Patagonia

Punta Arenas to Ushuaia Cruise - VENTUS AUSTRALIS

5 days | 4 nights
Shared tour
From 2539USD per person
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Ventus Australis

Patagonia Cruises

Destinations

Patagonia

Trip at a glance

Visits

CHILEAN PATAGONIA: Punta Arenas, Ainsworth Bay, Tuckers Islets, Pía Glacier, Glacier Alley.

ARGENTINIAN PATAGONIA: Cape Horn, Wulaia Bay & Ushuaia.

Trip details

Itinerary

Day 1 Punta Arenas, departure

Afternoon

Check-in in Punta Arenas between 1 pm and 5 pm.

Evening

Board the vessel at 6 pm. After a welcoming toast and introduction of captain and crew, the ship departs for one of the remotest corners of planet Earth. During the night we cross the Strait of Magellan and enter the labyrinth of channels that define the southern extreme of Patagonian. The twinkling lights of Punta Arenas gradually fade into the distance as we enter the Whiteside Canal between Darwin Island and Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego.

Overnight onboard.

MEALS
  • Dinner onboard

Day 2 Ainsworth Bay, Tuckers Islets

Morning

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. We 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.

Afternoon

Leaving our Ainsworth Bay tour behind, we sail west along the sound to the Tucker Islets. After lunch, we 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.

Evening

Overnight onboard.

MEALS
  • Breakfast onboard
  • Lunch onboard
  • Dinner onboard

Day 3 Pia Glacier, Alley Glacier

Morning

Overnight we 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 Australis cruise tacks eastward and enters the Beagle Channel again. By morning we are entering Pia Fjord and boarding the Zodiacs for a Pia Glacier tour. After disembarking we 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.

Afternoon

Back on board the ship, we 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 named after European countries -- Holland, Italy, Germany, Spain and France.

Evening

Overnight onboard.

MEALS
  • Breakfast onboard
  • Lunch onboard
  • Dinner onboard

Day 4 Cape Horn, Wulaia Bay

Morning

During the morning we cruise across Nassau Bay into the remote archipelago that includes Cape Horn National Park. Weather and sea conditions permitting, we 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 (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.

Afternoon

In the afternoon we 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 will be strolling through an enchanted Magellan forest of lengas, coigües, canelos, ferns, and other endemic fauna to reach a panoramic viewpoint overlooking the bay.

Evening

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.

Overnight onboard.

MEALS
  • Breakfast onboard
  • Lunch onboard
  • Dinner onboard

Day 5 Ushuaia, arrival

Morning

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

Arrival at 8:30 am.

MEALS
  • Breakfast onboard

Map

Video

Services

What's included

Accommodation

Nights
4 nights onboard Ventus Australis M/V

Meals

Full board plan
4 breakfasts + 3 lunches + 4 dinners

Transportation

Boat
Zodiac boats: Air and water exploration inflatable boat
Cruise
Ventus Autralis M/V

Orientation

Guide
Shared English-speaking guide for all excursions mentioned

What's not included

  • Entrance Fees to National Parks
  • Port tax
  • Domestic Flights
  • International Flights
  • Travel Insurance
  • Extra Meals
  • Drinks
  • Tips

Dates and Prices

Arrival date

Important notes

When traveling to Patagonia, we recommend you bring:

  • a warm and waterproof jacket (Gore-Tex)
  • a pair of gloves
  • a wool hat, a scarf
  • quality sunglasses
  • sunblock
  • a daily backpack
  • hiking/walking waterproof shoes
  • binoculars
  • a medical kit

The excursions described in the itineraries can usually be carried out without any problems. Nevertheless, the shipowner holds the right to alter, change or skip certain portions of the itinerary without prior notice, whether motivated by the passengers’ well-being and safety, by the appropriate protection of the environment, or in case of any extraordinary event, unforeseeable circumstance or force majeure. For this reason, departures or arrival may be subject to change. Furthermore, the sighting of birds and other species cannot be guaranteed as their exact location is variable by nature.

 

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