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View the seal and cormorant colonies as you sail across the Beagle Channel

Patagonia: Chilean Fjords and Argentina's Staten Island

Example 10 Day Cruise aboard National Geographic Orion
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This carefully curated expedition offers the peak experiences of Patagonia and its surrounding environs in a compact 11-day timeframe on the National Geographic Orion. Discover the fjords, glaciers, and panoramic vistas that make Chilean Patagonia one of the most lauded nature destinations on Earth. Exposing you to the ‘best of’ highlights, like the stunning Beagle Channel, massive glaciers and snowcapped peaks, this perfectly-paced voyage also brings you into the seldom-seen natural splendors of natural parks Yendegaia and Karukinka. Cap off your expedition by exploring Argentina’s rugged, seldom-seen Isla De Los Estados (Staten Island), a land of mythic wildness that has been largely off limits to travelers since 1923.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Santiago, Chile
Day 2 : Punta Arenas | Puerto Natales | Embark
Day 3 : Kirke Narrows | Exploring the Chilean Fjords
Day 4 : Tierra del Fuego, Chile: Karukinka Natural Park
Day 5 : The Chilean Fjords | Beagle Channel | Yendegaia
Day 6 : Cape Horn
Days 7-9 : Isla de Los Estados (Staten Island), Argentina
Day 10 : Ushuaia | Disembark | Buenos Aires

Highlights

  • Venture into incredible wildlife reserves for up-close exploration
  • Explore Argentina's seldom-seen Isla de los Estados
  • Travel the towering fjords by Zodiac and kayak and hike to massive glaciers
  • Take advantage of superb photo ops alongside expert photographers

Ship

National Geographic Orion

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

View the seal and cormorant colonies as you sail across the Beagle Channel Puerto Natales on the Strait Of Magellan Torres del Paine Wander the peaceful moors of Patagonia Ushuaia by night
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Day 1 Santiago, Chile

  • 1 Lunch
Check in to the Grand Hyatt Hotel, centrally located in Santiago. Santiago is nearly surrounded by the Andes, which form an inspiring backdrop to your afternoon guided overview of this vibrant city. Explore the Plaza de Armas, the main square, and nearby Presidential Palace, enjoying wonderful views from the many hills that dot the city.

Day 2 Punta Arenas | Puerto Natales | Embark

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today fly from Santiago to Punta Arenas, Chile’s southern gateway to Patagonia. Drive to the outpost of Puerto Natales and embark National Geographic Orion.This morning's charter flight brings you over Patagonia before landing in Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world. If the weather is fine, have a chance to view the spectacular mountains rising out of the Beagle Channel as you enjoy lunch on a catamaran cruise. Then, embark National Geographic Orion and set sail. 

Day 3 Kirke Narrows | Exploring the Chilean Fjords

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Be on deck to look for condors and other wildlife on your way out of Puerto Natales as your ship transits the narrow sliver of water known as the Kirke Narrows—always a challenge to navigate because of the powerful currents that flow through its 650-foot-wide pinch point. Today and during the following days you are treated to the spectacular features of an active glaciated landscape with hanging valleys and tributary glaciers. This region was navigated by Ferdinand Magellan’s expedition, and it took most of November 1520 for his ships to find a way through the maze of channels that lie between the continental mainland and Tierra del Fuego to the south. Among your many possibilities are exploring Estero las Montañas, with a chance to go for an adventurous walk to a lake through beautiful muskeg and forest, with cypress trees coated with many species of lichens; and Bahía Ainsworth in Seno Almirantazgo, where you may go out by Zodiac and kayak and look for elephant seals.

Day 4 Tierra del Fuego, Chile: Karukinka Natural Park

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Tierra del Fuego is one of Patagonia’s crown jewels. Visit its newest and largest protected area: Karukinka Natural Park. Established in 2004 through a gift from Goldman Sachs, Karukinka is one of the largest donations ever made for conservation. Your ship has special permission from the Wildlife Conservation Society to visit this private reserve, which spans 1,160 square miles and harbors endangered culpeo fox, Andean condors, and many other kinds of wildlife. Perhaps explore Jackson Bay, backed by a skyline of rugged mountains, and look for wildlife including black-browed albatross that nest on one of the nearby small islands. You may walk a trail to a lovely waterfall, and look for elephant seals resting on not only the beach but also high in the grass meadows and even in the small river draining the valley inland. Look for the Andean condors, albatrosses, grebes, petrels, fulmars, shearwaters, and many other birds that inhabit this otherworldly realm.

Day 5 The Chilean Fjords | Beagle Channel | Yendegaia

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Explore more stunning wilderness as you see the fjords and glaciers of the region by Zodiac, kayak, and on foot. A vast area of soaring, snowcapped mountains, gigantic glaciers, thousands of verdant islands, serene lakes, and waterfalls—the archipelago is scarcely touched by man. Take Zodiacs out to explore these protected waters and rugged shores, the blue and white of ice contrasting with greens of the forest highlighted by splashes of late-season flowering plants. Look for the Andean condors, albatrosses, grebes, petrels, fulmars, shearwaters. and many other birds that inhabit this otherworldly realm. Then sail the Beagle Channel to Yendegaia, a stunning wilderness that covers 95,000 acres on Tierra del Fuego. This newly established national park was formerly a private reserve. It has beech forests, mountains, and wild rivers.

Day 6 Cape Horn

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today visit Cape Horn, near the southernmost tip of the continent, named in 1616 for the Dutch town of Hoorn. These waters are famously difficult to navigate, and over the centuries have been the graveyard of many ships, which before the opening of the Panama Canal had to round the cape to sail between the Pacific and Atlantic. Of course, the ship uses its modern equipment and decades of experience to explore safely. Weather permitting, take Zodiacs ashore and walk to the top of a hill for panoramic views and to see the memorial placed there in 1992, showing an albatross in silhouette.

Day 7-9 Isla de Los Estados (Staten Island), Argentina

  • Ship
  • 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
With special permission, visit extraordinary Staten Island - National Geographic Orion is one of the only expedition ships ever allowed here. It’s a place of superlatives, barely touched in recent decades and visited primarily by a few scientists and those who man the tiny naval observatory. The island was named by Dutch explorers in 1615. Its mountainous, forested landscapes and rugged fjords are beautiful, and you can find a great deal of interest here. Your exact schedule remains flexible to take best advantage of conditions. See colonies of southern rockhopper and Magellanic penguins, many other water birds, and large assemblages of fur seals and sea lions. Aso look for otters on landings ashore, and see the 1884 San Juan de Salvamento “lighthouse at the end of the world,” which inspired Jules Verne’s novel by the same name, along with the ruins of a penal colony, and perhaps an archaeological site occupied 1,500 years ago by Native Americans. There are opportunities to walk in the southern beech forests. These days are bound to stand out as a unique chance to explore a very remote place.

Day 10 Ushuaia | Disembark | Buenos Aires

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch
Disembark in Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world. Take a charter flight to Buenos Aires and connect to your flight home. 
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National Geographic Orion

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Deals

Complimentary Bar Tab & Gratuities
Complimentary Bar tab and gratuities included on this voyage. Contact us for details.
Valid on all departures.

Per person starting at
$10,780
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.

Please note: Cabin fare does not include charter flights from Santiago to Punta Arenas or Ushuaia to Buenos Aires. Please contact us for charter flight rates.

Costs Include:
  • One hotel night in Santiago 
  • Shipboard accommodations
  • Meals indicated
  • Services of Expeditions’ Leader, expedition staff and expert guides
  • Entrance fees
  • All port charges and service

Not Included:
  • Immigration fees
  • Air transportation
  • Personal items such as alcoholic beverages, emails, laundry, voyage DVD, etc.
  • Gratuities to ship’s crew at your discretion
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!
Meyer Smolen
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