ANTARCTICA AND CHILEAN FJORDS

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19 DAYS

ITINERARY SUMMARY
DayPlaceHighlights
1Ushuaia, ArgentinaEmbark the Silver Cloud
2 - 3At SeaDrake Passage
4Antarctic SoundFirst sightings of iceberg, gentoo penguins, and lots of seabirds
5 - 7Antarctic PeninsulaIceberg sculptures, carving glaciers, seals, penguins, whales
8South Shetland IslandsGentoo, chinstrap and Adelie Penguins, elephant seals
9 - 10At SeaDrake Passage
11 Chilean FjordsSnow-capped volcanoes, glaciers, spot whales, Magellan penguins and possibly a rare Andean Condor
12English NarrowsStunning scenery, keep eyes out for diving Petrels, Steamer Ducks and the rare Chilean Dolphin
13Tortel, ChileExplore the infinite beauty of this small Southern Patagonian commune
14At SeaRelax, unwind and enjoy the many on board facilities
15CastroExplore the bright, vibrant community of houses built on stilts
16Puerto MonttBask in the sunshine at one of the beautiful beaches, explore downtown shops, restaurants and cafes
17NieblaVisit the lively markets, see the remains of the colonial fortress or relax at the beach
18At SeaRelax, unwind and enjoy the many on board facilities
19Valparaiso, ChileAfter breakfast disembark the Silver Cloud for your onward journey
ATC_Ushuaia-Vaparaiso_Silver-Cloud

SHIP OFFERING THIS ITINERARY

SILVER CLOUD

Spacious yet intimate, the yacht-like Silver Cloud carries 240 guests in incomparable comfort and style combining spacious ocean-view suites and private verandas with excellent dining and entertainment options. Silver Cloud epitomizes a vision of world-class cruise accommodations, cuisine, service and amenities. The Silver Cloud is equipped with a fleet of zodiacs and expert guides to escort you on excursions from the ship.

Day 1 Ushuaia, Argentina

Ushuaia Port, Argentina
Overview:

Embark Silver Cloud, settle in and attend a mandatory safety drill before leaving port. During the afternoon you will be introduced to some of the important crew members and your Expedition Team. At sail-away bid farewell to Tierra del Fuego, the ‘Land at the End of the World’.

Days 2-3 The Drake Passage

Crossing the Drake

The Drake Passage has a notorious reputation for its turbulent seas due to the westerly winds and the funnelling effect of the passage. The Antarctic Convergence, a natural boundary where cold polar water flows northward and warmer equatorial water moves southward, is within the Drake Passage. When these two currents meet, nutrients are pushed to the surface, often attracting a multitude of seabirds and whales. Spend some time on deck watching the horizon and the variety of seabirds that glide in the air currents of our ship’s wake such as the Black-browed Albatross, Sooty Shearwaters and White-chinned Petrels. Have your camera ready to capture the magical colour of a late night sunsets.

As we set sail on our initial transit, familiarise yourself with the elegant Silver Explorer and the friendly Expedition Team members.  Attend wildlife, geography and history discussions hosted by our expert naturalists and guest lecturers that will prepare you for the exciting adventures that lie ahead. When available, visit the Bridge and meet our Captain and officers; information will be posted in the “Chronicle”, our daily on-board newsletter.

Day 4 Antarctic Sound

Iceberg

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 bird-life 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.

Days 5 – 7 Antarctic Peninsula

Silversea - Antarctica, Seals

While sailing to Antarctica, every turn can reveal a new and breath-taking adventure. As the pack ice becomes thicker, it becomes apparent to everyone that we are moving closer into Antarctica’s vast white wilderness. Remote and otherworldly, Antarctica is irresistible for its spectacular iceberg sculptures and calving glaciers, and for the possibility of up-close encounters with marine mammals. Watch for seals sunbathing on slow-moving ice floes and for humpback, Minke, and orca whales to surface from below the frigid waters. Each day we will attempt Zodiac departures, and, if conditions permit, we will cruise amidst colourful icebergs or step ashore to visit a variety of penguin rookeries and perhaps scientific research stations on complimentary excursions led by our team of natural history experts.

Day 8 South Shetland Islands

Gentoos

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.

Days 9 – 10 Drake Passage

Royal Albatross

The Drake Passage has a notorious reputation for its turbulent seas due to the westerly winds and the funnelling effect of the passage. The Antarctic Convergence, a natural boundary where cold polar water flows northward and warmer equatorial water moves southward, is within the Drake Passage. When these two currents meet, nutrients are pushed to the surface, often attracting a multitude of seabirds and whales. Spend some time on deck watching the horizon and the variety of seabirds that glide in the air currents of our ship’s wake such as the Black-browed Albatross, Sooty Shearwaters and White-chinned Petrels. Have your camera ready to capture the magical colour of a late night sunsets as you sail towards the chilean fjords

Day 11 Chilean Fjords

The Inside Passage Of The Chilean Fjords

Strewn through the coast of Chile, these beautiful fjords are world renowned for being one of the most awe-inspiring places on earth. Snow-capped volcanoes nestle majestically alongside rolling valleys of ice and frosty glaciers. Rugged beauty, breathtaking scenery not to mention diverse and profuse wildlife abounds – expect to watch whales from the deck, see playful Magellan Penguins and perhaps even spot the rare Andean Condor. Affectionately named “The End of the World” by the Spaniards who discovered the region in eighteenth century in a quest to Christianise South America, these extraordinary waterways not only encompass a medley of jagged mountains and iceberg strewn bays, but feature a kaleidoscopic spectrum of unexpected colour that offers photographic opportunities like no other destination.

Day 12 English Narrows

Silversea - Chilean Dolphin

The English Narrows warrant time spent on the outer decks as the Captain and local Chilean Pilots expertly maneuver through the slalom course of islands and channel markers. The waterway is home to Magellanic Diving Petrels, Steamer Ducks and the rare endemic Chilean dolphin. This small dolphin is shy of ships and enjoys spending its time in constricted straits with heavy tidal rips such as the English Narrows.

Day 13 Tortel, Chile

Chilean Fjords, Silversea

Tortel is a commune located in Southern Patagonia a spectacular wilderness region of rugged mountains, glaciers, rivers and forests of infinite beauty. The uneven geography of Tortel shapes a unique landscape characterised by an archipelagic area with numerous islands and channels. Tortel is known as the “footbridge city” for the unique beauty of its wooden walkways that connect the piers and houses of this quaint place through bridges and stairs built from cypress wood. These run for 7.25 kilometres around the cove and respect the rich vegetation that grows under them. Even though it is the sixth largest commune in Chile it has the lowest population of all with roughly 531 people. The history of the town dates back to 1520 when it was inhabited by nomadic Kawesqar now extinct. Its definitive foundation was in 1955 after numerous attempts to populate the area. In 2001 it was declared by the Chilean government as a Picturesque Zone of National Heritage.

Day 14 At Sea

Silver Cloud Dining

Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym visiting the spa whale watching or catching up on your reading, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.

Day 15 Castro

Castro, Chiloe Island

Bright wooden huts teeter on stilts over Castro’s estuary waterfront inviting you into a patchwork of colour that’s sure to brighten any day. These traditional palafitos give the warmest of welcomes as you prepare to experience Chile at its most vibrant. Castro has faced something of a tumultuous past having been hit by a by a succession of earthquakes and fires – the most recent a devastating earthquake in 1960. But this city is incredibly resilient and today the capital of Chiloe Island makes for a fantastic base for exploring the archipelago that surrounds it.

Day 16 Puerto Montt

Chile clapboard house

For most of its history windy Puerto Montt was the end of the line for just about everyone travelling in the Lake District. Now the Carretera Austral carries on southward but for all intents and purposes Puerto Montt remains the region’s last significant outpost a provincial city that is the hub of local fishing textile and tourist activity. Today the city centre is full of malls condos and office towers—it’s the fastest-growing city in Chile—but away from downtown Puerto Montt consists mainly of low clapboard houses perched above its bay the Seno de Reloncaví. If it’s a sunny day head east to Playa Pelluco or one of the city’s other beaches. If you’re more interested in exploring the countryside drive along the shore for a good view of the surrounding hills.

Day 17 Niebla

Niebla, Chile

Niebla is a small village on the banks of the Rio Valdivia where Chile’s Corral Bay meets the Pacific Ocean. Today Niebla is a beach resort but in 1671 it was a defensive fortress built by the order of the Viceroy of Peru to prevent attacks against the town of Valdivia by pirates and corsairs. Niebla is well-known for its lively markets the remains of the colonial fortress declared a National Monument in 1950 and restored in 1992 and a museum dedicated to its history. Nearby is the charming river port city of Valdivia where cultural influences from the native Mapuche Spanish settlers and German immigrants have blended.

Day 18 At Sea

Silver Cloud, Fitness Centre

Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym visiting the spa whale watching or catching up on your reading, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.

Day 19 Valparaiso, Chile

Valparaiso

Valparaíso’s dramatic topography—45 cerros or hills overlooking the ocean—requires the use of winding pathways and wooden ascensores (funiculars) to get up many of the grades. The slopes are covered by candy-colour houses—there are almost no apartments in the city—most of which have exteriors of corrugated metal peeled from shipping containers decades ago. Valparaíso has served as Santiago’s port for centuries. Before the Panama Canal opened Valparaíso was the busiest port in South America. Harsh realities—changing trade routes industrial decline—have diminished its importance but it remains Chile’s principal port. Most shops banks restaurants bars and other businesses cluster along the handful of streets called El Plan (the flat area) that are closest to the shoreline. Porteños (which means “the residents of the port”) live in the surrounding hills in an undulating array of colourful abodes.

After breakfast you will disembark the Silver Cloud for your onward journey.

To book this cruise call 1300 668 112 or email contact@antarcticatravelcentre.com.au

We will tailor the perfect holiday to suit your needs.