifetime, PONANT's aim is to raise their awareness of the vulnerability of the Polar environments and turn them into advocates and ambassadors for these regions.

    "Clean Ship" equipment
    Exclusive itineraries
    The perpetually moving ice field

    This PONANT polar exploration ship will be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) and equipped with the latest in environmental protection technology.


    reduction in

    nitrogen oxide emissions


    reduction in

    fine particle

    Powered by liquified natural Gas (LNG)

    Energy Optimisation System

    Latest generation electric batteries to reduce energy consumption

    Advanced Waste Water Treatment system

    Waste Heat Recovery System

    The Icebreaker features perfected “Clean Ship” fittings that go beyond the current industry-standard environmental regulations:

    • Reduction of SOx, NOx, CO2 and particle emissions thanks to the use of LNG
    • Zero emissions when in electric hybrid mode

    Energy management

    • Energy Management optimisation system that precisely measures consumptions and efficiency of ship sailing methods
    • Waste Heat Recovery System
    • Electric output optimized and consumption reduced through the use of latest generation electric batteries

    Water treatment

    • Advanced Waste Water Treatment system

    Exclusive itineraries

    Itineraries to places inaccessible until now

    With Le Commandant Charcot in its fleet, PONANT will be the world’s only luxury cruise company to offer trips on waters that only polar exploration vessels can navigate.

    “We are working on a new voyage concept for this extraordinary exploration tool. The hybrid polar exploration ship will enable us to explore unchartered territory which has been inaccessible until now. I have already planned winter cruises through the ice field to Nunavut and Greenland, where guests can see Inuit camps for themselves. Our passengers will be able to go onto the ice and immerse themselves in the lives of these hunters. They will also be able to rub shoulders with Emperor penguins living on the Antarctic sea ice. Finally, the North Pole will no longer be merely an unreachable dream. PONANT will soon be operating the first passenger ship able to reach this iconic location.”

    Nicolas Dubreuil,
    Director of Expedition Cruises
    and Director of Sustainable Development at PONANT

    The perpetually moving ice field

    Rather than an homogeneous mass, sea ice is a perpetually moving entity which grows, shrinks, fractures, contracts, folds, breaks and deforms in certain places to re-establish itself in others.
    Despite appearances, icebreaker ships do not affect this constant movement. When sailing an icebreaker, it is important to aim for those areas of ice which are easiest to break up. Therefore, most icebreaker navigation involves travelling through ice leads (fractures) which are naturally open
    The broken ice then knits itself back together when the ship has passed through, in a process that can take between 15 minutes and a day depending on the weather conditions.

    We have learnt to navigate alongside nature, rather than to fight it.

    PONANT has developed a high-technology ship which even has its own ice routing software so we can visit places where others do not go. The latest and most reliable ice and weather information is used to forecast ice behaviour over a five-day period.
    Le Commandant Charcotand its itineraries have been designed to minimise impact as much as possible and maximise learning by making the ship a mobile research observatory.

    An oasis of luxury amid the ice

    PONANT has joined forces with global ice navigation technology specialist Aker Arctic to develop new and cutting-edge innovations. One result of this collaboration is the PONANT hybrid polar exploration ship’s PC2 Polar Class hull.

    Thanks to the Double Action Principle (Aker Arctic DASTM), Le Commandant Charcot will be able to navigate forwards through compact ice and in reverse through extreme ice conditions.

    Cabins and suites with balcony
    (Including 68 suites with patio doors and a private balcony)
    Length 150 m
    Width 28 m
    Draught 10 m
    Propulsion LNG & Hybrid Electric
    Classification Bureau Veritas
    Flag French
    Crew members 187
    Panoramic restaurants 1
    Grill restaurant 1
    Spa & Wellness 1
    Onboard expedition Zodiac dinghies 16
    Shipyard VARD
    Delivery 2021

    How to live the experience of the poles with Le Commandant Charcot ?

    PONANT pre-booking system

    Pre-book * your trip aboard Le Commandant Charcot today by contacting our cruise advisers on 1-888-400-1082.

    Given the high degree of interest in many of our trips, PONANT has put in place a pre-booking system which establishes an order of priority for processing bookings once sales begin. The pre-booking system allows you to you to request a type of stateroom for a given trip prior to the beginning of ticket sales. One week before tickets are officially released, you will receive your detailed itinerary and the final price of your trip (additional services will also be offered: flights, transfers, pre-stays, post-stays). You will then have a period of 5 days to confirm your trip and turn your pre-booking into a confirmed booking. PONANT guarantees that the confirmed booking will be at the best available rate.

    Any pre-booking request for Le Commandant Charcot requires a deposit of €250 (including taxes) per passenger or per group booking. When the trip is confirmed, this deposit will be deducted from the total price. If the trip is not confirmed by the time tickets are officially released, with a simple request requiring no justification on your part, this amount will be reimbursed in full or transferred as credit to another PONANT trip of your choice.

    Learn more about the PONANT spirit in our brochures.



    The payment of the pre-booking deposit ensures the order of booking priority for a trip. It cannot guarantee a specific stateroom, only the date of the pre-booking in order to establish an order of priority. The staterooms are limited by type and by trip. When a category of stateroom on a given trip is no longer available, customers who were unable to receive their stateroom of choice will be offered a superior stateroom, depending on availability and order of booking priority. The rates shown are for information only and are based on a Prestige Deck 6 stateroom. They are subject to change and are not binding.

    The estimated rates shown are per person, based on double occupancy and include only the price of the cruise and taxes. The detail of the route and the final price will be announced one week prior to the ticket release date. Only these final rates will have contractual value. The indicated trips are not final and are subject to change when tickets are released. The pre-booking deposit is entirely separate from the cruise and is non-commissionable for travel agents.

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