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Icebergs reflected in Antarctica's Paradise Bay

Expedition to Charcot & Peter I Islands

Example 16 Day Cruise aboard Le Commandant Charcot
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Landing on Peter I Island is like landing on the moon! In fact, fewer people have visited this small volcanic island located in the Bellingshausen Sea, 450 km from the Antarctic coastlines, than have set foot on lunar soil. Discovered in February 1821, Peter I Island could only be approached for the first time in 1929, as the ice front made approach and disembarkation difficult. Its summit still remains untouched to this day. This unusual itinerary will also provide an opportunity to approach Charcot Island, thus named by Captain Charcot in memory of his father during its discovery in 1910.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Overnight in Santiago, Chile
Day 2 : Fly to Ushuaia | Embark
Days 3-4 : Crossing the Drake Passage
Day 5 : Croosing the Antarctic Circle | ​Detaille Island
Day 6 : The Gullet | Pourquoi Pas Island
Day 7 : Marguerite Bay
Days 8-9 : Charcot Island
Days 10-11 : Peter I Island
Day 12 : At Sea
Day 13 : The Gullet
Days 14-15 : Drake Passage
Day 16 : Ushuaia | Disembark | Fly to Santiago

Highlights

  • Discover Charcot Island, one of the most remote places on Earth!
  • Experience a unique landscape of ice floes, glaciers, and ice shelves
  • Approach two islands beyond the Antarctic Polar Circle
  • View Antarctic wildlife, including penguins, humpback whales, and seals

Ship

Le Commandant Charcot

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Icebergs reflected in Antarctica's Paradise Bay A group of travellers sail around a penguin colony off the shores of Antarctica Weddell seal taking a rest Zodiac excursion in Antarctica The End of the World

Day 1 Overnight in Santiago, Chile

Meet and greet the local representative at the hotel. Check-in is available starting from late morning. This afternoon is at your leisure before meeting your fellow passengers for dinner. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 2 Fly to Ushuaia | Embark

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Dinner
This morning after breakfast, fly to Ushuaia, where you will transfer to the port and embark on your ship. Capital of Argentina's Tierra del Fuego province, Ushuaia is considered the gateway to the White Continent and the South Pole. Nicknamed “El fin del mundo” by the Argentinian people, this city at the end of the world nestles in the shelter of mountains surrounded by fertile plains that the wildlife seem to have chosen as the ultimate sanctuary. With its exceptional site, where the Andes plunge straight into the sea, Ushuaia is one of the most fascinating places on earth, its very name evocative of journeys to the unlikely and the inaccessible.

Day 3-4 Crossing the Drake Passage

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Use your days spent in the Drake Passage to familiarise yourself with your ship and deepen your knowledge of the Antarctic. The Expedition Leader will first present the IAATO rules of conduct that must be observed during landings in the region and will explain everything you need to know about the Zodiac® outings. Lectures about the history and wildlife of the Antarctic will be an opportunity for you to learn more about this magical region, where every cruise is a unique experience. From the ship’s bridge, you will experience exceptional sailing moments before joining the naturalist-guides on your ship’s exterior decks to look out for albatrosses, cape petrels, and other seabirds flying over the Drake Passage.

Day 5 Croosing the Antarctic Circle | ​Detaille Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Weather permitting, we'll cross the mythic line of the Antarctic Polar Circle, located along 66°33’ south of the Equator. This iconic area demarcates the point from which it is possible to view the midnight sun during the December solstice. Within this circle, the sun remains above the horizon for 24 consecutive hours at least once a year. Crossing this line, an experience known to few people, is sure to be an unforgettable highlight of your cruise through the polar regions.

Detaille Island is a small island situated off the Loubet Coast in the Crystal Sound, a magnificent region surrounded by snow-covered peaks. A British research station was set up there in 1956, ahead of the International Geophysical Year 1957-58. Like the International Polar Years, organised for the first time in 1882-83, the purpose of this event was to take a coordinated approach to the geophysical research conducted by the different nations. With the island difficult to access, this station was shut down in 1959. The vestiges of the buildings and sledge dog pens that made it possible to map more than 4,000 miles around the island are now maintained by the United Kingdom Heritage Trust.

Day 6 The Gullet | Pourquoi Pas Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The sumptuous landscapes of this narrow channel between Adelaide Island and Graham Land attract all visitors sailing towards Marguerite Bay. It is like an ice palace, its immaculate white walls reflected in the frozen mirror formed by the waters of the Southern Ocean, scattered with icebergs and gleaming blocks of ice. This passage was explored for the first time by the Jean-Baptiste Charcot expedition in 1909, which sketched its position. It was then surveyed in 1936 by the British expedition under John Rymill. It is here in this magical setting that some of the first subaquatic images of the Antarctic were shot during Philippe Cousteau’s four-month expedition to Antarctica between 1972 and 1973.

Le Commandant Charcot will land on the coast of Pourquoi Pas Island, so named in the 1930s by John Riddoch Rymill in honour of Jean-Baptiste Charcot, who discovered it from aboard his ship Le Pourquoi Pas ? during his second expedition to Antarctica between 1908 and 1910. This mountainous island, situated in the north of Marguerite Bay between Graham Land and Adelaide Island, is 28 km long and 14 km large. It is scattered with narrow fjords and snow-covered mountains. You will go to shore in a Zodiac® dinghy with your expedition team and you could get the chance to observe Adelie penguins going about their business on the island’s rocky shores.

Day 7 Marguerite Bay

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The icebergs are each more majestic than the next and scattered around the deep and intense blue waters of Marguerite Bay, one of the most beautiful regions in the Antarctic. It is delimited in the north by the mountainous Adelaide Island, in the south by George VI Sound and Alexander Island, and in the east by the Fallières Coast. Charcot named it after his wife during his second expedition to the Antarctic between 1908 and 1910. In 1909, in the southern summer when the skies are at their clearest, he led an important scientific mission to map and study this region. The bay is home to a number of cetaceans and you may get the chance to observe leopard seals or Adelie penguins.

Day 8-9 Charcot Island

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
When he discovered this island surrounded by sea ice in 1910 from aboard the Pourquoi Pas ? as he mapped Alexander Island, Jean-Baptiste Charcot had not be able to get less than 40 miles away from it. Situated in a zone that experiences frequent low-pressure systems and regular cloud cover, the island remains in many ways an enigma. It is entirely covered in ice and sheer cliffs, with the exception of the rocky outcrops extending over a dozen kilometres in the far north-west. The ice in the narrowest part of Wilkins Sound has been cracking in recent times, thus officially detaching this island from its neighbour, Alexander Island, lying 50 km away. Very few people have landed on this largely untouched island, whose waters attract numerous seabirds, such as petrels, Antarctic terns and skuas.

Day 10-11 Peter I Island

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
You will then head for the legendary Peter I Island. Located 450 km away from the Atlantic coast, it was discovered in 1821 by the Russian explorer Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen, who named it in honour of the Russian tsar Peter the Great. In 1909, Captain Charcot sighted it for the first time from aboard the Pourquoi Pas ?, but was unable to land there: “In the parting mists, one or two miles away, an enormous black mass shrouded in clouds appears suddenly before us: it is Peter I Island.” Surrounded by pack ice and with about 95% of its surface covered by ice, this volcanic island, whose highest peak reaches 1,640 metres, is protected by ice cliffs some 40 metres tall, making any approach difficult.

Day 12 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Spend exceptional moments sailing aboard Le Commandant-Charcot, the world’s first luxury polar exploration vessel and the first PC2-class polar cruise ship capable of sailing into the very heart of the ice, on seas and oceans which the frozen conditions render inaccessible to ordinary ships. Le Commandant-Charcot is fitted with oceanographic and scientific equipment selected by a committee of experts. Take advantage of the on-board lectures and opportunities for discussion with these specialists to learn more about the poles. Participate in furthering scientific research with PONANT and let us discover together what these fascinating destinations have yet to reveal to us.

Day 13 The Gullet

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner

Day 14-15 Drake Passage

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners

Day 16 Ushuaia | Disembark | Fly to Santiago

  • 1 Breakfast
Arrive back in Ushuaia and disembark after breakfast and transfer to the airport for your included flight to Santiago.

Le Commandant Charcot

Santiago - Hotels

Per person starting at
$16,480
Le Commandant Charcot cabin
Select a Date
Prestige Stateroom Deck 6
20m² and a 5m² private balcony, king-sized bed or two twin beds, private bathroom with shower, dressing table with hairdryer, flat screen tv, wifi, minibar and safe
Le Commandant Charcot cabin
Select a Date
Prestige Stateroom Deck 7
20m² and a 5m² private balcony, king-sized bed or two twin beds, private bathroom with shower, dressing table with hairdryer, flat screen tv, wifi, minibar and safe
Le Commandant Charcot cabin
Select a Date
Prestige Stateroom Deck 8
20m² and a 5m² private balcony, king-sized bed or two twin beds, private bathroom with shower, dressing table with hairdryer, flat screen tv, wifi, minibar and safe
Le Commandant Charcot cabin
Select a Date
Privilege Stateroom Deck 6
28m² and a 5m² private balcony, king-sized bed or two twin beds, private bathroom with shower, dressing table with hairdryer, flat screen tv, wifi, minibar and safe
Le Commandant Charcot cabin
Select a Date
Privilege Stateroom Deck 7
28m² and a 5m² private balcony, king-sized bed or two twin beds, private bathroom with shower, dressing table with hairdryer, flat screen tv, wifi, minibar and safe
Le Commandant Charcot cabin
Select a Date
Privilege Stateroom Deck 8
28m² and a 5m² private balcony, king-sized bed or two twin beds, private bathroom with shower, dressing table with hairdryer, flat screen tv, wifi, minibar and safe
Le Commandant Charcot cabin
Select a Date
Prestige Suite Deck 7
40m² and a 10m² private balcony, king-sized bed or two twin beds, private bathroom with two showers, dressing table with hairdryer, flat screen tv, wifi, minibar and safe
Le Commandant Charcot cabin
Select a Date
Prestige Suite Deck 8
40m² and a 10m² private balcony, king-sized bed or two twin beds, private bathroom with two showers, dressing table with hairdryer, flat screen tv, wifi, minibar and safe
Select a Date
Privilege Suite Deck 6
48m² and a 12.5m² private balcony, king-sized bed or two twin beds, private bathroom with shower and Balneo bathtub, dressing table with hairdryer, butler service, flat screen tv, wifi, minibar and safe
Select a Date
Privilege Suite Deck 8
48m² and a 12.5m² private balcony, king-sized bed or two twin beds, private bathroom with shower and Balneo bathtub, dressing table with hairdryer, butler service, flat screen tv, wifi, minibar and safe
Le Commandant Charcot cabin
Select a Date
Suite Duplex
48m² and a 26m² private balcony with jacuzzi, king-sized bed or two twin beds, private bathroom with shower and Balneo bathtub, dressing table with hairdryer, butler service, flat screen tv, wifi, minibar and safe
Select a Date
Owner's Suite
114m² and a 186m² private balcony with jacuzzi, king-sized bed or two twin beds, private bathroom with shower and Balneo bathtub, dressing table with hairdryer, butler service, flat screen tv, wifi, minibar and safe

Notes

Please note:
Fares are based on double occupancy and are capacity controlled. Rates may increase at any time as the ship sells out and are subject to change without notice.

*Rates are capacity controlled and are subject to change without notice.​

Cruise fares are per person and include the following:
  • Transfer from airport upon flight arrival or from your chosen pick-up location within a 50-kilometer range from Santiago city center.
  • 1-night accommodation in a 5* hotel the night before embarkation.
  • Early check-in available from late morning.
  • Hospitality desk at the hotel in Santiago.
  • Roundtrip flight Santiago/Ushuaia - Ushuaia/Santiago in economy class.
  • Meals as mentioned in the program and beverage package.
  • Transfers as mentioned in the program.
  • Highly experienced bilingual (French-English) Expedition team 
  • Park entry fees into protected areas
  • Port and safety taxes
  • Gratuities to onboard crew, local guides and drivers
  •  All meals while on board the ship 
  • Captain’s welcome cocktail and gala dinner, featuring Veuve Clicquot Champagne
  • “Open Bar” (Pouring wines, house champagne, alcohol except premium brands. List available upon request.)
  • Evening entertainment and events
  • 24-hour room service (special selection)
  • Ladurée macarons served aboard
  • Free and unlimited Wi-Fi (Internet access may be slower or in some situations interrupted, depending on certain geographic locations or other circumstances beyond our control).
Your program does not include:
  • Any ground services before and/or after the cruise other than the ones mentioned in each “Cruise, Flights & Transfers” package and for which details are available upon request. 
  • Airport taxes (other than the ones included)
  • Luggage handling
  • Optional Spa package to be booked prior your departure; please ask for more information
  • Beverages other than the ones mentioned
  • Laundry services, hair salon and à la carte Spa treatments
  • Personal expenses, on board medical consultations and drug prescriptions
  • Cancellation/luggage/assistance/repatriation/medical insurance(s)
  • Visa expenses and/or immigration reciprocity taxes if applicable
  • Kayaking Discovery: $490 per person (one outing lasting approximately 1.5 hours) Kayaking Exploration: $990 per person (3 outings lasting approximately 1.5 hours each) Kayaking options must be pre-booked.
We are privileged guests in these remote lands where we are at the mercy of weather, ice, tidal and current conditions. Landings on certain sites and the observation of certain wildlife cannot be guaranteed. They vary from day to day, making each cruise a unique experience. The Captain and the Expedition Leader will make every effort to ensure that your experience is as rich as possible, while complying with the safety rules and instructions imposed by the IAATO.
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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Everything was amazing! The planning with Adventure Life went smoothly. The actual trip was fantastic! One of the best trips I have experienced. The cruise staff members were knowledgeable and attentive. I will be writing more about this on the blog!
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