Icebreaker Le Commandant Charcot completes PONANT's first semi-circumnavigation of Antarctica

   February 23, 2023 ,   Cruise Industry

On February 14th, 2023, PONANT completed its first semi-circumnavigation of the southern continent onboard the world's only luxury icebreaker - Le Commandant Charcot

The expedition covered ~6500 NM / ~7480 mi / ~12040 km. After 28 days (22 of which were beyond the Antarctic Circle), the LNG-powered vessel arrived in Lyttelton NZ on February 14th, 2023.

PONANT’s first semi-circumnavigation was a record, as it is one of the longest expeditions ever operated both in length and distance. For a month, tourists breathed Antarctica's air as Le Commandant Charcot reached Pine Island Glacier (the continent's fastest melting glacier, responsible for ~1/4th of its ice loss) where no cruiser has ever ventured.

A timeless moment that continued as the icebreaker approached Iceberg B22 - the planet's largest iceberg (~500 billion tonnes) that was part of Thwaites Glacier.

The polar expedition had a pleasant pace, allowing the passengers to fully enjoy the cruise ship.

The 2nd semi-circumnavigation has already started. This time the vessel has set sail to explore Adelie Land, an expanse of ~400,000 km2 discovered in 1840 by Jules Dumont-d’Urville.

Le Commandant Charcot icebreaker

The 2024 Antarctic semi-circumnavigation on Le Commandant Charcot includes:

30-day Unexplored Antarctica between Two Continents from Ushuaia Argentina to Lyttelton New Zealand (January 7th-February 5th, 2024). Prices start from EUR 44,240 per person with double occupancy.

27-day From Dumont-d’Urville to Mawson: retracing Heroic Age expeditions from Lyttelton to Ushuaia (February 6th-March 3rd, 2024). Prices start from EUR 38,010 per person.

Your personal data will be processed and information from your device (cookies, unique identifiers, and other device data) may be stored by, accessed by and shared with third party vendors, or used specifically by this site or app. Some vendors may process your personal data on the basis of legitimate interest, which you can object to by managing your options below. Look for a link at the bottom of this page or in our privacy policy where you can withdraw consent.