A Search for Blue Whales

Search for the Blue Whales of Chiloe as well as dolphins and sea birds on this 6 day adventure in the Chilean Fjords. You will be joined by a naturalist guide who will help you make the most of your wildlife adventure on this small cruise ship.

6 Days

$1,857

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A Search for Blue Whales - 6 - $1,857

Itinerary Map

Start from Balmaceda Airport and end at Balmaceda Airport

Landmarks visited on A Search for Blue Whales

Operator's Itinerary

Trip Summary

  • Fly to Balmaceda (Coyhaique) - Transfer to Puerto Aysen and boarding M/V Noctiluca (5 nights)
  • Cruising Moraleda Channel
  • Cruising Gulf of Corcovado for Blue Whale, Pincoya Storm Petrel and other marine mammals and seabirds. Potential landings at Puerto Marin Balmaceda and Tic-Toc Bay
  • Back to Moraleda Channel in the afternoon
  • Sailing back to Puerto Aysen - Transfer to Balmaceda airport

Trip Details

Day 1:
Today, after landing at Balmaceda airport, we'll be transferred to Puerto Aisen (2 hours) where we'll board our floating lodge, M/V Noctiluca, a comfortable, cozy and beautiful wooden ship that will be our base during the trip.
After meeting the captain and the crew and settled at our cabins, we will begin our quest for the marine wildlife of northwestern Patagonia. We will sail along the scenic Aysen Fjord where we expect to see Peale's Dolphin, South American Sea Lion, and interesting birds such as King Cormorant, Flightless Steamer Duck, Kelp Goose, and South American Terns. By the end of the day we will look for a scenic spot near Puerto Aguirre for dinner and spending the night.
Overnight at M/V Noctiluca (Lunch, Dinner)(Guide)

Day 2:
We'll be up early and after a delicious breakfast we'll go out on the decks to scan for whales, dolphins and seabirds, while admiring the beautiful landscapes of the maze of channels and islands around. We will be sailing along part of the 90-mile long Moraleda Channel, which separates the mainland from the huge archipelagos of Chonos and Guaitecas. To the east we will see magnificent Andes peaks such as the Mentolat (1,660 m), Melimollu volcano (2,400 m) and the Maca Volcano (2,916 m.). We will be constantly scanning for the occasional presence of pods of Killer Whale (Orcinus orca) which predates upon the numerous South American sea lion colonies located along the coast and small forested islands. As we get closer to the Corcovado Gulf, we will enjoy watching a good sample of oceanic seabirds including Black-browed Albatross, Southern Giant Petrel, Southern Fulmar and long-distant migrants such as the migratory Arctic Skua or Parasitic Jaeger. The day will be a pleasant experience sailing along this protected and beautiful coastline.
By the end of the day we dock near Puerto Marin Balmaceda to do a nice walk to study the birdlife and vegetation of these dense temperate woodlands. We hope to see interesting species such as Black-throated Huet-huet, Chucao, Ochre-flanked and Magellanic Tapaculos, DesMurs' Wiretail, Thorn-tailed Rayadito, White-throated Treerunner, and if we are lucky Magellanic Woodpecker and Rufous-legged Owl.
Overnight at M/V Noctiluca (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)(Guide)



Days 3/4:
We will have two full days to explore the Gulf of Corcovado to look for marine mammals, especially Blue Whale, largest animal on Earth, which occupies these waters as feeding grounds.
The iconic Blue Whales (Balaenoptera musculus) have found in the food-rich waters of the Chilean Fjords, the perfect shelter to feed and to nurse their young. This population of Blue Whale spend the southern summer months near to the tropics, depending on the abundance and displacement of the krill. The huge Corcovado Gulf is considered as one of the world's largest estuary ecosystems and due to mixing processes of freshwater and the rich Pacific Ocean, huge oceanographic processes determine the great productivity of this area, capable to hold the largest concentration of Blue Whale in the Southern Hemisphere plus a vast array of other marine wildlife. We will spend many hours on board, searching for Blue Whales, potentially Humpback whales, plus the endemic Chilean Dolphin, Southern Fur Seal and pelagic seabirds such as Black-browed Albatross, Southern Giant Petrel and the recently discovered and endemic Pincoya Storm Petrel.
Depending on our progress with Blue Whales, we will have the time for evening explorations of the delightful and impressive coastline of Tic-Toc Bay. This whole area has been recently recongnized as one of the few marine parks of Chile based not just on the seasonal presence of the Blue Whales but also on the rich array of other cetaceans, marine mammals, seabirds and the impressive community of fishes and marine invertebrates occurring in the bay and associated archipelagos.
Overnight at M/V Noctiluca (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)(Guide)


Day 5:
We'll spend most of the day looking for wildlife around the Island of Melinka before heading south towards Guaitecas Archipelago and Aisen Fjord. En route we'll see islets and rocks with Southern Sea Lion rookeries and massive seabird colonies, where several species of cormorants, gulls and terns nest.
Overnight at M/V Noctiluca (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)(Guide)
 
Day 6:
Before noon we'll be entering Aisen Fjord to disembark at Puerto Aisen and be transferred to Balmaceda airport, from where we'll fly to Santiago.
(Breakfast)

Prices, Departures and Inclusions

This trip can run as a group trip, with prices starting from $1,857 per person for a complete group. If you are looking to join a group or you are a solo traveller we will help to form likeminded groups of travellers. Please let us know your travel plans.

The trip can also run on a private basis to fit around your plans. Departures may be tailored and can be set up on a date of your choice. Please note that there is a higher price for smaller groups. Please enquire for further details.

Domestic flights from Santiago can be arranged for an additional cost.

Includes

  • Accommodations and meals as stated in the itinerary aboard M/V Noctiluca
  • Services of naturalist guide
  • Airport transfers from Balmaceda to Puerto Aysen
  • Park entrance fees

Excludes

  • Domestic flights
  • Tipping
  • Travel insurance
  • A la carte dishes, snacks, drinks.
  • Laundry
  • Telephone calls
  • Anything of a purely personal nature

Questions about this Voyage?