Aerial view of Le Commandant Charcot polar expedition ship cruising through ice during a Ross Sea expedition.
Large icebergs reflect in glassy Antarctic waters at dusk during the Le Commandant Charcot Ross Sea Expedition.
Antarctica travelers in red jackets on a Zodiac cruise view a brown skua bird fly beside them, with icebergs in the background.
2 gentoo penguins touch wings standing atop an iceberg, seen during Le Commandant Charcot's Ross Sea cruise.
Orange sunset behind tall dark blue glacier seen during Le Commandant Charcot Ross Sea Expedition.
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Polar Regions Antarctica Cruise

Le Commandant Charcot Ross Sea Expeditions

Sailing the Ross Sea means discovering one of the most extreme and conserved universes in the Antarctic. Partially occupied by the Ross Ice Shelf, the largest ice platform in Antarctica, this immense bay located over 150 miles from the South Pole, is considered as “the last ocean,” the last intact marine ecosystem and the largest marine sanctuary since 2016. Here, the cold is more intense, the wind more powerful, the ice more impressive and the scenery more spectacular.

In the heart of this polar Garden of Eden, where the ice shelf turns into icebergs, encounter prodigious fauna, as well as surrealist landscapes with infinite shades of blue and stunning reliefs. Antarctic petrels, Minke whales, orcas and seals are at home here, as are very large colonies of Adelie and emperor penguins. This itinerary cruises round-trip from Ushuaia, Argentina, with bookend flights between Santiago, Chile and Ushuaia.

In the 2021-22 season, cruise round-trip from Ushuaia, Argentina, on a 26-day itinerary that travels to the Ross Sea and back. In the 2022-23 season, choose a 28- or 30-day itinerary that travels along all of western Antarctica, between Ushuaia, Argentina, and Dunedin, New Zealand, bookended by charter flights that connect Auckland, New Zealand, and Santiago, Chile. On these half-circumnavigation departures, explore the biodiverse Macquarie Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with four species of penguin: king, royal, gentoo and southern rockhopper. The 28-day itinerary adds time exploring southern Antarctica’s Victoria Land and Adelie Land while the 30-day itinerary uniquely visits the Ross Ice Shelf and spends twice as much time exploring Marie Byrd Land.

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 and trips to Antarctica.



Itinerary

The Ross Sea Itinerary

The 26-day Ross Sea Expedition sails round-trip from Ushuaia, Argentina, bookended by round-trip charter flights to and from Santiago, Chile. This itinerary travels along Antarctica’s west coast, farther than most Antarctic cruises, in a unique round-trip Ross Sea itinerary that includes a visit to the Ross Ice Shelf.

Route map of the Ross Sea 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, Bellingshausen Sea, Siple Island, Ruppert Coast, Cape Colbeck, the Ross Ice Shelf, Burke 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

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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

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Day 5
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

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Day 6
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

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Day 7
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

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Days 8 - 9
At Sea (Bellingshausen Sea)

Stretching from the west side 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. Its waters surround, among others, two of the largest islands in the Antarctic: Alexander Island and Thurston Island. Sail amid ice floe, blocks of sea ice and majestic icebergs. The coastal areas along the Bellingshausen Sea are home to large colonies of emperor penguins. Depending on the season, there may be the chance to observe some of these creatures in the open sea.

Accommodations

Le Commandant Charcot

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 10
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

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Day 11
Siple Island

This island is dominated by Mount Siple, a dormant, potentially active shield volcano rising to an altitude of nearly 10,000 feet. Entirely covered in a thick layer of ice, the gentle slopes of this cone are said to have been climbed, but no proof has yet been found of this feat. For now, it is thus considered Antarctica’s highest unclimbed peak. At the foot of this icy giant, hope to be welcomed by a colony of Adelie penguins and admire the magnificent Thurston Glacier.

Accommodations

Le Commandant Charcot

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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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

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Day 13
Ruppert Coast

This quasi-unexplored coast along Marie Byrd Land is one of the only territories in the world to have never been claimed by any country, making it a terra nullius. It was the American colonel Jacob Ruppert who made the first aerial reconnaissance flight along this coast, during the second Byrd Antarctic Expedition (1933-1935). A Soviet research station was established here in 1980, before being officially abandoned in 1990.

Accommodations

Le Commandant Charcot

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 14
Cape Colbeck

This ice-covered cape, which forms the northwestern extremity of Marie Byrd Land, was discovered in January 1902 by the British National Antarctic Expedition. It was named in honor of Captain William Colbeck, one of the first explorers to have overwintered in Antarctica, during the Southern Cross expedition of 1899. This majestic cape delimits the western portion of the vast bay that contains the Ross Sea, the world’s largest marine protected area.

Accommodations

Le Commandant Charcot

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 15
The Ross Sea

“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. Since 2016, the world’s largest marine protected area has been keeping this last marine ecosystem intact. The theatre of the most impressive expeditions, it was discovered by James Clark Ross between 1839 and 1843. It was then that he discovered the enormous ice barrier formed by a gigantic ice shelf extending out to the open sea and from which titanic icebergs are calved. One third of the world’s Adelie penguin population lives in the area where this barrier breaks into icebergs. The currents maintain polynyas there, vast areas of persistent open water surrounded by sea ice. These give the penguins access to food. There may also be the chance to spot Ross seals, one of the rarest protected species in the Antarctic.

Accommodations

Le Commandant Charcot

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 16
The Ross Ice Shelf

The southern half of the Ross Sea is dominated by the largest ice shelf in the world, with a surface area equivalent to that of France. Be awestruck by the majesty of this ice barrier which, far from being smooth and uniform, is ridged with caves, deep caverns, ledges, bays and promontories in infinite shades of blue carved out of it by the elements. Its vertiginous walls can reach up to 325 feet above sea level and some of them are over 1,000 feet deep. According to Sir Ernest Shackleton, some of the cavities could have contained Le Nimrod, his ship during the expedition he led to the South Pole between 1907 and 1909.

Accommodations

Le Commandant Charcot

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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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
Day 18
Ruppert Coast

This quasi-unexplored coast along Marie Byrd Land is one of the only territories in the world to have never been claimed by any country, making it a terra nullius. It was the American colonel Jacob Ruppert who made the first aerial reconnaissance flight along this coast, during the second Byrd Antarctic Expedition (1933-1935). A Soviet research station was established here in 1980, before being officially abandoned in 1990.

Accommodations

Le Commandant Charcot

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 19
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

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Day 20
Burke Island

There are still a few places on our planet that no country has claimed. Burke Island is one. Recognized as a terra nullius, this ice-covered island about 19 miles long and 7 miles wide was delineated from aerial photographs taken by the U.S. Navy in 1960. Located in the Amundsen Sea in the King Peninsula, it owes its name to Admiral Arleigh A. Burke of the U.S. Navy, the Chief of Naval Operations during Operation Deep Freeze (1956-1961), a series of United States missions to Antarctica. Appreciate the privilege of sailing around this island in a Zodiac and landing on a “no man’s land” for a rich and unique experience.

Accommodations

Le Commandant Charcot

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Days 21 - 22
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

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Day 23
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

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Days 24 - 25
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

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Day 26
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

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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:
181 days or more – $250
180 to 91 days – 25% 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 Ross Sea Expedition 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 Ross Sea Expedition: 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 8 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.

From Dumont d'Urville to Mawson: Retracing Heroic Age Expeditions Itinerary

The 28-day From Dumont d’Urville to Mawson: Retracing Heroic Age Expeditions voyage begins with a charter flight from Auckland, New Zealand, embarks in Dunedin, New Zealand, and disembarks in Ushuaia, Argentina with a charter flight to Santiago, Chile. This itinerary uniquely visits Antarctica’s southern Victoria Land and Adelie Land.

Route map of the From Dumont d'Urville to Mawson-Retracing Heroic Age Expeditions voyage on Le Commandant Charcot, cruising from Dunedin, New Zealand,, to Ushuaia, Argentina, with visits to the Antarctic Circle, Charcot Island, Peter I Island, Bellingshausen Sea, Amundsen Sea, Ross Sea, Victoria Land, Adelie Land, Macquarie Island.
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Day 1
Arrive Auckland, New Zealand

Arrive in Auckland, New Zealand, and spend the night prior to an included group charter flight to Dunedin, New Zealand, for embarkation and the start of this once-in-a-lifetime journey.

Accommodations

Included Hotel TBA

Meals

dinner

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Day 2
Fly to Dunedin, New Zealand & Embark

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 northwest 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.

Accommodations

Le Commandant Charcot

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Days 3 - 4
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

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Day 5
Macquarie Island, Australia

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, enjoy the opportunity to land ashore and view the prolific wildlife that resides here.

Accommodations

Le Commandant Charcot

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Days 6 - 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
Day 8
Adelie Land

Adelie Land covers around 250,000 square miles of the White Continent between the 136th and 142nd meridians longitude East. These lands claimed by France in Antarctica are home, on Petrel Island, to Dumontd’Urville station, which is named after the eponymous French explorer who investigated the region in 1840. Here, the few resident scientists share the Antarctic desert with Adelie penguins, seals and orcas, as well as emperor penguins during the winter. The extreme climate of this land at the edge of the world, characterized by its very low temperatures and its violent winds or blizzards, make it difficult to access its shores, which are protected by thick ice floe. Be among the rare people to discover this unique place where the polar silence is captivating and the ice reflects the rays of the sun, revealing the Southern Continent’s powerful fragility.

Accommodations

Le Commandant Charcot

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Days 9 - 12
Victoria Land

Reach the inaccessible by exploring extreme Victoria Land. Discover part of the history of the Australian polar expeditions: in Commonwealth Bay, slip into the shoes of the legendary Douglas Mawson, who created his main base in 1911 in Cape Denison, where there are still remnants of his wooden cabin. Welcome to the country of blizzards, these violent winds filled with snow flakes. Among the natural marvels of this territory, note the glacial tongue of the impressive Mertz Glacier whose wall of ice is cut with immense crevasses. The grandiose sight of absolute nature. Marking the border with Marie Byrd Land, the Transantarctic Mountains, extending the Andes, offer this Eden of ice some mountainous landscapes.

Accommodations

Le Commandant Charcot

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 13
The Ross Sea & Cross the International Date Line

“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. Since 2016, the world’s largest marine protected area has been keeping this last marine ecosystem intact. The theatre of the most impressive expeditions, it was discovered by James Clark Ross between 1839 and 1843. It was then that he discovered the enormous ice barrier formed by a gigantic ice shelf extending out to the open sea and from which titanic icebergs are calved. One third of the world’s Adelie penguin population lives in the area where this barrier breaks into icebergs. The currents maintain polynyas there, vast areas of persistent open water surrounded by sea ice. These give the penguins access to food. There may also be the chance to spot Ross seals, one of the rarest protected species in the Antarctic.

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 the ship is travelling west, add a day to the expected date; conversely, if travelling east, 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.

Accommodations

Le Commandant Charcot

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Days 14 - 15
The Ross Sea

“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. Since 2016, the world’s largest marine protected area has been keeping this last marine ecosystem intact. The theatre of the most impressive expeditions, it was discovered by James Clark Ross between 1839 and 1843. It was then that he discovered the enormous ice barrier formed by a gigantic ice shelf extending out to the open sea and from which titanic icebergs are calved. One third of the world’s Adelie penguin population lives in the area where this barrier breaks into icebergs. The currents maintain polynyas there, vast areas of persistent open water surrounded by sea ice. These give the penguins access to food. There may also be the chance to spot Ross seals, one of the rarest protected species in the Antarctic.

Accommodations

Le Commandant Charcot

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Days 16 - 18
Marie Byrd Land Exploration

Marie Byrd Land is one of the most remote territories of the 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 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 the 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 honor of his wife, following his expedition to the region. Explore its ice-sculpted landscapes and plunge into the infinite Antarctic desert, where penguins, seals, whales and orcas are the only living souls. Depending on the time and weather conditions, possibly explore 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.

Accommodations

Le Commandant Charcot

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Days 19 - 20
At Sea (Amundsen Sea)

The great Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsenfamous as one of the first five men to reach the geographic South Polegave 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: become immersed in a feeling of tranquility 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. Enjoy this refined cocoon. Be nourished with the knowledge of the scientists and expert naturalists who provide unique support during this polar cruise. Or simply contemplate the fascinating and captivating decor from the ship’s exterior decks.

Accommodations

Le Commandant Charcot

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 21
At Sea (Bellingshausen Sea)

Stretching from the west side 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. Its waters surround, among others, two of the largest islands in the Antarctic: Alexander Island and Thurston Island. Sail amid ice floe, blocks of sea ice and majestic icebergs. The coastal areas along the Bellingshausen Sea are home to large colonies of emperor penguins. Depending on the season, there may be the chance to observe some of these creatures in the open sea.

Accommodations

Le Commandant Charcot

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 22
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 23
At Sea (Bellingshausen Sea)

Stretching from the west side 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. Its waters surround, among others, two of the largest islands in the Antarctic: Alexander Island and Thurston Island. Sail amid ice floe, blocks of sea ice and majestic icebergs. The coastal areas along the Bellingshausen Sea are home to large colonies of emperor penguins. Depending on the season, there may be the chance to observe some of these creatures in the open sea.

Accommodations

Le Commandant Charcot

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 24
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
Day 25
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 26 - 27
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

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Day 28
Disembark Ushuaia, Argentina, Fly to Santiago, Chile & Depart

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.

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

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast

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Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

Transfers program (includes transfer to included 5-star hotel from Auckland airport or chosen pick-up location within a 30-mile range from the city center, 1-night stay in an Auckland hotel plus dinner and beverage package on night 1, breakfast on day 2, charter flight from Auckland, New Zealand, to Dunedin, New Zealand, and Ushuaia, Argentina, to Santiago, Chile, 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:
181 days or more – $250
180 to 91 days – 25% 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 From Dumont d’Urville to Mawson: Retracing Heroic Age Expeditions voyage begins in Auckland, New Zealand (AKL) 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 from Auckland, New Zealand, to Dunedin, New Zealand, and from Ushuaia, Argentina, to Santiago, Chile, 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 Dunedin 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 charter flights 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 charter flight to Santiago.

Activities

Various optional, included activities may be available on your From Dumont d’Urville to Mawson: Retracing Heroic Age Expeditions voyage: citizen science, exploration by hovercraft, kayaking, hiking and snowshoeing. Additional activities include practicing photography, the polar plunge, 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 8 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.

Unexplored Antarctica: Between Two Continents Itinerary

The 30-day Unexplored Antarctica: Between Two Continents voyage begins with a charter flight from Santiago, Chile, embarks in Ushuaia, Argentina, and disembarks in Dunedin, New Zealand, with a charter flight to Auckland, New Zealand. This itinerary uniquely visits the Ross Ice Shelf and spends twice as much time exploring Marie Byrd Land.

Route map of the Unexplored Antarctica: Between Two Continents voyage on Le Commandant Charcot, cruising from Ushuaia, Argentina, to Dunedin, New Zealand, with visits to the Antarctic Circle, Charcot Island, Peter I Island, Bellingshausen Sea, Amundsen Sea, Ross Sea & Macquarie Island.
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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

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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

Read More
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

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Day 5
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 6
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
Day 7
At Sea (Bellingshausen Sea)

Stretching from the west side 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. Its waters surround, among others, two of the largest islands in the Antarctic: Alexander Island and Thurston Island. Sail amid ice floe, blocks of sea ice and majestic icebergs. The coastal areas along the Bellingshausen Sea are home to large colonies of emperor penguins. Depending on the season, there may be the chance to observe some of these creatures in the open sea.

Accommodations

Le Commandant Charcot

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 8
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 9
At Sea (Amundsen Sea)

The great Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsenfamous as one of the first five men to reach the geographic South Polegave 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: become immersed in a feeling of tranquility 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. Enjoy this refined cocoon. Be nourished with the knowledge of the scientists and expert naturalists who provide unique support during this polar cruise. Or simply contemplate the fascinating and captivating decor from the ship’s exterior decks.

Accommodations

Le Commandant Charcot

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Days 10 - 16
Marie Byrd Land Exploration

Marie Byrd Land is one of the most remote territories of the 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 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 the 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 honor of his wife, following his expedition to the region. Explore its ice-sculpted landscapes and plunge into the infinite Antarctic desert, where penguins, seals, whales and orcas are the only living souls. Depending on the time and weather conditions, possibly explore 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.

Accommodations

Le Commandant Charcot

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 17
The 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, 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. Also hope to get to Terra Nova Bay, home to the stunning Drygalski Ice Tongue. At least 4,000 years old, it stretches 43 miles out to sea from the David glacier and measures 15 miles at its widest. On Ross Island, at the base of Mount Erebus, 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.

Accommodations

Le Commandant Charcot

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 18
Crossing the International Date Line

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 the ship is travelling west, add a day to the expected date; conversely, if travelling east, 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.

Accommodations

Le Commandant Charcot

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Days 19 - 23
The 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, 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. Also hope to get to Terra Nova Bay, home to the stunning Drygalski Ice Tongue. At least 4,000 years old, it stretches 43 miles out to sea from the David glacier and measures 15 miles at its widest. On Ross Island, at the base of Mount Erebus, 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.

Accommodations

Le Commandant Charcot

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Days 24 - 26
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 27
Macquarie Island, Australia

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, enjoy the opportunity to land ashore and view the prolific wildlife that resides here.

Accommodations

Le Commandant Charcot

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Days 28 - 29
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 30
Disembark Dunedin, New Zealand, Fly to Auckland & Depart

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 northwest 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.

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

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast

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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, charter flight from Santiago, Chile, to Ushuaia, Argentina, and Dunedin, New Zealand, to Auckland, New Zealand, 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:
181 days or more – $250
180 to 91 days – 25% 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 Unexplored Antarctica: Between Two Continents voyage begins in Santiago, Chile (SCL), and ends in Auckland, New Zealand (AKL). 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 from Santiago, Chile, to Ushuaia, Argentina, and from Dunedin, New Zealand, to Auckland, New Zealand, 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 charter flights 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 charter flight to Auckland.

Activities

Various optional, included activities may be available on your Unexplored Antarctica: Between Two Continents voyage: citizen science, exploration by hovercraft, kayaking, hiking and snowshoeing. Additional activities include practicing photography, the polar plunge, 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 8 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.

See Deals section for details on flexible booking policies.

Feb 15 - Mar 12, 2022
Le Commandant Charcot • 26 days
From $40060USD
Per Person
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Jan 15 - Feb 13, 2023
Le Commandant Charcot • 30 days
green southern galapagos islands directional icon
From $63080USD
Per Person
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Feb 13 - Mar 12, 2023
Le Commandant Charcot • 28 days
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From $59310USD
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 December 31st, 2021
Save 10-30% On 2021-22 & 2022-23 Antarctica Expeditions aboard Le Commandant Charcot

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

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Offer expires December 31st, 2021
Relaxed Booking Policy On Select 2021-22 Antarctica Expeditions

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

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.

Special Offer
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. By night, enjoy the cozy luxury of EcoCamp's unique dome accommodations, or camping.

Special Offer
From $1305USD
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.

Special Offer
From $900USD
Jan Feb Mar Apr Sep Oct Nov Dec
More to Explore

Trips You Might Also Like

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13 - 19 Day Cruise
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.

Special Offer
From $18770USD
Jan Feb Mar Nov Dec
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35 - 36 Day Cruise
National Geographic Epic Antarctica

The 35-day National Geographic Epic Antarctica aboard 126-guest Nat Geo Endurance is an extraordinary voyage along West Antarctic, across the Ross Sea and to Macquarie Island and New Zealand’s sub-Antarctic islands, a truly rare polar expedition.

Special Offer
From $49900USD
Jan Feb Mar Dec
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16 - 20 Day Cruise
Le Commandant Charcot Bellingshausen Sea Voyages

Travel in luxury to the practically unexplored Bellingshausen Sea, far south of the Antarctic Circle, including an itinerary to see emperor penguins. Hybrid-electric 200-guest Le Commandant Charcot offers an eco-friendly voyage and unique off-ship activities.

Special Offer
From $22270USD
Jan Feb Oct Nov Dec
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Le Commandant Charcot Ross Sea Expeditions

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