A herd of arctic muskoxen, a stocky mammal with a large head, long dark brown fur, and two horns, sit on a fall colorful hillside
The luxury Le Commandant Charcot ship floats in a bay filled with three glacier wedged between dark rocky mountain ranges.
A young Inuit girl, arctic indigenous people of Greenland, dressed in traditional clothing of a thick hood made of white animal fur
A pod of narwhals, small whales with long tusks growing from their heads. swim in front of an ice field in the Northwest passage.
In the northwest passage, a shoreline of green grass and yellow flowers leads to the blue sea filled of floating icebergs.
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Polar Regions Arctic Cruise

Le Commandant Charcot Northwest Passage Cruises

Step aboard a luxury expedition ship to experience the Northwest Passage in a level of comfort that early explorers would never have imagined. Aboard 245-guest Le Commandant Charcot, discover the most emblematic but also the remotest sites of the mythical Northwest Passage. Relive the polar adventures of previous generations of explorers at the heart of this vast labyrinth of icy channels, exploring the three main routes that allow the Northwest Passage to be crossed.

On this luxury cruise in the Northwest Passage, operated by hybrid electric icebreaker Le Commandant Charcot (with up to 200 guests aboard her Arctic cruises), sail from Reykjavik along the south coast of Greenland, before reaching the Hudson Strait, named after the English sailor Henry Hudson, who mapped it for the first time in the early 17th Century. Then chart a course towards the Fury and Hecla Strait, named after the ships of the explorer William Parry. Constantly covered in ice, this seawater channel, not much wider than one mile at its narrowest point, represents an impassable obstacle for most ships.

Enter the passage for the privilege of visiting Igloolik, an Inuit village that was only discovered in 1822. A little further on, the Bellot Strait offers a unique sailing experience, in the midst of countless icebergs. Then sail along Banks Island, famous for the wreck of HMS Investigator lying off shore—the ship was tasked to search for Sir John Franklin’s lost expedition, but also for its national park, which is home to extremely rich fauna.

Read on for details about this luxury cruise in the Northwest Passage, or learn more about AdventureSmith’s Arctic cruises, Greenland cruises, Iceland cruisesCanada adventure travel and Alaska small ship cruises.



Itinerary

The Northwest Passage Itinerary

The Northwest Passage voyage operates from Reykjavik, Iceland, to Nome, Alaska, with a charter flight to end in Seattle, Washington.

Route map of 2024 Northwest Passage voyage from Reykjavik, Iceland, to Nome, Alaska, with a charter flight to end in Seattle, Washington.
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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 lagoons of the Blue Lagoon.

Accommodations

Le Commandant Charcot

Meals

dinner

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Days 2 - 3
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 4
At Sea (Prins Christian Sund)

The ship glides silently towards the Greenland coast, in a setting punctuated by pointed peaks and majestic
glaciers… You are on the verge of crossing the Prins Christian Sund, a narrow channel that stretches out and zigzags over some 62 miles (100 kilometers) between Greenland’s southeast and southwest. Fall under the spell of the primitive beauty of these unique landscapes, including rocky cliffs and waterfalls that are fed by the ice sheet and plunge into the icy waters. Here, bearded seals love to lie on the floating ice to soak up the sunshine.

Accommodations

Le Commandant Charcot

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 5
Aappilattoq (Augpilatok), Greenland

Aappilattoq (Augpilatok) is a small Inuit village of around 100 inhabitants, whose name means “sea anemone” in Greenlandic. Located in a mountainous region inaccessible by road, its picturesque, colorful houses stretch out to the southern tip of Greenland, on the banks of the spectacular Prince Christian Sound. Some 62 miles (100 kilometers)  long, the sound connects the Labrador Sea to the Irminger Sea, meandering through stunning landscapes such as majestic glaciers, craggy peaks and rocky cliffs with waterfalls fed by the ice sheet. This region was uninhabited in the 19th century. The village was created in the 1920s and the main activities revolve around hunting, fishing and livestock farming.

Accommodations

Le Commandant Charcot

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 6
Nuuk

When Erik The Red, the exiled Norse chief, landed on the coast of Nuuk, he found a fertile and welcoming land dotted with fjords. He settled there with a group of his former countrymen, and the Norse remained the principal inhabitants until, over a period of 500 years, their population declined and gave way to the Inuit. Nuuk is situated at the mouth of one of the largest networks of fjords in the world, where the waters never freeze. The town spreads gently out towards the Davis Strait and enjoys a historic center that is particularly rich in national heritage. The vivid reds, blues, greens and yellows of the houses are a lively contrast to the somber waters of Greenland and serve to lift the spirits of the locals during the winter months.

Accommodations

Le Commandant Charcot

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 7
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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Day 8
Disko Bay

To the east of Baffin Bay, discover Disko Bay, scattered with countless icebergs produced by the Ilulissat Icefjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. From your ship, admire the majestic ballet of these ice giants as they slowly drift across the dark waters. This site is a natural marvel of Greenland, and is also renowned as an observation point for the region’s many humpback whales. The encounters with wild fauna and stunning landscapes in the heart of this spectacular and fragile nature will provide pure moments of wonder for you.

Accommodations

Le Commandant Charcot

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 9
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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Day 10
Pond Inlet, Nunavut, Canada

On Baffin Island, located in northern Canada at the mouth of the famous Northwest Passage, there is a small Inuit settlement at the very bounds of infinity. To get there, cross the Arctic Circle, the imaginary line that separates man from lands of mystery and wonder. It’s not so much the way of life that sets Pond Inlet’s inhabitants apart, so much as the setting. Snow-capped mountains, fjords and glaciers combine in a dazzling natural environment that fills space and expands time. Some discoveries change you forever: this is one of them.

Accommodations

Le Commandant Charcot

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 11
Lancaster Sound

Between Devon Island and Baffin Island, in the Canadian territory of Nunavut, Lancaster Sound forms part of the Northwest Passage, a shipping route crossing the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, along the northern coast of North America. Coveted for almost 300 years, it saw several expeditions including the fatal one led by John Franklin, seen for the last time near Lancaster Sound in August 1845. Many colonies of cetaceans, polar bears and seabirds have taken up residence in or near these nourishing waters at the confluence of the currents. Situated in Inuit territory, the Sound is the subject of plans to create a marine conservation area intended to protect this rich ecosystem and its inhabitants.

Accommodations

Le Commandant Charcot

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 12
Devon Island

Located in Baffin Bay, Devon Island is part of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Anchored on the Arctic Cordillera, its rocky surface, similar to that of Mars, is of great interest to scientists. Robert Bylot and William Baffin were the first Europeans to sight Devon Island in 1616 but it would be mapped two centuries later by the British sailor William E. Parry, who named it after the eponymous English region. Around 1920, the Hudson’s Bay Company set up a fur trading outpost there, until the departure of the Inuits in 1936. A new attempt to populate it was made at the beginning of the 1950s. Only a few buildings in ruins, vestiges of that time, remain today.

Accommodations

Le Commandant Charcot

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 13
Beechey Island

Beechey Island, at the eastern end of Resolute Bay, will call to mind some of the most important moments of
Franklin’s expedition. Sir John set off in 1845 in search of the mythical Northwest Passage and was forced to take shelter in Erebus Harbor for two long years, while he waited for the ice floes to recede and allow him a way through. It is a spectacular location; seeing the three wooden grave markers, bleached by the sun (indicating the burial places of at least three of Captain Franklin’s men) and visiting the memorial that has been erected in memory of Franklin and his men, can only reinforce the hushed sense of reverence. If the surrounding wilderness impresses us, the ochre and yellows of the rocky desert soften the landscape.

Accommodations

Le Commandant Charcot

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Days 14 - 16
Exploring Sea Ice of the Northwest Passage

At the far north of the American continent, in the most northerly part of the Arctic archipelago, the Northwest Passage is the shortest waterway between the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans. Its crossing has been coveted since the 15th century and Roald Amundsen was the first to do so in 1906. Blocked by thick ice floe for most of the year, to date only a lucky few have managed to sail from one side to the other. The crossing of this little-mapped and little-explored region is a challenge worthy of your ship, which was designed to sail in extreme environments. Sheltered in its refined and protective setting, you will make the most of this exploration of the ice with the inimitable appeal of the first time: just like the first explorers, you will sail in its channels sculpted by glacial erosion and discover spectacular landscapes made up of craggy terrain and monumental fjords. You will be able to measure the privilege of undertaking such an exploration in the light of the experience’s rarity.

Accommodations

Le Commandant Charcot

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Days 17 - 18
Banks Island

Located in the north of Canadian archipelago of the Northwest Territories, Banks Island, also known as Banks Land, offers landscapes that are as sumptuous as they are spectacular. The island, covering roughly 27,000 mi² (some 70,000 km²), offers a landscape of hills and valleys as well as sheer cliffs and canyons, a result of the glacial erosion. To the north of the island, the Aulavik National Park is home to a very rich wildlife mainly consisting of arctic wolves, muskox, caribou, arctic foxes, lemmings and many varieties of birds.

Accommodations

Le Commandant Charcot

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Days 19 - 22
Exploring Sea Ice in the Beaufort Sea

Bordering the north coasts of Alaska and Canada, the Beaufort Sea was feared for centuries because of its extreme climatic conditions. Covered for most of the year with a thick layer of ice, and unexplored until 1914, this part of the Arctic Ocean, named in honor of the British Admiral Francis Beaufort, will reveal its sumptuous icy landscapes. With a bit of luck, maybe you will cross the path of some polar bears, since the region is renowned for sheltering them.

Accommodations

Le Commandant Charcot

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 23
At Sea (Beaufort Sea)

Delimited by the entrance to the Northwest Passage and the Amundsen Gulf to the east, and by Canada’s Yukon and Northwest Territories to the west, the Beaufort Sea makes up part of the–almost–inaccessible Arctic Ocean. Due to its extreme weather conditions, it was not explored until 1914, by the Canadian explorer Vilhjalmur Stefansson. However, it was named after Francis Beaufort, a British admiral and hydrographer. Sail on these remote waters strewn with a mosaic of ice resulting from sea-ice breakup. Surrounded by this stunning scenery, you may spot a few belugas and bowhead whales, established in colonies in the region.

Accommodations

Le Commandant Charcot

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 24
At Sea (Crossing the Bering Strait)

Cross the Bering Strait, a 56-mile-wide (90-km) maritime channel between eastern Siberia and Alaska, named
after the Danish explorer Vitus Bering. Sail this strait that people once used to walk across, during the last glaciations, from Asia to North America. The transfer of Alaska to the Unites States by the Russians, in 1867, turned the Strait into a significant geostrategic site nicknamed the “Ice Curtain” during the Cold War. Delineated in 1990, the border between the two countries is located in the middle of the Strait, between the two Diomede Islands, making one of them Russian and the other American. During your crossing, favorable conditions will be conducive to a moving encounter with wildlife, attracted by these nourishing waters.

Accommodations

Le Commandant Charcot

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 25
Disembark Nome, Alaska, Fly to Seattle, Washington & Depart

Located along the Bering Strait, Nome offers the rustic charm of a former gold-mining town, set in the middle of magnificent wilderness. While weaving in and out of the brightly colored houses, discover the pioneering legacy that still marks local traditions. Fishing, reindeer rearing, sledge-racing… People here live from their manual labor. The surrounding plains provide stunning vantage points for observing arctic fauna.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast

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Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

Charter flight between Nome, Alaska and Seattle, Washington; 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 Northwest Passage voyage begins in Reykjavik, Iceland (KEF), and ends in Seattle, Washington (SEA). 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 Nome, Alaska, and Seattle, Washington 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 Northwest Passage 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.

Aug 12 - Sep 05, 2024
Le Commandant Charcot • 25 days
From $50140USD
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.

Deal

Current Deals on This Trip

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Offer expires August 1st, 2024
No Single Supplement On Select Le Commandant Charcot Cruises

Book your select 2024 North Pole & Greenland cruise aboard Le Commandant Charcot as a solo traveler and the single supplement will be waived.

Expert Review

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.

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.

Extend Your Trip

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Board a luxury French expedition ship to sail Iceland's western coast over 8 days on this romantic Iceland cruise operating round-trip from Reykjavik.

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Le Commandant Charcot Northwest Passage Cruises