Punta Arenas, the extreme south of Chile will be hosting Silversea Cruises as its base of operations, having decided to abandon Ushuaia in Tierra del Fuego. Silversea announced a release in which it makes official its Antarctic cruise operations during the 2021/22 season, following an agreement with Chilean officials.
This means that Silver Cloud and Silver Wind will be sailing from Punta Arenas and Silver Explorer from the Chilean Puerto Williams in November as scheduled.
Adding Puerto Williams as a new departure port, together with our exclusive service of private flights with Santiago, is evidence of our commitment to unlocking expedition experiences to Antarctica with an unprecedented comfort, said Conrad Combrink, Silversea senior vice-president of Expeditions, Operations and Destinations.
As part of the package, Silversea passengers will leave from a private terminal in Santiago in an exclusive flight to Puerto Williams, enjoying from the air an extraordinary landscape and an excellent gourmet experience.
Once in Puerto Williams passengers will immediately board the Silver Explorer to begin the Antarctic expedition which includes 10 to 12 days along the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands. The offer also includes shorter trips, five, six and nine days long. Longer trips will cover the Antarctica Peninsula, South Shetlands, Falkland Islands, Elephant Island and South Georgia.
Two unique cruises will offer the opportunity to enjoy the solar eclipse on 4 December 2021 from Antarctica, the only place in the world where the whole process can be seen.
Likewise, there is a prime cruise, with a welcome dinner and one night at a Santiago hotel, before flying to Puerto Williams, and a hotel after the cruise for those passengers who do not have a connecting international return flight when they land. The private flights are provided by the association of Silversea and DAP Antarctic Airways.
The association of Silversea cruises with an airline is the result of a decision from Chilean sanitary authorities strict measures. In effect, passengers arriving in Santiago must give proof of their double vaccination with an electronic sworn statement plus a negative PCR, 72 hours before boarding a flight to Chile. In Santiago international airport they must immediately take a charter flight to Punta Arenas or Puerto Williams. None of these passengers will be allowed to board Chilean commercial flights.
If for any reason passengers arriving in Santiago are delayed they must comply with quarantine in a special hotel for that purpose, paid by the tour operator. Likewise on their return from the south of Chile passengers must submit to an antigen test before landing.