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Polar bear, Ponant (credit: Laurence Fischer)

The North Pole on Le Commandant Charcot

18-day ocean cruise from £30,110 pp incl. flights

Summary

Short description

A once-in-a-lifetime expedition cruise to the top of the world

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Highlights

  • Be among the few people in the world who have reached the geographic North Pole
  • Enjoy included excursions throughout, from Zodiac trips to hovercraft adventures with expert naturalist guides
  • Sail among ice floes and glaciers in the wild archipelago of Svalbard
  • Spot Arctic wildlife like whales, polar bears, walrus and seals
  • Indulge on board, with ultra-luxurious suites, fine French dining, spas & personalised service

In Brief

  • 1 Night Paris
  • 1 Night Longyearbyen
  • 6 Nights At sea
  • 1 Night Geographic North Pole
  • 7 Nights At sea
  • 1 Night Paris

About

Recommended for:
Activity adventure | Expedition cruise | Natural world | Ocean cruise | Off the beaten track

Be among the few people in the world who have reached the geographic North Pole as you follow in the footsteps of great explorers of the past with this unforgettable voyage on board Le Commandant Charcot, the world's first the world's first hybrid-electric polar exploration vessel powered by liquified natural gas.  You'll fly  to Svalbard, a rugged, desolate wilderness whose landscapes of snow and ice are home to more polar bears than humans. Then, under the ever-present glow of the Midnight Sun, you'll push through pack ice and ice floes on what is the world's first PC2 ice-class polar cruise ship, capable of sailing into the very heart of the ice in frozen regions that are inaccessible to ordinary ships. You'll see the likes of walrus, whales and seabirds on Zodiac trips and kayaks, accompanied by Ponant's expert naturalist guides. Back on board, expect all the fineries of a French cruise, with all-inclusive excursions, a luxurious spa, fine French dining and a nearly 1-1 crew to staff member ratio, ensuring attentive, personalised service throughout.

          

Day by day itinerary

Day 1
UK to Paris

After included VIP airport lounge access, fly to Paris where, on arrival, you'll transfer to your airport hotel for a one-night stay.

Stay: Paris airport hotel

Day 2
Board ship at Longyearbyen

After breakfast, head to the airport to board your flight to Longyearbyen, the capital of the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard and the world's northernmost city. This small but surprisingly vibrant capital on Spitsbergen – Svalbard's largest island – has an excellent restaurant scene, colourful wooden houses and a distinctly frontier feel. After some time to explore the city, you'll then head to the port to board Le Commandant Charcot, Ponant's newest ship. Powered by liquefied natural gas, expect refined surroundings complete with the kind of luxury services never before offered in the furthest reaches of the northern hemisphere. Think indoor swimming pools, a panoramic restaurant and a 'Blue Lagoon' outdoor dining space, mixing in French-style luxuries. Tonight, after settling in to your ultra-stylish suite – some even feature private Jacuzzis – you'll enjoy the first of your included gourmet, fine-dining dinners in the contemporary French-style brasserie, complemented by an excellent wine list.

Stay: Le Commandant Charcot

Meals: B D

Day 3
At sea

After breakfast your adventure begins as you leave Spitsbergen – the last landmass you'll see before reaching the colossal Arctic ice floes. Today will see you sail along the spectacular coastline, framed by millennia-old glaciers and snow-capped peaks among deep, glacier-carved fjords. Step out on to the ship's deck to spot giant calving icebergs and glaciers, spotting the likes of whales, seals, polar bears, reindeer and Arctic fox, alongside expert naturalists who'll give you an in-depth insight into the region's flora and fauna.

Stay: Le Commandant Charcot

Meals: B L D

Days 4-8
Sail to the North Pole

The next few days will see you sail among the region's ice floes – a vast expanse of ice walls created by wind that packs together the ice floes to heights of 25 metres or more. What's more, during the summer months the sun never sets on these dramatic landscapes, casting an ever-present glow over the ice. Look out for whales and walruses with the option to explore further on Ponant's Zodiac boats, kayaks and guided hikes, bringing you right up close to the action.

Stay: Le Commandant Charcot

Day 9
The geographic North Pole

Today is a true trip highlight as you become one of the few people in the world who have reached the geographic North Pole. Lying on the Earth’s rotational axis, 700km from any other landmass, this region has fascinated generations of explorers. And, you'll follow in their footsteps with the chance to take photos and observe the mammoth ice floes as you observe the landscapes at the very top of the world, keeping an eye out for Arctic wildlife like orca, humpback and Beluga whales.

Stay: Le Commandant Charcot

Meals: B L D

Days 10-14
Sail to Spitsbergen

Over the next four days you'll again sail through the heart of the region's ice floes as you make your way back down south, sailing along the open channels as you witness glaciers and icebergs under the Midnight Sun, exploring with Zodiac trips, small-boat cruises, kayaking and glacier walks with Ponant's expert naturalists, who'll also give onboard lectures throughout the cruise. Return each evening to the comfort of the onboard spa, lounges and two restaurants, regaling your tales of the past few days with new-found friends. 

Meals: B L D

Days 15-16
At sea

Your final two days at sea will see you sail along the Svalbard archipelago as you approach Spitsbergen's rugged coastline, with the final opportunity to spot all manner of Arctic flora and fauna and snap those all-important pictures – you'll be accompanied by expert photographers – as well as making the most of the luxuries on board.

Day 17
Spitsbergen to Paris

After breakfast today, disembark and head to the airport to fly to Paris where, on arrival, you'll head to your hotel for a one-night stay. If time allows, be sure to continue your French-inspired journey and make the most of Paris' world-renowned dining scene.

Stay: Paris hotel

Meals: B L D

Day 18
Paris to UK

After breakfast, transfer to the airport in time for your flight back to the UK.

Meals: B

Map

Pricing

Any element of this cruise can be adjusted to suit your needs. Just contact us to find out more.

Prices

Accommodation rating: Deluxe

18-day ocean cruise from £30,110 pp incl. flights

Departure:

Includes

  • Return scheduled flights from the UK to Paris and between Paris and Longyearbyen
  • Overnight airport hotel in Paris before and after flights to Longyearbyen
  • Transfers to/from ship 
  • 15-night all-inclusive cruise aboard Le Commandant Charcot with fine-dining
  • Outings and shore visits in a Zodiacs® or hovercraft with an reinforced team of naturalist-guides
  • English-speaking guides 

An important note from Ponant regarding the operation of this unique itinerary:  We are privileged guests in these extreme lands where we are at the mercy of weather and ice conditions. Our navigation, mainly in the fjords, will be determined by the type of ice we come across; as the coastal ice must be preserved, we will take this factor into account from day to day in our itineraries. The sailing programme, outings, activities and observation of fauna cannot be guaranteed and are subject to weather and ice conditions. The experiences are unique and vary from day to day and for each departure. The Captain and the Expedition Leader will make every effort to ensure that your experience is as rich as possible, while respecting safety instructions and regulations imposed by the AECO.

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Why book with Wexas Travel?

At Wexas, we specialise in bespoke travel experiences. Our itineraries are just samples of what we can arrange, and can be changed depending on your precise needs, finances and ideas by our experienced destination specialists.

Contact one of our consultants on 020 7590 0615 to discuss how we can tailor your holiday.

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Every step of the way

Every step of the way

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