On Live Voyage Reports: Day 8 – Visiting A Volcano & A Rough Ride Ahead?

Silver Explorer: 10-Day Voyage To Antarctica

I spent the day in a caldera. And it was in the most unusual of places for a traveler: Deception Island, in Antarctica. Not many travelers get to Deception Island, only about 10,000 people annually, I was told. While Deception Island has one of Antarctica’s safest harbors, there are at least two hazards that travelers… [Read More]

On Live Voyage Reports: Day 7 – Ice-Choked Channel Causes Us To Miss Port Lockroy, But …

Silver Explorer: 10-Day Voyage To Antarctica

Today, we were supposed to be stepping ashore at Port Lockroy, a natural harbor within Antarctica’s British Antarctic Territory. The harbor was used for whaling and later for British military operations during World War II, and afterward became a British research station until 1962. The attraction today is a museum and post office operated by… [Read More]

On Live Voyage Reports: Day 6 – The Polar Plunge & Vodka At A Remote Outpost

Polar Plungers. © 2013 Ray

An Antarctic cruise on Silver Explorer is no place for naps — or even sleep. Sure, you can rest if you want to, but there are two things that may keep you from slipping into slumber. The first is the length of the day. I’m not sure when the sun rises and sets, but the times… [Read More]

On Live Voyage Reports: Day 5 – Brilliant Sunlight, Beautiful Bay, Awesome Antarctica

Cruising Silver Explorer to Antarctica. @ 2013 Ralph Grizzle

Note: Yesterday’s live report was delayed because of challenging internet … okay, time to fess up. Internet was fine. Yesterday’s live report was delayed because Antarctica is so friggin’ awesome (to use the words of my teenage son). Specifically, yesterday’s report was delayed because of the time I spent 1) climbing mountains, 2) admiring penguins,… [Read More]

On Live Voyage Reports: Day 4 — Destination: Mainland Antarctica, It Only Gets Better

Silver Explorer: 10-Day Voyage To Antarctica

This morning would mark yet another milestone on our Antarctic cruise. We would step ashore on the mainland of the White Continent. Yesterday, we landed on one of the islands, impressive enough indeed. But today, our boots would tread ground on the Antarctic Peninsula. Theoretically, you could walk from here to the South Pole. While… [Read More]

On Live Voyage Reports: Day 3 – Today, A Big Surprise


Due to challenging internet access, yesterday’s story (yes, this one) is a day late. Today, something totally unexpected happened. At 10 a.m., our Expedition Leader Kara announced that we would reach Antarctica early. Even better: We would attempt our first landing using the zodiacs. The sense of excitement was palpable among the diverse group of… [Read More]

On Live Voyage Reports: Day 2 – Sailing The Dreaded Drake


At 9:30 p.m. on Thursday, a little more than three hours after departing Ushuaia, I watched as a pilot boat arced alongside Silver Explorer. The compact boat had arrived to pick up the local pilot who had helped navigate Silver Explorer through the Beagle Channel. Though the channel would not have been difficult for Silver… [Read More]

On Live Voyage Reports: Day 1 – Arriving At The End Of The World: Ushuaia, Argentina


Even after four decades of traveling, I still find it hard to believe that you can insert yourself into the cigar-shaped fuselage of a jet and step out hours later in another place, perhaps a quarter way around the globe. That was my experience as I traveled from A-ROSA Silva on Germany’s Rhine River to… [Read More]