Small ships expedition cruises


Our backstory

Polar expedition pioneers passionately sharing their scientific expertise with curious travelers

It all started in 1987 when Christian Kempf, visionary explorer and scientist, initiated the very first French expedition cruise in Antarctica with a little help from none other than the founder of the French Polar Expeditions (EPF), Paul-Emile Victor, an accomplished explorer himself. Multiply awarded for his subsequent expeditions to the Poles, author of 26 authoritative books on the subject, and founder of the Arctic Ecology Research Group (GREA), Christian decided to create Grands Espaces in 1998. He believes profoundly that there is no better motivation to protect and preserve the Poles than the sense of wonder inspired by first-hand experience.

Grands Espaces has been offering exclusive and pioneering polar expedition cruises aboard small ships and intimate yachts for over twenty successful years. Our team is devoted to sharing their scientific knowledge and deep passion for faraway destinations, allowing you to experience life-changing moments and further your awareness of man’s impact on the environment.

While polar tourism has become increasingly popular, Grands Espaces has never lost sight of our initial goals: offering intimate, mindful, and thrilling trips to the ends of the world, thus making our passengers the ultimate ambassadors of its conservation.

Our small-scale ships take you further

01. FURTHER into the untamed wilderness...

Where breathtaking fjords and vast ice floes are the stage for some of the most striking features Mother Nature has to display. To the north, where polar bears roam the frozen water and swim in the sea. To the south, where thousands of penguins waddle on the shorelines, humpback whales breach majestically, and orcas hunt with impressive speed and accuracy. Or to the Amazon, where lush vegetation accompanies the exotic sounds of the rainforest.

02. ....without furthering our impact on the planet.

The desire to launch Grands Espaces began with a love for this planet and the wonders within. Instead of exploiting our Earth's precious resources, we favor renovating secondhand ships to guide you across untamed territories. We are as determined as you to protect our fragile environment by committing to leaving as little trace as possible during our trips, and our distinctive expertise has allowed us to turn this aspiration into reality.

03. To further, exclusive locations…

Where other companies use sizable vessels, our 12-passenger yachts make for a more intimate experience and allow us to disembark in seldom-reached areas. When the itinerary calls for slightly larger ships, our 75-passenger vessel will still provide the same easy access to remote locations while assuring a cozy atmosphere, far from the hustle and bustle often experienced aboard giant liners.

04. ...so as to further your understanding of this world…

We passionately craft each itinerary with clear goals in mind: sailing to remote places, giving you access to isolated settlements, allowing you to experience real encounters with wildlife, and sharing our deep dedication to preserve our planet. Our environmentally conscious onboard experts and scientists have built trusted, solid partnerships with the locals for over 25 years, granting us exclusive access to secluded locations because of our stances.

05. ...and go FURTHER than most people travel in their lives.

We know that a journey with Grand Espaces is more than just a spur-of-the-moment vacation. It is the long-awaited adventure of a lifetime. You have dreamed of seeing the ends of the Earth, and we are ready to take you on this life-changing feat.


Our Ships

Style and authenticity

2 ships sailing in the Amazon river

Charming vessels accommodating between 16 to 30 passengers

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2 elegant polar yachts navigating in the Arctic and Greenland

Completely refurbished vessels accommodating up to 12 passengers

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The Ocean Nova

Our 75-passenger expedition vessel

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01. Our vision of luxury

Forget the usual dress-coded gala dinners and fancy floorshows, experiencing indescribable instants is our vision of luxury. When booking an expedition cruise with us, you are looking for an authentic, up close, and personal experience with nature—and nature thrives 24/7. Our seasoned crew and scientific guides are there to make sure that you get the full adventure you have hoped for. They keep their eyes peeled night and day—in the sky and across the horizon—so that you won’t miss a thing.

02. French Touch

True to our French heritage, a journey with Grands Espaces focuses on several essentials inherent to our joie de vivre: Taste, aesthetics, and intellectual curiosity. So, relax in cozy and finely decorated cabins after a full day’s exploration in the harsh polar weather. Revel in exquisitely prepared meals served just at the right time to recharge your batteries before your next excursion. Participate in inspiring conferences given by experts in their fields while enjoying impressive 360-degree views from the observation lounge, and enjoy an excellent glass of wine while exchanging with fellow passengers about what you’ve been lucky enough to witness as a small group.

03. Make This Happen

The sea…is only the embodiment of a supernatural and wonderful existence. It is nothing but love and emotion; it is the "Living Infinite.” ― Jules Verne, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

Experience the immortal and immense Living Infinite with Grand Espaces.

We take you... far from this hectic world


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And many other destinations to discover...

Dedicated contact for international sales

By Phone

+33 6 08 13 84 98

By email


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