Fjords of Tierra del Fuego – 4 Nights

008750E-20

This expedition cruise from Punta Arenas follows the fjords of the southern edge of Tierra del Fuego, highlighting the stunning, natural beauty of Patagonia.

Highlights
Details
Itinerary
Included
Not Included
Tour Notes
Map
Highlights
  • Cross the Strait of Magellan and enter the labyrinth of channels in southern Patagonia
  • Admiralty Sound with snowcapped peaks of Karukinka Natural Park along the north side, the deep fjords and broad bays of Alberto de Agostini National Park on the south side
  • Southern elephant seal colony at Ainsworth Bay
  • Tucker Islets immense population of Magellan penguins, well over 4,000
  • Spectacular Pia Glacier and infamous Cape Hope
Details

2018 Dates:
Promo: September 26
Low season:
March: 16, 17, 24, 25, 31
High season:
March: 03, 08, 10

2018 Rates:
Promo:
Category B – US$1,440
Category A – US$1,932
Category AA – US$2,028
Category AAA – US$2,124
Category AA Superior – US$2,555
Category AAA Superior – US$2,675

Low season Rates:
Category B – US$1,800
Category A – US$2,410
Category AA – US$2,526
Category AAA – US$2,644
Category AA Superior – US$3,183
Category AAA Superior – US$3,331

High season Rates:
Category B – US$2,298
Category A – US$2,957
Category AA – US$3,097
Category AAA – US$3.246
Category AA Superior – US$3,867
Category AAA Superior – US$4,054

Rates are shown in US$ per person, based on two people sharing a cabin in the category shown. Single rates are available in categories A, AA, AAA, AA Sup or AAA Sup at 150% of the category rate. Single rate does not apply to Category B. Children between 1 and 3 travel free if sharing a bed with their parents. Children between 4 and 12 receive a 50% discount, sharing a cabin with an adult. All rates shown are subject to change by the expedition company based on available inventory.

Tour Code:
008750E-20

Itinerary
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Day 1: Punta Arenas

Check in at 1385 O’Higgins Street (Arturo Prat Port) between 13:00 and 17:00. Board the M/V Via Australis cruise ship at 18:00.

After a welcoming cocktail reception hosted by the Captain and his crew, the M/V Via Australis will depart for one of the remotest parts of the planet. 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 Grand de Tierra del Fuego.

Day 2: Ainsworth Bay-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 snow-capped 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, oyster catchers, 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 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 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.

Day 4: Wulaia Bay-Cape Horn

During 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, 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 travellers – 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 light keeper and his family, as well as the tiny Stella Maris Chapel and modern Cape Horn Monument.

Day 5: Ushuaia

The following morning we sail into Argentine 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.

Included
  • Accommodation on-board in cabin category chosen
  • Sea transportation
  • All meals
  • Open bar when on duty (without additional cost for wines, beverages, and liquors)
  • Shore Excursions
  • On-board entertainment
Not Included
  • Transportation to/from Punta Arenas
  • Gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Travel Insurance
Tour Notes

This five-day journey from Chile to Argentina includes visits to several of Patagonia’s wildlife rich Ainsworth Bay, massive Pia Glacier and Glacier Alley, as well as mystical Wulaia Bay and the legendary Cape Horn.

The excursions described in the itineraries can normally be carried out. Notwithstanding the above, Transportes Marítimos Terra Australis S.A., Transportes Marítimos Via Australis S.A., and Transportes Marítimos Geo Australis S.A reserve the right to reschedule, shorten, or alter all or part of the itineraries and/or excursions without prior notice, in order to safeguard the wellbeing and safety of passengers, preserve the environment, or due to any extraordinary circumstances, acts of God or force majeure. For the same reasons, the hours of departure or arrival of the vessels may be subject to change. There is no guarantee of wildlife sighting because the precise location of these animals cannot be confirmed.

Disclaimer: We do our utmost to ensure that information posted on our website is correct at the time of publication, however trip details are subject to change without notice by the suppliers and operators involved. We update the information as soon as possible when changes are advised to us, however, we cannot assume responsibility for such changes made by the suppliers and operators.

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