Chilean Fjords & Patagonia

Chile and Patagonia Cruise

  • Silver Explorer
  • Luxury Expedition Ship
  • 132 Capacity
  • 12 Days
  • View Departure>
  • Price from
  • $999,999,999

Summary : Explore the wonders of Chilean Fjords and Patagonia while in the company of expert naturalists as well as an onboard anthropologist, geologist, biologist, fisheries expert, historian and photographer.  Cruise by Zodiac alongside glaciers and through amazing scenery; admire snow-capped mountains and peaceful fjords while watching for dolphins and whales. Visit a traditional Patagonian estancia and the wooden churches of Chiloé Island – a UNESCO World Heritage site. Discover the history of the Island of the Dead and photograph Chile’s spectacular Lake Region during this amazing trip of a lifetime.

Activities : Birding, Culture

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Itinerary
Day 1
Buenos Aires / Ushuaia, Argentina

Departing from Buenos Aires, take a charter flight to Ushuaia and transfer to the port. Embark the vessel, set sail and meet the Expedition Team.

Day 2
Garibaldi Fjord and Glacier

Cruise through Garibaldi Fjord, a narrow passage strewn with floating ice in shades of blue and green. Ribbons of waterfalls snake down the steep mountainsides. At the head of this picturesque fjord, take in the quiet splendor of the retreating Garibaldi Glacier.

In the evening, continue through the 150-mile-long (241-km-long) Beagle Channel named after the HMS Beagle, a ship renowned for conducting its second coastal survey of southern South America in the early 19th century with a young Charles Darwin aboard.

Day 3
Punta Arenas, Chile

Located on the western side of the Strait of Magellan, Punta Arenas is a bustling base for fishing boats and Antarctic research vessels. Depart the busy port town and travel by coach for a visit to the estancia Olga Teresa, a traditional Patagonian homestead. Founded in the early 20th century by French-Irish immigrants who established themselves as sheep farmers in the middle of the vast Patagonian pampas, the estancia opens its doors to a limited number of visitors to demonstrate the traditional farming lifestyle that is still observed here to this day. Watch Chilean cowboys, or huasos, on horseback showing their skills in rounding up young cows. Enjoy a traditional luncheon of barbecued Patagonian lamb that has been slow-grilled for hours on poles surrounding the fire. Look for condors nesting in the caves on the upper part of the mountain slope where the estancia is located.

Day 4
Montañas Fjord

Cruise northward along the Chilean coast and up one arm of the Canal de las Montañas to take in the dramatic panorama of five glaciers that commence in the Sarmiento Mountains. Listen as the onboard geologist is out on deck identifying the glaciers and pointing out various rock formations. Learn from the onboard ornithologist as they inform of the Royal Cormorants that nest among the sheer cliff sides of the fjord.

Day 5
Pio XI Glacier / English Narrows

Reach the end of the fjord and discover Pio XI Glacier, an astounding 2.8 mi (4.5 km) wide, brilliant blue tidewater glacier. An outlet glacier of the South Patagonian Ice Field, Pio XI once extended out into the fjords whose waters the ship sails today. Conditions permitting, climb into the Zodiacs and dodge ice to approach the glacier at a safe distance to possibly observe small chunks of ice falling from the glacier.

Back on board, head out on deck and watch as the Captain expertly maneuvers the English Narrows, a slalom course of islands and channel markers. Keep an eye out for Magellanic diving petrels and steamer ducks, and if very lucky, spot the endemic Chilean dolphin.

Day 6
Caleta Tortel

Arrive at the stunningly beautiful Caleta Tortel, a remote riverside Chilean village consisting mainly of stilt houses that are connected by a network of elevated wooden walkways, stairs and footbridges. Founded in 1955 for the cypress wood industry, the village was accessible only by plane or boat until a road was constructed in 2003. Experience life in the small village, meet the townspeople and enjoy its folklore. Later, explore Baker River by Zodiac, navigating the small channels and landing at the Isla de las Muertos (Island of the Dead), where 33 rugged crosses mark this island’s sad story of exploration and exploitation.

Day 7
At Sea

Enjoy a leisurely day at sea. Attend informative lectures on the upcoming ports-of-call and adventures that lie ahead. Socialize with fellow passengers, enjoy onboard amenities, or simply relax in the comfort of your suite.

Day 8
Chiloé Island

Chiloé Island, where houses are raised up on poles above the water, is home to an amazing collection of 150 Jesuit-carved wooden churches, and more than 400 native plant varieties. Drop anchor and go ashore via the Zodiacs. Visit the picturesque village of Dalcahue. On the way, glimpse at the hamlet of Llaullao with its colorfully roofed houses.

Enjoy a brief ferry ride to Quinchao and pass through Curaco de Velez, a tiny village of approximately 500. Keep an eye out along coastal avenue where it is sometimes possible to see black-necked swans. Head to Achao, founded by Jesuits in 1743 and now has almost 2,500 inhabitants. Visit Achao Church, the oldest wooden structure in Chiloé and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Constructed in 1730, it contains beautiful baroque imagery. Return to Dalcahue after a snack and some music in Achao’s main square. Explore the well-preserved Dalcahue Church with its galvanized iron roof. Declared a World Heritage site in 2000, it was carved by Jesuits in 1849 from locally grown Patagonian cypress, larch and luma trees with amazing detail and precision.

Alternatively, visit Chiloé National Park which includes dunes, temperate rain forests, swamps, and peat bogs. Observe native flora such as evergreen terebinth shrubs, coigüe, luma, myrtle, tepu and larch while walking along El Tepual Trail. Watch for fauna including fox, sea lion, mountain monkey, sea otter, opossum, pudú, finch, and Patagonian woodpecker.

Day 9
Puerto Montt

Discover the gateway to Chile’s Lake Region – a spectacular area with dozens of active volcanoes and picturesque lakes that number in the hundreds. Follow a route taken by German, Swiss and Austrian pioneers in 1850 who were looking for a way to reach Argentina from Chile. Take a scenic drive past charming wooden houses , churches, pristine farmland, and lush green forest. Stop at a nearby forest of ancient Alerce trees before continuing on to the majestic Osorno volcano. Admire the magnificent view and take pictures of Osorno and Calbuco’s snow-covered peaks and Lake Llanquihue. Following lunch at a local restaurant, head to Chile’s famous Petrohué Rapids. Marvel as the mighty Petrohué’s deep green water crashes through lava channels formed after the eruption of the Osorno in 1850.

Day 10
Niebla

Explore Niebla’s small beach resort charm and discover its interesting cultural blends of native Mapuche, Spanish settlers, and German immigrants. Visit Mercado Fluvial and see fishermen selling their catch as nearby pelicans and sea lions stay alert for hand-outs. Tour the Maurice Van der Maele Historical and Anthropological Museum and stop in at Kunstmann Brewery for a tasting where beer is brewed according to the purity edict of 1516.

Day 11
At Sea

Participate in discussions and onboard activities led by the Expedition Team, relax in one of the lounges, or meet up with new friends for cocktails. Relive memorable moments from the entire voyage at the onboard photographer’s final video presentation.

Day 12
Santiago, Chile

Disembark the vessel in the morning.

Notes

This itinerary is subject to change. ExpeditionTrips is not responsible for itinerary changes.

Included:
All ocean-view suite accommodation; onboard meals; butler service; complimentary beverages served throughout the ship (an assortment of complimentary wines, champagne and spirits); all onboard gratuities (except spa); port charges and handling fees; Silver Suite guests receive laundry service and dinner at Officer's table; Grand and Owner's Suite guests receive laundry service plus dinner at Officer's table and 4 hours Internet service per voyage segment and 2 hours worldwide phone use per voyage segment.

Not Included:

Airfare; air charter package ($570 per person) one-way between Buenos Aires and Ushuaia and includes applicable transfers between the airport/pier; government fees and taxes; transfers and luggage handling; passport expenses; items of a personal nature, fuel surcharge may apply.