Ultra-luxury cruises with private butler service.

Transoceanic

Ushuaia to Cape Town - Voyage Number : 7401
DEPARTURE
Mar 08 2022
DURATION
21 DAYS
SHIP
Silver Explorer

Itinerary & Excursions

Go beyond your boundaries and explore the world as never before.

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).

Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.

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.

Located slightly northwest of West Falkland, West Point Island is used for sheep farming and nature observations. Peale’s dolphins and the distinctive black and white markings of the Commerson’s dolphin can usually be seen in the waters around West Point Island. Rolling moorland and steep cliffs make for great photographic opportunities, but the main attraction is the Devil’s Nose, a cliffside colony of Black-browed Albatrosses nesting side-by-side with feisty Rockhopper Penguins. Magellanic Penguins and Magellanic Cormorants can also be found on the island.
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.
Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.
Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.
Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.
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.

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.

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.

Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.
Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.
Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.
Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.
A favorite South African topic of debate is whether Cape Town really is part of Africa. That’s how different it is, both from the rest of the country and the rest of the continent. And therein lies its attraction. South Africa's most urbane, sophisticated city sits in stark contrast to the South Africa north of the Hex River Valley. Here, the traffic lights work pretty much consistently and good restaurants are commonplace. In fact, dining establishments in the so-called Mother City always dominate the country's "best of" lists. What also distinguishes this city is its deep sense of history. Nowhere else in the country will you find structures dating back to the 17th century. South Africa as it is known today began here. Elegant Cape Dutch buildings abut ornate Victorian structures and imposing British monuments. In the predominantly Malay Bo-Kaap neighborhood, the call to prayer echoes through cobbled streets lined with houses painted in bright pastels, and the sweet tang of Malay curry wafts through the air. Flower sellers, newspaper hawkers, and numerous markets keep street life pulsing, and every lamppost advertises another festival, concert, or cultural happening. This is a relaxed city, packed with occasions and events. What you'll ultimately recall about this city depends on your taste. It could be the Cape Winelands over the mountain, the Waterfront shopping (a consistent winner, given exchange rates favoring virtually any foreign currency), or Table Mountain itself. Thoroughly imposing, presiding over the city as it does, the mountain is dramatic, with a chain of "sister" mountains leading from the Table to Cape Point (roughly 68 km/42 miles south) cascading into the sea in dramatic visual fashion. Francis Drake wasn't exaggerating when he said this was "the fairest Cape we saw in the whole circumference of the earth," and he would have little cause to change his opinion today. A visit to Cape Town is synonymous with a visit to the peninsula south of the city, and for good reason. With pristine white-sand beaches, hundreds of mountain trails, and numerous activities from surfing to paragliding to mountain biking, the accessibility, variety, and pure beauty of the great outdoors will keep nature lovers and outdoor adventurers occupied for hours, if not days. A week exploring just the city and peninsula is barely enough. Often likened to San Francisco, Cape Town has two things that the former doesn't: Table Mountain and Africa. The mountain, or tabletop, is vital to Cape Town's identity. It dominates the city in a way that's difficult to comprehend until you visit. In the afternoon, when creeping fingers of clouds spill over Table Mountain and reach toward the city, the whole town seems to hold its breath—because in summer it brings frequent strong southeasterly winds. Meanwhile, for all of its bon-vivant European vibe, Cape Town also reflects the diversity, vitality, and spirit of Africa, with many West and Central Africans and Zimbabweans—many of them having fled from conflicts elsewhere—calling this city home.
A favorite South African topic of debate is whether Cape Town really is part of Africa. That’s how different it is, both from the rest of the country and the rest of the continent. And therein lies its attraction. South Africa's most urbane, sophisticated city sits in stark contrast to the South Africa north of the Hex River Valley. Here, the traffic lights work pretty much consistently and good restaurants are commonplace. In fact, dining establishments in the so-called Mother City always dominate the country's "best of" lists. What also distinguishes this city is its deep sense of history. Nowhere else in the country will you find structures dating back to the 17th century. South Africa as it is known today began here. Elegant Cape Dutch buildings abut ornate Victorian structures and imposing British monuments. In the predominantly Malay Bo-Kaap neighborhood, the call to prayer echoes through cobbled streets lined with houses painted in bright pastels, and the sweet tang of Malay curry wafts through the air. Flower sellers, newspaper hawkers, and numerous markets keep street life pulsing, and every lamppost advertises another festival, concert, or cultural happening. This is a relaxed city, packed with occasions and events. What you'll ultimately recall about this city depends on your taste. It could be the Cape Winelands over the mountain, the Waterfront shopping (a consistent winner, given exchange rates favoring virtually any foreign currency), or Table Mountain itself. Thoroughly imposing, presiding over the city as it does, the mountain is dramatic, with a chain of "sister" mountains leading from the Table to Cape Point (roughly 68 km/42 miles south) cascading into the sea in dramatic visual fashion. Francis Drake wasn't exaggerating when he said this was "the fairest Cape we saw in the whole circumference of the earth," and he would have little cause to change his opinion today. A visit to Cape Town is synonymous with a visit to the peninsula south of the city, and for good reason. With pristine white-sand beaches, hundreds of mountain trails, and numerous activities from surfing to paragliding to mountain biking, the accessibility, variety, and pure beauty of the great outdoors will keep nature lovers and outdoor adventurers occupied for hours, if not days. A week exploring just the city and peninsula is barely enough. Often likened to San Francisco, Cape Town has two things that the former doesn't: Table Mountain and Africa. The mountain, or tabletop, is vital to Cape Town's identity. It dominates the city in a way that's difficult to comprehend until you visit. In the afternoon, when creeping fingers of clouds spill over Table Mountain and reach toward the city, the whole town seems to hold its breath—because in summer it brings frequent strong southeasterly winds. Meanwhile, for all of its bon-vivant European vibe, Cape Town also reflects the diversity, vitality, and spirit of Africa, with many West and Central Africans and Zimbabweans—many of them having fled from conflicts elsewhere—calling this city home.

Suites & Fares

World Cruise Finder's suites are some of the most spacious in luxury cruising.
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Owner's 1 Bedroom
Owner's 1 Bedroom
FROM US$ 45,300
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Grand 1 Bedroom
Grand 1 Bedroom
FROM US$ 40,900
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Silver
Silver
FROM US$ 36,800
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Medallion
Medallion
FROM US$ 34,400
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Veranda
Veranda
FROM US$ 28,600
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Vista
Vista
FROM US$ 19,800
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View
View
FROM US$ 18,800
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Explorer Class
Explorer Class
FROM US$ 17,200
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Adventurer Class
Adventurer Class
FROM US$ 16,400
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