Prestige Stateroom Deck 6
30% Ponant Bonus
The theatre of the greatest expeditions, a refuge for the rarest wildlife and an endless ice desert, the Weddell Sea promises you intense emotions during a voyage of exploration aboard Le Commandant Charcot, an enveloping cocoon that is widely open onto the exterior polar setting. This place is home to emperor penguins, these majestic birds endemic to the Antarctic, rarely observed and only in the most southern latitudes. The ultimate quest and the promise of all-new, unforgettable encounters.
From Drake Passage, as the wind blows and the waves crash against the stem of your ship, you will enter the southern seas, to the extreme and captivating Weddell Sea. Ice floe as far as the eye can see and gigantic tabular icebergs form the horizon of the colonies of Adelie penguins that populate this expanse. Contemplating these curious and quirky birds is a real privilege and the guarantee of an equally fascinating and touching show. Yet the ultimate challenge of this exploration is the search for and the encounter with their majesties, the emperor penguins. In this season, as the winter gradually makes way for the southern spring, you will perhaps witness a magical show, that of the largest penguins in the world waddling along the ice floe or the younger penguins learning to swim. It is rare to discover their elegance, so the encounter will be priceless.
During your exploration of the Weddell Sea, you will follow in the footsteps of the great polar epics like that of Sir Ernest Shackleton. Our passionate naturalists will also share the history of the gigantic tabular icebergs with you, including their birth in the heart of the immense Larsen Ice Shelf. The ice here boasts all possible shades and the white takes different forms in the surrounding reliefs. Let yourself be guided and set off on an adventure into the heart of incredible and unexpected nature. Your Captain and the expert naturalists humbly seize these moments to give you an experience that will remain unique.
It is a challenge and a privilege to sail upon the Weddell Sea; welcome to an extraordinary universe with compelling appeal.
We are privileged guests in these extreme lands where we are at the mercy of weather and ice conditions. Our navigation will be determined by the type of ice we come across; as the fast ice must be preserved, we will take this factor into account from day to day in our itineraries. The sailing schedule and any landings, activities and wildlife encounters are subject to weather and ice conditions. These experiences are unique and vary with each departure. The Captain and the Expedition Leader will make every effort to ensure that your experience is as rich as possible, while respecting safety instructions and regulations imposed by the IAATO.
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*Price is per person, based on double occupancy, based on availability, and subject to change at any time. The category of stateroom to which this price applies may no longer be available.
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Important trip details
IMPORTANT Chile mobility pass:
An important procedure conditions your departure: in order to be able to arrive on Chilean territory, a mobility pass is required. The delay to obtain it can take 30 days, we kindly ask you to make your request as soon as possible. To do this, you must validate your vaccination schedule on the site https://mevacuno.gob.cl/ in order to obtain this mobility pass (up to 30 days from your request).
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.
Activities: please note that for polar plunge and ice floating, an EKG (electrocardiogram) by your general practitioner in addition to the PONANT medical questionnaire will be required.
Also, for persons under 18 wishing to take part in these activities as well as kayaking, a sworn statement from the parents or legal guardians that they are able to swim will be asked. A parent or legal guardian must be present at the time of the activity.
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.
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.
Ideal clothes for life on board:
During the days spent on board, you are advised to wear comfortable clothes or casual outfits. The entire ship is air-conditioned, so a light sweater, a light jacket or a shawl may be necessary. When moving about in the public areas of the ship and the decks, light but comfortable shoes are recommended.
In the evening, you are advised to wear smart-casual attire, especially when dining in our restaurants where wearing shorts and tee-shirts is not allowed.
Depending on the itinerary and the program of your cruise, an Officer’s Evening with a white dress code may be organized. Therefore, we encourage you to bring a stylish white outfit for the occasion (otherwise black and white).
During the cruise, two gala evenings will be organised on board. Thus, we recommend that you bring one or two formal outfits.
A small shop is available on board offering a wide range of outfits, jewellery, leather goods and many accessories.
A laundry service (washing/ironing) is available on board, but unfortunately there are no dry cleaning services. For safety reasons, your cabin is not equipped with an iron.
INSULATED BASE LAYER:
WATERPROOF OUTER LAYER:
OUTFITS ON BOARD:
Polar water activities
Experience the unrivalled sensations of immersion in cold water. Whether you take a polar plunge in a swimsuit or a dip in a dry-suit* that allows you to float, you will enjoy a unique experience in an exceptional setting, surrounded by ice. Feel intense thrills and enjoy the energy boost you get as your body warms back up after the swim!
*with limited places available
Kayaking - Le Commandant Charcot
Glide on the clear waters or between the ice floes and get as close as possible to the immaculate nature of the poles. Supervised by licenced expert guides, you will try your hand in a kayak, a boat that has been favoured by the Inuits for at least 4,000 years. The kayak was initially used for hunting and fishing; for you, it will be a means of making the very most of your adventure on the White Continent or in the Far North.*
*with limited places available
Le Commandant Charcot is fitted with the most modern oceanographic equipment and all the facilities necessary to accompany a scientific team in its research. Guided by naturalists trained in participatory science, you will thus have the opportunity to make a direct contribution to the global scientific effort. Assist research by taking part in a turbidity study using a Secchi disk, counting wildlife, studying the state of the pack ice or taking water samples: thanks to simple protocols, you’ll be able to discover part of the scientific adventure in the polar regions and contribute to improving the knowledge of biodiversity, marine mammals or glaciology and better understand Climate/Ecosystem/Man interactions.
Outings and shore visits in zodiac inflatables
Aboard Le Commandant Charcot, a fleet of 14 zodiacs expedition dinghies will be used for outings and shore visits throughout the cruise. Getting closer to a glacier calving huge icebergs, setting foot on a sheet of ice floe, observing the fauna up close: so many unforgettable moments that very few people will ever have the chance of experiencing in these regions that are hostile to man and home to unique wildlife.
Hiking or snowshoeing
During each shore landing, depending on the ecological resilience of the biome encountered, we will propose hikes at different levels, in the company of your experienced naturalist guides: from a simple stroll along the coast to walks lasting several hours to reach particular viewpoints or historical sites. When the itineraries allow it, you’ll put on snowshoes* to set off, like the explorers of old, to discover areas that have barely known Man.
*with limited places available
*Subject to the regulations in force.
Embarkation 03/11/2023 from 16:00 to 17:00
Departure 03/11/2023 at 18:00
Capital of the Magallanes Region and of the Chilean Antarctic, this handsome port city will charm you with its history and traditions. Once inhabited by several indigenous tribes, Punta Arenas has maintained an architectural style that remains true to its heritage.
Use your days spent in the Drake Passage to familiarise yourself with your ship and deepen your knowledge of the Antarctic. The Expedition Leader will first present the IAATO rules of conduct that must be observed during landings in the region and will explain everything you need to know about the zodiac outings. Lectures about the history and wildlife of the Antarctic will be an opportunity for you to learn more about this magical region, where every cruise is a unique experience. From the ship’s bridge, you will experience exceptional sailing moments before joining the naturalist-guides on your ship’s exterior decks to look out for albatrosses, cape petrels, and other seabirds flying over the Drake Passage.
Impassable, extreme and captivating: this is the best way to describe the Weddell Sea, much of which is covered by a layer of thick, densely packed ice. It is a challenge and a privilege to sail upon this sea. Polar exploration finds its full meaning here. Heading towards the South is a real quest, with the promise of highly-charged encounters with the continent’s endemic fauna. This is the kingdom of the emperor penguin, the largest penguin in the world, renowned for its elegance. Unlike other penguins that live on the rocks, the emperor nests on the ice floe which it needs for its reproductive cycle. It is therefore on the ice floe that you will be able to observe it walking around with its characteristic gait. In this southern sea, where the ice changes and is transformed constantly, there is never any monotony. The new reliefs and new colours ensure never-ending wonderment. You will sail into the heart of the immaculate ice floe, which is dislocated or densely packed, into an alley of icebergs. Among them are immense blocks of ice, tabular icebergs, that drift and illuminate the ocean with their cerulean blue haloes. Aboard, on shore, on the ice, you will be as close as possible to the colonies of Adelie penguins, Weddell seals, Mink whales, orcas, snow petrels.… With a little luck, you will get a glimpse of a rare Ross seal with its silver pelage or of emperor penguins, waddling along the edge of the ice floe. A sight that is as fascinating as it is emotional.
Throughout your time in the north of the Antarctic Peninsula, you will find yourself in the heart of a spectacular decor in subtle shades of blue and white, surrounded by exceptional wildlife. You will sail through the Antarctic Sound, named after Swedish explorer Otto Nordenskjöld’s ship, which was trapped by the ice during an important scientific expedition in 1902. The gateway to the Weddell Sea, this sound is filled with gigantic tabular icebergs and plates of sea ice drifting northward from the coastal areas of this vast sea. It is home to Adelie penguins and a great many leopard seals.
If there is one place, one sea, one waterway dreaded by tourists, researchers and hardened seafarers alike, it is undoubtedly Drake Passage. Situated at the latitude of the infamous Furious Fifties winds, between Cape Horn and the South Shetland Islands, it is the shortest route to connect Antarctica to South America. Seasoned navigators will tell you that you must earn your visit to the White Continent! As the Antarctic convergence zone where cold currents rising up from the South Pole meet warmer equatorial water masses, Drake Passage harbours a very diverse marine fauna. Don't forget to look to the sky to catch a glimpse of elegant albatross and Cape petrels, playfully floating about in the wind around your ship.
Arrival 17/11/2023 early morning
Disembarkation 17/11/2023 at 08:00
Capital of Argentina's Tierra del Fuego province, Ushuaia is considered the gateway to the White Continent and the South Pole. Nicknamed “El fin del mundo” by the Argentinian people, this city at the end of the world nestles in the shelter of mountains surrounded by fertile plains that the wildlife seem to have chosen as the ultimate sanctuary. With its exceptional site, where the Andes plunge straight into the sea, Ushuaia is one of the most fascinating places on earth, its very name evocative of journeys to the unlikely and the inaccessible…
For your serenity, PONANT has organised the following included programme for you, which starts the day prior to embarkation.
The day before embarkation – Santiago
Transfer from airport to PONANT selected hotel.
In order to organise your transfer, please inform your travel agent 60 days before departure, your flight number as well as your arrival time and day.
Meet and greet at the hotel by our local representative. Check-in from late morning.
Lunch on your own and time at leisure in the afternoon.
Overnight at the hotel.
Embarkation Day – Santiago/Punta Arenas
A light morning breakfast will be served before leaving for the airport for your Santiago/Punta Arenas flight.
Transfer to the airport.
Flight Santiago/Punta Arenas selected by PONANT in economy class.
Seats in business class may be available, please contact your travel agent.
Approximate flight duration: 3 hours
Meet and greet at Punta Arenas airport (English-speaking assistance).
Transfer to Le Commandant-Charcot.
– Cruise on board your ship –
Disembarkation Day – Ushuaia/Santiago
Meet and greet at the port (English-speaking assistance).
Transfer to the airport in time for check-in of the flight Ushuaia/Santiago selected by PONANT in economy class.
Approximate flight duration: 3 hours
Seats in business class may be available, please contact your travel agent.
It is highly recommended to have an international inbound flight the day after PONANT selected flight.
Your programme includes:
Your programme does not include:
Programme is subject to change.
To know your PONANT flight schedule, please contact your travel agent; it is also indicated on your electronic ticket included in your travel documents.
Realise your dream of adventure in the polar regions ! From your ship’s deck, aboard a Zodiac® inflatable or from land, discover the icy vastness and the fauna of Antarctica (humpback whales, seals, penguins and more) or the Arctic's fjords, glaciers and icebergs in shifting colours, not to mention the polar bears, the variety of wildlife and the special moments shared with the locals. Our team of naturalist guides share their knowledge with you during varied lectures about the fauna, the flora, the history of great explorations, geology and climatology. Thanks to its conscientiousness and to the responsible approach that is its hallmark, PONANT has been a leader and expert in cruises to these destinations for more than 20 years.