Gabriel of Castile



King George Island
King George Island


  • We will set sail from King George Island in Antarctica.
  • In this expedition you avoid the crossing of the Drake which is the hardest part of this adventure. In this case you will cross it by plane.
  • Flights depart from Punta Arenas in Chile. The price of flights are not included.
  • We will sail from King George Island through the southern Sethland archipelago.
  • We will arrive at Deception Island in about 4 days. We will visit its abandoned whaling factory. We can bathe in its hot springs and tour its beaches.
  • We will head south and after sailing 70 miles we will be on the Antarctic continent.
  • We will sail between icebergs and learn a lot about the different ices, from the hand of our expedition leader.
  • We will go out in the auxiliary boats to see whales, seals, birds, we will feel completely integrated into nature.
  • When the time is right we will set sail north towards the South Sethlands.
  • We will arrive at King George Island where you will take the flight back to the American continent.
Not included


It will tell the story of Gabriel de Castilla, a navigator and explorer who visited Antarctica in the early seventeenth century. The Antarctic Base located on Deception Island (South Shetland Islands), is named after him.

It will be defined on the date, it depends a lot on the weather.

Captains: Pedro Jimenez
Expedition Leader: Daniela and Santiago.

  • This expedition is cataloged easy, that means that it is suitable for almost all audiences, but it is necessary: to have good health, to have good physical condition, to have some experience in adventure trips, trekking, navigation or any activity that carries with it some capacity of resistance and willpower.
  • Recommended from 18 to 75 years old.

If you want to travel with friends, ask us about discounts for groups (from 4 people)

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Gabriel de Castilla Crossing

Today we are familiar with a large number of countries, continents, seas, islands or crossings, such as this Gabriel de Castilla crossing. However, in his day this was not so common and it was thanks to the discovery of a few when we began to know much of the world.

Gabriel de Castilla was a soldier and navigator born in Spain, in Palencia, who has the honor of having been the first European with the Dutchman Dirck Gerrits Pomp to have sighted the coasts of Antarctica giving name to the current journey.

We will delve into the figure of Gabriel of Castile, whose discovery allowed many ships to make use of the strait. Currently you can enjoy a similar journey in which the discovery of the lands of Antarctica was carried out. In addition to touring the waters that this sailor once traveled, you will be able to know much better its history when you arrive at the Gabriel de Castilla base.

However, do not worry, it is not necessary to carry out the expedition of this discoverer to know more about his history. Thanks to the work of many historians we can teach you much better who Gabriel of Castile was and why his discovery was so important.

Don Gabriel of Castile was an artillery captain born in Palencia around 1527. Of Admiral rank, Don Gabriel de Castilla left Valparaíso in command of three ships, Jesús María, a galleon of 600 tons and 30 cannons, Nuestra Señora de la Visitación and Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes, of 400 tons in 1603. Gabriel of Castile, with three ships would undertake the trip that would make him famous, a mission entrusted by his cousin Don Luis Velasco y Castilla who was the viceroy of Peru. The mission was to protect the coasts of Chile that were infested with corsairs at that time.

The main precursor of the discovery was undoubtedly the strong storm that broke out at sea. This storm forced Gabriel of Castile to go off the road to go further south, beyond the latitude that years ago had reached Francisco de Hoces. Apparently, Gabriel of Castile reached 64º South latitude, so it is assumed that they would have sighted what is now known as South Shetland.

The main problem with all this is that there are no archives of documents that officially certify this discovery. However, it is quite curious that one of the proofs that point to Gabriel of Castile as discoverer is that of a Dutch sailor, Laurenz Claesz, who traveled with the discoverer himself and relates in a document the sighting of new lands.

To get an idea of the magnitude of the discovery, this latitude would not be exceeded until 1773 by James Cook, a British navigator.

Due to the lack of official documents of the time, there are more versions about this trip. Another version indicates that the Spanish ship in which Gabriel de Castilla sailed was the Buena Nueva and that the lands that came to see full of snow were baptized as Buena Nueva in honor of the ship they were carrying.

In 1662 a new document was published in Amsterdam in three languages. This document clearly assured and specified the existence of land at 64º South latitude. All the details provided in the document coincide and everything seems to indicate that no one before 1622 sighted the continent.

The Gabriel de Castilla Antarctic Base is a Spanish military base located in Antarctica, specifically, on Deception Island that is part of the archipelago of the South Shetland Islands. The installation of this base took place between the end of 1989 and the beginning of 1990. He settled on Deception Island to support all the research work in the area in addition to the topographical work that was being carried out.

Currently, this database is used to carry out a wide variety of scientific studies. Within these studies we find geographical, geological, biological studies … The name of the base is a recognition to Gabriel de Castilla himself who, as we have seen, is attributed the honor of having been one of the first Europeans to have sighted Antarctica in the early seventeenth century.

In addition to the scientific character of the base itself, it also has a certain tourist attraction. This is because the base you can visit and learn much more about the history of Gabriel de Castilla along with some of his curiosities. Historians have a lot of work ahead of them to see who can really be assigned the honor of having discovered Antarctica. There are other accounts that also attribute the discovery to a Dutch privateer, Dirk Gerritsz.

In this story it is mentioned that land was sighted at that latitude after having also deviated as a result of a storm. However, the story throws many doubts due to the facts that are narrated in it, so it has not been considered entirely true in order to proclaim him as discoverer of these lands where snow abounds completely.

Polar navigation workshop

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