Le Commandant Charcot

The world’s first purpose-built luxury icebreaker, Le Commandant Charcot, opens up possibilities for exploration from the North Pole to the Weddell Sea that have never been seen before, thanks to its icebreaking capabilities.

Introducing Le Commandant Charcot

Le Commandant Charcot is the world’s first luxury icebreaker, offering unrivaled comfort coupled with the ability to explore the most extreme, inaccessible regions of the planet. Follow the paths of heroic explorers and reach the North Pole or venture into the deepest sea ice in Greenland or Antarctica with the utmost comfort and luxury.

At North Pole Cruises, we view Le Commandant Charcot as a never-before-seen advancement in luxury expedition cruising. It is the first cruise ship to be built with an Icebreaker (PC2 class) hull and hybrid propulsion, opening up endless opportunities for exploration in an environmentally responsible way. With just 245 guests, it also offers an intimate, unrivaled, small-ship luxury expedition experience.

The ship is meticulously designed with a promenade deck that circles the exterior and a large on-deck hot lagoon to enjoy the endless polar landscapes. Inside the luxurious cabins, all feature balconies and sumptuous ensuites.

Highlights Of Le Commandant Charcot

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.
2

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.
3

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.
4

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.
5

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.
6

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.
7

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.

Key Features Of Le Commandant Charcot

Exteriors

Blue Lagoon outdoor hot pool on Le Commandant Charcot PONANT-OlivierBlaud

Blue Lagoon

Enjoy the crisp polar wilderness while bathing in the warm waters of the Blue Lagoon, heated using recycled thermal distribution from the ship's engines, located outdoors at the rear of deck 9.

Inneq Open-air Bar and Fire Pit

Located next to the Blue Lagoon, it is the perfect place to warm up by the fire and enjoy drinks and dishes from the bars à la carte menu while taking in the breathtaking polar scenery.

Promenade Deck

Located on deck 5, a unique feature of Le Commandant Charcot is a promenade extending uninterrupted around the entire ship. It is an excellent place for wildlife watching or enjoying sitting on a heated bench.
bow of Le Commandant Charcot new cruise ship

Bow

Allows an uninterrupted view of the polar wilderness and beyond. It is a great vantage point for photographers and wildlife watchers. It also serves as the ship's helideck.

Interiors

Observation Lounge

Situated on deck 9, the Anori (the wind) observation lounge offers a relaxing atmosphere with stunning views. Complete with a library, reading area, 2 Swarovski Optik telescopes, and bar.
indoor pool and relaxation area

Indoor Pool & Relaxation Area

Enjoy a dip in the indoor pool and then treat yourself to a detox cocktail before lying back to relax and enjoy the captivating polar wilderness through the floor-to-ceiling windows.
Sauna Le Commandant Charcot

Sauna & Snow Room & Spa

Enjoy a relaxing sauna with ocean views followed by the beneficial effects of snow in the ice room. Indulge in various treatments in the three spa rooms or visit the onboard hair salon.

Main Lounge

Located on deck 5, the main lounge features comfortable chairs, great views, and a tea room with a bar. On select evenings, live music is playing here.
Theatre on Le Commandant Charcot

Theatre

Enjoy an evening show, polar-related film, or documentary in the state-of-the-art theatre that seats 270 guests. It has an LED background wall that allows outstanding projection in ultra-high resolution.

Gym

Enjoy some fitness time in the onboard gym with epic sea views and equipment, including a rowing machine, bikes, a cross trainer, treadmills, and weights.

Cigar Lounge

Try a selection of curated spirits while enjoying a fine cigar in Le Commandant Charcot's most exclusive lounge.

Wine Cellar

A luxury ship would only be complete with a wine cellar containing the most exquisite grape varieties. The excellence of the wine is just one part of the overall gastronomic experience.

Duplex Suites

The duplex suites at the ship's rear offer the finest comfort and some of the best views, where you can enjoy the scenery from your private terrace with a jacuzzi.

Atrium

The centrepiece of Le Commandant Charcot is the atrium that sits at the heart of the ship. It offers a perfect place to relax in an armchair and soak in the sounds and musical creations of Michel Redolf.

Dining Options On Le Commandant Charcot

Sila Restaurant

Located on deck 9, this restaurant offers excellent views with a relaxed atmosphere and welcomes you for breakfasts, buffet lunches, and themed dinners.

Nuna Restaurant

Nuna is an elegant restaurant serving an à la carte dining experience at breakfast, lunch, and dinner with French and international cuisine. Located on deck 5 at the rear, it offers excellent views.

Le Commandant Charcot Cabins

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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
  • 24-hour room service
  • Inclusive Wifi internet access (availability dependent on navigation and latitude)
  • Individually-controlled air conditioning
  • Dressing room with shelves and closet
  • Dressing table and hairdryer
  • Diptyque Paris top-of-the-line bath products
  • Minibar
  • Nespresso coffee maker and boiler
  • Electronic safe
  • Direct line telephone
  • Bose Bluetooth speaker
  • Flat screen TV, international channels (availability dependent on navigation) and videos on demand
  • 110V American (two flat pins)/220V European (round sockets with two round pins)
  • Glazed private balcony for all our staterooms and suites
  • Terrace for the Duplex suites and the Owner's suite

Le Commandant Charcot Deck Plan

Le Commandant Charcot Destinations

North Pole

Le Commandant Charcot is one of only two ships worldwide that takes guests on extraordinary expeditions that reach the Geographic North Pole. Be one of the few to have reached the most northerly point on Earth. A new itinerary offers the chance to traverse the entire frozen Arctic and visit both the Geographic and Magnetic North Pole.

Antarctica

Exploring Antarctica on a luxury Icebreaker opens up a world of possibilities for exploring destinations previously unreachable by ship. Le Commandant Charcot made groundbreaking history by being the first ship to reach the furthest south a ship has ever reached.

Northwest Passage

Explore the entire Northwest Passage on this epic voyage of discovery from Iceland to Nome in Alaska. Due to its unique icebreaking capabilities, Le Commandant Charcot can navigate the most northerly route, previously only seen by intrepid explorers.

Greenland

The impenetrable sea ice of East Greenland is only reachable early in the season by Le Commandant Charcot’s unique icebreaking capabilities. Explore the vast wilderness of sea ice previously only seen by Inuit hunters.

Canada

Le Commandant Charcot opens up new possibilities to explore the St Lawrence River during the depths of the winter when it is inaccessible to other ships due to the thick ice. Encounter the magical, unseen wintery scenery between QUÉBEC and Saint Pierre Island.

What Makes Le Commandant Charcot Unique?

Le Commandant Charcot is a groundbreaking (or should we say icebreaking!) ship that holds many accolades. On February 27th, 2022, it set a world record for reaching the most southerly point on Earth with a ship at 78⁰44’S in the Bay of Whales, Antarctica.

Its unique hull design and powerful engines made it the first ever purpose-built passenger ship to reach the North Pole. It is also the only French-flagged vessel to do so. It was also the first ship to navigate the northwest passage on its most northern route.

It is one of the most sustainable ships ever built and the first polar cruise ship built with hybrid electric engines and powered with liquified natural gas.

Le Commandant Charcot is built for actual expeditions and can be autonomous for 1.5 months, allowing it to reach previously inaccessible places.

The icebreaking hull is the highest of any purpose-built cruise ship, with a Polar Class 2 rating that allows it to reach previously unexplored polar regions.

Le Commandant Charcot features cutting-edge technology, including a wastewater treatment plant, so only clean water discharges into the ocean. The largest battery banks installed on a cruise ship allow it to run in full electric mode for up to 2 hours with zero emissions. The vessel can remain in place without anchoring thanks to its sophisticated dynamic positioning system.

Le Commandant Charcot offers a platform for scientific discovery with onboard wet and dry science labs and resident scientists who gain valuable insights into the polar regions during voyages.

It is one of the safest ships ever built, with onboard rescue and safety equipment that surpasses military requirements.

How To Plan Your Cruise

Choose from various exciting and groundbreaking voyages to explore The North Pole, Antarctica, East Greenland, the Northwest Passage, or Canada.

Get in touch with our friendly travel experience team to get the best advice on cabins and itineraries and ask any questions you may have.

Don’t forget to sign up for our exclusive North Pole Club and receive a voucher to redeem against your first booking.

Please make your reservation with our friendly travel team. All bookings made through North Pole Cruises receive 100% financial protection, and we include supplier failure insurance at no charge to you for extra peace of mind.

Before your expedition, we will send you lots of helpful advice about planning your voyage, including the best travel insurance, places to stay before and after your journey, travel requirements and a packing list.

Enjoy your once-in-a-lifetime expedition.

Le Commandant Charcot Specifications

Length
492 ft
Beam
92 ft
Draft
33 ft
Cruising speed
15 knots
Ice class
Polar Class PC2
Classification
Bureau Veritas
Flag
French
Guest decks
5
Guest capacity
245
Zodiacs
16
Gross tonnage
31 757 UMS
Electric propulsion motors
34 MW
Installed power
42 MW
Construction
Sovik, Norway

Le Commandant Charcot Cruises

Prins Christian Sund Greenland Ponant
Explorers Club
Reykjavík, Iceland - Nome Alaska
12/08/2024 to the 05/09/2024
24 Nights

Price from per person

£37,130
The-St.-Lawrence-River-in-the-Heart-of-the-Boreal-Winter
No Single Supplement
Québec - Saint Pierre Island
29/01/2025 to the 10/02/2025
12 Nights

Price from per person

£17,590
The-St.-Lawrence-River-in-the-Heart-of-the-Boreal-Winter
No Single Supplement
Saint Pierre Island - Québec
10/02/2025 to the 22/02/2025
12 Nights

Price from per person

£17,590

Le Commandant Charcot FAQ

Yes, Le Commandant Charcot is an icebreaking cruise ship. It is a polar exploration vessel operated by the French cruise company Compagnie du Ponant. The ship is designed to navigate in icy waters and is equipped to take passengers on expedition cruises to the polar regions, including the Arctic and Antarctica.

Its icebreaking capabilities allow it to access remote and otherwise difficult-to-reach areas in these extreme environments, providing passengers with the opportunity to explore the unique landscapes and wildlife of the polar regions in comfort and safety.

Le Commandant Charcot takes 245 guests on Arctic expeditions and 200 guests in Antarctica. It has 215 crew members and staff.

The Owner’s Suite on Le Commandant Charcot is the finest accommodation on the ship and is also the most expensive. In 2024, expect to pay £129,800 (€149,000, $157,000) per guest on a 25-day Northwest Passage Cruise.

The world’s only luxury icebreaker is Le Commandant Charcot. Its unique icebreaking capabilities allow it to reach the North Pole and other remote places inaccessible by other ships in the highest levels of comfort and luxury.

Le Commandant Charcot was named after the French polar explorer Jean-Baptiste Charcot. Jean-Baptiste Charcot was a prominent figure in the history of polar exploration, known for his expeditions to the Antarctic regions in the early 20th century. He significantly contributed to our understanding of polar environments and the Southern Ocean. The ship, Le Commandant Charcot, was named in his honor to continue the tradition of French exploration in polar regions.

Le Commandant Charcot has a fleet of 16 Zodiacs, which accommodate ten guests in each.

Le Commandant Charcot offers unique ice breaker voyages to the North Pole, Greenland, Svalbard, The Northwest Passage, and Antarctica.

Its unique icebreaking capabilities allow it to reach many inaccessible areas to regular expedition ships.

Do you need help planning your expedition cruise?

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