At over 2,500 miles long – roughly half the length of South America and spanning a broad range of climates – Chile is a rich and diverse country. The far north is home to some of the driest places on earth, while the far south is a land of snow and glaciers (and the gateway to Antarctica).
Walk in the footsteps of Magellan, Sir Francis Drake and Charles Darwin as you cruise to the end of the world to discover Chile’s fjords and Tierra del Fuego. This remains one of Earth’s most remote and pristine regions, and we’ve arranged a perfect way to take you on a journey of a lifetime: the outstanding expedition ship the Stella Australis. She visits islands populated only by wildlife and glaciers, shorelines and forests that few people will ever be lucky enough to see ... places where Magellanic penguins, elephant seals and sea lions congregate to breed and raise their young, just as they have for thousands of years.
patagonia voyage zodiac and penguins
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patagonia voyage stella australis zodiac
patagonia voyage darwin range
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patagonia voyage upland goose and ashy headed goose
Patagonia Voyage Itinerary
Board the M/V Stella Australis. After a welcoming cocktail reception hosted by the Captain and his crew, depart for one of the remotest parts of the planet. Our Patagonia cruise takes us through the Strait of Magellan and Beagle Channel to explore one of the most breathtaking wilderness regions in the world: Southern Patagonia, which includes the Tierra del Fuego archipelago.
Cape Horn / Wulaia Bay
Mythical Cape Horn awaits! The stories and legends surrounding it come alive as we experience its location between two immense oceans and its southerly latitude. This is the farthest south we reach in our expedition and to see the reality is stunning. Weather permitting, board Zodiacs and visit the Cape Horn Memorial, erected to honor the seamen from all nations who lost their lives in over 800 vessels in the force of nature that is Cape Horn. This entails a climb up some 130 steps to the summit. This afternoon we visit Wulaia Bay, an area rich in history and legend. It was here that Captain FitzRoy on board the HMS Beagle had his close encounters with the Yamanas, some of the earliest inhabitants of the region. We visit some archaeological sites as well as the remains of 19th-century mission houses in this remote outpost. (B,L,D)
De Agostini Sound / Águila Glacier
We will be sailing through Brecknock, Ocasión, Cockburn and Magdalena Channels to enter the spectacular De Agostini Sound, in the heart of the Darwin Mountain Range. See glaciers sliding down the mountainside all the way to the sea. In the afternoon, in well-equipped Zodiac boats, travel to the Águila Glacier for an easy walk to its base. It’s the perfect opportunity to experience the beauty of Patagonia’s cold rainforest and see how the power of nature has molded the spectacular landscape. (B,L,D)
Magdalena Island / Punta Arenas
It is summer in the Southern Hemisphere; temperatures are mild and daylight lingers. We disembark for our first excursion, to Magdalena Island, set aside by Chile as a national reserve. Tens of thousands of Magellanic penguins return here every year to raise their young. We witness one of nature’s truly great spectacles as thousands of birds rush to complete their reproductive cycle in the brief summer months. We walk near countless burrow nests to a still-functioning lighthouse that serves as an excellent vantage point. Though rare, other species of penguins are occasionally spotted here, including rockhopper and the colorful king penguin. Our trip will take us through the Strait of Magellan and Beagle Channel to explore one of the most breathtaking wilderness regions in the world: Southern Patagonia, which includes the Tierra del Fuego archipelago. (B,L,D)
Ainsworth Bay / Tuckers Islets
Awake to the scenic splendor that inspired Magellan’s chronicler, Antonio Pigafetta, to write, “I think there is in the world no more beautiful country or better place.” Rising from crystal-clear waters, the snowcapped peaks of rugged mountains surround us, rocky islets dot the calm water and dense green forests mantle the mountain slope. As we cruise in this majestic region we look for sea birds and search for black and white Peale’s dolphins. After lunch we disembark for a wildlife excursion near the Marinelli Glacier. We search for some of Patagonia’s exciting bird life—from the dark-bellied cinclodes to two species of oystercatchers and colossal Andean condors. This area is used as a haulout by some impressive mammals, including elephant seals. The southern elephant seal is the largest of the world’s pinnipeds, sometimes weighing more than four tons—about the same as the largest rhinoceros! Weather and ice conditions permitting, we disembark in Ainsworth Bay and visit the Marinelli Glacier that descends from the Darwin Mountain Range. From our vantage point near the glacier, we hear the loud groans, booms and growls as this incredible mass of ice advances imperceptibly down the mountain slope. Words cannot describe the grandeur and scenic beauty of a mountain glacier. Upon landing nearby, we follow a trail that takes us past a favorite basking site of elephant seals and along a freshwater stream. The dense forest of southern beech lining the stream is an excellent place to observe Patagonian sierra finches. The trail ends at a beaver pond that provides nesting grounds for ducks such as speckled teal. With luck, we have an opportunity to observe a resident pair. After our walk, we return to the Stella Australis. Sail to Tuckers Islets, and after lunch, we will board well-equipped Zodiac boats to get close to a colony of Magellanic penguins cormorants. (B,L,D)
Pia Glacier / Glacier Alley
Navigate along the northwest arm of the Beagle Channel before disembarking at Pia Fjord. Hike to a panoramic viewpoint from to enjoy spectacular views of the awe-inspiring Pia Glacier whose main tongue extends from the mountaintops down to the sea. After this memorable experience, we will continue our voyage along the Beagle Channel through the majestic Glacier Alley. (B,L,D)
Cape Horn / Wulaia Bay
Sail through Murray Channel, going ashore at historical Wulaia Bay to explore the site of one of the region’s largest Yamana aboriginal settlements. This area is renowned for the mesmerizing beauty of its vegetation and geography. Enjoy an enchanted walk through the Magellan Forest of lengas, coigües, canelos, ferns, and other endemic vegetation, to reach a panoramic viewpoint. Head South through Nassau Bay to Cape Horn National Park, where, weather permitting, we go ashore. The legendary Cape Horn was discovered in 1616. For many years it was an important navigation route between the Pacific and the Atlantic, and is referred to as the "End of the Earth." The park was declared a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve in 2005. (B,L,D)
Disembark in Ushuaia this morning. Board your independent connecting flights home.
Stella Australis features 100 total cabins and can hold up to 210 passengers. With plenty of deck space, entertainment, and beautiful cabins, the Stella Australis allows each guest on the Patagonia cruise to have the best experience possible. The ship has a full gym while cabins have individual AC/heat, safe and en suite bathroom. Each morning enjoy a buffet breakfast. For lunch and dinner, choose from regional specialties complemented by Chilean and Argentinean wines. Best of all, you'll enjoy magnificent panoramic views as you dine. As a unique feature to guests, the Stella Australis offers lectures, slide shows, and other activities in the Yamana Lounge. The lounge features panoramic views, cozy furniture, a bar, and a small library stocked with reference materials on the region. The Sky Lounge also features full bar and spectacular panoramic views. However, some of the best views can be seen from the open outside promenade deck. For entertainment at sea, there is a game room on the third deck, complete with special card tables and other games.
Cabins: 100 cabins - 177 sqft. with private facilities, low beds and panoramic windows
Decks: 5 decks
Lounges: 2 lounges and one dining room.