(PRESS RELEASE)_Le Commandant Charcot is the world’s only luxury icebreaker and the only passenger ship to take travelers to the Geographic North Pole, the most northern point of the Earth’s axis of rotation. With eight departures for the summer 2022 and 2023 Arctic season beginning at $35,960 per person, PONANT’s North Pole sailings will take tourists to the farthest corners of the region, where floating pack ice, polar bear sightings, naturalist-led excursions, and scientific collaboration are part of the itinerary.
The 16-day exploration begins in Longyearbyen, the capital of the Norwegian Svalbard archipelago, where winter temperatures drop below 40-degrees Fahrenheit and the glaciers and mountains stretch as far as the eye can see. From there, travelers will sail along the icy coast of Spitsbergen, the last stretch of land before the Arctic ice floe, characterized by rugged mountains and hollowed-out fjords. After four days of carving through the ice floe, where the landscapes are constantly changing, guests will arrive at the Geographic North Pole, a mythical site few people have ever reached.
Off-ship excursions range from outings in Zodiacs, kayaks, snowshoes, or by foot. There will also be opportunities to practice ice fishing and go ice floating. Guests will be outfitted with a special suit, designed to keep the body warm and clothes dry while buoyant on the fresh Arctic waters. Plus, chances to participate in citizen science experiments, like setting up a research station on an ice floe and deploying an Argos transmitter, a satellite-based system that collects and disseminates environmental data.
While the landscapes in the Geographic North Pole are frost-bitten and extreme, the accommodations aboard Le Commandant Charcot are inviting and luxurious. The ship is designed to feel more like a yacht versus a traditional cruise ship, with 123 staterooms and suites, chef-crafted meals designed by Alain Ducasse, a wellness area in partnership with Biologique Recherche, and extras like Veuve Clicquot Champagne, Kristal caviar, and Bordier butter.
But what sets the ship apart are her environmental credentials. PONANT has been a leader in responsible tourism for more than 30 years, and Le Commandant Charcot is among the most environmentally-friendly ships in the sea, powered exclusively by battery and LNG (liquified natural gas), which is the cleanest fuel on the market. When in battery mode, the ship can sail for up to eight hours at a time without producing any emissions and with very low noise levels, so as to not disrupt aquatic life.
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