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Los Glaciares in Patagonia

Antarctica and Patagonia

Example 18 Day Cruise aboard National Geographic Orion
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The southernmost realms of the planet are places of unimaginable beauty, where humpback whales breach and penguins gather by the thousands, where icebergs shimmer and sapphire-hued fjords harbor snowcapped peaks and virgin forests. Join us on an odyssey aboard the National Geographic Orion that combines the celebrated wonders of the Antarctic Peninsula, southern Patagonia, and the Chilean fjords—all in a single, epic voyage. Follow in the wake of legendary explorers like Ernest Shackleton and Ferdinand Magellan to encounter otherworldly icescapes and calving glaciers, remote reserves and pristine parks, and the incredible creatures that thrive at the edge of the world.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Santiago, Chile
Day 2 : Fly to Ushuaia, Argentina/Embark
Day 3 : Drake Passage
Days 4-9 : Exploring Antarctica
Days 10-11 : At Sea
Days 12-13 : Exploring the Chilean Fjords:
Day 14 : Karukinka Natural Park | Bahia Ainsworth
Day 15 : Francisco Coloane Marine Park
Day 16 : Kirke Narrows & Puerto Natales
Day 17 : Torres del Paine National Park
Day 18 : Puerto Natales | Disembark | Santiago

Highlights

  • Seek out Antarctica’s iconic wildlife—including penguins & killer whales
  • Hike among the snowcapped “horns” of Torres del Paine National Park
  • Discover Karukinka Natural Park, the largest protected area in Tierra del Fuego
  • Cruise the waters of Francisco Coloane Marine Park

Ship

National Geographic Orion

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Skyline of Santiago Nights in Ushuaia Orca coming up for air Los Glaciares in Patagonia Guanaco in Torres del Paine
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Day 1 Santiago, Chile

Settle into the Hyatt Centric Hotel (or similar) before heading out on a guided overview of the vibrant Chilean capital backed by the Andes. 

Day 2 Fly to Ushuaia, Argentina/Embark

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Fly to Ushuaia, a colorful mountain town perched at the southernmost tip of South America. Embark National Geographic Orion.

Day 3 Drake Passage

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Sail to Antarctica via the Drake Passage, named after 16th-century English admiral Sir Francis Drake. Watch for dozens of species of seabirds gliding alongside our ship—including the albatross, which boasts the longest wingspan of any extant bird—and enjoy talks from our onboard naturalists about the wildlife and geology that await us on the Antarctic Peninsula.

Day 4-9 Exploring Antarctica

  • Ship
  • 6 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 6 Dinners
With long hours of daylight at this time of year, we have ample opportunities to explore the Antarctic Peninsula and the surrounding islands. Our schedule is flexible, allowing us to take advantage of unexpected wildlife sightings and fortuitous weather conditions, whether we’re watching whales at play off the bow of our ship or enjoying an evening Zodiac cruise amid glittering icebergs.

One day, we might set out by kayak to encounter towering icebergs at water level; embark on a Zodiac excursion in search of seals and blue-eyed shags; or walk on a beach amid thousands of Adélie and gentoo penguins, learning about how climate change is affecting resident penguin colonies. The next, we might experience the thrill of the ship crunching through pack ice.
 
As we explore Antarctica’s ethereal icescapes, our expedition team will enrich our experiences with their intimate knowledge of the region. A National Geographic photographer and Certified Photo Instructor provide guidance on how to capture stunning images; our undersea specialists share fascinating video from their dives and reveal underwater footage taken some 1,000 feet below the surface using the ship’s remotely operated vehicle (ROV); and our expedition leader is always on the lookout for thrilling ways to appreciate the wonders of the Earth’s coldest continent.

Day 10-11 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Relax onboard and enjoy the ship’s amenities as the coast of Antarctica disappears from view. Round the southernmost tip of South America at Cape Horn and witness the dramatic meeting of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans en route to the Chilean fjords. 

Day 12-13 Exploring the Chilean Fjords:

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Sail into southern Patagonia’s vast wilderness of forested isles, mirror-like lakes, and snowcapped peaks. In this pristine landscape, myriad fjords cut between soaring granite walls and waterfalls tumble from high above. Explore the region known as Chile’s Glacier Alley, part of the UNESCO-recognized Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve. Cruise into the secluded Pia fjord, admiring views of the massive glacier at its terminus; and glide into Garibaldi fjord in Alberto de Agostini National Park, where the formidable Andes meet the sea. Get up close to the monumental wall of ice that marks the edge of Garibaldi Glacier, exploring by Zodiac or kayak. Continue to Agostini fjord, where numerous glaciers originate from the nearby mountains, for a chance to witness thunderous glacial calving.

Day 14 Karukinka Natural Park | Bahia Ainsworth

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Cruise to Tierra del Fuego and venture into the archipelago’s largest protected land area: Karukinka Natural Park. Karukinka, meaning “our land” in the language of the area’s ancient inhabitants, harbors over a hundred species of wildlife as well as the world’s southernmost old-growth forest. Visit this private reserve by special permission, searching for Andean foxes, guanacos, black-browed albatross, and more. Then sail to Ainsworth Bay, a stunning fjord perched at the mouth of the Marinelli Glacier and surrounded by subpolar forest, keeping an eye out for elephant seals sunbathing along the shore.

Day 15 Francisco Coloane Marine Park

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today, we enter the Strait of Magellan—which separates mainland South America from Tierra del Fuego—to explore Francisco Coloane Marine Park. One of the largest marine protected areas in Chile, the park covers more than 165,000 acres of land and sea and is home to an abundance of wildlife, including humpback whales, two species of sea lion, and Magellanic penguins. Cruise along the coastline by Zodiac and kayak to spot black-and-white Peale’s dolphins and keep a lookout for the endangered Chilean dolphin. Step ashore to spot the Andean condor, one of the largest of all flying birds, soaring overhead.

Day 16 Kirke Narrows & Puerto Natales

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Continue our discovery of the Chilean fjords and their spectacular maze of channels and islands, where we may explore by ship or take a walk in the surrounding forest. As we continue to Puerto Natales, local pilots will join our captain on the Bridge to guide us through the winding Kirke Narrows, accessible only to small expedition ships. We dock for the night in Puerto Natales, a picturesque port town located at the head of a glacially carved fjord.

Day 17 Torres del Paine National Park

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Spend our final day in Patagonia exploring majestic Torres del Paine National Park, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Set out by foot or by vehicle across the windswept, rugged landscape, which spans more than 550,000 acres and harbors an astounding variety of geological forms, from soaring granite pillars and windswept grasslands to rivers, glaciers, and gem-colored lagoons. As you explore this natural wonderland, keep an eye out for guanaco and flocks of rhea—a flightless bird distantly related to the ostrich—and smaller creatures like foxes and armadillos. Celebrate our epic adventure at a farewell dinner this evening. 

Day 18 Puerto Natales | Disembark | Santiago

  • 1 Breakfast
Disembark in Puerto Natales and take a charter flight to Santiago to connect with flight home.
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National Geographic Orion

Santiago - Hotels

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Per person starting at
$22,440
National Geographic Orion's Category 1 Cabin.
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Category 1
Cat 1 #316, 318-321. Cabins feature a luminous oval window and configurable beds: two single beds, two beds converted to a queen-size bed, or a queen size bed. An armchair, reading lamps, a flat screen TV, and climate controls complete the amenities. Marble bathrooms are generously sized and include a spacious shower stall with a glass door.
Your  Category B Stateroom on the National Geographic Orion
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Category 1 Single
Cat 1S #301, 322, 323. These solo cabins feature a window or two portholes, a queen-size bed, except for #301 which has a double bed, writing desk and chair, climate controls, reading lamps, and a TV. Marble bathrooms are generously sized and include a roomy shower stall with a glass door.
A Category A Stateroom on the National Geographic Orion
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Category 2
Cat 2 #302-312, 314, 315, 317. Cabins feature a luminous oval window and configurable beds: two single beds, two beds converted to a queen-size bed, or a queen size bed. An armchair, reading lamps, a flat screen TV, and climate controls complete the amenities. Marble bathrooms are generously sized, and include a spacious shower stall with a glass door.
A lovely category 3 suite on the National Geographic Oion
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Category 3
Cat 3 Suite with Window #401-412, 414-419. These suites feature a sitting area with a large window, a sofa–except slightly smaller #401 & #402–an armchair or two, writing/laptop desk, reading lamps, flat screen TV, & climate controls. Beds are configurable (call for details). Marble bathrooms include a spacious shower stall with a glass door.
National Geographic Orion's Category 3 Cabin.
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Category 3 Single
Cat 3S Suite with Window #512. This solo suite features two beds and two large windows, plus two armchairs and small table, reading lamps, a flat screen TV, and climate controls. The marble bathroom is generously sized and includes a spacious shower stall with a glass door.
National Geographic Orion's Category 4 Cabin.
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Category 4
Cat 4 Deluxe Suite with Window #511, 515. These two suites feature separate sleeping and sitting areas, with a chair and armchair and a two-cushion sofa facing an expansive window. Beds are configurable (call for details). Ample storage, reading lamps, a flat screen TV, and climate controls complete the amenities.
National Geographic Orion's Category 5 Cabin.
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Category 5
Cat 5 Suite with French Balcony #501, 503-506, 508. These spacious suites feature open living areas and sliding glass doors opening to a shared French balcony. Beds are configurable (call for details.) A sitting area with arm chairs and a sofa, a writing/laptop desk, well-placed reading lamps, a flat screen TV, and climate controls complete the decor.
National Geographic Orion's Category 6 Cabin.
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Category 6
Cat 6 Owner’s Suite with French Balcony #502, 507, 509*, 510. These large, elegant suites feature a French balcony, with the exception of #509 which has double windows. Each provides a separate living area with a sofa and two arm chairs, except for #502, which uniquely offers a 'soaking tub with a view' in addition to a shower stall and expansive vanity.

Notes

Single supplement varies by itinerary. A solo traveler matching program may be available but is subject to availability.

INCLUDED
Aboard ship
  • All meals and non-alcoholic beverages*
  • Cappuccinos, lattes & filtered water
  • 24-hour coffee, tea & soda on demand 
  • Hors d’oeuvres & snacks during Recap
  • Fitness center or exercise equipment, depending on the ship
  • Fully stocked library, and other gracious public spaces
  • The guidance and company of our expedition staff
  • The services of a physician on certain ships/destinations
Ashore
  • Meals on land, as indicated in the itinerary
  • Sightseeing & entrance fees
  • Special access permits, park fees, port taxes
  • Transfers to and from group flights
  • The expertise of our expedition staff
Activities
  • All excursions
  • Zodiac & kayak explorations
  • Snorkeling, including wetsuits, masks, fins & snorkel where relevant
  • Presentations and guest speakers in the lounge
EXCLUDED
Airfare
  • International and internal airfare
Pre- and post-expedition
  • Additional hotel nights
  • Private transfers
  • Travel Protection Plan
  • Passport, visa, and immigration fees
  • Expedition extensions
  • Gratuities
Aboard ship
  • Alcoholic beverages 
  • Spa treatments
  • Gratuities 
  • Laundry
  • Gift shop items and any other items of personal nature
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Beyond expectations! Then again we weren't sure what to expect. Lovely stay at the lodge, met other like-minded travelers (many had their trips planned by Adventure Life) and the owner was a gracious hostess. It felt like you were one happy family, visiting with a favorite aunt.
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