PENTA: What is the origin story of Le Commandant Charcot?
Mathieu Petiteau: We started six years ago with this ambition, but we really did not know how to do it—there was no other vessel in the world going to the North Pole except a Russian nuclear icebreaker. The idea was to ask the specialists, Aker Arctic of Finland.
At the beginning, they thought we were completely crazy. An icebreaker and a cruise vessel cannot be mixed together. An icebreaker is a heavy-duty vessel that makes a lot of noise and vibration, and it’s not comfortable at all. A passenger ship is the opposite. At the beginning they were a bit skeptical. But in the end, they said, “Let’s go crazy, folks!”
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