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Drake Passage Map

Drake Passage

Named for the English navigator, Sir Francis Drake, the Drake Passage is a somewhat narrow body of water between Antarctica and South America that serves as an ocean-going connecting point between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

This violent stretch of chaotic water between Antarctica and South America, one frequented by icebergs, huge waves and plagued by gale-force winds, is crossed by all sailors with great trepidation. Many still prefer to use the still dangerous, but more sheltered Strait of Magellan.

The opening of the Panama Canal in 1914 subsequently reduced the need for maritime travel around Cape Horn, and through the Drake Passage, the notorious site of many shipwrecks and the final resting place of countless sailors lost in its perilous waters.

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This page was last updated on June 16, 2020.