Set Sail For Luxury

Unique polar adventure framed by refined levels of French luxury – climb aboard PONANT’s Le Commandant Charcot.

By Robb Report Staff 10/02/2022

At the heart of PONANT’s new vessel Le Commandant Charcot is a yearning to pursue polar adventure beyond the scope of ordinary travel.

Yet that doesn’t mean one has to forgo luxury – the impressive vessel fitted with an elevated and acutely French sense of style and heightened delivery.

Within the world’s first electric hybrid icebreaker (Le Commandant Charcot powered by liquefied natural gas) to be used on bespoke luxury journeys, comes a heady collection of lounges, accommodation and amenities to make any itinerary memorably opulent and ultimately fulfilling.

Here the interiors are the work of Jean-Philippe Nuel and Jean-Michel Wilmotte and are not only class-leading, but tastefully luxurious and warm – inspired by the polar surrounds in using water, ice and fire to create an interplay of textures such as woods of walnut and grey or white oak, alongside fabric and tactile elements that provide a refuge from the harsh exterior.

This is perfectly reflected in each of the lounges as well as the Duplex and Shipowner suites – where large fireplaces interact with the outside ice – as well as in the rounded lines of the interior spaces and decorative items and in the pairs of armchairs with integrated tables and lights.

Upon boarding, guests are welcomed via the presence of a 270sqm reception space featuring an impressive skylight that brings attention to the digital artwork, ‘Oscillations’, by Miguel Chevalier.

Elsewhere, further common areas include the vessel’s theatre — capacity 270 – complete with cutting edge audio and lighting, the 313sqm main lounge and tearoom and bar and the observation lounge. The latter is located on the top deck and features a bar, 262sqm observation lounge, reading area, library and two Swarovski Optik telescopes. Yes, two.

Those in search of some retail therapy (even at the earth’s polar extremes), need travel no further than Illu, meaning house in Inuit. The boutique features indulgent wares from The North Face, Garmin, Swarovski Optik, Vuarnet, Icebreaker, Black Diamond, Suunto, Eric Bompard, alongside a collection of Dodo jewellery and impressive Ulysse Nardin timepieces.


Indulgent luxury and the delivery of space in which to privately unwind frames Le Commandant Charcot’s various 123 staterooms and suites – each a designer driven cocoon of warmth and comfort, the elevated notion of what’s offered neatly surmised and highlighted by the impeccable 115sqm Owner’s Suite.

Boasting terrace inclusive of outdoor spa, voluminous main dining and lounge area as well as generous and appealing bedroom, dressing room, bathroom, private butler service as well as 24-hour room service – it is a standout among the vessel’s set.

Elsewhere, and with slightly more space at hand, the new Duplex Suites are split over two levels and include a secluded terrace and private spa offering — the ultimate PONANT experience. Note all accommodations offer private balconies as well as many varied inclusions.

Wellness & Beauty

Coupled with notions of discovery, Le Commandant Charcot also has a focus on wellness, with a dedicated 430sqm wellness lounge complete with Spa Biologique Recherche that sees three massage and beauty cubicles, a nail salon and two waiting or relaxation lounges ready and waiting.

Also here rests a hair salon that champions Davines products — a sustainable Italian label devoted to producing high-end hair care – as well as sauna and ‘Snow Room’ — Siku, meaning snow in the Inuit language — which, for the uninitiated, is an invigorating snow bath.

A heated indoor swimming pool offering counter current swimming is combined with a gym replete with Technogym machines and a dedicated trainer. Journeys abroad Le Commandant Charcot mean one can enjoy the personalised services of a sports coaches and group fitness classes as well as yoga, Pilates, active walking and meditation.

Beyond the gym, PONANT’s standout new vessel offers a unique ability to stroll the end-to end ‘promenade deck’, laze in the warm waters of the Blue Lagoon outdoor pool (heated to a welcoming 27-37 degrees Celsius) and enjoy the incredible and foreign vistas that come served across the polar regions.

The wellness lounge also offers two signature treatments designed to provide guests a gentle return to life onboard following an excursion into the exterior environments. Here, one can experience ‘expedition return’ and ‘exploration return’.

At the end of a pampering session — rehydrate and replenish at the Detox bar.

Life on board Le Commandant Charcot is further enhanced by a cuisine bought to life by famed French chef Alain Ducasse (he currently holds 17 Michelin stars) and the Nuna By Alain Ducasse Restaurant – heralding the adaptation of Ducasse signature dishes across services that includes a la carte breakfast, lunch and dinner. It is a gastronomique offering supported by Sila restaurant and an open-air bar as well as cigar lounge, the latter offering a selection of fine cigars and premium spirits.

This is polar voyaging unlike anything else on offer – an opportunity to experience unique regions without forgoing life’s luxuries.

Learn more about Le Commandant Charcot and its various itineraries via le-commandant-charcot.com1300 737 178 (AU) or 0800 767 018 (NZ) or email

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