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Charcot, Bellingshausen, Dean, Fisher, Ross, Amundsen… Aboard Le Commandant Charcot, the names of these legendary explorers resonate at every moment. Thanks to its unique capacity to sail into the very heart of the ice, Le Commandant Charcot invites you to set off in the footsteps of these great Antarctic figures during an all-new and unrivalled half-circumnavigation that will sail from the far south of the American continent to New Zealand. This journey to the boundaries of the known world will take you on a long adventure, where time stands still, where the horizon stretches into infinity to reveal dreamlike landscapes and abundant wildlife.

Antarctic exploration cannot be separated from the pioneers who travelled in these territories at the edges of the Earth. They left their names everywhere. Inaccessible and elusive are certainly the adjectives that best describe these lands that are among our planet’s most little-known and remote. Like a real explorer, you will cross the legendary southern seas of Bellingshausen and Amundsen, approach Marie Byrd Land, one of the last Terra nullius of our planet, and attempt to reach the Charcot and Peter I Islands, enveloped in their blankets of ice. Very significant in the history of South Pole exploration, Ross Sea is also the world’s largest marine protected area, the kingdom of prodigious wildlife. As a privileged witness, keep a watchful eye and take the time to observe the Antarctic petrels, whales, orcas, seals and penguins that are to be found here.

The power of the polar world will conquer you, leaving you with unforgettable memories of the impressive Drygalski glacier scattered with blue, the endless and constant Ross Ice Shelf, the majestic Witkins and Getz ice shelves, and the ice floe taking over the Amundsen Sea. Here and there, you will notice clues to the past presence of Shackleton and Scott who have forever marked this continent of extremes with their historic exploits. At the foot of Mount Erebus, the highest volcano in Antarctica, their memory becomes tangible: the former base camp has remained intact.


  • The eye and the advice of our photo ambassadors, a privileged opportunity to immortalise your trip with, in the programme: workshops, conferences and personalized advice to improve your photographic skills.
  • The all-new half-circumnavigation of the Antarctic, an unforgettable trip into the heart of the ice and a continent full of extremes.
  • The exploratory approach to some of the most little-known islands in the world: Charcot Island, Peter I Island and the Marie Byrd Land Islands.
  • A dive into the history of the conquest of the South Pole, from the Bay of Whales, a natural harbour that served as a base for Roald Amundsen’s victorious expedition in 1911.
  • The crossing of three southern seas: Bellingshausen, Amundsen and Ross.
  • Outings and shore visits in a zodiac dinghy or hovercraft* with a reinforced team of naturalist guides.
  • The landscapes: ice shelves, including that of Ross, surrealist glaciers, monumental icebergs, immersion in the heart of the ice floe.
  • The wildlife: crabeater, leopard and Weddell seals; Adelie penguins; humpback whales and orcas.
  • Many activities: kayaking, hiking or snowshoeing. Discover all the activities in the “PONANT Activities” tab.

PONANT's Photo Ambassadors

Sue Flood   &   Ian Dawson


Secure your space today by calling one of our Travel Specialists on 020 3805 8479 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…

Day 2 & 3 - Crossing the Drake Passage
Day 4 - Crossing the Antarctic Circle
Day 5 - Expedition to Charcot Island
Day 6 - Bellingshausen Sea
Day 7 - Expedition to Peter I Island
Day 8 - Amundsen Sea
Days 9 - 15 - Marie Byrd Land exploration
Day 16 - The Ross Sea exploration
Day 17 - International date line 
Days 18 - 22 - The Ross Sea exploration
Day 23 - At sea aboard Le Commandant Charcot
Day 24 - Balleny Islands
Days 25 - 29 - At sea aboard Le Commandant Charcot
Day 30 - Lyttelton

Departures and Prices

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From your first booking with us, you’ll become a member of My Routes Rewards and begin collecting points for every holiday you book!


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.