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Home > Australis cruise, between fjords and Patagonian glaciers

                     Australis cruise, between fjords and Patagonian glaciers                      

Embark on an extraordinary cruise around Cape Horn ... Head for the Strait of Magellan and the Beagle Channel and explore one of the most beautiful and wildest regions in the world: Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego in the extreme south of Latin America.

Map

Itinerary

  • Day 1: Punta Arenas - Strait of Magellan
  • Day 2: Strait of Magellan - Tuckers Islets
  • Day 3: Tuckers Islets - Pia glacier
  • Day 4: Pia glacier - Cape Horn
  • Day 5: Cape Horn - Ushuaia

TRAVEL BOOK

Day 1: Punta Arenas - Strait of Magellan

Check in at 1385 O’Higgins Street (Arturo Prat Port) in Punta Arenas between 13:00 and 17:00 (1-5 PM) on the day of your cruise departure. Board the M/V Stella Australis or M/V Via Australis at 18:00 (6 PM). After a welcoming cocktail reception hosted by the captain and his 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 Patagonia. 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.
Included : cruise, all inclusive, drinks

Day 2: Strait of Magellan - Tuckers Islets

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.

Leaving Ainsworth Bay 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.
Included : cruise, all inclusive

Day 3: Tuckers Islets - Pia glacier

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, Stella Australis tacks eastward and enters the Beagle Channel again. By morning we are entering Pia Fjord and boarding the Zodiacs for a shore excursion to Pia Glacier. 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.
Back onboard 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 are named after European countries -- Holland, Italy, Germany, Spain and France.
Included : cruise, all inclusive

Day 4: Pia glacier - Cape Horn


In the early morning, 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 and ferns, 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 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.
Included : cruise, all inclusive

Day 5: Cape Horn - Ushuaia

The following morning we sail into Argentinian waters and dock in Ushuaia, the world's southernmost city. Stella Australis is scheduled to arrive at 8:30 or 9:30 AM depending on the date of departure; Via Australis is scheduled to arrive at 9:30 AM.

OBSERVATION: The excursions described in the itinerary are normally frequently achievable. However, Transportes Marítimos Terra Australis SA and Transportes Marítimos Via Australis SA reserve the right to switch, change or omit a part of the program, without notice, when the well-being and the safety of passengers or the protection of the environment are at stake or when an event occurs or exceptional circumstances of fortuitous circumstance or force majeure. For the same reasons, the hours of lifting and pier vessels may be subject to change.
Included : cruise

Cruise Australis   Punta Arenas

Included : cruise, all inclusive, drinks

All-inclusive deluxe cruise boat.

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