Most Antarctic tour ships sail to and from Ushuaia, which means that passengers may catch sight of the fabled Cape Horn (Cabo de Hornos) – and, rarely, land there. Cape Horn is a synonym for adventure and the romance of the old days of sailing – although for most of the poor sailors attempting to double the Horn, there was no romance on a cold winter ocean with a gale blowing.
Cape Horn was first revealed to Europeans in January 1616 by Dutchmen Jakob Le Maire and Willem Schouten, sailing in the ship Unity. They named the cape after their ship Hoorn, which had accidentally burned at Puerto Deseado on the Patagonian coast.
Horn Island, where the famous cape forms its southernmost headland, is just 8km long. The cape itself rises to 424m, with striking black cliffs on its upper ramparts.