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Nov. 18 update: Silversea in Antarctica but delays Down Under

CRUISE_Conrad_Combrink _Puerto_Williams_Mayor_Patricio_Fernández_Alarcón.jpg
Conrad Combrink, left, with Puerto Williams Mayor Patricio Fernández Alarcón
Silversea Cruises resumed Antarctica sailings but delayed its Australia restart until February.

Silver Explorer kicked off Antarctica sailings with its departure from Puerto Williams, Chile, Nov. 10. Silver Cloud subsequently joined its fleetmate in Antarctica, sailing from Punta Arenas, Chile, Nov. 14.

'We are making history. By embarking on a private, direct flight from Santiago to Puerto Williams, we are unlocking a flight path that has not been operated for more than 30 years — and never in such luxury,' said Silversea's Conrad Combrink, SVP expeditions, turnaround operations and destination management.

He acknowledged Punta Arenas Mayor Claudio Radonich, Puerto Williams Mayor Patricio Fernández Alarcón, Antarctica Chilena provincial Gov. Nelson Cárcamo Barrera, DAP Antarctic Airways' Nicolas Pivcevic and his team.

DAP Antarctic Airways is providing Silversea travelers with private, round-trip flights between Santiago and Puerto Williams. DAP Antarctic Airways is also the carrier providing the flight component of Antarctica Bridge, Silversea’s new Antarctica fly-cruise program.

Silversea will inaugurate this option on Dec. 11, enabling travelers to skip the Drake Passage and fly straight to Antarctica to start their cruise.

Cancellations Down Under

The first three departures of Silver Muse’s 2021/22 Australian season, which was due to commence next month with the arrival of the 596-passenger ship, have been cancelled.

Silversea, which had to cancel 10 Kimberley cruises earlier this year, is now planning for the first departure of the new season to take place on February 5.

‘While the government has made positive indications about cruise’s return, including verbal commitment to end the cruise ban on Dec. 17, no concrete decision has been made,’ MD Asia-Pacific Adam Radwanski said.

Radwanski said the lead time required to bring a ship to Australia requires 60-90 days minimum, which is why the company has delayed the start-up.

‘Silversea is committed to delivering a domestic season in Australia and eagerly anticipates the green light from the relevant authorities in coming weeks,’ he said.

‘We hope to support the local Australian economy when the season is permitted to operate.'