Drake Passage Day 1

Written by Safarigal
November 30, 2022

We seem to be in a better spot for wifi, and Brian has shown me how to reduce the size of my photos, so I am giving it a go at reposting with a few photos.

Well there was certainly some motion during the night, but really not much more than you would expect on a winter Mediterranean cruise. We both slept well, and decided that the beds were comfy enough, but I missed the luxury of a Cunard mattress.

Seeing as many of us had arrived quite late last night the safety drill was postponed until this morning. We watched the mandatory safety briefing on the TV and then headed up to the pool deck as instructed. Now they ALWAYS say bring a hat and gloves and warm clothing with you when you attend the lifeboat drill, and we always smile when folks arrive at their indoor muster stations on other ships clothed for the north Atlantic. Well they really meant it this time – it was freezing cold by the pool, and I was very glad that I had bundled up for the occasion. As we were being instructed on how to put on our life vests the man standing next to me very wisely pointed out that 10 minutes in this freezing water would kill you, anyway, so why bother with the life vest. Maybe he was accurate, but I didn’t need to know that.

It didn’t take us long to explore the ship. It is rather like the Seabourn Ovation with the cabins fore and the public areas aft, joined by a central lobby. I would not say that the ship is spectacular, and it’s certainly not glitzy or stylish, absolutely no wow factor. However, it has a nice homey retro feel to it. The paintwork is in great condition, and the furnishings are bright and in good shape. The low ceilings make it feel cozy. I think it’s perfect for an Antarctica cruise.

My only complaint is the Observation Lounge. This is on deck 9 at the front of the ship and is the Commodore Club equivalent. Not only is it not accessible by lift, you have to go outdoors to get there. It was snowing the first time we went there. What’s more, it doesn’t have a bar, but it does have a tea and coffee station. I brought my own Coke up from our cabin, so it actually did work out OK.

In the morning we all had to attend a zodiac briefing, and Schalk the South African expedition leader gave us a talk on what to expect during our outings in the zodiacs and once ashore. With all the layers of clothes, Silversea parka, inflatable life vest, and backpack I think I am going to look like a Teletubby. I hope I don’t topple over. It all sounded quite challenging. Especially as I always get myself tangled up in those inflatable life vests.

In the afternoon there were talks on the Birds of Antarctica and Whaling.

Before dinner Schalk introduced us to the Expedition staff. Wow, there are a lot of them! He also introduced us to the key personnel running the ship. The director of the spa held a raffle for free spa activities, but as usual we didn’t win anything.

We went to the restaurant for dinner, and were given a table for 2 by the window, which was perfect. The menu was full of very tempting items, it really was difficult to choose, but I chose well! The only disappointment was the sticky toffee pudding which was completely substandard. Nowhere near as good as the one you get at the Thornhill Inn in Thornhill, Dumfriesshire.

After dinner we went to the Panorama Lounge for a night cap. The pianist, Florandy, is really great, and it was good to be listening to such an accomplished musician again. Jonathan, the Entertainment Director,  hosted a  Name that Tune game, and although we didn’t come any where near winning, we had a great time, and were given coupons towards prizes at the end of the cruise. It turned into a bit of a sing along. I mean who can resist belting out Dancing Queen as you make your way thought the Drake Passage in search of Antarctica.

Post Discussion


  1. Ron

    Brilliant. Thank you for sharing. We will be crossing the Drake Passage in January so I was interested to read of your experience.
    Although it’s still 7 weeks till our sailing, we are starting to set out our clothes and kit now. The excitement is slowly beginning to build up!

    • Safarigal

      You are so lucky, it really is a wonderful trip 🙂

  2. Simon Dancer

    How many passengers on board please. And is the rule about only 100 allowed on shore at any one time still in force. Our first Antarctica trip we had 170 passengers so they split us up into 2 groups and we still got 3 landings a day. It is brilliant. I am expecting to see iceberg pics tomorrow.

    • Safarigal

      There are 221 passengers on board, and yes, only 100 can go ashore at a time. We have been going in 2 groups. We only get 2 landings a day – and yesterday’s 2nd landing was cancelled due to bad weather. Not surprisingly the internet here is pretty poor so uploading photos just isn’t working too well alas 🙁

  3. Beverley Allen

    Loving your review, it sounds a real adventure. From Alaska to the the Antarctic in the same year!

    • Safarigal

      Thank you! Its been a fun year catching up with trips that were cancelled 2 years ago, but I am having the best time!

  4. Yves-Pierre Duquesne

    Hi from Belgium !
    I’ll follow your steps in a week on Silver Wind.
    I really like your blog because it give me a lot of informations for this trip.
    Can’t wait to follow your posts.

    Enjoy your cruise !!

    • Safarigal

      Oh, you are so lucky. It is a fabulous trip! Just remember to bring a cardigan or fleece to wear around the ship, it is cold especially in the evening. And I don’t know about the Wind, but very few people on board really dresses up in the evening, less clothes to bring.

  5. Suzanne Dennis

    Hello! I am really enjoying your blog. My husband and I will be on the Cloud for the 18 day trip in January and I can now say it is next month! This is a bucket list trip for me and my belated retirement trip that we’ve waited 2 years to do. I was a 2nd grade teacher and taught a unit on penguins every January and now if all works out, I will be there with them! Thanks again for all of your details. Much appreciated!

    • Safarigal

      I am so excited for you! I have been waiting for this trip since 2019, and I need to pinch myself to really believe that we are here. You will LOVE the penguins!

  6. Jan K

    I am so happy I stumbled upon your blog. I will be cruising next month on the Silver Cloud and beginning to freak out a little regarding the packing. Could you tell me about the boots you had with you – did you bring them or rent them. If you brought them, would you recommend black boots, I’m afraid everyone will have the same coloured boots and will be difficult to find them before each excursion.

    Glad to hear it is quite casual, should be easier to pack. I’ll be out and about for 9 weeks in South America, so I better plan accordingly.

    I’m reading and savouring every word you are writing. Thanks for sharing! Can’t wait to see it myself.

    • Safarigal

      I am so happy for you that you will be on the Silver Cloud. We had a fantastic time and I loved every minute of it. Like you, I totally stressed about what to take. I had boots from a past trip, https://www.bogsfootwear.com/shop/style/60152.html, which are the same boots that you can rent. Mine are a size bigger than my usual shoe size, and that works really well with thick wool socks. The boots worked really well, my toes kept warm and dry. I would have preferred a little bit more of a tread when we were walking on the snow, but with the use of hiking poles I was able to maintain traction. If you want to minimize what you are carting around with you, I would suggest renting boots if you will not need them for the rest of your trip. Yes, most of us had black boots, but you could add decals if you have your own. You keep your boots on your own rack in the wet room, and they give you tags for your boots with your cabin number on if you want. I don’t recall anyone having an issue with a boot mix up. It is so well organized!I wore my slip on sandals to walk from our cabin to the wet room, but lots of people just wore the Silversea slippers we were provided, so that could cut down on things you need to pack.It was so nice not having to dress up in the evenings. I only got dressed up once. No need for high heels :). The ship is cool. so make sure you have a sweater or fleece even for indoors.

You May Also Like…


It was a very cold morning when we disembarked from the Silver Cloud and took the bus to Port Williams airport. We were scheduled to leave the ship at 7:00, and ended up doing so at 7:15. The bus was small, no room to store luggage, so we all...

Read More

En Route to Puerto Williams

Well as it turned out, although not quite a millpond, there was really not much motion at all overnight. A huge disappointment. We were due to arrive at Puerto Williams at 1:00 PM so there wasn’t much more time to savor the waves. It was our...

Read More

The Drake Passage Again

No icebergs. No announcement from Billy calling us down to the zodiacs. Not a whale in sight. All I could see out of the window was the endless grey sea, dappled with white caps. Alas, we are not in Antarctica anymore, but are speeding across...

Read More


I love to share my adventures with others, and hopefully give them some insight into what to expect on their own exciting travels. I hope reading my blog will be a useful resource, and inspire others to follow their travel dreams. As a travel advisor, I get great pleasure out of being able to help folks fulfill their aspirations by translating my experience in safari adventures and ocean voyages into memorable travel experiences for them.