Silver Cloud

Ushuaia to Ushuaia

Join us for a journey to the last untouched continent including a visit to several of the Falkland Islands.

Ushuaia to Ushuaia

On board the Silver Cloud
16-day cruise
Antarctic Cruise
100 Reviews
5/5
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Pool
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Medical Services
24h Doctor Station
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Butler Service
Black-browed Albatross colonies next to Rockhopper Penguins and Blue-eyed Shag colonies, its recent history and the British flair make the Falkland Islands special. Antarctica offers spectacular icebergs and calving glaciers, as well as the possibility of up-close encounters with penguins ashore, seals sunbathing on slow-moving ice floes, and humpback or minke whales surfacing close to the ship. Weather depending, we will take daily Zodiac departures in Antarctica and cruise amidst colorful icebergs, or step ashore to visit a variety of penguin rookeries on excursions led by our team of natural history experts. Go kayaking in Antarctica under the guidance of certified instructors, and cross the incredible Drake Passage to look for pelagic birds, including petrels and prions. Throughout the voyage, learn about the geology, wildlife and history of this spectacular area from lecture presentations offered by your knowledgeable onboard Expedition Team.

Your itinerary

Day 1, AM
Arrival to Ushuaia
Arrival at Ushuaia
Welcome to Ushuaia. It's official, you have arrived at the world's most southerly city with the evocative motto "End of the World, Beginning of Everything". Over 50,000 people call Ushuaia home. Its unusual name derives from the language of the Yaghan people, indigenous to the Tierra del Fuego region, and translates as "deep bay". The city was formally founded in 1884 after a small settlement and a prison had been built there in the years before, but by 1893 the population was still less than 150 thanks to a series of epidemics and the remote location. The prison population began to grow as it was used to house dangerous and repeat offenders. In effect, for the first 50 years of the city's existence, the prisoners became forced colonists, helping to build up the town and to secure the Argentine claims to the Tierra del Fuego region. Today, Ushuaia is a busy port and a hub for adventure travel to the Antarctic and South Atlantic. Lying below the lovely snow-capped Martial Mountains, the city has grown in a rather jumbled way, expanding from its sole main street and waterfront thanks to an increase in tourism and travel. If you want to relax before your Antarctic adventure, then a stroll along the waterfront - pausing for a selfie in front of the "end of the world" sign, of course! - is a pleasant way to spend your time. If you're feeling more energetic there are many options for hiking, biking, and boat rides into Beagle Channel. You can even take spectacular helicopter tours! In town, there are plenty of restaurants, shops, and a recent boom in craft beers means there are several places now vying for the title of the world's most southerly brewery!
Day 1, PM
Embarking ship
Embark
Boarding usually begins in the afternoon. Everyone will have a safety briefing and demonstration, and then you are free to explore your new floating home and meet your fellow Antarctic explorers! Later, you'll get an expedition overview from your fantastic expedition guides. You'll spend the night on board as your ship begins its journey south.
Day 2, AM
Sail Falkland Islands
Sail to the Falkland Islands & Lectures
As you get to know your ship - finding those cozy corners to read, or the best spots on deck for whale watching - you'll also have the opportunity to learn from the onboard experts. Every ship carries a range of guides with specialties in wildlife, marine biology, geology, history, and more. They provide a program of informative and entertaining lectures and talks that help you to deepen your understanding of and appreciation for this remote yet wonderful region at the end of the Earth.
Day 3, AM
New Island
New Island
New Island - also known as Isla de Goicoechea in Spanish - is one of the Falkland Islands. A long, thin island with both steep cliffs and sandy bays, it’s 150 west of the Falkland’s capital, Stanley. Despite its position on the westerly edge of the islands, New Island was one of the first to be visited and colonized. There is some evidence that whalers from America may have landed here as early as 1770. In 1813 a ship from Nantucket was wrecked here and the crew survived for two years before being rescued. They built a simple stone shelter which now forms part of the oldest building in the Falklands. With stints as a base for guano miners and whaling companies, New Island proved to be uneconomical to exploit in these ways and was left for the wildlife to thrive. Now a wildlife reserve and registered Important Bird Area (IBA), New Island is a beautiful sanctuary for many Falklands and Antarctic species to breed and live. Penguins, in particular, take advantage of the shallow beaches and rolling shores on the eastern coast. Five species can be seen here, including large breeding colonies of gentoo and southern rockhopper penguins. King penguins are also found here, as well as petrels, shags, dolphin gulls, Falklands skuas, and many more. Sea lions and elephant seals can also be found hauled up on the beaches or swimming idly in the sheltered bays.
Day 3, PM
Westpoint Island
West Point Island
Well-named West Point Island is one of the furthest points in the northwest of the Falklands archipelago. Known originally as Albatross Island (and Isla Remolinos in Spanish), this 5.5 square miles of grassy rock has some of the most stunning scenery to be found in the islands. West Point is a working sheep farm and is owned by the Napier family, who will warmly welcome you to their home. As its original name implies, you’ll also be welcomed by the calls and shrieks from the huge colony of black-browed albatross that live here. In fact, more than two-thirds of the world’s entire albatross population breed here in the Falklands! But the highest cliffs and the biggest albatross colony aren’t the only things that await you on West Point. There is a large southern rockhopper penguin colony, as well as a smaller Magellanic penguin nest site. Other notable bird species include striated caracaras, Cobb's wrens, blackish cinclodes, and white-bridled finches. In fact, there are so many important species here that West Point Island has been formally listed as an Important Bird Area (IBA). The other thing you’ll get on West Point is fantastic Napier hospitality! Your group will be welcomed with traditional tea, cake, and biscuits as well as an invitation to walk around the island gardens.
Day 4, AM
Stanley
Stanley
Stanley (sometimes called Stanley) is the capital of the Falkland Islands and is quintessentially British - albeit reminiscent of a Britain from yesteryear. But there’s something remarkable about seeing the red “telephone boxes” and signs for “fish n chips” sitting in a landscape that’s more like Patagonia than the pastoral English countryside. Stanley is home to 70% of the Falklands’ population, about 2,500 people. There’s a gentle pace to life here, but if there’s a cruise ship or two in the harbor then it can feel quite lively! As well as pubs and “chippies” there are some definite signs that you’re not in Europe. Visit Christ Church Cathedral, opened in 1892, and you’ll enter through an arch built from the jaws of two huge blue whales. A stroll to Victory Green in central Stanley will bring you face to face with a mizzen mast from the original SS Great Britain. Brunel built the world’s first propeller-driven iron ship in 1843, and it was badly damaged by gales when rounding Cape Horn in 1886, limping back to the Falkland Islands where it lay abandoned for almost a century. Walk down Pioneer Row and you’ll see the original settlers’ cottages, not only still standing but in perfect condition. Originally shipped the 8,000 miles from the UK as kits, they were erected quickly by the first settlers to provide warmth and shelter from the sometimes forbidding weather. But no matter what other unique and unusual sites you see in this southern hemisphere town, the Union Jack flags flying and the garden gnomes in gardens won’t let you forget that this is a piece of Britain at the edge of the Antarctic.
Day 5, AM
Bleaker Island
Bleaker Island
Bleaker Island (known as Isla Maria in Spanish) has had at least 3 changes of the name since the Falkland Islands were first discovered and colonized. It was first named Long Island - a rather unimaginative title because that’s what it is, long and thin. Its name was changed to Breaker Island and it appeared like this on maps and charts until 1859, when a new chart was published with the name changed to Bleaker. What was probably a printing error has stuck ever since! There was evidence that sealers had been using Bleaker Island as a base, but there was no permanent settlement attempted until 1880 when a house was built and a sheep farm set up. The island has been used for rearing ship ever since, and now has some cattle as well. It’s run as an organic farm and tourist destination, with stewardship of the land to allow both commercial farming and wildlife preservation at its heart. A formally-designated Important Bird Area (or IBA), Bleaker Island is home to a large breeding colony of Imperial Cormorants more than 16,000 strong. Other species to be found here include Gentoo penguins who nest on the appropriately-named Penguin Hill above Sandy Bay. There are also Southern Rockhopper penguins to be found near Long Gulch and Magellanic penguin burrows are widespread. There are also many smaller bird species here, including Falklands grass wrens and pipits, black-chinned siskins, and dark-faced ground-tyrants. There are also some birds of prey including southern caracaras.
Day 5, PM
Antarctica- Visitor Site Brown Bluff
Brown Bluff
Brown Bluff is a great example of a “tuya” - a volcano that has been flattened by erupting through a glacier! These are the rarest of all volcano types and only found in areas which have seen large scale glaciation in the past. Brown Bluff with its distinctive “tabletop” look, lies on the Tabarin Peninsula, in the northernmost part of the Antarctic Peninsula. The landing beach here is made of pebbles and volcanic ash, rising quickly towards steep reddish-brown cliffs. The cliffs are embedded with “volcanic bombs” - large pieces of lava that were thrown out during an eruption, cooling in the air to land as solid spherical or oval shapes. As well as the fascinating geology, the other star of the show is the birdlife. Brown Bluff is home to over 20,000 breeding pairs of Adelie penguins, as well as a small colony of gentoo penguins. Other breeding residents include storm petrels, Cape petrels, and kelp gulls. Weddell seals often haul out on the beach here, and it’s also common to see Leopard seals hunting in the waters close to the shore.
Day 6, AM
Drake Passage
Crossing the Drake Passage
An 800 km body of water that connects Cape Horn in Chile to the South Shetland Islands of Antarctica, the shortest crossing from Antarctica to any other land mass. The crossing takes about 48 hours. At some point on the first day, cross the Antarctic Convergence, a meeting of cold polar water flowing north and warmer sub-antarctic water moving in the opposite direction. It is the largest biological barrier on earth and is marked by a change in temperature, salinity and nutrient levels. The north flowing Antarctic waters predominantly sink beneath southward moving sub-antarctic waters. While further south associated areas of mixing and upwelling create an ocean very high in marine productivity. During the long voyage across the Drake Passage, Attend lectures hosted throughout the day on everything from local wildlife to geology to history. The exceptional crew aboard your Antarctic cruise consists of professional and highly skilled historians, marine biologists, and naturalists who offer keen insight and a unique personal perspective to each and every adventure. There is always someone on hand to answer questions and provide greater insight and appreciation of the world at its extremes.
Day 7, AM
Drake Passage
Crossing the Drake Passage
An 800 km body of water that connects Cape Horn in Chile to the South Shetland Islands of Antarctica, the shortest crossing from Antarctica to any other land mass. The crossing takes about 48 hours. At some point on the first day, cross the Antarctic Convergence, a meeting of cold polar water flowing north and warmer sub-antarctic water moving in the opposite direction. It is the largest biological barrier on earth and is marked by a change in temperature, salinity and nutrient levels. The north flowing Antarctic waters predominantly sink beneath southward moving sub-antarctic waters. While further south associated areas of mixing and upwelling create an ocean very high in marine productivity. During the long voyage across the Drake Passage, Attend lectures hosted throughout the day on everything from local wildlife to geology to history. The exceptional crew aboard your Antarctic cruise consists of professional and highly skilled historians, marine biologists, and naturalists who offer keen insight and a unique personal perspective to each and every adventure. There is always someone on hand to answer questions and provide greater insight and appreciation of the world at its extremes.
Day 7, AM
South Shetland Islands
Sail to the South Shetland Islands & Lectures
As you sail towards the South Shetland Islands your expert guides will entertain and educate you with a series of lectures and talks. From natural history to human history, geology to marine biology, there's something for everyone. All of the crew are experts in the field chosen not only for their huge depth of knowledge but also for their passion and enthusiasm. They really make this most remote of the world's regions come alive.
Day 7, PM
Antarctica Visitor Site- Point Wild
Point Wild
Point Wild is an unassuming, narrow sand and rock point, with steep tidewater glaciers and cliffs on its edges. It lies on the north coast of Elephant Island, part of the South Shetland Islands of Antarctica. Despite its lack of grandeur, this small bit of land has a starring role in history - it was named after Frank Wild, the leader of the survivors of Sir Ernest Shackleton's shipwrecked expedition. 15 men camped here and managed to survive for four months of Antarctic winter before they were rescued by a Chilean naval ship in August 1916. There is a memorial commemorating the captain of the rescuing vessel with an impressive bronze bust to be found here, as well as several inscriptions. You will often find members of a colony of chinstrap penguins “guarding” the monolith! The waters around Point Wild are famous for “snagging” icebergs on their hidden underwater rocks, and there is always a chance to witness the nearby glacier carving into the waters. Due to the sea conditions, landing is not always possible here, but a close passage will let you marvel at the isolation and inhospitable conditions that Shackleton’s team endured. You can also admire the amazing glaciers and stunning geology of the area around the point.
Day 7, PM
Elephant Island
Elephant Island
Elephant Island is one of the outermost of the South Shetland Islands. The roots of its name are argued to be one of two reasons. Either the fact that Elephant seals were seen hauled out here in large numbers by the first person to discover and map the island, Captain George Powell in 1821, or that the island’s shape is uncannily like that of a baby elephant’s head with trunk extended! The island remained unexplored for many years thanks in part to its lack of resources (just small numbers of seals and penguins and no native plants) and partly because of its steep volcanic rocks, presenting few landing points. However, in 1916 Elephant Island became immortalized as the scene of the beyond-all-odds survival story that was Ernest Shackleton’s ill-fated Antarctic expedition. After their ship Endurance was lost to the treacherous ice in the Weddell Sea, the 28 crew were forced to make a perilous escape attempt. After months in open boats and stuck on drifting ice sheets, the team arrived at Elephant Island. Here they set up a base to stay while Shackleton and five members of his crew set sail in an open lifeboat for South Georgia - a journey of over 800 miles - to seek a rescue ship. This stunning tale of endurance, determination, and the human spirit is brought home to visitors to Elephant Island by the Endurance Memorial at Point Wild. You can also see breathtaking views of the Endurance Glacier - named after Shackleton’s lost ship - as well as the stunning rocky terrain and its gentoo penguins and seals.
Day 8, AM
Antarctic Sound
Antarctic Sound
A gateway to the ultimate adventure that only a few will be lucky enough to experience. The 30-mile long Antarctic Sound will be your first encounter with the rugged beauty of this continent Located at the northerly tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, the Sound is a remarkable onslaught for the senses as you come face-to-face with monstrous slabs of ice, now floating free as enormous icebergs, that broke away from the Larsen Ice shelf. Treacherous to early explorers, the first vessel to successfully navigate the Sound was The Antarctic, the vessel of a Swedish Expedition of 1903. Unfortunately, she was trapped here by ice the following year and crushed - one of several vessels to have that fate over the decade. Fortunately, modern polar cruising vessels have no such worries with their strengthened hulls and modern navigation technology. As you enter the monochromatic beauty of white ice and grey sea you will know that that you are soon going to experience some of the remarkable sights and encounter the wonderful wildlife that makes its home in these islands of snow, ice, and rock.
Day 9, AM
Antarctica Visitor Site- D’Hainaut Island, Mikkelsen Harbour, Trinity Island
D’Hainaut Island, Mikkelsen Harbour, Trinity Island
D’Hainaut Island is a tiny rock island in Mikkelsen Harbour. It’s less than half a square mile in size, and it’s approached through a small bay that’s lined with dramatic cliffs of ice. It was first mapped by a French expedition in 1910. The island often remains snow-covered until very late in the season, and the captain of your Antarctic cruise vessel will expertly navigate through the shallow reefs that are in the bay. This island was used extensively for whaling, and there are artifacts and bones dotted around the island. D’Hainaut is one of the few Antarctic visitor sites where you can roam freely around the whole island, taking care not to disturb any of the artifacts and watching your step on the rocks, of course. There is a small historic refuge here that was built originally by the Argentine Navy in the 1950s, then again in the 1970s, and most recently in 2017. However, the refuge can’t be entered except in emergencies. There is also plenty of evidence of the whaling industry on the island. You can find the wrecks of several boats as well as many whale bones. There is a lively Gentoo penguin colony here, and you can often find Fur Seals basking in the sun.
Day 9, PM
Antarctica Visitor Site- Orne Harbour
Orne Harbour
Orne Harbour is a mile-wide cove on the west coast of Graham Land, just southwest of Cape Anna. It was first discovered by a Belgian Antarctic survey of the Danco coast in 1898 and was then in regular use by whaling vessels in the early 1900s. The site is popular for two reasons. Firstly, it’s a beautiful location that provides stunning Antarctic views. The exposed rocky shoreline contrasts with the permanent snow patches dotted on the higher ground above it. To the south, there is deep permanent snow and ice. Glaciers ring the harbor and steep peaks rise above. It’s glorious! The other reason to visit Orne Harbour is to see the nesting colony of chinstrap penguins that have made their homes here. There’s a steep but safe hike up from the beach to the colony that sits on higher ground above the beach. As well as the penguins, you will be rewarded with remarkable views of the bay, and the glacier that regularly calves into the waters here.
Day 9, PM
Antarctica Visitor Site- Orne Islands
Orne Islands
The Orne Islands are a cluster of small, low-lying rocky islands at the entrance to the Errera Channel. The lie just of the northern coast of Ronge Island off Graham Land. The largest Orne island has moderate slopes leading to a rocky central ridge that has permanent snowbanks. There are also three other small islets that make up the group. Your landing will be via a low rock platform on the north-west side of the main island. Once ashore, you can roam freely around the island under the supervision of your expert guides. The Orne Islands are home to Skuas, which nest in the rocky outcrops here, as well as other Antarctic seabirds and penguins. In winter, impressive snow cliffs can form near the landing site. To avoid disturbing the wildlife, numbers on the island are restricted, and during nesting seasons your guides may limit the areas in which you can roam to protect nests.
Day 10, AM
Antarctica Visitor Site- Georges Point, Rongé Island
Georges Point, Rongé Island
Rongé Island is high and rocky. Some 5 miles long, it’s the largest of the islands that form the west side of the Errera Channel, off Graham Land. Georges Point was first mapped in 1897 by the Belgian Antarctic Expedition and named after one of its members. You land on a rocky beach with a penguin colony at one end that your expert Antarctic guides will guide you around. They will also take you on a carefully marked trail up to the higher ground behind the beach giving you a great view down over the concentrations of penguins along the shore. There are also often Antarctic Fur Seals to be found at Georges Point on Rongé Island as well as plenty of sea birds. The rocky cliffs and height of the island make for some magnificent backdrops and great opportunities to capture the essence of the Antarctic in your photographs.
Day 10, AM
Cuverville Island
Cuverville Island
This small, steep-sided island is only 1.5 by 1.25 miles and two-thirds of it sits under a permanent ice-cap. On its northern shore is a pebble and boulder beach backed by steep cliffs where you will arrive by zodiac from your Antarctic cruise vessel and come ashore. At both ends of this beach are impressive Gentoo penguin colonies. You will be able to clearly see the trails they use to make their way too and from the water. There are other colonies and nesting sites on the higher ground behind the beach, and throughout the island. You can also see the evidence of the whaling activity that went on here in the early 1900s, including discarded whalebones and the remains of the equipment used to hall them ashore for processing. This small island is carefully protected - only one ship at a time may land passengers here and there are other restrictions to ensure the wildlife is not unnecessarily disturbed. Some areas of the island are closed to visitors, but the rest allows you to roam freely, and your expert guides will show you the resident flora and fauna, as well as explaining the island’s whaling history.
Day 10, PM
Antarctica Visitor Site- Danco Island
Danco Island, Errera Channel
Danco is a small island in the southern part of the Errera Channel, a body of water that runs between Rongé Island and the coast of Graham Land. Only 1 mile long, Danco’s wide, flat beach rises to a permanently ice-covered hill which gives stunning views over the channel. Visitors often report being able to see Humpback and Minke whales from here as they travel between the islands The backdrop of crevassed glaciers in the surrounding mountains is stunning. The island hosts around 1500 breeding pairs of gentoo penguins. They like to nest away from the beach up the slopes, and so you can always see them making their journeys to and from the sea. Seals are also frequent visitors to the island, as are a variety of Antarctic bird species including skuas, terns, and kelp gulls. Danco was also the site of Base “O”, built by the British Antarctic Survey in 1954 as a base for geological research and exploration. The base was abandoned in 1959 when the expedition ended, and the huts were removed in 2004. On the beach, you can find a plaque with an inscription giving the story of the base.
Day 10, PM
Antarctica Visitor Site- Neko Harbor
Neko Harbour
Neko Harbour is an inlet on Andvord Bay off the coast of Graham Land in the Antarctic Peninsula. It was discovered by a Belgian expedition in the early 1900s. This sheltered inlet was named after The Neko, a Scottish whaling vessel that worked these waters between 1910 and 1925. Neko Harbor has a beach and a rocky outcrop that is surrounded by glaciers and towering cliffs. This is a popular site as the glaciers that surround this bay regularly carve during the season, leading to some stunning photo and video opportunities if you are lucky! There used to be a refuge hut here that was built by Argentina in 1949, and was in irregular use all the way until 2009 when it was destroyed in a severe storm. It has since been cleared from the site, with just a few remains now to be seen. The gentoo penguins that live here and used to surround the refuge hut don’t seem to mind that it has gone! Their noisy cries will great you as you land on the beach. You can often also see Weddell seals here in the sea or hauled out on the beach at Neko Harbour. There are also skuas and kelp gulls seen regularly here.
Day 11, AM
Antarctica Visitor Site- Jougla Point
Jougla Point
Found at the western end of Wiencke Island in Port Lockroy, Jougla Point is a very rocky peninsula with many small coves. It was first mapped in 1903 by a French Antarctic expedition and forms the entrance to Alice Creek. The approach to the point is nothing short of dramatic! You will have stunning views of glaciers, snow cornices, and steep, crevassed snowfields as you enter the harbor. Your landing here will be against rocks on the northeastern end of the point. Like many bays and coves in the area, Jougla Point has artifacts and remains from the whaling industry. You will see whale bones at the sites where the carcasses were dragged ashore for processing. Your expert Antarctic guides will take you along Jougla Point to observe the Gentoo penguin colony as well as the blue-eyed shag nesting areas. Other wildlife you can observe are kelp gulls and skuas, with seals also a frequent sight. You will be able to roam freely around the beach area to observe and photograph, with your guides on hand to answer any questions you may have and to ensure visitors keep away from any closed breeding areas.
Day 11, AM
Antarctica Visitor Site- Damoy Point
Damoy Point
Damoy Point is a rocky headland on the west coast of Wiencke Island, near the northern entrance to the natural harbor at Port Lockroy. It was discovered and mapped by the French Antarctic expedition of 1903 led by Charcot. The point is rather unassuming and at first glance doesn’t warrant a visit. However, it has a couple of hidden gems - two very well preserved expedition huts. The first, known as Damoy Hut, was built in 1973 and was used by the British Antarctic Survey as a summer air facility and a personnel transfer station, but hasn’t been used since 1993. The interior is in excellent condition and almost looks as if it could be put back into use straight away. There are even tin cups hanging on the kitchen wall as if ready to give travel-weary scientists a restoring cup of tea! Just outside Damoy Hut is a refuge built by Argentina in the 1950s. This is not open to visitors and is still in use as an emergency refuge should the need ever arise. Apart from these historic buildings, visitors will see a small colony of Gentoo penguins who breed here, as well as plenty of seals and sea birds.
Day 11, PM
Goudier Island
Goudier Island
Goudier Island is a small, low-lying island of bare, polished rock just 100 yards from Jougla Point in Port Lockroy Harbour. It’s part of the larger Wiencke Island. Often surrounded by sea ice, any snow cover on the island usually melts away by the end of the summer. Goudier is home to “Base A” - established by the British in wartime in 1944 - which was used as a scientific research station until the early 1960s. After falling into disrepair, the station was restored in the 1990s and is now looked after by a Heritage Trust. The base is permanently occupied, and its inhabitants still conduct important survey work on the penguin colony for the British Antarctic Survey. You will usually be briefed by the Base Leader before you land ashore, and only 35 visitors are allowed inside the Base at any time. This is to ensure the artifacts and the fabric of the base are preserved. This “time capsule” gives a fascinating insight into the work and lives of early Antarctic research pioneers and how they lived on Goudier Island. Access to the rest of the island is usually restricted to marked paths, both to protect wildlife and because the surface is uneven and slippery. However, you will be able to observe the resident penguin colony, and can also spot other birds and seals on the shores and in the sea.
Day 12, AM
Antarctica Visitor Site- Port Charcot, Booth Island
Port Charcot, Booth Island
Port Charcot is a small bay at the north end of Booth Island. Booth Island is a rocky and rugged Y-shaped island off the Kiev Peninsula in Graham Land. It was first mapped in 1904 when the French Antarctic expedition led by Jean-Baptise Charcot over-wintered here. After building a few rudimentary shelters and the cairn that can still be seen at the top of the hill, the expedition used Port Charcot as its base for exploring the area. There is a wooden pillar with a plaque here where you can still make out the names of the first expedition members who wrote them almost 120 years ago. The walk to the cairn is delightful, although you’ll be carefully led by guides as wandering off the path can be treacherous, with loose rocks and crevasses. Visitors can also walk to the east where there is a noisy Gentoo penguin colony. Chinstraps and Adelies can also often be seen on the beaches here.
Day 12, AM
Antarctica Visitor Site- Pleneau Island
Pleneau Island
Pleneau Island is one of the less-visited Antarctic visitor sites but is well worth it. First mapped in 1903 by the French Charcot expedition, it’s a beautiful location that overlooks what’s known as an “iceberg graveyard”. Whether viewed from the island itself or from a Zodiac, there are always stunning ‘bergs to photograph here. The island itself is less than a mile long and lies just off Hovgaard Island in the Wilhelm Archipelago. Pleneau is home to terns, and your expert Antarctic guides will make sure that you avoid disturbing them in the breeding season. The permanent ice cap at the top of the island looks stunning, but it’s riddled with crevasses and not safe to walk on. The northern end of the island hosts a breeding colony of blue-eyed shags, and you will almost certainly see penguins and seals among the stunning icebergs.
Day 12, PM
Antarctica Visitor Site- Petermann Island
Petermann Island
Petermann Island marks the extremes for two Antarctic species - not bad for a small rock less than a mile long! This rocky outcrop that rises 500ft above the sea has a permanent covering of ice. The island is just south of Booth Island in the Lemaire Channel. Petermann Island is volcanic in origin, and it has a permanent icecap covering more than half of its surface. It’s home to the northernmost colony of Adelie penguins, but also the southernmost colony of Gentoo penguins. First mapped by a French expedition in 1909, Petermann Island is also home to breeding colonies of skuas and Wilson’s storm petrels. There’s also a good chance to observe Weddell, crabeater, and fur seals. Visitors can hike up to the highest point of the island, where a cross and cairn remembers three members of the British Antarctic Survey who died in 1982 attempting to cross the sea ice from Petermann Island to Vernadsky station. There is also a refuge hut built by an Argentian expedition in 1955 - its red metal walls make a fantastic contrast against the snow and ice.
Day 12, PM
Antarctica Visitor Site- Wordie House
Wordie House, Winter Island
Nestled onto the only flat part of Winter Island, Wordie House is a hut built in 1947. It was named by a British Antarctic expedition of the time after James Wordie, who was the chief scientist on Shackleton’s famous 1914 Antarctic exploration. Winter Island is less than 1,000 yards long and is one of the Argentine Islands off the coast of Graham Land. Before it closed in 1954, the hut was used to take meteorological readings using instruments stored inside special screens, one of which still stands today. These readings were among the most important and longest set of weather data ever recorded about the Antarctic and helped scientists gain a greater understanding of the meteorology of the continent. Wordie House was made a “Historic Site and Monument” in 1995 and has been looked after by the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust since 2009. There are almost 500 original artifacts still on the site, including original cans of coffee, records, pots and pans, plates, and many more £everyday” items. This makes Wordie House a true time capsule from the golden age of Antarctic exploration and scientific research. The hut is now fully weathertight, and work continues on preserving this unique station. Visits to Winter Island and Wordie House are managed by the nearby Ukrainian station Vernadsky, and you may well be briefed by the Base Commander or other official before you board your boats for the landing. Uniquely for such a historic site, visitors are allowed to roam freely under the supervision of their expert Antarctic guides. They will answer all your questions about the history of the hut, as well as the artifacts that you can find here. Visitors to Winter Island can also expect to see seabirds such as skuas and kelp gulls, as well as seals and penguins.
Day 13, AM
South Shetland Islands
Sail to the South Shetland Islands & Lectures
As you sail towards the South Shetland Islands your expert guides will entertain and educate you with a series of lectures and talks. From natural history to human history, geology to marine biology, there's something for everyone. All of the crew are experts in the field chosen not only for their huge depth of knowledge but also for their passion and enthusiasm. They really make this most remote of the world's regions come alive.
Day 13, AM
Antarctica Visitor Site- Hannah Point
Hannah Point
Hannah Point is a dramatic peninsula on the south coast of Livingston Island in the South Shetlands. Its ridge forms the sides of two bays - Walker Bay and South Bay. The rocks climb steadily upwards to sheer cliffs and knife-edged ridges more than 160ft above the sea level. There are frequent rock falls, and your guides will point out the vein of jasper - a red mineral - that cuts through the cliffs here. The area was used for hunting by 19th-century sealers, and the British Antarctic Survey has a base camp here known as Station P for the winter of 1957. The Hannah Point area is rich with antarctic wildlife. Elephant seals haul out and travel to a clifftop wallow pool where they can oversee their domain. Antarctic fur seals are also frequent visitors. Gentoo and macaroni penguins love to nest here but are seen all year round. Kelp gulls are almost always wheeling overhead. Other bird species you will encounter are snowy sheathbills, blue-eyed shags, giant petrels, and skuas. There is sometimes such an abundance of wildlife here that you may have to wait for a suitable gap to open on the beach before you can land!
Day 13, PM
Antarctica Visitor Site- Barrientos Island
Barrientos Island (Aitcho Islands)
Barrientos Island is one of the Aitcho group of islands, a sub-set of the South Shetlands chain. It’s an ice-free island that was used as far back as the early 19th century by sealers and whalers, despite only a mile long, and less than a third of a mile wide. It was given its name in 1949 by a Chilean Antarctic expedition. The northern coast of Barrientos is formed by steep cliffs about 230ft above the sea level. The east and west coasts are made up of black sand and pebble beaches. To the west, you can see impressive columns of basalt rock left over from the tectonic forces involved in the island’s formation. Barrientos is very popular with penguins - and because it is so small sometimes it can feel pretty crowded! Gentoo and chinstrap penguins breed here, and in peak season one colony can end up right next door to the other, making for a seamless vista of penguin nests! Other species that are commonly seen include fur seals, as well as nesting colonies of southern giant petrels. Your expert Antarctic guides will ensure you get close enough for some amazing photos while staying far enough away that you don’t disturb the breeding creatures.
Day 13, PM
Northeast Beach map
Northeast beach of Ardley Island
Ardley Island is a small, rocky island about a mile long. It’s in Maxwell Bay, just off the coast of King George Island. It was first charted in 1935 by a British expedition but was mistaken for a headland. It was not until aerial surveys many years later that it was reclassified as an island. Ardley Island is an active summer research station, and you will often see scientists and researchers at work here. The huts that you can see from the beach are part of the research station and not able to be visited. The landing on the beach is just below the lighthouse, a distinctive feature that you will have spotted from out to sea. This gently sloping cobble beach is the only place that visitors can arrive on Ardley. Visitor numbers are restricted due to the importance of the island as a breeding site for antarctic bird species. During your excursion on the island, you will see a large gentoo penguin colony, as well as lesser numbers of Adelie and chinstrap penguins. You can also see southern giant petrels, Wilson's petrels, black-bellied storm petrels, Cape petrels, skuas, and Antarctic terns. The northeast beach of Ardley Island is a “must-visit” site for bird watchers!
Day 14, AM
Drake Passage
Crossing the Drake Passage
An 800 km body of water that connects Cape Horn in Chile to the South Shetland Islands of Antarctica, the shortest crossing from Antarctica to any other land mass. The crossing takes about 48 hours. At some point on the first day, cross the Antarctic Convergence, a meeting of cold polar water flowing north and warmer sub-antarctic water moving in the opposite direction. It is the largest biological barrier on earth and is marked by a change in temperature, salinity and nutrient levels. The north flowing Antarctic waters predominantly sink beneath southward moving sub-antarctic waters. While further south associated areas of mixing and upwelling create an ocean very high in marine productivity. During the long voyage across the Drake Passage, Attend lectures hosted throughout the day on everything from local wildlife to geology to history. The exceptional crew aboard your Antarctic cruise consists of professional and highly skilled historians, marine biologists, and naturalists who offer keen insight and a unique personal perspective to each and every adventure. There is always someone on hand to answer questions and provide greater insight and appreciation of the world at its extremes.
Day 15, AM
Drake Passage
Crossing the Drake Passage
An 800 km body of water that connects Cape Horn in Chile to the South Shetland Islands of Antarctica, the shortest crossing from Antarctica to any other land mass. The crossing takes about 48 hours. At some point on the first day, cross the Antarctic Convergence, a meeting of cold polar water flowing north and warmer sub-antarctic water moving in the opposite direction. It is the largest biological barrier on earth and is marked by a change in temperature, salinity and nutrient levels. The north flowing Antarctic waters predominantly sink beneath southward moving sub-antarctic waters. While further south associated areas of mixing and upwelling create an ocean very high in marine productivity. During the long voyage across the Drake Passage, Attend lectures hosted throughout the day on everything from local wildlife to geology to history. The exceptional crew aboard your Antarctic cruise consists of professional and highly skilled historians, marine biologists, and naturalists who offer keen insight and a unique personal perspective to each and every adventure. There is always someone on hand to answer questions and provide greater insight and appreciation of the world at its extremes.
Day 16, AM
Arrival to Ushuaia
Arrival at Ushuaia
Welcome to Ushuaia. It's official, you have arrived at the world's most southerly city with the evocative motto "End of the World, Beginning of Everything". Over 50,000 people call Ushuaia home. Its unusual name derives from the language of the Yaghan people, indigenous to the Tierra del Fuego region, and translates as "deep bay". The city was formally founded in 1884 after a small settlement and a prison had been built there in the years before, but by 1893 the population was still less than 150 thanks to a series of epidemics and the remote location. The prison population began to grow as it was used to house dangerous and repeat offenders. In effect, for the first 50 years of the city's existence, the prisoners became forced colonists, helping to build up the town and to secure the Argentine claims to the Tierra del Fuego region. Today, Ushuaia is a busy port and a hub for adventure travel to the Antarctic and South Atlantic. Lying below the lovely snow-capped Martial Mountains, the city has grown in a rather jumbled way, expanding from its sole main street and waterfront thanks to an increase in tourism and travel. If you want to relax before your Antarctic adventure, then a stroll along the waterfront - pausing for a selfie in front of the "end of the world" sign, of course! - is a pleasant way to spend your time. If you're feeling more energetic there are many options for hiking, biking, and boat rides into Beagle Channel. You can even take spectacular helicopter tours! In town, there are plenty of restaurants, shops, and a recent boom in craft beers means there are several places now vying for the title of the world's most southerly brewery!
Day 16, AM
Disembark & goodbyes
Disembark in Ushuaia
After a remarkable adventure, it's time to leave your expedition ship and bid a fond farewell to your amazing crew and to the new friends you will have made.

Dates & Prices

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Your ship: Silver Cloud

Welcome aboard the Silver Cloud, the luxurious expedition ship equipped for adventure and comfort. Spacious, yet intimate, the Silver Cloud accommodates no more than 240 guests. Refurbished in 2017, the cruise ship’s capacity was greatly reduced. Fewer passengers enables faster disembarking thus spending more time on expeditions. With her 1-1 guest to staff ratio, this ship epitomizes exceptional service and enjoyment. The yacht-like Silver Cloud is particularly built for the Arctic and Antarctic. Its smaller size can navigate through more narrow rivers and harbors, while its C Class ice-strengthened hull can safely cruise through floating ice. A cruise aboard the Silver Cloud is one of luxury and excitement. All suites on the Silver Cloud are elegantly designed and equipped with a butler at your service. About 80% of the suites include a veranda, where you can get up close and personal to extraordinary wildlife right from your bedroom. Some suites also offer 100% ocean views. Can you imagine drinking your morning coffee watching whales breach at your panoramic window? The ship also offers 26 family-friendly suites with a 3-guest capacity. All suites also feature a bar stocked with your favorites, a choice of pillows, complimentary Wi-Fi, a flat-screen TV with an interactive Media Library, and much more. The Silver Cloud expedition cruises offer a friendly and intimate atmosphere, where guests can feel at home as they embark on a once in a lifetime adventure. In addition to luxurious suites, guests can enjoy plenty of outdoor viewing space on the 700m2 deck and an elegant heated swimming pool for movement or relaxation. In the evening, the outdoor space becomes an open-air dining venue offering classic steakhouse, seafood, vegetarian, and healthy options. Guests will be able to enjoy the Zàgara Beauty Spa which was first introduced on Silversea’s flagship, Silver Muse. Zàgara combines its beautiful Italian heritage with a nurturing mind and body philosophy, meeting your well-being needs with pride. The excursions included in your price are led by knowledgeable staff, including marine biologists, geologists, anthropologists, and more. Learn from your 20 Expedition Experts in non-polar regions and 22 in polar regions. The experience is enhanced through the onboard lecture program. Take advantage of the lecture hall where you can hear a wide range of talks, watch photo presentations, and participate in the daily recap. Unique to Silver Cloud, guests will also benefit from a newly installed Photo Studio where guests can edit content right on board. Guests can take advantage of this creative space and learn to master the art of digital photography. The Photo Studio offers masterclasses, a dedicated photo manager at your service, and an editing suite where guests can turn their incredible photographs into prints. The state-of-the-art equipment accommodates both MAC and PC users. The Silver Cloud is also equipped with 18 zodiacs offering a closer look at the surroundings and making on-shore explorations possible. 10 complimentary kayaks are also available for those seeking a little extra adventure.

Amenities

Cocktail Symbol
Bar
Spa Icon
Spa
Fitness Center Icon
Fitness Center
Library Icon
Library
Gift Shop Icon
Gift Shop
Zodia Symbol
Zodiac Fleet
Observation Lounge Icon
Observation Lounge
Connoisseur's Corner Icon
Connoisseur's Corner
photo studio icon
Photo Studio

Sustainability

All CO2 emissions of your trip (e.g. local transport, hotel) will be 100% compensated for you by a Gold Standard climate protection project.

Food & Drinks

The Silver Cloud is renowned for its all-inclusive gourmet cuisine. Guests have plenty of opportunities to dine at each one of the ship’s 4 restaurants: The Dining Room, The Relais & Châteaux, La Terrazza, and The Grill. The Grill also offers gourmet dining under the stars. Its signature dishes include lava-rocks grilled meat, seafood, Mediterranean vegetables, and more. The “Black Rock Grill Experience” is a fun hands-on dining concept allowing guests to cook their own meat and seafood. In-suite dining is also available. Guests are offered a generous selection of all-inclusive beverages, wines, and spirit throughout their time aboard.

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