ARICE-PONANT call for ship-time proposals ANTARCTIC-2023-2024:

Access to the Southern Ocean on board the Polar Expedition Ship "Le Commandant Charcot" (PONANT, France)


One of the main goals of ARICE is to use the increase in vessel traffic in the polar regions to foster the availability of environmental data for research purposes. Through the project’s established dialogue with the maritime industry, the project aims at supporting a “ships and platforms of opportunity programme” in this area.

The calls for ship-time proposals to board Le Commandant Charcot are the first joint initiative between ARICE and the maritime industry under this “ships and platforms of opportunity programme”. This is the third call for proposals opened to the scientific community in this partnership.

2Scientific berths on board

“Le Commandant Charcot” is a polar expedition ship state-of-the-art icebreaker (PC2 Class) owned and operated by the company PONANT (France). The vessel is equipped with scientific laboratories and facilities and offers to host up to four scientists to participate in their regular cruises to perform scientific projects.

ARICE is managing the application process, the proposal's evaluation and shortlisting for a posterior logistic evaluation by PONANT.

The scientific berths are offered free of charge, travel and shipping expenses to the port of departure/arrival are at the participant’s cost.

We are now inviting the science community to submit ship-time proposals requesting access to:

Polar expedition ship “Le Commandant Charcot”, owned and operated by PONANT, France

to carry out research activities within any field of polar science including marine-based and terrestrial sciences (i.e. including geology and biology in the North Antarctic Peninsula, Bellingshausen Sea, Margarite Bay, Weddell Sea, Snowhill Island, Charcot Island and Peter 1st Island), and social sciences (restrictions may apply).

This call will remain open until the 20th of December 2022, 12:00 CET.

Successful proposals can expect an implementation from the Antarctic season 2023-2024 on.

3Access Units and Itineraries

Access units

Access is planned for individual or consecutive legs. A collaboration in one and up to five seasons is sought.

Scientific berth availabilities are shown in this table:

Cruise Nr

From - To




Scientific berths availability


Seattle – Punta Arenas



Positioning: no stops on the way

4 berths


Punta Arenas - Ushuaia



Snowhill Island & Weddell Sea

4 berths


Ushuaia - Ushuaia



Snowhill Island & Weddell Sea

4 berths


Ushuaia - Ushuaia



Charcot Island & Bellingshausen Sea

4 berths


Ushuaia - Ushuaia



Charcot Island & Bellingshausen Sea

4 berths


Ushuaia - Ushuaia



Weddell Sea_short

4 berths


Ushuaia - Lyttelton



Charcot Island & Peter 1st Island & Ross sea & Subantarctic Islands

4 berths


Lyttelton - Ushuaia



Charcot Island & Peter 1st Island & Victoria Land & Subantarctic Islands

4 berths


Ushuaia - Brest



Positioning : no stops on the way

4 berths


A detailed itinerary overview is available in the Downloads section.

Note: the last leg Ushuaia Brest has been cancelled.

Station work : In general ,

the vessel is stopping at least 4h per day for passenger activities. One station of up to 7h per leg would be possible, in addition to the 4h daily stations.


Research in Antarctica and all activities around must comply fully with national laws and regulations which implement the Antarctic Treaty system, as well as other national laws and regulations implementing international agreements on environmental protection, pollution and safety that relate to the Antarctic Treaty Area.

  • The scientific teams must provide the Science Coordinator from Le Commandant Charcot with all relevant details of their planned activities with sufficient time to:
    • enable PONANT to comply with their information exchange obligations under Article VII(5) of the Antarctic Treaty.
    • assist in the preparation of: contingency response plans in accordance with Article 15 of the Protocol; waste management plans in accordance with Annex III of the Protocol; and marine pollution contingency plans in accordance with Annex IV of the Protocol.
  • The ship being under French flag, the scientific activity permit will be issued by the French administration of the Terres Australes et Antarctiques Françaises (TAAF). PONANT is centralizing the permit requests and will inform the PI of the forms and procedure to follow.
5Le Commandant Charcot: technical information

In preparation of their respective proposal, the applicants should consult the technical capabilities and availability of scientific equipment of the icebreaker "Le Commandant Charcot".

This information is available in Downloads.

6Eligibility Criteria and Access Mode

Eligibility criteria

Access will be provided to selected ‘user-groups’, i.e. teams of one or more researchers (users) led by a ‘user group leader’ of up to 4 members. Proposals for access to ARICE Research Icebreakers will be accepted for evaluation if they meet all the following criteria:

1. Expertise: The designated cruise leader of a proposal must have the appropriate scientific/technical expertise to conduct on board research surveys, with proven excellent record (CV to be provided by all participants at the time of submission).

2. Outreach: Applicants must be willing to perform outreach activities related to their onboard research.

3. Dissemination: Only user groups that are entitled to and willing to disseminate the knowledge they will generate under the project are eligible to benefit from access free of charge. User groups must agree to comply with the ARICE data policy.

The non-fulfilment of any of the previous criteria implies the non-acceptance of the proposal for further evaluation.

Access mode

Access is regulated according to the Excellence-driven access mode. This mode of access is dependent on the scientific excellence, originality, quality, technical and ethical feasibility of an application evaluated through peer review conducted by a panel external to ARICE.

7Terms and conditions

General funding and access conditions

1. Up to four scientific berths on board the vessel “Commandant Charcot” are provided free of charge by the company PONANT in single or multiple legs.

2. Travel and shipping expenses to and from the port of departure/arrival to the institutes of origin must be covered by the applicants. However, PONANT contributes with a grant of 2000€ per scientist per leg for all projects as contribution to travel costs and logistics.

3. Navigation in these extreme lands is at the mercy of weather and ice conditions. Navigation will be determined by the type of ice the vessel come across; itineraries may vary.

4. Grantees will not invoice the ARICE Consortium or PONANT for any additional or third-party costs, such as salary costs, equipment manufacture, repair and rental of equipment, consumables, sub-contracting and assistance, publication costs and overheads.

5. If the number of days is reduced by PONANT for any reason or if the vessels are prevented from working (e.g. by poor weather or technical difficulties) no form of compensation shall be payable in respect of any time lost. Please note that cruise schedules could change during the year.

6. Vessel users should note that installation and operation of any equipment that they bring on board the vessels is done at their own risk, even when it is carried on board or deployed from the vessel. Further details will be provided during the negotiation phase.

7. The Principal Investigator is obliged to comply with the cruise reporting within two months after cruise completion.

8. A contract will be signed between the PI’s institution and PONANT laying out terms and conditions of access, including the support granted, reporting, liability, applicable safety/security regulations and other topics under consideration.

Access limitation

Access will be provided to conduct research, with an exclusive focus on civil applications and comply with ethical principles. Access may be limited, amongst others, by the following: national security and defense, privacy and confidentiality, commercial sensitivity and intellectual property rights and ethical considerations in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.

8Aplication procedure and deadline

Proposal submission must be composed of a single pdf file containing :

1) Application document: using the dedicated application template.

This document should be short and concise. A Times New Roman 12pt should be used with 14pt spacing.

2) The CVs of PI and the participants who will board the vessel using the dedicated CV template.

3) A letter from the PI’s institution authorized representative confirming that the PI is allowed to lead/participate in this cruise.

Proposals must be submitted to

Incomplete proposals or proposals not following the template will be rejected.

All templates and related call documents are available in Downloads.

The evaluation of proposals will be based upon the information provided in the completed application form, which should be correct, sufficient and adequate for this purpose.

Proposals must be received by the 20th of December 2022, 12:00 CET.

9Reporting and Publications

Following completion of a funded cruise the PI must submit .:

- a Cruise Report (within two months after completion of the cruise)

- a Cruise Summary Report (CSR) and

- the data generated together with sufficient metadata to Ponant Science (within 2 weeks after completion of the cruise).

The cruise report is designed to report on the science carried out during the cruise. It must explicitly refer to and comment on the fulfilment of the points of the work plan outlined in the proposal. A dedicated template will be provided.

All results/publications/presentations/publicity arising from the funded cruise should carry an acknowledgment to PONANT and to ARICE Grant Agreement no. 730965.

A copy of every publication arising from these cruises must be sent to for the project records.

10ARICE Data Policy

ARICE aims at its research data to be findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable (FAIR).

Data management in ARICE is coordinated with relevant Arctic/polar and oceanographic data management systems and adopts the Arctic Data Committee standards. The Arctic Data Committee can be visited at

The Principal Investigator must submit the data generated together with sufficient metadata within two months after cruise completion. Data sets submitted should be quality assured and information on applied QA/QC procedures should be part of the metadata information provided. ARICE, through its data management system, will assure data sets are interoperable and accessible in full compliance with an open data policy.

The submission of a Cruise Summary Report (CSR) is mandatory upon cruise completion.

ARICE will then make sure that the data sets are shared with the respective IODE National Oceanographic Data Centres (NODCs) and linked to the metadata of the respective cruise.

A list containing information on all IODE National Oceanographic Data Centres (NODCs) - as designated by the Government of these Member States - as well as IODE Associate Data Units ADUs) can be found here: This page is updated annually or when the Secretariat receives information from Member States.

The ARICE data management team can be contacted at the e-mail address for data submission and data-management related technical support.

11Freedom of information and data protection

Personal information supplied to the ARICE Consortium will be stored by electronic means (e.g. database) for use only in connection with the handling of proposals. All personal data supplied to the ARICE Consortium shall be processed in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation. You have the right to access and update the personal information about you and to ask for such information to be deleted.

All applicants who wish to query the outcome of their application and/or regarding the treatment of personal data may contact ARICE at


The information contained here and in the related documents is true and accurate to the best of our knowledge. ARICE disclaims any and all liability, including any express or implied warranties whether oral or written for third party services such as the access to a vessel out of the ARICE consortium.