Antarctica, Day 0: Dallas to Santiago

December 19, 2019

Paul Kay


We’re on our way! Today, we left for our trip to Antarctica on Silversea Cruises. We made it from Dallas to Santiago, Chile. We’re spending one night, and then heading to Ushuaia, Argentina tomorrow. Here’s how our trip has gone so far.

For most Silversea Antarctica guests we’ve met so far, it took more than 24 hours for them to make it as far as Santiago, Chile.

Flying from DFW to ATL to SCL Santiago Chile

It took us 23 hours. Here’s how it added up: one hour driving to DFW Airport; four hours waiting for our flight to Atlanta; two hours flying there; four hours laying over; nine hours flying to Santiago; one hour clearing customs; and two hours retrieving our luggage and driving to the hotel. It’s been a long day!

We flew more than 5,400 miles on Delta Airlines.

Madeline didn’t get any restful sleep. The flight from Atlanta to Santiago was supposed to depart at 10:30 PM. But we didn’t take off until 11 o’clock. The dinner service kept us up until one o’clock in the morning. And we slept fitfully because of eating late and a bumpy ride.

Silversea staff met us at the airport and assigned us to a van.

Street Entrance, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Santiago, Chile

We arrived at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Santiago. The Mandarin is a beautiful hotel.

Lobby, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Santiago, Chile

Beautiful artwork adorns the lobby.

Lobby Christmas Tree, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Santiago, Chile

The hotel Christmas tree was decked out. And the hotel staff showed much Christmas spirit.

We checked in both with the hotel and the Silversea staff today. The Silversea staff gave us a welcome package and they said we had a welcome ceremony at 6PM.

Lobby Artwork, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Santiago, Chile

We admired an art piece representing the iconic fan of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel logo.

Paul and Madeline, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Santiago, Chile

The valet saw us staring at the sign and suggested that he’d take our photo in front of another sign.

In our room we unpacked some items but not much. Our luggage must be outside our room between nine o’clock and midnight so Silversea can properly tag it for our flight tomorrow. Our bus leaves at 7:15 AM. Since we must squeeze in breakfast beforehand, we’ll be getting up around five o’clock.

Garden and Waterfall, Senso Restaurant, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Santiago, Chile

We ate a late lunch at Senso, an Italian restaurant in the hotel. We enjoyed the food and a view overlooking a massive garden with a huge waterfall.

Risotto With Osso Buco, Senso Restaurant, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Santiago, Chile

Madeline had risotto with saffron and osso buco.

Lasagna, Senso Restaurant, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Santiago, Chile

I had a lasagna prepared in a cast-iron bowl. Both dishes were tasty and welcome after airline food and snacks the last 23 hours.

We’ve already met some of our fellow Silversea guests and staff because most of us are staying in the Oriental Mandarin as part of the Silversea package.

We’re used to overseas flights and know we have to stay awake in this new country as long as possible to acclimate to the different time zone. We’ll head to bed around eight o’clock tonight for a good night's rest before waking up early to catch that bus. Before, though, we’re going to a reception for Silversea guests.

More air travel awaits tomorrow with a three-hour flight to Ushuaia, a resort town located on the Tierra del Fuego archipelago at the southernmost tip of South America. Ushuaia’s nickname is End of the World. It’s on a steep hill and surrounded by the Martial Mountains and the Beagle Channel. Ushuaia is the gateway to our Silversea cruise to Antarctica.

That's it for Day 0 of our trip to Antarctica. More tomorrow!

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Read More

Searching for Shackleton in the Undiscovered Continent of Antarctica
Planning Our Antarctica Trip
Reading: Antarctica
Packing for Cruising Antarctica on Silversea
Antarctica, Day 1: Santiago to Ushuaia
Antarctica, Day 2: Drake Passage

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