The Emperor Penguins Of The Weddell Sea Icebreaker Cruise

Ushuaia - Ushuaia

Antartica Peninsula
October, November, December
12 Nights

Choose Your Cruise Date

Emperor Penguin in the Weddell Sea
No Single Supplement
Ushuaia to Ushuaia
Nov 11 - Nov 24 2025
12 Nights

Price from per person

£19,050
Emperor penguins on an Antarctica icebreaker cruise
No Single Supplement
Ushuaia to Ushuaia
Oct 29 - Nov 11 2025
12 Nights

Price from per person

£19,050
Emperor penguins on an Antarctica icebreaker cruise
No Single Supplement
Ushuaia to Ushuaia
Nov 23 - Dec 6 2025
12 Nights

Price from per person

£19,050
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Cruise Overview

Embark on a true polar exploration aboard the cutting-edge icebreaker Le Commandant Charcot and encounter the untouched sea ice of one of Antarctica's least explored regions, the Weddell Sea. This unique expedition takes you on a remarkable exploration through the frozen realms of the Weddell Sea in search of Emperor Penguins at a time when it is out of reach for any other ship.

Follow in the footsteps of legendary explorers like Ernest Shackleton, discovering a world where endless ice stretches as far as the eye can see, offering refuge to some of the planet's most extraordinary wildlife, including the noble emperor penguins. 

Aboard the luxurious Le Commandant Charcot, your journey transcends ordinary travel. You become an intrepid explorer, delving into the unknown, guided by seasoned polar experts and naturalists, ready to unveil the secrets of this frozen sanctuary.

For your ease and comfort this expedition includes return flights between Santiago in Chile and Ushuaia where you will embark the ship.

Emperoro Penguins Of The Weddell Sea Icebreaker Cruise

Cruise Highlights

Cruise Highlights

  • A unique chance to explore the virtually inaccessible Weddell Sea by icebreaker early in the season.
  • Encounter the wildlife of the frozen south, including majestic emperor penguins nestled amidst frozen seascapes.
  • Led by a team of polar explorers, guides, and naturalists, this is a one-off expedition only achievable by an icebreaker.
  • Explore extraordinary landscapes: immense glaciers, tabletop icebergs, and immersion in the heart of the ice floes.
  • Wildlife: Emperor, Adelie, chinstrap, gentoo penguins, Weddell, leopard, crabeater seals, humpback, Minke whales, and orcas can be observed.
  • You will have the chance to participate in adventurous polar activities, including kayaking, hiking or snowshoeing, and a polar plunge.

Itinerary

Itinerary

Explore the unexplored on an icebreaker cruise deep into the sea ice of the Weddell Sea

Ushuaia harbour in Argentina
Day 1

Ushuaia

Embarkation 31/10/2025 from 16:00 to 17:00

Departure 31/10/2025 at 18:00

Ushuaia, the capital of Argentina's Tierra del Fuego province, is the entry point to the icy realms of the White Continent and the South Pole. Affectionately dubbed "El fin del mundo" or "The End of the World" by locals, this city is cradled by towering mountains and expansive plains that have become a haven for diverse wildlife. Its extraordinary location, where the Andes meet the ocean, marks Ushuaia as one of the most captivating spots on the planet. The name itself whispers tales of adventures into the vast unknown, making it a beacon for explorers drawn to the edge of the world.

sunset over the Drake Passage Antarctica
Days 2 - 3

Crossing The Drake Passage

Make the most of your journey across the Drake Passage by getting acquainted with your vessel and deepening your understanding of Antarctica. Your Expedition Leader will introduce you to the essential IAATO guidelines for conducting yourself during shore visits and provide all the insights you need for your zodiac expeditions. This time also offers a chance to attend lectures on the region's history and diverse wildlife, enriching your knowledge about this enchanting part of the world, where no two voyages are the same. Onboard, savour the extraordinary sailing moments, and join the naturalist guides on the decks to watch for albatrosses, cape petrels, and other seabirds soaring above the Drake Passage.

Day 4

North Antarctic Peninsula

As you navigate the northern reaches of the Antarctic Peninsula, you'll be enveloped in a breathtaking landscape painted in soft hues of blue and white, bustling with remarkable wildlife. Your journey takes you through the Antarctic Sound, christened in honour of the ship belonging to Swedish explorer Otto Nordenskjöld, which became trapped in ice during a pivotal scientific voyage in 1902. This sound, serving as the entrance to the Weddell Sea, is dotted with immense tabular icebergs and floating sea ice that drifts north from the expansive shores of this vast body of water. It's a domain where Adelie penguins thrive, and numerous leopard seals roam, offering a glimpse into the raw beauty and survival in the Antarctic.

Emperor Penguin in the Weddell Sea
Days 5 - 10

Exploration Of The Weddell Sea

With its vast expanses of thick, tightly packed ice, the Weddell Sea embodies the essence of the untamed, extreme, and utterly mesmerizing polar wilderness. Venturing into these icy waters is both a daring challenge and a distinguished honour, epitomizing the spirit of polar exploration. As you journey southward, you're embarking on an epic quest, filled with the anticipation of thrilling encounters with the unique wildlife that calls this icy domain home. Here reigns the emperor penguin, the most majestic of its kind, celebrated for its graceful elegance. Distinct from its rock-dwelling counterparts, the emperor penguin breeds on the ice, providing a unique opportunity to observe these regal birds in their natural icy nurseries.

In this ever-changing seascape of the south, where ice constantly reshapes the horizon, the scenery never fails to astonish. As you navigate through the pristine ice floes, whether tightly packed or fragmented, you'll weave through corridors of towering icebergs. These massive ice structures, known as tabular icebergs, scatter across the sea, casting a spell with their luminescent blue glow. Close encounters await with the diverse inhabitants of this icy realm—Adelie penguins, Weddell seals, Minke whales, orcas, and snow petrels are just the beginning. With a bit of fortune, you might even glimpse the elusive Ross seal, its silver coat glistening, or witness emperor penguins parading along the ice's edge. Each sighting offers a moment of pure wonder and deep emotional connection to the raw beauty of the Antarctic.

Albatross in flight over the Drake Passage
Days 11 - 12

Crossing The Drake Passage

The Drake Passage is a notorious stretch of water, feared and respected by tourists, scientists, and seasoned sailors alike. Positioned within the tempestuous Furious Fifties winds, between Cape Horn and the South Shetland Islands, it is the most direct path linking Antarctica with South America. Experienced mariners often say that reaching the White Continent is an achievement that must be earned! This passage acts as a meeting point for the Antarctic Convergence, where the chilly currents from the South Pole blend with warmer waters from the equator, creating a hotbed for diverse marine life. Remember to cast your gaze upwards, too, where you might spot the graceful albatross or Cape petrels dancing in the wind above your vessel.

Ushuaia harbour in Argentina
Day 13

Ushuaia

After navigating the icy embrace of the Antarctic, braving the elements, and witnessing the untouched wonders of the polar world, our vessel charts its course back, docking safely in the welcoming arms of Ushuaia. This marks the end of an epic journey where the spirit of adventure brought us face-to-face with the raw beauty of the Earth's southernmost frontier, leaving us with memories that will echo through time.

Disembarkation at 07:00

Activities

Activities

Kayaking

Kayaking in Greenland PONANT

Discover the art of embracing the natural elements, where you'll seize every opportunity provided by the ever-changing weather and ice conditions to navigate the crystal-clear polar waters. Under the expert guidance of licensed professionals, you'll embark on a kayaking adventure, a craft cherished by the Inuit people for over four millennia. Initially designed for hunting and fishing, the kayak now becomes your gateway to immersing yourself in the unspoiled wonders of polar regions, whether it's the White Continent or the enchanting Far North.*

*Please note that limited spots are available for this exclusive experience.

Hiking or Snowshoeing

Nordic Ski Polar Trek in Greenland

Amid our shore landings, you'll have the chance to join our seasoned naturalist guides for hiking expeditions of varying difficulty levels based on the ecological resilience of the unique biome. These excursions may range from leisurely coastal strolls to extended treks lasting several hours, taking you to breathtaking viewpoints and historic sites. You'll seize the moment, adapting your journey to the prevailing weather and ice conditions. And when our itineraries permit, donning snowshoes* will transport you into the footsteps of early explorers, unlocking the uncharted corners that have remained largely untouched by mankind.

*Kindly be aware that there are limited spaces available for snowshoeing.

Polar Plunge

Polar Plunge activity PONANT

Prepare to be captivated by the unparalleled experience of plunging into frigid waters. Weather and ice conditions permitting, you'll have unique opportunities to partake in a polar plunge while clad only in your swimwear, right in the heart of the icy realm. The intense rush of emotions and the invigorating warmth that follows will leave you with unforgettable memories, reenergizing you for the journey ahead.*

*Please keep in mind that there are limited spots available for this daring adventure.

If you are interested in participating in these adventurous activities please enquire about availability at the time of reservation. All activities are subject to availability and weather conditions.

Your Ship

Your Ship

Le Commandant Charcot

Introducing the majestic Le Commandant Charcot, the world's first luxury icebreaker. Imagine exploring the seldom visited furthest reaches of the polar regions in comfort levels never seen before on an icebreaker. Her unique icebreaking PC2 Polar Class 2 Hull allows it to explore captivating destinations locked in by sea ice from the North Pole to the frozen seas of East Greenland and Antarctica, which are off-limits to standard expedition ships. The onboard experience is second to none, with fine dining, an outdoor heated lagoon and sumptuous ensuite cabins with verandas. With a team of onboard expedition experts, Le Commandant Charcot is perfect for adventurers and connoisseurs looking to explore the unexplored in safety and style.

Ship Highlights

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The World’s first Luxury Icebreaker Built For Polar Exploration

The ice-strengthened hull and powerful engines give Le Commandant Charcot an extraordinary ability to explore places where no other cruise ship has ventured before offering out-of-this-world itineraries. Equipped with a fleet of Zodiacs for excursions and kayaks, this is the ultimate expedition ship.
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Outstanding Onboard Experience & Fine Cuisine

From bathing in the heated outdoor blue lagoon to unwinding in the relaxation area complete with detox bar, indoor pool, and seating with large windows, Le Commandant Charcot is conceived around the guest experience at every level. Enjoy the finest gourmet food at the ship’s two restaurants.
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Small Group Size​

Le Commandant Charcot takes a maximum of 245 guests with only 200 on Antarctica voyages. The ship is spacious and never feels crowded. A small group size offers our guests the best experience on the ship, during Zodiac excursions and shore landings.
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World Class Expedition Teams and Leaders

What makes expeditions on Le Commandant Charcot truly pioneering is the team’s experience behind it. From captains to expedition leaders, naturalists, guides, scientists, and special guest speakers, there is a passion and wealth of experience that is shared with you every step of the way.
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Environmentally Responsible Expeditions

From cutting-edge hybrid electric engines powered by liquid natural gas to an outdoor pool heated with recycled thermal energy generated by the ship’s engine, the ship utilizes the latest technologies to be a leader in environmentally respectful cruising.
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Luxury Accommodation

Le Commandant Charcot offers luxury never seen before on an icebreaker. The tastefully designed cabins feature balconies and ensuites. For those looking for exceptional luxury, there is a choice of suites featuring private deck areas with jacuzzis, large living spaces, and dining areas.
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Dedicated to Scientific Discovery

Equipped with science laboratories, Le Commandant Charcot offers a platform to host scientists and researchers to gain valuable insights into understanding and protecting the most remote places on Earth with their knowledge shared with guests during presentations.

Do you need help planning your expedition?

Our friendly and knowledgeable Travel Experience Team is ready to assist you.

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© 2024 The Expedition Collective

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