Charcot and Peter Island Antarctic Expedition

From Santiago to Santiago
  • All Antarctic Cruises
  • Antarctic Peninsula
  • Expedition
  • Small Ship Cruising
  • Wildlife and Nature
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Tour Description

This is off the beaten track Antarctica, go beyond 66°33’ south of the Equator. the Antarctic Circle and explore the seldom visited Charcot and Peter I Islands.

The outstanding new luxury exploration vessel, the Le Commandant-Charcot, is purpose built for remote polar regions. This hybrid-electric polar exploration ship powered by LNG considers the environment, and provides you with plenty of comfort at the same time, including panoramic restaurants and an indoor swimming pool.

Discover some of the most remote and unique islands of Antarctica as you embark on this incredible voyage. Cruise into the vast mysteries of the Bellingshausen Sea, including a visit to a small volcanic island,  the remote Peter I Island.

Along the way we will cruise Marguerite Bay, known as one of the most stunning regions in Antarctica, and through narrow fjords on the way to Pourquoi Pas Island. There will be plenty of time to explore, take zodiac exploration trips, and land ashore in Antarctica. This vessels also has available snowmobiles, hovercrafts, hot air balloons and kayaks to allow many adventure activities. Wildlife abounds, look out for humpback whales, gentoo penguins, Weddell seals and more.

Viva's Best Bits...

Cross the mythic line of the Antarctic Polar Circle, located along 66°33’ south of the Equator.

"Sail on a sleek and elegant vessel with a fantastic mix of luxury and revolutionary technology to remote and off the beaten track spots in Antarctic, Peter I Island has been described as like landing on the moon!" Tara, Team Viva

Encounter the unique wildlife of Antarctica including humpback whales, penguins and Weddell Seals, whilst making zodiac expeditions and shore landings, or even by kayak.

Tour Itinerary

Day 1
Arrive Santiago

Arrive Santiago anytime. We recommend arriving at least 1 or 2 days before departure to allow time for you to enjoy and explore Chile’s capital city and cultural centre.

Dinner is included tonight at your hotel

Overnight in a 5 star hotel in Santiago

Day 2
Fly Santiago to Ushuaia - Embarkation Day

Early morning transfer to Santiago Airport for your charter flight to Ushuaia (Included).
A light morning breakfast will be served before leaving for the airport for your Santiago/Ushuaia flight.
Upon arrival into Ushuaia some free time may be permitted before boarding Le Commandant-Charcot

A Light Breakfast and Dinner is Included today

Overnight onboard Le Commandant-Charcot in your selected cabin

Day 3-4
Drake Passage

Use your days spent in the Drake Passage to familiarise yourself with your ship and deepen your knowledge of the Antarctic. The Expedition Leader will first present the IAATO rules of conduct that must be observed during landings in the region and will explain everything you need to know about the Zodiac® outings. Lectures about the history and wildlife of the Antarctic will be an opportunity for you to learn more about this magical region, where every cruise is a unique experience. From the ship’s bridge, you will experience exceptional sailing moments before joining the naturalist-guides on your ship’s exterior decks to look out for albatrosses, cape petrels, and other seabirds flying over the Drake Passage

All meals included

Overnight onboard Le Commandant-Charcot in your selected cabin

Day 5
Crossing the Antarctic Circle and Detaille Island

Crossing the Antarctic Circle:
Weather permitting, we'll cross the mythic line of the Antarctic Polar Circle, located along 66°33’ south of the Equator. This iconic area demarcates the point from which it is possible to view the midnight sun during the December solstice. Within this circle, the sun remains above the horizon for 24 consecutive hours at least once a year. Crossing this line, an experience known to few people, is sure to be an unforgettable highlight of your cruise through the polar regions.

Detaille Island:
Detaille Island is a small island situated off the Loubet Coast in the Crystal Sound, a magnificent region surrounded by snow-covered peaks. A British research station was set up there in 1956, ahead of the International Geophysical Year 1957-58. Like the International Polar Years, organised for the first time in 1882-83, the purpose of this event was to take a coordinated approach to the geophysical research conducted by the different nations. With the island difficult to access, this station was shut down in 1959. The vestiges of the buildings and sledge dog pens that made it possible to map more than 4,000 miles around the island are now maintained by the United Kingdom Heritage Trust.

All meals included

Overnight onboard Le Commandant-Charcot in your selected cabin

Day 6
The Gullet and Pourquoi Pas Island

The Gullet:
The sumptuous landscapes of this narrow channel between Adelaide Island and Graham Land attract all visitors sailing towards Marguerite Bay. It is like an ice palace, its immaculate white walls reflected in the frozen mirror formed by the waters of the Southern Ocean, scattered with icebergs and gleaming blocks of ice. This passage was explored for the first time by the Jean-Baptiste Charcot expedition in 1909, which sketched its position. It was then surveyed in 1936 by the British expedition under John Rymill. It is here in this magical setting that some of the first subaquatic images of the Antarctic were shot during Philippe Cousteau’s four-month expedition to Antarctica between 1972 and 1973.

Pourquoi Pas Island:
Le Commandant Charcot will land on the coast of Pourquoi Pas Island, so named in the 1930s by John Riddoch Rymill in honour of Jean-Baptiste Charcot, who discovered it from aboard his ship Le Pourquoi Pas ? during his second expedition to Antarctica between 1908 and 1910. This mountainous island, situated in the north of Marguerite Bay between Graham Land and Adelaide Island, is 28 km long and 14 km large. It is scattered with narrow fjords and snow-covered mountains. You will go to shore in a Zodiac® dinghy with your expedition team and you could get the chance to observe Adelie penguins going about their business on the island’s rocky shores.

All meals included

Overnight onboard Le Commandant-Charcot in your selected cabin

Day 7
Marguerite Bay

The icebergs are each more majestic than the next and scattered around the deep and intense blue waters of Marguerite Bay, one of the most beautiful regions in the Antarctic. It is delimited in the north by the mountainous Adelaide Island, in the south by George VI Sound and Alexander Island, and in the east by the Fallières Coast. Charcot named it after his wife during his second expedition to the Antarctic between 1908 and 1910. In 1909, in the southern summer when the skies are at their clearest, he led an important scientific mission to map and study this region. The bay is home to a number of cetaceans and you may get the chance to observe leopard seals or Adelie penguins.

All meals included

Overnight onboard Le Commandant-Charcot in your selected cabin

Day 8-9
Charcot Island

When he discovered this island surrounded by sea ice in 1910 from aboard the Pourquoi Pas ? as he mapped Alexander Island, Jean-Baptiste Charcot had not be able to get less than 40 miles away from it. Situated in a zone that experiences frequent low-pressure systems and regular cloud cover, the island remains in many ways an enigma. It is entirely covered in ice and sheer cliffs, with the exception of the rocky outcrops extending over a dozen kilometres in the far north-west. The ice in the narrowest part of Wilkins Sound has been cracking in recent times, thus officially detaching this island from its neighbour, Alexander Island, lying 50 km away. Very few people have landed on this largely untouched island, whose waters attract numerous seabirds, such as petrels, Antarctic terns and skuas.

All meals included

Overnight onboard Le Commandant-Charcot in your selected cabin

Day 10-11
Peter I Island

You will then head for the legendary Peter I Island. Located 450 km away from the Atlantic coast, it was discovered in 1821 by the Russian explorer Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen, who named it in honour of the Russian tsar Peter the Great. In 1909, Captain Charcot sighted it for the first time from aboard the Pourquoi Pas ?, but was unable to land there: “In the parting mists, one or two miles away, an enormous black mass shrouded in clouds appears suddenly before us: it is Peter I Island.” Surrounded by pack ice and with about 95% of its surface covered by ice, this volcanic island, whose highest peak reaches 1,640 metres, is protected by ice cliffs some 40 metres tall, making any approach difficult.

All meals included

Overnight onboard Le Commandant-Charcot in your selected cabin

Day 12
At Sea

Spend exceptional moments sailing aboard Le Commandant-Charcot, cruising at sea

All meals included

Overnight onboard Le Commandant-Charcot in your selected cabin

Day 13
The Gullet

The sumptuous landscapes of this narrow channel between Adelaide Island and Graham Land attract all visitors sailing towards Marguerite Bay. It is like an ice palace, its immaculate white walls reflected in the frozen mirror formed by the waters of the Southern Ocean, scattered with icebergs and gleaming blocks of ice. This passage was explored for the first time by the Jean-Baptiste Charcot expedition in 1909, which sketched its position. It was then surveyed in 1936 by the British expedition under John Rymill. It is here in this magical setting that some of the first subaquatic images of the Antarctic were shot during Philippe Cousteau’s four-month expedition to Antarctica between 1972 and 1973.

All meals included

Overnight onboard Le Commandant-Charcot in your selected cabin

Day 14-15
Crossing the Drake

If there is one place, one sea, one waterway dreaded by tourists, researchers and hardened seafarers alike, it is undoubtedly Drake Passage. Situated at the latitude of the infamous Furious Fifties winds, between Cape Horn and the South Shetland Islands, it is the shortest route to connect Antarctica to South America. Seasoned navigators will tell you that you must earn your visit to the White Continent! As the Antarctic convergence zone where cold currents rising up from the South Pole meet warmer equatorial water masses, Drake Passage harbours a very diverse marine fauna. Don't forget to look to the sky to catch a glimpse of elegant albatross and Cape petrels, playfully floating about in the wind around your ship.

All meals included

Overnight onboard Le Commandant-Charcot in your selected cabin

Day 16
Disembarkation Ushuaia - Fly to Santiago

Arrival back into Ushuaia this morning, and transfer to the airport for your departing flight to Santiago. Services end upon arrival into Santiago Airport.

We recommend you stay at least 1 night in Santiago post-cruise, as we are unable to confirm the flight times until closer to travel.

Need help with pre or post cruise travel arrangements? Interested in extending your stay to visit other amazing destinations in Latin America. Be sure to ask your travel adviser for more details

NOTE:
We are privileged guests in these remote lands where we are at the mercy of weather, ice, tidal and current conditions. Landings on certain sites and the observation of certain wildlife cannot be guaranteed. They vary from day to day, making each cruise a unique experience. The Captain and the Expedition Leader will make every effort to ensure that your experience is as rich as possible, while complying with the safety rules and instructions imposed by the IAATO.

What’s Included

Accommodation
  • Included Copy 20 14 nights on board Le Commondant Charcot
  • Included Copy 31 Cabin upgrades available
  • Included Copy 20 1 night pre cruise accommodation in Santiago
Food
  • Included Copy 20 All meals whilst on board
  • Included Copy 20 Open bar & room service 24 hours (conditions apply)
Fees & Services
  • Included Copy 20 Outings and shore visits in Zodiacs with a team of experienced naturalist guides
  • Included Copy 20 Parka to keep & boots to Loan while on the cruise
  • Included Copy 31 activities: Hovercraft, Hot Air Balloon, Kayaking, Zodiacs, Hiking & Snowmobiles
  • Included Copy 20 Return charter flight from/to Santiago/Ushuaia
  • Included Copy 7 International flights, Travel Insurance, Gratuities / Tips are not included
  • Included Copy 7 Personal expenses such as laundry, on board communication (telephone calls, faxes, email)
  • Included Copy 20 Lectures and information sessions hosted by our naturalist-guides
  • Included Copy 31 Optional Polar Diving (Additional costs)
Transportation
Le Commandant Charcot | Antarctic Cruise Ship

270 (200 in Antarctica) Passengers

Activities

  • Included Participate in scientific research
  • Included Walking and Hiking opportunities
  • Included Wildlife observation: humpback whales, gentoo penguins, Weddell seals.
  • Included Outings and shore visits in Zodiac inflatables
  • Included Snowmobiles exploring the white continent
  • Included Hovercraft Explorations
  • Included Hot Air Balloon Flights *with limited places available
  • Included Polar Diving *with limited places available, additional costs apply
  • Included Venture beyond Antarctic Polar Circle
Click here for dates & prices
Duration

16 days

Price from

$16,114 USD

Per person, sharing

Based On Lowest Cabin

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