The Ross Sea

Le Commandant Charcot
Le Commandant Charcot
250 Passengers
Starting 2021-22 Season — Icebreaker

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 several hundred 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, you will 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.

Highlights
• Sail as close as possible to the South Pole, in the heart of the Ross Sea, one the world’s last marine sanctuaries.
• Outings and shore visits in Zodiac inflatables.
• Lectures and information sessions hosted by our naturalist-guides.
• Landscapes: icebergs, glaciers, ice floes, ice shelves.
• Wildlife: Adelie penguins, emperor penguins, Ross seals, crabeater seals, leopard seals, Minke whales, sea birds.
• Many included activities: Hovercraft, hot air balloon, participative science, polar diving, outings and shore visits in Zodiac inflatables, kayaking, hiking, snowmobiles.

Includes pre-departure overnight in Santiago, Chile and round-trip flights between Santiago and Ushuaia, Argentina.

Brief Itinerary

Day 1 Ushuaia, Argentina
Days 2 & 3 Crossing the Drake Passage
Day 4 Crossing the Antarctic Circle
Day 5 Expedition to Charcot Island
Day 6 Expedition to Peter I Island
Days 7 & 8 Bellingshausen Sea
Day 9 At Sea
Day 10 Siple Island
Day 11 At Sea
Day 12 Ruppert Coast
Day 13 Cape Colbeck
Day 14 The Ross Sea
Day 15 The Ross Ice Shelf
Day 16 At Sea
Day 17 Ruppert Coast
Day 18 At Sea
Day 19 Burke Island
Days 20 & 21 Expedition to Peter I Island
Day 22 At Sea
Days 23  & 24 Crossing the Drake Passage
Day 25 Ushuaia

Day 1 — Ushuaia, Argentina

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 evokes journeys to the unlikely and the inaccessible.

Days 2 & 3 — Crossing the Drake Passage

Use your days spent in the Drake Passage to familiarize yourself with your ship and deepen your knowledge of the Antarctic. 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.

Day 4 — Crossing the Antarctic Circle

Weather permitting, we'll 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 your cruise through the polar regions.

Day 5 — Expedition to Charcot Island

When he discovered this island surrounded by sea ice in 1910 from aboard the Pourquoi Pas? as he mapped Alexander Island, Jean-Baptiste Charcot had not be 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 8 miles in the far north-west. 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 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.

Day 6 — Expedition to Peter I Island

You will then 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 5,400 ft, is protected by ice cliffs some 130 ft tall, making any approach difficult.

Days 7 & 8 — 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. You will sail amid ice floes, 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, you may get the chance to observe some of these creatures in the open sea.

Day 9 — At Sea

Spend exceptional moments sailing aboard Le Commandant Charcot. Take advantage of the on-board lectures and opportunities for discussion with our specialists to learn more about the poles. Participate in furthering scientific research  and let us discover together what these fascinating destinations have yet to reveal to us.

Day 10 — Siple Island

This island is dominated by Mount Siple, a dormant, potentially active shield volcano rising to an altitude of 10,000 ft. 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, you could have the good fortune of being welcomed by a colony of Adelie penguins and of admiring the magnificent Thurston Glacier.

Day 12 — 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 there in 1980, before being officially abandoned in 1990.

Day 13 — 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.

Day 14 — 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. You may also get the chance to spot Ross seals, one of the rarest protected species in the Antarctic.

Day 15 — 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. You will 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 300 ft above sea level and some of them are several hundred yards 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.

Days 23 & 24 — Crossing the Drake Passage

If there is one place, one sea, one waterway dreaded by tourists, researchers and hardened seafarers alike, it is undoubtedly 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. Seasoned navigators will tell you that you must earn your visit to the White Continent! 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 your ship.

Day 25 — Ushuaia

Disembark.

Important note: We are privileged guests in these remote lands where we are at the mercy of weather, ice, tidal and current conditions. Landings on certain sites and the observation of certain wildlife cannot be guaranteed. They vary from day to day, making each cruise a unique experience. The captain and the expedition leader will make every effort to ensure that your experience is as rich as possible, while complying with the safety rules and instructions imposed by the IAATO.

* Itinerary may be subject to change

Only show rates under
$ X
Please note that availability is updated about once a week.
Per Person USD
Rates Antarctica 2021-22
Prestige
Stateroom
Deck 6
Prestige
Stateroom
Deck 7
Prestige
Stateroom
Deck 8
Privilege
Stateroom
Deck 6
Privilege
Stateroom
Deck 7
Privilege
Stateroom
Deck 8
Prestige
Suite
Deck 7
Prestige
Suite
Deck 8
Privilege
Suite
Duplex
Suite
Kayak
The Owner's Suite is ̶a̶v̶a̶i̶l̶a̶b̶l̶e̶ ̶for $96,190
$25,370Full$25,830 $26,280 $31,040 $32,170 $33,310 $42,380Full$43,510 $45,780Limited$63,930 
Kayak
The Owner's Suite is ̶a̶v̶a̶i̶l̶a̶b̶l̶e̶ ̶for $64,410
$16,480 $16,760 $17,040 $19,990 $20,690 $21,390 $27,010 $27,720 $29,120 $40,360 
Kayak
The Owner's Suite is available for $53,700
$13,960 $14,190 $14,420 $16,860 $17,450 $18,030 $22,690 $23,270 $24,440 $33,750 
Kayak
The Owner's Suite is ̶a̶v̶a̶i̶l̶a̶b̶l̶e̶ ̶for $64,410
$16,480 $16,760 $17,040 $19,990 $20,690 $21,390 $27,010 $27,720 $29,120 $40,360 
Kayak
The Owner's Suite is ̶a̶v̶a̶i̶l̶a̶b̶l̶e̶ ̶for $58,850
$15,120 $15,370 $15,630 $18,320 $18,960 $19,600 $24,730 $25,360 $26,650 $36,890 
Kayak
The Owner's Suite is ̶a̶v̶a̶i̶l̶a̶b̶l̶e̶ ̶for $64,410
$16,480 $16,760 $17,040 $19,990 $20,690 $21,390 $27,010 $27,720 $29,120 $40,360 
Kayak
The Owner's Suite is ̶a̶v̶a̶i̶l̶a̶b̶l̶e̶ ̶for $119,090
$40,060Full$40,810 $41,560 $49,470 $51,350 $53,230 $68,280 $70,160 $73,930 $104,030 
Kayak
The Owner's Suite is available for $53,700
$13,960 $14,190 $14,420 $16,860 $17,450 $18,030 $22,690 $23,270 $24,440 $33,750 
Kayak
The Owner's Suite is available for $53,700
$13,960 $14,190 $14,420 $16,860 $17,450 $18,030 $22,690 $23,270 $24,440 $33,750 
Kayak
The Owner's Suite is ̶a̶v̶a̶i̶l̶a̶b̶l̶e̶ ̶for $77,200
$18,990 $19,330 $19,670 $23,250 $24,110 $24,960 $31,780 $32,640 $34,340 $47,990 
No trips meet your criteria. Please increase the budget above to view more results.
Click on the tour dates in the left column to view a trip itinerary. Point MOUSE at Cabin Category to view DETAILED description.

Prices are per person based on Double occupancy.
Single rates are available in all categories (except Owner's Suite) for approximately 1.8x the single rate.

Image_LeCommandantCharcot_Layout

DeckPlan_LeCommandantCharcot_prelim

   Owner's Suite
Deck 8 • Area: 1230ft² / 114m² • Capacity: up to 2 guests per stateroom
2000ft²/186m² private balcony with jacuzzi • Shower & Balneo bathtub • Butler service • Individually-controlled air-conditioning • Stateroom layout: king-size bed or twin beds • Minibar - 24hr room service • Flat screen satellite TV • Video on demand • IPod™ docks • Safe • French bath products • Dressing table with hairdryer • Direct line telephone • 110V American/220V European • Internet access Wifi.
   Duplex Suite
Decks: 6 & 7 • Area: 515ft² / 48m² • Capacity: up to 4 guests per stateroom
280ft²/12.5 m² private balcony with jacuzzi • Shower & Balneo bathtub • Butler service • Individually-controlled air-conditioning • Stateroom layout: king-size bed or twin beds • Minibar - 24hr room service • Flat screen satellite TV • Video on demand • IPod™ docks • Safe • French bath products • Dressing table with hairdryer • Direct line telephone • 110V American/220V European • Internet access Wifi.
   Privilege Suite
Decks: 6 & 8 • Area: 515ft² / 48m² • Capacity: up to 4 guests per stateroom
135ft²/12.5m² private balcony • Shower & Balneo bathtub • Butler service • Individually-controlled air-conditioning • Stateroom layout: king-size bed or twin beds • Minibar - 24hr room service • Flat screen satellite TV • Video on demand • IPod™ docks • Safe • French bath products • Dressing table with hairdryer • Direct line telephone • 110V American/220V European • Internet access Wifi.
   Prestige Suite
Decks: 7 & 8 • Area: 430ft² / 40m² • Capacity: up to 4 guests per stateroom
Composed of two interconnected Prestige Staterooms as indicated by double arrow on Deck Plan ⟷
110ft²/10m² private balcony • 2 Showers • Individually-controlled air-conditioning • Stateroom layout: king-size bed or twin beds • Minibar - 24hr room service • Flat screen satellite TV • Video on demand • IPod™ docks • Safe • French bath products • Dressing table with hairdryer • Direct line telephone • 110V American/220V European • Internet access Wifi.
   Privilege Stateroom
Decks 6, 7 & 8 • Area: 300ft² / 28m² • Capacity: up to 3 guests per stateroom
55ft²/5m² private balcony • Shower • Individually-controlled air-conditioning • Stateroom layout: king-size bed or twin beds - communicating staterooms available • Minibar - 24hr room service • Flat screen satellite TV • Video on demand • IPod™ docks • Safe • French bath products • Dressing table with hairdryer • Direct line telephone • 110V American/220V European • Internet access Wifi.
   Prestige Stateroom
Decks: 6, 7 & 8 • Area: 215ft² / 20m² • Capacity: up to 2 guests per stateroom
55ft²/5m² private balcony • Shower • Individually-controlled air-conditioning • Stateroom layout: king-size bed or twin beds - communicating staterooms available • Minibar - 24hr room service • Flat screen satellite TV • Video on demand • IPod™ docks • Safe • French bath products • Dressing table with hairdryer • Direct line telephone • 110V American/220V European • Internet access Wifi.