Setting Sail to Antarctica and Crossing the Drake Passage

My first time on a ship was crossing the turbulent waters of the Drake on the Magellan Explorer.

Monday, October 18, 2021

To sail to Antarctica was a dream of mine for a long time. I had never been on a ship before, but when I heard about the Magellan Explorer and watched the progression of it being built, I told myself I would take a trip on it! Antarctica would be the last continent I visited, and it was my goal to visit all 7 before I hit 30. In January 2020, my husband and I set sail to Antarctica on an Express trip, in celebration of our 5th anniversary.

Everyday we looked out at the landscapes and felt wonderment at this faraway place that´s a part of our Earth. The icebergs, the wildlife – the main emotion present was amazement. I am a photographer at heart and naturally wanted to take pictures of the Continent and had ample time to do so. We absolutely loved going to the different islands, visiting the different stations and all the lectures we got from the expert Antarctic guides.

A highlight for me everyday was hearing ‘Welcome to Antarctica!’ every time we went ashore. And now, something that still makes me smile was that this was my first-time sailing ever and I did it crossing the Drake Passage, an area notorious for its turbulent waters. And having gone though that, I think I can handle being seasick just fine. My advice just be prepared, say hydrated and bring your sea-sickness medications.

I recommend this trip to everyone I can! The Antarctica Express trip is perfect for those with busy schedules like my husband and me. The Magellan Explorer is beautiful. The crew and guides exceeded our expectations. The food was so good, and we were impressed with how fresh everything tasted. There was even a day with a “build you’re your own stir fry” station, and we loved it!

The biggest thing I took away from my Antarctic trip was making friends with fellow passengers and the crew, along with our memories of the White Continent itself.

Story by Dr. Ayesha Tabassom, Emergency Medicine/Family Medicine doctor and Avid Photographer

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