5 Nights: Wildlife, Glaciers & Cape Horn

Explore remote fjords by small expedition ship from Punta Arenas to Cape Horn and back, without leaving Chile. Follow in Charles Darwin's footsteps as you sail the Beagle Channel and the Tierra del Fuego archipelago to the end of the world at Cape Horn. You'll land at some of the most beautiful glaciers and landscapes anywhere on earth, making this the trip of a lifetime. Explore remote fjords by small expedition ship from Punta Arenas to Cape Horn and back, without leaving Chile. Follow in Charles Darwin's footsteps as you sail the Beagle Channel and the Tierra del Fuego archipelago to the end of the world at Cape Horn. Read more...
6 Days
$3,499

5 Nights: Wildlife, Glaciers & Cape Horn - 6 - $3,499

Trip Summary and Itinerary Map

Day 1: Depart from Punta Arenas 

Day 2: Pia Glacier and Glacier Alley (Beagle Channel)

Day 3: Cape Horn and Wulaia Bay 

Day 4: Águila Glacier

Day 5: Parry Fjord and Ainsworth Bay

Day 6: Magdalena Island to Punta Arenas

Start from Punta Arenas and end at Punta Arenas

Landmarks visited on 5 Nights: 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: Pia Glacier and Glacier Alley (Beagle Channel)

By the morning we will enter Pia Fjord, just off the famous Beagle Channel, and will board Zodiac boats for a shore excursion to Pia Glacier – an incredibly beautiful and peaceful sight. It's a short hike to a panoramic view of the spectacular glacier, which extends from the mountains down to the sea. You can also choose a longer, more difficult walk up a lateral moraine of the old Pia Glacier for a panoramic view, or sit and watch the glacier calving from up-close.

Back on board the ship, we continue east along the Beagle Channel through an area called Glacier Alley. This passage hosts a number of impressive tidewater glaciers flowing down from the Darwin Mountains and Darwin Ice Sheet on the north shore, each one named in honour of the nationalities of explorers who have visited this area. The atmosphere created by these cascades of water and ice is truly something special.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner


Day 3: Cape Horn and Wulaia Bay

In the early morning, the ship will be navigating across Nassau Bay into the remote archipelago that includes Cape Horn National Park. Weather and sea conditions permitting, we'll go ashore on the windswept island to visit the 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.

Sailing back across Nassau Bay, we anchor at fabled Wulaia Bay, one of the few places in the archipelago where human history is just as compelling as the natural environment. Originally the site of one of the region’s largest aboriginal settlements, the bay was described by Charles Darwin and sketched by Captain FitzRoy in the 1830s during their voyages on the HMS Beagle.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner


Day 4: Águila Glacier

We'll sail through the Cockburn Channel early in the morning 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.

We will leave the ship for an easy walk around a lagoon, formed by the melting of the Águila Glacier. We will reach a spot right in front of the glacier with stunning views.

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 the will hugely enrich your learning experience.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner


Day 5: Parry Fjord and Ainsworth Bay

At dawn we will navigate Parry Fjord. From this area we'll have excellent views of the various glaciers that come down to the sea from the upper icefield. Onboard Zodiac boats, we'll travel to the far end of the fjord to an amphitheatre of glaciers in an area sometimes home to leopard seals.

In the afternoon, we will navigate our way through Almirantazgo Sound, arriving at Ainsworth Bay in the Alberto De Agostini National Park. It’s the perfect spot from which to see the Marinelli Glacier descending from Darwin Mountain Range in the distance and to appreciate how the land returns to life after glacial retreat. We will also take a walk to a beaver dam in the stunning sub-polar Magellanic Forest.

The forests encountered on this expedition have a magical, other-worldly feel to them and, biologically speaking, are fascinating places. Once more, your expedition staff will guide you in small groups along walkways, beaches and through dense forested areas, for you to fully appreciate this unique environment.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner


Day 6: Magdalena Island to Punta Arenas

After cruising overnight through the Magdalena Channel and back into the Strait of Magellan, we anchor off Magdalena Island, about halfway between Tierra del Fuego and the Chilean mainland. Crowned by a distinctive lighthouse, this island used to be an essential source of supplies for navigators and explorers and is now inhabited by a large colony of Magellanic penguins.

At the break of dawn, weather permitting, we will go ashore and hike a path that leads through thousands of penguins to a small museum inside the 1902 lighthouse. There are many other bird species to be found on the island. After a short cruise south along the strait, disembarkation in Punta Arenas is scheduled for around midday.

Upon disembarking in Punta Arenas, you might notice things have changed. The reality is that nothing will have changed in the city, but it will be you that has been changed by your last few days aboard. You will have gained fascinating insights from a unique ecosystem, having explored it in virtual solitude, with no other cruise ships around. Wonderful memories will be etched in your mind by a truly magnificent experience.

Meals: Breakfast

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

The guide price of USD $3,499 per person is based on 2 people sharing an A Cabin


Availability changes all the time. Please contact us for up to date details of any cabins recently made available.

Please note: There is always limited availability; book soon to avoid disappointment!

2021

2022

Additional Notes

Excursion notes – Cape Horn Landing is subject to weather conditions

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

Photography special – The departure on the 13th February 2022 operates a special photography programme. There will be an expert photographer onboard running photography workshops and sharing techniques. Please note, this will only be available to those who have signed up to the programme in advance. Please request this at the point of booking.

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 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: 5 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 5 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 (5 nights)
  • All shipboard excursions and activities (as detailed in itinerary)
  • On board activities and lectures

Excludes

  • Port tax (USD $75 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?