Ponant Just Unveiled a Bonkers 30-Day Expedition to Antarctica

Ponant Just Unveiled a Bonkers 30-Day Expedition to Antarctica

It is one of 12 new itineraries that the French cruise line has designed with the Explorers Club.

Ponant has decided two heads are better than one when it comes to creating interesting itineraries. The French cruise line has teamed up with the Explorers Club to design 12 new adventures across five continents.

Launched more than a century ago, the Explorers Club is dedicated to advancing the scientific exploration of land, sea, air, and space. As such, the new expeditions will be geared toward furthering field research in unscathed and unstudied destinations. The trips will run at various points between 2024 and 2026, with the first being a 30-day jaunt to the Antarctic.

Running from January 7 to February 5, Unexplored Antarctica between Two Continents will aim to analyze the effects of climate change on the glaciers. Rooted in discovery and education, the cruise will give those onboard a chance to learn about diverse ecosystems and environmental challenges in the lap of luxury.

Ponant’s Le Commandant Charcot has rightfully been enlisted for the transoceanic itinerary. The massive 492-footer, which is the world’s only Polar Class 2–rated cruise ship, features two laboratories, a sonar room, a dedicated server for the scientists, and a meteorological station. In other words, it’s like a floating research center and a six-star hotel in one.

Following the paths of legendary explorers Jean-Baptiste Charcot and Roald Amundsen, the ice-breaker will cruise from South America to New Zealand to the Antarctic Circle. Travelers will explore the remote island of Marie Byrd Land and the world’s largest marine protected area.

Seafarers will also be able to see the highest volcano in Antarctica and the famous 43-mile Drygalski Ice Tongue. In addition, thrill-seekers can partake in offshore Zodiac outings, kayaking, hiking, and snowshoeing.

On the way, renowned glaciologist and geologist Dr. Ulyana Horodyskyj Peña will run onboard discussions and hands-on snow sampling workshops to help travelers learn more about the shrinking glaciers and the steps that humans can take to slow climate change.

“Both Ponant and the Explorers Club are founded on principles of exploration with a deep respect for scientific research whose studies aim at preserving our oceans, the environment, and climate,” Navin Sawhney, Ponant’s CEO of Americas, said in a statement. “The Explorers Club’s members have been responsible for a series of famous ‘firsts’, including first to the South Pole, so it felt fitting for Antarctica to be the inaugural expedition onboard our polar exploration vessel, Le Commandant Charcot.”