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Zodiac tours to see glaciers.

Fjords of Tierra del Fuego: Punta Arenas to Ushuaia

Example 5 Day Cruise aboard MV Stella Australis
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Board the MV Stella Australis in Punta Arenas and begin your adventure sailing through the Fjords of Tierra del Fuego. Cross the Strait of Magellan and enter a labyrinth of channels that define the extremes of Patagonia. In Ainsworth Bay hike to stunning views of Marinella Glacier and the Darwin Mountains. From Zodiacs search for wildlife such as elephant seals, Magellan penguins, Andean condors, and many other bird species. Enjoy 5 days of endless adventure through southern Patagonia! 
Zodiac trip to see penguins.Magallan ForestTake a walk to the Cape Horn Albatross Monument.Seals in Ainsworth BayZodiac tours to see glaciers.
Highlights
  • Visit wildlife-rich Ainsworth Bay
  • Explore massive Pia Glacier and Glacier Alley
  • Sail to mystical Wulaia Bay and the legendary Cape Horn
Places Visited
Activity Level: Variable
Activity options vary depending on destination and operator. Activity level is determined by the range and intensity of activities you choose to participate in. Discuss with your Trip Planner which options are best for you.
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Embark in Punta Arenas

Between 13:00 and 17:00 hrs, we will begin to check-in at the Muelle Arturo Prat (Av. Costanera del Estrecho 1398) of Punta Arenas, to embark at 18:00 hrs. Once onboard, we will make a welcome toast and introduce the Captain and his crew. The ship will sail to the far south immediately after. Through the mythical Strait of Magellan and the Beagle Channel, we will travel through Patagonia and the fjords of Tierra del Fuego

Day 2: Ainsworth Bay | Tucker Islet

By dawn the ship sails 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: Pia Glacier | Glacier Alley

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 much more difficult walk up a lateral moraine of the old Pia Glacier. No one knows for certain how the hulking mass of snow and ice got its feminine moniker, but one theory says it was named for Princess Maria Pia of Savoy (1847-1911), daughter of the Italian king.

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: Wulaia Bay | Cape Horn

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 can 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, 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 (1,394-foot) high 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: Disembark in Ushuaia

  • 1 Breakfast
Arrive in Ushuaia, Argentina’s most important city on Tierra del Fuego, and the southernmost city in the world. Disembark this morning after breakfast for your continued adventures or return flights home.

Ship/Hotel

MV Stella Australis

Stella Australis ship
Stella Australis ship
Stella Australis' Patagonia Dining Room.

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$2,375 2-3 travelers
Stella Australis' Category A Twin
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Category B
Magallanes Deck, 16.5 m2. Private facilities, picture window, climate control, satellite phone.
Stella Australis' Category A Matrimonial
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Category A
Magallanes Deck, 16.5 m2. Private facilities, picture window, climate control, satellite phone.
Stella Australis' Category AA Twin
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Category AA
Terra Del Fuego Deck, 16.5 m2. Private facilities, picture window, climate control, satellite phone.
Stella Australis' Category AAA Twin
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Category AAA
Cabo de Hornos Deck, 16.5 m2. Private facilities, picture window, climate control, satellite phone.
Stella Australis' Category AA Superior
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Category AA Superior
Terra Del Fuego Deck, 20.5 m2. Private facilities, picture window, climate control, satellite phone.
Stella Australis' Category AAA Superior
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Category AAA Superior
Cabo de Hornos Deck, 20.5 m2. Private facilities, picture window, climate control, satellite phone.

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.
- Triple Option: Three guests may be accommodated in the following cabin types ONLY: A, AA, AAA, AAS or AAAS cabins with a rollaway bed. 
Please note that this rollaway bed is recommended for children under the age of 15, but adults may use this option according to their own discretion. An acceptance letter must be signed for all guests using the rollaway bed option. 
Included
  • 4 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 4 Dinners
  • 4 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Open bar when the bartender is on duty on Australis cruise
  • Shore excursions during the Australis cruise
Excluded
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • All National Park and Conservation Area Entrance Fees
  • Visa Fees
  • Port Fees
  • Port transfers

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This was my first experience with Adventure Life - and I couldn't have been more pleased with the trip. The guides and local staff in both Buenos Aires and Uruguay were terrific - extremely helpful and accommodating. I really enjoyed meeting the friendly staff in Buenos Aires in person (I left my bags with them for the afternoon).
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