Set to debut in 2021, Ponant’s Le Commandant Charcot is the latest evolution of the line’s combination luxury/expedition cruise vessels.
Rated to Polar Class 2, Le Commandant Charcot is equipped for sailings in the polar waters of the Antarctic and Arctic regions. It is also one of the first of its kind to offer LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) propulsion, reducing emissions and making Le Commandant Charcot one of the most environmentally-friendly expedition vessels afloat. The ship also boasts an advanced wastewater treatment system; a system for recovering waste heat; and the latest battery technology onboard to reduce energy consumption.
The ship also boasts some decidedly unique features unusual for an expedition vessel. Chief among these is the ship’s indoor swimming pool: most expedition ships have small hot tubs or no pool or swimming facilities whatsoever.
Le Commandant Charcot will also feature a spacious conservatory, indoor and outdoor dining venues, and common areas and public rooms that offer floor-to-ceiling windows so that the scenery that surrounds the ship is never far from reach.
Le Commandant Charcot will offer a variety of culinary options onboard.
The Gastronomique Restaurant is situated all the way aft on Deck 5 and offers 180-degree views of the ship’s surroundings. It acts as the vessel’s main dining area, offering up breakfast, lunch and dinner, with meals and ingredients inspired by French and European cuisines.
The Grill Restaurant offers both indoor and outdoor seating and includes a mix of casual favorites for breakfast and lunch. Exact menus are still being determined by Ponant, but expect this venue to offer a good option for those looking for food on the go.
Much like Ponant itself, meals taken onboard tend to be a real treat, with French flair. While Le Commandant Charcot will have a casual dress code throughout the day in keeping with its expedition itineraries, guests will dress up a little for evenings and dinners onboard.
There are 135 cabins onboard Le Commandant Charcot, including 68 spacious suites. All staterooms onboard offer private balconies, and are designed to resemble the sleek and stylish chic found aboard a private French yacht.
Prestige Staterooms are the smallest onboard, coming in at 215 square feet. Located on Decks 6, 7 and 8, these comfortable rooms boast wooden accents, private bathrooms, panoramic views, a small sitting area, and plenty of storage space. Some Prestige Staterooms are slightly larger, offering 301 square feet of space.
Privilege Staterooms are also 301 square feet, and offer relaxed accomodations with ample personal space and private balconies.
Prestige Suites are located on Decks 6. 7 and 8, and are a generous 516 square feet, with spacious private balconies.
Suite Duplexes are 516 square feet and can accommodate up to four guests. Additional details on this category have yet to be released.
At the top of the line is the amazing 1,345-square foot Shipowner’s Suite located on Deck 8, with a 1,300-square-foot private terrace.
Top Deck Attractions
Le Commandant Charcot has a number of top-deck features, including an aft-facing swimming pool; a casual pool grill with indoor and outdoor seating; an onboard Wintergarden and indoor pool; a small spa, sauna and fitness center; and a grand observation lounge with commanding views overlooking the ship’s bow.
Being an expedition vessel first and foremost, the majority of the entertainment onboard revolves around expeditions ashore and informative lectures delivered by the ship’s Expedition Team. Still, expect to find live music and other fun diversions like movies and presentations, owing to the ship’s technologically-advanced features.
Le Commandant Charcot sails for Antarctica in late 2021, with expeditions to lesser-visited places on the Continent like the Ross Sea, which serves as the location of Robert Falcon Scott’s Terra Nova Hut from his doomed 1910-1912 British Antarctic Expedition.