Ushuaia to Cape Town
7th March 2023 FOR 21 NIGHTS | Silver Cloud
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This fly cruise holiday is financially protected by SILVERSEA under ATOL 4681
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WHY WE RECOMMEND Polar Regions CRUISES
A world away from the sunny Mediterranean and the Caribbean’s white sandy beaches, cruises around the polar regions offer an entirely different adventure.
You could head up into the Arctic Circle during a cruise around the fjords or the Baltic capitals; or sail south from the far tip of Argentina towards the surreal frozen landscapes of Antarctica. Since these are luxury cruises, you could spend your days at sea in a hot whirlpool out on deck, glass of wine in hand – or head ashore on an expedition, learning more about these remote ecosystems with the help of expert guides.
Cruises in the Arctic tend to offer more choice in the warmer summer months, with some voyages available from England and Scotland or even Miami. Set sail from Greenland out of ports like Kangerlussuaq, and you could embark on a tour of Canada and Alaska’s most spectacular destinations like the Smoking Hills, the Yukon Territory and the snow-covered town of Barrow. Equally popular are cruises of the fjords, which focus on Norway’s beautiful ocean inlets and the dramatic mountain landscapes that tower over remote fishing villages beneath.
A luxury cruise is also the perfect way to explore Antarctica, with a wide choice of itineraries available from Ushuaia in Argentina to the rocky shores of Neko, the alien ice structures of Pleneau Island and the striking, rugged landscape of Port Lockroy and its penguin colonies.
With the poles covering such vast distances, and with many ports here often being remote and far-flung, there are countless different ways to see Antarctica or the Arctic Circle on a variety of routes. Call our Cruise Concierge team for friendly, professional travel advice – and let them find and tailor your luxury voyage from among the best cruises in the polar regions.
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Ushuaia00:00 - 19:00
At 55 degrees latitude south, Ushuaia (pronounced oo-swy-ah) is closer to the South Pole than to Argentina's northern border with Bolivia. It is the capital and tourism base for Tierra del Fuego, the island at the southernmost tip of Argentina.Although its stark physical beauty is striking, Tierra del Fuego's historical allure is based more on its mythical past than on rugged reality. The island was inhabited for 6,000 years by Yámana, Haush, Selk'nam, and Alakaluf Indians. But in 1902 Argentina, eager to populate Patagonia to bolster its territorial claims, moved to initiate an Ushuaian penal colony, establishing the permanent settlement of its most southern territories and, by implication, everything in between.When the prison closed in 1947, Ushuaia had a population of about 3,000, made up mainly of former inmates and prison staff. Today the Indians of Darwin's "missing link" theory are long gone—wiped out by diseases brought by settlers and by indifference to their plight—and the 60,000 residents of Ushuaia are hitching their star to tourism.The city rightly (if perhaps too loudly) promotes itself as the southernmost city in the world (Puerto Williams, a few miles south on the Chilean side of the Beagle Channel, is a small town). You can make your way to the tourism office to get your clichéd, but oh-so-necessary, "Southernmost City in the World" passport stamp. Ushuaia feels like a frontier boomtown, at heart still a rugged, weather-beaten fishing village, but exhibiting the frayed edges of a city that quadrupled in size in the '70s and '80s and just keeps growing. Unpaved portions of Ruta 3, the last stretch of the Pan-American Highway, which connects Alaska to Tierra del Fuego, are finally being paved. The summer months (December through March) draw more than 120,000 visitors, and dozens of cruise ships. The city is trying to extend those visits with events like March's Marathon at the End of the World and by increasing the gamut of winter activities buoyed by the excellent snow conditions.A terrific trail winds through the town up to the Martial Glacier, where a ski lift can help cut down a steep kilometer of your journey. The chaotic and contradictory urban landscape includes a handful of luxury hotels amid the concrete of public housing projects. Scores of "sled houses" (wooden shacks) sit precariously on upright piers, ready for speedy displacement to a different site. But there are also many small, picturesque homes with tiny, carefully tended gardens. Many of the newer homes are built in a Swiss-chalet style, reinforcing the idea that this is a town into which tourism has breathed new life. At the same time, the weather-worn pastel colors that dominate the town's landscape remind you that Ushuaia was once just a tiny fishing village, snuggled at the end of the Earth.As you stand on the banks of the Canal Beagle (Beagle Channel) near Ushuaia, the spirit of the farthest corner of the world takes hold. What stands out is the light: at sundown the landscape is cast in a subdued, sensual tone; everything feels closer, softer, and more human in dimension despite the vastness of the setting. The snowcapped mountains reflect the setting sun back onto a stream rolling into the channel, as nearby peaks echo their image—on a windless day—in the still waters.Above the city rise the last mountains of the Andean Cordillera, and just south and west of Ushuaia they finally vanish into the often-stormy sea. Snow whitens the peaks well into summer. Nature is the principal attraction here, with trekking, fishing, horseback riding, wildlife spotting, and sailing among the most rewarding activities, especially in the Parque Nacional Tierra del Fuego (Tierra del Fuego National Park).
07 Mar 2023
08 Mar 2023
New Island06:00 - 11:00
The remarkable beauty of the remote Falkland Islands can best be seen on New Island. The westernmost of the inhabited islands of the archipelago, it is a wildlife and nature reserve, and an environmental conservation group protects its many birds and animals. There are rookeries where Rockhopper Penguins and Blue-eyed Shags share the same nesting area. Black-browed Albatrosses can be seen going about their daily routines and it is easy to spot Upland Geese. More than 40 species of birds breed on the island. Near the landing site is ‘Barnard’s barn’ — a restored stone structure going back to the early 19th century. Lying in the sandy shallows in front of the barn is the wreck of Protector III, an old minesweeper used for seal hunting.
09 Mar 2023
Port Stanley08:00 - 13:00
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. Not far offshore, the wreck of the Lady Elizabeth, is one of the many vessels remaining as a silent testimonial to the region's frequent harsh weather conditions.The islands, also known by their Spanish name of Islas Malvinas, 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. Darwin found the islands' flora and fauna fascinating - no doubt you will, too.
10 Mar 2023
11 Mar 2023
South Georgia Island
South Georgia 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 Black-browed, Light-mantled Sooty, Grey-headed and the spectacular Wandering Albatross, plus thousands of King and Macaroni Penguins. South Georgia is also linked to the early Antarctic explorers. Captain James Cook first stepped ashore in 1775, but perhaps more famous is Ernest Shackleton’s arrival in 1916 following the sinking of his ship Endurance. 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.
12 Mar 2023 - 16 Mar 2023
17 Mar 2023 - 19 Mar 2023
Gough Island12:30 - 16:30
Gough Island in the South Atlantic Ocean was originally known as Gonçalo Álvares (named after the captain of Vasco da Gama’s flagship). The volcanic island is uninhabited except for the handful of personnel stationed here to operate a South African weather station, making it one of the most remote places with a constant human presence. Gough Island and Inaccessible Island comprise the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Gough and Inaccessible Islands as they are protected wildlife reserves and an “Important Bird Area”. Gough Island is home to Tristan Albatrosses, Atlantic Petrels, Gough Moorhens, Gough Buntings, and Northern Rockhopper Penguins; just some of the many birds using this mid-Atlantic island as their nesting ground. Gough is a dependency of Tristan da Cunha and part of the British Overseas Territory of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha.
20 Mar 2023
Edinburgh of the Seven Seas, Tristan da Cunha09:00 - 22:00
For the adventurous and fit Jacobs Ladder could be of interest: the ladder actually is an inclined plane with 699 steps (and 600ft). For connoisseurs a visit to the St Helena Distillery is a must: names like White Lion Rum, Midnight Mist coffee liqueur and Juniper flavoured gin entice to see how they are made –and perhaps taste them.
21 Mar 2023
Nightingale Islands06:30 - 13:00
Nightingale Island is an active volcano and one of three islands in the extremes of the South Atlantic Ocean known as the Nightingale Islands falling within the Tristan da Cunha group. The three islands are administered by the United Kingdom and are visited for scientific research purposes and little else. This means the magnificent wildlife with an estimated one million seabirds, in addition to unusual flora, is all unspoiled by people. Nightingale Island is also a protected wildlife reserve and World Heritage Site. Nightingale has two peaks on its north end and the rest of the island is ringed by cliffs and sea caves, and is fringed with kelp beds. The sea caves have been said to hide pirate treasure with a fortune in Spanish doubloons and pieces-of-eight hidden here for safekeeping. However, no recovery of this booty has ever been documented.
22 Mar 2023
23 Mar 2023 - 26 Mar 2023
Sometimes referred to as the Mother City, Cape Town is the most famous port in South Africa and is influenced by many different cultures, including Dutch, British and Malay. The port was founded in 1652 by Dutch explorer Jan Van Riebeeck, and evidence of Dutch colonial rule remains throughout the region. The port is located on one of the world's most important trade routes, and is mainly a container port and handler of fresh fruit. Fishing is another vital industry, with large Asian fishing fleets using Cape Town as a logistical repair base for much of the year. The region is famous for its natural beauty, with the imposing Table Mountain and Lions Head, as well as the many nature reserves and botanical gardens such as Kirstenbosch which boasts an extensive range of indigenous plant life, including proteas and ferns. Cape Town's weather is mercurial, and can change from beautiful sunshine to dramatic thunderstorms within a short period. A local adage is that in Cape Town you can experience four seasons in one day.
27 Mar 2023 - 28 Mar 2023
(This holiday is generally suitable for persons with reduced mobility. For customers with reduced mobility or any medical condition that may require special assistance or arrangements to be made, please notify your Cruise Concierge at the time of your enquiry, so that we can provide specific information as to the suitability of the holiday, as well as make suitable arrangements with the Holiday Provider on your behalf).
With 18-brand new Zodiacs, four superlative restaurants in Antarctica and a pole to pole expedition itinerary, Silver Cloud really does break the ice between expedition and luxury.
After extensive refurbishment, Silver Cloud is the most spacious and comfortable ice class vessel in expedition cruising. Her large suites, her destination itineraries and her unparalleled service make her truly special.
Her four dining options will tantalise your taste buds and as 80% of her suites include a veranda, watching a breaching whale or a few cavorting penguins has never been so personal. Broad sweeping decks with multiple open spaces and a swimming pool complete what is surely the most distinctive expedition ship sailing today.
A limited number of guests in polar waters, mean that Silver Cloud has the highest space to guest and crew to guest ratios in expedition cruising. With her 16 zodiacs, 10 kayaks, possibilities are almost limitless with ship-wide simultaneous explorations. Finally, a team of up to 22 passionate and dedicated expedition experts are always at hand to ensure your voyage is enhanced every step of the way.
Alternative sailing dates
Flexible with departure dates? Alternative sailing dates for this itinerary are available in the list below