Glide Over Antarctica on a Hot Air Balloon Ride With This Luxury Cruise

Courtesy Ponant

Get a bird's eye view of Earth's greatest landscape.

Visiting Antarctica is a bucket list trip for many. It's remoteness makes it one of the last relatively untouched places on Earth, but most people only ever get to experience the beautiful landscape by boat or on foot. That is until now. Red Savannah, an award-winning luxury travel company, just launched a new 12-day voyage with world-class luxury icebreaker Le Commandant Charcot that includes a hot air balloon ride over the stunning continent.

The Weddell Sea and Larsen Ice Shelf trip makes use of the latest addition to the Ponant ship family to cross the Drake Passage traverse the South Shetland Islands and pass through North Antarctic passage along the way. While sailing through the still Weddell Sea, you will get to see incredible table icebergs filled with seals, penguins, and albatross. All the while, a team of on-board naturalist guides and scientists will explain what you're seeing and teach about the world's last frontier and groundbreaking scientific efforts to improve the knowledge of the remote continent.

Studio Jean-Philippe/Courtesy Ponant

Guests will have an opportunity to hop on land and explore the terrain by snowmobile or dive into polar waters to glimpse the incredible marine life of the arctic. But the highlight has to be viewing this little-known part of the planet from the perspective of a hot air balloon.

The balloon will be tethered on board the ship and available to guests during the voyage to marvel at panoramic views of the Antarctic extending as far as the eye can see. 

Studio Jean-Philippe/Courtesy Ponant 

"This expedition explores some of the most spectacular icescapes of Antarctica," Charlie Lockwood, Red Savannah's Antarctica Specialist, told Departures. Particularly special is the range of vantage points afforded by Le Commandant Charcot. "There's a tethered hot air balloon for a full 360-degree view of the Antarctic land and seascape as well as observing the workings of the ship itself.

Wilmotte & Associes Architectes/Courtesy Ponant 

After a long day of exploration, guests can unwind in the Le Commandant Charcot's gorgeous indoor pool and surrounding winter garden. Or enjoy the sauna and Snow Room as the ship sails past seals, penguins, humpback whales, and other natural wonders. The elegant vessel will also house extraordinary cuisine, served both buffet-style and à la carte. 

Pricing for this voyage starts at $13,259 per person, and Le Commandant Charcot will be launched in winter 2021/2022.