Home Ports of Call Ports of Call: The Ends of the Earth

Ports of Call: The Ends of the Earth

by Lori Eastes

This month I’ll take you to one of the most mystical and untouched regions in the world: Antarctica. Known for its captivating landscapes, challenging cruising grounds, and spectacular interactions with wildlife, this destination offers an extraordinary experience. Discover a solitude you never knew existed as you travel through this remote sanctuary aboard your well-fortified chartered yacht. Spend your days ashore exploring the world’s southernmost continent before returning to a piping hot beverage prepared by your crew as you check off this bucket list destination few travelers have the privilege of exploring.

Begin your journey by flying to Punta Arenas, one of the largest cities in the Patagonia, located at the tip of Chile and near the Straits of Magellan. From there you can fly directly to King George Island, thereby avoiding crossing the Drake Passage by sea, an infamously tumultuous voyage. After landing but before heading to your boat, take time to visit Russia’s Bellingshausen Station, home to the first Orthodox church in Antarctica. Then embark on a journey that begins with a voyage through the Antarctic Sound, often dubbed “Iceberg Alley.” Here you will find yourself surrounded by cathedral-like icebergs as tall as buildings, drifting through the ocean from the Weddell Sea. If you choose to cruise the eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula, devote your time to searching for the elusive emperor penguins. During the winter months, these playful animals breed on Snow Hill Island; consider yourself lucky if you are able to catch a glimpse of them during the summer months.

A stop-off at Devil Island will introduce you to comical gentoo penguin colonies scurrying across the ice and Weddell seals gracefully swimming past your yacht. Continue to Brown Bluff, a premier anchorage location. Formed by a sub-glacial volcanic eruption, Brown Bluff gets its name from the color of the volcanic rock which flows into a pristine beach made of small pebbles. Experience this rare geological phenomenon while watching adélie penguins meander their way to the sea.

Continue your journey on the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula along the Danco Coast and Gerlache Strait. Here you can customize your itinerary with a variety of once-in-a-lifetime experiences: Take the tender for a cruise among the icebergs where you may be visited by a humpback whale or an orca swimming beside you; visit a scientific research station like Almirante Brown Antarctic Base, which overlooks Paradise Bay, where you can bobsled down the slope to the station; or, spend the day taking in the breathtaking scenery from the comfort of your yacht deck where the crew will serve sizzling refreshments and exquisite cocktails.

If the weather permits, your Captain can venture through the maze of ice and cruise further south to the Crystal Sound. There, you’ll become one of the few travelers to cross the Arctic Circle. Once you have reached the Arctic Circle, head for the deserted British base on Detaille Island. Only in use for two years, the base has been seemingly untouched since 1959 and offers a glimpse of life as an Antarctic resident during the golden age of travel and exploration. Those seeking even more thrills can continue south through “The Gullet,” an appropriately named passage resembling the digestive tract. Though difficult to navigate through, the voyage rewards the intrepid with high mountain views on one side and plunging glaciers on the other.

During the Antarctic summer from October to February, take advantage of the almost 24 hours of daylight to explore every wonderous sight available in this magnificent and vast region. As you revel in the stunning beauty of this blissfully desolate destination, the dramatic and unique landscape is sure to be frozen in your memory for years to come.

Lori Eastes is thrilled to be on the team at Worth Avenue Yachts because chartering private yacht vacations combines everything she loves: party planning, travel, and boats. With a background in hospitality, Lori is committed to providing an unparalleled experience for her clients. To chat with Lori about making your yacht vacation a reality, give her a call at 206.209.1920.

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