Sailing Antarctica with Silver Endeavour – “Embrace New Limits”

Sailing Antarctica with Silver Endeavour – “Embrace New Limits”


Write up by: Gaynor Galbraith Neill, Managing Director Cruise Vacations.

Sunday afternoon, late November 2022 and I find myself standing on an icy air-force base on King George Island in the South Shetlands, Antarctica.  It is springtime so the snow is still lying thick, base vehicles are driving up and down the gravel paths, there is a snow plough and bright green fire-engine parked nearby. While Silversea expedition crew are expertly taking care of operations, I am in conversation with British Explorer, Scientist and Silver Endeavour Godmother, Felicity Aston MBE, enthralled as she explains some of the day-to-day activities at the South Pole station where she has previously been based during her research.  This is the end of what has been the most epic adventure and for me, in every way, checks the ‘expedition’ box.  We watch our incoming ‘Penguin’ Antarctic Airways BAe 146-200 appear on the horizon, flying over the Silver Endeavour in the bay nearby and landing on the short gravel runway, ready to fly us from ‘the end of the earth’.  I honestly feel like I am on the set of a James Bond movie, a travel experience like no other as our executive jet takes off with the backdrop of a magnificent sunset highlighting the ice floes below. Antarctica I will be back!

For the past five days we have been exploring the Antarctic Peninsula from our exquisite base on board the Silver Endeavour, the world’s most luxurious expedition ship.  Landings at Robert Point, Neko Harbour, Cuverville Island and Peterman Island and sailing Deception Island, with sightings of Fur Seal, Elephant Seal, Gentoo, Adélie and Chinstrap penguins, Snow Petrels and Skuas. Well protected in our thermal layers, Parkas and Polar boots we have boarded our Zodiacs accompanied by experienced Expedition crew and have negotiated the snow and ice to stand in awe and enjoy the antics of this polar wildlife.  Then back on board enjoying the excellent company of colleagues and friends old and new, gourmet dining and fine wines as we sail through nature’s art gallery of sparkling icebergs of all shapes and sizes as a light snow falls.  It leaves you completely speechless. Then, suddenly a flurry when the announcement is made “hump-back whales spotted at the bow port-side” and more moments to witness marvels of nature.  It is magical.

The First Naming Ceremony to take place in the Lemaire Channel

And as though it couldn’t get better nature plays along making conditions perfect for the ship to traverse the stunning Lemaire Channel, normally very icy at this time of year, but no trouble for this sleek PC6 Ice-Class vessel.   All guests board the zodiacs to sail the icy, magnificent channel followed by the Endeavour and then with the backdrop of blue sky and snowy mountains, we pause, get handed a glass of champagne by the Expedition Team and with our earpieces in place witness the official naming of the ship with a Magnum of Champagne sculpted out of ice. “Fair Winds and Following Seas”.

About the Silver Endeavour

Built to PC6 polar class specifications, Silver Endeavour is designed for polar exploration. Along with Silversea Cruises hallmarks of luxury suite accommodation with butler service, a crew-to-guest ratio of 1:1, she carries state-of-the-art amenities, industry-leading Zodiac-to-guest ratio, kayaks and cutting-edge navigation and exploration technology.

Antarctic Sailings

Silver Endeavour’s extended inaugural season includes 5–9-day voyages of the Peninsula with the Antarctic Bridge programme (flying straight to King George Island to join the ship), or ‘earn your sailing stripes’ on voyages crossing the Drake Passage from the new home port of Puerta Williams including a 20-day in-depth exploration of Antarctic deep south. All fully-inclusive.

Community Responsibility

With a company goal to positively impact local communities that they visit, Silversea announced several initiatives to support the social needs of the residents of Puerto Williams.  This southernmost city in the world and important gateway to Antarctica has become Silversea Cruises new homeport for the region. Silversea have sponsored a new physical education activity room and donated mobility equipment to a school caring for disabled children. Silversea Cruises also donated four Zodiacs to the Cedena Nautical School in Puerto Williams, a non-profit organization training young people in nautical sports.

How to book

Bookings are now open right through until the 2024 & 2025 Antarctic Season.  Contact Cruise Vacations who are also able to work alongside your regular travel agent. We will provide all the key information you need to prepare for your trip of a lifetime. 011 5140564


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