Lone polar bear lays on ice at edge of glassy water, seen on Le Commandant Charcot's Greenland to Svalbard cruise.
Abandoned train sits on a track among yellow tundra backed by turquoise water with whitecaps & mountains behind, in Svalbard.
2 large icebergs sit in calm glacial water under cloudy sky, seen on an In the Ice of the Arctic, Greenland to Svalbard cruise.
Le Commandant Charcot ship with blue hull & white upper decks peeks around bright blue iceberg on a Greenland to Svalbard cruise.
Svalbard reindeer with tall horns & shaggy white & brown fur stands atop green tundra with icy bay & snowy mountains behind.
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Polar Regions Arctic Cruise

Le Commandant Charcot in the Ice of the Arctic, From Greenland to Svalbard

Climb aboard luxury expedition ship Le Commandant Charcot and set a course for the northeast of Greenland, inaccessible to traditional ships in early summer, before cruising to Svalbard and its untouched landscapes. Along the way, the Blosseville and Ittoqqortoormiit regions reveal mythical places associated with the history of the discovery of the Arctic. The scenery features snow-topped peaks and majestic fjords, icebergs of amazing shapes and ice as far as the eye can see.

To the northeast of Greenland, sail through the drifting ice floes of the North Pole and marvel at the subtle light changes on the ice. Your route then leads eastward, towards Svalbard. As you progress through this polar landscape, Nordaustlandet (North East Land) will display Europe’s largest ice cap and some of its most majestic fjords. Cross the frozen expanses of the Hinlopen Strait, where the contours of the glaciers shape the horizon, and get up close to monumental basalt cliffs.

In the Søraust-Svalbard Nature Reserve, classed as an Important Bird Area, the ice-cloaked arid spaces are also home to cetaceans and Svalbard reindeer. Get to know this wild and stunning world a little better, whether from the exterior decks of your ship, during an outing in an inflatable dinghy or a kayak, or during a hike near blue-tinged icebergs.

Cruise aboard the sophisticated and sustainability-minded Le Commandant Charcot. This spacious 245-guest hybrid electric ship features French-inspired luxury and a focus on food, wellness, onboard engagement and active programming. Participate in citizen science with Le Commandant Charcot’s onboard research laboratory.

Read on for details about this trip, or learn more about AdventureSmith’s Arctic cruisesArctic trips, Iceland cruises and Svalbard cruises.



Itinerary

In The Ice of The Arctic, From Greenland to Svalbard Itinerary

Cruise from Reykjavik, Iceland to Longyearbyen, Norway, exploring both Northeast Greenland and Svalbard, ending with a flight to Paris, France. In 2024, spend one fewer day crossing from Iceland to Greenland, and explore the entire east coast of Svalbard, with one fewer day at the end of the cruise.

Route map of In The Ice of The Arctic, From Greenland to Svalbard voyage from Reykjavik, Iceland to Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen with a charter flight to end in Paris, France.
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Day 1
Embark Reykjavik, Iceland

Iceland’s capital stretches along the edge of a vast bay in the west of the country. Perlan, the “Pearl of Reykjavík,” a museum located on ’Oskjuhlið hill, offers a panoramic view of the lush, green landscapes. A little further, one can easily spot the signpost showing the way to the evangelical Hallgrímskirkja church, and to the historical center where one can stroll along the Skólavördustígur and the Laugavegur, two lively streets with charming small shops. For some relaxation just outside of the city, consider the opportunity to visit the Reykjanes peninsula and its famous thermal baths of the Blue Lagoon.

Accommodations

Le Commandant Charcot

Meals

dinner

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Day 2
At Sea (Denmark Strait)

Lying between Greenland and Iceland, the Denmark Strait was crossed for the first time by the Vikings in the late 10th century, during Erik the Red’s expeditions. In the Second World War, its waters were the theater of a battle between the Kriegsmarine and the Royal Navy, on 24 May 1941. In the wintertime, extremely dense pack ice forms along the Greenlandic coasts and, while the Transpolar Drift sweeps icebergs along throughout the year, the strait is generally clear of ice during the summer. In the depths of the strait lies the world’s largest waterfall, an undersea cataract formed by the difference in temperature between the cold waters of the Greenland Sea and the warmer waters of the Irminger Sea. Numerous cetacean species thrive in this rich ecosystem.

Accommodations

Le Commandant Charcot

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 3
Ammassalik Region

Still almost unknown just a century ago, the east coast of Greenland remains the most authentic and majestic region. Here, the alpine mountains merge intimately with the sea, while the fjords are adorned with high snow-capped peaks and drifting icebergs. Follow in the wake of Captain Jean-Baptiste Charcot’s famous ship, the Pourquoi Pas, which set off with its crew to discover Ammassalik, a small island of primitive and wild beauty where the Inuit people chose to live. The name of this island is a reference to the capelin, a small flamboyant silver-colored fish, whose presence in the thousands announces to inhabitants the return of spring. A surprising discovery in a spectacular setting.

Accommodations

Le Commandant Charcot

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 4
Blosseville Coast

Aboard your ship, follow in the footsteps of Jules Poret de Blosseville, a French explorer and sailor. In 1833, aboard La Lilloise, he set off to discover this isolated and unexplored part of eastern Greenland and gave French names to various sites on the coast. The adventure probably has an unfortunate outcome, since the crew was never found. This uninhabited territory, which now bears his name, lies to the south of Scoresby Sund. Surrounded by ice, icebergs and pieces of pack ice, Blosseville Coast is one of these wild and hard-to-reach places that very few people are lucky enough to explore.

Accommodations

Le Commandant Charcot

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 5
Ittoqqortoormiit Region

On the East coast of Greenland, in the Ittoqqortoormiit region, enjoy the rare opportunity of immersing in the heart of isolated scenery and exploring the beauty of its landscapes. The high alpine mountains stand out in the sky, revealing dark rock edges. The region is home to the longest fjord system in the world, Scoresby Sound. On the edge of the fjord, the eponymous village is considered one of the most remote inhabited places in the world. The colorful houses, so typical of Greenland, dot the landscape with small red, yellow and blue patches that stand out against the surrounding arid landscape. Immersing in this region will allow you to discover the ancestral way of life of the last hunters of the polar region. This will be a veritable deep-dive into the lives of the Arctic’s inhabitants.

Accommodations

Le Commandant Charcot

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Days 6 - 9
Northeast Greenland

Set sail for Northeast Greenland to immerse further and higher in the Arctic region and to explore the unexpected riches of the sea ice, where traditional ships cannot travel at this time of the year. As the light shifts and the moods of the sky change, the different states of the ice and the infinite diversity of its textures create an exceptionally stunning tableau. With patience and humility, sail amid the pearl-white floating cathedrals and the ice carried by the Transpolar Drift. En route, icebergs have their journey halted by ice and pressure ridges reveal their sharp edges. In the midst of this icy vastness, beauty is found in the detail and the magic of the moment. In the realm of polar bears, your ship is a reassuring cocoon built for polar exploration and offers wonderful opportunities to observe these lords of the ice when you happen upon them. You may even get the chance to admire the moving sight of a mother and her cub travelling across the immaculate icy expanse.

Accommodations

Le Commandant Charcot

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Days 10 - 11
At Sea

Spend exceptional moments sailing aboard your luxury PC2-class polar cruise ship capable of sailing into the very heart of the ice, on seas and oceans which the frozen conditions render inaccessible to ordinary ships. The ship is fitted with oceanographic and scientific equipment selected by a committee of experts. Take advantage of the onboard lectures and opportunities for discussion with these specialists to learn more about the poles. Participate in furthering scientific research and discover together what these fascinating destinations have yet to reveal.

Accommodations

Le Commandant Charcot

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Days 12 - 13
Nordaust-Svalbard Nature Reserve, Norway

The Nordaust-Svalbard Nature Reserve has been protecting the northernmost and coldest part of the archipelago, Nordaustlandet (North East Land), since 1973. This vast polar desert covered by two ice caps is the second largest island in the Svalbard archipelago. Protected by the Gulf Stream, the fjords and cliffs in the west and north are home to large colonies of birds and walruses. The landscapes in the colder east and south are dominated by imposing glaciers that calve majestic icebergs in the vast Hinlopen Strait. Large colonies of thick-billed murres have taken up residence on the sheer cliffs during their nesting and migration period, which you may experience. With luck, see a bear or an arctic fox roaming in the vicinity.

Accommodations

Le Commandant Charcot

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 14
Sailing in The Hinlopen Strait

Sailing in the Hinlopen Strait, in the heart of the Arctic Ocean, between the Norwegian islands of Spitsbergen and Nordaustlandet promises an unforgettable experience. This territory of the Nordaust-Svalbard Nature Reserve offers breathtaking panoramas, with magnificent basalt formations and the ice cap stretching as far as the eye can see, diving into the sea. The shoreline cut by the fjords moving inland composes a magical landscape in which icebergs float here and there, the result of the calving of the surrounding glaciers. This place, today a popular spot to observe the seabirds nesting in the enormous cliffs plus polar bears and walruses, was once intrinsically linked to the history of the whalers who frequented the region from the 17th century. Indeed, it was one of them, Thijmen Jacobsz Hinlopen, then director of a Dutch whaling company, who gave the strait its name. Later on, Russian trappers, European explorers, scientists and even mountaineers roamed this region, as hostile as it is sublime.

Accommodations

Le Commandant Charcot

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 15
Soraust-Svalbard Nature Reserve, Svalbard

The Søraust-Svalbard Nature Reserve is the second largest protected area in Norway. Established in 1973, this nature conservation area stretching over more than 8,100 square miles (21,000 km2) offers stunning panoramas including coastal landscapes, rocky islets, mountain plateaus, vast tundra plains and ice floes. With a little luck, observe a wide variety of seabirds, given the site is listed as an Important Bird Area, as well as cetaceans, Svalbard reindeer, or even Arctic foxes. Among other things, Edgeoya Island is renowned for providing shelter to a number of polar bears during the breeding season.

Accommodations

Le Commandant Charcot

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 16
Hornsund

Nestling between millennial glaciers and carved mountains, and considered to be the crown of Arctic Norway,
Spitsbergen is a place that never sees the night. Your ship will take you closer to this fascinating archipelago and, more particularly, the Hornsund fjord. Considered to be Svalbard’s southernmost fjord, it is especially reputed to be its most stunning: at the end of its vast bay, eight great glaciers slowly make their way down to the sea before giving way to the many icebergs elegantly drifting along its cold and mysterious waters.

Accommodations

Le Commandant Charcot

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 17
Disembark Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen, Fly to Paris, France & Depart

Longyearbyen is the capital of the Norwegian Svalbard archipelago, located on Svalbard’s main island, and is the northernmost territorial capital on the planet. With winter temperatures dropping to below 40°C, the landscapes of this mining town are simply breathtaking. The glaciers, the mountains stretching as far as the eye can see and the untouched nature, make you feel like you’re in completely unexplored territory.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast

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Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

Charter flight between Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen and Paris, France; all meals while on board the ship; captain’s welcome cocktail and gala dinner; “open bar” (pouring wines, house champagne, alcohol except premium brands); evening entertainment and events; room service; highly qualified bilingual French/English expedition team; lectures presented by the expedition team; Zodiac and shore excursions; park entry fees into protected areas; complimentary unlimited Wifi on board; port fees and taxes (except for child passengers–see Families & Children); gratuities; activities indicated in cruise documents.

Exclusions

Other meals and services not mentioned in the program; optional add-on excursions or packages; ground services before or after the cruise; visa expenses; possible immigration reciprocity taxes; gratuities for the local guide; luggage handling; beverages beyond those in Inclusions; laundry, hair salon, spa treatments, onboard medical consultations and other personal charges; cancellation, luggage, assistance, repatriation, medical and insurance of any kind.

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of 25% of the total trip cost is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms may apply. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Standard cancellations beyond 14 days after booking confirmation are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure:
365 days or more – $250
364 to 211 days – 10% of total trip cost
210 to 91 days – 100% of deposit
90 to 0 days – 100% of total trip cost

Terms & Conditions

This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.

Arrival & Departure

The In the Ice of the Arctic, From Greenland to Svalbard voyage begins in Reykjavik, Iceland (KEF), and ends in Paris, France (CDG). We highly recommend arriving one day prior to your trip start date in case of any flight delay, cancellation or lost luggage issues. Recommended flight arrival and departure times are specific to each voyage; consult your Adventure Specialist for guidelines relating to your departure. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page.

Internal Flights

An Economy class group charter flight between Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen, and Paris, France is included with this trip’s itinerary. The charter flight is unique per departure and details will be confirmed in advance. There is a luggage limit of 50 lbs (23 kg) checked luggage and 18 lbs (8 kg) cabin baggage for Economy class. Additional Economy class baggage allotment can be requested and purchased and is based on availability. Business Class seating is available upon request and may incur an additional charge. The luggage limit for business class is two 50 lbs (23 kg) checked luggage and 22 lbs (10 kg) cabin baggage.

Activities

Various optional, included activities may be available on your In The Ice of The Arctic, From Greenland to Svalbard voyage: citizen science, polar plunge, walking, hiking, kayaking, ice fishing and snowshoeing. Additional activities include practicing photography, Zodiac cruising and shore-based excursions. In addition to these off-ship excursions, a multitude of onboard activities keep guests engaged, including live music, dance and theater; spa treatments; exercise and stretching classes; specialty food, wine and cocktail tastings; organized games; and lectures by guides and possible special guests.

Room Configuration

Select double-occupancy cabins may be available for single occupancy with a single supplement fee. This supplement may vary depending on cabin category and remaining availability per departure. A willing-to-share program is not available. Triple and quadruple rates may be available in select cabin categories; contact AdventureSmith for details.

Families & Children

Children 8 years and older at time of travel are welcomed on this expedition. Children under 18 years old at time of travel may receive special discounts when sharing a cabin with two full-fare adults. A child sharing a cabin with a single adult is considered to be a paying adult. Contact AdventureSmith for details.

Travel Insurance

On Commandant Charcot, an EKG (electrocardiogram) is required from the doctor of any guest who wishes to participate in the polar plunge (where available). A medical form for all travelers is required for every departure. Travelers are also highly encouraged to have full and adequate travel insurance covering the risks of cancellation, assistance being required, emergency medical evacuation and repatriation, damages to and loss of baggage, and medical expenses. In addition, we highly recommend our travelers protect their investment with travel insurance that includes trip cancellation and other benefits. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. Coverage for a pre-existing medical condition is also available if you purchase the Travel Select plan within 15 days of the initial trip payment; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.

Itinerary Notes

Read this itinerary as a guide only; the exact route and program varies according to ice, weather conditions, wildlife encountered and the captain’s discretion. Flexibility is the key to the success of any Arctic expedition.

Rates & Dates

Cruise Rates & Dates

Rates are variable per remaining availability and are subject to change.

Jun 25 - Jul 11, 2024
Le Commandant Charcot • 17 days
From $34990USD
Per Person
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Jun 21 - Jul 07, 2025
Le Commandant Charcot • 17 days
From $33620USD
Per Person
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Accommodation

Learn About the Luxury Hybrid Electric Ship on Your Itinerary

Expedition Ship
Le Commandant Charcot

Le Commandant Charcot, carrying 200-245 guests, is a sophisticated, luxury expedition ship cruising the Arctic & Antarctic. Her hybrid electric engine, powered by liquefied natural gas, is the first of its kind. And her activity options, including ice fishing, offer a unique polar experience, rounded out by a French-inspired onboard atmosphere.

Expert Reviews

Reviews From Our Experts so You Know What to Expect

Lauren Pilholski • October 25th, 2022
Expert Aboard: Le Commandant Charcot Ship Review

Get expert insight on the record-breaking ship Le Commandant Charcot. Our specialist was aboard for more than two weeks and reviews everything from the cabins to the crew and programming.

Arielle Lightcap • January 7th, 2020
Expert Review: What to Expect on a Polar Bear Cruise

A travel expert lends her Arctic cruise insight on what you can expect aboard a small ship polar bear cruise in the Arctic Svalbard region.

Book with the confidence that comes from experience.

100+ combined years of experience, 7 continents explored, decades of expedition cruising around the world & here to help you find & book your dream trip.

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Le Commandant Charcot in the Ice of the Arctic, From Greenland to Svalbard