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Wildlife, Glaciers & Cape Horn Cruise

Voyage south from Punta Arenas to Ushuaia on a small-ship expedition cruise and experience the incredible wildlife, fascinating history and breathtaking scenery of Tierra del Fuego. Sail the famous Strait of Magellan and Glacier Alley in the Beagle Channel. On five excursions you'll see immense glaciers up close, visit historic Wulaia Bay and set foot on the fabled Cape Horn.

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Wildlife, Glaciers & Cape Horn Cruise

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Trip type

Cruise

Trip length

5 Days

From

$2,665 -$6,655

Location

Tierra del Fuego

Wildlife, Glaciers & Cape Horn Cruise - 5 Days - $2,665

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 Cruise

Operator's Itinerary

Day 1: Depart from Punta Arenas

The starting point of the expedition cruise is the port city of Punta Arenas in southernmost 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 five days will feel intimate, comfortable and practical. Every staff member on board will be dedicated to making your trip one of a lifetime.

Departure is usually at 6pm and on the first evening on board you'll enjoy a first-class dinner and an introductory talk from the expedition leader to get to know the captain, his crew and the expedition team.

After dinner, you might like to enjoy the open bar featuring stunning panoramic windows for you to appreciate the immense landscapes of the Strait of Magellan. All drinks (alcoholic or not), are included on this voyage.

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, let alone have the shallow-drafted ship design to enter the fjords and canals through which you'll be sailing.

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.

Hikes taken on the excursions are usually divided by language spoken and physical strenuousness and this will be communicated by your expedition staff ahead of time.

At Ainsworth Bay you’ll be guided through sub-polar Magellanic Forest, possibly crossing rivers and creeks, learning about this unique ecosystem at the end of the world. Alternatively, you may be guided along the beach area where 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. After two or three hours on shore, you’ll return to your ship for lunch.

In the afternoon your expedition team plan to take you on a zodiac boat excursion to the Tucker Islets* for close-up sightings of the endemic Magellanic penguins that nest here from October to March. Other birds you’ll see are cormorants and possibly skuas, petrels and even the odd albatross if you're lucky. 

* 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 the truly stunning Pia Fjord, for many travellers a real highlight to the expedition cruise.

Here you will disembark by zodiac, and select 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.

Both options are clearly briefed ahead of time by your expedition staff and are guided in small groups. You will have the chance to ‘listen’ to the glacier and hopefully witness some calving as you take in the remoteness of this wonderful location.

More stunning scenery accompanies you when, back on board, the vessel continues along the Beagle Channel through the Glacier Alley. A number of impressive tidewater glaciers flowing down from the Darwin Mountain range and its ice sheet can be observed. Most of them are named after European countries, including Holland, Spain, Germany, France and Italy. The expedition staff will ensure each glacier is identified to you and the whole experience is enhanced with a 'treat' at each one.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner


Day 4: Cape Horn to Wulaia Bay

During the morning you'll sail the most southerly course, through Nassau Bay to reach the monumental Cape Horn National Park, where, weather permitting, you'll go ashore. The legendary Cape Horn, discovered in 1616, is a sheer 425m (1,394ft) high rocky promontory which marks the end of the South American continent and the meeting place of the Pacific, Southern and Atlantic oceans.

For many years it was an important, albeit notoriously treacherous navigation route and is often referred to as the 'End of the Earth'. It was declared a World Biosphere Reserve in 2005 by Unesco. Very few vessels are permitted to land at Cape Horn, so once more, your ship will be the only one in the vicinity. You'll have the opportunity to explore the albatross monument and spend time at the lighthouse, meeting its resident family and hiking in the world’s southernmost national park.

In the afternoon the ship will navigate northwards to the Murray Channel bringing you to your second landing of the day, on the shore of historical Wulaia Bay. Originally the site of one of the region's largest Yamana aboriginal settlements, Charles Darwin arrived here in 1833 during his voyage on the HMS Beagle while circumnavigating the globe.

This area is also famous for the spectacular beauty of its vegetation and geography and a choice of hikes are offered to walk through the Magellan Forest of southern beech trees, winter's bark and numerous ferns to reach beautiful panoramic viewpoints. Alternatively, you could stroll around the museum area with your guide.

Tonight you can enjoy your last night on board with a captain’s dinner, in the company of your fellow travellers with whom you will have shared five memorable days on expedition.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner


Day 5: Arrive in Ushuaia

Today you'll sail into Argentine waters and dock in Ushuaia, the capital of Tierra del Fuego and the southernmost city in the world.

After saying goodbye to your expedition team members, you'll disembark the vessel around 8.30am.

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 Cruise

Wildlife, Glaciers & Cape Horn Cruise trips scored 4.7/5 from 76 reviews

Loved hearing from so many experts. You managed the session well.

Travelled: March 2023

Bruce Montgomery - USA

Well-scripted and executed by the Swoop team!

Travelled: February 2023

Peter Linder - USA

I thought it was well-organized and very helpful

Travelled: February 2023

Alyssa Barton - USA

The itinerary was detailed, thorough and well thought through. You took into consideration all of our interests to provide a variety of experiences/adventures. The accommodations and community partners you arranged were reliable and professional.

Travelled: February 2023

April Belbeck - Canada

It got me energized for the trip!

Travelled: February 2023

Marion Houston Green - USA

It was an excellent cruise and programming in every respect really.

Travelled: January 2023

Kathy Hudson - USA

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: October 2022

Cindy Joyce - USA

Seeing the glaciers up front was an awesome experience, and we were incredibly lucky too with the weather for the Cape Horn excursion. To stand by the Albatross sculpture with a fabulous view of the 'end of the world' is an unforgettable experience!

Travelled: October 2022

Ralph Turkel - USA

It is a true joy for all senses to cruise down the fjords and to be able to stop and take the zodiacs to shore for excursions. Knowledgeable guides add to these memorable experiences.

Travelled: October 2022

Ralph Turkel - USA

The ship was clean and super comfortable! The staff were fun and engaged. The fjords were amazing. We had some tricky, although to be expected, Patagonia weather and the staff and crew were careful to make decisions that considered first and foremost the safety of the guests on the ship.

Travelled: October 2022

Gail Pontius - USA

I have traveled to Patagonia many times many years ago and this cruise was something new. Ship and cabins nice, crew magnificent, food excellent, reasonable price.

Travelled: September 2022

Mark Bryant - USA

The highlight was the glacier hikes from the zodiac boats. Four days of sailing, daily zodiac excursions, exploring without seeing any other groups of people or ships gave a real sense of the vastness of this region. We felt honored to be able to have this experience!

Travelled: January 2020

Lars Houmann - United States Of America

It was a great trip – I loved seeing the marine mammals and wildlife.

Travelled: March 2019

Amy Rosen - United States Of America

Our highlight was the cruise from Punta Arenas to Ushuaia - landing on Cape Horn was amazing!

Travelled: February 2019

Jacky Wu - United States Of America

The cruise was fantastic. Every minute was an highlight! We saw tons of wildlife, dolphins, whales, seals, pinguins, and many birds. The guides were super, very interesting information, multi languages, and very friendly.

Travelled: February 2019

Anne Marie Mot - United States Of America

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: December 2018

Stephani Dalbesio - United States Of America

Our cruise was really lovely. We learned a lot from the onboard lectures- about glaciology and also the history of the Yamana people. We enjoyed the zodiac excursions, we usually took the “easy” option because it came with more educational time.

Travelled: December 2018

Mindy De Hooge - United States Of America

We particularly appreciated Chloe's suggestion to add the Australis cruise - brilliant choice.

Travelled: March 2016

Heinrich -

The highlight was undoubtedly reaching the base of the towers in Torres del Paine, but there were many other highlights as well. The tour staff were excellent – resourceful, knowledgeable and highly organised. The guides too were superb.

Travelled: March 2016

Barry -

The landscapes are stunning and the night skies were incredibly beautiful.

Travelled: March 2016

Simon -

Our Patagonia trip was amazing – thank you so much for your help with booking it! Our guide was THE best! Could not recommend her more highly. There was so much beauty everywhere.

Travelled: February 2016

Cali -

We are independent travelers and I'm used to booking everything myself, but when it came to Patagonia I got overwhelmed with all of the possibilities, so I would highly recommend Swoop to anyone!

Travelled: January 2016

Heidi -

What a wonderful, mind-blowing, refreshing experience. There are simply not enough positive adjectives to describe our time in Torres del Paine. Thank you for helping me plan one of the best experiences I've had!

Travelled: January 2016

Lydia -

All facets of the trip exceeded our expectations from the landscape to the guide. The trip was one that my wife and I will never forget.

Travelled: January 2016

Pierre -

I am 100% confident that our trip was flawless and so exhilarating because of our guide’s leadership. We will definitely be sending our friends to Swoop when they ask for recommendations.

Travelled: December 2015

Clara - USA

Well our Patagonian adventure is over and I wish we had chosen three weeks there rather than nine days...so many wonderful places to see!

Travelled: December 2015

Chris -

Thank you for sending me on the most incredible adventure of my life.

Travelled: November 2015

Ruth -

Our trip was phenomenal, A++. It was the best trip of our lives.

Travelled: November 2015

John & Marilyn -

The trek was unbelievable!!! The best hike I've done. We had a world class guide who was very informative and took care to make sure everyone was OK and spent time to really answer people’s questions.

Travelled: November 2015

Sarah -

I wanted to let you know all four of us had the BEST TRIP imaginable over 6 gorgeous weeks.

Travelled: April 2015

Martin & Heather -

Our family had the enormous good fortune of working with Swoop to book our holiday, it would be difficult to imagine a more satisfying trip than Swoop arranged for us, or dealing with professionals more knowledgeable and courteous than its staff.

Travelled: March 2015

Margaret -

Review:

Wildlife, Glaciers & Cape Horn Cruise

Prices, Departures and Inclusions

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

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

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The 'early penguin' offer is back! USD $500 off per person for travel in the 2024/25 season if booked before Wednesday 15 May 2024 (Special T&Cs apply). Pick your cruise date below.

2024

2025

B Cabin A Cabin AA Cabin AAA Cabin AA Superior AAA Superior
September 2024
21-Sep-2024 Full Full Full Full $3,165 $3,365 Enquire
29-Sep-2024 Full Full Full $2,665* Full $3,365 Enquire
October 2024
7-Oct-2024 Full $3,175 $3,475 $3,775 $4,175 $4,475 Enquire
15-Oct-2024 Full $3,175 $3,475 $3,775 Full Full Enquire
19-Oct-2024 Full Full $3,475 $3,775 $4,175 Full Enquire
23-Oct-2024 Full $3,175 $3,475 $3,775 $4,175 $4,475 Enquire
27-Oct-2024 Full Full $3,475 $3,775 Full $4,475 Enquire
31-Oct-2024 Full Full Full Full Full Full Enquire
November 2024
4-Nov-2024 Full Full $4,755 $5,155 $6,155 $6,655 Enquire
8-Nov-2024 Full $4,455 $4,755 $5,155 $6,155 $6,655 Enquire
12-Nov-2024 Full Full $4,755 $5,155 $6,155 $6,655 Enquire
16-Nov-2024 Full Full Full $5,155 $6,155 Full Enquire
20-Nov-2024 Full $4,455 $4,755 $5,155 $6,155 $6,655 Enquire
24-Nov-2024 Full Full Full $5,155 Full $6,655 Enquire
28-Nov-2024 Full Full $4,755 $5,155 $6,155 $6,655 Enquire
December 2024
2-Dec-2024 Full $4,455 $4,755 $5,155 $6,155 $6,655 Enquire
6-Dec-2024 Full $4,455 $4,755 $5,155 $6,155 $6,655 Enquire
10-Dec-2024 Full Full $4,755 $5,155 $6,155 $6,655 Enquire
14-Dec-2024 Full $4,455 $4,755 $5,155 $6,155 $6,655 Enquire
18-Dec-2024 Full $4,455 $4,755 $5,155 $6,155 $6,655 Enquire
22-Dec-2024 Full $4,455 $4,755 $5,155 $6,155 $6,655 Enquire
26-Dec-2024 Full $4,455 Full $5,155 $6,155 Full Enquire
30-Dec-2024 Full $4,455 $4,755 $5,155 $6,155 $6,655 Enquire
January 2025
3-Jan-2025 Full Full $4,755 $5,155 $6,155 Full Enquire
7-Jan-2025 Full $4,455 $4,755 $5,155 $6,155 $6,655 Enquire
11-Jan-2025 Full Full Full $5,155 $6,155 $6,655 Enquire
15-Jan-2025 Full $4,455 $4,755 $5,155 $6,155 $6,655 Enquire
19-Jan-2025 Full $4,455 $4,755 $5,155 $6,155 $6,655 Enquire
23-Jan-2025 Full Full $4,755 $5,155 $6,155 Full Enquire
27-Jan-2025 Full Full Full $5,155 $6,155 Full Enquire
31-Jan-2025 Full Full $4,755 $5,155 $6,155 $6,655 Enquire
February 2025
4-Feb-2025 Full $4,455 $4,755 $5,155 $6,155 Full Enquire
8-Feb-2025 Full $4,455 $4,755 $5,155 $6,155 $6,655 Enquire
12-Feb-2025 Full Full Full $5,155 $6,155 $6,655 Enquire
16-Feb-2025 Full $4,455 $4,755 $5,155 $6,155 $6,655 Enquire
20-Feb-2025 Full $4,455 $4,755 $5,155 $6,155 Full Enquire
24-Feb-2025 Full $4,455 $4,755 $5,155 $6,155 $6,655 Enquire
28-Feb-2025 Full Full $4,755 $5,155 $6,155 $6,655 Enquire
March 2025
4-Mar-2025 Full $4,455 $4,755 $5,155 $6,155 $6,655 Enquire
8-Mar-2025 Full $4,455 $4,755 $5,155 $6,155 $6,655 Enquire
12-Mar-2025 Full $4,455 $4,755 $5,155 $6,155 $6,655 Enquire
16-Mar-2025 Full $4,455 $4,755 $5,155 $6,155 $6,655 Enquire
20-Mar-2025 Full Full $3,475 $3,775 $4,175 $4,475 Enquire
24-Mar-2025 Full $3,175 $3,475 $3,775 $4,175 $4,475 Enquire
April 2025
1-Apr-2025 Full Full Full $2,665* $3,165 Full Enquire

* Note: Prices are per person. Paid in USD ($) - figure above is based on today's exchange rate. Actual cost $2665

Additional Notes

Seasons – Promotional season is September and April; Low season is October, and March 20th to 31st; High season is November to March 19th

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.

Includes

  • Meals: Four buffet breakfasts, three buffet lunches, four dinners with table service
  • Drinks: all alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks during the entire duration of the cruise
  • All drinking water as requested - you are gifted a complimentary metallic water bottle which you can refill at the numerous stations around the ship
  • All safety equipment (life jackets) for zodiac excursions
  • Accommodation: cabin as requested (four nights)
  • All shore excursions and shipboard activities (as detailed in itinerary)
  • On-board activities and lectures from your expedition staff
  • All national park entrance fees, as per itinerary

Excludes

  • Port tax (USD $120 per person for 2024-25 season)
  • Meals not indicated in itinerary
  • Any extra/optional excursions
  • Transfers to/from cruise port terminal at Punta Arenas/Ushuaia
  • Personal equipment (see our recommended kit list), especially waterproof clothing required for shore excursions
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Gratuities/tips
  • International and domestic/in-country flights
  • Any visa, passport and vaccination expenses

Questions about this Voyage?