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Los Glaciares in Patagonia

Patagonian Explorer: Ushuaia to Punta Arenas

Example 5 Day Cruise aboard MV Ventus Australis
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Cruise through the route stretching from Ushuaia to Punta Arenas to discover the stunning beauty of Patagonia. During this enchanting 5-day journey, experience the splendor and charm of its natural landscapes while enjoying a unique stay on board an expedition ship designed with the passenger's comfort in mind. Embark on an exciting voyage across the amazing Patagonian wilderness in a stimulating adventure. Explore the edge of the world on an unforgettable journey with Australis!

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Ushuaia | Embark
Day 2 : Cape Horn | Wulaia Bay
Day 3 : Pía Glacier | Garibaldi Glacier
Day 4 : De Agostini Sound | Águila Glacier | Condor Glacier
Day 5 : Magdalena Island | Punta Arenas

Highlights

  • Sail across the Beagle Channel, crossing from Argentina into Chilean waters
  • Visit the Condor Glacier via Zodiac and see the Andean condors in the area
  • Hike through virgin Magellanic forest to a breathtaking glacial waterfall
  • Explore Cape Horn, often referred to as the "End of the Earth"

Ship

MV Ventus Australis

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Los Glaciares in Patagonia Looking across the Beagle Channel from Ushuaia Magdalena Island lighthouse and penguin colony Andean condor

Day 1 Ushuaia | Embark

Check in at 409 San Martín Ave in downtown Ushuaia between 10:00 and 17:00 (10 AM-5 PM) on the day of your cruise departure. Board the M/V Ventus Australis at 18:00 (6 PM). After a welcoming toast and introduction of the captain and crew, the ship departs for one of the most remote corners of planet Earth. During the night traverse the Beagle Channel and cross from Argentina into Chilean territorial waters. The lights of Ushuaia disappear as the ship turns into the narrow Murray Channel between Navarino and Hoste Islands.

Day 2 Cape Horn | Wulaia Bay

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Around the break of dawn, the ship crosses Nassau Bay and enters the remote archipelago that comprises 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 (currently awaiting repair after being damaged by fierce winds).

Sailing back across Nassau Bay, anchor at fabled 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 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 wooded mountain behind the bay. On all of these you stroll through an enchanted Magellanic forest of lengas, coigües, canelos and ferns to reach panoramic views.

Day 3 Pía Glacier | Garibaldi Glacier

  • 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, Ventus Australis 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.

Making your way further west along the Beagle Channel, enter another long fjord and drop anchor near Garibaldi Glacier for another shore excursion. Garibaldi is one of only three glaciers in Patagonia gaining mass rather than staying the same or slowly shrinking. This time hike through virgin Magellanic forest to a glacial waterfall, a towering wall of ferns and moss, and spectacular viewpoints looking down on the glacier and fjord. The walk is demanding - very steep, negligible trail, rough footing - and not for everyone. For those who choose to stay onboard, the captain points the bow towards the beautiful sky-blue Garibaldi Glacier so everyone can enjoy the panoramic view from the upper decks.

Day 4 De Agostini Sound | Águila Glacier | Condor Glacier

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Early in the morning, sail through the Cockburn Channel and enter Agostini Sound. From here it is possible to see the glaciers that descend from the middle of the Darwin Mountain Range, some of them reaching the water. This morning, disembark and go for an easy walk around a lagoon which was formed by the melting of the Águila Glacier. Reach a spot right in front of that glacier with stunning views. In the afternoon, approach the Condor Glacier via Zodiac, and hopefully see some of the abundant Andean condors in the area.

Day 5 Magdalena Island | Punta Arenas

  • 1 Breakfast
After an overnight cruise through Magdalena Channel and back into the Strait of Magellan, anchor off Magdalena Island, which lies about halfway between Tierra del Fuego and the Chilean mainland. Crowned by a distinctive lighthouse, the island used to be an essential source of supplies for navigators and explorers and is inhabited by an immense colony of Magellanic penguins. At the break of dawn, weather permitting, go ashore and hike a path that leads through thousands of penguins to a small museum lodged inside the vintage 1902 lighthouse. Many other bird species are also found on the island. In September and April, when the penguins dwell elsewhere, this excursion is replaced by a ride aboard Zodiacs to Marta Island to observe South American sea lions. After a short cruise south along the strait, disembarkation at Punta Arenas is scheduled for around 11:30 AM.

*Camera extension poles are prohibited on Magdalena Island.

MV Ventus Australis

Per person starting at
$1,440
Ventus Australis Cabin
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Category B
Magallanes Deck, 16.5 m2/177 sq.ft. One double or two twin beds.
Ventus Australis Cabin
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Category A
Magallanes Deck, 16.5 m2/177 sq.ft. One double or two twin beds.
Ventus Australis Cabin
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Category AA
Tierra del Fuego Deck, 16.5 m2/177 sq.ft. One double or two twin beds.
Ventus Australis Cabin
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Category AAA
Cabo de Hornos Deck, 16.5 m2/177 sq.ft. One double or two twin beds.
Ventus Australis Cabin
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Category AA Superior
Tierra del Fuego Deck. One double or two twin beds.
Ventus Australis Cabin
Select a Date
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

Included

  • 4 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 4 Dinners
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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Lucy L

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The trip might have been the absolute best of our lifetime (thus far). We particularly want to commend our guide Peter in the Guilin area-he was so incredibly attentive, energetic, enthusiastic-and absolutely dedicated to ensuring that our meals were 100% vegetarian.
Jack Charney

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