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South America and Antarctica Cruise - December 2, 2019 to January 6, 2020

Cruise Maps

On previous cruises, I had not cared too much about the actual route of travel, and had no way to track that route with any of the trinkets that I own.  This time it was different.  I was very much interested in our route near the Antarctic Peninsula, as well as, our route through the Tierra del Fuego area of extreme South America.   In addition, I learned about a GPS tracking device that might be able to help me track our cruise route through those areas.  This device is the QStarz BT-Q1000XT , which I bought from Amazon.  I tested the device before the cruise and was quite impressed by it's performance and accuracy, so I took it with me.  On the cruise, the device was attached to our balcony railing with a Velcro strap at all times we were in motion, recharged in place using a power brick, and the data was downloaded periodically as necessary.  I ended up with 15 separate data files that contained a combined 883,693 separate data points, each point a map coordinate.

Picture-1 below shows all data points displayed on a flat map.  This flat map distorts some land areas to allow it to be flat.  (We all know that if you peel the display covering off of a globe, it would not lay flat.  You would have to stretch the edges near the poles, which would distort the size of the land areas.  The farther away from the equator, the more stretch required.)  This map shows the ports that we visited in relation to the cruise track.  The colors on the track are not significant - they mostly define the source data file.  On the other hand, the arrows indicate the direction of travel, from near the top, down the east coast of South America, around the Antarctic area, and up the west coast of South America to Santiago.

Picture-2 shows all of the data points converted to Google Earth format with place names.

Picture-3 is a semi-close-up of the Antarctic area, with the local places labeled.   I also painted arrows on the lines so you could follow the path from entry north of Elephant Island to the exit point north of Deception Island.

Picture-4 shows Rio de Janeiro with our excursion route in red, and some of our stops labeled.  Our tour began and ended at the cruise terminal and followed the path shown.  Note the very squiggly line up the mountain to the Christ the Redeemer statue, and also note that we did not stop at the Maracana Stadium, just drove around it.

And finally, Picture-5 shows the data converted into Google Maps format.  I just recently learned how to do this.  I think this presentation is the best because it allows you to zoom in and out and see details of particular places.  For example, zoom in to the area near Montevideo, and you can see the circle route that the captain took while evaluating whether to land at Montevideo on a bad weather day.  He eventually decided to skip this port and went back out to the Atlantic and headed for Falkland Islands.

For your reference, here is a link to our cruise itinerary and here is a link to my written log of the trip.

Send me an email at if you have comments.

Pictures below

Picture-1.  Entire cruise on a flat map.
cruise map

Picture-2.  Entire cruise in Google Earth with ports labeled.
cruise map

Picture-3.   This is a picture of the tracking data I recorded while we are near Antarctica.   We enter from the top-right, proceed down toward Hope Bay, then to Admiralty Bay, then to the Gerlache Strait and Neumaier Channel, then up to Deception Island, and off to Cape Horn.

Picture-4.  Rio de Janiero excursion with major stops labeled.
cruise map

Picture-5.  This map will take a few seconds to load.
This is the entire cruise in Google Maps.  Note that you can click the little square symbol at the upper right of the map, and you can zoom in or out using the scroll wheel on your mouse or by clicking the plus or minus sign in the lower left corner.