As we start the new year, that means resolutions on how to improve ourselves and our lives run rampant. Going to hit the gym this year? Lose those extra pounds? Visit places you only dreamed of as a child? Check. Check. And check.
But sometimes there’s an obstacle to that last resolution. For many travelers eager to experience Antarctica, that bump in the road is the four days spent sailing the Drake Passage, notorious for its bad weather at times, to get from the tip of Chile to the Antarctica continent. All those days spent sailing the Drake Passage meant if you wanted to go on an Antarctica cruise, you had to better plan on spending plenty of time on vacation. It’s easy to see why an Antarctica cruise sounded good on paper but upon closer examination, appeared a bit daunting. It might seem obvious, but there’s a way around this hurdle. And Silversea Cruises has come up with the solution.
Silversea Cruises just announced a first in the ultra-luxury segment: a new fly-cruise service to Antarctica in business-class comfort, as part of the largest ever Antarctica offering in the cruise line’s history. Named Antarctica Bridge, the new service will provide discerning travelers with the fastest, most direct route to the White Continent. Departing from December 2021, the collection of 12 fly-cruise voyages aboard Silver Explorer will further enhance Silversea’s industry-leading, all-inclusive Polar offering. Sales for Antarctica Bridge opened on December 10, 2019.
Enjoying direct flights from Chile’s Punta Arenas to King George Island in Antarctica, travelers will fly 670 miles over the Drake Passage on a private plane – reserved exclusively for Silversea’s guests – that has been specially adapted to land on King George Island. Hosted by Silversea representatives and offering travelers the luxury of a business-class configuration, the flight will take just two hours each way, meaning guests will avoid approximately four days at sea on the return journey. A bespoke in-flight entertainment program, which will include Zodiac and IAATO briefings, will be tailored entirely for Antarctic expeditions to prepare guests for the unique adventure ahead. Travelers will then spend five full days – the same amount of time as on Silversea’s conventional Antarctica voyages – travelling deep into the destination, accompanied by Silversea’s team of expedition experts.
This is seen as a defining moment for Silversea’s expedition offering: Antarctica Bridge will revolutionize the way in which guests discover Antarctica. The luxury of choice is a key feature of Silversea’s offering; the new Antarctica Bridge service expands guests’ choices. Many will still choose to cross the epic Drake Passage, which is an unforgettable experience in itself, but Antarctica Bridge is perfect for time-conscious travelers, as it will immerse guests into the White Continent in a shorter timeframe. This builds on existing offerings, which comprises many 10-day voyages, as well as 18-day expeditions and longer, which are the ultimate in deep exploration. With the launch of Antarctica Bridge, Silversea guests will be able to choose from 59 Antarctica voyages.
Unlocking Antarctica in just nine nights for time-conscious travelers, Silversea’s Antarctica Bridge itineraries are scheduled to comprise the following:
Day 1: Inbound international flight, via Santiago
Travelers have the choice of either inclusive economy-class air or reduced business-class air on their inbound international flight to Punta Arenas, Chile, as part of Silversea’s ongoing air promo.
Day 2: Pre-cruise hotel night in Punta Arenas
Ahead of flying to Antarctica, the cruise line’s guests will spend a night at the elegant Hotel Cabo de Hornos in Punta Arenas. Here, they will receive their expedition kit, including rubber boots, parka, walking poles for the duration of the expedition, waterproof trousers, expedition backpacks and a water bottle. A dedicated Expedition Team will be on the ground to prepare guests for the journey ahead.
Day 3: Flight to King George Island (Antarctica)
A first in the ultra-luxury cruise segment, travelers will fly to Antarctica in the equivalent of business-class comfort, saving two days at sea each way. Silversea’s guests will land at the Chilean base of Presidente Frey, which is normally used by scientists as they journey to the island’s research stations.
Days 3-9: Antarctica Expedition aboard Silver Explorer
With five full days in Antarctica, guests will enjoy an unprecedented level of flexibility aboard Silver Explorer, and an enhanced scope to discover each destination. From King George Island, travelers will explore the same destinations as on Silversea’s conventional Antarctica offering: Antarctic Sound, the Antarctic Peninsula over three days, and the South Shetland Islands, before returning to King George Island once more. Silversea’s Expedition Team will guide Zodiac tours, shore experiences, kayaking tours, and provide lectures on the region’s fascinating geology, wildlife and history to enrich the journey for guests. In addition to witnessing remarkable icebergs, guests will visit large penguin rookeries, and may see several species of seals, whales and birds.
Day 9: Flight from Antarctica to Punta Arenas
Return in style and comfort on the 75-seat aircraft to Punta Arenas, accompanied by Silversea representatives.
Day 9: Post-cruise hotel night in Punta Arenas
Spend a relaxed post-cruise hotel night at the Hotel Cabo de Hornos and explore Punta Arenas once more.
Day 10: Outbound international flight
Aboard Silver Explorer, as on all Silversea vessels, travelers will benefit from Silversea’s trademark level of service and luxury accommodations. Each of the ship’s ocean-view suites provides guests with the personalized service of a butler; a 24-hour in-suite dining service; a bottle of champagne upon arrival and a drinks bar, stocked with guests’ preferred beverages; fine dining, including complimentary caviar on demand, canapes, and a rich offering of seafood and steak; and an array of other inclusive amenities. Enlarged to 14 members for the 2021-2022 season, Silversea’s Expedition Team will enrich guests’ travels with insightful lectures, workshops, tours on the ship’s enlarged fleet of 14 Zodiacs, kayak tours, and shore experiences.
Just give us a call at Select Waterways when you’re ready to hit the White Continent. These voyages will sell out quickly, so let your resolution for 2020 be to book one of these amazing Antarctica cruises. We offer expedition cruises and small ship cruises throughout the world, with polar cruises such as Arctic cruises and Antarctica cruises among the most popular. Select Waterways are also your river and small ship cruise insiders, specializing in European river cruises, including Danube River cruises, Rhine River cruises, wine cruises, Seine River cruises, as well as China river cruises with Yangtze river cruises, Vietnam river cruises with Mekong River cruises, Russia river cruises with Volga river cruises, Nile river cruises, Africa river cruises and Amazon river cruises. Naturally, we have American river cruises with Mississippi River cruises, Ohio River Cruises, Columbia River cruises, Illinois River cruises and Tennessee River cruises. Whether it’s luxury river cruising, premium river cruising, expedition cruising or small ship cruising, we’ve got you covered. Visit our website at www.selectwaterways.com or give us a call at 1-844-SWCRUISE (1-844-792-7847). Be sure to join our Insider Club by clicking here and Like our Facebook page by clicking here.