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HomeEXPEDITION CRUISESWorld’s Only Luxury Icebreaker Le Commandant Charcot Arrives in New Zealand for...

World’s Only Luxury Icebreaker Le Commandant Charcot Arrives in New Zealand for The First Time

PONANT’s Le Commandant Charcot was welcomed into New Zealand waters, the halfway point of a round Antarctic journey from Argentina, marking the first time the world’s only luxury icebreaker has sailed the antipodes.

After the overnight stop in Lyttelton, on the eastern coast of New Zealand’s South Island, the polar high exploration vessel, which is the only of its kind in the world, today sets off on the reverse itinerary. The ship will retrace its path all the way to Ushuaia, taking travellers on a half-circumnavigation of Antarctica via the Ross Sea, the world’s largest protected marine area.

To commemorate the occasion, PONANT’s Asia Pacific Chairman Sarina Bratton AM, newly appointed Asia Pacific CEO Chris Hall and Captain Stanislas Devorsine hosted key Australia and New Zealand trade partners and media as well as PONANT’s most loyal guests for a luxury overnight onboard experience comprising a ship tour, dinner and an evening of celebratory moments.

Eco-designed and at the cutting-edge of technology, Le Commandant Charcot is the most ground-breaking ship in the PONANT fleet with its hybrid electric Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) propulsion system, a major innovation aligned with the company’s commitment to sustainable tourism.

The Polar Class – PC2 ship was designed with the highest attention in mind in terms of safety, comfort and respect for the environment in order to sail and explore the extreme and far-reached territories of the Arctic and the Antarctic, in complete self-sufficiency. Certified ‘Cleanship’ by Bureau Veritas, Le Commandant Charcot displays the latest green technologies onboard including waste recycling and sewage management.

With 123 cabins and an ability to carry up to 245 guests, the innovative polar ship launched in 2021 is able to reach polar destinations previously out of reach including the geographic North Pole, the Weddell Sea, the Ross Sea or Pierre-1st Island. It is also fitted with facilities and equipment for research, providing the scientific world with a platform for observation, research and analysis to study the polar eco-systems.

Bookings can be made via preferred travel agents or with a PONANT consultant on 1300 737 178 (Australia), 0800 767 118 (New Zealand) or via email at



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