Cape Horn is widely considered to be the most southerly point of South America. Dutch sailors named it after their hometown the city of Hoorn in the Netherlands. It marks the northern boundary of the Drake Passage. For many years it was a major milestone on the clipper route, by which sailing ships carried trade around the world. However, the waters around the cape are particularly hazardous, owing to strong winds, large waves, strong currents and icebergs; these dangers have made it notorious as a sailors' graveyard.
The need for ships to round the Cape Horn was greatly reduced by the opening of the Panama Canal in 1914.