An Antarctica Voyage in 10 Inspiring Photos

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An Antarctica Voyage in 10 Inspiring Photos
Breaching whales and waddling penguins. Seals sunning themselves on icebergs. Millennia-old glaciers letting off the noise that only glaciers make when they calve into the ocean. These are just a few of the sensations intrepid traveler and AFAR Ambassador Rachel Rudwall experienced on a recent 10-night expedition cruise to Antarctica with Silversea. She documented the experience in all its epic-ness on Instagram, sharing her impressions and emotions in real time. Follow along—from Buenos Aires through the historic Drake Passage to Antarctica—with this slideshow and start plotting an adventure of your own with Silversea.
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  • 1 / 10
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    La Boca, Buenos Aires
    “Woo-hoo! I’m currently en route to Antarctica with @silverseacruises! Talk about a bucket-lister. If you’re wondering how you even get to Antarctica, the answer is: most travelers set sail from Chile or Argentina. To catch my ship, I first had to fly into Buenos Aires, Argentina, then hop another flight way south to Ushuaia (the most southerly city in the world). While transferring from the international to the domestic airport in Buenos Aires, I had time for a quick, bite-sized layover. This photo is from the insanely colorful La Boca neighborhood, which is situated alongside Buenos Aires’ port and known for its bright paint jobs and electrifying tango shows.” — @rachelroams
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    Ushuaia, Argentina
    “As we set out from Ushuaia for the Great Cold Continent (a.k.a. Antarctica), there was a palpable buzz in the air. All 120 @silverseacruises passengers excitedly prowled the deck, watching as land slipped away in the distance. Armed with cold-weather gear, giant smiles, and a couple weeks’ worth of motion-sickness meds, we ventured forth into the historic (and historically tumultuous) Drake Passage, prepared for whatever lay ahead.” — @rachelroams
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    The Drake Passage
    “Two days passed at sea, with the Drake Passage’s swell rocking and rolling our ship like a giant cradle. Thankfully, the waves maxed out at 5 meters (approximately 16 feet), which is about as mellow as it gets at this time of year. Mellow or not, it was clear we were no longer tucked away by the safe embrace of coastline. We were out there in the world, and we were loving it.” — @rachelroams
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    South Shetland Islands
    “After two days of sailing, we gasped with glee as we caught our first glimpse of land. ‘Antarctica! Look!’ everyone shouted, scrambling to don hats, and gloves, and coats, and cameras. We bounced out the doors and onto the deck, amidst swirling sea birds and navy blue waves. There before us stood the South Shetland Islands, a jagged outcropping of rocks topped in ice and surrounded by ocean—sentinels for the greater continent ahead.” — @rachelroams
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    Penguin Colony
    “Every expectation you have of Antarctica will be proven wrong. You imagine Antarctica’s large, but ‘large’ doesn’t do it justice. It’s a behemoth—swallowing the horizon with glaciers, rocky peaks, and untouchable beauty. You imagine it’s cold, but you’ll find it’s not just cold; it’s varied and temperamental, one moment boasting a brilliant blue sky, and the next, dropping flurries on your nose as wind tears through your woolen layers. You may also imagine that the wildlife will be limited and outside your reach, only visible at a distance. However, Antarctica’s wildlife is teeming, omnipresent, and at finger’s length, no matter where you go.” — @rachelroams
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    Cuverville Island
    “There’s a beauty to feeling small; to recognizing you’re a tiny speck in the grand scheme of things. Antarctica has a way of teaching you that—of putting you in your place in the face of all that’s greater, as here on Cuverville Island.” — @rachelroams
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    Lemaire Channel
    “When the sun sets in a place like Antarctica, the whole world becomes a symphony. An iceberg is suddenly a living form, shifting and changing as the light dances. A ray of sunlight breaking through ice crystals warms the world as though an embrace. A bird flitting across your line of sight morphs into poetry. And when the sun sets in a place like this, the whole world is yours for an instant, trickling gently through your fingertips like the waves that churn beneath you.” — @rachelroams
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    Foyn Harbor
    “Each day in Antarctica is a gift of exploration. Zodiac rides and shore landings fill daylight hours with breaching whales and penguins, seals on icebergs and wind in your hair. Each day in Antarctica is a gift of expansion. Your brain works overtime to take in the sights and sounds and feelings, struggling to keep pace with all the wonder that, in your modern mind, looks just like CGI it’s so perfect. Each day in Antarctica is a gift of immersion. Fingertips touch icicles that dangle from millennia-old ice, while imagination dips beneath the cold, glass surface to the creatures that live in the deep, dark sea.” — @rachelroams
  • 9 / 10
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    Lemaire Channel
    “When the sun drops below the horizon, the moon alights from its hiding place among the icebergs. Rocky corridors shelter glacial graveyards; giant shards of gray-blue forever drift and vanish in your wake. Humpbacks blow and breach just beyond the reach of your lens; you can hear them in the moonlight. The world continues spinning, and you know it’s daylight somewhere, but you’re nowhere else but here. You’re here with all you’ve got as the night falls in Antarctica.” — @rachelroams
  • 10 / 10
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    Cierva Cove
    “To have felt so alive. To have breathed in salt air, and gull song, and sunsets that never end. To have found form in icebergs and self between mountains where the rocks touch the water. To have listened to hungry chicks cry, and mothers that nurture, and the cycle of life that is this great food chain. To have tasted ice, bathed in water surrounded by fresh snowfall, soaked up Alpenglow as peaks bid good eve to the sun. To have wondered, and wandered, and shuddered with closed eyes only to reopen them and find that the world is magic. To have existed in this place. To have lived this moment. Immeasurable.” — @rachelroams 

    Read Rachel’s reflections on being a conscientious traveler to Antarctica and find the Silversea expedition that’s right for you.