Jump to content
IDcruising

Crossing the Drake

Recommended Posts

Who has done the Drake Crossing? How was it. Cruising Antarctica February 2020. Please give details.

 

Our Drake Crossing wasn't rough.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Late December, 2017 aboard the Zaandam:

 

A severe storm was projected to cross the Drake Passage as we were to sail towards Antarctica. Very high winds and waves were forecast. The Captain chose to delay our departure from the tip of South America by 18 hours to allow for the storm to pass. He sailed the ship into the shelter of some islands near Cape Horn and we sailed a "race track" pattern, slowly, for those 18 hours. When we did begin our transit of the Drake in the vicinity of Cape Horn, the seas were rough. How rough? I was in the Crow's Nest and I found it difficult to maintain my footing when I was standing. This did not last long, however, and the rest of the transit was quite normal.

 

Going to bed that evening, looking towards the West. the end of the storm system was still visible on the horizon and it surely looked nasty even at some distance.

 

Even with the delay, we had 3 and one-half days of wonderful sightseeing, including the first day and a half when one Officer with whom I spoke said it was the most pleasant weather he had ever seen in that part of the world: blue skies with whispy clouds, light winds, cool but not unpleasant temperatures on the open decks.

 

It was a great cruise experience!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We also crossed in Feb. '17...smooth as glass both ways. I had been so dreading that part of the trip and actually delayed booking any sort of Antarctic trip for years on account of it. It's luck of the draw. Someone on CC once posted, "the Drake isn't that bad...until it is". Go prepared with sea bands, dramamine, ginger pills...etc. and you should be fine. Wishing you "Drake Lake"!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Who has done the Drake Crossing? How was it. Cruising Antarctica February 2020. Please give details.

 

How it was for any of us of course doesn't mean that's how it will be for you. You might have the Drake Lake, or the Drake Shake.

 

Both of our crossings during our Jan./Feb. 2013 expedition cruise were fairly rough. It was awesome. I know I'm probably in the minority in saying that. The elevator was closed, guide ropes were strung in passageways, many of the passengers stayed in their cabins. I enjoyed being up on the bridge, or out on the stern watching the many birds that follow ships through the Drake, including wandering albatross.

 

Enjoy your trip!

 

enhance

 

enhance

 

(photos by turtles06)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jan/Feb 2018 we had a smooth crossing down, a bit rougher on the way back. But watching the weather reports, we were lucky, because there were some significant storms that passed through in the meantime.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Turtles06 - Thanks for the reminder of the joy watching the birds following the ship, especially the beautiful albatross. We even had one bird land on deck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have done it quite a few times including in a force 11 storm. The rougher the better as far as I am concerned - its your visa entry to Antarctica!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Drake Lake on each of our trips.

 

 

Lake, or Shake, you won't know until the time and it's not worth worrying about: it's what happens on the way to the most amazing place.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Smooth down in February

No one made it to lunch and not many to dinner on the return. And we left early to avoid a storm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We were in Antarctica in February this year. We had the Drake Lake on the way down and the Drake Shake on the way back. I am very prone to seasickness and I use the patch. It is the only thing that works for me. Several people were sick on the way back....the ones who were unprepared. There is a reason the chairs are chained down in the restaurants!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have done it quite a few times including in a force 11 storm. The rougher the better as far as I am concerned - its your visa entry to Antarctica!!

 

I was happy to enter Antarctica visa free!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When we did it, it was disappointing. The sea was only slightly rough going south and very calm coming back north. I just can't see the point of going to Antarctica across the Drake Passage if you don't get to enjoy rough seas.

 

However, mother nature did make up for it because when we got to Cape Horn, we had a force 10 gale. It was really cool. I enjoyed it.

 

It was also fun watching the pilot boat try to put the pilot on board. It took about 2 hours for him to get on board.

 

DON

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:)Thank you

 

 

Late December, 2017 aboard the Zaandam:

 

A severe storm was projected to cross the Drake Passage as we were to sail towards Antarctica. Very high winds and waves were forecast. The Captain chose to delay our departure from the tip of South America by 18 hours to allow for the storm to pass. He sailed the ship into the shelter of some islands near Cape Horn and we sailed a "race track" pattern, slowly, for those 18 hours. When we did begin our transit of the Drake in the vicinity of Cape Horn, the seas were rough. How rough? I was in the Crow's Nest and I found it difficult to maintain my footing when I was standing. This did not last long, however, and the rest of the transit was quite normal.

 

Going to bed that evening, looking towards the West. the end of the storm system was still visible on the horizon and it surely looked nasty even at some distance.

 

Even with the delay, we had 3 and one-half days of wonderful sightseeing, including the first day and a half when one Officer with whom I spoke said it was the most pleasant weather he had ever seen in that part of the world: blue skies with whispy clouds, light winds, cool but not unpleasant temperatures on the open decks.

 

It was a great cruise experience!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

 

It was also fun watching the pilot boat try to put the pilot on board. It took about 2 hours for him to get on board.

 

 

 

DON

 

 

 

Lol that's my favourite 2am entertainment !!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Drake is MISERABLE. It is the worst 4 days of my life. I never thought I'd rather be working than on vacation, but the Drake definitely made me rethink that thought. It's rougher than the Tasman Sea, North Atlantic, or really any ocean or sea I have EVER BEEN ON. IT IS AWFUL! I have sailed to South Georgia Island as well, and that is at least a little better.

 

We were on a small expedition ship, The Kapitan Khlebnikov, which is a Russian ice breaker with no stabilizers so that may have made it worse than being on a large cruise ship.

 

The boat had everything strapped down, and had seat belts in beds and nets as well. Everything had the sticky carpet runners on all surfaces to keep things from sliding. All the table cloths were wet to also keep things from sliding. They put Emesis bags every two feet in the hall. I felt like I was walking up hill when going down a hallway. It was miserable. Absolutely awful, and I never get see sick have been on MANY cruises.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The Drake can be MISERABLE.

Fixed that for you. ;)

 

I’m lucky (or unlucky) enough to have had the Drake Lake on two of my crossings. I’ve experienced a slightly more proper Drake, when the sixth deck of the ship was getting hit by spray from the bow, but it was thankfully a front-to-back bucking instead of the awful side-to-side sway.

 

Having actively followed the expedition logs for some of the ships, most trips land somewhere in the middle. People who are prone to seasickness can have a rough time, but for most passengers, it’s not a huge ordeal if they’re good about taking motion sickness meds before they start to feel sick.

 

Like everything else in Antarctica, the best strategy is to hope for the best, and plan for the worst.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Fixed that for you. ;)

 

I’m lucky (or unlucky) enough to have had the Drake Lake on two of my crossings. I’ve experienced a slightly more proper Drake, when the sixth deck of the ship was getting hit by spray from the bow, but it was thankfully a front-to-back bucking instead of the awful side-to-side sway.

 

Having actively followed the expedition logs for some of the ships, most trips land somewhere in the middle. People who are prone to seasickness can have a rough time, but for most passengers, it’s not a huge ordeal if they’re good about taking motion sickness meds before they start to feel sick.

 

Like everything else in Antarctica, the best strategy is to hope for the best, and plan for the worst.

 

I have spent over almost 300 days on expedition and cruise ships and never get sea sick. Everyone was down for the count. No amount of seasickness meds would help this misery even with premedication (which I did take because we were already heavily warned). The boat would rock 25-30 degrees regularly for days. I watched the inclinometer they had in the library trying to see how high it could hit.

 

Thankfully the way back wasn’t as bad but was still miserable. Like I said, I think the fact that the boat lacked any stabilization system just amplified the awfulness. Some who had been down before on a different expedition ship said it was the worse they had experienced. When I went on another expedition to South Georgia and Falklanfs only (skipped the peninsula as the whole goal was to spend as much time on South Georgia as possible) while not crossing the Drake but still skirting it, it was not as bad. It was on the Akademik Vavilov and that ship was much more stable.

 

What boat were you on? I am glad you had a great crossing. I wouldn’t wish it on my worse enemy.

 

Overall, I agree, it definitely is luck, and you can get varying degrees of the Drake. There is a reason they started offering expeditions where you can fly to Kjng George Island, Antarctica and pick up the boat there as the Drake can be such a deterrent.

 

I would imagine the cruise ships that go to Antarctica have much less rocking as the size of the boat would reduce the amount of rocking considerably. Plus they have very advanced stabilization systems.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So far I’ve only done it on the MS Expedition and the MV Fram. Nowhere near as top-heavy as the Khlebnikov!

 

I would guess they’re a bit more pleasant in typical Drake conditions, but I’ve still heard some crazy stories from both. On the trip immediately after ours on the Expedition, they actually had a partial lockdown and encourged everyone to stay in their cabins for the day due to the risks of moving about the ship! I asked about this on the Fram, and the staff said that in those cases they don’t even need to ask, because everyone is generally too sick to come out anyway!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×