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Zodiac tours to see glaciers.

Fjords of Tierra del Fuego: Punta Arenas to Ushuaia

Example 5 Day Cruise aboard MV Ventus Australis
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This cruise to Patagonia follows the fjords of the southern edge of Tierra del Fuego, highlighting the stunning, natural beauty of Patagonia and several of its most important historical sites. Join the Ventus Australis on this 5-day journey, with visits to wildlife-rich Ainsworth Bay, massive Pia Glacier and Glacier Alley, as well as mystical Wulaia Bay and the legendary Cape Horn, often referred to as the "End of the Earth". Be a part of this exclusive voyage and join an incredible adventure you will never forget!

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Punta Arenas | Embark
Day 2 : Ainsworth Bay | Tuckers Islets
Day 3 : Pía Glacier | Glacier Alley
Day 4 : Cape Horn | Wulaia Bay
Day 5 : Ushuaia | Disembark

Highlights

  • Discover Ainsworth Bay, home of copious bird life & southern elephant seals
  • Visit Pia Glacier and take a short hike to gain a panoramic views
  • Go ashore on the windswept island that harbors legendary Cape Horn

Ship

MV Ventus Australis

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Zodiac tours to see glaciers. Hiking along the coast Hikers stand looking at the view of Wulaia Bay. Tierra del Fuego Magellanic Penguin

Day 1 Punta Arenas | Embark

Check in at 1385 O’Higgins Street (Arturo Prat Port) in Punta Arenas between 13:00 and 17:00 (1-5 PM) on the day of your cruise departure. Board the M/V Ventus Australis (6 PM). After a welcoming toast and introduction of captain and crew, the ship departs for one of the most remote corners of planet Earth. During the night cross the Strait of Magellan and enter the labyrinth of channels that define the southern extreme of Patagonia. The twinkling lights of Punta Arenas gradually fade into the distance as you enter the Whiteside Canal between Darwin Island and Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego.

Day 2 Ainsworth Bay | Tuckers Islets

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
By dawn the ship is sailing up Admiralty Sound (Seno Almirantazgo), a spectacular offshoot of the Strait of Magellan that stretches nearly halfway across Tierra del Fuego. The snowcapped peaks of Karukinka Natural Park stretch along the north side of the sound, while the south shore is defined by the deep fjords and broad bays of Alberto de Agostini National Park. Go ashore at Ainsworth Bay, which harbors copious bird life and a colony of southern elephant seals which can sometimes be spotted from the Zodiacs. Two guided excursions are available: one is along the edge of a stream, peat bog and beaver habitat to a waterfall-and-moss-covered rock face tucked deep inside a pristine sub-polar forest; the other is a more strenuous hike along the crest of a glacial moraine. Both afford views of Marinelli Glacier and the Darwin Mountains.

Leaving Ainsworth Bay behind, sail west along the sound to the Tucker Islets. After lunch, board the Zodiacs again for a close-up view of the Magellan penguins that inhabit the tiny islands. More than 4,000 penguins use Tucker as a place to nest, give birth, and nurture their chicks. Many other bird species also frequent the area including king cormorants, oystercatchers, Chilean skuas, kelp geese, dolphin gulls, eagles and even the occasional Andean condor. In September and April - when the penguins live elsewhere - this excursion is replaced by a short walk to a glacier at nearby stunning Brookes Bay.

Day 3 Pía Glacier | Glacier Alley

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Overnight sail around the western end of Tierra del Fuego via the very narrow Gabrial Channel, Magdalena Channel, and Cockburn Channel. After rounding the remote Brecknock Peninsula, the ship tacks eastward and enters the Beagle Channel again. By morning enter Pia Fjord and board the Zodiacs for a shore excursion to Pia Glacier. After disembarking take a short hike to gain a panoramic view of the spectacular glacier, which extends from the mountaintops down to the sea or a longer and much more difficult walk up a lateral moraine of the old Pia Glacier.

Back onboard the ship, continue east along the Beagle Channel through an area called Glacier Alley. Living up to its name, the passage features a number of impressive tidewater glaciers flowing down from the Darwin Mountains and Darwin Ice Sheet on the north shore. Most of them are named after European countries -- Holland, Italy, Germany, Spain and France.

Day 4 Cape Horn | Wulaia Bay

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
During the early morning navigate the narrow Murray Channel between Navarino and Hoste Islands and drop anchor at historic Wulaia Bay, one of the few places in the archipelago where the human history is just as compelling as the natural environment. Originally the site of one of the region’s largest Yámana aboriginal settlements, the bay was described by Charles Darwin and sketched by Captain FitzRoy in the 1830s during their voyages on the HMS Beagle. This area is also renowned for its mesmerizing beauty and dramatic geography. After a visit to the Australis-sponsored museum in the old radio station, which is especially strong on the Yámana people and European missionaries in the area, passengers have a choice of three hikes (of increasing degrees of difficulty) that ascend the heavily wooden mountain behind the bay. On all of these you stroll through an enchanted Magellan forest of lengas, coigües, canelos, ferns, and other endemic fauna to reach a panoramic viewpoint overlooking the bay. Before leaving Wulaia Bay, drop something into the wooden mail barrel inside the museum – letters or postcards meant to be hand delivered by future travelers – an ancient mariner tradition revived by Australis.

In the afternoon, cruise across Nassau Bay into the remote archipelago that includes Cape Horn National Park. Weather and sea conditions permitting, you shall go ashore on the windswept island that harbors legendary Cape Horn (Cabo de Hornos). Discovered in 1616 by a Dutch maritime expedition, and named after the town of Hoorn in West Friesland, Cape Horn is a sheer 425-meter-high (1,394-foot) rocky promontory overlooking the turbulent waters of the Drake Passage. For many years it was the only navigation route between the Pacific and Atlantic, and was often referred to as the "End of the Earth." The park was declared a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 2005. The Chilean navy maintains a permanent lighthouse on the island, staffed by a lightkeeper and his family, as well as the tiny Stella Maris Chapel and modern Cape Horn Monument.

Day 5 Ushuaia | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
The following morning sail into Argentine waters and dock in Ushuaia, the world's southernmost city.

Arrive at 8:30 AM - 9:30 AM according to date of departure.

MV Ventus Australis

Per person starting at
$1,565
Ventus Australis
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Category B
Magallanes Deck, 16.5 m2/177 sq.ft. One double or two twin beds.
Ventus Australis
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Category A
Magallanes Deck, 16.5 m2/177 sq.ft. One double or two twin beds.
Ventus Australis
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Category AA
Tierra del Fuego Deck, 16.5 m2/177 sq.ft. One double or two twin beds.
Ventus Australis
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Category AAA
Cabo de Hornos Deck, 16.5 m2/177 sq.ft. One double or two twin beds.
Ventus Australis
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Category AA Superior
Tierra del Fuego Deck. One double or two twin beds.
Ventus Australis
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Category AAA Superior
Cabo de Hornos Deck. One double or two twin beds.

Notes

- Port Charge and Park Fees are not included in cruise fare.
- Single occupancy of twin cabins is available at 1.5 times the double occupancy rate. Superior cabins are not available for single occupancy.

Please note: The arrival time is estimated, the vessel may be delayed, due to climate conditions.

Trekking or hiking shoes are required for all passengers.

Rates Include:
  • Accommodation
  • Sea transportation
  • All meals
  • Open bar when on duty (without additional cost for wines, beverages, and liquors)
  • Shore excursions
  • Onboard entertainment

Rates Exclude:
  • Optional tours and transportation
  • Port tax
  • Migration fee
  • National park fee
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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Kate was great to work with in the planning stage. She was prompt, helpful, and efficient. Our tour guide, Edwin, was knowledgeable and passionate. We were very happy to have traveled with Adventure Life, it made the trip easy and a true pleasure. We could concentrate on enjoying the experience rather than the details of travel.
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