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In the wake of the legendary Endurance Odyssey led by the famous Sir Ernest Shackleton, embark on a polar exploration to the Weddell Sea, between the archipelagos composing the Scotia Arc. In the comfort of Le Commandant Charcot, an exceptional ship designed to sail through ice-covered waters, set off on a timeless journey to the heart of wild and pristine nature; a territory of the seals, whales and king penguins.

After crossing the often-rough waters of the Drake Passage, you will sail on to the remote waters of the Weddell Sea. The ice floe that stretches to the horizon and the tabular icebergs – among the largest ever observed – drift around you. They come from the calving of this famous ice shelf, real walls of ice along the eastern coast of the Antarctic Peninsula that extend the ice sheet into the sea. It is right near here that Endurance sank, only to be found in 2022, almost a century after this mythical expedition. History takes shape before your very eyes.

Set a course northward through the frozen Southern Ocean, to reach the shores of the Antarctic Peninsula. There, with ice and shades of white all around you, an intense feeling of serenity and freedom will envelope you. Icebergs, glaciers, mountains and frozen sea compose a landscape with an unparalleled power of attraction. The South Shetland Islands soon reveal themselves. There, you will explore from the sea another place made famous by Shackleton’s expedition: Elephant Island. After getting shipwrecked in the middle of the arid desert of the White Continent, it is here that the crew arrived from the Weddell Sea to await help.

Next, you will sail to the South Orkney archipelago, islands with an alpine relief where impressive glaciers overlook a pristine, almost inaccessible landscape. A rare privilege few will experience.

Your ship will take to the seas once again to follow the extraordinary adventure of Shackleton, who set out in a rowing boat in an attempt to save his crew stranded on Elephant Island. On the horizon, the mountainous relief of South Georgia slowly comes into view. This is where the legendary explorer miraculously ran aground, in the middle of the black-sand beaches dominated by snow-covered mountains. The emotion is palpable as the feat becomes imaginable. You will almost feel like you’ve travelled back in time to (re)discover both this fabulous saga and life at this little-known time in history.


  • An exceptional cruise in the wake of the legendary expedition of the Endurance, from the Weddell Sea to the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands, and on to the fabulous South Georgia.
  • Outings and shore visits in a zodiac inflatable with a reinforced team of naturalist guides.
  • Conferences and information meetings on board with our passionate experts, specialists in the fauna, flora and history of the polar regions.
  • Landscapes: drifting icebergs, ice floe, snow-capped mountains, alpine landscapes, black-sand beaches and suspended glaciers.
  • Wildlife: humpback whales, leopard, crabeater and Weddell seals, king penguins, elephant and fur seals.
  • Many activities: kayaking, hiking or snowshoeing, polar plunge without suit, polar swim with drysuit. Discover all the activities in the ‘PONANT Activities’ tab.
  • For your comfort, your cruise package includes an overnight in Santiago the day before embarkation, transfers and flights Santiago/Ushuaia (for details, see the ‘Included in your cruise’ tab).

PONANT'S Photo Ambassadors
Sue Flood   &   Ian Dawson


Secure your space today by calling one of our Travel Specialists on 020 3805 8678 or enquire here.


Day 1: Ushuaia

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…

Days 2 & 3: Crossing the Drake Passage
Days 4 & 5: The Weddell Sea exploration
Day 6: North Antarctic Peninsula
Day 7: South Shetland Islands
Day 8: South Orkney Islands
Days 9 & 10: At sea aboard Le Commandant Charcot
Days 11 - 13: South Georgia
Days 14 - 18: At sea aboard Le Commandant Charcot
Day 19: Montevideo

Departures and Prices

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We'll compare a huge selection of expedition ships, cruises and operators to find your perfect cruise.

Our prices are amongst the best you'll find, plus look out for Polar Routes exclusive offers!

As supporters of the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust, booking with us helps support the work of the trust within Antarctica.

All our holidays are ATOL protected (11104), for your complete peace of mind.


Why book with Polar Routes?

  • We can compare a huge selection of expedition ships, cruises and operators.
  • From former Russian research vessels to larger and luxurious ships - there is an expedition cruise to suit you. 
  • Our Polar Specialists will help you choose the perfect expedition cruise for your requirements.
  • We are the expedition cruise specialists and know all the polar destinations inside out.
  • Our expert team of Polar Specialists have extensive knowledge of all the expedition ships & operators.
  • All of our Polar Specialists have first-hand experience of expedition cruising to the polar regions.
  • Our prices are amongst the best you'll find, plus look out for Polar Routes exclusive offers!
  • All our holidays are ATOL protected (11104), for your complete peace of mind.
  • As supporters of the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust, booking with us helps support the work of the trust within Antarctica.