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At the Genesis of the French Polar Expeditions

Reykjavík - Reykjavík - Example 11 Day Cruise aboard Le Commandant Charcot
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Between immense glaciers, winding fjords carrying gigantic icebergs, polar caps, and thick patches of the ice floe, discover a nature enhanced by the special luminosity of the midnight sun. In this season, the sun’s rays lie level with the horizon diffusing a magical palette of blue, magenta, purple, and pink. Continue sailing ever further north until you reach the coast of Blosseville. This wild region of jagged peaks was identified in 1833 by Commander Blosseville during a voyage that caused his disappearance and that of his crew: an enigmatic wreck that would lead to one of the biggest French exploration missions two years later. Relive this period in the history of sailing during this unique 11-day cruise which will take you to the heart of this hostile but sublime realm of ice.
Street view of old town ReykjavikOne of Greenland's many glaciersHallgrimskirkja Church in Reykjavik
Highlights
  • Venture into an extremely remote part of the world
  • Discover the beautiful east coast of Greenland
  • Experience the exceptional midnight sun
  • Learn more about the Inuit people's culture
Places Visited
Trip Type:
  • Small Ship
Activity Level: Relaxed
0

Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Reykjavík | Embark

Iceland’s capital stretches along the edge of a vast bay in the west of the country. Perlan, the “Pearl of Reykjavík”, a museum located on ’Oskjuhlið hill, offers a panoramic view of the lush, green landscapes. A little further, one can easily spot the signpost showing the way to the evangelical Hallgrímskirkja church, and to the historical center where one can stroll along the Skólavördustígur and the Laugavegur, two lively streets with charming small shops. For some relaxation just outside of the city, visitors have the opportunity to visit the Reykjanes peninsula and its famous thermal lagoons of the Blue Lagoon.

Day 2: At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness center. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

Day 3: Nansen Habor

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Traveling to Nansen Harbor is the guarantee of a voyage back in time and will enable you to discover a superb bay, into which the ice cap plunges directly. It was because of the proximity and accessibility of the glacier that Fridtjof Nansen chose this location for his crossing of the ice cap crossing in August 1888. Sailing along the coast, you can imagine the first steps of the great explorer on the Greenland ice sheet.

Day 4: Ammassalik Region

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 3 Dinners
Still almost unknown just a century ago, the east coast of Greenland remains the most authentic and majestic region. Here, the alpine mountains merge intimately with the sea, while the fjords are adorned with high snow-capped peaks and drifting icebergs. Follow in the wake of Captain Jean-Baptiste Charcot’s famous ship, the Pourquoi Pas?, which set off with its crew to discover Ammassalik, a small island of primitive and wild beauty where the Inuit people chose to live. The name of this island is a reference to the capelin, a small flamboyant silver-colored fish, whose presence in the thousands announces to inhabitants the return of spring. A surprising discovery in a spectacular setting.

Day 5: Storo Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In the Ammassalik region, the small island of Storo welcomed the famous French explorer Paul-Emile Victor during his first stay in Greenland in 1932. This young ethnologist was set down by Captain Charcot at Ammassallik then made his way to the island of Storo, where he spent a year hosted by an Inuit family. Bones, stones, a tomb, and a few vestiges of huts and wooden cabins are evidence that people have been coming to the island for a very long time. Its location facing the Denmark Strait, at the entrance of a small fjord, is indeed ideal for hunting or for observing the whales, narwhals or belugas that live in the fish-rich waters of the Greenland Sea.

Day 6: Kangerlussuaq ( East Greenland)

Midway between the magnificent Sermilik fjord and the vast expanses of Liverpool Land, you will discover the impressive Kangerlussuaq Fjord, one of the largest on the south-east coast of Greenland. You will sail through a wonderful décor of ice and vertiginous, jagged peaks of dark grey rock coated in snow that plunges into the deep blue waters of the fjord. The fjord is fed by the gigantic Kangerlussuaq glacier, the largest on the east coast of the Greenland Ice Sheet. In the northwest, the Watkins Range is home to the tallest peaks in the Arctic. Gunnbjorns Fjeld stands 3,693 metres (12,000 feet) tall. Known for its abundant fauna, this hard-to-reach fjord is uninhabited, although Inuit hunters have been visiting it for thousands of years.

Day 7: Exploration of Blosseville coast

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Aboard your ship, follow in the footsteps of Jules Poret de Blosseville, a French explorer and sailor. In 1833, aboard La Lilloise, he set off to discover this isolated and unexplored part of eastern Greenland and gave French names to various sites on the coast. The adventure probably has an unfortunate outcome, since the crew was never found. This uninhabited territory, which now bears his name, lies to the south of Scoresby Sund. Surrounded by ice, icebergs, and pieces of pack ice, Blosseville Coast is one of these wild and hard-to-reach places that very few people are lucky enough to explore.

Day 8: D'aunay Bay

Along the Blosseville Coast, you’ll explore the magnificent D’Aunay Bay and superb glaciers in the surrounding area. This wide-sheltered bay was baptized in 1833 by the French sailor Jules de Blosseville in honor of Raoul D’Aunay, second-in-command on La Lilloise. Shimmering reflections of the Greenland Sea, permanent snow cover, prominent peaks, and the silent, majestic drifting of the ice and icebergs... from the deck of your ship or during an outing in a Zodiac® dinghy in the company of our naturalist guides, you will experience pure moments of contemplation far from any other trace of human life as you discover virtually unexplored lands.

Day 9: Ittoqqortoormit Region

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Located between the largest national park and the longest system of fjords in the world, the town of Ittoqqortoormiit, whose name means “great house” in Greenlandic, is one of the remotest inhabited places in the world. Covered with ice and snow for nine months of the year, you will be able to discover the ancestral way of life of the last hunters of the polar region. As soon as the thickness of the ice floe allows, they set out on the trail of walruses, seals, narwhals, musk ox, and polar bears, traveling by traditional dog sleds.

Day 10: At Sea aboard Le Commandant Charcot

  • 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 onboard 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 11: Reyjavik | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Iceland’s capital stretches along the edge of a vast bay in the west of the country. Perlan, the “Pearl of Reykjavík”, a museum located on ’Oskjuhlið hill, offers a panoramic view of the lush, green landscapes. A little further, one can easily spot the signpost showing the way to the evangelical Hallgrímskirkja church, and to the historical centre where one can stroll along the Skólavördustígur and the Laugavegur, two lively streets with charming small shops. For some relaxation just outside of the city, visitors have the opportunity to visit the Reykjanes peninsula and its famous thermal lagoons of the Blue Lagoon.

Ship/Hotel

Le Commandant Charcot

Le Commandant Charcot cabin
Le Commandant Charcot cabin
Deluxe suite

Dates & Prices

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Deals

Save up to 30%
Book today and save up to 30%. Subject to availability and can change without prior notice. Additional restrictions may apply. Please contact us for details.
Applies to Apr 30, 2022 departure

Per person starting at
$12,340
Le Commandant Charcot cabin
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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
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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
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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
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

Cruise fares are per person and include the following:
  • All meals while on board the ship 
  • Captain’s welcome cocktail and gala dinner
  • Gratuities to onboard crew, local guides and drivers
  • “Open Bar” (pouring wines, house champagne, alcohol except premium brands...list available upon request)
  • Evening entertainment and events
  • 24h room service (special selection)
  • English-speaking lecturer 
  • 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
  • Highly experienced bilingual (French-English) Expedition team 
  • Park entry fees into protected areas
  • Complimentary boot rental
  • Complimentary parka
  • 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).
Cruise fares do 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
  • Pre or post-cruise programs, overland programs or shore excursions mentioned
  • Visa expenses and/or immigration reciprocity taxes if applicable
  • Luggage handling
  • Optional Spa package to be booked prior to your departure
  • 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)

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