Banner image

Adventure Cruise: Cape Horn & Glaciers

Journey north from Ushuaia to Punta Arenas on a small-ship expedition cruise, showcasing the stunning wildlife and wild landscapes of Tierra del Fuego. Set foot on Cape Horn, visit the historic Wulaia Bay and succumb to the beauty of Pia Glacier. Complete the experience of following in Charles Darwin's footsteps by walking amongst thousands of Magellanic penguins.

Are you hoping to travel before March 2023?

Patagonia's a big trip and we know how crucial it is to get it right. As you’re considering travelling in the next couple of months, we want to be upfront with you…

Finding available accommodation is proving almost impossible in Torres del Paine and Los Glaciares National Parks. While not uncommon, the pandemic has exacerbated the situation this year.

Alongside this, Swoop are also currently focused on ensuring that all of the logistics are in place for our booked travellers who are due to head south shortly.

Swoop has therefore decided to no longer accept any new bookings departing before the beginning of March 2023.

As alternative options, here’s what we suggest:

Option A:

Push your trip back and choose to travel instead in early 2023. April onwards has more accommodation options still available. The Patagonian autumnal colours are stunning and trails less crowded.

Option B:

Defer your Patagonia adventure by 12 months, benefitting by getting exactly the trip you want without compromise, and lock in plans now while there’s still good availability.

If you are able to be flexible on your travel dates, the next step would then be for us to arrange a time to talk through the options.

  • I want to travel before March 2023

    Unfortunately we can’t currently help with short notice trips to Patagonia. Sign up to our newsletter to get some Patagonia travel advice and inspiration!

    Subscribe to our newsletter

    Receive monthly Patagonian travel inspiration and ideas.

  • I’m flexible and could travel later

    Thank you for your enquiry

Thank you for your enquiry

Trip type

Cruise

Trip length

5 Days

From

$2,261

Location

Tierra del Fuego

Adventure Cruise: Cape Horn & Glaciers - 5 - $2,261

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 and head due south.

After dinner you might like to enjoy the open-bar (all drinks are included on this voyage) with its stunning panoramic windows for you to appreciate the breath-taking landscapes at the End of the World. You are unlikely to cross any other cruise ships during your time aboard, given that very few operators have permission to sail in these magnificent waters.

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 Southern beech trees (lengas, coigües), winter's bark (canelo) and verdant ferns to reach an amazing panoramic viewpoint 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.

Your expedition guides will always be on hand to explain about the special ecosystem found only at these latitudes. All members of the team are specially trained for interpreting the flora and fauna of the region – all are local residents and will hugely enrich your learning experience.

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.


Please note that the same route can be taken in the opposite direction – see full details.

Customer review background image

What our customers think of Adventure Cruise: Cape Horn & Glaciers

Adventure Cruise: Cape Horn & Glaciers trips scored 4.6/5 from 12 reviews

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.

Travelled: March 2018

Shawn Underwood - United States Of America

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.

Travelled: April 2018

Angie Littlefield - Canada

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.

Travelled: November 2017

Ed Eargle - United States Of America

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.

Travelled: February 2019

Mary Lou Bell - United States Of America

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.

Travelled: December 2018

Diana Wood - United States Of America

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.

Travelled: March 2019

Barry Fields - United States Of America

Review:

About The Ship

The new Ventus Australis expedition cruise ship is a 210-passenger vessel designed for exploring the remote southern tip of South America. It has been built with great manoeuvrability, a shallow draft, reinforced hull for ice-navigation and great access for easily boarding zodiacs during landings. There can be no better ship and crew for sailing through the narrow fjords and channels of the Tierra del Fuego archipelago, where other ships dare not venture.

Adventure Cruising in Southern Patagonia

Prices, Departures and Inclusions

Up to USD $750 per person discount on the following departures if you book in January 2023:

27th January 2023

4th, 16th & 24th February 2023

28th March 2023

1st April 2023

-

Prices are per person, based on a double-occupancy basis.

-

Please contact us for more information, terms and conditions and details of any cabins recently made available.

2023

2024

B Cabin A Cabin AA Cabin AAA Cabin AA Superior AAA Superior
February 2023
4-Feb-2023 Full $3,925 $4,225 $4,525 Full Full Enquire
8-Feb-2023 Full Full $4,225 Full $5,225 Full Enquire
12-Feb-2023 Full $3,925 $4,225 $4,525 $5,225 $5,525 Enquire
16-Feb-2023 Full $3,925 $4,225 $4,525 $5,225 Full Enquire
20-Feb-2023 Full $3,925 $4,225 $4,525 Full Full Enquire
24-Feb-2023 Full $3,925 $4,225 $4,525 $5,225 Full Enquire
28-Feb-2023 Full $3,925 $4,225 $4,525 Full Full Enquire
March 2023
4-Mar-2023 Full $3,925 $4,225 $4,525 $5,225 $5,525 Enquire
8-Mar-2023 Full $3,925 $4,225 $4,525 Full $5,525 Enquire
12-Mar-2023 Full $3,925 $4,225 $4,525 $5,225 $5,525 Enquire
16-Mar-2023 Full $3,925 $4,225 $4,525 $5,225 $5,525 Enquire
20-Mar-2023 Full Full $3,120 $3,420 $3,820 Full Enquire
24-Mar-2023 Full $2,920 $3,120 $3,420 Full $4,020 Enquire
28-Mar-2023 Full $2,920 $3,120 $3,420 $3,820 $4,020 Enquire
April 2023
1-Apr-2023 Full $2,920 $3,120 $3,420 $3,820 $4,020 Enquire
9-Apr-2023 Full Full $2,295 $2,495 $2,995 $3,195 Enquire
September 2023
29-Sep-2023 Full Full* $2,387 $2,595 $3,145 $3,355 Enquire
October 2023
7-Oct-2023 Full Full $3,338 $3,659 $4,126 $4,342 Enquire
15-Oct-2023 Full $3,095 $3,338 $3,659 $4,126 $4,342 Enquire
23-Oct-2023 Full Full $3,338 $3,659 $4,126 $4,342 Enquire
27-Oct-2023 Full Full $3,338 $3,659 $4,126 $4,342 Enquire
31-Oct-2023 Full Full Full $3,659 $4,126 $4,342 Enquire
November 2023
4-Nov-2023 Full $4,278 $4,605 $4,978 $6,009 $6,464 Enquire
8-Nov-2023 Full $4,278 $4,605 $4,978 $6,009 $6,464 Enquire
12-Nov-2023 Full $4,278 $4,605 $4,978 $6,009 $6,464 Enquire
16-Nov-2023 Full $4,278 $4,605 $4,978 $6,009 $6,464 Enquire
20-Nov-2023 Full Full $4,605 $4,978 $6,009 $6,464 Enquire
24-Nov-2023 Full $4,278 $4,605 $4,978 $6,009 $6,464 Enquire
28-Nov-2023 Full $4,278 $4,605 $4,978 $6,009 $6,464 Enquire
December 2023
2-Dec-2023 Full $4,278 $4,605 $4,978 $6,009 $6,464 Enquire
6-Dec-2023 Full Full $4,605 $4,978 $6,009 $6,464 Enquire
10-Dec-2023 Full $4,278 $4,605 $4,978 $6,009 $6,464 Enquire
14-Dec-2023 Full $4,278 $4,605 $4,978 $6,009 $6,464 Enquire
18-Dec-2023 Full $4,278 $4,605 $4,978 $6,009 $6,464 Enquire
22-Dec-2023 Full $4,278 $4,605 $4,978 $6,009 $6,464 Enquire
26-Dec-2023 Full $4,278 $4,605 $4,978 $6,009 $6,464 Enquire
30-Dec-2023 Full $4,278 $4,605 $4,978 $6,009 $6,464 Enquire
January 2024
3-Jan-2024 Full $4,278 $4,605 $4,978 $6,009 $6,464 Enquire
7-Jan-2024 Full $4,278 $4,605 $4,978 $6,009 $6,464 Enquire
11-Jan-2024 Full $4,278 $4,605 $4,978 $6,009 $6,464 Enquire
15-Jan-2024 Full $4,278 $4,605 $4,978 $6,009 $6,464 Enquire
19-Jan-2024 Full $4,278 $4,605 $4,978 $6,009 $6,464 Enquire
23-Jan-2024 Full $4,278 $4,605 $4,978 $6,009 $6,464 Enquire
27-Jan-2024 Full $4,278 $4,605 $4,978 $6,009 $6,464 Enquire
31-Jan-2024 Full $4,278 $4,605 $4,978 $6,009 $6,464 Enquire
February 2024
4-Feb-2024 Full $4,278 $4,605 $4,978 $6,009 $6,464 Enquire
8-Feb-2024 Full $4,278 $4,605 $4,978 $6,009 $6,464 Enquire
12-Feb-2024 Full Full Full $4,978 $6,009 $6,464 Enquire
16-Feb-2024 Full $4,278 $4,605 $4,978 $6,009 $6,464 Enquire
20-Feb-2024 Full $4,278 $4,605 $4,978 $6,009 $6,464 Enquire
24-Feb-2024 Full $4,278 $4,605 $4,978 $6,009 $6,464 Enquire
28-Feb-2024 Full $4,278 $4,605 $4,978 $6,009 $6,464 Enquire
March 2024
3-Mar-2024 Full $4,278 $4,605 $4,978 $6,009 $6,464 Enquire
7-Mar-2024 Full $4,278 $4,605 $4,978 $6,009 $6,464 Enquire
11-Mar-2024 Full $4,278 $4,605 $4,978 $6,009 $6,464 Enquire
15-Mar-2024 Full $4,278 $4,605 $4,978 $6,009 $6,464 Enquire
19-Mar-2024 Full $4,278 $4,605 $4,978 $6,009 $6,464 Enquire
23-Mar-2024 Full $4,278 $4,605 $4,978 $6,009 $6,464 Enquire
27-Mar-2024 Full $3,095 $3,338 $3,659 $4,126 $4,342 Enquire
31-Mar-2024 Full $3,095 $3,338 $3,659 $4,126 $4,342 Enquire
April 2024
8-Apr-2024 Full $2,261* $2,387 $2,595 $3,145 $3,355 Enquire

* Note: Prices are per person. Paid in USD ($) - figure above is based on today's exchange rate. Actual cost $2261

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.

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

Cruise route – Please note that the same route can be taken in the opposite direction – see full details.

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)
  • All drinking water as requested
  • Accommodation: cabin as requested (4 nights)
  • All safety equipment (life jackets) for zodiac excursions
  • All shipboard excursions and activities (as detailed in itinerary)
  • Onboard activities and lectures

Excludes

  • Port tax (USD $105 per person)
  • Meals not indicated in the itinerary
  • Any extra/optional excursions
  • 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?