There is nowhere on Earth more awe inspiring than Antarctica. This voyage is a gateway into an otherworldly world that promises never-ending glaciers, huge mountains, extreme temperatures and awe-inspiring majesty. Add a plenitude of wildlife flying, swimming, and waddling around Antarctica’s shores plus surprisingly rich and varied history and you have a voyage that will keep on giving long after you’ve returned home.
Your ship bringing the remote and remarkable to you in ultra-luxurious comfort. Her large suites, her destination itineraries and her unparalleled service make her truly special. Her four dining options will tantalise your taste buds and her suites including a veranda, makes watching a breaching whale or a few cavorting penguins never feel so personal. With her 20 zodiacs, 10 kayaks, possibilities are almost limitless with ship-wide simultaneous explorations.
|December 8, 2023||from $19.798 CAD||Per Person|
|1||Thu Dec 7||Arrive in Puerto Williams, Chile|
|2||Fri Dec 8||Embark- Puerto Williams, Chile|
|3||Sat Dec 9||Drake Passage|
|1||Sun Dec 10||Drake Passage|
|2||Mon Dec 11||Antarctic Sound|
|3||Tue Dec 12||Antarctic Peninsula|
|3||Wed Dec 13||Antarctic Peninsula|
|3||Thu Dec 14||Antarctic Peninsula|
|5||Fri Dec 15||South Shetland Islands|
|10||Sat Dec 16||Drake Passage|
|11||Sun Dec 17||Cruising Cape Horn|
|12||Sun Dec 17||Puerto Williams|
|13||Mon Dec 18||Puerto Williams|
Day 1 – Puerto Williams Chile
Puerto Williams is a Chilean city located on Navarino Island on the southern shores of the Beagle Channel. It claims to be the “southernmost city in the world”, however owing to its small size – 2500 residents approximately – the much larger Argentinean city of Ushuaia, which sits on the northern side of the same channel, also claims that title. The surrounding scenery is magnificent. The wild windswept mountains rise above the tree line and are regularly dusted with snow. The city itself has the dramatic backdrop called “Dientes de Navarino” (literally “teeth of Navarino”), which rival the famous Torres del Paine further to the north. The area was originally used by the Yaghan people, hunter-gatherers who despite enduring the harsh regional climate, could not weather the arrival of Europeans. The current city was established as a naval base in 1953 and honours the British-Chilean naval commander John Williams Wilson of the 16th century. Initially it served to protect territorial possessions and fishing rights of the area, as well as offering logistical support to Antarctic bases. More recently it has become a departure point for scientific and tourism trips to the Antarctic region. In contrast to the bustle and traffic of a very commercial Ushuaia, Puerto Williams offers a quieter, more relaxed experience. It charms the visitor with a small village feel, complete with rustic buildings and the homely smell of drifting wood smoke. A haven of peace at the end of the world.
Days 2 – 3 – Drake Passage
Sailing the legendary Drake Passage is an experience that few are ever lucky enough to experience. The southern tip of the Americas already feels like a wild enough environment – but the sensation of watching the distant cliffs of the peninsular known as the ‘End of the World’ fade into the horizon, is one that’s equal parts epic, eerie and magical. Set sail, to slowly drop off the bottom of the map from Cape Horn, and voyage on an expedition down into the icy underworld of Antarctica. Drake Passage is an extraordinary voyage of romantic ocean faring legend, as you aim for Antarctica’s icy realm. On arrival, skyscraper sized icebergs salute you, as you traverse the waters of this continent where snow and ice dwelling creatures like penguins and whales roam undisturbed. Your first sight of this most-unexplored place will most likely be the South Shetland Islands. Walk in the footsteps of some of history’s greatest and bravest explorers as you explore famed, snow-covered landmasses like Elephant and Deception Island. If the journey across Drake Passage sounds daunting, don’t worry – even in rough seas you’re never alone, and will often be accompanied on this spine-tingling adventure by soaring albatrosses and maybe even a protective pod of humpbacks and hourglass dolphins or two. Converging warm and cool ocean currents attract some spectacular animal life to the passage.
Day 4 – Antarctic Sound
Few voyages ignite the imagination like a journey down to one of the planet’s most remote, extreme and enchanting wilderness, Antarctica. An adventure in its purest form, only a handful of people will ever be lucky enough to experience the majestic beauty of these monochrome landscapes first-hand. The Antarctic Sound will be one of your first encounters of this whitewash kingdom, located at the northerly tip of the Antarctic Peninsula – which sprawls up like a tentacle towards Tierra del Fuego, South America’s most southerly point, otherwise known as the ‘End of the World’. Taking its name from the first ship to brave the passageway between the peninsular and the Joinville Island groups back in 1902, the Sound is a raw, sensory assault of imposing iceberg slabs, broken away from the disintegrating Larsen Ice Shelf. Come face-to-face with stadium-sized islands of ice and meet the extraordinary birdlife that call this whitewash kingdom home. Watch on, as colonies of Gentoo penguins hop around, and cape petrels sweep overhead, as the continent’s unique wildlife thrives around you. If you’re planning your first venture into Antarctica, you’ll want to brush up on your photography skills in advance, to capture this unforgiving continent in all of its unrestrained glory.
3 Included Shore Excursions:
Days 5 – 7 – Antarctic Peninsula
The Antarctic Peninsula unravels upwards towards South America, reaching out a beckoning finger to the adventurous, who dare to explore this untamed realm. Stretching up from the heart of the world’s southernmost continent, the Antarctic Peninsula lies a mere 620 mile from Tierra del Fuego and, for many, offers a spectacular first taste of the snow-blanketed landscapes and colossal ice sculptures, which make up Earth’s least-explored continent. Unseen by humans until 1820 – a blink of an eye ago in relative terms – this is an adventure sure to make your hairs stand on end, as you experience the thrill of the truly unknown and extraordinary. The vast peninsula is sprinkled with research bases, which are at the frontline of human scientific endeavour, pushing to study and understand this unique landscape, its exceptional wildlife, and the impact that humans are having on this pristine continent. Witness cathedral-sized icebergs up close, and blue-hued glaciers, slowly slipping from imposing locations like Hope Bay. Blanched mountain peaks cover the peninsula, and you’ll find thousands of adorable Adelie penguin pairs thriving undisturbed in this peninsula’s unique setting.
3 Included Shore Excursions:
Day 8 – South Shetland Island
The ice-coated Antarctic Peninsula forms perhaps the most accessible region of mainland Antarctica, lying a mere 480-miles away from South America, across the fabled waters of Drakes Passage. Lying close to the northwestern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, separated by the Bransfield Strait, the South Shetland Islands fall under the jurisdiction of the Antarctic Treaty, suspending claims on their sovereignty. Several countries maintain research bases here, and with plump elephant seals, and crowds of Gentoo, Chinstrap and Adelie Penguins also calling the islands home, it can even feel a little crowded at times. King George Island is the largest and most hospitable island, hosting the majority of the research stations – some of which are populated all-year-round by tiny, hardy crews. Don’t be fooled though, these islands offer extraordinary adventure in one of the most remote locations on earth. The triple peaks of Mount Foster tower above the archipelago, and you’ll feel your heart pumping a little quicker, as you sail into the core of Deception Island’s magnificent collapsed volcano caldera. Hike the luna landscapes within, and even dip into the improbably warm, geothermally-heated waters of Pendulum Cove. Elephant Island, meanwhile, is written deep into the annals of Antarctic expedition legend, as the site where Ernest Shackleton and the stricken crew of the Endurance miraculously survived a harsh Antarctic winter, in 1916.
1 Included Shore Excursion:
Day 9 – Drake Passage
Day 10 – Cruising Cape Horn
In the past, no two words conjured up more fear to sailors than Cape Horn. With its reputation of ferocious storms and mountainous seas it was a place where a seafarer garnered respect for bravery against the odds. That is, if he lived to tell the tale (he also got to wear a gold hoop ear-ring and dine with one foot up on the table).
The Cape itself is the rugged insular tip of South America that projects into the storm-swept Drake Passage. The Dutch sailor Willem Schouten and merchant Jacob Le Maire, both from the town of Hoorn (hence Cape Horn), put it on the map in 1616 when attempting to circumvent the trade monopoly exercised by the Dutch East India Company over the Straits of Magellan.
Once an unavoidable physical gateway to adventure and commerce in the Pacific Ocean, Cape Horn nowadays has more of a spiritual attraction, drawing intrepid travellers to pay homage to the brave sailors who, by necessity, attempted to pass this wild and inhospitable headland.
During clear weather, when the island is free from the frequent icy squalls that batter its shores, a 7-metre (23 feet) high steel monument can be seen standing about 1.5 kilometres (1 mile) away from the true cape, near the Chilean navy station. It depicts the silhouette of an albatross, a bird that is said to carry the souls of those sailors who perished “rounding the Horn”. With that in mind, consider yourself lucky to confront the Horn on a luxury Expedition cruise ship rather than from the wave-washed and perilous deck of a windjammer.
Days 10 – 11 – Puerto Williams
Silver Cloud is the first cross over ship in our fleet, bringing the remote and remarkable to you in ultra-luxurious comfort. Her large suites, her destination itineraries and her unparalleled service make her truly special. Her four dining options will tantalise your taste buds and as 80% of her suites include a veranda, watching a breaching whale or a few cavorting penguins has never been so personal. A limited number of guests in polar waters, mean that Silver Cloud has one of the highest crew to guest and space to guest ratios in expedition cruising. With her 20 zodiacs, 10 kayaks, possibilities are almost limitless with ship-wide simultaneous explorations.
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