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Drake Passage
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Cruises from Drake Passage

Drake Passage is the body of water between the southern tip of South America at Cape Horn and the South Shetland Islands of Antarctica. Named after the sixteenth century English explorer Sir Francis Drake, although he never actually sailed the passage, it connects the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, and is the shortest crossing from Antarctica to the rest of the world’s land, about 860 km.

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Conditions can change instantly in the Drake Passage, owing to strong winds, large waves, strong currents, and icebergs: hence notorious as ‘sailors’ graveyard.’ Until the opening of the Panama Canal in 1914 large ships had to sail this passage. Yet today most commercial shipping uses the open-ocean Drake Passage.

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