At Swoop we’re very excited to announce that we’ve partnered up with the Patagonia cruise company, Cruceros Australis.
Cruceros Australis really does combine the practical with the adventurous by operating an adventure cruise from Punta Arenas to Ushuaia and vice versa. Not only does this provide a seamless way of getting from Punta Arenas to Ushuaia but it takes the hassle out of crossing the Chilean/Argentinian border by land, or having to find an irregular and often expensive flight from Punta Arenas to Ushuaia. Perhaps most importantly, this cruise is a great way to celebrate the start of, or reward yourself at the end of, a challenging 5, 7, or even 10-day trek in Torres del Paine, before embarking on a journey to the ‘End of the Earth’. On the way, you’ll see the wilder and lesser-known parts of southern Patagonia and hear all about the culture, origins and wildlife of this region.
Cruceros Australis has 2 ships in its fleet; the Via Australis (2005) and Stella Australis (2010), both are big ships built to accommodate 136 and 210 passengers respectively. The ships operate from October to late March/early April and offer comfortable, light and airy cabins and lots of open space in the communal rooms. The brand new Stella Australis cabins even have a big square window in most twin and superior rooms, for fantastic views as you’re cruising along. Plus, if you’re travelling alone, they can pair you up with a same sex passenger, in order that you don’t have to pay extra for your room.
The 5-day itinerary from Punta Arenas to Ushuaia is available from October to early April and prices start at $2,608 USD (approx £1,609) for a standard A cabin in high season. Each day you travel along Patagonia’s waterways and stop off at the region’s glaciers, forests and specific points of interest:
Aside from your welcome cocktail on board the ship at 6pm on day 1, the highlights on this cruise include boarding a small Zodiac boat to Tucker Islets on day 1 to see burrowing Magellanic penguins, Sailing through ‘Glaciar Alley’ in the Beagle Channel and walking as close as possible up to the huge Pia Glacier, which stretches from the mountains to the sea, visiting Cape Horn National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and Wulaia Bay, which was home to the largest aboriginal group in the region and is also the place where Darwin landed.
Day 1 – Punta Arenas
Day 2 – Ainsworth Bay and Tucker Islets
Day 3 – Pia Glacier & Glacier Alley
Day 4 – Cape Horn & Wulaia Bay
Day 5 – Ushuaia
Please see the route that the cruise follows:
The Patagonia cruise from Ushuaia to Punta Arenas is a day shorter, available from September to April and prices start at $1,956 USD (approx £1,207) for a standard cabin.
The itinerary is varied and exciting, starting at the charming town of Ushuaia;
Day 1 – Ushuaia
Day 2 – Cape Horn to Wulaia Bay
Day 3 – Piloto & Nena Glaciers
Day 4 – Magdalena Island to Punta Arenas
The highlights on this trip include visiting the UNESCO Cape Horn National Park on day 2 and walking through its beautiful Magellanic forest of Lengas, Coihues, Canelos, ferns, and other native vegetation to reach a look-out point over the entire park. On day 3 you sail through misty, eerily silent fjords and channels, arriving in the afternoon at Alakaluf Fjord where you’ll see cascading waterfalls and see two spectacular glaciers, whilst finding out more about why Patagonia has so many of them!
The cruise follows this route from Ushuaia to Punta Arenas:
The atmosphere on board means you can really relax and enjoy chatting to people from all over the world about their travels in Patagonia, on the comfy sofas and in the ship’s bar. The service on board the Cruceros Australis ships is great, with friendly staff and chefs that cook up delicious food for you each night. Also, during the Patagonia cruise and whilst on land, the team will hold presentations for you to enjoy and to learn more about the history and wildlife of the places you’re visiting. These presentations include disccusions and information about Charles Darwin, Cape Horn, the Strait of Magellan, the birds of Patagonia, the glaciers of Patagonia and the history of Tierra del Fuego.
This could be a great alternative for someone who doesn’t want to do too much trekking but still wants to see Patagonia at its wildest. It’s also a good option for self-guided trekkers in Torres del Paine, who could use the money they saved by not having a guide to really make the most out of their time in Patagonia by visiting Tierra del Fuego.