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Scattered houses of Tromso

From the Northern Lights to the Polar Night

Tromso - Lakselv - Example 12 Day Cruise aboard Le Commandant Charcot
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Set off on a 12-day cruise aboard Le Commandant Charcot with British Photo Ambassador Ian Dawson starting in Tromso and ending in Lakselv. Explore Tromsø, the "Paris of the north," with its neoclassical architecture and iconic Arctic Cathedral. Witness the Northern Lights in Alta and engage with the Sami people and reindeer herders. Hammerfest offers historical intrigue and the UNESCO-listed Struve Geodetic Arc. Bear Island, or Bjørnøya, hosts a thriving seabird colony in its isolated beauty. Hornsund showcases majestic fjords and glaciers, while Longyearbyen boasts untouched Arctic landscapes. Honningsvåg, near the North Cape, dazzles with its northernmost location. Reinoya Island provides serene nature reserves, and Lakselv offers salmon fishing and glimpses of the last ice age. 
Northern Lights near Tromso, NorwayBeautiful Hornsund, NorwayBeautiful Hornsund, NorwayBeautiful Hornsund, NorwayVisit the colorful town of Longyearbyen in the far northHiking in SpitsbergenHomes in Longyearbyen, Svalbard, NorwayGlass-still waters around SpitsbergenScattered houses of Tromso
Highlights
  • Explore Tromsø, the "Paris of the North," and its neoclassical architecture
  • Witness the Northern Lights in Alta, nestled in Altafjord's beauty
  • Discover Hammerfest, the world's northernmost town, with rich history
  • Sail by Bear Island, a fog-covered land home to sea birds
Places Visited
Activity Level: Relaxed
Involves minimal physical effort and is typically associated with leisurely activities. Activities are low-intensity or last less than a few hours each day.
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Fly to Tromso | Embark

Fly from Paris to Tromso, where you will be greeted at the airport by a local English-speaking representative. Afterward, proceed to the pier for embarkation.

In the north of the Arctic Circle, you’ll discover Tromsø, a secluded town located in the county of Troms. Norwegians call it the “Paris of the north”. You’ll soon see why when you discover its extensive neoclassical architectural heritage. A stunning example is the Arctic Cathedral, a major monument whose stylistic purity echoes the outline of the mountains surrounding the town.

Day 2: Alta

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Beyond the Arctic Circle, Alta, in the far north of Norway, is the biggest city in Finnmark county. Renowned for the beauty of its Northern Lights, the town will reveal itself in the hollow of the eponymous fjord, ”Altafjord”. Between the forest scenery and immaculate landscapes, you will have the opportunity to experience unique moments meeting the Sami people, and reindeer herders with ancestral traditions. Chasing the Northern Lights is also an activity in the program.

Day 3: Tromso

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In the north of the Arctic Circle, you’ll discover Tromsø, a secluded town located in the county of Troms. Norwegians call it the “Paris of the north”. You’ll soon see why when you discover its extensive neoclassical architectural heritage. A stunning example is the Arctic Cathedral, a major monument whose stylistic purity echoes the outline of the mountains surrounding the town.

Day 4: Hammerfest

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Hammerfest, located on the northwestern coast of the island of Kvaloya, beyond the 70th parallel north, is often considered the northernmost town in the world. Conserved in an immaculate natural setting, this charming fishing port enjoys a rich history, as is evidenced by various vestiges dating back to the Stone Age, Napoleonic wars, or the Second World War. During your port of call, you will have the opportunity to discover the Struve Geodetic Arc, a chain of triangulations stretching across Europe from Hammerfest to the Black Sea, and the first technical and scientific object to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will also have the opportunity to visit the Reconstruction Museum, meet the Sami people, or visit the Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society, an emblematic spot in Hammerfest.

Day 5: Sailing along Bjørnøya (Bear Island)

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Halfway between Norway and Spitsbergen, you will sail not far from the coastlines of Bjørnøya, the southernmost island of Svalbard. From your ship, observe this isolated piece of land discovered in 1596 by the Dutch navigator Willem Barents, then look for the Northwest Passage. Following a tough fight between a polar bear and the members of the expedition, he dubbed the place Bear Island. Regularly covered by a thick layer of fog, Bjørnøya shelters a meteorological station built in 1923, which is still in operation. Declared a nature reserve in 2002, the island is above all home to an enormous colony of sea birds during summer.

Day 6: Hornsund

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Considered Spitsbergen’s southernmost fjord, Hornsund is famous as one of the first places to have been visited in the region. In 1610, the British explorer Jonas Poole named it thus, after one of the members of his crew brought him a reindeer antler. Shortly afterward, the first whalers settled in the region and contributed to shaping its history. As you move deeper into this fjord, whose total length is 30 kilometers (19 miles), you will find yourselves immersed in the beauty of the surrounding mountains, in the mystery emerging from these small drifting icebergs, and in the glory of this gigantic glacier standing proudly before you.  

Day 7: Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Longyearbyen is the capital of the Norwegian Svalbard archipelago, located on Svalbard’s main island, and is the northernmost territorial capital on the planet. With winter temperatures dropping to below 40°C, the landscapes of this mining town are simply breathtaking. The glaciers, the mountains stretching as far as the eye can see, and the untouched nature, make you feel like you’re in completely unexplored territory.

Day 8: Bellsund, Spitsbergen

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
You will head towards the Bellsund fjord, to follow the traces of the first explorers, arriving from the Norwegian coasts, or those of the many trappers in search of game and trophies. Surprisingly rich in wildlife, the branches of the fjord separate to form two distinct valleys. Give free rein to your imagination in the heart of this majestic natural environment, where time seems to stand still.

Day 9: Sailing along Bjørnøya (Bear Island)

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The small Reinoya Island, measuring scarcely 3.35 km2 (1.3 square miles), will welcome you for an unforgettable moment in the very heart of the Porsangerfjorden. Although this nature reserve is not very big, it boasts many treasures. Here, wild nature can be discovered in the greatest tranquillity. Contemplate the island’s geology, rendered so particular by the whiteness of the dolomite, and the thousand-year-old traces of the last ice age during a hike or a Zodiac outing.

Day 10: Honningsvag

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
If you feel like you have arrived at the end of the world in Honningsvåg, it is because this is the case. Halfway between Oslo and the North Pole, it competes with Hammerfest for the status of “the northernmost town in Continental Europe”. Colorful houses light up this charming and typically Norwegian fishing port nestled in the hollows of the region’s mountainous terrain. Travelers come to stay in the village to go to the North Cape. At the end of the road, you will see the globe which indicates that you are at the very end of Europe. At this point, only the Svalbard archipelago separates you from the North Pole. There is a sea as far as the eye can see. The Northern Lights, the view of the immense cliff plunging into the sea, the thousands of puffins, gannets, and cormorants that spin around you: everything here is grandiose.

Day 11: Reinoya Island | Lakselv

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The small Reinoya Island, measuring scarcely 3.35 km2 (1.3 square miles), will welcome you for an unforgettable moment in the very heart of the Porsangerfjorden. Although this nature reserve is not very big, it boasts many treasures. Here, wild nature can be discovered in the greatest tranquillity. Contemplate the island’s geology, rendered so particular by the whiteness of the dolomite, and the thousand-year-old traces of the last ice age during a hike or a Zodiac outing.

Discover Lakselv, whose name means “Salmon River”, lying at the end of the immense Porsangerfjorden. As its name indicates, this small village is renowned for the salmon fishing in the waters of its river, which are brimming with this fish and others. The village is ideally located, offering privileged access to the surrounding magnificent nature. In particular, it retains traces of the last ice age in Trollholmsund, where dolomites with dreamlike silhouettes can be seen. Do not miss this extraordinary sight!

Day 12: Lakselv | Disembark | Fly to Paris

  • 1 Breakfast
After breakfast, disembark in Lakselv, where a local English-speaking representative will meet and greet you at the port. Then, transfer to the airport in time for your check-in on the Lakselv/Paris flight. It is highly recommended that you stay one night in Paris after this flight.

Ship/Hotel

Le Commandant Charcot

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$14,810
Rates are dynamic and fluctuate based on capacity. Contact us for a specific quote.
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

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
  • 11 Breakfasts, 10 Lunches, 11 Dinners
  • 11 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. 
  • All transfers mentioned in the itinerary
  • Flight Paris - Tromso and Lakselv - Paris 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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