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ANTARCTICA TRAVEL GUIDE


AN EXPLORER’S HEART Since the launch of Silversea Expeditions, I have probed some of the most remote corners of the planet. But no destination has been more memorable and, in truth, more inspirational than the wildlife, the stunning landscape ‌ the untamed beauty of Antarctica. I hope you too can experience the wonder of this magical continent. Happy Travels,

CONRAD COMBRINK SVP Strategic Development Expeditions and Experiences


CONTENTS INTRODUCTION Journey of the Spirit

4

Regional Highlights

5

2020 Antarctica Voyages 6 2021/2022 Antarctica Voyages 8 Antarctica Bridge

10

DESTINATIONS Antarctic Peninsula

12

Antarctic Sound

12

Drake Passage

12

South Georgia

13

South Shetland Islands

13

Ushuaia 13 Falkland Islands

13

5 Reasons to Visit Antarctica in the (Austral) Summer

14

ON BOARD & ASHORE Discover Silversea

16

Wildlife 17 Royal Geographical Society

18

Expedition Team

20

The Expedition Experience

21

Packing Essentials

22

3


Zodiac® tour, Antarctica

JOURNEY OF THE SPIRIT Awaken your soul to the wonder of Antarctica In the age of Wi-Fi, smartphones and geotagging, Antarctica still remains the Terra Incognita. The fragile wilderness contained in the White Continent still looms in all its purity. That’s why an expedition to the world’s last unexplored frontier can be thrilling, lifechanging and humbling all at the same time. Revel in the beauty and overwhelming power of nature. Admire the abundant wildlife. Meet the personal challenge of reaching Earth’s last great wilderness frontier. You’ll cruise across seas of glass, passing giant prisms of ice riding an ink-blue sea. And you’ll share the landscape with bellowing elephant seals and raucous rookeries of penguins, unafraid and unperturbed by your presence. Add the polished luxury of Silversea and you can add the Realm of Ice to your list of adventures without sacrificing a sliver of comfort.

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Buenos Aires

PACIFIC OCEAN

SOUTH ATLANTIC OCEAN

Puerto Madryn Saunders Island Stanley

West Point Island

Bleaker Island

New Island

Sea Lion Island

Ushuaia

South Georgia

DRAKE PASSAGE Elephant Island South Shetland Islands

Antarctic Sound

ANTARCTIC PENINSULA

REGIONAL HIGHLIGHTS Few experiences can compare to a visit to Antarctica. You’ll pass diamond-blue icebergs the size of city blocks. You will make Zodiac® landings on remote beaches where few have ever set foot, enjoying personal, up-close encounters with the many marvels. You will be amazed at nature in its most pristine, unadulterated form. Our expeditions operate during the austral summer months, when the continent is at its most spectacular. The pack ice begins to melt from late November to early December, signalling the mating season for penguins and other birds. Antarctica’s warmest days span from mid-December to mid-January; the perfect time to witness penguins hovering over their downy chicks, while playful seal pups are also visible. Whale sightings become increasingly numerous as the receding ice opens new channels for explorations. The late summer, from end of January to end of February, is the time when dolphins and whale sightings are at a peak. Penguin chicks begin to fledge and snow algae is blooming.

The average thickness of the Antarctic ice sheet is 2.16km; the maximum known thickness of the ice sheet is 4776m (Terre Adélie).

ICE SHEETS

7.7%

OF ANTARCTICA’S SURFACE

ICE THICKNESS

2.16 Km

About 98% thick continental ice sheet and 2% barren rock. The ice surface dramatically grows in size from about 3 million square kilometres

In 1773 James Cook and his crew crossed the Antarctic Circle for the first time.

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FIRST EXPLORED

1773


Touring the Antarctic Peninsula

2020 ANTARCTICA VOYAGES Silver Cloud  DATE

254 GUESTS

DAYS

PORTS

4 JAN

15

USHUAIA > 3 Days at sea > South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (3 days) > Transit the Drake Passage (2 days) > Elephant Island > Antarctic Sound > Antarctic Peninsula > South Shetland Islands > Transit the Drake Passage (2 days) > USHUAIA

19 JAN

10

USHUAIA > Transit the Drake Passage (2 days) > Antarctic Sound > Antarctic Peninsula (3 days) > South Shetland Islands > Transit the Drake Passage (2 days) > USHUAIA

29 JAN

10

USHUAIA > Transit the Drake Passage (2 days) > Antarctic Sound > Antarctic Peninsula (3 days) > South Shetland Islands > Transit the Drake Passage (2 days) > USHUAIA

8 FEB

10

USHUAIA > Transit the Drake Passage (2 days) > Antarctic Sound > Antarctic Peninsula (3 days) > South Shetland Islands > Transit the Drake Passage (2 days) > USHUAIA

18 FEB

10

USHUAIA > Transit the Drake Passage (2 days) > Antarctic Sound > Antarctic Peninsula (3 days) > South Shetland Islands > Transit the Drake Passage (2 days) > USHUAIA

16 NOV

15

USHUAIA > Day at sea > New Island > West Point Island > Stanley > Bleaker Island > Sea Lion Island > Transit the Drake Passage > Elephant Island > Antarctic Sound > Antarctic Peninsula (4 days) > South Shetland Islands > Transit the Drake Passage (2 days) > USHUAIA

1 DEC

10

USHUAIA > Transit the Drake Passage (2 days) > Antarctic Sound > Antarctic Peninsula (3 days) > South Shetland Islands > Transit the Drake Passage (2 days) > USHUAIA

11 DEC

10

USHUAIA > Transit the Drake Passage (2 days) > Antarctic Sound > Antarctic Peninsula (3 days) > South Shetland Islands > Transit the Drake Passage (2 days)> USHUAIA

21 DEC

15

USHUAIA >Day at sea > New Island > West Point Island > Stanley > Bleaker Island > Sea Lion Island > Drake Passage > Elephant Island > Antarctic Sound > Antarctic Peninsula (4 days) > South Shetland Islands> Transit the Drake Passage (2 days) > USHUAIA

2020

2020

Venetian Society members enjoy an additional saving.

6


2020 ANTARCTICA VOYAGES Silver Explorer  DATE

DAYS

144 GUESTS

PORTS

2020

4 JAN

12 USHUAIA > Transit the Drake Passage (2 days) > Antarctic Sound > Antarctic Peninsula (5 days) > South Shetland Islands > Transit the Drake Passage (2 days)> USHUAIA

16 JAN

18

USHUAIA > Day at sea > New Island > West Point Island > Stanley > 2 Days at sea > South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (3 Days) > 2 Days at sea > Elephant Island > Antarctic Sound > Antarctic Peninsula (2 days) > South Shetland Islands > Transit the Drake Passage (2 days) > USHUAIA

3 FEB

18

USHUAIA > Day at sea > West Point Island > Saunders Island > Stanley > 2 Days at sea > South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (3 Days) > 2 Days at sea > Elephant Island > Antarctic Sound > Antarctic Peninsula (2 days) > South Shetland Islands > Transit the Drake Passage (2 days) > USHUAIA

21 FEB

12 USHUAIA > Transit the Drake Passage (2 days) > Antarctic Sound > Antarctic Peninsula (5 days) > South Shetland Islands > Drake Passage (2 Days) > USHUAIA

2020

Silver Wind  DATE

DAYS

274 GUESTS

PORTS

2020

21 NOV

14

USHUAIA > Day at Sea > New Island > West Point Island > Stanley > Transit the Drake Passage (2 days)> Antarctic Sound > Antarctic Peninsula (4 days) > South Shetland Islands > Transit the Drake Passage (2 days) > USHUAIA

5 DEC

14

USHUAIA > Day at Sea > New Island > West Point Island > Stanley > Transit the Drake Passage (2 days)> Antarctic Sound >Antarctic Peninsula (4 days) > South Shetland Islands > Transit the Drake Passage (2 days) > USHUAIA

19 DEC

18

USHUAIA > Day at Sea > West Point Island > Saunders Island > Stanley > 2 Days at Sea > South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (3 days) > 2 Days at Sea > Elephant Island > Antarctic Sound > Antarctic Peninsula (2 days) > South Shetland Islands > Transit the Drake Passage (2 days) > USHUAIA

3 7

Discovering Antarctic landscapes


2021/2022 ANTARCTICA VOYAGES Silver Cloud  DATE

254 GUESTS

DAYS

PORTS

05 JAN

15

USHUAIA > 3 Days At Sea > South Georgia (3 days) > Drake Passage (2 days) > Elephant Island > Antarctic Sound > Antarctic Peninsula > South Shetland Islands > Drake Passage (2 days) > USHUAIA

20 JAN

10

USHUAIA > Drake Passage (2 days) > Antarctic Sound > Antarctic Peninsula (3 days) > South Shetland Islands > Drake Passage (2 days) > USHUAIA

14 NOV

16

PUNTA ARENAS > 3 Days At Sea > South Georgia (3 days) > Drake Passage (2 days) > Elephant Island > Antarctic Peninsula (3 days) > South Shetland Islands > Drake Passage (2 days) > USHUAIA

30 NOV

11

USHUAIA > Drake Passage (3 days) > Eclipse Position / Day At Sea > Elephant Island > Antarctic Peninsula (2 days) > South Shetland Islands > Drake Passage (2 days) > USHUAIA

11 DEC

10

USHUAIA > Drake Passage (2 days) > South Shetland Islands > Antarctic Peninsula (3 days) > South Shetland Islands > Drake Passage (2 days) > USHUAIA

21 DEC

15

USHUAIA > Day At Sea > West Point Island > Saunders Island > Port Stanley > Day At Sea > Elephant Island > Antarctic Sound > Antarctic Peninsula (5 days) > South Shetland Islands > Drake Passage (2 Days) > USHUAIA

05 JAN

10

USHUAIA > Drake Passage (2 days) > South Shetland Islands > Antarctic Peninsula (3 days) > South Shetland Islands > Drake Passage (2 days) > USHUAIA

15 JAN

10

USHUAIA > Drake Passage (2 days) > South Shetland Islands > Antarctic Peninsula (3 days) > South Shetland Islands > Drake Passage (2 days) > USHUAIA

25 JAN

10

USHUAIA > Drake Passage (2 days) > South Shetland Islands > Antarctic Peninsula (3 days) > South Shetland Islands > Drake Passage (2 days) > USHUAIA

04 FEB

10

USHUAIA > Drake Passage (2 days) > South Shetland Islands > Antarctic Peninsula (3 days) > South Shetland Islands > Drake Passage (2 days) > USHUAIA

14 FEB

10

USHUAIA > Drake Passage (2 days) > South Shetland Islands > Antarctic Peninsula (3 days) > South Shetland Islands > Drake Passage (2 days) > USHUAIA

2021

2022

Venetian Society members enjoy an additional saving.

8


Silver Explorer  DATE

144 GUESTS

DAYS

PORTS

10 NOV

16

USHUAIA > 3 Days At Sea > South Georgia (4 days) > Drake Passage (2 days) > Antarctic Sound > Antarctic Peninsula (2 days) > South Shetland Islands > Drake Passage (2 days) > USHUAIA

26 NOV

13

USHUAIA > Drake Passage (2 days)> South Shetland Islands > Antarctic Peninsula (2 days) > Antarctic Sound > Drake Passage > Eclipse Position / Day At Sea > Drake Passage > Port Stanley > West Point Island > New Island > USHUAIA

06 JAN

10

USHUAIA > Drake Passage (2 days) > Antarctic Sound > Antarctic Peninsula (3 days) > South Shetland Islands > Drake Passage > USHUAIA

13 FEB

12

USHUAIA > Drake Passage (2 days) > Antarctic Sound > Antarctic Peninsula (2 days) > South Of The Polar Circle (2 days) > Antarctic Peninsula > South Shetland Islands > Drake Passage > USHUAIA

2021

2022

Silver Wind  DATE

DAYS

274 GUESTS

PORTS

2021

06 JAN

18

USHUAIA > Day At Sea > West Point Island > Saunders Island > Port Stanley > 2 Days At Sea > South Georgia (3 days) > 2 Days At Sea > Elephant Island > Antarctic Sound > Antarctic Peninsula (2 days) > South Shetland Islands > Drake Passage (2 days) > USHUAIA

24 JAN

12

USHUAIA > Drake Passage (2 days) > Antarctic Sound > Antarctic Peninsula (5 days) > South Shetland Islands > Drake Passage (2 days) > USHUAIA

05 FEB

10

USHUAIA > Drake Passage (2 days) > Antarctic Sound > Antarctic Peninsula (3 days) > South Shetland Islands > Drake Passage (2 days) > USHUAIA

15 FEB

12

USHUAIA > Drake Passage (2 days) > Antarctic Sound > Antarctic Peninsula (5 days) > South Shetland Islands > Drake Passage (2 days) > USHUAIA

27 FEB

10

USHUAIA > Drake Passage (2 days) > Antarctic Sound > Antarctic Peninsula (3 days) > South Shetland Islands > Drake Passage (2 days) > USHUAIA

20 NOV

22

BUENOS AIRES > 2 Days At Sea > Puerto Madryn > Puerto Deseado > Day At Sea > New Island > West Point Island > Port Stanley > 2 Days At Sea > South Georgia (3 days) > Day At Sea > Eclipse Position / Day At Sea > Elephant Island > Antarctic Peninsula (3 days) > South Shetland Islands > Drake Passage (2 days) > USHUAIA

12 DEC

10

USHUAIA > Drake Passage (2 days) > Antarctic Sound > Antarctic Peninsula (3 days) > South Shetland Islands > Drake Passage (2 days) > USHUAIA

22 DEC

18

USHUAIA > Day At Sea > New Island > West Point Island > Port Stanley > 2 Days At Sea > South Georgia (3 days) > 2 Days At Sea > Elephant Island > Antarctic Sound > Antarctic Peninsula (2 days) > South Shetland Islands > Drake Passage (2 days) > USHUAIA

09 JAN

10

USHUAIA > Drake Passage (2 days) > South Shetland Islands > Antarctic Peninsula (3 days) > South Shetland Islands > Drake Passage (2 days) > USHUAIA

19 JAN

10

USHUAIA > Drake Passage (2 days) > South Shetland Islands > Antarctic Peninsula (3 days) > South Shetland Islands > Drake Passage (2 days) > USHUAIA

29 JAN

10

USHUAIA > Drake Passage (2 days) > South Shetland Islands > Antarctic Peninsula (3 days) > South Shetland Islands > Drake Passage (2 days) > USHUAIA

08 FEB

12

USHUAIA > Drake Passage (2 days) > South Shetland Islands > Antarctic Peninsula (2 days) > South Of The Polar Circle (2 days) > Antarctic Peninsula > South Shetland Islands > Drake Passage (2 days) > USHUAIA

20 FEB

10

USHUAIA > Drake Passage (2 days) > South Shetland Islands > Antarctic Peninsula (3 days) > South Shetland Islands > Drake Passage (2 days) > USHUAIA

2022

Venetian Society members enjoy an additional saving.

Overnight in port

9


ANTARCTICA BRIDGE

Antarctic Ocean

Antarctica can be closer than you think. Skip Drake Passage to fly business class from Punta Arenas straight to Antarctica. Let Silver Explorer take you across the continent, immersed in the otherworldly beauty of the most extreme latitudes on the planet.

DAY 1 fly to PUNTA ARENAS

DAY 2 arrive in PUNTA ARENAS

DAY 3 Business Class flight to ANTARCTICA & ship embark

SKIP DRAKE PASSAGE FLY STRAIGHT TO ANTARCTICA DISCOVER MORE AT SILVERSEA.COM

DAY 3-9 expedition cruise on SILVER EXPLORER

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DAY 9 Ship disembark & Business Class flight to PUNTA ARENAS

DAY 10 fly back home


THE FAST TRACK TO THE LAST CONTINENT.

DATE

DAYS

PORTS

INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT

2021-2022 ANTARCTICA VOYAGES – ON SILVER EXPLORER 11 Dec 2021

6

KING GEORGE ISLAND ROUNDTRIP

17 Dec 2021

6

KING GEORGE ISLAND ROUNDTRIP

23 Dec 2021

6

KING GEORGE ISLAND ROUNDTRIP

29 Dec 2021

6

KING GEORGE ISLAND ROUNDTRIP

18 Jan 2022

6

KING GEORGE ISLAND ROUNDTRIP

24 Jan 2022

6

KING GEORGE ISLAND ROUNDTRIP

30 Jan 2022

6

KING GEORGE ISLAND ROUNDTRIP

05 Feb 2022

6

KING GEORGE ISLAND ROUNDTRIP

27 Feb 2022

6

KING GEORGE ISLAND ROUNDTRIP

05 Mar 2022

6

KING GEORGE ISLAND ROUNDTRIP

11 Mar 2022

6

KING GEORGE ISLAND ROUNDTRIP

17 Mar 2022

6

KING GEORGE ISLAND ROUNDTRIP

Punta Arenas

BUSINESS CLASS FLIGHT TO ANTARCTICA King George Island South Shetland Islands Antarctic Sound Antarctic Peninsula

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DESTINATIONS In Antarctica, the term “extremes” takes on new meaning. The White Continent holds the world’s largest reservoir of fresh water, yet it is a vast desert as dry as the Sahara. It’s a frozen wilderness locked in a Pleistocene time warp; yet in summer, Antarctic skies are alive with swooping seabirds, and its waters teem with Earth’s largest concentration of pelagic life. Moreover, the magical allure of the Falkland Islands and South Georgia add to the myriad reasons to visit this remote wonderland. 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. It is a region of protected bays, unscaled snow-capped mountains, vast glaciers and a few places where whalers or scientists have worked. Just as irresistible are the many Gentoo and Chinstrap Penguin colonies, the seals basking on ice floes, and the opportunity to witness whales and orcas.

Foyn Harbor

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. At Paulet, Hope Bay and Brown Bluff, Adélie and Gentoo Penguins breed, as do Kelp Gulls and Cape Petrels, Snow Petrels and Skuas. The Sound’s main attractions are the spectacular tabular icebergs that come from the Larsen Ice Shelf further south, a featured that has earned this stretch of water the moniker Iceberg Alley. Scenic cruising Antarctic Sound

DRAKE PASSAGE Named after 16th-century English privateer Sir Francis Drake, this 800-kilometer (500 mile) wide body of water separates the southern tip of South America from the South Shetland Islands of Antarctica. 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.

Black-browed Albatross

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SOUTH GEORGIA This spectacularly picturesque island is a breathtaking destination of towering snow-covered mountains, mighty glaciers, and low-lying grasslands that attract an astounding concentration of wildlife. It is possible to find Southern fur seals, Southern elephant seals and a variety of albatross species including Blackbrowed, Light-mantled Sooty, Grey-headed and the spectacular Wandering Albatross. 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. Shackleton’s grave and the whaling museum at Grytviken are highlights, as would be a visit to one of the King Penguin colonies at Salisbury Plain or Gold Harbour.

SOUTH SHETLAND ISLANDS The closest Antarctic islands to South America, the South Shetland Islands are usually the first islands to be visited and are home to 16 research stations. Chinstrap, Adélie, Gentoo and Macaroni Penguins all breed here. In addition, because it is the warmest part of Antarctica, large moss beds as well as orange, black, grey and green lichens grow – even hair grass and pearlwort manage to survive. Leopard seals, Weddell seals, crabeater seals, Southern elephant seals and Antarctic fur seals can be seen in the water and on the beaches.

King Penguin

USHUAIA Argentina’s — and indeed, the world’s — southernmost city is much more than a gateway to Antarctica. At roughly 55 degrees south, this 71,000-resident town at the heart of Tierra del Fuego is closer to the South Pole than to Argentina’s northern border with Bolivia. Nature is the principal attraction here, with trekking, fishing, horseback riding and wildlife spotting among the most rewarding activities, especially in Tierra del Fuego National Park. Ushuaia, Argentina

FALKLAND ISLANDS This windswept and sparsely-populated British overseas territory is made up of two main islands, East Falkland and West Falkland, as well as hundreds of smaller islands and islets. Also known by their Spanish name of Islas Malvinas, the islands are home to arguably more tuxedo-clad inhabitants of the penguin variety than human residents. Various species, such as Gentoo, Magellanic and the more elusive King Penguins, either live here permanently or use the Falklands as a stopover on their migration route. New Island, the westernmost of the inhabited islands, is a wildlife and nature reserve featuring rookeries where Rockhopper Penguins and Blueeyed Shags share the same nesting area. Peale’s dolphins and the distinctive black and white markings of the Commerson’s dolphin can usually be seen in the waters around West Point Island. Tiny Stanley, capital of the Falklands, seems in many ways like a British village fallen out of the sky. Many homes are painted in bright colours, adding visual appeal to this distant outpost. Falkland Islands

13


BLOG

THE ICE CALLS 5 Reasons to Visit Antarctica in the (Austral) Summer Author: Karine Bengualid

Sunset view near Ronge Island, Antarctica/Denis Elterman

1. ANIMALS ARE THE STAR ATTRACTIONS OF

“Once you lay eyes on those first snow-drenched views of the White Wilderness, you’ll soon forget all about the weather. The Antarctic ice has you in her warm embrace.

ANTARCTIC EXPEDITIONS

Ask any of our expedition leaders what to do in Antarctica, and their first answer will likely involve an encounter with some of the most exotic animals on Earth. Without a doubt, the opportunity to observe the continent’s spectacular wildlife in its natural habitat is the biggest reason why travellers make the journey to this distant land. For most, the seventh continent conjures images of penguins, adorned in fuzzy black-and-white plumage, waddling across the slippery ice. Antarctica’s brush-tailed penguins can be quite comfortable in the presence of human visitors and often approach inquisitively. Whether diving off icebergs, swimming among kayaking adventurers or assembling nests of rocks for future chicks, penguins offer indelible memories for those fortunate enough to make their acquaintance.

For those who relish travelling to remote and unconventional locations, the seventh continent offers a type of pristine beauty and off-the-grid adventure that exists practically nowhere else. No longer is being “on The Ice” an activity reserved for the most intrepid of explorers. More and more travellers are finding reasons to visit Antarctica every year. Antarctica’s appeal as a travel destination is increasing. According to statistics from the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO), the number of visitors to the continent has risen by more than 50 percent over the past four years.

Less famous but equally interesting, seals are another star attraction on an Antarctic expedition. The wily leopard seal, the dog-like fur seal, the curious Weddell seal, and the crabeater – with their cheeky grin – will capture your imagination. Unafraid, they might play excitedly as they swim in close proximity to your Zodiac.

Antarctica, however, still receives only a tiny fraction of the tourism that descends upon the world’s most visited destinations. Tour operators who visit the region are committed to doing so responsibly under the Antarctic Treaty System. Consequently, visitors won’t have to share Antarctica’s breathtaking vistas with millions of others; instead, they can revel in the destination’s sense of serenity.

One of the most rewarding experiences of travelling to Antarctica is whale watching on an epic scale. No less than eight species of whales can be observed on an Antarctic expedition, like the graceful minke whales, the gentle orcas, and those playful humpbacks who wave their flukes in breathtaking displays.

In many ways, the White Continent remains the final frontier. Read on to discover 5 reasons why Antarctica beckons the most discerning of travellers:

Antarctica is also the ultimate birders’ paradise: Snow Petrels, Southern Giant Petrels and Skuas are bound to greet you as you cross the Drake Passage into the white wilderness. Many visitors choose to bring special photography equipment in order to capture these special moments perfectly. 14


BLOG

Gentoo Penguins jumping into the ocean at Cierva Cove, Antarctica/Lucia Griggi

2. THE HUMAN FOOTPRINT IS BARELY VISIBLE There’s a reason why ecotourism in Antarctica is so popular. Famously cloaked in a massive ice sheet that stretches across 98 percent of the continent, Antarctica appears practically untouched by humankind. That, in itself, is a rare occurrence these days. Silver Explorer sailing the Errera Channel at sunset/Denis Elterman

The remoteness of the vast continent overwhelms as you approach the Peninsula and realise you’re more than 620 miles (1,000 km) from the tip of Cape Horn in South America. Feelings of tranquility, awe and beauty then strike all at once.

4. TALES OF EPIC EXPLORERS ECHO ACROSS THE LANDSCAPE

You might wonder how, during more than two centuries of exploration below the Antarctic Circle, the entire continent has remained largely unspoiled? Antarctica is under close protection and scrutiny from 53 nations around the world through the Antarctica Treaty System (ATS), which monitors commercial tourism, limits scientific research, and protects the region’s fascinating flora and fauna. Most importantly, it guarantees that, for years to come, anyone visiting Antarctica will be able to enjoy the sight of both the wildlife and the dramatic icy landscapes.

The untamed allure of Antarctica has long obsessed the most tenacious explorers. Starting in the mid-1800s, British explorer James Clark Ross participated in several treacherous expeditions charting the Antarctic coastline. His efforts paid off— he discovered a bay on the western side of Antarctica. The Ross Sea remains his namesake to this day. Ross never attempted to reach the South Pole, however. That particular target instead tempted courageous polar explorers like Roald Amundsen and Robert Falcon Scott, who both organised expeditions to reach it. Amundsen ultimately prevailed in December 1911. Scott arrived just one month later in January 1912 but tragically passed away shortly after reaching his destination. A single cross on Observation Hill on Ross Island commemorates his life. Stories of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s thrilling exploits still echo throughout the world of expedition, too. On his most famous expedition to the continent, his ship, Endurance, foundered on the ice, leaving Shackleton and his men to drift on ice floes for five months before finding refuge on Elephant Island.

3. A SCULPTURE GARDEN OF ICE AND STONE Antarctica’s icy veneer makes frozen water one of the main characteristics of this dramatic polar ecosystem. From the moment you clear the legendary Drake Passage, the ice begins to follow you and continues to do so throughout your voyage. Molded over centuries, sculptured ice formations of all shapes and sizes mesmerize with their sparkling blue and white hues. Just like snowflakes, no two icebergs are the same. Their provenance, deterioration, and stories of origin dictate their shapes— some are tabular and blocky, others look like domes, while others evoke the pyramids of Giza.

5. THE WEATHER IS MILDER THAN YOU THINK

You’ll find it impossible to ignore the unmistakable sound of calving icebergs and glaciers. The crackle starts slowly and quietly but culminates with an almighty crescendo.

To visit Antarctica, you need to know when and how to travel to Antarctica. On a continent known for frigid weather, it might be hard to imagine the sun could shine brightly while you explore. While the lowest natural temperature ever recorded on Earth was indeed taken in Antarctica in July 1983, tourist season only runs during austral summer (between November and February) when temperatures are considerably milder.

Antarctica is also home to several breathtaking snow-covered mountains and volcanoes. Mount Erebus on Ross Island is the southernmost active volcano in the world and, closer to the peninsula, Mount Vinson is the highest mountain on the continent, reaching 16,050 feet (4,892 metres).

“Summer” temperatures range from about 10 degrees Celsius below zero to 10 degrees Celsius. During the more temperate parts of the day, the weather is even pleasant enough for heart-pounding hikes, thrilling kayak rides, or simply observing the abundant wildlife. Plus, once you lay eyes on those first snow-drenched views of the White Wilderness, you’ll soon forget all about the weather. The Antarctic ice has you in her warm embrace.

What lies beneath that thick ice sheet retains a sense of mystery. With dozens of active research stations across the continent, Antarctica still manages to amaze even the most experienced of scientists who continually find new volcanoes and other discoveries both underneath the surface and undersea.

15


FIRST TIME TO ANTARCTICA? HERE’S WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW Karen Edwards, Author

Photo: Lucia Griggi

Imagine a place where the summer sun hardly sets, where endless ice surrounds you, and snow-covered peaks reach high into a cobalt blue sky. Where jagged glaciers plunge into the ocean, and huge tabular icebergs form wall-like corridors through which ships sail. Picture thousands of penguins clattering and calling for as far as the eye can see, with their fluffy chicks feeding, learning to walk and fledging. Imagine looking into the big, mahogany-brown eyes of a Weddell seal as it lies on a floating piece of ice, or admiring the majesty of a humpback whale as it raises its tail flukes before diving to the depths of the Southern Ocean. This is Antarctica — one of the wildest and most stunning regions in the world. Visit discover.silversea.com

Expand your curiosity on our travel blog

These colorful tales are but a sample of a collection of in-depth stories featured in our Discover travel blog. Our destination experts share personal anecdotes, while vivid photography showcases worldwide cruise itineraries, and behind-the-scenes videos from iconic photographer Steve McCurry highlight his recent travels with Silversea. These original posts present an authentic glimpse into what it’s truly like to sail around the world with Silversea — from encountering crocodiles basking under the Kimberley sun to exploring the Arctic realm of the mighty polar bear. Visit discover.silversea.com

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DISCOVER


King Penguins, South Georgia

WILDLIFE Whether it’s attending a briefing, exploring by Zodiac,® or hiking on terra firma, an expedition cruise with Silversea will immerse you immediately in your destination. Every moment can amaze: scores of penguins battling their way up a hill, a whale so close you can count the barnacles on its back. Here are just some of the species you may encounter.

1,000

235

POPULATION

There are numerous research stations set up across the continent. Summer: 4,400 people reside. Winter: 1,000 people

950

MARINE FAUNA SPECIES

Seven pinniped species inhabit Antarctica. The largest, the elephant seal and the Antarctic fur seal live north of the sea ice. The other four species can live on the sea ice. Crabeater seals and Weddell seals, leopard seals and Ross seals. There are 10 cetacean species; six baleen whales, and four toothed whales.

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PLANT SPECIES

BIRDS SPECIES

Wandering Albatross, Snow Petrel, Antarctic Skua, Blue-eyed Shag, Northern and Southern Giant Petrel, Cape Petrel, Snowy Sheathbill, Antarctic Tern, King Penguins (South Georgia voyages only), Adélie Penguins, Chinstrap Penguins, Gentoo Penguins.

Mosses and liverworts (plants with dormant life cycles) of the lichen, bryophyte, algae and fungi variety grow in Antarctica. Most growth lasts just a few weeks during the height of summer. There are 200 species of lichens and 50 species of moss in Antarctica, while algae are in abundance with 700 species of mostly phytoplankton.

Wildlife sightings listed here are possible experiences only and cannot be guaranteed. Your Expedition Leader and Captain will work together to ensure opportunities are the best possible, taking into account the prevailing weather, wildlife activity and ice conditions.

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ROYAL GEOGRAPHICAL SOCIETY WITH IBG Silversea Expeditions and the Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) have joined forces to spread knowledge collated from centuries of scientific exploration. Founded nearly 200 years ago to advance geographical science, the Society, whose patron is Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, will share some of the world’s most important geographical research and archive material. ANTARCTICA

01

The Antarctic Peninsula is the most northerly part of the Antarctic mainland extending for 1,300km (810 miles) into the Southern Ocean. With the Amundsen Sea on the western shore and the Weddell Sea on the east, it is like the tail of a very large tadpole. The peninsula is actually a string of rocky islands connected by a thick sheet of ice. Beneath the ice, deep channels separate the islands, one from another. Also ice covered, but not joined to the ice sheet, a further scattering of islands lie off the coast of the peninsula. Close in sit Adelaide, Anvers, Joinville and James Clark Ross Islands while further out are the South Shetlands. The peninsula is very mountainous with peaks rising to about 2,800m (9,200 feet). Of these Mount Jackson is the highest with an altitude of 3,184m (10,446 feet). It is generally agreed that the mountains of the peninsula are a continuation of the Andes. The gap between the peninsula and Terra del Fuego is filled by the Scotia Arc, a system of islands which begins with Staten Island in the north and ends with Elephant Island in the South. The climate of the peninsula is far milder than that of the Antarctic Plateau. Summer temperatures can occasionally reach 15°C while in winter the temperature does not generally fall below -25°C. Also, it rains on the peninsula, something which never happens near the South Pole.

02

The Antarctic Peninsula has had a number of different names over the years which are reflected in the nomenclature of the various parts of the peninsula. The different names are of course derived from those given by the first visitors to this remote corner of the world. To the British it was known as Graham Land, a name provided by John Biscoe who visited the peninsula towards the end of his circumnavigation of Antarctica in 1832. The Americans preferred the name Palmer Land, a name given in recognition of the visit of Nathaniel Palmer in November 1820. In fact, probably the first person to see the peninsula was Edward Bransfield who sighted it in January 1820. He labelled it Trinity Land.

01 ’South Georgia mountains’, 1914-1917 (S0011712). 02 ‘The stern of the ‘Endurance’ keeling over’, 1914-1916 (S0000842)

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Antarctica by Steve McCurry 15


EXPEDITION TEAM Silversea takes great care to assemble a truly top-notch team of naturalists and other experts to accompany each ship. For we know full well that those who yearn to explore the farthest reaches of our planet are driven by a quest for knowledge and discovery.

LUKE KENNY Expedition Leader

DANNY EDMUNDS Expedition Leader

SCHALK BOTHA Expedition Leader

Silversea Expeditions has one of the highest “expedition team to guest� ratios in the expedition cruising industry. This means that every expedition voyage benefits from the presence of between 11-28 qualified specialists, depending on the ship, to help guide you through every step of your adventure. You can attend daily recaps and briefings and lecturers presented by professionals hand-picked for their expertise in specific areas depending on your destination. These educated, experienced and talented men and women have all been chosen for their friendliness, infectious enthusiasm and passion in their specialised field. They will make sure that every opportunity for adventure is properly evaluated; making sure that your experience is something to write home about. The team includes a variety of experts such as biologists, naturalists, ornithologists, geologists, historians and photographers. So whether you want to know how to get that perfect exposure, what the name of that bird is or what the history of the local area is, there is always someone there to answer your questions, and lend a hand.

The Expedition Team members scheduled for any voyages can be subject to change or cancellation.

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STEFFAN DANINO Geologist

VICTORIA SALEM Historian


THE EXPEDITION EXPERIENCE An Antarctica expedition with Silversea cruises is unlike any other form of travel — thrilling, awe-inspiring and humbling all at the same time. Our ships bring a rare combination of luxury and adventure, with the necessary power and agility to ensure a safe, smooth passage through these remote and frigid waters. You’ll enjoy a uniquely immersive experience, expanding your global perspective and prompting you to re-evaluate what really matters. And rest assured- no creature comfort will be denied on an expedition cruise with Silversea. EXHILARATING EXPERIENCES ASHORE Kayak across a glassy bay. Go Zodiac® cruising to look for penguins, nesting birds and seals sunbathing on slow-moving ice floes. On our Antarctic expedition we limit guests up to 240 and with 18 Zodiacs®, all guests can go exploring at the same time. However please understand that weather and ice, not clocks and calendars, set the schedule for a journey in these latitudes, and no landing can be guaranteed. But if our forays ashore vary, the quality of your experience will not. Every mile will reveal something wonderful... astonishing.

Hercules Bay, South Georgia

ALL-INCLUSIVE LIFESTYLE •

Spacious ocean-view suites

Butler service in every suite

Unlimited free Wi-Fi for all suites

• Personalised service – nearly one crew member for every guest • Multiple restaurants, diverse cuisine, open-seating dining • Beverages in suite and throughout the ship, including champagne, select wines and spirits •

Inclusive room service

Enrichment lectures

Onboard gratuities

Veranda Suite, Silver Cloud

• Highly-qualified expedition team with experts in their field (marine biologists, ornithologists, historians and more) • Included excursions and activities: Zodiac® cruising, hiking and kayaking* on most sailings • Exclusive partnership with The Royal Geographical Society

*On select voyages. Ultra-luxury experience at sea

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LUXURY MEETS ADVENTURE The right gear is essential for enjoying the full experience of you Antarctica without the limitations of weather. To help you properly outfit for your adventure we have teamed up with Ship to Shore Traveler, a one-stop outfitting service. Rely on them for fine quality gear and accessories, both for purchase or rental. And do heed the advice of all smart travelers — don’t overpack! Launderettes are available onboard. POLAR VOYAGES PACKING CHECKLIST  n all Polar voyages, a 2-in-1 parka developed exclusively O for Silversea Expedition sailings, lightweight and rainresistant backpack and stainless steel water bottle is provided, compliments of Silversea. Please be sure to select the size for your complimentary parka. Heavyweight fleece top or wool sweater. Mid-weight fleece top and trousers. Waterproof trousers. Rent with free concierge delivery to the ship.  id-weight thermal underwear tops and bottoms M (synthetic or wool). Wool or fleece hat. Waterproof warm gloves, ski-type gloves (2 pairs) and glove liners. Wool or wool-blend socks and thin sock liners.

Kayaking experience

Heat-treated foot warming insoles and hand warmers. In this ever changing, dynamic and unique environment, expedition highlights and wildlife sightings are possible experiences only, and cannot be guaranteed. Your Expedition leaders 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 other environmental conditions.

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Waterproof, knee-high, rubber boots with non-slip soles. As you will step into icy water during Zodiac® landings, boots are essential. For your comfort we recommend you bring your own boots or rent boots with free concierge delivery to the ship.

Explorer Suite, Silver Explorer

 air of good sunglasses with U.V. filter protection. P During the expedition, the sun can shine for many hours each day and light reflection off the ice can be harmful to under-protected eyes.  rotective lotion for lips, hands and face. Reflected P glare from sun, water, ice and snow, can be intense. Wind chill can be a significant feature of a polar expedition. When the wind is constant, you can be robbed of body heat quickly. Adequate wind and rain gear is vital. Cotton is ideal in warm weather, however, once it becomes wet, it will drain your body heat. Bring wool or synthetics such as Capilene, MTS and Thermax instead. Always test layers before a trip. The outer layer should fit easily over the inside ones without binding and bunching up.

Capture authentic beauty

OPTIONAL FIELD GEAR  amera, memory cards and extra batteries. Test your C camera before leaving home to ensure it is working properly, and pack the manual for reference, should unexpected problems arise. Bring more film and/or memory cards than you think you will need. Certain film types will be difficult to purchase or unavailable once the trip begins. Consider bringing a camera beanbag to support your 300mm+ lens for your camera’s stabilisation.  inoculars are an essential part of your field gear B and will enhance your experience ashore. Purchase a compact set and test them out before travelling Motion sickness remedies. Spare contact lenses or glasses.  few large zip-seal bags to keep camera gear dry whilst A riding in the Zodiac® and during wet shore landings. Reading and writing materials.  lightweight, collapsible, walking staff (also called a A trekking pole) provides a sense of security, increased balance and confidence when walking on ice, snow and rugged terrain. Available to rent.  ki-mask, which may be helpful in snowy conditions S while in the Antarctic. Paradise Bay

Rent with free onboard concierge delivery to the ship https://silversea.shiptoshoretraveler.com

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F OR FURTH ER DETAI L S ON AVA I L A B I L I T Y AND FARES P LEASE V I SI T SI LVE RSE A .COM

F OR RESERVATI O NS P L E A SE CA L L OU R RESERVATI O NS TEAM ON + 4 4 (0 )2 0 7 3 4 0 0 7 0 0 OR CO NTACT YO UR TRAVE L AG E N T

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ANTARCTICA TRAVEL GUIDE  

Updated by UK February 2020 An expedition to the world’s last unexplored frontier can be thrilling, life-changing and humbling all at the sa...

ANTARCTICA TRAVEL GUIDE  

Updated by UK February 2020 An expedition to the world’s last unexplored frontier can be thrilling, life-changing and humbling all at the sa...

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