Photography by Julien Fabro
04 November 2022
Ponant has announced a new experience, Polar Raid, on board Le Commandant Charcot on select journeys in the Arctic in 2023 and 2024.
The immersive, exclusive experience was first trialled last May on a full-scale dry run, where Ponant’s teams set out for the still-frozen shores of the northeast coast of Greenland. Their mission: to test an entirely new concept take on the challenge of the unique adventure of a polar raid during three days and two nights, unassisted and far from everything, out on the sea ice.
Led by Operations Director at SEDNA and Polar expedition expert Nicolas Dubreuil as well as Greenlandic guide and ice expert, Ole Eliassen, the try-out team for the experience comprised nine members including professional mountain guides, select media representatives, a medical doctor, those from Ponant’s R&D department.
Scouting for the new polar experience, the group left the world’s only luxury icebreaker behind, crossing the expanse of sea ice to trek into the snowy mountains of Ittoqqortoormiit and camp for two nights in the pristine arctic nature of East Greenland.
Moving around on skis, each team member had to pull their own sled (pulk), carrying all the materials and food supplies, enough to cover each adventurer’s individual needs for several days. Once the camp was all set, everyone took turns to keep watch.
“Let’s not forget we’re in bear territory,” one of the guides emphasised.
Such a mission will also be entrusted to the passengers who will choose to participate in the Polar Raid.
This new experience is a voyage within a voyage, a unique and surreal human experience nourished by Inuit wisdom in Greenland’s wild and powerful nature.
Open to bookings as an option for a very limited number of guests on very select polar expeditions – two in 2023 and three in 2024 – the Polar Raid will create the opportunity to meet the Inuit communities established along Greenland’s Eastern coast.
In this region, inaccessible to traditional ships at this time of the year, these exclusive groups will set off to explore the wild land protected by the ice floe and share special moments with its inhabitants, the Greenlandic Inuit.
The history of the French polar expeditions also takes on its full meaning and inflates this exceptional voyage. Set off in the footsteps of the illustrious Jules de Blosseville, Jean-Baptiste Charcot or Paul Émile Victor to discover a wild land.
Two departures from 5 to 15 May 2023 from AUD$30,020 per person
Three departures from 16 April to 6 May 2024 from AUD$24,240 with 30-percent Ponant Bonus