- 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Depending on conditions, aim to start your journey to the “edge of the earth” with a visit to historic Cape Horn (Cabo de Hornos). At the southernmost point of the Tierra del Fuego (“Land of Fire”) archipelago, the most isolated place in the Americas, this steep, rocky headland on Hornos Island marks the northern boundary of the famous Drake Passage, where the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans meet. From the 1700s to the early 1900s, before the opening of the Panama Canal, this cape was part of a major global trade route. If sea and weather conditions allow, you may go ashore for a hike out to the lighthouse, the tiny Stella Maris (“Star of the Sea”) Chapel, and the albatross-shaped monument honoring the many mariners who lost their lives attempting to “round the Horn.” Atop the 1,394-foot (425 meters)-high windswept promontory, pause for a moment to take in the panoramic view and to enjoy the peaceful solitude that can only be found at one of the most southern stretches of land in the world.
Your ship then continues cruising farther south, to the Diego Ramírez Islands, the most southern point of South America and one of the least-explored places on the planet. This small archipelago was thought to be the southernmost landmass in the world when it was discovered in 1619 by the Spanish Garcia de Nodal expedition. Named after the expedition’s cosmographer, the archipelago held this distinction for 156 years until Captain James Cook discovered the South Sandwich Islands in 1775. Weather-permitting, Zodiac cruise around these grass-covered tussock islands to admire the abundant birdlife. The archipelago is home to millions of breeding seabirds and an exceptional place for birdwatching. Binoculars in hand, birders, marvel at the sight of multiple albatross species (these islands are the southernmost albatross breeding ground in the world), including black-browed albatross, shy albatross, and grey-headed albatross. Sightings of dolphins, South American fur seals, rockhopper, macaroni, and Magellanic penguins are also possible.
If conditions look more promising toward the end of your expedition, this itinerary day may occur after your Antarctic Peninsula exploration.