Poles apart: New Ponant cruise will visit both geographic and magnetic North poles

Poles apart: New Ponant cruise will visit both geographic and magnetic North poles

Almost a century after Explorer Umberto Nobile crossed the Artic via the North Pole aboard the Norge airship, PONANT is preparing to set a new record as the first cruise line to sail through both geographic and magnetic North poles in one journey, setting sail in September 2024.

Unveiling its new polar expedition onboard Le Commandant Charcot, the itinerary will take travellers from Alaska to Svalbard through both geographic and magnetic North poles while simultaneously conducting an international scientific mission.

From the North Pole, to the….. North Pole.

Where traditional ships are limited to sailing in existing water passages, Le Commandant Charcot, the world’s only luxury icebreaker, was purposefully designed to make her own transpolar maritime routes and go where no one else has ever been.

Named after Jean-Baptiste Charcot, the famous French polar scientist who explored Antarctica, Le Commandant Charcot will sail in the trail of another explorer, Umberto Nobile, who was the first to cross the Artic via the North Pole aboard the Norge airship in 1926.

Onboard PONANT’s pioneering journey, guests will leave Nome behind to navigate through the Bering Strait before reaching the Beauford Sea and its ice floes, which Le Commandant Charcot is perfectly equipped to carve new water leads out. After visiting both North poles, guests will ultimately reach the ice-covered land of Svalbard.

Going from wonders to wonders throughout the 21-day itinerary, passengers will first witness the spectacular Northern Lights, often observable at this time of the year, before encountering a large variety of wildlife including bears, walruses, polar foxes, and whales.

Keeping the enchantment intact until the last few days, passengers will explore Svalbard’s Søraust-Svalbard Nature Reserve, the second-largest protected area in Norway, known for its broad range of landscapes such as icy shores, rugged mountains with multi-coloured strata, fjords, and glaciers.

The new journey is also the opportunity to experience some of PONANT’s new activities in the great outdoors such as kayaking, hiking, snowshoeing and polar plunge, where available.

Le Commandant Charcot: uniting utmost luxury with scientific discovery In addition to setting a new record, Le Commandant Charcot will host an international scientific mission with approximately twenty researchers seeking to discover some of the Arctic’s best-kept secrets while sailing through the highest latitudes.

Passengers are invited to follow their work onboard and expand their knowledge of the unique environment and its challenges. The sailing is also joined by PONANT’s own expert naturalists as well as modern-day explorer Alban Michon who is no stranger to exceptional expeditions in the world’s most remote locations.

PONANT’s new itinerary will join unparalleled luxury, mesmerizing exploration, and scientific research, without overlooking the fragile ecosystem of the region.

To that purpose, Le Commandant Charcot was eco-designed with cutting-edge technologies including a hybrid electric Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) propulsion system, aligning with PONANT’s global commitment to sustainable tourism.

The vessel is also certified ‘Cleanship’ by Bureau Veritas and displays the latest green technologies onboard regarding waste recycling and sewage management.

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