If any place can accurately be described as the last frontier, it is the intriguingly untamed, frozen land of the southernmost continent, Antarctica. Experience it for yourself on Silversea’s 18-day Ushuaia to Ushuaia Antarctica Expedition, which takes you from the tip of South America across the Drake Passage, named after the famous explorer who circumnavigated the world from 1577 to 1580. You’ll pass orcas swimming through the dark, dramatic sea before arriving at the Antarctica Peninsula, where seals float by on ice floes and penguins dot the coastline.
Along the way you’ll enjoy the comforts of life aboard Silver Explorer. Fewer than 150 passengers share the two dining venues and 12 Zodiac crafts. At the end of each day’s adventures, you’ll return to your spacious suite; 80 percent of them offer verandahs with views of the ocean and sometimes breaching whales too.
We sent AFAR Ambassador Rachel Rudwall on a recent Antarctica expedition with Silversea. To get her firsthand perspective, check out highlights of her voyage in 10 inspiring photos and her reflections on what it means to travel responsibly in Antarctica.
Itinerary / 18 DAYSPLAN YOUR TRIP
Here you’ll board Silver Explorer, your home at sea for the next 10 days. After a safety drill, it’s time to set sail south. Behind you Tierra de Fuego, with its coastal villages and peaks soaring to heights of over 8,000 feet, will gradually recede into the distance and you’ll admire the same view of the tip of South America as did explorers and naturalists including Sir Francis Drake and Charles Darwin.
DAY 2At Sea
DAY 3West Point Island
DAY 4Saunders Island
DAYS 6 AND 7Sail to South Georgia
DAYS 8 TO 10South Georgia
DAYS 11 AND 12Antarctic Sound
DAY 13Elephant Island
DAYS 14 AND 15Antarctic Peninsula
DAYS 16 AND 17Cross the Drake Passage
Somewhere along the passage, you’ll cross the Antarctic Convergence, also known as the South Polar Frontal Zone, the boundary that marks the end of the relatively closed eco-system of Antarctica. Here, where the cooler waters of the polar ocean meet the warmer ones flowing down from more temperate latitudes, the small shrimp known as krill rise to the surface. And, as you will discover on your journey, where there are krill, there are birds too. Albatross, sooty shearwaters, and petrels fill the air in the wake of the ship. Make sure to bring your binoculars and camera to the deck.