• Storm petrel, Antarctica

Highlights and main attractions of the Drake PAssage

At just 400 miles, the Drake Passage is the shortest crossing of Antarctica, a body of open sea located between the southernmost tip of South America and the northern tip of the mainland ‘White Continent’. Entirely comprised of open water with no land mass around at these latitudes, crossing Drake Passage is considered an integral part of the Antarctica adventure, and is a unique spot like no other in the world.


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Drake Passage, Antarctica

Journey through the Drake Passage

It was Sir Francis Drake who first discovered this stretch of water during his crossing in 1577, and it has a reputation for being one of the world’s toughest to navigate. Allowing the unimpeded flow of the Antarctic Circumpolar it connects the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Ocean basins. At this unique conjunction the oceans flow freely and immensely, the force of which is said to equate to 135 times all the rivers on earth. It is the continuity of the Circumpolar Current that keeps Antarctica so defiantly cool, and forms its ice-cap. Despite its reputation and notoriety, one should not be deterred, as only occasionally is crossing the Passage more furious, and usually it is rather benign and surprisingly calm.

Wildlife that you may be able to see whilst venturing across Drake Passage includes a terrific variety of seabirds such as large flights of albatrosses, and it is justifiably famous for its cetaceans, but if you are lucky you may also spot dolphins and whales within its waters. 

Contrary to commonly held belief, there is no time of year when the sea is calmer or less turbulent to make the crossing, but many subscribe to the opinion that the winds pick up toward the end of the season around March time, which can make the journey slightly more adventurous overall.

The Drake Passage is exciting throughout the year, with wild waters and a variety of whales and sea birds to see.


Contact one of our Destination Specialists to start planning your journey to Antarctica. Please note we recommend a budget of from £7,000 / $10,000 USD per person for our style of trip to this destination.

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