French cruise ship makes rendezvous with Russian nuclear icebreaker near North Pole
The meeting between the two vessels took place in remote Arctic waters not far from the North Pole.
Video made by passengers onboard the 50 Let Pobedy and shared on social media shows the two vessels trading greetings and sailing side by side through thick sea-ice.
On board the brand new French cruise vessel are up to 450 people, of them 270 passengers, and the tourists are seen waving to the Russian ship as they break through the ice.
The distance between the two powerful ships is only a few dozen meters.
The Russian nuclear-powered icebreaker is on the way to the North Pole as part of an expedition for students. Shortly after its meeting with the tourist ship, it encountered also two other ships currently sailing in the area. According to ship operator Rosatom, the 50 Let Pobedy met with Arctic research station Severny Polyus, as well as research ship Akademik Tryoshnikov.
The latter ship had sailed all the way from St.Petersburg with new crew and equipment for the drifting station that is on a two-year expedition across the ice.
The Le Commandant Charcot is the new vessel built for cruise ship operator Ponant. It is classified as icebreaker and can make independent voyages to the North Pole. In 2021, it was first hybrid-electric luxury cruise ship to make it to the North Pole.
It is not a voyage for the regular man and woman. The starting price per person is €31,485.
According to Ponant, the Le Commandant Charcot can offer the “cruise voyage of tomorrow.” On board, are luxury services never before offered in the farthest reaches of the northern hemisphere.
Each of the ship’s common areas are designed to convey French-style discreet luxury and arouse wonder and amazement, the company informs.
The cruise ship has hybrid engines powered partly by liquified natural gas and electric batteries that allows it to briefly sail silently without engines running.