An Epic Expedition to Antarctica

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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. 

Ushuaia

After a night in Buenos Aires, included in your fare, you’ll depart for Ushuaia, the capital of Tierra del Fuego—a region named for the fires of the Yaghan people that Ferdinand Magellan saw burning when he sailed the coast. Ushuaia is now a jumble of colorful buildings between the sea and the Martial Mountains, which form a striking snowcapped backdrop.

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.

At Sea
Your first stop on your journey will be the Falkland Islands, and en route you’ll be able to take in the spectacular beauty and power of the ocean and watch for the avian species found here, far from land. You’ll also have time to explore Silver Explorer, meet your fellow guests, and attend lectures by ornithologists, marine biologists, and other experts.
West Point Island
Located slightly northwest of West Falkland, West Point Island is used for sheep farming and nature observations. Peale’s dolphins and Commerson’s dolphins, with their distinctive black and white markings, can usually be seen in the waters near the island. Rolling moorland and steep cliffs make for great photographic opportunities, but the main attraction is the Devil’s Nose, a cliffside colony of black-browed albatrosses nesting side-by-side with feisty rockhopper penguins. Magellanic penguins and Magellanic cormorants can also be found on the island.

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