Unexplored Antarctica

From Santiago - Ushuaia to Dunedin - Auckland
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  • Antarctic Peninsula
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Tour Description

Journey into wild and remote Antarctica. Set off in the footsteps of great Antarctic explorers onboard the luxury Le Commandant Charcot, for an unrivalled half-circumnavigation of Antarctica!

Across the Antarctic Circle and beyond to the Bellingshausen Sea, the Amundsen and Ross Seas. Undertake an exploratory approach to some of the most little-known islands in the world: Charcot Island, Peter I Island and the Marie Byrd Land Islands. Weather and ice conditions permitting, you will be able to discover several of the region’s emblematic sites. Among the possible ports of call, Cape Adare, at the far north of the Borchgrevink Coast, is home to one of the world’s largest Adelie penguin colonies. We will also try to get to Terra Nova Bay, home to the stunning Drygalski Ice Tongue. Visit Macquarie Island an island of great beauty and outstanding natural diversity.

...these are truly off the beaten track destinations in Antarctica!

The outstanding new luxury exploration vessel, the Le Commandant-Charcot, has been designed especially to take you to these 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.

A unique andn unforgettable trip into the heart of the ice and a continent full of extremes!

Viva's Best Bits...

Le Commandant Charcot is the world’s 1st PC2 luxury hybrid-electric polar exploration ship. Explore remote destinations in complete luxury never before seen in polar exploration, with the greatest attention to detail in terms respect for the environment

Cross three southern seas: Bellingshausen, Amundsen and Ross, witness outstanding scenery and fascinating wildlife along the way including; whales, orcas, royal penguin, king penguins and Adelie penguins.

The all-new half-circumnavigation of the Antarctic, an unforgettable trip into the heart of the ice & a continent full of extremes. Plus approach to some of the most little-known islands in the world: Charcot Island, Peter I Island & Marie Byrd Land Islan

Tour Itinerary

Day 1
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.

Transfer to your hotel included, Dinner is included tonight at your hotel

Overnight in a 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

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

All meals included

Overnight onboard Le Commandant-Charcot in your selected cabin

Day 6
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 7-8
Bellinghausen Sea Peter I Island

Stretching from the west of the Antarctic Peninsula to the Amundsen Sea, the Bellingshausen Sea was named after the Russian admiral and explorer who has been attributed the first confirmed sighting of mainland Antarctica, in 1820. Among others, its waters surround two of the Antarctic’s largest islands: Alexander Island and Thurston Island. You will explore this sea amid ice floe, blocks of sea ice and majestic icebergs. The coastal areas along the Bellingshausen Sea are also renowned as the home of colonies of emperor penguins. Depending on the month of the southern summer, you will perhaps be lucky enough to observe isolated adults, adolescents seeking emancipation or recently independent new adults.

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 9
Amundsen Sea

The great Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen – famous as one of the first five men to reach the geographic South Pole – gave his name to this southern sea in 1929, following an expedition in its waters. Almost entirely frozen by a thick ice floe, Amundsen Sea stretches along Marie Byrd Land in Antarctica, between Bellingshausen Sea to the west and the Ross Sea to the east. The monumental icebergs are all that break the monotony of the infinite ice floe here: let yourself be immersed in a feeling of tranquillity before this vastness. These privileged moments sailing in the Amundsen Sea are opportunities to make the most of the original equipment and spaces on Le Commandant Charcot. Find yourself in this refined cocoon. Nourish yourself with the knowledge of the scientists and expert naturalists, who provide unique support during your polar cruise. Or simply contemplate the fascinating and captivating decor from the ship’s exterior decks.

All meals included

Overnight onboard Le Commandant-Charcot in your selected cabin

Day 10-16
Marie Byrd Land Exploration

Marie Byrd Land is one of the most remote territories of our planet’s most inaccessible continent. It is a real privilege to just be able to contemplate its shores! Between the Ross Sea and its large shelf to the east and Bellingshausen Sea to the west, the frozen coastlines of these lands are bordered by the Amundsen Sea, partially covered by a thick ice floe. Stretching over more than a million km2 (over 620,000 square miles) in Western Antarctica, its ground is also isolated from the rest of the continent by the Transantarctic Mountains. It is certainly this geographic remoteness and its harsh climate that have made it one of our planet’s rare Terra nullius, a territory claimed by no State. In 1929, Marie Byrd Land got its name from Admiral Richard E. Byrd, in honour of his wife, following his expedition to the region. The exploration of its ice-sculpted landscapes will plunge you into the infinite Antarctic desert, where penguins, seals, whales and orcas are the only living souls. Depending on the time and weather conditions, your exploration of the region will take you towards a string of islands which, although little-known, remain fascinating: Siple Island and its eponymous mount, resulting from an old volcano, Clark Island and Dean Island.

All meals included

Overnight onboard Le Commandant-Charcot in your selected cabin

Day 17
Ross Sea Exploration

“The last ocean” is what scientists from all around the world call this deep bay that runs along the edge of Antarctica between Marie Byrd Land and Victoria Land. In 2016, Ross Sea, the last intact marine ecosystem, became the world’s largest marine protected area. The starting point for the greatest southern expeditions - particularly to the South Pole - it was explored by James Clark Ross between 1839 and 1843. It was then that he discovered the enormous barrier formed by a gigantic ice shelf extending out to the open sea and from which titanic icebergs are calved.

Weather and ice conditions permitting, you will be able to discover several of the region’s emblematic sites. Among the possible ports of call, Cape Adare, at the far north of the Borchgrevink Coast, is home to one of the world’s largest Adelie penguin colonies. We will also try to get to Terra Nova Bay, home to the stunning Drygalski Ice Tongue. At least 4,000 years old, it stretches 70 km (43 miles) out to sea from the David glacier and measures 24 km (15 miles) at its widest. On Ross Island, at the base of Mount Erebus, you will follow in the footsteps of the famous explorers Shackleton and Scott who chose Cape Royds and Cape Evans, respectively, to set up their base camps in anticipation of their future historic exploits. In the McMurdo Sound, separating the island from the continent, the scenery is surreal: the Taylor Glacier stretches its branch into the valleys devoid of snow above which stand mountains of stratified rock. A little further, in the Bay of Whales, another tale is told, that of the Norwegian Roald Amundsen, who left from this point to reach, for the first time, the South Pole in 1911.

All meals included

Overnight onboard Le Commandant-Charcot in your selected cabin

Day 18
Crossing the International Date Line

Your itinerary enables you to cross the International Date Line. This imaginary line across the Earth’s surface approximately follows the 180th meridian in the Pacific Ocean. Because of the roundness of the Earth and the necessity of having reference time meridians, we have to change dates when we cross this line. So if your ship is travelling west, you will need to add a day to the expected date; conversely, if travelling east, you will take away a day. This paradox, already noted by Magellan’s crews during his circumnavigation, serves as dramatic motivation in several novels, including Jules Verne’s famous Around the World in Eighty Days.

All meals included

Overnight onboard Le Commandant-Charcot in your selected cabin

Day 19-23
Ross Sea Exploration

“The last ocean” is what scientists from all around the world call this deep bay that runs along the edge of Antarctica between Marie Byrd Land and Victoria Land. In 2016, Ross Sea, the last intact marine ecosystem, became the world’s largest marine protected area. The starting point for the greatest southern expeditions - particularly to the South Pole - it was explored by James Clark Ross between 1839 and 1843. It was then that he discovered the enormous barrier formed by a gigantic ice shelf extending out to the open sea and from which titanic icebergs are calved.

Weather and ice conditions permitting, you will be able to discover several of the region’s emblematic sites. Among the possible ports of call, Cape Adare, at the far north of the Borchgrevink Coast, is home to one of the world’s largest Adelie penguin colonies. We will also try to get to Terra Nova Bay, home to the stunning Drygalski Ice Tongue. At least 4,000 years old, it stretches 70 km (43 miles) out to sea from the David glacier and measures 24 km (15 miles) at its widest. On Ross Island, at the base of Mount Erebus, you will follow in the footsteps of the famous explorers Shackleton and Scott who chose Cape Royds and Cape Evans, respectively, to set up their base camps in anticipation of their future historic exploits. In the McMurdo Sound, separating the island from the continent, the scenery is surreal: the Taylor Glacier stretches its branch into the valleys devoid of snow above which stand mountains of stratified rock. A little further, in the Bay of Whales, another tale is told, that of the Norwegian Roald Amundsen, who left from this point to reach, for the first time, the South Pole in 1911.

All meals included

Overnight onboard Le Commandant-Charcot in your selected cabin

Day 24-26
At Sea

Spend exceptional moments sailing aboard Le Commandant-Charcot, as we continue at sea

All meals included

Overnight onboard Le Commandant-Charcot in your selected cabin

Day 27
Macquarie Island

Long celebrated as one of the wonder spots of the world, Macquarie Island is an island of great beauty and outstanding natural diversity, a breeding place for more than 3.5 million seabirds, most of which are penguins. There are four species breeding on Macquarie Island: Royals, Kings, Gentoos and Rock Hoppers. There are also three types of fur seals and one seventh of the world's population of elephant seals breeding on the Island. In 1948 The Australian National Antarctic Research Expeditions (ANARE) established its expedition headquarters on Macquarie Island. If time and weather permit, guests will have the opportunity to land ashore and view the prolific wildlife that resides here.

All meals included

Overnight onboard Le Commandant-Charcot in your selected cabin

Day 28-29
At Sea

Spend exceptional moments sailing aboard Le Commandant-Charcot, as we continue at sea

All meals included

Overnight onboard Le Commandant-Charcot in your selected cabin

Day 30
Disembarkation in Dunedin

Dunedin is New Zealand's oldest city and is often referred to as the Edinburgh of New Zealand. This city of the south, wears its Scottish heritage with pride. The city contains some of the best preserved Victorian and Edwardian architecture in the Southern Hemisphere. The Silverpeaks hinterland to the North West provides a picturesque backdrop and The Otago Peninsula, which lies within the city boundaries, has internationally renowned wildlife reserves, including the only mainland breeding colony of Northern Royal Albatross.

Disembarkation at 7am

Disembarkation.
Meet and greet at the port (English-speaking assistance).

Transfer to the airport in time for check-in for the flight Dunedin/Aucklandin economy class.
Approximate flight duration: 2 hours
Seats in business class may be available, please let us know if required
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 28 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 while on board the cruise
  • Included Copy 20 Open bar & room service 24 hours (conditions apply)
Fees & Services
  • Included Copy 20 Charter flight from Santiago/Ushuaia, and Dunedin/Auckland
  • Included Copy 20 Outings and shore visits in Zodiacs with a team of experienced naturalist guides
  • Included Copy 20 Lectures and information sessions hosted by our naturalist-guides
  • Included Copy 20 Parka to keep & boots to Loan while on the cruise
  • Included Copy 31 Activities: Kayaking, Hiking & Snowshoeing, Polar Swim
  • Included Copy 7 International flights, Travel Insurance, Gratuities / Tips are not included
  • Included Copy 7 Personal expenses, such as laundry, onboard communication
Transportation
Le Commandant Charcot

270 (200 in Antarctica) Passengers

Activities

  • Included Outings and shore visits in Zodiac inflatables with a team of experienced naturalist guides
  • Included The crossing of three southern seas: Bellingshausen, Amundsen and Ross.
  • Included Wildlife: crabeater, leopard, Weddell seals, humpback whales, orcas, royal, king and Adelie penguins
  • Included A dive into the history of the conquest of the South Pole, from Amundsen to McMurdo
  • Included Walking and Hiking opportunities - or even take a polar plunge!
  • Included Venture beyond Antarctic Polar Circle
  • Included Active options: Kayaking and snowshoeing
  • Included Participate in scientific research with modern oceanographic equipment
Click here for dates & prices
Duration

30 days

Price from

$44,421 USD

Per person, sharing

Based On Lowest Cabin

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