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Zodiacs take guests for an up close view of the ice sculptures

Patagonia, the Chilean Fjords & Antarctica

Example 19 Day Cruise aboard Silver Explorer
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Venture along the coast of Chile to the “End of the World” and beyond. Get a glimpse of the remarkable medley of landscapes here, from Patagonia’s lakes, glaciers, mountains and fjords to the icebergs and tundra of the Antarctic Peninsula. See a range of wildlife along the way—from guanaco to penguins—as well as getting a chance to interact with members of the local communities.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Santiago (Valparaiso), Chile
Day 2 : Day at Sea
Day 3 : Niebla, Chile
Day 4 : Castro, Chiloé Island, Chile
Day 5 : Puerto Chacabuco, Chile
Day 6 : English Narrows
Day 7 : Pio XI Glacier, Chile
Day 8 : Cruise the Chilean Fjords, Chile
Day 9 : Punta Arenas, Chile
Days 10-11 : Drake Passage
Days 12-16 : Antarctic Peninsula
Days 17-18 : Drake Passage Return
Day 19 : Ushuaia, Argentina


  • Learn of Chile’s native Mapuche, Spanish settlers and German immigrants
  • Visit Chile’s spectacular Lake Region
  • See the wooden churches of Chiloé Island — A UNESCO World Heritage site
  • Encounter Gentoo, Chinstrap and Adelie Penguins
  • Set foot on the continent of Antarctica


Silver Explorer

Places Visited


Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level


Trip Snapshots

Exploring the ice on a Patagonia trekking tour Zodiacs take guests for an up close view of the ice sculptures View the pristine beauty of Antarctica Horseback riding beneath Los Cuernos del Paine Trekking the icy landscape of a glacier in Patagonia Sea lion pup found during a wildlife tour of Chile

Day 1 Santiago (Valparaiso), Chile

Embark Silver Explorer and depart on your exciting Silversea Expedition — “Patagonia, the Chilean Fjords & Antarctica”. This evening, after a mandatory safety briefing, you will be introduced to your Expedition Team and enjoy the first of many delightful dinners in The Restaurant.

Day 2 Day at Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
A leisurely day at sea is yours to enjoy. Meet some of your fellow explorers as you discover the luxurious amenities aboard Silver Explorer. Attend informative lectures and attend a Zodiac briefing led by your Expedition Team members that will prepare you for the upcoming ports-of-call and the many adventures that lie ahead. In the comfort of your suite, relax and watch a movie on the in-suite interactive television.

Day 3 Niebla, Chile

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Niebla is a small village on the banks of the Rio Valdivia where Chile’s Corral Bay meets the Pacific Ocean. Today Niebla is a beach resort, but in 1671 was a defensive fortress built by Spanish conquerors to prevent attacks from pirates and corsairs.

This morning you will drive to the charming river port city of Valdivia, where you’ll find an interesting blend of influences from the native Mapuche, Spanish settlers, and German immigrants. Your destination is the Historical and Anthropological Museum Maurice Van der Maele that houses a collection of Mapuche artefacts and jewellery, as well as important pieces from Hispanic and German periods. The first German colonists arrived here in 1849 and worked hard to develop Valdivia into one of one of southern Chile’s most productive areas and their influence can be felt in every corner of this city.

Day 4 Castro, Chiloé Island, Chile

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Chiloé Island is home to an amazing collection of 150 Jesuit-carved wooden churches, houses raised up on poles out of the water, and more than 400 native plant varieties. Drop anchor and go ashore via the Zodiacs. From Castro, head south to the picturesque village of Dalcahue. On the way, glimpse the colourful hamlet of Llaullao with houses roofed with tejuelas.

After a brief ferry ride to Quinchao, pass through Curaco de Velez. This tiny village of approximately 500 inhabitants had its best times around 1850 when cattle raisers and whalers lived here. Today, beautiful houses remain as a testament to these better times. Another highlight of this village is the coastal avenue where it is sometimes possible to see Black-necked Swans. Just ahead, arrive in Achao, which was founded by the Jesuits in 1743 and now has almost 2,500 inhabitants. Achao is a lively town with boats arriving every day from all the surrounding islands. While here, you will visit the Jesuit’s Achao Church, the oldest wooden structure in Chiloé and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Constructed in 1730, it contains beautiful baroque imagery. Afterwards, cross Achao’s main square to enjoy a snack and typical local music before returning to Dalcahue. Here you will visit the well-preserved Dalcahue Church with its galvanized iron roof. Carved by Jesuits from locally grown Patagonian cypress, larch and luma trees, the detailing and precision are amazing. It was declared a World Heritage site in 2000.

Alternatively, visit Chiloé National Park, located on the western coast of Chiloé Island. It encompasses an area of 430.57 km² and includes dunes, temperate rainforests, swamps, and peat bogs. The park’s warm and humid climate contributes to the existence of the evergreen forest, which is made up mostly of terebinth shrubs, coigüe, luma, myrtle, tepu and larch. The fauna includes fox, sea lion, mountain monkey, sea otter, opossum, pudú, finch, and the Patagonian Woodpecker. Some of these species are endemic, due to the insular nature of this island. Our walk takes us along the El Tepual Trail through evergreen tepú forest.

Day 5 Puerto Chacabuco, Chile

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Puerto Chacabuco is the entrance to Chile’s most isolated region, Region XI or Region Aysén del General Carlos Ibañez del Campo. The third-largest of Chile’s 15 regions, it is the least inhabited.

As the border with Argentina was only clearly limited in 1902 the whole area was exploited quite late. Land was given to sheep and cattle-raising companies, while coastal settlements mainly exploited timber. Puerto Chacabuco is the only commercial port — it gained importance as the earlier port and town of Puerto Aysén was gradually landlocked by silt coming down the river Aysén. The bridge spanning the river is a National Monument and Chile’s longest suspension bridge. Puerto Chacabuco’s 1600 inhabitants live off fishing, cultivating seafood (mainly salmon fish-farms), and to some extent eco-tourism.

Because of the predominant westerlies the coastal area has a cool maritime climate with 3000mm of rain. The evergreen Magellanic forest is present in the vicinity of Puerto Chacabuco and during the morning you will visit an ecological park to hike and to get a closer look at the typical flora (coigue de Magallanes, leña dura, canelo, and several types of cypress and fuchsia). Pumas and huemuls (the world’s southernmost deer — one of Chile’s heraldic animals and declared a “Natural Monument of Chile”) still exist, but are very difficult to find, considering the vast extension of the region.

Day 6 English Narrows

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Early this morning, be out on deck to watch as you head towards the English Narrows. Your Captain and local Chilean Pilots expertly manoeuvre Silver Explorer through the slalom course of islands and channel markers. During this time, you may spot Magellanic Diving Petrels and Steamer Ducks, and if you are very lucky, you may spot the endemic Chilean dolphin. Shy of ships, this small dolphin enjoys spending its time in narrow channels with heavy tidal rips.

You should pass the English Narrows during lunch time — although you can see the Narrows from the Restaurant, you really should be out on deck.

Day 7 Pio XI Glacier, Chile

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In the early morning you will visit the Pio XI Glacier. This tidewater glacier sprawled out in front of us is 4.5 km wide and a remarkable shade of brilliant blue. An outlet glacier of the South Patagonian Ice Field, the Pio XI had once extended out into the fjords whose waters you ply today. Conditions permitting, you will board Zodiacs and dodge brash ice and bergy bits as you approach the glacier at a safe distance. Alert for signs of calving, you may see small chunks of ice falling from the glacier front.

Day 8 Cruise the Chilean Fjords, Chile

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The course will take you through the vast extense of the Chilean Fjords. Mountains loom on both sides of Silver Explorer and one can only marvel at the hardy flora trying to cling to the barren rocks. Occasionally seals and dolphins can be seen. The whole region of the fjords is so inhospitable that only one single settlement exists.

Let the on-board historian entertain you with tales of early Spanish exploration, or perhaps you might want to attend a talk about the region’s geology. Your friendly and knowledgeable ship staff and expert lectures will surely offer something that will keep you busy during the day. Birders will want to see what species want to live in this area. Further south Andean Condors should majestically soar above the hills and mountains. Perhaps you have to chance to see one of the tiny fishing-boats coming out of Punta Arenas, trading for some of their locally caught fish or king crab. This way your Chef could prepare some local dishes for you to sample. Empanadas (especially nice when paired with a glass of Chilean wine) might arouse your interest and appetite to try some more when going ashore in Punta Arenas.

Day 9 Punta Arenas, Chile

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Established as a small penal colony in 1848, Punta Arenas today is the capital of Chile’s southernmost region “Magallanes and Antarctic Chile”. The city has grown in the 19th century because of a gold rush and extensive sheep-farming. Before the building of the Panama Canal the Strait of Magellan was of prime importance to navigation and Punta Arenas still is the entrance for Antarctica for South America’s west coast.

Depart from the pier for an exploration of the city of Punta Arenas, stopping at the observation point of La Cruz Hill for a wide view of the city and the Strait of Magellan. Continue on to the Mayorino Borgatello Museum, founded by the Salesian missionaries, where you can view exhibits illustrating the habitat and history of Patagonia’s aboriginal people and the region’s natural history.

A must for any visitor to Punta Arenas is a stop at the Plaza de Armas, not only to browse for some local products and souvenirs, but to see the imposing statue of Fernando de Magallanes and to touch the toe of the Fuegian native sitting at the base of the monument. There are several stately houses at or near the Plaza de Armas that relate to famous expeditions to Antarctica, and a local entrepreneur has even rebuilt Magellan’s ship Victoria.

During the afternoon you will once again take the Strait of Magellan, this time to enter the Pacific Ocean heading for the Drake Passage.

Day 10-11 Drake Passage

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The Drake Passage has a notorious reputation for its turbulent seas due to the Antarctic Convergence, a natural boundary where cold polar water is flowing northward and warmer equatorial water moves southward. When they meet, nutrients are pushed to the surface, often attracting a multitude of seabirds and whales. Spend some time on deck watching the horizon and the variety of seabirds that glide in the air currents of our ship’s wake such as the Black-browed Albatross, Sooty Shearwaters and White-chinned Petrels. Have your camera ready to capture the magical color of a midnight sunset.

As you set sail on your initial transit, familiarize yourself with the elegant Silver Explorer and the friendly Expedition Team members. Attend wildlife, geography and history discussions hosted by your expert naturalists and guest lecturers that will prepare you for the exciting adventures that lie ahead. When available, visit the Bridge and meet your Captain and officers; information will be posted in the “Chronicle”, the daily on-board newsletter.

Day 12-16 Antarctic Peninsula

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
While sailing to Antarctica, every turn can reveal a new and breath-taking adventure. As the pack ice becomes thicker, it becomes apparent to everyone that you are moving closer into Antarctica’s vast white wilderness. Remote and otherworldly, Antarctica is irresistible for its spectacular iceberg sculptures and calving glaciers, and for the possibility of up-close encounters with marine mammals. Watch for seals sunbathing on slow-moving ice floes and for humpback, Minke, and orca whales to surface from below the frigid waters. Each day there will be attempted Zodiac departures, and, if conditions permit, you will cruise amidst colorful icebergs or step ashore to visit a variety of penguin rookeries and perhaps scientific research stations on complimentary excursions led by our team of natural history experts.

A flexible itinerary allows you to take advantage of favorable sea and weather conditions. In the true spirit of expedition cruising, each day the Expedition Leader and Captain will determine the best course depending on weather, ice conditions and wildlife you may encounter. Here are some of the places you may visit:

Aitcho Islands, South Shetland Islands (just off the Antarctic Peninsula at the entrance to the English Strait)
As you step off the Zodiac to explore the island, it is very likely you will be greeted by the locals…penguins! Penguin species here include Gentoo and Chinstrap. Other annual seabirds include the Southern Giant Petrels.

While heading back to the ship, you may have company as a leopard seal or southern elephant seal follows alongside your group’s Zodiac.

Brown Bluff, Tabarin Peninsula (a 2,200-foot bluff on the Antarctic continent)
Brown Bluff is an ice-capped, 745-metre-high, flat-topped mountain with a prominent cliff of reddish-brown volcanic rock.

Adelie and Gentoo Penguins, Kelp Gulls, and Pintado Petrels use this as a breeding area.

Birds such as the all-white Snow Petrel and skuas may be seen from a distance.

As you explore the area, a Weddell seal may be seen basking in the sunlight.

Wait long enough and you might see the Adelie Penguins standing along the shore, finally making their way into the surf.

Cuverville Island, Errera Channel
The island was discovered by de Gerlache’s Belgian Antarctic expedition of 1897–99, and was named for a vice admiral in the French navy.

Large, bare rock areas provide nesting sites for Gentoo Penguins. Snow Petrels and Pintado Petrels also may be seen whilst Wilson’s Storm-petrels nest in the higher scree of the island.

During Zodiac tours, hauled-out Weddell and Antarctic fur seals may be seen.

Paradise Bay (on the Antarctic Peninsula)
The bay is well named for its spectacular scenery of mountains, glaciers and icebergs.

From the ship, observe Argentina’s “Base Almirante Brown”, one of many Antarctic research stations. Here, you will actually set foot on the continent of Antarctica.

View the wildlife from sea level while cruising in your Zodiac with one of the experienced Expedition Team members. There’s a good chance you’ll come across a crabeater seal relaxing on a nearby ice floe, or if you’re very lucky, your Zodiac driver may locate Minke whales.

Paulet Island
As you arrive, the sight of Adelie Penguins covering the entire island may well amaze you.

The island is home to 80-90 thousand Adelies that come here to breed.

On a nearby hill, view a massive colony of Blue-eyed Shags. Kelp Gulls and Snowy Sheathbills are amongst the birds that breed on Paulet Island, and Wilson’s Storm-petrels are regularly seen.

Listen as your Expedition Team guide tells of Otto Nordenskjold and his party that over-wintered on the island in 1912. Remnants of their hut still remain.

If time permits, hike to Crater Lake or take a Zodiac cruise to view impossibly blue icebergs and the Adelie penguins making themselves at home on the ice floes.

Petermann Island, Wilhelm Archipelago
The island is named for German geographer August Petermann and was first discovered by a German expedition in 1873-74.

Your on-board geologist will take the opportunity to point out various geological features such as the many basaltic dikes along the shoreline and the more granite composition of the small summit, where rock surfaces show glacial polish and some glacial grooving.

During your landing, you will be able to observe rookeries of Adelie Penguins, Gentoo Penguins and Blue-eyed Shags.

Pleneau Island, Wilhelm Archipelago
Pleneau Island lies at the south end of the Lemaire Channel, and was first explored during Charcot’s 1903–05 French Antarctic Expedition. The island was named for the expedition’s photographer, Paul Pleneau.

Amongst the common breeding birds are Gentoo Penguins, Kelp Gulls and South Polar Skuas. See the Gentoo Penguins during a landing and southern elephant seals that are often hauled-out in wallows.

Enjoy spectacular glacial and ice scenery.

Port Foster, Whalers Bay (Deception Island)
Deception Island is home to a collapsed volcano and an excellent example of a caldera where it is believed that the volcano’s summit collapsed with one section sinking far enough to allow the sea to flood the interior. Plan to sail inside this breached wall through a narrow entrance called Neptune’s Bellows.

The resident geologist will take the opportunity to explain the unique volcanic features of the area while the historian will introduce you to the whaling history of Deception Island.

Still visible on the island are the boilers used to make whale oil in the early 1900s.

Port Lockroy, Goudier Island
The British built a listening station here during WWII, which was then used as a research station in the 1950s and since 1996 as a museum and gift shop. Snowy Sheathbills and Gentoo Penguins roam outside the museum.

Perhaps sight a whale or two on your Zodiac cruise.

Day 17-18 Drake Passage Return

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Navigating your return through the Drake Passage, watch for seabirds and wildlife you may have missed on the first trip. Take this opportunity to attend additional presentations offered by the Expedition Team lecturers and to swap photos with new friends as you travel towards Ushuaia.

Day 19 Ushuaia, Argentina

  • 1 Breakfast
Silver Explorer will arrive at Ushuaia in the morning. Following breakfast, disembark Silver Explorer.

Silver Explorer

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Silver Explorer's Adventurer Cabin
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Adventurer Class
6 cabins on Deck 3, 180 sq. feet, Twin or Queen beds, 2 portholes.
Silver Explorer's Explorer Cabin.
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Explorer Class
4 cabins on Deck 4, Twin or Queen beds, 180 sq. feet with view window.
Silver Explorer's View Suite.
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View Suite
12 suites on Deck 3, 230 sq. feet with view window, Twin or Queen beds.
Silver Explorer Vista Suite.
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Vista Suite
16 suites on Deck 4, 194 - 230 sq. feet with large window, Twin or Queen beds.
Silver Explorer's Veranda Suite
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Veranda Suite
8 suites on Deck 5, 215 sq. feet with French balcony, Twin or Queen beds.
Silver Explorer's Expedition Suite.
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Expedition Suite
4 suites on Deck 3, 430 sq. feet with 2 view windows, Twin or Queen beds.
Silver Explorer Medallion Suite.
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Medallion Suite
2 suites on Deck 7, 358 sq. feet with private veranda, Twin or Queen beds.
Silver Explorer's Silver Suite.
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Silver Suite
6 suites on Deck 5, 430 sq. feet with 2 French balconies, Twin or Queen beds.
Silver Explorer Grand Suite.
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Grand Suite
2 suites on Deck 7, 650 sq. feet with large private veranda, Twin or Queen beds.
Silver Explorer's Owner's Suite.
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2 suites on Deck 7, 540 sq. feet with large private veranda, Twin or Queen beds.


-The supplement for single occupancy in a Vista, Veranda or Midship Veranda Suite ranges from 25% – 100% above the double occupancy fare, depending upon the sailing and suite selected. Single supplement for a Silver or Medallion Suite (Silver Shadow and Silver Whisper), Owner’s, Grand or Royal Suites are 100% above of the double occupancy fare. Suites for single and third guests are capacity controlled.
-All prices are in US Dollars, Cruise-Only per person based on double occupancy.

Included in cruise fare:
Suite accommodations, onboard meals and entertainment, gratuities aboard ship (except spa), complimentary beverages aboard ship (including select wines, champagnes, spirits, soft drinks, water, tea and coffee. All fares are quoted in US dollars, are per guest and based on double occupancy.
Not included in cruise fare:
Airfare, hotel accommodations, transfers and luggage handling, optional shore excursions, meals ashore, fuel surcharges, accommodations whilst ashore, casino gaming, laundry or valet services, purchases from the ship boutiques or any item or service of a personal nature such as medical care, massages, spa treatments, private fitness instruction, hair styling and manicures. Some champagne, premium wine and spirit selections, caviar, cigarettes and cigars are not included in your fare and may not be available at all times.

Expedition highlights and wildlife listed here are possible experiences only and cannot be guaranteed. Your Expedition Leader and Captain will work together to ensure opportunities for adventure and exploration are the best possible, taking into account the prevailing weather and wildlife activity. Expedition Team members scheduled for this voyage are subject to change or cancellation.


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