The name of PONANT’s Icebreaker ship is revealed: Le Commandant Charcot

Cruise CompetePONANT, the global leader in luxury expeditions and the only French-owned cruise line, has revealed the name of its newest polar exploration vessel: Le Commandant Charcot. The hybrid electric icebreaker, the first of its kind, has been named in honor of Captain Jean-Baptiste Charcot, who was known as “the gentleman of the Poles.” Le Commandant Charcot is scheduled to launch in 2021.

Captain Charcot had a true passion for sailing and was an emblematic figure of French polar expeditions. The name is even more significant since this new ship will be fitted with the latest technology for minimizing environmental impact, as well as a scientific laboratory for conducting operational oceanography missions and research.

Le Commandant Charcot
Le Commandant Charcot


Itineraries on Le Commandant Charcot will offer passengers a chance to discover the Geographic North Pole (latitude 90 degrees North) and parts of Antarctica, such as the Ross Sea, Charcot Island and Peter Island, that were inaccessible prior to the arrival of the ship. Passengers who book these itineraries will experience veritable polar odysseys rather than typical cruises.

Sustainable development is at the core of the design of PONANT’s polar exploration vessels. Powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), Le Commandant Charcot will be fitted with the latest environmental protection technology. Advanced “Cleanship” equipment exceeding the requirements imposed by current environmental regulations will result in the reduction of SO2, NOₓ, CO2 and particle emissions. Much of this reduction is due to the use of LNG, and there will be zero emissions when operated in hybrid electric mode.

Learn More About The Ship:

The ship employs an energy optimization employing the latest-generation of electric batteries that make it possible to stop the engines for two to three hours. In addition, there is an advanced waste-water treatment system.

Captain Jean-Baptiste Charcot
Captain Jean-Baptiste Charcot

Captain Jean-Baptiste Charcot, “the gentleman of the Poles”

  • 1867       Born in Neuilly-sur-Seine
  • 1873       At school, he drew boats on all his exercise books.
  • 1892       For his 25th birthday, he received a small boat as a gift from his father.
  • 1902      He crossed the Arctic Circle and traveled to the Arctic for the first time.
  • 1903       From 1903 to 1905 aboard Le Français and from 1908 to 1910 aboard Le Pourquoi-Pas, he reached the Antarctic regions.
  • 1909       He located Graham Land on navigation charts, dropped anchor near Alexandra Land, and discovered the island that would bear his name.
  • 1920       From 1920 to 1936, his scientific cruises led him from the Hebrides to the east coast of Greenland.

Pre-bookings on Le Commandant Charcot at early bird prices can be made starting September 6, 2018.  Full-fare bookings will begin on April 11, 2019.

PONANT was created in 1988 by Jean Emmanuel Sauvée and a dozen officers of the French Merchant Navy. Today, PONANT is leading the way with a new style of luxury cruising through a unique conception of sea travel which combines exceptional itineraries and luxury hotel services, aboard luxurious smaller-scale ships.  For more information and learn how to book your cruise visit

CruiseCompete-LogoThis article is brought to by Cruise Compete. allows you to easily compare multiple offers from Cruise Experts

John Shallo
John Shallo
John Shallo is the founder and editor of Cruise Addicts. Since 1999 it has been a leading destination for cruise travelers and self professed Cruise Addicts looking for the latest news, ship reviews and travel tips.

Related Articles

Get the Cruise Addicts newsletter FREE!

Stay in the loop with the latest cruise news, tips, and reviews directly to your inbox.

Latest Articles