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Tabular Icebergs in the Weddell Sea

The Weddell Sea and Larsen Ice Shelf – Ponant

from $18,330

DATES: 2022Nov 26-Dec 08  |  Dec 07-19

Duration: 13 days / 12 nights

Embark: Ushuaia, Argentina

Disembark: Ushuaia, Argentina

Ship: Le Commandant Charcot

From: $18,330

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All about the The Weddell Sea and Larsen Ice Shelf – Ponant.

Insurmountable, extreme and captivating: this is the best way to describe the Weddell Sea, 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.

To the northwest of the Weddell Sea, stretching along the eastern coast of the Antarctic Peninsula, stands an imposing ice shelf known as the Larsen Ice Shelf. 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, a real refuge for wildlife.

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The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.

The highest concentration of Gentoo, Adelie and Chinstrap penguins in Antarctica; Minke and humpback Whales, Weddell seals, sea Leopards, and numerous sea birds: Cape Petrels, Albatrosses, imperial Shags, and snow Petrels.

  • Transfer and deluxe hotel in Santiago.
  • Round-trip flights to Ushuaia.
  • Outings and shore visits in Zodiac® inflatables with a team of experienced naturalist guides.
  • Hiking opportunity: Grytviken, Deception Island.
  • Landscapes: mountain chains, imposing glaciers, drifting icebergs and sea ice.
  • Wildlife: king penguins, elephant seals and fur seals in South Georgia. Gentoo, Adelie and chinstrap penguins.
  • Educational discovery in the respect of environment.

Whats not included in this tour.Items that are not included in the cost of tour price.
  • International airfare
  • Travel and emergency evacuation insurance
  • Meals ashore other than those indicated as included
  • Pre- and Post-cruise programs
  • Items of personal nature

  1. Day 1 Arrive Santiago, Chile

    You will be met and transferred to your included deluxe hotel. Remainder of the day is free. Dinner tonight is included.

    Arrive a few days early to see more of Santiago, and visit picturesque Valparaiso and some wonderful wineries near Santiago.

  2. Day 2 Flight to Ushuaia – Embarkation

    Transfer from your hotel to the city airport for your included flight to Ushuaia. Meet and transfer to ship. Capital of Argentina’s Tierra del Fuego province, Ushuaia lies in a bay opening into the Beagle Channel, at the country’s southernmost tip. Its colorful houses are framed against towering mountains, snow-capped in winter and summer alike.

  3. Day 3-4 At Sea - Drake Passage

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

  4. Day 5 SOUTH SHETLAND ISLANDS

    On the edge of the Antarctic Peninsula, 120 km (70 miles) from the White Continent, the South Shetland Islands offer surreal and mysterious scenery. On these volcanic islands of dark rock, the landscapes alternate between long, jagged and snow-covered coast and large, gently sloping bays. These lunar and wild lands are home to important scientific research stations and a large number of animal species: chinstrap penguins, crabeater seals or Weddell seals, Antarctic terns, giant petrels and elephant seals have taken up residence here.

     

  5. Day 6 NORTH ANTARCTIC PENINSULA

    Throughout your time in the north of the Antarctic Peninsula, you will find yourself in the heart of a spectacular environment in subtle shades of blue and white, surrounded by exceptional wildlife. You will sail through the Antarctic Sound, named after Swedish explorer Otto Nordenskjöld’s ship, which was trapped by the ice during an important scientific expedition in 1902. The gateway to the Weddell Sea, this sound is filled with gigantic tabular icebergs and plates of sea ice drifting northward from the coastal areas of this vast sea. It is home to Adelie penguins and a great many leopard seals.

  6. Day 7-10 THE WEDDELL SEA EXPLORATION

    Impassable, extreme and captivating: this is the best way to describe the Weddell Sea, much of which is covered by a layer of thick, densely packed ice. It is a challenge and a privilege to sail upon this sea. Your exploration of this vast polar expanse, a real labyrinth frequented by majestic tabular icebergs, will plunge you into the heart of an extraordinary and enchanting silence. These ice giants come from the calving of the legendary Larsen Ice Shelf which looms in the southern part of this mythical sea. It was in this zone that the ship Endurance, commanded by Ernest Shackleton, was crushed and swallowed by the ice. “What the ice gets, the ice keeps” he said. Not exactly, though, since the famous wreck was miraculously found in 2022… While polar expeditions are no longer the same as they were a century ago, the adventure continues. Humpback whales, orcas, colonies of Adelie penguins, and giant petrels are all to be found here, yet the lord of the kingdom is no other than the Weddell seal. On these lands, only the throbbing of its cries breaks the surrounding tranquillity. A record-breaker (it can remain underwater for more than an hour), you will recognise it by its dark grey pelage and spotted belly.

     

    Day 9: 

     

  7. Days 11-12 CROSS DRAKE PASSAGE
  8. Day 13 USHUAIA, ARGENTINA

    Disembark in Ushuaia and transfer to airport for return flight to Santiago. Or fly to Buenos Aires to visit and see more of Argentina, including the popular Mendoza wine region.

Le Commandant Charcot

PONANT’s latest addition to the fleet, Le Commandant Charcot – the very first luxury hybrid electric polar exploration ship powered by liquified natural gas, is the epitome of responsible and sustainable sailing. Safe and low impact polar navigation is her area of expertise, taking advantage of the latest innovations and even developing new, market-leading technologies and solutions to make Le Commandant Charcot one of the most advanced polar vessels at sea today.

 

Exceptional suites and staterooms

Equipped with 123 suites and staterooms with private balcony or terrace, Le Commandant Charcot is fully in keeping with the PONANT philosophy: to provide a rare and exceptional ambiance for every passenger welcomed onboard and reinforce the feeling and sense of sailing on a private yacht. At the rear of decks 6 and 7 are four stunning 94 m² (1,011 ft²) split-level suites equipped with private terraces and jacuzzis.

The breathtaking 115 m² (1,237 ft²) Suite de l’Armateur (Owner’s Suite) on deck 8 features wide sliding glass doors offering stunning panoramic views and opening out onto a 186 m² (2,002 ft²) private terrace.

Services provided-

  • Private balcony for all our cabins and suites
  • Terrace for the Duplex suites and the Owner’s suite
  • Butler service and priority boarding : Owner’s Suite, Duplex Suites, Privilege Suites and Grand Prestige Suites
  • Individually-controlled air-conditioning
  • Stateroom layout: king-size bed, or twin beds, connecting staterooms available, children welcome
  • Minibar – 24hr room service
  • Satellite TV channels (availability dependent on navigation); selection of videos on demand
  • Bose™ Bluetooth speaker
  • Safe
  • Selection of Dyptique Paris top-of-the-line bath products.
  • Dressing table, bath robes, Hairdryer
  • Direct line telephone
  • 110V American (two flat pins)/220V European (round sockets with two round pins)
  • Internet access Wifi : Satellite reception (availability dependent on navigation and latitude)

Technical Specifications
Length: 492 ft
Beam: 92 ft
Draft: 33 ft
Cruising speed: 15 knots
Ice class Polar: Class PC2
Classification: Bureau Veritas
Flag: French
Guest decks: 5
Guest capacity: 245
Zodiacs: 16
Gross tonnage: 31,757 UMS
Electric propulsion motors: 34 MW
Installed power: 42 MW
Construction: Sovik, Norway

Le Commandant-Charcot Deck Plan