It’s about to get easier for travelers who have “Visit Antarctica” on their bucket lists to achieve that goal.
Ultra-luxury cruise line Silversea Cruise already offers what it calls “Antarctica Bridge” voyages. Due to what it terms “strong demand,” however, Silversea has announced it will add Antarctica Bridge voyages for the 2023/2024 season.
The fly-cruise itineraries provide a fast, direct route to Antarctica as passengers are able to save time by flying in business class over the Drake Passage, the body of water that lies between Chile and Antarctica’s South Shetland Islands.
“Our pioneering Antarctica Bridge option is tremendously popular with time-conscious travelers who prefer to experience the White Continent without crossing the Drake Passage,” Roberto Martinoli, Silversea’s president and CEO, said in a statement.
Why The Fly-Cruise Itinerary Is Appealing
It takes approximately 48 hours to sail across the Drake Passage, which is named after English explorer Francis Drake. The water there can be rough with tall waves because the ocean’s currents at that latitude aren’t impeded by landmasses.
The addition of more Antarctica Bridge voyages means travelers who want a “fast track” to Antarctica can choose from two new 5-day expedition voyages aboard Silversea’s Silver Cloud. Those voyages will depart on February 2 and 7, 2024. There also will be a 6-day expedition, departing February 12, 2024.
Here’s what the itinerary will entail.
“After landing at Chile’s Eduardo Frei Montalva air base on King George Island, Silver Cloud’s guests will spend the same amount of time exploring Antarctica as on the cruise line’s conventional itineraries,” Silversea explains. “They will journey deep into destinations such as Antarctic Sound, the Antarctic Peninsula, and the South Shetland Islands before returning to King George Island.”
On the other hand, Silversea has also taken steps to improve the voyage for travelers who want to book passage on sailings that do cross the Drake Passage.
“From the 2022/2023 season forward, guests sailing aboard the line’s three ice-class expedition ships — Silver Cloud, Silver Wind, and Silver Explorer — will enjoy more convenient flight times, personalized service during a private charter flight, and quicker transfers to the ship, on exclusive itineraries departing from the new gateway of Puerto Williams,” Silversea notes. “The close cooperation of the Chilean authorities and local stakeholders enabled the enhancement.”
What The Itinerary Entails
Silversea’s Antarctica Bridge voyages include a one-night pre-cruise hotel stay and one post-cruise hotel night stay in Santiago, Chile, in-country flights to Punta Arenas, Chile, one pre-cruise hotel stay and one post-cruise hotel stay in Punta Arenas, and a private, business class round-trip flight between Punta Arenas and King George Island.
And since Silversea offers ultra-luxury cruises, it comes as no surprise that amenities include multiple restaurants and in-suite dining service, including caviar, as well as butler service and onboard gratuities.
Once in Antarctica, Silversea’s expedition team will “guide Zodiac tours, kayaking adventures, and explorations ashore, as well as provide lectures on the region’s fascinating geology, wildlife, and history to enrich the journey for guests,” Silversea explains. “In addition to witnessing incredible ice formations and otherworldly landscapes, guests will visit large penguin rookeries, and may see several species of seals, whales, and other birds.”
You can learn more about visiting Antarctica on a Silversea cruise here.
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