French luxury cruise line Ponant recently launched its 13th ship, a hybrid electric cruise ship designed to navigate freezing climates like Antarctica.
Meet Le Commandant Charcot, Ponant’s first “Polar Class 2” hybrid vessel, partly powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG).
The new vessel is a “mark of Ponant’s commitment to sustainable and responsible tourism”, according to its builder.
The 492-foot-long vessel is powered by five engines and 50 tons of lithium-ion batteries, but most of its power comes from LNG, Rachel King reported for Fortune.
Besides these cleaner sources of energy, Le Commandant Charcot is not like the typical Royal Caribbean or Carnival mega cruise ship.
On the one hand, Ponant has banned single-use plastic while implementing waste sorting on board the ship.
It is also full of suites lined with Dyptique products and restaurants by multi-star chef Alain Ducasse.
And with that, let’s take a tour of Commandant Charcot’s amenities.
The ship can accommodate 245 people in its 123 cabins.
These rooms range from 215 square feet to 1,238 square feet.
And each unit comes with its own balcony, which is perfect for passengers who want to enjoy their quiet morning cup of coffee in the freezing temperatures of Antarctica.
The largest suite, the owner’s suite, has its own 1,937 square foot terrace.
There are also four 1,011 square foot duplex suites which all have their own Jacuzzis and terraces.
These duplex suites, the owner’s suite and the privilege and grand prestige suites are all equipped with butler service.
All bedrooms also have charging ports that are compatible with European and American devices.
In true luxury fashion, Le Commandant Charcot will have equipment that is not often found on a cruise ship, such as a cigar lounge …
… An enveloping promenade deck with heated seats…
… And a spa equipped with services such as a gym, a “snow room” with real snow, a detox bar, and massages with luxury products.
Despite these flashy amenities, Le Commandant Charcot also has a few amenities that can be found on your typical cruise ship, such as a theater, an indoor swimming pool …
… meeting rooms and a heated outdoor pool near a fireplace.
Hungry sailors can dine in the ship’s two restaurants or in her outdoor bar.
There is also a laboratory on board to aid in the study of the environments in which the cruise ship will navigate.
And passengers interested in these studies can attend the lectures aboard the ship.
But if you prefer the outdoors, Le Commandant Charcot will offer you opportunities to go kayaking, ice fishing, polar diving, hovercraft and more.
Le Ponant officially launched the ship on September 28 and itineraries are now available for winter 2022 to 2023.
And unlike your typical ship, Le Commandant Charcot can travel to distant destinations like the North Pole region.
This includes upcoming “Weddell Sea and Larsen Ice Shelf” crossings starting at almost $ 14,000, making her one of the cheapest options on the ship.
This 11-night lineup will sail to and from Punta Arenas, Chile, or Ushuaia, Argentina, with stops along the Antarctic Peninsula.
There’s also the more expensive Northwest Passage route, which will sail from Iceland to Alaska.
This 25-day cruise, which will sail from September through October 2022, starts at $ 42,100.
This price may seem high for the average cruise line passenger, but the navigation is already booked.
If you’re looking to spend big, you can book the “Unexplored Antarctica Between Two Continents” navigation, which will run from January 15 to February 13, 2023.
The 30-day cruise will sail from Argentina to New Zealand and “turn around” Antarctica en route, according to the cruise line.
Shipping starts at $ 45,420 for a cabin, making it the ship’s most expensive route to date.
This price then rises to $ 172,050 for the owner’s suite, which has already been reserved for navigation.