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  #1  
Old February 14th, 2012, 08:48 AM
DPWnRBW's Avatar
DPWnRBW DPWnRBW is offline
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Default Silver Explorer to Antarctica--Jan. 30-Feb. 9, 2012

This was our first cruise on Silversea and it was everything we expected it to be. We are not avid cruisers, but the next time we decide to cruise we will start our search with Silversea.

A few thoughts about the trip:
1. The crossing to Antarctica was very easy. The Drake was flat and we made it from Ushuaia to the South Shetlands in 40 hours. Because we made such good time, our first stop was on the Aitcho Islands in the South Shetlands. From there we made our way to Brown Bluff and our first landing on the peninsula the next morning.
2. The expedition staff was extremely knowledgeable and always available to answer questions.
3. There were so many memorable sights and sounds it's hard to pick any favorites. The two at the top of my list were sailing among the tabular icebergs in the Strait of Antarctica in the driving snow and entering the Lamaire Channel at 10:00 at night in lightly falling snow. The Lamaire was like sailing into a black and white photo at that time of night.
4. I was really glad we brought hiking sticks. They were very helpful on the hikes up the glaciers. They were also helpful along many of the beaches. Some of the beaches are rocky and in a couple instances covered with snow. That made them slippery. They have a few sticks available to borrow.
5. I'm glad we decided to borrow boots from the ship. They were plentiful and in good shape.
6. The Silversea parkas are very effective. Just remember to layer.
7. Average temperature for the entire trip was right around freezing, plus or minus 2-3 degrees F. At one point we had winds of 70 MPH but we were in a channel and the seas remained relatively flat.
8. I never wore my waterproof gloves. I just wore my glove liners and they were fine. There was one time I wished I had them however. We were on a Zodiac tour doing some seal watching. The winds came up, there was a lot of spray and it started to snow. My glove liners got wet and cold. Of course, this was the one time I left my waterproof gloves on the ship.
9. It's hard to get an empty washing machine, especially on sea days.
10. Seas were generally calm while in Antarctica. The one exception was the run from Brown Bluff to Cuverville Island. We were in an exposed area and the seas got very rough.
11. I highly recommend buying the video of the cruise. ($150 US) Our photographer was Richard Sidey. He did an excellent job capturing our trip. He left the ship in Ushuaia for a vacation. I assume another photographer will replace him.
12. The return crossing on the Drake was fairly rough. Seas were probably in the 10-15 foot range most of the way. We made good time and actually arrived in Ushuaia around 6:00 PM on the Feb. 8, with disembarkation scheduled for 8:00 AM the next morning.

In conclusion, a trip of a lifetime.
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  #2  
Old February 14th, 2012, 09:24 AM
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jpalbny jpalbny is online now
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Glad to hear that you enjoyed the trip. They really do a wonderful job on Silver Explorer. We too were hooked after our first cruise, and we're eagerly awaiting our next adventure aboard.

Richard is a great photographer - we have the DVD from our Svalbard trip but we didn't get the one from Antarctica. Oh well - guess we were being cheap back then... We'll have to go again so that we can complete the DVD collection!
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Last: SS Antoinette (Uniworld) - Castles on the Rhine - Basel to Amsterdam - April 2014 (photo review)


Future:

**Silver Cloud - North Atlantic - Tower Bridge to Reykjavik - August 2014

**Silver Cloud - Eastern Med - Istanbul to Athens - October 2014

Past:
Silver Explorer - Central America - Colon to Puerto Caldera - October 2013 (
photo review)
Avalon Affinity - Danube - Vienna to Passau - June 2013 (flooded! - awesome land trip instead ) (blog)
MS Sun Boat III - Nile River - November 2012 (pics1) (pics2)
Silver Wind - Athens to Rome - June 2012 (report) (Greece pics) (Italy pics)
Celebrity Xpedition - Galapagos - November 2011 (Peru pics) (Galapagos pics)
Silver Explorer - Longyearbyen to Tromso - August 2011 (report) (Svalbard pics) (Tromso pics)
Silver Wind - Cape Town to Cape Town - Feb 2011 (
pics)
Silver Cloud - London to Nice - September 2010 (France pics) (Spain and Portugal pics)
Silver Wind - Black Sea - June 2010 (photos)
Silversea PAII - Antarctica - December 2009(photos)

Tahitian Princess 8/09; Insignia 11/08; Sea Princess 8/08; Millenium 6/08; Nautica 1/08; Nautica 11/07; Regatta 4/07; Tahitian Princess 1/07; Carnival Spirit 8/06; Insignia 5/06; etc...
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  #3  
Old February 14th, 2012, 12:48 PM
h2so4 h2so4 is offline
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Nice to hear you had a good trip ... Antarctica is so special, I can't imagine anyone wouldn't .

Interesting that you mention washers were hard to come by. We found it to be the opposite on our Svalbard cruise, but we tended to do our laundry on expedition days (not many sea days on that voyage) -- early morning and mid-day before we went to lunch.
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Old February 14th, 2012, 01:07 PM
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DPWnRBW DPWnRBW is offline
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Not to dwell on the washing machines. They were a nice thing to have. I think it was more of a problem on the sea days returning to Ushuaia as folks were trying to remove "eau de penguin" form their clothes before packing for home. And the penguins did have an "eau"!
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Old February 20th, 2012, 05:21 PM
mdbasile mdbasile is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DPWnRBW View Post
This was our first cruise on Silversea and it was everything we expected it to be. We are not avid cruisers, but the next time we decide to cruise we will start our search with Silversea.

A few thoughts about the trip:
1. The crossing to Antarctica was very easy. The Drake was flat and we made it from Ushuaia to the South Shetlands in 40 hours. Because we made such good time, our first stop was on the Aitcho Islands in the South Shetlands. From there we made our way to Brown Bluff and our first landing on the peninsula the next morning.
2. The expedition staff was extremely knowledgeable and always available to answer questions.
3. There were so many memorable sights and sounds it's hard to pick any favorites. The two at the top of my list were sailing among the tabular icebergs in the Strait of Antarctica in the driving snow and entering the Lamaire Channel at 10:00 at night in lightly falling snow. The Lamaire was like sailing into a black and white photo at that time of night.
4. I was really glad we brought hiking sticks. They were very helpful on the hikes up the glaciers. They were also helpful along many of the beaches. Some of the beaches are rocky and in a couple instances covered with snow. That made them slippery. They have a few sticks available to borrow.
5. I'm glad we decided to borrow boots from the ship. They were plentiful and in good shape.
6. The Silversea parkas are very effective. Just remember to layer.
7. Average temperature for the entire trip was right around freezing, plus or minus 2-3 degrees F. At one point we had winds of 70 MPH but we were in a channel and the seas remained relatively flat.
8. I never wore my waterproof gloves. I just wore my glove liners and they were fine. There was one time I wished I had them however. We were on a Zodiac tour doing some seal watching. The winds came up, there was a lot of spray and it started to snow. My glove liners got wet and cold. Of course, this was the one time I left my waterproof gloves on the ship.
9. It's hard to get an empty washing machine, especially on sea days.
10. Seas were generally calm while in Antarctica. The one exception was the run from Brown Bluff to Cuverville Island. We were in an exposed area and the seas got very rough.
11. I highly recommend buying the video of the cruise. ($150 US) Our photographer was Richard Sidey. He did an excellent job capturing our trip. He left the ship in Ushuaia for a vacation. I assume another photographer will replace him.
12. The return crossing on the Drake was fairly rough. Seas were probably in the 10-15 foot range most of the way. We made good time and actually arrived in Ushuaia around 6:00 PM on the Feb. 8, with disembarkation scheduled for 8:00 AM the next morning.

In conclusion, a trip of a lifetime.

DPWnRBW is right on the mark - it was an incredible trip and if we do cruise again Silversea will be at the the top of our list. I put a review in the members section, BTW.
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