PATAGONIAN EXPLORER

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PATAGONIA CRUISE – 5 Days

ITINERARY SUMMARY

Day Place Highlights
Day 1 Ushuaia Board the Stella Australis or Ventus Australis and begin cruise
Day 2 Cape Horn, Wulaia Bay Overlook the Drake Passage, visit museum and radio station, hiking excursions
Day 3 Pia Glacier, Garibaldi Glacier Cruise along the Beagle Channel and Glacier Alley, Pia Glacier walking tour
Day 4 Agostini Sound
Visit Águila Glacier and Cóndor Glacier
Day 5 Punta Arenas Final excursion at Magdalena Island to visit Magellanic penguins. Arrive in Punta Arenas and disembark

Day 1 Ushuaia – Board Patagonian Explorer, Patagonia Cruise

Ushuaia
Overview:

Board the Ventus Australis or Stella Australis from the pier at 18:00, and the Captain and crew will welcome you aboard for cocktails as the ship departs for one of the remotest corners of the planet.

During the night the ship will traverse the Beagle Channel and cross from Argentina into Chilean territorial waters.  The lights of Ushuaia disappear as you turn into the narrow Murray Channel between Navarino and Hoste islands.

Cruise Ships
Ventus Australis
Ventus Australis Patagonia Cruise Ship

The Ventus Australis is a brand new state-of-the-art ship which took her maiden voyage in January 2018 and was purpose built for the Patagonian fjord system. Guests enjoy a comfortable and relaxed stay, with excellent viewing of the fjords from the decks, spacious common areas and comfortable cabins with large windows. Indulge in first class travel onboard the Ventus Australis with exceptional cuisine, onboard entertainment, passionate expert guides and interesting excursions for all fitness levels. The ship consists of 100 cabins which can accommodate 210 guests.

Stella Australis
Stella Australis Patagonia Cruising

The Stella Australis, built in 2010 offers guests a relaxed and comfortable stay, while providing excellent viewing of the fjords from the decks, spacious common areas and comfortable cabins with large windows. Indulge in first class travel onboard the Stella Australis with exceptional cuisine, onboard entertainment, passionate expert guides and interesting excursions for all fitness levels. This ship was constructed in 2010 and consists of 100 cabins which can accommodate 210 guests.

Day 2 Visit Cape Horn and Wulaia Bay

Cape Horn, Patagonia Cruising

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 will 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 425m 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 light keeper and his family, as well as the tiny Stella Maris Chapel and modern Cape Horn Monument.

Wulaia Bay, Patagonia Cruising

Sailing back across Nassau Bay, we 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 enchanting beauty and dramatic geography. After a visit to the museum in the old radio station, 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 viewpoints overlooking the bay.

Day 3 Visit Pia Glacier and Garibaldi Glacier

Pia Glacier, Patagonia Cruise

Casting off from Wulaia Bay the ship retraces its route to the Beagle Channel and sail westward along the southern edge of Tierra del Fuego into a section of Alberto de Agostini National Park called Glacier Alley or Avenue of the Glaciers. Flowing down from the Darwin Mountains and Darwin Ice Sheet are a number of impressive tidewater glaciers, a few of the them have been named after European countries such as Holland, Italy, Germany, Spain and France. From here enter the narrow Pia Fjord and board the Zodiacs for a shore excursion to Pia Glacier. After disembarking take a short hike for a panoramic view of the spectacular glacier, which extends from the mountaintops down to the sea or you can take a longer, much more difficult walk up a lateral moraine of the old Pia Glacier.

Garibaldi Glacier, Chile, Patagonia Cruise

Head further west along the Beagle Channel where the ship will 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. 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 will point the bow towards the beautiful sky blue Garibaldi Glacier so everyone can enjoy the panoramic view from the upper decks.

Day 4 Visit Agostini Sound, Águila Glacier and Cóndor Glacier

Excursion Australis, Patagonia Cruise

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.  You will reach a spot right in front of that glacier with stunning views.  In the afternoon visit the Condor Glacier via Zodiac and hopefully see some of the abundant Andean Condors in the area.

Day 5 Visit Magdalena Island, disembark voyage in Punta Arenas

Magellanic Penguins, Magdalena Island, Patagonia Cruise

After an overnight cruise through Magdalena Channel and back into the Strait of Magellan, the ship will anchor just 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 along 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.

We will tailor a South America tour perfect for you. To find out more about this Patagonia Cruise or to create a personalised itinerary contact our experienced consultants on 1300 784 794 or email: contact@satc.com.au

We will tailor the perfect holiday to suit your needs.