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Setting sail from Punta Arenas
The weather-beaten city of Punta Arenas is a laid back and welcoming place, in spite of its inhospitable location on the shores of the Strait of Magellan. Nearby attractions include penguin colonies and the dramatic scenery of Torres del Paine National Park, while beyond the southern horizon lie the frozen wastes of Antarctica.
Antarctica: South Shetland Islands
Icy and remote, the South Shetland Islands are situated about 100 miles north of the Antarctic peninsula. The archipelago is home to a scattering of research stations, along with thousands of penguins, seals and sea lions, and you can still see the remains of Ernest Shackleton’s ship the ‘Endurance’ on the south west shore of Elephant Island.
Antarctica is the world’s last great wilderness, an alien landscape of snow-covered mountains, jagged icebergs and extraordinary wildlife. Visiting at the beginning of the cruise season in October or November means bigger icebergs and pristine snowy landscapes, along with the chance to see breeding elephant seals. There may still be sea ice around the Antarctic Peninsula, and temperatures are cold. Expedition trips will spend time exploring the peninsula, making several landings at various sites and cruising through scenic channels.
Arriving in Punta Arenas
Your home from home
The world's first electric hybrid polar expedition ship, Le Commandant Charcot promises to be the most exciting addition yet to the Ponant fleet.
What we love
Jean-Baptiste Charcot was a true polar pioneer, and Ponant's icebreaker will explore the parts of the Arctic and Antarctica that other expedition vessels can't reach. On board you can expect Ponant's customary French flair, and the ship is also designed to have a minimal effect on the environment, with technological innovations such as hybrid propulsion and an advanced waste water treatment system.
|Style||This will be the world's most luxurious icebreaker, blending contemporary decor with a refined French flair.|