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Crabeater seal

The Weddell Sea & Larsen Ice Shelf

Example 13 Day Cruise aboard Le Commandant Charcot
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As you advance across this immense polar expanse, you will enter an infinite ice desert, a world of silence where there is nothing but calm and serenity. To the northwest of the Weddell Sea, stretching along the eastern coast of the Antarctic Peninsula stands an imposing ice shelf known as the Larsen Ice Shelf. An extension of the ice sheet onto the sea, this white giant is equally disturbing and fascinating, if only due to its colossal dimensions and the impressive tabletop icebergs - amongst the largest ever seen - that it generates. This voyage will be an opportunity to come as close as possible to the Weddell Sea, a real refuge for wildlife.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Arrive Santiago, Chile
Day 2 : Fly to Ushuaia | Embark
Days 3-4 : Drake Passage
Day 5 : South Shetland Islands
Day 6 : North Antarctic Peninsula
Day 7 : Weddell Sea
Days 8-9 : Sailing towards Larsen Ice Shelf
Day 10 : Weddell Sea
Days 11-12 : Drake Passage
Day 13 : Ushuaia | Disemabrk | Fly to Santiago

Highlights

  • Discover the impressive Larsen Ice Shelf and its immense table top icebergs
  • Lectures and information sessions hosted by onboard naturalist-guides
  • View Antarctic wildlife, including penguins, humpback whales, and seals
  • Experience a vast landscape of ice floes, glaciers, and ice shelves

Ship

Le Commandant Charcot

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Crabeater seal Glacier trekking Iceberg in Antarctica Zodiac cruising among icebergs

Day 1 Arrive Santiago, Chile

Arrive in Santiago and transfer to your hotel. You will be met and greeted at your hotel by a local representative. Enjoy the afternoon at your leisure before meeting your fellow passengers for dinner.

Day 2 Fly to Ushuaia | Embark

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning after breakfast, fly to Ushuaia, approximately 3 hours of flight time, and transfer to your ship for embarkation. 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 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 South Shetland Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
On the edge of the Antarctic Peninsula, 120 km (70 miles) from the White Continent, the South Shetland Islands offer surreal and mysterious scenery. On these volcanic islands of dark rock, the landscapes alternate between long, jagged and snow-covered coast and large, gently sloping bays. These lunar and wild lands are home to important scientific research stations and a large number of animal species: chinstrap penguins, crabeater seals or Weddell seals, Antarctic terns, giant petrels and elephant seals have taken up residence here.

Day 6 North Antarctic Peninsula

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Throughout your time in the north of the Antarctic Peninsula, you will find yourself in the heart of a spectacular decor in subtle shades of blue and white, surrounded by exceptional wildlife. You will sail through the Antarctic Sound, named after Swedish explorer Otto Nordenskjöld’s ship, which was trapped by the ice during an important scientific expedition in 1902. The gateway to the Weddell Sea, this sound is filled with gigantic tabular icebergs and plates of sea ice drifting northward from the coastal areas of this vast sea. It is home to Adelie penguins and a great many leopard seals.

Day 7 Weddell Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Amidst the eerie stillness of the Weddell Sea, you'll wind your way through a veritable labyrinth of the dense ice floe and majestic table icebergs. Sweeping ice platforms sculpt a landscape unlike any other, populated by fur seals, penguins, wandering albatross and other imposing seabirds. The Weddell seal, king of this realm, will welcome you to his territory with a haunting cry that pierces the surrounding silence. You'll recognize him by his dark grey coat and spotted belly. Weddell seals have the impressive distinction of being able to stay underwater for more than an hour.

Day 8-9 Sailing towards Larsen Ice Shelf

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
On the Weddell Sea, you will sail close to the gigantic Larsen ice shelves. These floating ice shelves help to prevent the erosion of the Antarctic ice sheet. Over the last fifty years, scientists have however observed regular collapses of these shelves, along giant cracks that can be several hundred kilometers long and deep. In 2017, a portion measuring more than 6,000 km2, so barely smaller than Corsica, had broken off the Larsen C ice shelf, forming one of the largest tabular icebergs in the world. This disintegration is believed to be due in part to global warming and melting sea ice.

Day 10 Weddell Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Amidst the eerie stillness of the Weddell Sea, you'll wind your way through a veritable labyrinth of dense ice floe and majestic table icebergs. Sweeping ice platforms sculpt a landscape unlike any other, populated by fur seals, penguins, wandering albatross and other imposing seabirds. The Weddell seal, king of this realm, will welcome you to his territory with a haunting cry that pierces the surrounding silence. You'll recognize him by his dark grey coat and spotted belly. Weddell seals have the impressive distinction of being able to stay underwater for more than an hour.

Day 11-12 Drake Passage

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
If there is one place, one sea, one waterway dreaded by tourists, researchers and hardened seafarers alike, it is undoubtedly Drake Passage. Situated at the latitude of the infamous Furious Fifties winds, between Cape Horn and the South Shetland Islands, it is the shortest route to connect Antarctica to South America. Seasoned navigators will tell you that you must earn your visit to the White Continent! As the Antarctic convergence zone where cold currents rising up from the South Pole meet warmer equatorial water masses, Drake Passage harbors a very diverse marine fauna. Don't forget to look to the sky to catch a glimpse of elegant albatross and Cape petrels, playfully floating about in the wind around your ship.

Day 13 Ushuaia | Disemabrk | Fly to Santiago

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

Le Commandant Charcot

Santiago - Hotels

Per person starting at
$13,960
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
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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
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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
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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.
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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