Dare to Cross the Roughest Sea Route in the World: Drake Passage

Rough seas in Drake Passage – between South America and Antarctica.

By Misty Lemmond

Drake Passage is known as “the most powerful convergence of seas”. The Atlantic, Pacific, and Southern Oceans collide in this 500-mile stretch of deep waters that connect the southernmost tip of South America to the South Shetland Islands of Antarctica. That’s right: Antarctica.

In addition to being the collision point for THREE massive oceans, Drake Passage has very little landmass to balance out the immense water movement and high winds.

So, what does this mean?

It means that Drake Passage has no accountability for its water and wind movement thus creating a continual and exhausting fiasco of 40 foot waves from Point A to Point B.

All. 500. Miles. of. It.

The crazy part? Ships offer Antarctic vacation cruises through the Drake Passage. However, I warn you, this is not your typical sunbathe-on-the-deck-with-a-martini type of cruise. No. This is a hold-on-to-your-britches-and-white-knuckle-the-handle type of cruise.

I am not kidding.

Drake Passage cruises are the roller coaster rides of the sea.

Cruise ship sailing through the Drake Passage is literally the roller coaster version of an ocean ride. It is not for the faint of heart.

It is, however, for the dare-seeking, courageous adventurist who wants to do something that very few people have ever done and ever will do. While most roller coaster rides last for, at most, five minutes, the Drake Passage cruise lasts for two days.

For two days, you must endure the up and down movements of the ship and the massive view of insanely tall waves that allow you to see the light of day one minute and then darken it the next as they engulf your window. For two whole days, you will be on a see-saw.

The ride is so extreme that the ship crew forewarn their passengers of the rough ride and recommend plenty of motion sickness medication. Regardless of this, the views are magnificent. You are literally travelling to a place where there is nothing: only breathtaking scenery, penguins, and seals.

Penguins chilling in Antarctica.

Once you pass through the rough waters of Drake Passage, the sea becomes as smooth as glass. The eerie silence stands out like nothing you have ever heard before. Nature surrounds you at every turn. The pure, white glaciers glisten in the daylight. The sight of inhabited and untouched land is awe-inspiring. There is no McDonald’s down there.

Seeing the picturesque, Antarctic landscape is a humbling experience. That is when you realize that the rough sailing trip was worth every white-knuckling grip. Our beautiful world has more than enough beauty for all to see. Experience it.

Do you dare to cross the roughest sea route in the world?

“You cannot cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water.”

Rabindranath Tagore

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