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Midnight sun over the flat-topped icebergs of the Weddell Sea

The Emperor Penguins of Weddell Sea

Roundtrip Ushuaia - Example 14 Day Cruise aboard Le Commandant Charcot
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Embark on a 14-day expedition to the Weddell Sea aboard Le Commandant Charcot, a realm of pristine beauty and wildlife. Explore landscapes of glaciers and towering icebergs aboard a zodiac inflatable with expert naturalist guides. Learn from passionate specialists through onboard conferences, discussing the polar regions' flora, fauna and history. Encounter an array of wildlife, from emperor penguins to playful seals and whales. For the adventurous, thrilling activities await: kayak across crystal-clear waters, embark on scenic hikes, or try snowshoeing amidst the ice floes. The brave can even take a refreshing polar plunge! 
Emperor penguin colonyIncredible ice in the Weddell SeaThe first land we spotted in the Weddell SeaAntarctic Dream cruising the remote coast of the Antarctica PeninsulaCruising the remote waters of AntarcticaIncredible ice in the Weddell SeaMidnight sun over the flat-topped icebergs of the Weddell Sea
Highlights
  • Explore into the almost inaccessible Weddell Sea
  • Explore glaciers & icebergs with expert guides
  • Learn about polar regions' wildlife & history from specialists
  • Encounter emperor penguins, seals, whales & more
  • Kayak, hike, or snowshoe through breathtaking landscapes
Activity Level: Variable
Activity options vary depending on destination and operator. Activity level is determined by the range and intensity of activities you choose to participate in. Discuss with your Trip Planner which options are best for you.
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Santiago

Arrive at Santiago, relax and spend the overnight here preparing for your adventure. 

*specific hotel and location to be announced

Day 2: Ushuaia | Embark

In the morning, join the group transfer to the airport. Fly from Santiago to Ushuaia and hop on the group transfer to the port. Afterward, embark on Le Commandant Charcot for your Polar adventure.

Day 3-4: Crossing the Drake Passage

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.  You will experience exceptional sailing moments on board and join 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: North Antarctic Peninsula

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 6-11: The Weddell Sea Exploration

Impassable, extreme and captivating: this is the best way to describe the Weddell Sea, much of which is covered by a layer of thick, densely packed ice. It is a challenge and a privilege to sail upon this sea. Polar exploration finds its full meaning here. Heading towards the South is a real quest, with the promise of highly-charged encounters with the continent’s endemic fauna. This is the kingdom of the emperor penguin, the largest penguin in the world, renowned for its elegance. Unlike other penguins that live on the rocks, the emperor nests on the ice floe which it needs for its reproductive cycle. It is therefore on the ice floe that you will be able to observe it walking around with its characteristic gait. In this southern sea, where the ice changes and is transformed constantly, there is never any monotony. The new reliefs and new colours ensure never-ending wonderment. You will sail into the heart of the immaculate ice floe, which is dislocated or densely packed, into an alley of icebergs. Among them are immense blocks of ice, tabular icebergs, that drift and illuminate the ocean with their cerulean blue haloes. Aboard, on shore, on the ice, you will be as close as possible to the colonies of Adelie penguins, Weddell seals, Mink whales, orcas, snow petrels.… With a little luck, you will get a glimpse of a rare Ross seal with its silver pelage or of emperor penguins, waddling along the edge of the ice floe. A sight that is as fascinating as it is emotional.

Day 12-13: Crossing the Drake Passage

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 14: Ushuaia | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
After breakfast, say farewell to fellow travelers and ship crew before the disembarkation. Transfer to the airport in time for check-in of the flight back to Santiago.

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…

Ship/Hotel

Le Commandant Charcot

Santiago - Hotels

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$27,740 2-3 travelers
Rates are dynamic and fluctuate based on capacity. Contact us for a specific quote.
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
Deluxe suite
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Deluxe Suite 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
Deluxe suite
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Deluxe Suite 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.
Deluxe suite
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Deluxe Suite 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
Le Commandant Charcot cabin
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Grand Prestige Suite
42m² 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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Privilege Suite
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
suite duplex
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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
owners suite
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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.
Included
  • 12 Breakfasts, 11 Lunches, 12 Dinners
  • 13 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Ponant Activities: A variety of excursions and activities will be offered during your cruise, weather dependent, and can be reserved on board
  • Port Fees
  • Unlimited Wifi
  • Onboard Entertainment 
  • Captain’s Welcome Cocktail and Gala Dinner
  • Gratuities to Onboard Crew
  • “Open Bar” (pouring wines, house champagne, alcohol except premium brands...list available upon request)
  • 24h Room Service (special selection)
  • English-Speaking Lecturer 
  • Highly experienced and bilingual (French-English) expedition staff
  • Park Entry Fees into Protected Areas
  • Water sports activities (except scuba diving) using the ship’s equipment, when permitted by local authorities and confirmed by ship Master according to safety and sea conditions onsite. 
  • 1-night accommodation in a 5* hotel the night before embarkation.
  • Transfers to/from the airport to PONANT selected hotel
  • Return flight Santiago/Ushuaia/Santiago selected by PONANT, in economy class
Excluded
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Visa Fees
  • Optional Excursions - Ponant allows you to pre-book your excursions approximately six to two months prior to the cruise* departure. Please note that this is subject to change. Please contact us for more details.
  • Any ground services before and/or after the cruise other than the ones mentioned
  • Luggage Handling 
  • Laundry Services, Hair Salon, and à La Carte Spa Treatments
  • Pre or post cruise programs, overland programs or shore excursions 
  • Beverages other than the ones mentioned in inclusions
  • CDP recommends that every Traveler has full and adequate travel insurance covering the risks of cancellation, assistance being required, repatriation, damages to and loss of baggage, and medical expenses

Map

When to Go

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.

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Kate was great to work with in the planning stage. She was prompt, helpful, and efficient. Our tour guide, Edwin, was knowledgeable and passionate. We were very happy to have traveled with Adventure Life, it made the trip easy and a true pleasure. We could concentrate on enjoying the experience rather than the details of travel.
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