Adventure Cruise: Cape Horn & Glaciers

Journey north from Ushuaia to Punta Arenas on an adventure cruise that showcases the wildlife and wild landscapes of Tierra del Fuego. Set foot on Cape Horn, visit Wulaia Bay and Pia Glacier and land on Magdalena Island, home to thousands of Magellanic penguins. Journey north from Ushuaia to Punta Arenas on an adventure cruise that showcases the wildlife and wild landscapes of Tierra del Fuego. Set foot on Cape Horn, visit Wulaia Bay and Pia Glacier and land on Magdalena Island, home to thousands of Magellanic penguins.
5 Days
$2,165

Adventure Cruise: Cape Horn & Glaciers - 5 - $2,165

Trip Summary and Itinerary Map

Day 1: Depart from Ushuaia 

Day 2: Cape Horn to Wulaia Bay 

Day 3: Pia Glacier and Porter Glacier 

Day 4: Agostini Sound, Águila Glacier and Cóndor Glacier

Day 5: Magdalena Island to Punta Arenas

Start from Ushuaia and end at Punta Arenas

Landmarks visited on Adventure Cruise: Cape Horn & Glaciers

Operator's Itinerary

Day 1: Depart from Ushuaia

Check in at 409 San Martín Avenue in downtown Ushuaia between 10am and 5pm on the day of your cruise departure.

Board the cruise at 6pm. After a welcoming toast and introduction the ship departs for one of the most remote corners of planet Earth. During the night we traverse the Beagle Channel and cross from Argentina into Chilean territorial waters. The lights of Ushuaia disappear as we turn into the narrow Murray Channel between Navarino and Hoste islands.

Meals: Dinner


Day 2: Cape Horn to Wulaia Bay

Around the break of dawn, the cruise crosses Nassau Bay and enters the remote archipelago that comprises Cape Horn National Park. Weather and sea conditions permitting, we'll go ashore on the windswept island that harbours 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 (1,394ft) 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'. In 2005 UNESCO declared the park a World Biosphere Reserve. The Chilean navy maintains a permanent lighthouse on the island, staffed by a lighthouse keeper and his family, as well as the tiny Stella Maris Chapel and modern Cape Horn Monument.

Sailing back across Nassau Bay, we anchor at the 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 stunning beauty and dramatic geography. After a visit to the 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 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.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner


Day 3: Pia Glacier and Porter Glacier

Overnight we continue our Patagonia glacier tour 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 cruise 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 a panoramic view of the spectacular glacier, which extends from the mountaintops down to the sea. There is also the option of 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.

In the afternoon we board our Zodiac boats to sail between high rocky walls until we reach Porter Glacier.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner


Day 4: Agostini Sound, Águila Glacier and Cóndor Glacier

Early in the morning, we'll sail through the Cockburn Channel and enter Agostini Sound.  From there it is possible to see the glaciers that descend from the middle of the Darwin Mountain Range – some of them reaching the water.

Later in the morning, we will disembark for an easy walk around a lagoon which was formed by the melting of the Águila Glacier. We'll reach a spot right in front of the glacier with stunning views. In the afternoon, we'll approach the Cóndor Glacier via Zodiac and hopefully see some of the abundant Andean condors in the area.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner


Day 5: Magdalena Island* to Punta Arenas

After an overnight cruise through Magdalena Channel and back into the Strait of Magellan, we'll anchor 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, we go ashore and hike 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.

Finally, after a short cruise south along the strait, disembarkation at Punta Arenas is scheduled for 11:30am.

Meals: Breakfast

* In September and April, this excursion is replaced by a ride aboard Zodiacs to Marta Island to observe South American sea lions.

Note that camera extension poles are prohibited on Magdalena Island.

Customer review background image

What our customers think

The Cape Horn landing was the highlight for me.....and all those steep stairs which I slowly made it up, despite having bronchitis. We also won the auction at the Captain's dinner for the navigational map of the Cape Horn landing... a thrill.

Diana Wood United States Of America December 2018

The trip was well worth the expense as it was well organized, experience-rich, very safe, run by superb and knowledgeable staff and chock-full of epic scenery. I loved not only what I saw, but also what I learned. The emphasis on new knowledge about the environment was much appreciated.

Angie Littlefield Canada April 2018

The cruise was wonderful... Four days was a nice amount of time to spend cruising through the Fjords, getting out and hiking as well as making our way to Cape Horn. The Pia glacier was probably my favorite part of the trip. We were able to see the glacier calving which was an incredible site.

Chris Houck United States Of America December 2019

Everything was a highlight: walking around Cape Horn, seeing the glaciers up close, going on hikes, seeing the penguins, the guides' knowledge and ability to explain things well, the food, the organization on the ship, the staff. The zodiac excursions were great and they did a good job of getting us on and off. All the guides were top-notch.

Mary Lou Bell United States Of America February 2019

The daily Zodiac excursions were the highlight of the cruise. The staff was always very knowledgeable and helpful. They were fun to be around, but clearly kept everyone's safety in mind.

Shawn Underwood United States Of America March 2018

The Australis is well-run and enjoyable. There was no one highlight – Cape Horn, the fiords, the penguins, and so on. The wild and beautiful mountains and glaciers were amazing to see.

Barry Fields United States Of America March 2019

The scenery was amazing. The guides provided insight to the fauna and flora of the area. Walking with the penguins was a real treat. Visiting the colony of Magellanic penguins was definitely a highlight of the cruise. Traveling in the Strait of Magellan was a surreal moment.

Ed Eargle United States Of America November 2017

Prices, Departures and Inclusions

The base price of USD $1,990 per person is based on 2 people sharing an A Cabin


Availability changes all the time, please contact us for up to date details of any cabins recently made available.

Please note: Limited Availability, book soon to avoid disappointment!

2021

2022

Additional Notes

Excursion notes – Cape Horn Landing is subject to weather conditions. In September and April, due to penguin migration, the Isla Magdalena Penguin Colony trip will be replaced by a Zodiac boat trip to the Sea Lion colony at Marta Island.

Photography special – The departure on 12th February 2022 operates a special photography programme. There will be an expert photographer onboard running photography workshops and sharing techniques. Please note, these will only be available to those signed up to the programme, so please do request this at the point of booking.

Cabin details – Please contact us for further details of the different cabin types. In short:

  • There are a limited number of 'B' cabins on the lowest deck which tend to get booked up a long time in advance
  • 'AAA' cabins are on a higher deck than 'AA' and 'A' cabins
  • Superior cabins ('S') are approx. 25% larger

Single Supplement And Child Policy

Single supplement & Solo travellers – The cruise operator does not have a 'willing to share' policy. If you are a solo traveller or would like a single cabin, there is a 50% surcharge.

Baby policy – 0 to 3-year-olds travel for free if sharing a bed with parents. Please ask for availability of complimentary travel cots. Please note, they will still be charged the port tax.

Child policy – 4 to 12-year-olds receive a 50% discount when sharing a cabin with an adult.

Extra beds – It is possible to turn certain cabins into triple cabins; for availability and rates please contact us.

Includes

  • Meals: 4 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 4 dinners
  • Drinks: all drinks during bar opening hours (alcoholic and nonalcoholic)
  • Accommodation: cabin as requested (4 nights)
  • Excursions: 7 (as detailed in itinerary)
  • Onboard activities and lectures

Excludes

  • Port tax (USD $75 per person)
  • Meals not indicated in the itinerary
  • Any extra/optional excursions
  • National park entrance fee
  • Transfers to/from cruise
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Personal equipment (see our recommended kit list)
  • Gratuities/tips
  • International and domestic/in-country flights
  • Any visa, passport and vaccination expenses

Questions about this Voyage?