Summary : Journey from the most intriguing spots along the South American coast to the Antarctic Peninsula. Start in colorful Valparaíso, sail along the Chilean coastline and discover the vast, untouched beauty of a rugged and mountainous landscape dotted with snow-capped volcanoes. Discover one of the most scenic national parks in the world, Torres del Paine, and the wild fjords of Chile. Witness Cape Horn, a mystical place where two oceans meet. Cross the Drake Passage to Antarctica where penguins, seals, whales, and large flocks of sea birds give life to surrealistic vistas. Opt to kayak in pristine icy waters or hike at a landing site. Onboard, enjoy the comforts of a new, purpose-built, hybrid-powered expedition ship. Spend time in the Explorer Lounge while taking in the scenery through panoramic windows, attend presentations by knowledgeable guides, swim in the infinity pool, run the outdoor track, or learn in the Science Center. Children ages 7-13 can participate in the Young Explorers Program to gain a deeper understanding of nature, climate, and culture. The expedition ends in Punta Arenas, where you'll board an included flight to Santiago, Chile.
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Culture, Hiking, Kayaking
$11,897 to $18,558
This expedition starts in the colorful and poetic city of Valparaíso. One of the best ways to see this scenic town is by riding its funiculars, which are scattered around the city, and allow for sweeping views of the bay. You might choose to visit the UNESCO-listed Historic Quarter before embarking your ship.
As the ship makes its way along the coast of Chile, the expedition team will start the lecture program to prepare you for the experiences ahead. Make sure to spend some time on deck to watch for wildlife.
Set among windswept hills and lush green vegetation, Castro is known for its colorful “palafitos,” wooden houses mounted on stilts along the water's edge, as well as the UNESCO World Heritage site, Iglesia San Francisco.
The expedition continues south through the fabled waters of Patagonia to one of the world’s most remote, undisturbed, and beautiful places: the southern province of Ultima Esperanza (Last Hope). Voyage through iconic Andean seascapes for views of glorious expanses of undisturbed nature.
The enchanting village of Puerto Edén in Bernardo O’Higgins National Park is known for its geographical isolation, situated at the end of a deep fjord and surrounded by mountains. Its population of 250 includes the 15 remaining members of the Kawéskar people.
Puerto Natales is the gateway to Torres del Paine National Park, world famous for an impressive rock formation of the same name. Explore the park on an optional excursion to discover a landscape of stunning variety. Watch for llamas, pumas, and foxes in addition to many species of birds, like the Andean condor.
Deep fjords and tall mountains plunging into icy waters characterize this wild area that almost seems untouched by humans. Glacial ice has scoured its way between the mountains, creating lovely isolated islands and hidden bays.
In the morning, sail through scenic Beagle Channel before continuing into open waters. If conditions allow, the captain will attempt to land on Cape Horn—the southernmost tip of South America. Next, sail the legendary Drake Passage while a lecture series prepares you for Antarctica’s fantastic wildlife and history.
As you navigate historic waterways and visit prime sites along the Antarctic Peninsula and neighboring South Shetland Islands, the goal is to attempt 1-2 excursions per day. Your Captain and Expedition Leader continually monitor weather and ice conditions, working together to insure you experience the best of Antarctica whether you’re exploring Paradise Bay, the Lemaire Channel, Port Lockroy, Deception Island, or the many other locations available for landings and Zodiac cruising in the region.
Sailing in the wake of the 19th century’s great explorers—Sir Ernest Shackleton, Adrien de Gerlache, Robert Falcon Scott, and Roald Amundsen (to name just a few)—you’ll photograph the same towering mountain peaks they saw, hear raucous penguin colonies as you go ashore, see dazzling shades of blue and white as you navigate bays with impressive ice sculptures, and gain a new perspective of what it takes for wildlife—from penguins and giant petrels to elephant seals and humpback whales—to thrive in the beauty of this environment.
The forecast for conditions across the Drake Passage will determine when you’ll say a fond farewell to Antarctica and sail back to South America. Enjoy the ship’s amenities as the coastline drifts out of view, take time for bird watching and searching the horizon for whales, and enjoy final presentations by the expedition staff as you relax and reflect upon your Antarctic adventure.
Sadly, every expedition must come to an end. Disembark in Punta Arenas, on the edge of the Strait of Magellan. An included flight will take you to Santiago, Chile.
Read this itinerary as a guide only; the exact route and program varies according to ice and weather conditions—and the wildlife you encounter. Flexibility is the key to the success of this expedition. ExpeditionTrips is not responsible for itinerary changes.
Reverse Itinerary: 3/18/2021
An overnight stay in Santiago, Chile adds one day to the reverse itinerary.
This shipping company recommends that all passengers purchase a travel protection plan to help protect you and your trip investment from unexpected events such as cancellations, delays, and medical emergencies. ExpeditionTrips strongly recommends at least $200,000 Emergency Medical/Evacuation coverage for polar trips which includes coverage for cancellation, trip disruption, baggage, and personal property. Other conditions may apply based on pre-existing conditions. ExpeditionTrips can assist U.S. residents with travel protection options.
Medical Declaration Form:
All travelers must complete a confidential medical declaration form, signed by a doctor, stating that they are fit to travel. This form will be available in advance of travel, and must be filled out, brought on board, and personally delivered to the doctor upon embarkation. Boarding may be denied if this form is not presented at the time of embarkation.
Multilingual Departures: English/German (All Departures)
Explorer Science Program: Included
Participate in lectures and activities to cultivate greater knowledge about the regions explored; conduct experiments or examine specimens in the Science Center with the assistance of professional biologists and geologists; or choose to assist with current research.
Young Explorers Program: Included
A dedicated staff member will lead age-appropriate lectures and field research with your Young Explorer on topics ranging from science, polar history, photography, and navigation. The focus is on education, fun, and participation. Designed for ages 7–13 (although all ages can join in!).
From Explorer Photography School to Basic Kayaking Certification, there are several supplemented activities to choose from. Some are pre-bookable. Most are booked once on board. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details and rates.
One-way economy flight Punta Arenas/Santiago; post-cruise transfer ship/airport in Punta Arenas; shipboard accommodations; Young Explorers program for children; introductory photography lecture; onboard science center and Explorer Science program; expedition logbook; Wi-Fi; complimentary wind- and water-resistant parka; gear on loan (waterproof rubber boots, trekking poles, and equipment needed for optional and included activities); most meals onboard the ship; early riser and afternoon treats; house beer and wine, sodas, and mineral water in all restaurants; complimentary tea and coffee. For 3/18/2021 reverse itinerary: Pre-cruise hotel night including breakfast; pre-cruise transfer hotel/airport in Santiago; pre-cruise transfer airport/ship in Punta Arenas including city tour/lunchbox. Inclusions subject to change without notice.
Expedition Suites include a separate check-in; welcome package on embarkation day; suite breakfast and a la carte meals in restaurant Lindstrøm; minibar replenishment; fleece blanket/throw; espresso maker; turn-down service; and laundry service. Subject to change without notice.
International flights; transfers not detailed in the inclusions; passport and visa fees; travel protection plan; luggage handling; a la carte menu selections not detailed in the inclusions; alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks except as mentioned; minibar replenishment (except for suites); optional excursions and small-group adventures; optional small-group Explorer Photo program; items of a personal nature such as laundry and spa/wellness treatments not detailed in the inclusions; gratuities; fuel surcharge may apply.
PHOTOS: © Andrea Kalvig Anderson, © Dominic Barrington, © Stefan Dall, © Karsten Bidstrup, © Hurtigruten