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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.

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Adventure Cruise: Cape Horn & Glaciers

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Trip type


Trip length

5 Days




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.

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

Adventure Cruise: Cape Horn & Glaciers trips scored 4.2/5 from 35 reviews

the itinerary, transfers, tours, sights were all top quality. the trip exceeded my expectations. we were so fortunate that for 16 days , there were no weather problems. every tour, sight , planned activity was available to us. this, i understand , is the exception not the rule when traveling in march. if we experienced bad weather, i would probably be disappointed, but i am not.accommodations were interesting, especially staying in a yurt. the views, trips, food, guides end all wonderful. the only surprise was on the stella where we had assigned seating for meals. biggest surprise for us was the length /distances we had to walk . not all the trails were in great shape and 2 of us suffered falls, one fall requiring a doctor (not me). the only animal we didn't see that we wanted to see was the puma, however, we did see results of puma hunts.we met people that we enjoyed talking with and maybe see again, we'll see about that. what i was most pleased with was the itinerary. being able to travel in both chile and argentina and cruising the wild waters of the straits and fjords, for us, truly demonstrated the wild beauty of patagonia. we felt we didn't miss anything while fulfilling a dream to visit this part of the world. we did have airline issues but it was not due to anything swoop did. AR is a cheat airline, charging for bags and not even offering water to passengers on one flight. they also striped down planes of all amenities that i would normally find on similar aircraft if flown in the US. LATAM was OK , however, they did switch my reserved seats and i was unable to check in online. once again, this has nothing to do with swoop. highlight was camp patagonia. we were able to customize our hikes where as we couldn't do that in chalten . totally liked the day cruise in calafate. perfect for us. stopping at sights and taking short walks with spectacular views. i want to emphasize that ALL our guides/ tours were exceptional. we were delighted with each person who took us around showing what patagonia has to offer. we also discovered the most delicious candy bar that the guides gave us. we looked for this bar and bought it wherever we could. just know, you guys put together a fabulous trip.

Travelled: March 2021

Vic Schultz -

Landscapes and hiking were the highlights, very happy with all the people in my Swoop Group.

Travelled: March 2021

Rosalinda Mendoza -

The whole Australis boat experience.

Travelled: March 2023

Jacqueline -

The weather was the best part as we got lucky and out of 17 days had about a half of a day of rain. Beyond that, the hiking and landscapes were spectacular, the people were friendly, the guides were wonderful, the food and lodgings were all spectacular as well.

Travelled: March 2021

Eric -

All of the cruise was memorable, particularly the storm around Cape Horn with 100mph+ winds and 6 meter waves. The glaciers and scenery, were truly spectacular. It was good to be in a relatively small group of people.

Travelled: February 2023

Joy -

There's not just one memorable moment. Every part of our journey had wonderful and unexpected experiences. I usually don't care much for big cities but I found Buenos Aires to be a beautiful and interesting city. The Lake District was as beautiful as I expected. Hiking around El Chalten was easy because most of the hikes start right there in town. The cruise around the Magellan Straight was relaxing after several days of intense activity with car rentals and several flights inside Argentina and lots of hiking; we were able to disembark in Cape Horn which was fabulous. Torres del Paine was the best part of the trip!

Travelled: April 2023

Maggy -

Lake Deseado was memorable in so many moments! We didn't have high expectations because it was a fill-in when Covid canceled our cruise from Ushuaia, but the lake was exquisite from our first glimpse. Then, the lodge itself (very isolated) was lovely in every detail. The view from our windows was of pristine waters with mountains in the distance. The short path to the dining facilities took us past beautiful birds, a brook and a beaver dam. Andres and the staff were welcoming, very helpful and genuine. We were a family of 14, joining one another from many parts of the United States and the only ones at the lodge. We were amazed at the menu, and managed to order everything from brie with local berries to guanaco, everything delicious. We over-80 grandparents got plenty of help so we could climb some trails and coast down the mountain on a bike. We also loved the library's collection of books about Patagonia. Our teens found challenging trails. Thank you to everyone including the gracious owners of Deseado Lodge!

Travelled: January 2022

Kathie -

How can I answer this? The glaciers of Patagonia, Eco camp as a base for fantastic food, adventures and friends, the Ventus Australis for sophisticated exploration and great information ( as well as making new contacts), Puerta Varas for adventures and the best guides on the planet plus so much more.

Travelled: April 2023

Gina -

hiking to Mt Fitzroy, Then Cape Horn. Overall Explora best multi day experience

Travelled: January 2023

Brad -

Standing on the tip of Cape Horn on a beautiful cold sunny morning, with a nearly calm sea, and being the southern most people on any continent on the planet (except for Antarctica !) And another one...walking up close under Mount Fitzroy, again in stunningly clear and beautiful weather And another one...the absolute drama of Perito Moreno Glacier And lots more !

Travelled: March 2023

Peter -

The story I tell first is the unsuccessful attempt to climb Laguna de los Torres because of the sideways wind, rain and cold. Just to take off my raincoat to add a down jacket was quite an experience.

Travelled: April 2023

Paul -

I'll list two items: 1. Completing the Torres del Paine hike. This was a push for Debbie and I and we were very lucky with the weather. The whole day, all aspects were stunning but that combined with the effort involved yielded a sense of real accomplishment at the end of the day. 2. As a sailor, seeing Cape Horn. Even though we couldn't disembark with the wind howling 50 knots, to me this didn't matter. Cape Horn lived up to it's reputation and that was for me almost better!

Travelled: April 2023

Rob -

Seeing something like 10 glaciers on a perfect weather afternoon as the ship took an extra and unexpected spin into a fjord. And when a double rainbow had all the guests AND crew running outside for photos.

Travelled: January 2023

Kathryn -

Too many to count,

Travelled: April 2023

Bob -

Being at the top of Cape Horn was emotional. I had no idea that it would have been so wonderful. However, the entire trip made a most memorable moment in my life.

Travelled: December 2022

Cindy -

There were numerous memorable moments, but likely the best was reaching the top of the trail to Torres del Paine. It was very empowering from a physical standpoint to know that the months of hiking had been culminated in this amazing hike up and up and then up some more through boulders to reach the view at the top!

Travelled: April 2023

Debbie -

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

Travelled: March 2021

Barry Fields -

I've already recommended this trip to family and neighbors!

Travelled: March 2021

Diana Wood -

The breathtaking scenery in Patagonia both Argentina and Chile which was almost unreal.

Travelled: December 2022

Peter -

Explora hotel

Travelled: December 2022

Nancy -


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

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.



B Cabin A Cabin AA Cabin AAA Cabin AA Superior AAA Superior
September 2023
29-Sep-2023 Full $2,261* $2,387 $2,595 $3,145 $3,355 Enquire
October 2023
7-Oct-2023 Full $3,095 $3,338 $3,659 $4,126 $4,342 Enquire
15-Oct-2023 Full $3,095 $3,338 $3,659 $4,126 $4,342 Enquire
27-Oct-2023 Full Full $3,338 $3,659 $4,126 Full Enquire
31-Oct-2023 Full Full Full Full Full $4,342 Enquire
November 2023
4-Nov-2023 Full $4,278 $4,605 $4,978 $6,009 $6,464 Enquire
8-Nov-2023 Full Full $4,605 $4,978 $6,009 Full 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 Full Full $4,978 $6,009 Full 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 Full $6,464 Enquire
6-Dec-2023 Full $4,278 $4,605 $4,978 $6,009 $6,464 Enquire
10-Dec-2023 Full $4,278 Full $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 Full Full Full Full Full 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 Full 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 Full Full $4,978 $6,009 $6,464 Enquire
23-Jan-2024 Full Full $4,605 $4,978 $6,009 $6,464 Enquire
27-Jan-2024 Full Full $4,605 $4,978 $6,009 Full Enquire
31-Jan-2024 Full Full $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 Full Enquire
12-Feb-2024 Full Full Full Full $6,009 $6,464 Enquire
16-Feb-2024 Full $4,278 $4,605 $4,978 $6,009 $6,464 Enquire
20-Feb-2024 Full Full $4,605 $4,978 $6,009 $6,464 Enquire
24-Feb-2024 Full $4,278 $4,605 $4,978 $6,009 Full Enquire
28-Feb-2024 Full Full $4,605 $4,978 $6,009 $6,464 Enquire
March 2024
3-Mar-2024 Full Full $4,605 $4,978 $6,009 $6,464 Enquire
7-Mar-2024 Full $4,278 $4,605 $4,978 $6,009 Full 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 Full $3,659 $4,126 $4,342 Enquire
April 2024
8-Apr-2024 Full Full* $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.


  • 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


  • 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?