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.