Rendering of Le Commandant Charcot expedition ship with blue hull & white upper decks, cruising among icebergs in Antarctica.
Zodiacs with Antarctica travelers sit in the distance, beside a small rocky mountain with snow.
Antarctica travelers in red jackets sit in a Zodiac and observe a seal lounging on a small iceberg during an emperor penguin cruise.
Emperor penguin with fuzzy gray chicks stand on the ice during Le Commandant Charcot Bellingshausen Sea Voyages.
Humpback whale raises its head and a fin out of glassy waters during Le Commandant Charcot Bellingshausen Sea Voyages.
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Polar Regions Antarctica Cruise

Le Commandant Charcot Bellingshausen Sea Voyages

Beyond Peter I Island and Charcot Island, this exceptional voyage heads into the heart of the Bellingshausen Sea. Named in honor of the Russian admiral and explorer who discovered Antarctica in 1820, this sea in the Southern Ocean, covered by ice floe most of the time, is hard to reach and practically unexplored.

On the main 20-day itinerary, the reward lives up to the challenge of voyaging into the Bellingshausen Sea: gigantic colonies of emperor penguins, a unique species endemic to the Antarctic and almost never observed, live here. This elegant and majestic animal offers emotional encounters. As winter gradually gives way to austral spring, the emperor penguin chicks, only a few weeks old, become independent and gather in immense “creches:” a magical spectacle which is sought on this special itinerary.

All departures, including an alternative 16-day itinerary, visit Peter I Island—an experience described akin to landing on the moon! In fact, fewer people have visited this small volcanic island located in the Bellingshausen Sea, 280 miles from the Antarctic coastlines, than have set foot on lunar soil. Discovered in February 1821, Peter I Island could only be approached for the first time in 1929, as the ice front made approach and disembarkation difficult. Its summit still remains untouched to this day. These unusual Antarctica cruise itineraries will also provide an opportunity to approach Charcot Island, thus named by Captain Charcot in memory of his father during its discovery in 1910.

Most departures cruise round-trip from Ushuaia, Argentina, with bookend flights between Santiago, Chile and Ushuaia. The main 20-day departure embarks in Puerto Montt, Chile, and uniquely visits Stonington Island and its former British research and mapping station, as well as the English Coast in search of emperor penguins.

Cruise aboard the sophisticated and sustainability-minded Le Commandant Charcot. This spacious 270-guest hybrid electric ship carries a maximum of 200 guests in Antarctica, with French-inspired luxury and a focus on food, wellness, onboard engagement and active programming. Participate in citizen science with Le Commandant Charcot’s onboard research laboratory, and enjoy unique included activities such as kayaking, exploration by hovercraft and hiking; plus optional added-cost polar diving. This modern, innovative ship with five-star service makes her a top pick within our luxury Antarctica cruises.

Read on for details about this trip, or learn more about AdventureSmith’s Antarctica cruises.



Itinerary

The Emperor Penguins of Bellingshausen Sea Itinerary

The 20-day Emperor Penguins of Bellingshausen Sea voyage begins with a charter flight from Santiago, Chile, embarks in Puerto Montt, Chile, and disembarks in Ushuaia, Argentina with a return charter flight to Santiago, Chile. This itinerary uniquely visits Stonington Island and its former British research and mapping station, as well as the English Coast in search of emperor penguins.

Route map of the Emperor Penguins of Bellingshausen Sea cruise aboard Le Commandant Charcot, cruising from Puerto Montt, Chile, to Ushuaia,, Argentina, with round-trip bookend flights via Santiago, Chile, and visits to the Antarctic Circle, Charcot Island, Peter I Island, English Coast, Marguerite Bay, Stonington Island, Pourquoi Pas Island, Detaille Island & Drake Passage.
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Day 1
Arrive Santiago, Chile

Arrive in Santiago, Chile, and spend the night prior to an included group charter flight to Puerto Montt, Chile, for embarkation and the start of this once-in-a-lifetime journey.

Accommodations

Included Hotel TBA

Meals

dinner

Read More
Day 2
Fly to Puerto Montt, Chile & Embark

A picturesque stopover in southern Chile, the colorful city of Puerto Montt is the capital of the Lakes District. Here, discover reminders of a colonial past at the Plaza de Armas and neoclassical cathedral. The Manuel Montt lookout offers stunning views of the bay’s sapphire beauty. Close to the town, the peaceful banks of Lake Llanquihue are conducive for a relaxing walk and the quaint, traditional villages of Puerto Varas and Frutillar are well worth a visit.

Accommodations

Le Commandant Charcot

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Days 3 - 5
At Sea

Spend exceptional moments sailing aboard your luxury PC2-class polar cruise ship capable of sailing into the very heart of the ice, on seas and oceans which the frozen conditions render inaccessible to ordinary ships. The ship is fitted with oceanographic and scientific equipment selected by a committee of experts. Take advantage of the onboard lectures and opportunities for discussion with these specialists to learn more about the poles. Participate in furthering scientific research and discover together what these fascinating destinations have yet to reveal.

Accommodations

Le Commandant Charcot

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 6
Crossing The Antarctic Circle

Weather permitting, 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 this cruise through the polar regions.

Accommodations

Le Commandant Charcot

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 7
At Sea

Spend exceptional moments sailing aboard your luxury PC2-class polar cruise ship capable of sailing into the very heart of the ice, on seas and oceans which the frozen conditions render inaccessible to ordinary ships. The ship is fitted with oceanographic and scientific equipment selected by a committee of experts. Take advantage of the onboard lectures and opportunities for discussion with these specialists to learn more about the poles. Participate in furthering scientific research and discover together what these fascinating destinations have yet to reveal.

Accommodations

Le Commandant Charcot

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Days 8 - 9
Expedition to Charcot Island

When Jean-Baptiste Charcot discovered this island surrounded by sea ice in 1910 from aboard the Pourquoi Pas? while mapping Alexander Island, he had not been 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 seven miles in the far northwest. The ice in the narrowest part of Wilkins Sound has been cracking in recent times, thus officially detaching this island from its neighbor, Alexander Island, lying roughly 30 miles away. Very few people have landed on this largely untouched island, whose waters attract numerous seabirds such as petrels, Antarctic terns and skuas.

Accommodations

Le Commandant Charcot

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Days 10 - 11
Expedition to Peter I Island

Head for the legendary Peter I Island. Located 280 miles away from the Atlantic coast, it was discovered in 1821 by the Russian explorer Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen, who named it in honor 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 nearly 5,400 feet, is protected by ice cliffs some 130 feet tall, making any approach difficult.

Accommodations

Le Commandant Charcot

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Days 12 - 13
English Coast - In Search of Emperor Penguins

Along the English Coast, land on the pack ice with the expedition team and head off in search of emperor penguin colonies. Brave the one or two miles’ walk through the magnificent, quasi-unexplored desert of ice to be among the lucky few to observe these majestic penguins from this close and enjoy this rare and intense experience. Emperor penguins are the largest of all living penguin species and they are champions at adapting to the harsh Antarctic climate. They live inland, where they protect their eggs between their feet and their abdomen, and cover long distances in search of food.

Accommodations

Le Commandant Charcot

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 14
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 there may be the chance to observe leopard seals or Adelie penguins.

Accommodations

Le Commandant Charcot

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 15
Stonington & Pourquoi Pas Islands

In the northeastern part of Marguerite Bay, along Graham Land, discover the small island of Stonington. The island was a British research station from 1946 to 1950 and later from 1960 to 1975. Numerous expeditions setting off from this station on dog sledges enabled the mapping of a significant portion of the Antarctic Peninsula. The two-story steel-framed buildings, whose vestiges are still visible, could accommodate 6 to 17 people. Equipment and facilities from that time can still be found here: the generator, the dog pens, radio equipment and weather instruments, the water reservoir and a storage space. The island is now an important breeding ground for Antarctic terns and south polar skuas.

Next, land on the coast of Pourquoi Pas Island, so named in the 1930s by John Riddoch Rymill in honor of Jean-Baptiste Charcot, who discovered it from aboard his ship 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 17 miles long and roughly 8 miles wide. It is scattered with narrow fjords and snow-covered mountains. Go to shore in a Zodiac with the expedition team and there may be the chance to observe Adelie penguins going about their business on the island’s rocky shores.

Accommodations

Le Commandant Charcot

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 16
The Gullet & Detaille Island

The sumptuous landscapes of The Gullet, a 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.

Next, visit Detaille Island, a small island situated off the Loubet Coast in the magnificent Crystal Sound region that’s surrounded by snow-covered peaks. A British research station was set up here in 1956, ahead of the International Geophysical Year 1957-58. Like the International Polar Years, organized 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.

Accommodations

Le Commandant Charcot

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 17
At Sea

Spend exceptional moments sailing aboard your luxury PC2-class polar cruise ship capable of sailing into the very heart of the ice, on seas and oceans which the frozen conditions render inaccessible to ordinary ships. The ship is fitted with oceanographic and scientific equipment selected by a committee of experts. Take advantage of the onboard lectures and opportunities for discussion with these specialists to learn more about the poles. Participate in furthering scientific research and discover together what these fascinating destinations have yet to reveal.

Accommodations

Le Commandant Charcot

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Days 18 - 19
Drake Passage

If there is one place, one sea, one waterway dreaded by tourists, researchers and hardened seafarers alike, it is undoubtedly the 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. As the Antarctic convergence zone where cold currents rising up from the South Pole meet warmer equatorial water masses, Drake Passage harbors 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 the ship.

Accommodations

Le Commandant Charcot

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 20
Disembark Ushuaia, Argentina, Fly to Santiago, Chile & Depart

Say farewell to the ship’s crew, captain and guides, as well as new friends made during this epic voyage. Disembark here, catch the return charter flight to Santiago and travel onward.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast

Read More
Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

Transfers program (includes transfer to included 5-star hotel from Santiago airport or chosen pick-up location within a 30-mile range from the city center, 1-night stay in a Santiago hotel plus dinner and beverage package on night 1, breakfast on day 2, round-trip flights between Santiago and Ushuaia, transfer to the ship for embarkation on day 2, and disembarkation day transfer from the ship to the airport); all meals while on board the ship; captain’s welcome cocktail and gala dinner; “open bar” (pouring wines, house champagne, alcohol except premium brands); evening entertainment and events; room service; highly qualified bilingual French/English expedition team; lectures presented by the expedition team; Zodiac and shore excursions; park entry fees into protected areas; complimentary unlimited Wifi on board; boot rental and polar parka to keep (no children sizes available in either); port fees and taxes (except for child passengers–see Families & Children); gratuities; activities indicated in cruise documents.

Exclusions

Other meals and services not mentioned in the program; optional add-on excursions or packages; ground services before or after the cruise, aside from Transfers program; visa expenses; possible immigration reciprocity taxes; gratuities for the local guide; luggage handling; beverages beyond those in Inclusions; laundry, hair salon, spa treatments, onboard medical consultations and other personal charges; cancellation, luggage, assistance, repatriation, medical and insurance of any kind.

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of 25% of the total trip cost is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms apply. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Standard cancellations beyond 14 days after booking confirmation are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure:
365 days or more – $150
364 to 211 days – 10% of total trip cost
210 to 121 days – 25% of total trip cost
120 to 91 days – 50% of total trip cost
90 to 0 days – 100% of total trip cost

Terms & Conditions

This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.

Arrival & Departure

The main Emperor Penguins of Bellingshausen Sea voyage begins and ends in Santiago, Chile (SCL). We highly recommend arriving one day prior to your trip start date in case of any flight delay, cancellation or lost luggage issues. Recommended flight arrival and departure times are specific to each voyage; consult your Adventure Specialist for guidelines relating to your departure. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page.

Internal Flights

Economy class group charter flights between Santiago, Chile, and Ushuaia, Argentina, are included with this trip’s itinerary; see the Transfers program information listed above under Inclusions. Charter flights are unique per departure and details will be confirmed in advance. The flight to Ushuaia is expected to depart after breakfast on day 2 of the itinerary. There is a luggage limit of 50 lbs (23 kg) checked luggage and 18 lbs (8 kg) cabin baggage on the flights between Santiago and Ushuaia for Economy class. Additional Economy class baggage allotment can be requested and purchased and is based on availability. Business Class seating is available upon request and may incur an additional charge. The luggage limit for business class is two 50 lbs (23 kg) checked luggage and 22 lbs (10 kg) cabin baggage. On the final day of the itinerary, the ship is scheduled to arrive at the pier and breakfast is held on board. Disembarkation follows breakfast, with a transfer to the airport for the return charter flight to Santiago.

Activities

Various optional, included activities may be available on your Emperor Penguins of Bellingshausen Sea voyage: citizen science, exploration by hovercraft, kayaking, hiking, snowshoeing and possible added-cost polar diving (must be pre-booked; contact Adventuresmith for required certifications). Additional activities include practicing photography, Zodiac cruising and shore-based excursions. In addition to these off-ship excursions, a multitude of onboard activities keep guests engaged, including live music, dance and theater; spa treatments; exercise and stretching classes; specialty food, wine and cocktail tastings; organized games; and lectures by guides and possible special guests.

Room Configuration

Select double-occupancy cabins may be available for single occupancy with a single supplement fee. This supplement may vary depending on cabin category and remaining availability per departure. A willing-to-share program is not available. Triple and quadruple rates may be available in select cabin categories; contact AdventureSmith for details.

Families & Children

Children 6 years and older at time of travel are welcomed on this expedition. Select departures offer a Kid’s Club with organized kid-friendly activities. Children 6 to 11 years old at time of travel pay only port fees and taxes when sharing a cabin with two full-fare adults. Children 12 to 17 years old receive 50% off double occupancy rate when sharing a cabin with 1 or 2 full fare adults. Contact AdventureSmith for details.

Travel Insurance

A medical form for all travelers, signed by their doctor, is required for every departure. Travelers are also highly encouraged to have full and adequate travel insurance covering the risks of cancellation, assistance being required, emergency medical evacuation and repatriation, damages to and loss of baggage, and medical expenses. In addition, we highly recommend our travelers protect their investment with travel insurance that includes trip cancellation and other benefits. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. Coverage for a pre-existing medical condition is also available if you purchase the Travel Select plan within 15 days of the initial trip payment; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.

Itinerary Notes

Read this itinerary as a guide only; the exact route and program varies according to ice, weather conditions, wildlife encountered and the captain’s discretion. Flexibility is the key to the success of any Antarctica expedition. Visits to research stations depend on final permission.

Expedition to Charcot & Peter I Islands Itinerary

The 16-day Expedition to Charcot & Peter I Islands voyage sails round-trip from Ushuaia, Argentina, bookended by round-trip charter flights to and from Santiago, Chile. This departure uniquely visits the icy mirrored passageway of The Gullet a second time.

Route map of the Expedition to Charcot & Peter I Islands cruise aboard Le Commandant Charcot, cruising round-trip from Ushuaia,, Argentina, with round-trip bookend flights via Santiago, Chile, and visits to the Antarctic Circle, Charcot Island, Peter I Island, Marguerite Bay, Pourquoi Pas Island, Detaille Island & Drake Passage.
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Day 1
Arrive Santiago, Chile

Arrive in Santiago, Chile, and spend the night prior to an included group charter flight to Ushuaia, Argentina, for embarkation and the start of this once-in-a-lifetime journey.

Accommodations

Included Hotel TBA

Meals

dinner

Read More
Day 2
Fly to Ushuaia, Argentina & Embark

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.

Accommodations

Le Commandant Charcot

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Days 3 - 4
Drake Passage

Use these days spent in the Drake Passage to become familiar with the 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 about the Zodiac outings. Lectures about the history and wildlife of the Antarctic will be an opportunity to learn more about this magical region, where every cruise is a unique experience. From the ship’s bridge, experience exceptional sailing moments before joining the naturalist guides on the ship’s exterior decks to look out for albatrosses, cape petrels and other seabirds flying over the Drake Passage.

Accommodations

Le Commandant Charcot

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 5
Crossing The Antarctic Circle & Detaille Island

Weather permitting, 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 this cruise through the polar regions.

Next, visit Detaille Island, a small island situated off the Loubet Coast in the magnificent Crystal Sound region that’s surrounded by snow-covered peaks. A British research station was set up here in 1956, ahead of the International Geophysical Year 1957-58. Like the International Polar Years, organized 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.

Accommodations

Le Commandant Charcot

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 6
The Gullet & Purquois Pas Island

The sumptuous landscapes of The Gullet, a 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.

Next, land on the coast of Pourquoi Pas Island, so named in the 1930s by John Riddoch Rymill in honor of Jean-Baptiste Charcot, who discovered it from aboard his ship 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 17 miles long and roughly 8 miles wide. It is scattered with narrow fjords and snow-covered mountains. Go to shore in a Zodiac with the expedition team and there may be the chance to observe Adelie penguins going about their business on the island’s rocky shores.

Accommodations

Le Commandant Charcot

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
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 there may be the chance to observe leopard seals or Adelie penguins.

Accommodations

Le Commandant Charcot

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Days 8 - 9
Expedition to Charcot Island

When Jean-Baptiste Charcot discovered this island surrounded by sea ice in 1910 from aboard the Pourquoi Pas? while mapping Alexander Island, he had not been 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 seven miles in the far northwest. The ice in the narrowest part of Wilkins Sound has been cracking in recent times, thus officially detaching this island from its neighbor, Alexander Island, lying roughly 30 miles away. Very few people have landed on this largely untouched island, whose waters attract numerous seabirds such as petrels, Antarctic terns and skuas.

Accommodations

Le Commandant Charcot

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Days 10 - 11
Expedition to Peter I Island

Head for the legendary Peter I Island. Located 280 miles away from the Atlantic coast, it was discovered in 1821 by the Russian explorer Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen, who named it in honor 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 nearly 5,400 feet, is protected by ice cliffs some 130 feet tall, making any approach difficult.

Accommodations

Le Commandant Charcot

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 12
At Sea

Spend exceptional moments sailing aboard your luxury PC2-class polar cruise ship capable of sailing into the very heart of the ice, on seas and oceans which the frozen conditions render inaccessible to ordinary ships. The ship is fitted with oceanographic and scientific equipment selected by a committee of experts. Take advantage of the onboard lectures and opportunities for discussion with these specialists to learn more about the poles. Participate in furthering scientific research and discover together what these fascinating destinations have yet to reveal.

Accommodations

Le Commandant Charcot

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 13
The Gullet

The sumptuous landscapes of The Gullet, a 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.

Accommodations

Le Commandant Charcot

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Days 14 - 15
Drake Passage

If there is one place, one sea, one waterway dreaded by tourists, researchers and hardened seafarers alike, it is undoubtedly the 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. As the Antarctic convergence zone where cold currents rising up from the South Pole meet warmer equatorial water masses, Drake Passage harbors 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 the ship.

Accommodations

Le Commandant Charcot

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 16
Disembark Ushuaia, Argentina, Fly to Santiago, Chile & Depart

Say farewell to the ship’s crew, captain and guides, as well as new friends made during this epic voyage. Disembark here, catch the return charter flight to Santiago and travel onward.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast

Read More
Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

Transfers program (includes transfer to included 5-star hotel from Santiago airport or chosen pick-up location within a 30-mile range from the city center, 1-night stay in a Santiago hotel plus dinner and beverage package on night 1, breakfast on day 2, round-trip flights between Santiago and Ushuaia, transfer to the ship for embarkation on day 2, and disembarkation day transfer from the ship to the airport); all meals while on board the ship; captain’s welcome cocktail and gala dinner; “open bar” (pouring wines, house champagne, alcohol except premium brands); evening entertainment and events; room service; highly qualified bilingual French/English expedition team; lectures presented by the expedition team; Zodiac and shore excursions; park entry fees into protected areas; complimentary unlimited Wifi on board; boot rental and polar parka to keep (no children sizes available in either); port fees and taxes (except for child passengers–see Families & Children); gratuities; activities indicated in cruise documents.

Exclusions

Other meals and services not mentioned in the program; optional add-on excursions or packages; ground services before or after the cruise, aside from Transfers program; visa expenses; possible immigration reciprocity taxes; gratuities for the local guide; luggage handling; beverages beyond those in Inclusions; laundry, hair salon, spa treatments, onboard medical consultations and other personal charges; cancellation, luggage, assistance, repatriation, medical and insurance of any kind.

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of 25% of the total trip cost is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms apply. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Standard cancellations beyond 14 days after booking confirmation are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure:
365 days or more – $150
364 to 211 days – 10% of total trip cost
210 to 121 days – 25% of total trip cost
120 to 91 days – 50% of total trip cost
90 to 0 days – 100% of total trip cost

Terms & Conditions

This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.

Arrival & Departure

The alternative Expedition to Charcot & Peter I Islands voyage begins and ends in Santiago, Chile (SCL). We highly recommend arriving one day prior to your trip start date in case of any flight delay, cancellation or lost luggage issues. Recommended flight arrival and departure times are specific to each voyage; consult your Adventure Specialist for guidelines relating to your departure. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page.

Internal Flights

Economy class group charter flights between Santiago, Chile, and Ushuaia, Argentina, are included with this trip’s itinerary; see the Transfers program information listed above under Inclusions. Charter flights are unique per departure and details will be confirmed in advance. The flight to Ushuaia is expected to depart after breakfast on day 2 of the itinerary. There is a luggage limit of 50 lbs (23 kg) checked luggage and 18 lbs (8 kg) cabin baggage on the flights between Santiago and Ushuaia for Economy class. Additional Economy class baggage allotment can be requested and purchased and is based on availability. Business Class seating is available upon request and may incur an additional charge. The luggage limit for business class is two 50 lbs (23 kg) checked luggage and 22 lbs (10 kg) cabin baggage. On the final day of the itinerary, the ship is scheduled to arrive at the pier and breakfast is held on board. Disembarkation follows breakfast, with a transfer to the airport for the return charter flight to Santiago.

Activities

Various optional, included activities may be available on your Expedition to Charcot & Peter I Islands voyage: citizen science, exploration by hovercraft, kayaking, hiking, snowshoeing and possible added-cost polar diving (must be pre-booked; contact Adventuresmith for required certifications). Additional activities include practicing photography, Zodiac cruising and shore-based excursions. In addition to these off-ship excursions, a multitude of onboard activities keep guests engaged, including live music, dance and theater; spa treatments; exercise and stretching classes; specialty food, wine and cocktail tastings; organized games; and lectures by guides and possible special guests.

Room Configuration

Select double-occupancy cabins may be available for single occupancy with a single supplement fee. This supplement may vary depending on cabin category and remaining availability per departure. A willing-to-share program is not available. Triple and quadruple rates may be available in select cabin categories; contact AdventureSmith for details.

Families & Children

Children 6 years and older at time of travel are welcomed on this expedition. Select departures offer a Kid’s Club with organized kid-friendly activities. Children 6 to 11 years old at time of travel pay only port fees and taxes when sharing a cabin with two full-fare adults. Children 12 to 17 years old receive 50% off double occupancy rate when sharing a cabin with 1 or 2 full fare adults. Contact AdventureSmith for details.

Travel Insurance

A medical form for all travelers, signed by their doctor, is required for every departure. Travelers are also highly encouraged to have full and adequate travel insurance covering the risks of cancellation, assistance being required, emergency medical evacuation and repatriation, damages to and loss of baggage, and medical expenses. In addition, we highly recommend our travelers protect their investment with travel insurance that includes trip cancellation and other benefits. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. Coverage for a pre-existing medical condition is also available if you purchase the Travel Select plan within 15 days of the initial trip payment; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.

Itinerary Notes

Read this itinerary as a guide only; the exact route and program varies according to ice, weather conditions, wildlife encountered and the captain’s discretion. Flexibility is the key to the success of any Antarctica expedition. Visits to research stations depend on final permission.

Rates & Dates

Cruise Rates & Dates

Rates are variable per remaining availability and are subject to change. Please contact AdventureSmith for the most up-to-date pricing.

Oct 31 - Nov 19, 2021
Le Commandant Charcot • 20 days
From $32680USD
Per Person
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Dec 13 - Dec 28, 2021
Le Commandant Charcot • 16 days
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From $22270USD
Per Person
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Jan 07 - Jan 22, 2022
Le Commandant Charcot • 16 days
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From $25280USD
Per Person
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Feb 01 - Feb 16, 2022
Le Commandant Charcot • 16 days
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From $22270USD
Per Person
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Accommodation

Learn About the Luxury Hybrid Electric Ship on Your Itinerary

Expedition Ship
Le Commandant Charcot

The 200- to 270-guest Le Commandant Charcot is a sophisticated, luxury expedition ship cruising Antarctica and the Arctic. Her hybrid electric engine, powered by liquefied natural gas, is the first of its kind. And her activity options, including ice fishing and exploring by hovercraft, offer a unique polar experience, rounded out by a French-inspired onboard atmosphere.

Deals

Current Deals on This Trip

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Offer expires June 30th, 2021
Relaxed Booking Policy On Select 2021-22 & 2022-23 Antarctica Expeditions

Book 2021-22 or 2022-23 Antarctica expeditions with confidence and the ability to cancel without penalty up to 30 days before departure.

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Offer expires June 30th, 2021
Save 25-30% On 2021-22 Antarctica Expeditions aboard Le Commandant Charcot

Save up to 30% when you book your Antarctica expedition in this special deal.

Book with the confidence that comes from experience.

100+ combined years of experience, 7 continents explored, decades of expedition cruising around the world & here to help you find & book your dream trip.

Extend Your Trip

Additional Travel Options Before or After Your Antarctica Cruise

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4 - 7 Day Land Tour
Explora Patagonia

This 4-, 5-, 6- or 7-day lodge-based trip in the center of Torres del Paine National Park offers over 40 unique explorations to choose from, including Base Torres and Grey Glacier. Enjoy breathtaking views of the Paine Massif and Salto Chico waterfall from home base.

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From $1766USD
Year Round
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7 Day Land Tour
Torres Del Paine Trek

The trails amongst the famous Torres del Paine craggy mountains are among the world's classic trekking routes. By day, explore nature in its raw form while winding through these exceptional mountains to enjoy the cozy luxury of EcoCamp's unique dome accommodations by night.

From $1690USD
Jan Feb Mar Apr Oct Nov Dec
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4 - 7 Day Land Tour
Patagonia Wildlife Safari

Discover the magic at the end of the world on a 4- to 7-day Patagonia Wildlife Safari! No matter the length of your stay, you will be blown away by the unlimited beauty of the world heritage site Torres del Paine National Park.

From $1890USD
Jan Feb Mar Apr Sep Oct Nov Dec
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Le Commandant Charcot Ross Sea Expedition

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Le Commandant Charcot Weddell Sea Voyages

Voyage to the Weddell Sea, a labyrinth of dense ice floe and majestic table-top icebergs, for 13, 16 or 19 days aboard polar hybrid electric ship Le Commandant Charcot. Experience Antarctica on a route taken by very few travelers, enjoying a luxury ship with unique included activities such as exploration by hovercraft.

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On this 17- to 19-day expedition to the Falklands, South Georgia and the White Continent, cruise in the comfort of a 5-star hotel aboard one of three luxury expedition sister ships. Enjoy Zodiac and shore excursions, top-notch guides and breathtaking landscapes in a wild and remote landscape. Then return on board to refined service and a plethora of engaging activities.

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Le Commandant Charcot Bellingshausen Sea Voyages

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