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Wildlife, Glaciers & Cape Horn

Voyage south from Punta Arenas to Ushuaia on a small-ship expedition cruise packed with incredible wildlife, fascinating history, and breathtaking scenery. Sail the famous Strait of Magellan and Beagle Channel, navigate Tierra del Fuego's islands and visit the Pia Glacier. You'll also visit the fabled Cape Horn and sight Magellanic penguins on this trip of a lifetime.

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Wildlife, Glaciers & Cape Horn

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Trip type


Trip length

5 Days




Tierra del Fuego

Wildlife, Glaciers & Cape Horn - 5 - $2,261

Trip Summary and Itinerary Map

Day 1: Depart from Punta Arenas 

Day 2: Ainsworth Bay to Tucker Islets 

Day 3: Pia Glacier to Glacier Alley (Beagle Channel)

Day 4: Cape Horn to Wulaia Bay

Day 5: Arrive in Ushuaia

Start from Punta Arenas and end at Ushuaia

Landmarks visited on Wildlife, Glaciers & Cape Horn

Operator's Itinerary

Day 1: Depart from Punta Arenas

The starting point of the expedition cruise is the port city of Punta Arenas in Chile. You'll board the ship this afternoon and have some time to get to know your beautiful small expedition vessel. With a capacity of 210 passengers, your home for the next few days will feel intimate and practical. Every staff member on board will be dedicated to making your trip one of a lifetime. Departure is at 6pm and on the first evening onboard we'll enjoy a first-class dinner and an introductory lecture to get to know the captain, his crew and the expedition team.

After dinner you might like to enjoy the open-bar (all drink 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 come across any other cruise ships on your voyage given that very few operators have permission to sail in these magnificent waters.

Meals: Dinner

Day 2: Ainsworth Bay to Tucker Islets*

At dawn, the ship will navigate its way through Almirantazgo Sound to arrive at Ainsworth Bay in Alberto De Agostini National Park. This is the perfect spot from which to see the Marinelli Glacier descending from the Darwin Mountain Range in the distance and to appreciate how the land returns to life after glacial retreat.

We'll take a walk to a beaver dam in the stunning sub-polar Magellan Forest. Whether we're on the beach or the island there's a good chance of sighting southern elephant seals, though bear in mind that sightings cannot be guaranteed due to the colony's unpredictable movements.

Later we'll sail to Tucker Islets* and after lunch we'll board Zodiac boats to get a closer look at a colony of endemic Magellanic penguins and nesting cormorants.

* In September and April, this excursion is replaced by a short walk to a nearby glacier at Brookes Bay.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 3: Pia Glacier to Glacier Alley (Beagle Channel)

The day will begin by navigating the northwest arm of the Beagle Channel before disembarking at Pia Fjord. Here you can choose one of two hikes. The first is a shorter hike to a panoramic viewpoint to enjoy spectacular views of the awe-inspiring Pia Glacier whose main tongue extends from the mountaintops down to the sea. The second hike is a longer, more challenging ascent of a lateral moraine of the Pia Glacier

More stunning scenery accompanies us as we continue the voyage along the Beagle Channel through the majestic Glacier Alley. A number of impressive tidewater glaciers flowing from the Darwin Mountains and Darwin Ice sheet can be observed; most of them named after European countries, including Holland, Spain, Germany, France and Italy.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 4: Cape Horn to Wulaia Bay

During the morning we'll sail south through Nassau Bay to reach Cape Horn National Park, where, weather permitting, we'll go ashore. The legendary Cape Horn was discovered in 1616 and is a sheer 425m (1,394ft) high rocky promontory. For many years it was an important navigation route between the Pacific and the Atlantic, and is often referred to as the 'End of the Earth'. In 2005 UNESCO declared the park a World Biosphere Reserve.

In the afternoon the ship will navigate Murray Channel bringing us to a landing on the shore at historical Wulaia Bay, originally the site of one of the region's largest Yamana aboriginal settlements. Charles Darwin landed here in 1833 during his voyage on the HMS Beagle. This area is also famous for the spectacular beauty of its vegetation and geography. We'll walk through the enchanted Magellan Forest of Southern beech trees (lengas, coigues), winter's bark (canelo) and numerous ferns to a beautiful panoramic viewpoint.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 5: Arrive in Ushuaia

Today we'll sail into Argentine waters and arrive in Ushuaia, the capital of Tierra del Fuego and the southernmost city in the world. Disembark the vessel between 8.30-9:30am for onward travel.

Meals: Breakfast

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 Wildlife, Glaciers & Cape Horn

Wildlife, Glaciers & Cape Horn trips scored 4.6/5 from 45 reviews

The Heumal Circuit trek was a real highlight because athough it is very close to the very populated El Chalten it feels like truly remote wilderness. We met just 8 other trekkers during the whole of the 4 days and then only in passing.

Travelled: March 2021

Pete Lee -

As we were nearing the end of the Base of the Towers hike in Torres del Paine, I wasn't sure my legs were going to let me finish the hike. I then looked up and saw a condor soaring above my head. It was awe-inspiring to see this majestic creature against such an incredible backdrop. It was as if the condor was there to encourage me on, my energy spiked and my body was ready to continue to the base. What a magical experience!

Travelled: December 2019

Tracy -

Overall our trip was wonderful, with only a few snags. The highlights of Argentinian Patagonia were the Perito Moreno Glacier and the Estancia Christina in El Calafate, and the Fitzroy hike in El Calafate. The Perito Moreno Glacier is breathtaking, and easily accessible from the raised walkway in the park. We also did the boat tour, which offers history and closer view of the glacier. Beware though, once you see it, other glaciers in Patagonia will seem less impressive. Estancia Christina was fantastic, but only because we opted for the fossil hike. Others on the excursion had lots of waiting around and did not seems as impressed. Not so great- The scheduling from El Calafate to EL Chalten- we would have preferred a later transfer. With the sun setting so late, you can easily hike until 7 PM...therefore there was no reason to leave so early for Chalten. Chalten was beautiful. Liked the wild dogs and friendly locals. The Fitzroy hike was spectacular....we were on the trail early so it wasn't too crowded but I imagine during peak season it was be a little unpleasant as it is narrow and you need to step aside to let people pass. Our best meal in Chalten was at La Tapera, wish it had been recommended. Avoid La Senyera, worst meal of our entire trip. Australis Cruise- This was a mistake. After having days filled with hiking and enjoying the riches of nature, being confined to a boat was very frustrating. The boat itself was nice, the rooms clean and comfortable but the excursions were short and underwhelming and most of the time on the boat was spent waiting....waiting for a short presentation, waiting for lunch, waiting to get off the boat, waiting to get on the boat etc....The penguins were the highlight of the cruise but, we found out you can take a day trip from Puntas Arenas to visit them. That would have been nice to have known. Highlight of the entire trip was Torres del Paine. The Explora hotel is beautiful and the hiking on the W was the best we experienced. The spa, the guides, the surroundings were all unbelievable. If I could redo the trip I would nix the cruise and spend an extra 3 nights at Explora.

Travelled: March 2021

Richard & Susan -

Highlight was ecocamp and our guide for the trek there. The food at ecocamp far exceeded any other food we had on the trip. Amazing vegan options at every meal. The biggest surprise was how hard it was to understand Chilean accented Spanish (I speak but mostly with Mexican speakers)! Our most magical moment was surprise live folk music at ecocamp on the evening of the summer solstice. We LOVE American and Celtic folk music, it was amazing to hear and see a new flavor.

Travelled: March 2021

Mindy De Hooge -

The trip was unbelievable! No matter where you were, everywhere around you was breathtaking. Being on the water during the cruise was the most memorable portion. There were never ending waterfalls, the more you looked the more you saw! Each day we had at least one rainbow. We got to see the penguins, albatross, humpback whales, sea lions, and dolphins! The vegetation on all of the islands, areas and on Cape Horn was a huge surprise. The guides were so informative and reinforced each of the teachings over the course of the trip to make sure all of the guests learned as much as possible, and all of our questions were answered. Not only were we educated on the history but also present time varying from animals, flora, natives, and explorers. Absolutely loved the trip!

Travelled: April 2023

Torie -

highlights: Hiking to the blue towers in Torres del Paine and hiking to base of Fitz Roy in El Chalten. Landscapes in Torres del Paine (Cordillero, lakes, glaciers) were stunning. no wildlife to speak of on the W Trek. The Trek afforded us the ability to meet like minded trekkers, willing to get up early and challenge themselves on steep trails through wind, rain, sun , all for the the love of the outdoors. Most magical moment was kayaking 21km on the Rio del las Vueltas, with crystal blue skies, views and reflections on Fitz Roy, Cerr Torre on the river! Booked when we arrived in El Chalten, not through Swoop.

Travelled: March 2021

Janet Reynolds -

Standing at the Albatross monument with Cape Horn in the background.

Travelled: January 2023

Anonymous -

Cape Horn on the Ventis Australis

Travelled: November 2022

Sean -

Visiting the Pia Glacier, seeing Glacier Alley, excursion to Cape Horn, hikes and excursions. Cruise was well organized and personnel professional and friendly. We also very much enjoyed the 1 day adventurous Crossing of the Andes arranged by SWOOP. So many memorable moments!

Travelled: November 2022

Ralph -

Experiencing strong winds while looking out at beautiful El Bote Bay, as we began the exclusive Patagonia Camp Los Maitenes Peninsula hike.

Travelled: January 2022

Beverly -

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 -

Walking into our Explora guest room for the first time. Unbelievable.

Travelled: February 2020

Lars -

Penguins are always going to be memorable. All the boat and ship captains on our trip were highly skilled seamen. However, our top memories will be tied to our abbreviated Dientes Trek, with Days 3 and 4 being the most impactful. Day 4 where we went down Valle Bronces to the end of the trek (instead of Virginia Pass for one more night of camping) taught us a lot about ourselves and our excellent guides. It pushed and tested us mentally and physically. When we reached the end and realized everyone had emerged mostly unscathed was the biggest victory of our entire trip.

Travelled: April 2023

Sarah -

Too many highlights. The landscapes are extraordinary. The Chilean were very welcoming, and all the other travelers I met along the way were super friendly. There were a few magical moments, riding into a rainbow, or experiencing a storm in Cape horn, or watching the pinguins.

Travelled: March 2021

Anne Marie Mot -

Kayaking Serono River was amazing. I've never been so close to a glacier while on the water. Saw so many animals -- rhea, puma, penguins.... I liked that fellow travelers had selected Patagonia as a destination -- no one was just 'passing through'.

Travelled: March 2021

Jan Reichelderfer -

Landing at Cape Horn. Cruising down Glacier Alley. The hike in Wulaia Bay. And the unexpected dolphin show near Tucker Isle.

Travelled: March 2021

Robert Schletter -

Cruising the fjords, so majestic!

Travelled: October 2022

Anonymous -

Kayaking on Lago Toro at Patagonia Camp

Travelled: January 2023

Barbara -

Excursions were interesting but honestly left quite a bit to be desired for the active traveler. However, the people we met and the experience onboard was unparalleled and totally made up for it. I was blown away at the thoughtfullness that went into the experience and the level of service and consideration towards the guest. I greatly appreciated the historic/informative talks and movies, and the onship library was a treat.

Travelled: March 2021


Reaching Base of the Towers in Torres del Paine and watching the Pia Glacier calving ! Sorry 2

Travelled: February 2020

Helen -


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
25-Sep-2023 Full $2,261* $2,387 $2,595 $3,145 $3,355 Enquire
October 2023
3-Oct-2023 Full $3,095 $3,338 $3,659 $4,126 $4,342 Enquire
11-Oct-2023 Full Full $3,338 $3,659 $4,126 $4,342 Enquire
19-Oct-2023 Full Full $3,338 $3,659 $4,126 $4,342 Enquire
23-Oct-2023 Full $3,095 $3,338 $3,659 $4,126 Full Enquire
27-Oct-2023 Full Full $3,338 $3,659 $4,126 Full Enquire
31-Oct-2023 Full Full $3,338 $3,659 $4,126 Full Enquire
November 2023
4-Nov-2023 Full $4,278 $4,605 $4,978 $6,009 $6,464 Enquire
8-Nov-2023 Full $4,278 Full $4,978 $6,009 $6,464 Enquire
12-Nov-2023 Full Full $4,605 $4,978 $6,009 Full Enquire
16-Nov-2023 Full $4,278 $4,605 $4,978 $6,009 $6,464 Enquire
20-Nov-2023 Full $4,278 $4,605 $4,978 Full $6,464 Enquire
24-Nov-2023 Full Full $4,505 $4,978 $6,009 Full Enquire
28-Nov-2023 Full $4,278 $4,505 $4,978 Full $6,464 Enquire
December 2023
2-Dec-2023 Full $4,278 $4,505 $4,978 $6,009 $6,464 Enquire
6-Dec-2023 Full $4,278 $4,505 $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 Full Enquire
19-Jan-2024 Full $4,278 $4,605 $4,978 $6,009 $6,464 Enquire
23-Jan-2024 Full Full $4,605 $4,978 Full $6,464 Enquire
27-Jan-2024 Full $4,278 $4,605 $4,978 $6,009 $6,464 Enquire
31-Jan-2024 Full Full $4,605 $4,978 $6,009 Full 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 $4,278 $4,605 $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 Full $4,605 $4,978 $6,009 $6,464 Enquire
24-Feb-2024 Full Full $4,605 $4,978 $6,009 Full 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 Full $4,605 $4,978 $6,009 Full 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
April 2024
4-Apr-2024 Full Full* Full $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 & April, due to penguin migration, the excursion to Tuckers Islets is replaced by a trekking expedition near a glacier in Brookes Bay.

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 approximately 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 and 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 a complementary travel cots. Please note, they will still be charged the port tax.

Child policy – 3 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
  • All safety equipment (life jackets) for zodiac excursions
  • Accommodation: cabin as requested (4 nights)
  • All shipboard excursions and activities (as detailed in itinerary)
  • Onboard activities and lectures


  • Port tax (USD $105 per person)
  • Meals not indicated in itinerary
  • Any extra/optional excursions
  • Transfers to/from cruise port terminal
  • Personal equipment (see our recommended kit list)
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Gratuities/tips
  • International and domestic/in-country flights
  • Any visa, passport and vaccination expenses

Questions about this Voyage?