PONANT invites you to board Le Commandant Charcot, for a 15-day exploration cruise that is as original as it is spectacular, in order to observe a total eclipse of the Sun from the Weddell Sea ice pack. This cruise in the heart of the great White Continent will also be an opportunity to discover the eastern part of the Weddell Sea, unexplored and totally unknown to this day, as well as the imposing Larsen ice shelves.
From Ushuaia, your ship will first set course for the Weddell Sea ice pack, located in the only area in the world where the solar eclipse will be 100% visible. You will land on the immaculate and sparkling ice pack and enjoy, from the thick ice layer, a unique and privileged setting for a magnificent observation of a total solar eclipse. In this region close to the polar circle where the sun never quite sets, the full night will surround you to fully experience a few magical and suspended moments.
The Weddell Sea could be described as extreme and captivating, mostly frozen by a thick and compressed ice floe. It is a challenge and a privilege to sail on it, with its promise of exceptional landscapes and original encounters. As you advance across this immense polar expanse, you will enter an infinite ice desert, a world of silence where there is nothing but calm and serenity.
You will reach the northern part of the Antarctic Peninsula, a landmark in the history of polar exploration. To the north-west of the Weddell Sea, stretching along the east coast of the Antarctic Peninsula, stands the imposing ice barrier formed by the Larsen platforms. An extension of the ice sheet onto the sea, this white giant is equally disturbing and fascinating, if only due to its colossal dimensions and the impressive table top icebergs – amongst the largest ever seen – that it generates.
This voyage will be an opportunity to come as close as possible to the Weddell Sea and the Antarctic Peninsula, a real refuge for wildlife. So, you may have the privilege of observing some of the Weddell seals, crabeater seals and leopard seals, Adelie penguins, papuan and chinstrap penguins, humpback whales, sea birds.
We are privileged guests in these extreme lands where we are at the mercy of weather and ice conditions. The sailing schedule and any landings, activities and wildlife encounters are subject to weather and ice conditions. These experiences are unique and vary with each departure. The Captain and the Expedition Leader will make every effort to ensure that your experience is as rich as possible, while respecting safety instructions and regulations.