Silversea introduces new time-poor Antarctica experience

"Antarctica Bridge" bypasses the infamous Drake Passage, trimming travel by four days

Silversea Cruises has unveiled 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.

Dubbed “Antarctica Bridge”, the new service will provide discerning travellers 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 all-inclusive polar offering.

Direct flights on DAP Antarctica Airways’ private plane will operate from Chile’s Punta Arenas to King George Island in Antarctica, making short work of the infamous Drake Passage.

Hosted by Silversea representatives and offering travellers 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.

Travellers 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 a defining moment for Silversea’s expedition offering: Antarctica Bridge will revolutionise the way in which our guests discover Antarctica,” says Conrad Combrink, Silversea’s Senior Vice President of Tour Operating, Expedition & Destination Management.

“The luxury of choice is a key feature of our cruise line’s offering; our new Antarctica Bridge service expands our 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 travellers, as it will immerse guests into the White Continent in a shorter timeframe.”

Combrink said Antarctica Bridge builds on Silversea’s existing offering, comprising of multiple 10-day voyages, as well as 18-day expeditions and longer.

“With the launch of Antarctica Bridge, our guests will be able to choose from 59 Antarctica voyages.”

Silversea’s nine-night Antarctica Bridge itineraries are planned to operates as follows:

Day 1: Inbound international flight, via Santiago. Travellers 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 Hotel Cabo de Hornos in Punta Arenas.

Day 3: Flight to King George Island (Antarctica). A first in the ultra-luxury cruise segment, travellers 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, travellers 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 will be on the lookout to 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. Post-cruise hotel night in Punta Arenas.

Day 10: Outbound international flight. Fly home.

The Antarctica Bridge will operate on 17, 23 and 29 Decemeber, 2021; 18, 24 and 30 January; 5 and 27 February; and 5, 11 and 17 March 2022.

Silver Explorer

The new Antarctica Bridge product will be operated by Silver Explorer. Each of the ship’s ocean-view suites provides guests with the personalised 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.

Sales for Antarctica Bridge open on 10 December 2019, and fares start from AU$21,000 person, based on double occupancy.

More details HERE.

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