Ponant to Journey the St. Lawrence During Boreal Winter in 2025

Ponant is paving the way for winter exploration cruises in the "Great North." From January to February 2025, Ponant will offer four voyages through Canada’s St. Lawrence River during the Boreal winter—a first for a cruise ship—aboard Le Commandant Charcot.

Due to its Polar Class 2 ice rating with capabilities to break through ice up to eight feet thick, Le Commandant Charcot can explore destinations that are otherwise inaccessible during winter. The 13-day expeditions will combine sub-zero adventuring such as kayaking, ice-fishing, dog sledding and skijoring along with visits to indigenous Innu and Mi’kmaq communities, rare wildlife sightings including caribou and black bears, and witness the Northern Lights.

Two of the itineraries (January 17 and February 10) will depart from the French territory of Saint Pierre Island off the Atlantic Coast. Le Commandant Charcot will head west to Sydney, Nova Scotia, then on to the Magdalen Islands, the only place in the world where one can observe newborn whitecoats (harp seal pups) (available on February 10 and 22 departures). The archipelago offers diverse landscapes, from drifting ice floe to tall red sandstone cliffs and snow-covered valleys, as well as insight into Acadian culture.

From there, Le Commandant Charcot will sail through the Gaspé, stopping for a snowshoe walk in the Forillon National Park and to admire the Percé Rock and thousands of snow-covered conifers in the Magic Forest. On the Sept-îles, guests can meet the indigenous Innu people and learn about their ancestral customs and traditions, while in the borough of La Baie, in the Saguenay Valley, guests will experience the hospitality of the Saguenayen people on dog-sledding, snowshoe, and ice-fishing adventures. The expedition ends in Quebec City and guests joining the January departures will arrive just in time for Winter Carnival with its ice-carving contests, sleigh rides, canoe races, and more. The ship will then make the return journey from Quebec City to Saint Pierre Island on the January 29 and February 22 departures.

Joining the expeditions are British photographers Sue Flood and Ian Dawson. Four sailings have been scheduled for winter 2025; departure dates include January 17, January 29, February 10, and February 22, 2025. 

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