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10 Fascinating Facts About Cape Horn

Known as one of the most daring journeys in the sailing word, a trip around Cape Horn can be a stern test in unfavourable weather conditions. Lying off the coast of South America, the famous rock formation is sometimes included on Antarctic expedition cruises. As part of a national park and home to interesting wildlife, it is more than just a marker for ships making an attempt to sail around the world.

Here are ten fascinating facts about Cape Horn.

Cape Horn

1. January 2016 marked 400 years since Cape Horn was discovered. This event was celebrated by a flotilla of Chilean ships sailing by.

2. It was Dutch captain Willem Schouten who first rounded the Cape in an attempt to find a new route towards India when travelling west from Europe.

3. This discovery broke a monopoly held by the East India Company, whose ships patrolled the waters of the Magellan Strait.

Cape Horn Autumn

4. Until the opening of the Panama Canal in 1914, the route around Cape Horn was the only way of transporting goods and people from one coast of the Americas to the other.

5. In 1942, Argentinian yachtsman Vito Dumas became the first person to make a voyage around the Cape single-handedly.

6. Part of Chile, Cape Horn is not actually attached to the mainland. Instead, it is the furthest south in a group of islands off the coast of Tierra del Fuego.

Cape Horn Snowy

7. In 1849, many people emigrated from the east coast of America to the west coast, via Cape Horn, as part of the San Francisco Gold Rush.

8. During the height Cape Horn’s fame as a treacherous route, sailors who successfully completed a trip around the rock earned the right to wear a gold hoop earring. Nowadays, cruise ship captains hand out certificates to passengers on board these momentous sailings.

9. A treaty established between Argentina and Chile in 1881 grants ships from all nations the ability to travel through the Straits of Magellan and military defences are not permitted to be built along any of the shore lines.

Cape Horn

10. The name Cape Horn is from the Dutch word Hoorn and was named after a second ship that was lost during Willem Schouten’s expedition. The ship got the name due to the fact that many people who financed the venture were from a town called Hoorn in the Netherlands.

A trip around Cape Horn or even a sighting from your ship will be a memorable occasion. If you would like to achieve this on your cruise to Antarctica, our team can help you find an itinerary that features it. Call us on 0808 231 4814 for more information.

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