A Drakes Passage Cruise is unlike any cruise you have ever experienced. Drakes Passage is 600 miles wide, and connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans between Tierra del Fuego and the South Shetland Islands. It's located 100 miles north of the Antarctic Peninsula. The climate varies from humid or cool, to subpolar, and the winds are the wildest you'll likely ever experience. Drakes Passage leads directly to Ushuaia, and around Cape Horn. It's at this point that the southwestern Atlantic Ocean meets the southeastern Pacific. Sailing to Antarctica through Drakes Passage takes anywhere from 11 to 30 days. For passengers who don't want to remain onboard that long, the voyage can be broken up into 3 sailings to allow for passengers to visit all the ports along the way.
Things to See
Onshore excursions will take you to view wildlife, visit bases where scientific research is conducted, and see icebergs, glaciers, and beautiful waterways. Kayaking on the frigid water is a popular sport, as well as skiing, camping, and climbing. Since there are no ski trails in Antarctica, cross country skiing is a real adventure. Should you decide to camp overnight on the ice, equipment is provided, or you can be truly adventurous, and dig a snow hole. Scenery on the Antarctic Peninsula is unlike anything anywhere else in the world. During a summer visit, you'll be able to see the flowering plants that only bloom in the short summer season. On your cruise, you'll cross the Antarctic convergence, where you'll see thousands of penguins, Elephant Seals, and Arctic Fur Seals. Seabirds and Albatrosses are native to the area, and you'll see many different species. The Antarctic Peninsula has some of the most beautiful scenery and interesting species of wildlife anywhere. You'll find enormous rookeries of penguins and other species, and see Leopard Seals, Humpback Whales, and Orcas.
If you prefer to simply soak up the Antarctic experience and remain onboard, there are still plenty of activities. Specialists, guides, and lecturers are onboard the ship for presentations and to answer questions. It's a great way to meet the other paassengers and make new friends. On some Drakes Passage cruises, passengers traveling alone can be matched with a cabin mate of the same gender under the Twin or Triple Share Program. Supplements aren't charged if a cabin mate isn't found for you.
King George Island is one of the Shetland Islands, close to the Antarctic Peninsula. The coastal areas of the island have a variety of plant and animal life. Petrels, seals, and penguins are among the species native to the island. Several multinational research stations are nearby and tours of the stations to meet researchers can be arranged. Penguin Island is south of King George Island. Its main attraction is Deacopn's Peak, which was active approximately 300 years ago. Deception Island is one of the world's most amazing islands. The island was created by volcanic activity, and has beaches to take a natural steam bath. Deception Island is one of the world's few places to sail into an active volcanic zone.