Patagonian Explorer: Australis

Patagonia

Discover the wild beauty of Patagonia on a cruise that showcases pristine landscapes, rich wildlife and fascinating human history aboard an expedition ship that brings an extraordinary level of comfort and service. Leaving the twinkling lights of Ushuaia behind, call on fabled spots like Cape Horn and Wulaia Bay before cruising down the Beagle Channel. Visit a number of glaciers, before entering the legendary Strait of Magellan. Last stop is the Isla Magdalena and its boisterous Patagonia penguin colony before docking at Punta Arenas

  • Mythical Cape Horn and Tierra del Fuego
  • Spectacular Aguila Glacier
  • Sail the Straits of Magellan and Beagle Channel
  • Walks in beautiful National Parks and sub-polar Magellanic forest
  • Unique journey from Ushuaia to Punta Arenas on a luxurious expedition vessel

Last-Minute 25% Off

Last departures of the until March 2019 Save 25%! Enter the Promocode AUS25 during the booking process.

Stewart's Take

Sail from Ushuaia to Punta Arenas and discover incredible Patagonian scenery.

Overview

Discover the wild beauty of Patagonia on a cruise that showcases pristine landscapes, rich wildlife and fascinating human history aboard an expedition ship that brings an extraordinary level of comfort and service. Leaving the twinkling lights of Ushuaia behind, call on fabled spots like Cape Horn and Wulaia Bay before cruising down the Beagle Channel. Visit a number of glaciers, before entering the legendary Strait of Magellan. Last stop is the Isla Magdalena and its boisterous Patagonia penguin colony before docking at Punta Arenas.
Day 1 - Ushuaia Check in at 409 San Martín Ave. in downtown Ushuaia between 10:00 and 17:00 (10 AM-5 PM) on the day of your cruise departure. Board the Australis Cruise at 18:00 (6 PM). After a welcoming toast and introduction of captain and crew, the ship departs for one of the most remote corners of planet Earth. During the night we traverse the Beagle Channel and cross from Argentina into Chilean territorial waters. The lights of Ushuaia disappear as we turn into the narrow Murray Channel between Navarino and Hoste islands. Day 2 - Cape Horn - Wulaia Bay Around the break of dawn, the Australis cruise crosses Nassau Bay and enters the remote archipelago that comprises Cape Horn National Park. Weather and sea conditions permitting, we shall go ashore on the windswept island that harbors 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 425-meter (1,394-foot) 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." The park was declared a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 2005. The Chilean navy maintains a permanent lighthouse on the island, staffed by a lightkeeper and his family, as well as the tiny Stella Maris Chapel and modern Cape Horn Monument (currently awaiting repair after being damaged by fierce winds). Sailing back across Nassau Bay, we anchor at fabled Wulaia Bay, one of the few places in the archipelago where the human history is just as compelling as the natural environment. Originally the site of one of the region’s largest Yámana aboriginal settlements, the bay was described by Charles Darwin and sketched by Captain FitzRoy in the 1830s during their voyages on HMS Beagle. This area is also renowned for its mesmerizing beauty and dramatic geography. After a visit to the Australis-sponsored museum in the old radio station -- which is especially strong on the Yámana people and European missionaries in the area -- passengers have a choice of three hikes (of increasing degrees of difficulty) that ascend the heavily wooded mountain behind the bay. On all of these you stroll through an enchanted Magellanic forest of lengas, coigües, canelos and ferns to reach panoramic viewpoints overlooking the bay. Day 3 - Pía Glacier – Garibaldi Glacier Overnight we continue our Patagonia glacier tour around the western end of Tierra del Fuego via the very narrow Gabrial Channel, Magdalena Channel and Cockburn Channel. After rounding the remote Brecknock Peninsula, the Australis cruise tacks eastward and enters the Beagle Channel again. By morning we are entering Pia Fjord and boarding the Zodiacs for a shore excursion to Pia Glacier.After disembarking we take a short hike to gain a panoramic view of the spectacular glacier, which extends from the mountaintops down to the sea or a longer much more difficult walk up a lateral moraine of the old Pia Glacier. No one knows for certain how the hulking mass of snow and ice got its feminine moniker, but one theory says it was named for Princess Maria Pia of Savoy (1847-1911), daughter of the Italian king. Making our way further west along the Beagle Channel, we enter another long fjord and drop anchor near Garibaldi Glacier for another shore excursion. Garibaldi is one of only three glaciers in Patagonia gaining mass rather than staying the same or slowly shrinking. This time we hike through virgin Magellanic forest to a glacial waterfall, a towering wall of ferns and moss, and spectacular viewpoints looking down on the glacier and fjord. The walk is demanding -- very steep, negligible trail, rough footing -- and not for everyone. For those who choose to stay onboard, our captain will point the bow towards the beautiful sky blue Garibaldi Glacier so everyone can enjoy the panoramic view from the upper decks. Day 4 - Agostini Sound – Águila Glacier – Cóndor Glacier Early in the morning, we will sail through the Cockburn Channel 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. This morning, we will disembark and go for an easy walk around a lagoon, which was formed by the melting of the Águila Glacier. We will reach a spot right in front of that glacier with stunning views. In the afternoon, we will approach the Condor Glacier via Zodiac -- and hopefully see some of the abundant Andean Condors in the area. Day 5 - Magdalena Island - Punta Arenas After an overnight cruise through Magdalena Channel and back into the Strait of Magellan, we anchor off Magdalena Island, which lies about halfway between Tierra del Fuego and the Chilean mainland. Crowned by a distinctive lighthouse, the island used to be an essential source of supplies for navigators and explorers and is inhabited by an immense colony of Magellanic penguins. At the break of dawn, weather permitting, we go ashore and hike a path that leads through thousands of penguins to a small museum lodged inside the vintage 1902 lighthouse. Many other bird species are also found on the island. In September and April -- when the penguins dwell elsewhere -- this excursion is replaced by a ride aboard Zodiacs to Marta Island to observe South American sea lions. After a short cruise south along the strait, disembarkation at Punta Arenas is scheduled for around 11:30 AM. *Camera extension poles are prohibited on Magdalena Island NOTE: The excursions described in the itineraries can usually be carried out without any problems. Nevertheless, the shipowner holds the right to alter, change or skip certain portions of the itinerary without prior notice, whether motivated by the passengers’ well-being and safety, by the appropriate protection of the environment, or in case of any extraordinary event, unforeseeable circumstance or force majeure. For this reason, departures or arrival may be subject to change. Furthermore, sighting of birds and other species cannot be guaranteed as their exact location is variable by nature.

Expedition Vessel: M/V Stella Australis

MV Stella Australis

The Stella Australis is an awe-inspiring adventure cruise ship. The ship, which was constructed in 2010, consists of 100 total cabins and can hold up to 210 passengers. You won’t even miss working out on your Patagonia vacation cruise as the ship contains a gym for passengers. The Stella Australis offers tourists a relaxed stay, while providing breathtaking sights from the decks. For the best in Chile travel choose Stella Australis to reach all of Patagonia’s fabulous venues, attractions, and expeditions.

For full information about this vessel click here:

Included
  • Ship accommodation
  • sea transportation
  • all meals
  • open bar when on duty (without additional cost for wines, beverages, and liquors)
  • shore excursions
  • on board entertainment.
Excluded
  • Port tax, migration fee, national park fee. The cost per person is the following: US$50 - this may be modified by the port authorities of each country.
  • Optional tours and transportation are not included in the cruise rate.
Deposits - Reservations require a deposit of US$300 at the time you receive a booking confirmation from Expeditions Online. A payment link will be sent to you and this may be paid by major credit card. Bookings within 60 days of departure require full payment. Final Payments - Balances are due 60 days prior to departure. Cancellations - All requests for cancellation must be received in writing to Expeditions Online. Cancellations received 60 days or more prior to departure, are refunded less the deposit. Cancellations received between 59 days and 50 days prior to departure, are refunded less 25% of the sales price. Cancellations received between 49 days and 40 days prior to departure, are refunded less 50% of the sales price. Cancellations received between 39 days and 30 days prior to departure, are refunded less 75% of the sales price. If cancellation occurs less than 29 days up to and including the day of departure: 100 % of the total price. We strongly recommend that you obtain adequate trip cancellation insurance. Rates - The shipping company reserves the right to modify the cruise rates and departure dates published, without prior notice. Children Policy - Infants between 0 and 3 years old have a 100% discount, sharing the bed with their parents. Children between 4 and 12 years old have a 50% discount, sharing a cabin with an adult. Single rate will be 150% of the category rate. Single rate does not apply to Category B. Booking Terms - Please read carefully the General Booking Conditions for Expeditions Online. This voyage is operated by Cruceros Australis and you additionally travel under their terms and conditions as the operator as well as of the Shipping Company/transport carrier. Details will be forwarded to you at the time of booking. Required clothing: Trekking or hiking boots are required for all passengers.
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