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Transarctic, the quest for the two North Poles

Nome, Alaska - Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen

Arctic, North Pole, Svalbard
Sep 6 - Sep 26 2024
20 Nights
245 Guests

Starting from per person

£36,390

Select cruise date

Be a true polar explorer and participate in the world's first trans-polar expedition by ship to cross the frozen Arctic Ocean on the luxury Icebreaker Le Commandant Charcot. From the Bering Strait, connecting East and West, to the ice-covered expanse of Svalbard, the ship will navigate through ice floes, exploring the Beaufort Sea's icy terrain and utilising open water leads to venture towards the elusive Magnetic and Geographic North Poles. 

This groundbreaking voyage will take you on a transpolar maritime route inaccessible to conventional ships. Traverse an ever-changing environment, appreciating the unspoiled beauty amidst the drifting ice, with great opportunities to see wildlife, including polar bears. 

Guided by a team of expert naturalists, you can learn about these seldom-visited untouched parts of the planet. 20 researchers will make scientific discoveries as part of the voyage. Make history and seize this rare chance to participate in a world-first navigation contributing to scientific research.

This groundbreaking voyage will take you on a transpolar maritime route inaccessible to conventional ships. Traverse an ever-changing environment, appreciating the unspoiled beauty amidst the drifting ice, with great opportunities to see wildlife, including polar bears. 

Guided by a team of expert naturalists, you can learn about these seldom-visited untouched parts of the planet. 20 researchers will make scientific discoveries as part of the voyage. Make history and seize this rare chance to participate in a world-first navigation contributing to scientific research.

Transarctic, the quest for the two North Poles map

Cruise Highlights

Cruise Highlights

  • Become part of a tiny elite group of polar explorers and visit the Magnetic and Geographic North Poles.
  • Embark on a world-first voyage, and traverse the frozen Arctic from Nome in Alaska to Longyearbyen in Svalbard.
  • This expedition offers excellent opportunities to see wildlife on the pack ice during the cruise to the North Pole. The region is home to an array of Arctic wildlife, including polar bears, walruses, Arctic birds, seals and whales.
  • Explore the highlights of Svalbard, known for its native polar bears, captivating scenery and over 2,000 glaciers.
  • Your journey will take you across the top of the world, guided by a highly experienced expedition team who will share their knowledge with you.
  • Learn about the research work taking place on-board by an international scientific mission through lectures.
  • As a bonus, revel in exciting new activities such as kayaking, hiking, or snowshoeing, and even take a polar plunge into the frigid waters, all subject to weather and ice conditions and sailing opportunities.
  • This departure features French explorer Alban Michon, who has accomplished numerous expeditions and American polar photographer Cindy Miller Hopkins, with over 6,000 publications to her name and counting.

Itinerary

Itinerary

Embark on an Epic Voyage To Discover 2 North Poles

Nome Alaska Icebreaker Cruise
Day 1

Nome, Alaska

6th September 2024

Nestled beside the Bering Strait on the western edge of Alaska, Nome presents the enchanting allure of an ancient gold-mining community amidst breathtaking wilderness. Meandering through the vibrantly painted houses, you'll uncover the enduring influence of pioneering heritage embedded in local customs. The residents sustain their livelihood through hands-on work by engaging in activities such as fishing, reindeer husbandry, and sledge racing. The expansive plains surrounding the area offer captivating viewpoints for observing the diverse Arctic wildlife.

Embarkation from 16:00 to 17:00

Departure at 18:00

North Pole cruise on Luxury Icebreaker charcot PONANT
Days 2-8

Exploring The Sea Ice of the Beaufort Sea

7th - 14th September 2024

Lying along the northern shores of Alaska and Canada, the Beaufort Sea has long been regarded with trepidation due to its harsh climatic conditions. Enveloped in a dense ice cover for most of the year and remaining uncharted until 1914, this sector of the Arctic Ocean, christened in tribute to the British Admiral Francis Beaufort, promises to unveil its stunning icy panoramas. With a touch of good fortune, you might encounter polar bears along the way, as this region is renowned as the habitat of the Arctic's majestic rulers.

Sailing through the sea ice PONANT
Day 9

The Quest for the Magnetic North Pole

15th September 2024

Serving as the point where the field lines of Earth's magnetic field converge, the Magnetic North Pole exerts a magnetic pull on the compass needle. Unlike the Geographic North Pole, which stands as the Earth's northernmost fixed point and signifies the intersection of the globe's rotation axis with the Earth's surface, the Magnetic North Pole is in constant motion. Its movement is intricately tied to the Earth's magnetic field, originating in its outer core molten metal, subject to convection movements. Initially pinpointed 1831 in the Canadian Arctic, it has shifted towards Siberia, progressively drawing closer to the Geographic North Pole.

Icebreaker cruise in the pack ice of the Arctic PONANT
Day 10

Navigating the sea ice towards the Geographic North Pole

16th September 2024

Enjoy a day of sailing, watching the vast expanses of ice drift past as we approach the Geographic North Pole. Enjoy an outdoor hot pool or savour the view from the ship's relaxation area with an indoor pool or sauna.

North-Pole-Cruise-PONANT
Day 11

The Geographic North Pole

17th September 2024

Marked by a latitude of 90° North, the Geographic North Pole occupies a pivotal position on Earth's rotational axis, intersecting all meridians. Enveloped in darkness for half of the year and bathed in sunlight for six months, this legendary location, perpetually cloaked in ice and distanced from any landmass, has captivated generations of explorers. Historically, only a select few individuals have reached this elusive point—an achievement now within your grasp aboard Le Commandant Charcot.

 

Sea ice in the Arctic PONANT
Days 12 - 15

Navigating the sea ice towards Svalbard

18th - 20th September 2024

Witness the unparalleled thrill of sailing into the heart of the ice floe, an expansive canvas of untouched, pristine ice. The landscapes unfold constantly, evolving from a serene and level wilderness to a dynamic array of ice formations, leading to open water passages. Your vessel will gracefully traverse these naturally occurring channels, navigating through areas where the frozen layer is at its thinnest. This promises you the opportunity to immerse yourself in magical maritime moments amidst drifting sea ice. Additionally, these ventures often unveil encounters with unique fauna intricately linked to the ice floe, adding an extra layer of fascination to your journey.

 

Nordaust-Svalbard PONANT
Day 16

Exploring North East Svalbard Nature Reserve

21st September 2024

Since 1973, the Nordaust-Svalbard Nature Reserve has safeguarded the northernmost and chilliest region of the archipelago, Nordaustlandet (North East Land). This extensive polar desert, draped with two ice caps, is the second-largest island in the Svalbard archipelago. Shielded by the Gulf Stream, the fjords and cliffs in the west and north harbour thriving colonies of birds and walruses. In the colder east and south, the landscapes are dominated by imposing glaciers, releasing majestic icebergs into the expansive Hinlopen Strait. Sheer cliffs serve as the nesting grounds for substantial colonies of thick-billed murres. Depending on the nesting and migration period, you might even glimpse a bear or an Arctic fox roaming nearby.

Polar bears on a Svalbard icebreaker cruise
Day 17

Sailing the Hinlopen Strait

22nd September 2024

Embarking on a voyage through the Hinlopen Strait, nestled in the heart of the Arctic Ocean between the Norwegian islands of Spitsbergen and Nordaustlandet, guarantees an unforgettable experience. Within the Nordaust-Svalbard Nature Reserve domain, this region unveils awe-inspiring vistas featuring magnificent basalt formations and an ice cap extending to the horizon, plunging into the sea. The shoreline, sculpted by fjords cutting inland, creates a magical tapestry where icebergs gracefully float, born from the majestic calving of surrounding glaciers. While today it is a sought-after location for observing seabirds nesting in colossal cliffs and polar bears and walruses, this place holds historical ties to 17th-century whalers. Thijmen Jacobsz Hinlopen, a director of a Dutch whaling company, bestowed the strait with its name. Subsequently, Russian trappers, European explorers, scientists, and even brave mountaineers have traversed this region, marked by its sublime yet challenging nature.

Søraust
Day 18

South East Svalbard Nature Reserve

23rd September 2024

The Søraust-Svalbard Nature Reserve stands as the second-largest protected expanse in Norway, its establishment dating back to 1973. Spanning over 21,000 km2, this conservation area presents breathtaking landscapes, ranging from coastal scenes and rocky islets to mountain plateaux, expansive tundra plains, and drifting ice floes.

Endowed with the distinction of being recognized as an Important Bird Area, the reserve offers the opportunity, with a bit of fortune, to witness a diverse array of seabirds. Additionally, the site is conducive to spotting cetaceans, Svalbard reindeer, and possibly even Arctic foxes. Notably, Edgeoya Island is famed for providing a haven for numerous polar bears during the breeding season.

Hornsund in Svalbard on an expedition cruise with PONANT
Day 19

Hornsund

24th September 2024

Nestled amidst ancient glaciers and sculpted mountains, Spitsbergen, often hailed as the "crown of Arctic Norway," is a realm untouched by night. Your vessel will guide you into the heart of this captivating archipelago, focusing on the Hornsund fjord. It is recognized as Svalbard's southernmost fjord and boasts a distinguished reputation for its breathtaking scenery. At the culmination of its expansive bay, eight grand glaciers gracefully descend to the sea, yielding to a multitude of icebergs that elegantly drift along its frigid and enigmatic waters.

At Sea in pool on Charcot PONANT
Day 20

Isfjord

25th September 2024

The expansive Isfjorden stands as one of the primary fjords in Svalbard, its various branches extending into the heart of Spitsbergen. Nestled deep within the Billejforden, the Nordenskiöld Glacier boasts a majestic ice front nearly 5 km wide, rendering it one of the most spectacular glaciers in the Svalbard Archipelago.

Longyearbyen
Day 21

Longyearbyen

26th September 2024

As the capital of the Norwegian Svalbard archipelago, Longyearbyen is situated on the main island of Svalbard and is the northernmost territorial capital on Earth. With winter temperatures plummeting to below -40 °C, the vistas of this mining town are genuinely awe-inspiring. The glaciers, expansive mountains seemingly extending endlessly, and the pristine wilderness collectively evoke the sensation of uncharted territory.

Disembarkation at 08:00

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.*

*Optional activity with limited available spots. Please enquire with our Travel Experience Team at the time of booking. 

Hiking or Snowshoeing

Hiking and snowshoeing on Le Commandant Charcot

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.

*Optional activity with limited available spots. Please enquire with our Travel Experience Team at the time of booking. 

Exploring By Zodiac

Exploring by Zodiac from Le Commandant Charcot

Exploring by Zodiac is an integral part of any expedition cruise. Led by a team of outstanding guides and naturalists, Zodiacs are a fantastic and intimate way to experience the pristine polar environment up close. When the conditions permit, the Zodiacs are launched, and you can enjoy a cruise or shore landing, experience close encounters with wildlife, and get up close to the magnificent ice formations. It's a perfect way to absorb the pristine nature fully.

Zodiac cruises are included as part of the experience on all expedition cruises, and no booking is required.

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.

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

1

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.
1

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.
1

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.
1

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.
1

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.
1

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.
1

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.

Starting from per person

£36,390

Select cruise date

Why Reserve With Us?

Choose Your Cabin

Choose Your Cabin

Prestige Stateroom Deck 6
  • A king-size bed (180 x 200 cm) or two single beds (90 x 200 cm)
  • A bathroom with shower
  • A panoramic sliding bay window
  • A 5 m² glazed private balcony
Price per person
Contact Us
Prestige Stateroom Deck 7​
  • A king-size bed (180 x 200 cm) or two single beds (90 x 200 cm)
  • A bathroom with shower
  • A panoramic sliding bay window
  • A 5 m² glazed private balcony
Price per person
£37,050
Prestige Stateroom Deck 8​
  • A king-size bed (180 x 200 cm) or two single beds (90 x 200 cm)
  • A bathroom with shower
  • A panoramic sliding bay window
  • A 5 m² glazed private balcony
Price per person
£37,710
Deluxe Suite Deck 6​
  • A lounge area with chaise longue and two armchairs
  • A king-size bed (180 x 200 cm) or two single beds (90 x 200 cm)
  • A bathroom with shower
  • A panoramic sliding bay window
  • A 5 m² glazed private balcony
Price per person
Contact Us
Deluxe Suite Deck 7​
  • A lounge area with chaise longue and two armchairs
  • A king-size bed (180 x 200 cm) or two single beds (90 x 200 cm)
  • A bathroom with shower
  • A panoramic sliding bay window
  • A 5 m² glazed private balcony
Price per person
Contact Us
Deluxe Suite Deck 8​
  • A lounge area with chaise longue and two armchairs
  • A king-size bed (180 x 200 cm) or two single beds (90 x 200 cm)
  • A bathroom with shower
  • A panoramic sliding bay window
  • A 5 m² glazed private balcony
Price per person
Contact Us
Prestige Suite Deck 7​
  • A lounge with sofa, armchair, TV and sliding courtesy door
  • A king-size bed (180 x 200 cm) or two single beds (90 x 200 cm)
  • Two bathrooms with shower
  • Two panoramic sliding bay windows
  • A 10 m² glazed private balcony
Price per person
Contact Us
Prestige Suite Deck 8
  • A lounge with sofa, armchair, TV and sliding courtesy door
  • A king-size bed (180 x 200 cm) or two single beds (90 x 200 cm)
  • Two bathrooms with shower
  • Two panoramic sliding bay windows
  • A 10 m² glazed private balcony
Price per person
Contact Us
Grand Prestige Suite Deck 6​
  • Priority boarding
  • Champagne and fruit basket upon arrival
  • Butler service
  • An assortment of sweet or savoury canapés and fruit basket every day
  • A lounge area with chaise longue and second TV
  • A Samsung tablet connected to Wifi
  • A king-size bed (180 x 200 cm) or two single beds (90 x 200 cm)
  • A bathroom with shower and Balneo bathtub
  • A panoramic sliding bay window
  • A 5 m² glazed private balcony
  • Two pairs of Swarvoski CL Companion 10 x 30 binoculars
Price per person
Contact Us
Privilege Suite Deck 8​
  • Priority boarding
  • Champagne and fruit basket upon arrival
  • Butler service
  • An assortment of sweet or savoury canapés and fruit basket every day
  • A lounge with sofa bed, armchair, and sliding courtesy door
  • A Samsung tablet connected to Wifi
  • A bedroom with king-size bed (180 x 200 cm) or two single beds (90 x 200 cm)
  • A bathroom with shower and Balneo bathtub
  • Two panoramic sliding doors and rectangular porthole
  • A 12.5 m² glazed private balcony
  • Two pairs of Swarvoski CL Companion 10 x 30 binoculars
Price per person
Contact Us
Duplex Suite Deck 6​
  • Private return transfer
  • Priority boarding
  • Champagne and fruit basket upon arrival
  • Butler service
  • An assortment of sweet or savoury canapés and a basket of fruit every day
  • A lounge with armchairs, sofa bed, steam fireplace and TV
  • A dining room with a 6-seater table
  • A minibar with RIEDEL crystal glasses
  • A Samsung tablet connected to Wi-Fi
  • A bedroom with king-size bed (180 x 200 cm) or two single beds (90 x 200 cm) and TV
  • A bathroom with shower and balneo bathtub
  • Five panoramic windows and a glazed panoramic swing door
  • A private 26 m² terrace: outdoor lounge with sofa and armchairs, jacuzzi
  • Two pairs of Swarvoski CL Companion 10 x 30 binoculars
Price per person
Contact Us
Owner's Suite​
  • Private return transfer
  • Priority boarding
  • Champagne and fruit basket upon arrival
  • Butler service
  • An assortment of sweet or savoury canapés and fruit basket every day
  • A bedroom with king-size bed (180 x 200 cm) or two single beds (90 x 200 cm)
  • A living room with armchairs, two sofa beds, steam fireplace, and second TV
  • A desk and bookcase
  • A Samsung tablet connected to Wifi
  • A dining room with a 6-seater table
  • A minibar with RIEDEL crystal glasses
  • A bathroom with shower and Balneo bathtub
  • A one-hour spa treatments per person (for 2 people) in the well-being space, chosen from the facial and body treatments on offer
  • A private 186 m² terrace: outdoor lounge with deckchairs, hot tub, two sofas, and dining table
  • Two panoramic sliding bay windows
  • Two pairs of Swarvoski CL Companion 10 x 30 binoculars
  • A Swarovski Optik ST VISTA telescope
Price per person
Contact Us
Why Reserve With Us?

Deck Plan

What's Included

Included

  • Luxury 5* expedition cruise as per the itinerary.
  • A return flight from Longyearbyen to Paris in economy class. Business class upgrades may be available.
  • Meet and greet at Nome airport and a transfer to the ship.
  • On the day of disembarkation, meet and greet at the port in Longyearbyen on arrival and a transfer to the airport.
  • A flight in economy class between Seattle and Nome. Business class upgrades may be available.
  • All listed activities are included but subject to availability. Please enquire about activities at the time of booking.
  • All-inclusive experience with dining and drinks included.
  • Zodiac excursions.
  • Onboard lectures by guest speakers and guides.
  • An expedition parka (adult sizes only)

Optional Extras

  • Flights to Seattle. Our Travel Experience Team is happy to assist you with this.
  • Flights from Paris to onward destinations.
  • Hotels in Seattle prior to the flight. We recommend arriving in Seattle the day before your flight to Nome. Our Travel Experience Team is happy to assist you with hotel booking in Seattle.
  • Spa treatments unless they are included in your cabin choice.
  • Purchases from the onboard boutique.
  • Rubber boots for shore landings are available for rental.
  • Personal expenses
  • Any other service not mentioned in the programme.

Important Information

  • This expedition involves travelling to lovely remote places with limited medical facilities. We ask you to be healthy and fit to participate. If you have a severe medical condition or have recently undergone surgery, please get in touch with us before making a reservation. Our Travel Experience Team will be happy to assist you with any questions.
  • Whilst our expeditions do not require exceptional fitness, you must be mobile enough to climb in and out of a Zodiac and undertake short walks.
  • Expedition programmes include zodiac outings and landings (sometimes with "wet landing"), moderate walks, and 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, ice position, winds and the state of the sea. These can force a change of plans at any time. The Captain and the Expedition Leader may cancel or stop any activity or modify the itinerary. The final itinerary will be confirmed by the Captain, who will consider 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.
  • You must take out comprehensive travel insurance, which includes medical evacuation and cancellation at the time of booking. To learn more, please see our guide to Travel Insurance For Expedition Cruises.
  • You must hold a passport with a minimum of 6 months validity beyond completing your trip. Please check to see if you require a visa to enter the countries of embarkation and disembarkation. If you have any questions, our Travel Experience Team is always on hand to answer them.
  • Please note that an EKG (electrocardiogram) by your general practitioner will be required for a polar plunge.
  • Due to regulations in the Arctic, it is unfortunately impossible to use drones on this expedition at any time.
  • To guarantee the safety and well-being of our guests, certain items are strictly prohibited on board.
  • The minimum age for children to participate in this expedition is 8.
  • Due to the remote nature of this expedition, for safety reasons, we regret that pregnant women can not participate.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask our Travel Experience Team.

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