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The Gateway to Antarctica

Ushuaia, Argentina

Ushuaia, the gateway to Antarctica, deserves more time exploring its many charms.

Ushuaia holds a special place in our hearts; after sailing from the North to the South Pole for over 93 days, we finished the epic adventure in Ushuaia in November 2022 to relax, connect again with the outside world, and become grounded.

So when we returned with Oceania Cruises on our 110-day voyage around South America, we were elated; we could visit our favourite coffee shop, Ana & Juana and restaurants and fully appreciate the most stunning scenery again.

We had a few stops in Ushuaia, the gateway to Antarctica, where you often begin and end the Antarctic explorations; we even enjoyed an overnight stay out on the water, which was magical.

It is also the entry and exit point of the Drake Passage, so one is only too excited to see it on the horizon after the crossing from Antarctica. Another bonus is the Beagle Channel, so you are guaranteed some beautiful cruising.

Sixty days into our 110 days at sea, we arrived back in majestic Ushuaia. If you had asked us a few months ago if we would have been so lucky to experience this gem four times this Summer, we wouldn't have believed you!

Let's summarise the Summer of 2022/3 in South America:

  • Three trips of the Chilean Fjords, a total of four this Summer

  • Two sailings through Antarctica, a total of three this Summer

  • Four sailings of the Drake Passage, a total of six this Summer; some would say we are a glutton for punishment; surprisingly, three of the four were a Drake Lake, and one was 6-7m waves.

  • One trip to the Falklands after three attempts

  • Four visits to Uruguay

  • The abundance of wildlife has been thrilling: whales, dolphins, seals, sea lions, penguins (four species), birds and jellyfish.

Each time we arrive, Ushuaia steals a little piece of our hearts; it truly is a city from a painting.

We were beyond excited to sail in and see the fresh dust of snow decorating the tremendous Andes surrounding this picturesque pocket of the world. The ship was anchored on our first visit during January, as Ushuaia was on top of every cruise ship's list. We were accompanied by ten cruise and expedition ships for the day, so there was a battle to sneak the tenders through and transport passengers into town.

We opted to enjoy the day on the ship and let everyone else explore this gem today, and we appreciated the rapidly changing weather over the scenery throughout the day.

Upon returning to Ushuaia from Antarctica, the weather was on our side, albeit windy and icy cold. Still, as you can imagine, we were equipped.

After exploring the familiar town, we went straight to our coffee shop and lunch at Casimiro Biguá Parrilla & Restaurant to devour more of our favourite Patagonian lamb, accompanied by a delicious Argentinian red!!

As we strolled back in the direction of the ship wandering through a park, we heard a voice announcing 'Sally', and we turned around to see a dear friend from our previous cruise who was on a neighbouring ship, so we were all over the moon to catch up after six months, and knew fate had a part to play. Nenad, it was a precious moment to reconnect in beautiful Ushuaia.

The southernmost tip of the world, also known as the end of the world, Ushuaia, is one of the most beautiful places on earth; you can't get enough of the magnificent scenery. We loved seeing it change over the Summer and each month, finishing with a soft sprinkle of snow as we departed for the last time.

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