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Ushuaia to Cape Town (32 Day)

32 days with Silversea   Rating: Deluxe

Itinerary
Click for Dates and Prices Day 1 — Ushuaia, Argentina
Embark Silver Cloud and meet some of your fellow travellers as you become acquainted with the luxurious amenities found on board. After settling in a mandatory safety drill will have to be attended. Later your Expedition Leader will introduce some of the important crew members and your Expedition Team. While we sail out of Ushuaia you will be able to see the many snow-covered mountains lining the Beagle Channel and bid farewell to Tierra del Fuego. Enjoy the spectacular scenery while we have our sail away cocktail on the open decks.

Days 2-3 — Drake Passage
The Drake Passage has a notorious reputation for its turbulent seas due to the westerly winds and the funneling 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. Black-browed Albatross, Sooty Shearwaters and White-chinned Petrels glide in the air currents alongside and in the wake of the ship.

Day 4 — Antarctic Sound
The Antarctic Sound is a stretch of water named after the first ship to have passed through this body of water from the Bransfield Strait to the Weddell Sea in 1902. The Antarctic eventually sank and crew and scientists had to spend quite some time in this area before they could be rescued. Sites that have to do with this story - like Hope Bay or Paulet Island - are sometimes visited. At Paulet, Hope Bay and Brown Bluff Adelie and Gentoo Penguins breed, as do Kelp Gulls and Cape Petrels, Snow Petrels and Skuas.

Days 5-7 — Antarctic Peninsula
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 and the iconic penguins. The Antarctic Peninsula – the main peninsula closest to South America – has a human history of almost 200 years, with explorers, sealers, whalers, and scientists who have come to work, and eventually intrepid visitors coming to enjoy this pristine and remote wilderness.

Day 8 — South Shetland Islands
Some 770 kilometers (478 miles) south of Cape Horn, the South Shetland Islands are usually the first land seen in Antarctica. Separated from the Antarctic Peninsula by the Bransfield Strait, nine major islands make up the group. The region was the first to be exploited by sealers in the early 19th century, and because of its proximity to South America, it still is the most visited by scientists and tourists. Chinstrap, Adelie, Gentoo and Macaroni Penguins all breed here.

Days 9-10 — Drake Passage
The Drake Passage has a notorious reputation for its turbulent seas due to the westerly winds and the funneling 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. Black-browed Albatross, Sooty Shearwaters and White-chinned Petrels glide in the air currents alongside and in the wake of the ship.

Day 11 — Ushuaia, Argentina 
At 55 degrees latitude south, Ushuaia (pronounced oo-swy-ah) is closer to the South Pole than to Argentina's northern border with Bolivia. It is the capital and tourism base for Tierra del Fuego, the island at the southernmost tip of Argentina.Although its stark physical beauty is striking, Tierra del Fuego's historical allure is based more on its mythical past than on rugged reality. The island was inhabited for 6,000 years by Yámana, Haush, Selk'nam, and Alakaluf Indians.

Day 12 — At Sea
Gather in the Theatre Lounge to hear fascinating tales of adventure and to learn about the Falkland Islands’ endemic wildlife and remarkable nature. Our knowledgeable Lecture Staff members are experts in a variety of scientific fields. Other onboard diversions include Spa treatments, a workout in the Fitness Centre, and, of course, exquisite dining experiences.

Day 13 —   Steeple Jason Island, Falkland Islands / West Point Island, Falkland Islands
Steeple Jason was used for sheep-grazing until the 1980s, but never properly inhabited; therefore birdlife has been less disturbed and includes Southern Rockhopper, Magellanic, and Gentoo Penguins, Slender-billed Prions, caracaras and Blackish Cinclodes (known locally as Tussac-Birds), as well as Black-browed Albatrosses. Roughly 70% of the world’s population of Black-browed Albatrosses is said the breed on the Falkland Islands and Steeple Jason has the largest colony. Sea lions and fur seals can be seen along the shore.

In the afternoon, watch for Peale’s dolphins and the distinctive black and white markings of the Commerson’s dolphin as the Silver Cloud approaches West Point Island. Upon arrival, photographic opportunities are everywhere as you walk across rolling moorland and admire a colony of Black-browed Albatrosses nesting side-by-side with Rockhopper Penguins.
The hospitable island owners are always happy to answer your questions and share their stories.

Day 14 — Stanley, Falkland Islands
Stanley has a distinct British ambience and we begin our day in the capital city of the remote Falkland Islands by boarding a local bus for a ‘city tour’ with a local guide. You can also stroll through the charming streets of this colourful little town, lined with quaint cottages and a variety of traditional pubs. Visit the 19th-century Anglican cathedral (the southernmost Anglican cathedral in the world) and wander through the Falkland Islands Dockyard Museum. For stamp collectors a visit to the Philatelic Bureau is a must. Walking along Ross Road you will come to a monument to honour the victims of the 1982 Falklands conflict between Britain and Argentina.

Days 15–16 — At Sea
Binoculars and camera in hand, head out on deck to watch for seabirds and whales. Attend informative lectures that will prepare you for the upcoming visits in South Georgia and the adventures that lie ahead. Peruse an array of titles and topics in the well-stocked Library, enjoy the finest cigars and cognacs at the Connoisseur’s Corner or indulge in any of the other special amenities offered aboard Silver Cloud.

Days 16–20 — South Georgia
This breathtaking destination of towering snow-covered mountains, mighty glaciers, and low-lying grasslands attracts an astounding concentration of wildlife: Southern fur seals, Southern elephant seals and a variety of albatross species including Black-browed, Light-mantled Sooty, Grey-headed and the spectacular Wandering Albatross, plus thousands of King and hundreds of Macaroni Penguins.

South Georgia is also linked to the early Antarctic explorers. Captain James Cook first stepped ashore in 1775, but perhaps more famous is Ernest Shackleton’s arrival in 1916 following the sinking of his ship Endurance. Visit the graves of Shackleton and Frank Wild and the whaling museum at Grytviken.

Here are some of the places we may visit:

Cooper Bay

  • Go on a Zodiac cruise to see Macaroni and Chinstrap Penguins on the rocks and in the water.

Gold Harbour

  • A large King Penguin colony can be found near Bertrab Glacier.
  • Seals can be seen resting and sunning on the beaches.

Grytviken

  • A historic whaling station, all that remains today are the rusted hulls of long abandoned sealing and whaling ships and working sheds.
  • At the South Georgia Museum guests can learn about past whaling techniques and view various exhibits on exploration and discovery.
  • See the burial site of the famous explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton.

Salisbury Plain

  • A favourite breeding ground for hundreds of thousands of King Penguins; it is amazing to see how they completely cover the beaches and hills.
  • In early March, the seal pups will be quite active and aggressive.

Days 21–23 — At Sea
As we cross the South Atlantic, leisurely days at sea are yours to enjoy. Participate in discussions and onboard activities led by the Expedition Team, relax in one of the lounges with that book you have been meaning to read, and meet up with new friends for cocktails. Before turning in for the night, take a stroll on deck to take in the solitude of the vast sea and sky.

Day 24 — Gough Island, UK (Subject to government approval)
A dependency of Tristan da Cunha and part of the British overseas territory of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, Gough Island was originally known as Gonçalo Álvares (the captain of Vasco da Gama’s flagship). The volcanic island covers an area of 91 km² and is uninhabited except for the personnel of a South African weather station on its southeastern side.  It is one of the most remote places with a constant human presence.

Gough Island is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Gough and Inaccessible Islands, a protected wildlife reserve and an “Important Bird Area”.  If conditions allow we will offer a Zodiac cruise and look for Tristan Albatross, Atlantic Petrel, Gough Moorhen, Gough Bunting, and Northern Rockhopper Penguins -some of the many birds using this mid-Atlantic island as their nesting ground.

Day 25 — Tristan da Cunha, UK
Recognised as the most remote inhabited archipelago in the world, its closest neighbouring landmass is the island of St. Helena some 2,430 km away. The main island is home to 301 hardy residents (census March 2016).
Weather and landing depending, we hope to enjoy guided walks with the local inhabitants of Edinburgh of the Seven Seas, the main village on the island’s north coast, while our onboard Geologist will lead a walk to the 1961 volcanic cone and lava flow. Learn how the islanders were evacuated and how it affected their lives.  Once at the top, we will have a beautiful scenic view of the whole settlement – a photo opportunity not to be missed. We will meet with some of the island children and hear what Tristan life is like through their eyes during our visit to St Mary’s School.  Our onboard Ornithologist will point out birdlife, hopefully including the Atlantic Yellow-nosed Albatross, Sooty Albatross, Tristan Thrush, and Tristan Wandering Albatross – a critically endangered species with fewer than 1,500 breeding pairs left in the world. The archipelago is also where 90% of the world’s Northern Rockhopper Penguins come to breed.

Day 26 — Nightingale Island, UK
Weather permitting; we hope to land on uninhabited Nightingale Island, a protected wildlife reserve and World Heritage Site. You will see the most magnificent wildlife, flora and fauna all unspoilt by people. All guests will receive a certificate verifying that they have indeed visited this extremely remote world destination.

Days 27–30 — At Sea
Enjoy a variety of onboard activities. The days at sea will be filled with educational lectures and interesting entertainment options. All accommodations feature an interactive television system allowing you to watch your choice of movies or documentary films and even recorded broadcasts from the Theatre Lounge in the comfort and privacy of your suite.
On the last day your onboard Videographer will screen the Voyage-DVD, letting you remember all those special moments during your voyage from cape to cape.
The Captain will invite you to his (your) Farewell Cocktail Party and the Chef and Restaurant Manager want to surprise you with the special Farewell Dinner.

Days 31–32 — Cape Town, South Africa
Arriving in the morning of Day 21 (27 March) you will be able to explore the natural wonders of Cape Town.  You can choose to ascend Table Mountain by cable car and hike in the protected area, having a look at the many endemic plants and animals. Later you will travel by bus to Signal Hill for dramatic views over Table Bay and Cape Town.  Or you can go on an excursion to see an African Penguin colony at Boulders Beach. The scenic drive to Boulders Beach will go along the Atlantic seaboard and later will continue through the prestigious suburbs of Bishopscourt and Constantia into the region where South Africa’s wine industry began over 3 centuries ago. At one of the local wine estates you will enjoy a formal wine tasting (paired with canapés).
In the evening you are free to enjoy the unique opportunity to explore the vibrant V & A Waterfront in Cape Town Harbour on your own.

Day 32 — Cape Town, South Africa         
After breakfast on Thursday, 28 March, disembark Silver Cloud

All This Included
Begin your expedition at the world’s end. With diverse seabirds attracted to the area, have your binoculars and cameras ready and as you sail closer to the Antarctic Peninsula. Look for pods of seals and whales and waddles of penguins. Leave Ushuaia for a Cape-to-Cape voyage via the Falkland Islands and South Georgia to visit one of the remotest archipelago in the world on this month-long adventure.
  • Highly qualified expedition team with experts in their field (marine biologists, ornithologists, historians and more)
  • Excursions and activities, including explorations by Zodiac®
  • Complimentary expedition gear: backpack and water bottle on every voyage, parka for polar expeditions
  • Personalised service with a butler for all suites and the highest crew to guest ratio in the industry
  • Fine dining even in the most remote places of the planet
  •  Comfortable amenities with the largest expedition suites at sea
  • Inclusive room-service, select wines, spirits and soft drinks throughout the ship
  • Free WIFI* throughout the ship (*One hour free WIFI per day for all guests. Unlimited free WIFI for guests sailing on select suite categories)
  • Onboard Gratuities
  • Exclusive partnership with The Royal Geographical Society
 
Highlights
  • See snow-covered mountains and mighty glaciers
  • Encounter Magellanic, Rockhopper, Gentoo, Macaroni, King, and African Penguins
  • Watch for sea lions, seals, dolphins, and whales
  • Identify seabirds including rare albatrosses, shearwaters and petrels and look for South Georgia Pipits and Pintail Ducks
  • Visit the most remote inhabited archipelago in the world 
Accommodations
Cruising: Cabin onboard Silver Cloud
Notes
  • Cabin upgrades are available.
    Silver Cloud will have kayaks onboard that will allow small groups to explore South Georgia in a unique way –accompanied and supervised by certified kayak instructors. These kayak excursions have limited space; they require a certain level of fitness and will also depend on local conditions for safe operation.
  • Expedition highlights and wildlife listed here are possible experiences only and cannot be guaranteed. Your Expedition Leader and Captain will work together to ensure opportunities for adventure and exploration are the best possible, taking into account the prevailing weather, wildlife activity and sea conditions. Expedition Team members scheduled for this voyage are subject to change or cancellation.
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions
For Silversea terms and conditions, please click here.

* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.