An illustrious luxury Antarctic cruise expedition to the remote Charcot and Peter I Islands...


Antarctica – remote, frigid, tempestuous and inhospitable, the key requisites for any expeditioner. The names Shackleton, Amundsen, Crean, Scott, Ross are names synonymous with valiant expeditions to these uncharted remote outposts of our planet. Superlatives do scant justice to crossing their Rubicons with steadfast resolve in an unforgiving wilderness. Antarctica’s remoteness is a magnetic attraction to travellers but also there is an innate curiosity to live the places where only the bravest of explorers have tread. To stand on the ice and contemplate the immensity of the challenges which they faced.  All the while, revelling in pristine solitude at the beauteous frozen landscapes.


Totally Latin America specialize in offering luxury Ponant Antarctica expedition cruise experiences beyond the ordinary. This expedition retraces the voyage of French Antarctic Explorer Jean-Baptiste Charcot. Destined to sail since he boarded his soapbox, as a child, to cross a lake at Neuilly Sur Seine France. That box was called Pourquoi Pas? (Why not?).  Later, he sailed his full size Pourquoi Pas? vessel on his pioneering voyage to Antarctica. Today’s ship Le Commandant-Charcot is the very first hybrid-electric Polar Class (PC) certified exploration ship powered by liquefied natural gas. This ship allows access to journey to destinations rarely if ever visited. A maximum of 270 passengers occupy 135 cabins aboard this luxurious vessel. There are 68 suites with private balconies, four impressive split-level suites equipped with Jacuzzi and private balconies. The crème de la crème is the panoramic Shipowner’s Suite with a vast private open terrace. Le Commandant-Charcot holds amenities such as a 275-passenger cinema, indoor and outdoor heated swimming pool, two restaurants, bars & panoramic lounge, hair salon, spa treatments, beauty care, library and gym.

A Le Commandant-Charcot cruise is the ultimate luxury Ponant Antarctica expedition cruise. All luxurious expectations are met, but expedition means activity, and these forays to nature are immense. They include 16 Zodiac boats for landings and sea excursions, participative science with on-board research scientists, hiking, hot air balloon, Hovercraft, kayaking, snowmobiles and polar diving (special conditions apply to diving). All excursions are delivered with gusto by the finest naturalist guides.


Arrival and Departure Airports

Santiago, Chile or Buenos Aires, Argentina are the usual international route to access and return from this cruise. Other destinations can be arranged as required. Speak to your Totally Latin America Antarctic expert adviser to take care of your individual requirements.

Line Map of Route of luxury Antarctica Cruise


  • Day 1 – Ushuaia Departure 18.00 hrs
  • Day 2 – Crossing The Drake Passage
  • Day 3 – Crossing The Drake Passage
  • Day 4 – Antarctic Circle & Detaille Island
  • Day 5 – The Gullet & Pourquoi Pas Island
  • Day 6 – Marguerite Bay
  • Day 7 – Expedition to Charcot Island
  • Day 8 – Expedition to Charcot Island
  • Day 9 – Ocean Voyage Le Commandant-Charcot
  • Day 10 – Expedition to Peter I Island
  • Day 11 – Expedition to Peter I Island
  • Day 12 – The Gullet
  • Day 13 – Crossing The Drake Passage
  • Day 14 – Crossing The Drake Passage
  • Day 15 – Ushuaia 08.00 hrs

Day 1 - Ushuaia Departure 18.00 hrs

Ushuaia City is located at the southern extremities of the Lands of Fire or Tierra del Fuego Argentina. It is an ideal pre-cruise destination to explore Patagonian Chile and Argentina. Your travel adviser will be happy to assist you in planning excursions in the region. This evening at Ushuaia, the gateway to Antarctica, we begin embarkation from 4 p.m. – 5 p.m. and set sail at 6 p.m.

Day 2 - Crossing The Drake Passage

We spend two days crossing the famous Drake Passage. Named after the 16th Century explorer Sir Francis Drake. The navigation of this body of water was the discovery of the confluence of Pacific and Antarctic Oceans on his circumnavigation of the globe 1577- 1580. On this crossing you will have time to familiarize yourself with the features and amenities of your ship. In this regard, the Expedition Leader will first present the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators rules of conduct that must be observed during landings This is an open stretch of often rough waters, but your polar class vessel is well equipped to deal with the weathers of the crossing.

Day 3 - Crossing The Drake Passage

Today while crossing The Drake you will be instructed on the Zodiac boat trips that will be conducted throughout your cruise. These outings are typically divided to French speakers and English speakers with separate boats. This ensures you have just one guide speaking to travellers in their native language. Typically, the numbers in the Zodiacs are from 8 – 16 maximum. Visit the theatre for insightful lectures about the history and wildlife of the region. Also just step outside to the observation deck and the guides can point you to see Cape Petrels, Albatrosses and other avian visitors overhead or whales etc. in the waters around your ship.

Day 4 - Antarctic Circle & Detaille Island

One of the landmark moments of any luxury Ponant Antarctica expedition cruise is crossing the latitude of 66°33’ South, The Antarctic Circle. The home of mother earth’s midnight sun and polar night phenomena. You will be among a select cohort of humans that have managed to venture this far south on our planet.</br></br>Today we come sailing by the snow-clad mountains along the Loubet coastline and Detaille Island. In 1956, a research station called Base W was constructed here by the British Antarctic Survey contingent but only lasted until 1959 when it was officially abandoned. The island is subject to strong winds and inclement weather and was hastily vacated after ice flows surrounding the island cut the scientists off from their supply ships. A pretty much intact camp can be seen today and is an eery step back in time. There is a guestbook, and the camp remains open but is expected to be respected as an official historic landmark.

Day 5 - The Gullet & Pourquoi Pas Island

We navigate the slender sound between Adelaide Island and Graham Land toward Marguerite Bay. The rugged walls of ice are an unforgettable landscape as the gelid backdrop and icebergs reflect in the waters of the straits below. Your vessel Le Commandant Charcot has special significance here as in 1909 Jean-Baptiste Charcot surveyed these very lands. This oft ice- laden body of water can be a favorite haunt of Humpback Whales and a wonderful setting for kayaking or Zodiac excursions, dependent on weather conditions. Next on our peregrination we make land at Pourquoi Pas Island (Why Not? Island) dissecting the Bigourdan and Bourgeois Fjords. Here a large colony of Adélie Penguins reside and we will venture ashore by Zodiac and enjoy some time in their company. Australian surveyor John Rymill arrived in 1935 aboard his ship Penola. The islands name was retrospectively applied and celebrated Charcot’s ship the Pourquoi Pas? Charcot having first navigated these uncharted waters in 1910.

Day 6 - Marguerite Bay

Brooding mountains, blue seas, glaciers and icebergs comprise the exalted status of Marguerite Bay. It is one of the most profound and memorable natural destinations in the Antarctic. The bay was named after Charcot’s second wife Marguerite who had accompanied him on this, his second Antarctic voyage. Wildlife here includes Leopard Seals, Adelie Penguins, Emperor penguins, Dominican Gulls, Blue-Eyed Shag, Skuas and Storm Petrels.

Day 7 - Expedition to Charcot Island

The key element of this luxury Ponant Antarctica expedition cruise is the ability to explore remote places seldom seen. Charcot Island is a rare landfall for human visitors. It was discovered on January 11, 1910 by Jean-Baptiste Charcot and named after his father Jean Martin Charcot. The first land survey was conducted by a Chilean party as late as 1982, adding credence to its inaccessibility. On this largely untouched island, you can observe numerous seabirds, including petrels, Antarctic Terns and skuas.

Day 8 - Expedition to Charcot Island

We continue our expedition at Charcot Island. This region experiences frequent low-pressure weather and mist which lend an enigmatic aura to any visit. It is entirely covered in ice and sheer cliffs, except for the rocky outcrops extending over eight miles to the north-west. The ice in the narrowest part of Wilkins Sound has been cracking in recent times, and in 2009 served to detach this island from Alexander Island.

Day 9 - Expedition to Peter I Island

Peter I Island was discovered by German Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen in 1821. This remote island remained elusive and was next seen by Jean-Baptiste Charcot on January 14, 1910. In 1929, a Norwegian expedition led by Nils Larsen and Ola Olstad made the first landing. Your luxury Ponant Antarctica expedition cruise affords you the chance to explore this remote and rare land. It lies 275 miles from the Antarctic shelf and has been described as akin to landing on the moon. It is reported that less people have visited this remote place than have walked on the lunar landscape.

Day 10 - Expedition to Peter I Island

We continue our exploration of Peter I Island with a focus upon accessing the rare beaches potentially suitable for landings hidden among the lofty cliffsides. These cliffs also hold seabird colonies of Antarctic Fulmars and Wilson Storm Petrels that struggle to eke out survival in this unforgiving and windswept land. Penguins, Elephant Seals and Weddell Seals can also be found at our beach landing Zodiac visits.

Day 11 - Ocean Voyage Le Commandant-Charcot

Enjoy a day upon the open ocean and on-board Antarctic lectures with our resident scientists and naturalist guides.

Day 12 - The Gullet

The immense landscapes of this narrow channel between Adelaide Island and Graham Land is like a regal ice palace. Lofty white walls echo in the mirrored waters of the Southern Ocean. This picture postcard setting is decorated by mother nature with her dotted icebergs and glistening blocks of ice. Keep a watch for Humpback, Minke and Fin Whales in these icy waters. It is also a wonderful opportunity for kayaking or Zodiac excursions, dependent on weather conditions.

Day 13 - Crossing The Drake Passage

The Drake Passage is your final challenge on your luxury Ponant Antarctica expedition cruise. You are by now a reasoned Antarctic traveler and have done this before. Rest assured that your polar class ship Le Commandant Charcot is the very best vessel to navigate these choppy waters in the most comfortable manner possible.

Day 14 - Crossing The Drake Passage

The Drake Passage lies at the latitude of the infamous Furious Fifties winds, between Cape Horn and the South Shetland Islands. This is the Antarctic convergence zone where cold currents rising up from the South Pole meet warmer equatorial water masses. The Drake Passage is home to a broad palette of diverse marine fauna to enjoy en route.

Day 15 - Ushuaia 08.00 hrs

Disembarkation at 08h00 at Ushuaia. You will now have the very best memories from your unforgettable luxury Ponant Antarctica expedition cruise. At Ushuaia, you can connect to your flight home, or why not extend your stay to discover Latin America at Chile or Argentina. Contact your Totally Latin America travel expert to discuss your best options.

Jean-Baptiste Charcot was called “The gentleman of the Pole “by Robert Falcon Scott.

Important Note: All Antarctic itineraries are subject to change without prior notice. The final itinerary will be confirmed by the Captain of the cruise ship.


Our trips are tailor-made to suit your requirements. Contact a luxury Antarctic Cruise expert for a comprehensive itinerary and pricing:

Our trips are tailor-made to suit your requirements and can include many pre and post cruise extensions. Contact a luxury Antarctic Cruise travel expert for a comprehensive itinerary and pricing:

Guideline cruise pricings begin at $16,000 USD per person but are highly variable. Please contact your Totally Latin America Antarctic Cruise expert for the very best in pricing options.

Included in the Price:

  • 15 Day /14 Night Antarctic Cruise aboard Le Commandant Charcot vessel
  • Guided excursions as described in itinerary
  • 24 Hour emergency contact number and assistance (in-country).

Not Included in the Price:

  • International flights.
  • Domestic flights (these are included in some itineraries, speak to your adviser)
  • Tips or gratuities.
  • Other meals not stated in the itinerary.
  • Travel insurance.

Antarctica has a window of cruising from November to March. Summer is the months of December through February and typically these are the only months for expedition style cruises. They are the busiest months but tourist flows are heavily regulated in Antarctica and so do not prove detrimental to your experience. There will be in excess of twenty hours of daylight across these months and wildlife will see many newborn as they avail of the warmer weather to maximize the chances of survival. February and March can offer improved chances to view whales.

The continent is typically cold, arid and subject to powerful katabatic winds which can reach dizzying speeds of 180 miles per hour. Your cruise will visit the coastline region, away from the central plateau, and so summer temperatures typically will hover about 32°F / 0°C.

Departure Dates:
Departure Dates: Select dates in December, January and February.

This luxury Antarctica vacation package is suitable for adults of all ages. Children under 3 years of age are not authorized to sail. Children between 3 and 8 years old are accepted subject to agreement at the time of booking. If accepted, a liability waiver will be completed and returned to validate your booking.

Easy – Moderate.


Destinations Visited:

  • Ushuaia
  • Antarctic Continent

Vacation Package Type:

  • Sightseeing
  • Nature
  • Light-Adventure
  • A polar water-resistant parka is offered on board for all departures with an expedition programme (no children sizes, in case of consecutive cruises, only one complimentary parka).
  • Half calf rubber boots with non-slip soles, which will allow you to go ashore in 20 cm of cold water, keeping your feet dry for walks and visits on steep paths. Boot rental will be offered onboard (for adults only) on Expedition cruises.
  • Winter trousers and leggings
  • Waterproof and windproof over-trousers. These are essential
  • Pullover, sweat shirt or fleece jacket
  • Thermal underwear and warm socks
  • A warm hat and earmuffs
  • Gloves


  • Small waterproof backpack
  • Binoculars
  • Sunglasses or goggles with excellent U.V. protection- essential
  • Sunblock with U.V protections
  • Lip balm
  • Walking poles

NOTE: The above list is not definitive and will vary to your individual needs. Speak to your travel adviser for advice.

A doctor is present aboard your ship throughout the cruise. A nurse is also available on board.

Emergency evacuation drills are conducted on all vessels where a full complement of lifesaving equipment is included to exacting standards. The vessel has the most modern technology to assure safety and respect for the regions visited. Each ship has ISM (International Safety Management) certification, a very strict international regulation plus annual Bureau Veritas approval.

Le Commandant-Charcot is accommodating in allowing people with reduced mobility, visual impairments etc. enjoy a wonderful Antarctic experience. Please speak to your expert adviser and they will be glad to help plan the best trip for your individual needs.

Travelling to polar/isolated regions is an exhilarating experience in remote areas: please remember that you are far from modern hospitals with full medical facilities, thus evacuation is extremely expensive. We strongly request you subscribe to full coverage insurance, choose your insurance company very carefully, be extremely vigilant and ensure your insurance is fully comprehensive. Without adequate medical coverage, all expenses would have to be immediately paid with your own personal funds.


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