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Itineraries
Australis
Patagonia Cruises

 

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M.V. Mare Australis - Patagonia Cruises


Itineraries for Australis Patagonia Cruise
s
Effective as of 2016 (unless noted)
 

Round Trip Routes:

|   Darwin's Route from Punta Arenas 8d/7n |

| Darwin's Route from Punta Arenas 9d/8n |

| Darwin's Route from Ushuaia 8d/7n |

| Gauchos, Glaciers, and Penguins 6d/5n |

| Gauchos, Glaciers, and Penguins 7d/6n |
 

One Way Routes:

| Patagonian Explorer Route  5d/4n | (Starting: January 2018)

| Discover Patagonia Route - Ushuaia to Punta Arenas  4d/3n |

| Fjords of Tierra del Fuego 5d/4n |
 

|  M.V. Stella Australis - Details  |  Itineraries  |  M.V. Ventus Australis - Coming in 2018  |  Patagonia Adventures   | Cruises (main Page)  Practical Guide  |  Route Map of Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego  |  Specials  |

Call, FAX, or Email to book your dream vacation, get a price, or just ask a question.

Round Trip Routes

 
8-Days/7-Nights (Effective Starting: 2016)
Darwin's Route from Punta Arenas

The end of the world awaits you on the expedition cruise ship MV Stella Australis. Our Punta Arenas and Patagonia excursions retrace much of Darwin’s route through the Fuegian Archipelago aboard HMS Beagle. This eight-day Punta Arenas excursion features the legendary Cape Horn, historic Wulaia Bay, spectacular Glacier Alley, and the penguins of Magdalena Island and Tuckers islands, as well as ice fields, fjords, sub-polar forests and secluded beaches at the southernmost extreme of South America.

Itinerary

Day-01: Punta Arenas

Punta ArenasCheck in at the Australis pier at 1385 O’Higgins Street (Arturo Prat Port) in Punta Arenas between 13:00 and 17:00 (1-5 PM) on the day of your cruise departure. Board the MV Stella Australis at 18:00 (6 PM). After a toast and introduction of captain and crew, the ship departs for one of the remotest corners of planet Earth. During the night we cross the Strait of Magellan and enter the labyrinth of channels that define the southern extreme of Patagonian. The twinkling lights of Punta Arenas gradually fade into the distance as we enter the Whiteside Canal between Darwin Island and Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego.
 

Day-02: Ainsworth Bay & Tuckers Islets

Ainsworth Bay and Tuckers IsletsBy dawn the ship is sailing up Admiralty Sound (Seno Almirantazgo), a spectacular offshoot of the Strait of Magellan that stretches nearly halfway across Tierra del Fuego. The snowcapped peaks of Karukinka Natural Park stretch along the north side of the sound, while the south shore is defined by the deep fjords and broad bays of Alberto de Agostini National Park.  We go ashore at Ainsworth Bay, which harbors copious bird life and a colony of southern elephant seals which can sometimes be spotted from the Zodiacs.  Two guided excursions are available: one is along the edge of a stream, peat bog and beaver habitat to a waterfall-and-moss-covered rock face tucked deep inside a pristine sub-polar forest; the other is a more strenuous hike along the crest of a glacial moraine. Both afford views of Marinelli Glacier and the Darwin Mountains.

Leaving Ainsworth Bay behind, we sail west along the sound to the Tucker Islets. After lunch, we board the Zodiacs again for a close-up view of the Magellan penguins that inhabit the tiny islands.  More than 4,000 penguins use Tucker as a place to nest, give birth and nurture their chicks.  Many other bird species also frequent the area including king cormorants, oystercatchers, Chilean skuas, kelp geese, dolphin gulls, eagles and even the occasional Andean condor.  In September and April -- when the penguins live elsewhere -- this excursion is replaced by a short walk to a glacier at nearby stunning Brookes Bay.
 

Day-03: Pia Glacier

Pia Glacier - Glacier AlleyOvernight we sail 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, Stella Australis 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.

Back onboard Stella Australis, we continue east along the Beagle Channel through an area called Glacier Alley.  Living up to its name, the passage features a number of impressive tidewater glaciers flowing down from the Darwin Mountains and Darwin Ice Sheet on the north shore.  Most of them named after European countries -- Holland, Italy, Germany, Spain and France.
 

Day-04: Cape Horn & Wulaia Bay

Cape Horn and Wulaia BayDuring the early morning we sail down the narrow Murray Channel between Navarino and Hoste islands and drop anchor at historic Wulaia Bay.  Australis is the only cruise ship company with permission from Chilean authorities to navigate the Murray Channel to Cape Horn, and because of its exclusive concession the only travel company allowed to land passengers at Wulaia Bay.

Wulaia Bay is 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 the HMS Beagle.  This area is also renowned for the mesmerizing beauty and dramatic geography. After a visit to the small 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 wooden mountain behind the bay.  On all of these you will be strolling through an enchanted Magellan forest of lengas, coigües, canelos, Ñirres ferns, and other endemic fauna to reach a panoramic viewpoint overlooking the bay.  Before leaving Wulaia Bay, drop something into the wooden mail barrel inside the museum - letters or postcards meant to be hand delivered by future travelers - an ancient mariner tradition revived by Australis.

In the afternoon we cruise across Nassau Bay into the remote archipelago that includes 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.
 

Day-05: Ushuaia

UshuaiaThe following morning we sail into Argentine waters and dock in Ushuaia, the world's southernmost city. Disembarkation is scheduled at 8 AM. You have almost a full day to explore Ushuaia, founded in 1884 and one of the original points of contact between the indigenous Yámana and European cultures. Its name derives from the Yámana word for ‘penetrating bay’ and it’s surrounded by the southernmost Andes peaks. With around 65,000 inhabitants, Ushuaia is the second largest city in Tierra del Fuego (after Rio Grande). Among its highlights is the Prison at the End of the World, a former penitentiary that is now a maritime museum, Antarctic collection and memorial to those once incarcerated there. The city is also good for shopping (especially locally made chocolate) or hanging out in its many cafes.

Passengers are required to reboard Stella Australis at 17:30 (5:30 PM). After a welcoming toast and introduction of captain and crew, the ship departs for more adventures in Tierra del Fuego. During the night we traverse the Beagle Channel, cross back into Chilean territorial waters, and turn into the narrow Murray Channel between Navarino and Hoste islands.
 

Day-06: Cape Horn - Wulaia Bay

Cape Horn - Wulaia BayBy early morning, Stella Australis is once again cruising across Nassau Bay to Cape Horn. Our itinerary day repeats the shore landings and other activities from Day 4.  However, second landings at some of the more iconic spots along the route can sometimes be more rewarding than the first time around and give you more time to explore each place in depth.  At Cape Horn you have a second chance to visit the Stella Maris Chapel, chat with the lighthouse keeper and his family, or photograph the unusual sub-polar flora that covers the heights. At Wulaia Bay, explore the museum in much more depth, strike out on a longer walk than last time, bird watch along the shore, or sort through the mail barrel to see if anyone lives close to your own home.  This second approach also increases your chances of landing on Cape Horn Island.
 

Day-07: De Agostini Sound and Águila Glacier

Agostini Sound - Aquila Glacier - Condor GlacierAfter nightfall we reenter the Beagle Channel and sail westward along the southern edge of Tierra del Fuego into watery wonderland protected within the confines of Alberto de Agostini National Park.  Rounding the Brecknock Peninsula as the western extreme of Tierra del Fuego, Stella Australis is for a brief time exposed to the open Pacific.  We then navigate a zigzag route through the Cockburn Channel, Magdalena Channel and Keats Fjord to reach scenic De Agostini Sound.

Named after an Italian Salesian priest who worked among the region's indigenous people during the first half of the 20th century, De Agostini Sound is flanked by numerous glaciers and sheer saw-toothed peaks reminiscent of Torres del Paine.  Our shore excursion this morning is Águila ("Eagle") Glacier, which hovers above a placid glacial lagoon surrounded by primeval forest.   After a Zodiac landing on the beach, passengers hike around the edge of the lagoon to a spot near the base of the frozen facade.  Condors can sometimes be seen winging high above, but there is always abundant bird life around the lagoon.  This landing provides the perfect opportunity to experience the beauty of Patagonia’s sub-Antarctic rainforest and to see how the power of nature has molded the spectacular landscape.
 

Day-08: Magdalena Island - Punta Arenas

Magdalena Island - Punta ArenasAfter an overnight cruise 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 sail 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 ship owner 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.

| Top of Page |
 

|  M.V. Stella Australis - Details  |  Itineraries  |  M.V. Ventus Australis - Coming in 2018  |  Patagonia Adventures   | Cruises (main Page)  Practical Guide  |  Route Map of Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego  |  Specials  |

Call, FAX, or Email to book your dream vacation, get a price, or just ask a question.

 
9-Days/8-Nights (Effective Starting: 2016)
Darwin's Route from Punta Arenas

The outer edge of the world awaits on an adventurous nine-day (eight-night) journey along the same waterways that inspired Charles Darwin. The itinerary retraces much of the route the renowned British naturalist took through the Fuegian Archipelago aboard HMS Beagle in the 1830s, a voyage that inspired him to write The Origin of the Species and formulate the theory of evolution. Departing from Punta Arenas, we’ll cross the Strait of Magellan to visit the Tuckers Islets penguin colony, wildlife rich Ainsworth Bay before cruising Patagonia down the Beagle Channel to visit Pía Glacier and sail through Glacier Alley. On either side of a half-day port call in Ushuaia, the ship stops at historic Wulaia Bay and fabled Cape Horn before returning to the Strait of Magellan and a shore excursion at Magdalena Island with its rowdy penguin colony.
 

Itinerary

Day-01: Punta Arenas

Punta ArenasCheck in at the Australis pier at 1385 O’Higgins Street (Arturo Prat Port) in Punta Arenas between 13:00 and 17:00 (1-5 PM) on the day of your cruise departure.

Board the MV Ventus Australis at 18:00 (6 PM).

After a welcoming cocktail with the captain and crew the ship departs for one of the remotest corners of planet Earth.  During the night we cross the Strait of Magellan and enter the labyrinth of channels that define the southern extreme of Patagonian.  The twinkling lights of Punta Arenas gradually fade into the distance as we enter the Whiteside Canal between Darwin Island and Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego.
 

Day-02: Ainsworth Bay & Tuckers Islets

Ainsworth Bay and Tuckers IsletsBy dawn the ship is sailing up Admiralty Sound (Seno Almirantazgo), a spectacular offshoot of the Strait of Magellan that stretches nearly halfway across Tierra del Fuego. The snowcapped peaks of Karukinka Natural Park stretch along the north side of the sound, while the south shore is defined by the deep fjords and broad bays of Alberto de Agostini National Park. We go ashore at Ainsworth Bay, which harbors copious bird life and a colony of southern elephant seals which can sometimes be spotted from the Zodiacs. Two guided excursions are available: one is along the edge of a stream, peat bog and beaver habitat to a waterfall-and-moss-covered rock face tucked deep inside a pristine sub-polar forest; the other is a more strenuous hike along the crest of a glacial moraine. Both afford views of Marinelli Glacier and the Darwin Mountains.

Leaving Ainsworth Bay behind, we sail west along the sound to the Tucker Islets. After lunch, we board the Zodiacs again for a close-up view of the Magellan penguins that inhabit the tiny islands. More than 4,000 penguins use Tucker as a place to nest, give birth and nurture their chicks. Many other bird species also frequent the area including king cormorants, oystercatchers, Chilean skuas, kelp geese, dolphin gulls, eagles and even the occasional Andean condor. In September and April -- when the penguins live elsewhere -- this excursion is replaced by a short walk to a glacier at nearby stunning Brookes Bay.
 

Day-03: Pia Glacier - Glacier Alley

Pia Glacier - Glacier AlleyOvernight we sail around the western end of Tierra del Fuego via the very narrow Gabrial, Magdalena and Cockburn channels. After rounding the remote Brecknock Peninsula, Ventus Australis 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.

Back onboard Ventus Australis, we continue east along the Beagle Channel through an area called Glacier Alley.  Living up to its name, the passage features a number of impressive tidewater glaciers flowing down from the Darwin Mountains and Darwin Ice Sheet on the north shore.  Most of them are named after European countries -- Holland, Italy, Germany, Spain and France.
 

Day-04: Cape Horn & Wulaia Bay

Cape Horn and Wulaia BayWulaia Bay is 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 the HMS Beagle. This area is also renowned for the mesmerizing beauty and dramatic geography.

After a visit to the small 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 wooden mountain behind the bay. On all of these you will be strolling through an enchanted Magellan forest of lengas, coigües, canelos, Ñirres ferns, and other endemic fauna to reach a panoramic viewpoint overlooking the bay. Before leaving Wulaia Bay, drop something into the wooden mail barrel inside the museum - letters or postcards meant to be hand delivered by future travelers - an ancient mariner tradition revived by Australis.

In the afternoon we cruise across Nassau Bay into the remote archipelago that includes 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.
 

Day-05: Ushuaia

UshuaiaThe following morning we sail into Argentine waters and dock in Ushuaia, the world's southernmost city. Disembarkation is scheduled at 8 AM. You have almost a full day to explore Ushuaia which was founded in 1884 and was one of the original points of contact between the indigenous Yámana and European cultures. The city's name derives from the Yámana word for ‘penetrating bay.’ With around 65,000 inhabitants, Ushuaia is the second largest city in Tierra del Fuego (after Rio Grande) and is surrounded by the Southernmost Andes peaks. Among its highlights is the Prison at the End of the World, a former penitentiary that is now a maritime museum that features an Antarctic collection and memorial to those once incarcerated there. The city is also good for shopping (especially locally made chocolate) or hanging out in its many cafes.

Passengers are required to reboard Ventus Australis at 17:30 (5:30 PM). After a welcoming toast and introduction of captain and crew to new passengers joining the cruise, the ship departs for more adventures in Tierra del Fuego. During the night we traverse the Beagle Channel, cross back into Chilean territorial waters, and turn into the narrow Murray Channel between Navarino and Hoste islands.
 

Day-06: Cape Horn - Wulaia Bay

Cape Horn - Wulaia BayBy early morning, Ventus Australis is once again cruising across Nassau Bay to Cape Horn. Our itinerary repeats the shore landings and other activities from Day 4. However, second landings at some of the more iconic spots along the route can sometimes be more rewarding than the first time around and give you more time to explore each place in depth. At Cape Horn you have a second chance to visit the Stella Maris Chapel, chat with the lighthouse keeper and his family, or photograph the unusual sub-polar flora that covers the heights.

At Wulaia Bay, explore the museum n much more depth, strike out on a longer walk than last time, bird watch along the shore, or sort through the mail barrel to see if a past visitor lives close to your own home. This second approach also increases your chances of landing on Cape Horn Island.
 

Day-07: Pía Glacier - Garibaldi Glacier

Pia Glacier - Garibaldi GlacierAfter nightfall we reenter the Beagle Channel and sail westward along the southern edge of Tierra del Fuego into a watery wonderland protected within the confines of Alberto de Agostini National Park. By morning we are entering Pia Fjord again and another chance to hike beside its famous glacier.

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 on-board, 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-08: Agostini Sound - Águila Glacier - Cóndor Glacier

Agostini Sound - Aquila Glacier - Condor GlacierEarly in the morning we will sail through Cockburn Channel and enter Agostini Sound, where it's possible to see glaciers that descend from the middle of the Darwin Mountain Range -- some of them reaching the water. We will disembark and go for an easy walk around a lagoon formed by the melting of the Águila Glacier, eventually reaching 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-09: Magdalena Island - Punta Arenas

Magdalena Island - Punta ArenasAfter 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 (tripods) are prohibited on Magdalena Island
 

NOTE: The excursions described in the itineraries can usually be carried out without any problems. Nevertheless, the ship owner 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.


| Top of Page |
 

Call, FAX, or Email to book your dream vacation, get a price, or just ask a question.

 
8-Days / 7-Nights (Effective Starting: 2016)
Darwin's Route from Ushuaia

Departing from Ushuaia (Argentina), retrace the route of Charles Darwin aboard HMS Beagle on this expedition cruise through the Fuegian Archipelago.  Our adventurous eight-day (seven-night) itinerary includes legendary Cape Horn and historic Wulaia Bay, as well as Glacier Alley, the penguins of Tuckers and Magdalena islands, and the spectacular fjords that harbor Pía and Águila glaciers.  Along the way you'll also encounter Patagonia's massive ice fields, lush sub-polar forests and secluded beaches.

Itinerary

Day-01: Ushuaia

UshuaiaCheck in at 160 Juan Manuel de Rosas Street in downtown Ushuaia between 10:00 and 17:00 (10 AM - 5 PM) on the day of your cruise departure.

2016-2017 Season: Board the M/V Stella Australis at 17:30 (5:30 PM).
2017-2018 Season: Board the M/V Stella Australis at 18:00 (6 PM).

After a welcoming cocktail with the 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-02: Cape Horn - Wulaia Bay

Cape Horn and Wulaia BayBy early morning, Stella Australis is cruising across Nassau Bay into the remote archipelago that includes 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.

Wulaia Bay is 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 the HMS Beagle.  This area is also renowned for the mesmerizing beauty and dramatic geography.

After a visit to the small 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 wooden mountain behind the bay.  On all of these you will be strolling through an enchanted Magellan forest of lengas, coigües, canelos, Ñirres ferns, and other endemic fauna to reach a panoramic viewpoint overlooking the bay.  Before leaving Wulaia Bay, drop something into the wooden mail barrel inside the museum - letters or postcards meant to be hand delivered by future travelers - an ancient mariner tradition revived by Australis.
 

Day-03: De Agostini Sound and Águila Glacier

Agostini Sound - Aquila Glacier - Condor GlacierAfter nightfall we reenter the Beagle Channel and sail westward along the southern edge of Tierra del Fuego into a watery wonderland protected within the confines of Alberto de Agostini National Park. Rounding the Brecknock Peninsula at the western extreme of Tierra del Fuego, Stella Australis is, for a brief time, exposed to the open Pacific.  We then navigate a zigzag route through the Cockburn Channel, Magdalena Channel and Keats Fjord to reach scenic De Agostini Sound.

Named after an Italian Salesian priest who worked among the region's indigenous people during the first half of the 20th century, De Agostini Sound is flanked by numerous glaciers and sheer saw-toothed peaks reminiscent of Torres del Paine. Our shore excursion this morning is Águila ("Eagle") Glacier, which hovers above a placid glacial lagoon surrounded by primeval forest. After a Zodiac landing on the beach, passengers hike around the edge of the lagoon to a spot near the base of the frozen facade. Condors can sometimes be seen winging high above, but there is always abundant bird life around the lagoon.  This landing provides the perfect opportunity to experience the beauty of Patagonia’s sub-Antarctic rainforest and to see how the power of nature has molded this spectacular landscape.
 

Day-04: Magdalena Island - Punta Arenas

Magdalena Island - Punta ArenasAfter 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.  You are free to explore Punta Arenas, there's plenty to keep you busy in the city.

Reboard Stella Australis at 18:00 (6 PM). After a welcoming toast and introduction of captain and crew, the ship departs on the second half of the journey.  During the night, the lights of Punta Arenas fade into the distance as we cross the Strait of Magellan and enter the Whiteside Canal between Darwin Island and Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego.

*Camera extension poles (tripods) are prohibited on Magdalena Island.
 

Day-05: Ainsworth Bay & Tuckers Islets

Ainsworth Bay and Tuckers IsletsAfter leaving Punta Arenas and crossing the Strait of Magellan, we sail up Admiralty Sound between the snowcapped peaks of Karukinka and the fjords of Alberto de Agostini National Park.  We go ashore at Ainsworth Bay with its copious bird life and elephant seals.  Two guided hikes are available, both with excellent views of Marinelli Glacier and the Darwin Mountains.

Leaving Ainsworth Bay, we sail west to the Tucker Islets for a close-up encounter with the 4,000 Magellan penguins who nest there.  Many other bird species also frequent the tiny landfalls.  In September and April -- when the penguins live elsewhere -- this excursion is replaced by a beach walk to a glacier at Brookes Bay.
 

Day-06: Pia Glacier - Glacier Alley

Pia Glacier - Glacier AlleyOvernight we sail around the western end of Tierra del Fuego via the very narrow Gabrial, Magdalena and Cockburn channels.  After rounding the remote Brecknock Peninsula, Stella Australis 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.

Back onboard Stella Australis, we continue east along the Beagle Channel through an area called Glacier Alley.  Living up to its name, the passage features a number of impressive tidewater glaciers flowing down from the Darwin Mountains and Darwin Ice Sheet on the north shore. Most of them named after European countries -- Holland, Italy, Germany, Spain and France.
 

Day-07: Wulaia Bay - Cape Horn

Cape Horn - Wulaia BayStella Australis once again enters the maze of islands at the bottom end of south America for another visit to Wulaia Bay and Cape Horn.  Our itinerary day repeats the shore landings and other activities from Day 2.  However, second landings at some of the more iconic spots along the route can sometimes be more rewarding than the first time around and give you more time to explore each place in depth.  At Wulaia bay, explore the small museum in much more depth, strike out on a longer walk than last time or birdwatch along the shore.  Before leaving Wulaia Bay, drop something into the wooden mail barrel inside the museum - letters or postcards meant to be hand delivered by future travelers - an ancient mariner tradition revived by Australis.

At Cape Horn you have a second chance to visit the Stella Maris Chapel, chat with the lighthouse keeper and his family, or photograph the unusual sub-polar flora that covers the heights.  This second approach also increases your chances of landing on Cape Horn Island.
 

Day-08: Ushuaia

UshuaiaAfter a final night aboard Stella Australis, we sail back into Argentine waters and dock in Ushuaia. Acknowledged as the southernmost city in the world, Ushuaia (Argentina) was founded in 1884 and was one of the original points of contact between the indigenous Yámana and European cultures.  Its name derives from the Yámana word for ‘penetrating bay’ and it’s surrounded by the southernmost Andes peaks.  With around 65,000 inhabitants, Ushuaia is now the second largest city in Tierra del Fuego (after Rio Grande). Disembarkation is scheduled at 8:30 AM, providing a perfect opportunity to enjoy the city and its spectacular scenery.
 

NOTE: The excursions described in the itineraries can usually be carried out without any problems.  Nevertheless, the ship owner 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.


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6-Days / 5-Nights (Effective Starting: 2016)
Gauchos, Glaciers and Penguins Route

From: Punta Arenas
(Round Trip)

The first tour of its kind, our Gauchos, Glaciers & Penguins Patagonia expedition provides a round-trip experience from Punta Arenas, visiting by land and sea the stunning landscapes and wildlife of Tierra del Fuego. While on a Cape Horn cruise, we visit a small King Penguin colony, before overnighting at Tierra del Fuego and next day visit an estancia for a true gaucho experience.  We’ll then make our way into the lovely port of Ushuaia where we will embark on the Stella Australis.  During this Patagonia adventure, we visit areas only accessible using our small expedition ship. our excursions via zodiac take you sailing on Cape Horn, where you have the opportunity to disembark (weather and seas permitting), Wulaia Bay, a colony of Magellanic Penguins, stunning glaciers and other areas visited by the great explorers. The voyage will end in charming Punta Arenas.
 

Itinerary:

Punta ArenasDay-01: Punta Arenas

Arrive in Punta Arenas and transfer from the international airport to the Hotel Cabo de Hornos on the main square in downtown Punta Arenas.
 

 

Day-02: Porvenir - King Penguin Park - Rio Grande

King Penguin ParkThe journey begins early in the morning with a ferry crossing of the Strait of Magellan from the Punta Arenas waterfront to the town of Porviner on the north shore of Tierra del Fuego.  The ferry journey normally takes around two to four hours depending on the weather and sea conditions.  Founded in the 1880s, Porviner was settled by many Croatian immigrants and for a brief time was the hub of a local gold rush.  Despite it's small size, the Museo de Tierra del Fuego makes a worthwhile stop, with exhibits that range from 600-year-old Selk'nam mummies to the historian of Patagonian cinema.

From Porvenir we follow the coast road along the north shore of Useless Bay (Bahía Inútil), which received its unfortunate name from British sea captain Phillip Parker King who found "neither anchorage nor shelter, nor any other advantage for the navigator" while surveying the bay in the 1820s.  King penguins have taken up residents along a tidal stream at the bay's eastern extreme, around a hundred birds protected within the confines of a small private reserve called the Parque Pingüino Rey.  A well-marked trail leads down to the shore and blinds with views across the stream to the penguin nesting area.  Nearby is the pioneer cemetery for the historic Estancia Caleta Josefina, a windswept graveyard that shelters the remains of Scottish settlers including several "killed by indians."  Twenty miles (29 km) farther east is the San Sebastian border crossing, where travelers pass through Chilean and Argentine frontier posts. The cross-island highway soon reaches the South Atlantic and a smooth run down the coast to Rio Grande.

The industrial hub of Tierra del Fuego, Río Grande has flourished on sheep farming, energy extraction and more recently factory production. A large military base and monuments along the coast road attest to the fact that Río Grande was also an Argentine military staging area for the Malvinas (Falklands) War.  Overnight at a Río Grande hotel or estancia. If dinner is not included in your hotel stay, try to feast on a genuine Argentine steak and Quilmes stout at the Posada de los Sauces restaurant and bar near the Rio Grande waterfront.
 

Day-03: Gauchos - Ushuaia

Gauchos - UshuaiaWe start the day with a gaucho experience and Patagonian-style "asado" barbecue at the 80-year-old Estancia Las Hijas, located about 50 miles (80 km) south of Rio Grande. Back on the road, the highway leaves the pampas behind for a landscape of Magellanic forest with snowcapped mountains in the distance. Herds of guanaco graze meadows on either side of the road. A brief stop in the hilltop town of Tolhuin affords views of Lake Fagnano, the island's largest freshwater body. There's time to munch pastries at the legendary Panadería La Unión before hitting the road again. Cutting through the southernmost part the Andes, we arrival at Ushuaia for check-in, boarding the Stella Australis and departure.
 

Day-04: Cape Horn - Wulaia Bay

Cape Horn and Wulaia BayBy early morning, Stella Australis is cruising across Nassau Bay into the remote archipelago that includes 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.

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 the 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 wooden mountain behind the bay.  On all of these you will be strolling through an enchanted Magellan forest of lengas, coigües, canelos, ferns, and other endemic fauna to reach a panoramic viewpoint overlooking the bay.
 

Day-05: Agostini and Águila Glacier

Agostini Sound - Aquila Glacier - Condor GlacierAfter nightfall we reenter the Beagle Channel and sail westward along the southern edge of Tierra del Fuego into a watery wonderland protected within the confines of Alberto de Agostini National Park.  Part of the channel is called Glacier Alley and on full moon nights you can often see several of the seven major glaciers that give the passage its name. Rounding the Brecknock Peninsula as the western extreme of Tierra del Fuego, Stella Australis is for a brief time exposed to the open Pacific.  We then navigate a zigzag route through the Cockburn Channel, Magdalena Channel and Keats Fjord to reach scenic De Agostini Sound.

Named after an Italian Salesian priest who worked among the region's indigenous people during the first half of the 20th century, De Agostini Sound is flanked by numerous glaciers and sheer saw-toothed peaks reminiscent of Torres del Paine.  Our shore excursion this morning is Águila ("Eagle") Glacier, which hovers above a placid glacial lagoon surrounded by primeval forest.   After a Zodiac landing on the beach, passengers hike around the edge of the lagoon to a spot near the base of the frozen facade.  Condors can sometimes be seen winging high above, but there is always abundant bird life around the lagoon.  This landing provides the perfect opportunity to experience the beauty of Patagonia’s sub-Antarctic rainforest and to see how the power of nature has molded the spectacular landscape.
 

Day-06: Magdalena Island - Punta Arenas

Magdalena Island - Punta ArenasAfter an overnight cruise 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 sail 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 ship owner 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.


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7-Days / 6-Nights (Effective Starting: 2016)
Gauchos, Glaciers and Penguins Route

From: Punta Arenas
(Round Trip)

The first tour of its kind, our Gauchos, Glaciers & Penguins Patagonia expedition provides a round-trip experience from Punta Arenas, visiting by land and sea the stunning landscapes and wildlife of Tierra del Fuego. While on a Cape Horn cruise, we visit a small King Penguin colony, before overnighting at Tierra del Fuego and next day visit an estancia for a true gaucho experience. We’ll then make our way into the lovely port of Ushuaia where we will embark on the Stella Australis. During this Patagonia adventure, we visit areas only accessible using our small expedition ship. our excursions via zodiac take you sailing on Cape Horn, where you have the opportunity to disembark (weather and seas permitting), Wulaia Bay, a colony of Magellanic Penguins, stunning glaciers and other areas visited by the great explorers. The voyage will end in charming Punta Arenas.

Itinerary:

Punta ArenasDay-01: Punta Arenas

Arrive in Punta Arenas and transfer from the international airport to the Hotel Cabo de Hornos on the main square in downtown Punta Arenas.
 

Day-02: Porvenir - King Penguin Park - Rio Grande

King Penguin ParkThe journey begins early in the morning with a ferry crossing of the Strait of Magellan from the Punta Arenas waterfront to the town of Porviner on the north shore of Tierra del Fuego.  The ferry journey normally takes around two to four hours depending on the weather and sea conditions.  Founded in the 1880s, Porviner was settled by many Croatian immigrants and for a brief time was the hub of a local gold rush.  Despite it's small size, the Museo de Tierra del Fuego makes a worthwhile stop, with exhibits that range from 600-year-old Selk'nam mummies to the historian of Patagonian cinema.

From Porvenir we follow the coast road along the north shore of Useless Bay (Bahía Inútil), which received its unfortunate name from British sea captain Phillip Parker King who found "neither anchorage nor shelter, nor any other advantage for the navigator" while surveying the bay in the 1820s. King penguins have taken up residents along a tidal stream at the bay's eastern extreme, around a hundred birds protected within the confines of a small private reserve called the Parque Pingüino Rey.  A well-marked trail leads down to the shore and blinds with views across the stream to the penguin nesting area.  Nearby is the pioneer cemetery for the historic Estancia Caleta Josefina, a windswept graveyard that shelters the remains of Scottish settlers including several "killed by indians."  Twenty miles (29 km) farther east is the San Sebastian border crossing, where travelers pass through Chilean and Argentine frontier posts.  The cross-island highway soon reaches the South Atlantic and a smooth run down the coast to Rio Grande.

The industrial hub of Tierra del Fuego, Río Grande has flourished on sheep farming, energy extraction and more recently factory production.  A large military base and monuments along the coast road attest to the fact that Río Grande was also an Argentine military staging area for the Malvinas (Falklands) War.  Overnight at a Río Grande hotel or estancia.  If dinner is not included in your hotel stay, try to feast on a genuine Argentine steak and Quilmes stout at the Posada de los Sauces restaurant and bar near the Rio Grande waterfront.
 

Day-03: Gauchos - Ushuaia

UshuaiaWe start the day with a gaucho experience and Patagonian-style "asado" barbecue at the 80-year-old Estancia Las Hijas, located about 50 miles (80 km) south of Rio Grande.  Back on the road, the highway leaves the pampas behind for a landscape of Magellanic forest with snowcapped mountains in the distance. Herds of guanaco graze meadows on either side of the road. A brief stop in the hilltop town of Tolhuin affords views of Lake Fagnano, the island's largest freshwater body.  There's time to munch pastries at the legendary Panadería La Unión before hitting the road again.  Cutting through the southernmost part the Andes, we arrival at Ushuaia for check-in, boarding the Stella Australis and departure.
 

Day-04: Cape Horn - Wulaia Bay

Cape Horn - Wulaia BayBy early morning, Stella Australis is cruising across Nassau Bay into the remote archipelago that includes 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.

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 the 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 wooden mountain behind the bay.  On all of these you will be strolling through an enchanted Magellan forest of lengas, coigües, canelos, ferns, and other endemic fauna to reach a panoramic viewpoint overlooking the bay.
 

Day-05: Pía Glacier - Garibaldi Glacier

Pia Glacier - Garibaldi GlacierOvernight we sail 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, Ventus Australis 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-06: Águila Glacier - Cóndor Glacier

Agostini Sound - Aquila Glacier - Condor GlacierEarly 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-07: Magdalena Island - Punta Arenas

Magdalena Island - Punta ArenasAfter an overnight cruise 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 sail 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 ship owner 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.


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|  M.V. Stella Australis - Details  |  Itineraries  |  M.V. Ventus Australis - Coming in 2018  |  Patagonia Adventures   | Cruises (main Page)  Practical Guide  |  Route Map of Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego  |  Specials  |

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One Way Routes

  
5-Days / 4-Nights  (Starting: January 2018)

Patagonia Explorer Route
from: Ushuaia
to: Punta Arenas
( M.V. Ventus Australis )

Fixed departure dates
(please inquire)

Starting in January 2018, explore Patagonia on an adventurous five-day, four-night journeys between Ushuaia (Argentina) to Punta Arenas (Chile) through some of planet’s most remote places and incredible scenery. Discover the wild beauty of Patagonia on an Australis cruise that showcases the region’s pristine landscapes, rich wildlife and fascinating human history aboard an expedition ship that brings an extraordinary level of comfort and service to the uttermost edge of the world. Leaving the twinkling lights of Ushuaia behind, the vessel calls on fabled spots like Cape Horn and Wulaia Bay before cruising down the Beagle Channel. Continuing through the maze of islands, we’ll visit a number of glaciers, frozen giants that guard the southern flank of the Fuegian Archipelago, before entering the legendary Strait of Magellan. Last stop is the Isla Magdalena and its boisterous Patagonia penguin colony before docking at Punta Arenas.

Itinerary

Day-1: Ushuaia

UshuaiaCheck in at 160 Juan Manuel de Rosas Street in downtown Ushuaia between 10:00 and 17:00 (10 AM-5 PM) on the day of your cruise departure. Board the M/V Ventus Australis 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-02: Cape Horn - Wulaia Bay

Cape Horn and Wulaia BayAround the break of dawn, Stella Australis 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-03: Pía Glacier - Garibaldi Glacier

Pia Glacier - Garibaldi GlacierOvernight 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, Ventus Australis 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-04: Agostini Sound - Águila Glacier - Cóndor Glacier

Agostini Sound - Aquila Glacier - Condor GlacierEarly 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-05: Magdalena Island - Punta Arenas

Magdalena Island - Punta ArenasAfter 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 ship owner 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.


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4-days/3-nights
(Effective Starting: 2016)
Discover Patagonia Route

from: Ushuaia
to: Punta Arenas

( M.V. Stella Australis )

The expedition cruise ship M.V. Stella Australis takes you on an amazing journey to the "uttermost end of the earth."  Our adventure cruises sail between Ushuaia (Argentina) and Punta Arenas (Chile), where you’ll discover the splendor and beauty of Patagonia’s unique wildlife and landscapes.

One of the industry’s most comfortable ships is designed to make your Australis cruise excursion as comfortable and rewarding as possible during a journey down to Cape Horn at the bottom end of western hemisphere, through the scenic Beagle Channel that runs along the southern extreme of Tierra del Fuego, and across the fabled Strait of Magellan to the Chilean mainland.

As you visit Patagonia you'll learn about others who have explored the same waters - Ferdinand Magellan and Sir Francis Drake, Captain FitzRoy and Charles Darwin.  All the while on the lookout for whales, dolphins, penguins, condors, elephant seals and the other creatures who call this remote part of the world their home.  Explore more of Darwin’s route on our 7-night Punta Arenas excursions.  Retrace Darwin’s route through the Fuegian Archipelago aboard the MV Stella Australis.

Itinerary

Day-01: Ushuaia

UshuaiaCheck in at 160 Juan Manuel de Rosas Street in downtown Ushuaia between 10:00 and 17:00 (10 AM-5 PM) on the day of your cruise departure.

2016-2017 Season: Board the M/V Stella Australis at 17:30 (5:30 PM).
2017-2018 Season: Board the M/V Stella Australis 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-02: Cape Horn - Wulaia Bay

Cape Horn and Wulaia BayAround the break of dawn, Stella Australis 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-03: Agostini Sound - Águila Glacier

Agostini Sound - Aquila Glacier - Condor GlacierAfter nightfall we reenter the Beagle Channel and sail westward along the southern edge of Tierra del Fuego into a watery wonderland protected within the confines of Alberto de Agostini National Park.  Rounding the Brecknock Peninsula as the western extreme of Tierra del Fuego, Stella Australis is briefly exposed to the open Pacific.  We then navigate a zigzag route through the Cockburn Channel, Magdalena Channel and Keats Fjord to reach scenic De Agostini Sound.

Named after an Italian Salesian priest who worked among the region's indigenous people during the first half of the 20th century, De Agostini Sound is flanked by numerous glaciers and sheer saw-toothed peaks reminiscent of Torres del Paine.  Our shore excursion this morning is Águila ("Eagle") Glacier, which hovers above a placid glacial lagoon surrounded by primeval forest.  After a Zodiac landing on the beach, passengers hike around the edge of the lagoon to a spot near the base of the frozen facade.  Condors can sometimes be seen winging high above, but there is always abundant bird life around the lagoon.  This landing provides the perfect opportunity to experience the beauty of Patagonia’s sub-Antarctic rainforest and to see how the power of nature has molded the spectacular landscape.
 

Day-04: Magdalena Island - Punta Arenas

Magdalena Island - Punta ArenasAfter 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 ship owner 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.


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4-Days / 3-Nights (Effective Starting: 2016)

Fjords of Tierra del Fuego Route
from: Punta Arenas
to: Ushuaia
(
M.V. Stella Australis )

Our Patagonia cruises follow the fjords of the southern edge of Tierra del Fuego highlights the stunning, natural beauty of Patagonia and several of its most important historical sites. Whether you are sailing aboard M.V. Stella Australis, this four-day journey includes visits to wildlife rich Ainsworth Bay, massive Pia Glacier and Glacier Alley, as well as mystical Wulaia Bay and the legendary Cape Horn. For more information about these Patagonia tours, contact us!

Itinerary:

Day-01: Punta Arenas

Punta ArenasCheck in at 1385 O’Higgins Street (Arturo Prat Port) in Punta Arenas between 13:00 and 17:00 (1-5 PM) on the day of your cruise departure.  Board the M.V. Stella Australis (6 PM).  After a welcoming toast and introduction of captain and crew, the ship departs for one of the remotest corners of planet Earth.  During the night we cross the Strait of Magellan and enter the labyrinth of channels that define the southern extreme of Patagonia.  The twinkling lights of Punta Arenas gradually fade into the distance as we enter the Whiteside Canal between Darwin Island and Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego.
 

Day-02: Ainsworth Bay - Tuckers Islets

Ainsworth Bay and Tuckers IsletsBy dawn the ship is sailing up Admiralty Sound (Seno Almirantazgo), a spectacular offshoot of the Strait of Magellan that stretches nearly halfway across Tierra del Fuego.  The snowcapped peaks of Karukinka Natural Park stretch along the north side of the sound, while the south shore is defined by the deep fjords and broad bays of Alberto de Agostini National Park. We go ashore at Ainsworth Bay, which harbors copious bird life and a colony of southern elephant seals which can sometimes be spotted from the Zodiacs. Two guided excursions are available: one is along the edge of a stream, peat bog and beaver habitat to a waterfall-and-moss-covered rock face tucked deep inside a pristine sub-polar forest; the other is a more strenuous hike along the crest of a glacial moraine.  Both afford views of Marinelli Glacier and the Darwin Mountains.

Leaving Ainsworth Bay behind, we sail west along the sound to the Tucker Islets. After lunch, we board the Zodiacs again for a close-up view of the Magellan penguins that inhabit the tiny islands.  More than 4,000 penguins use Tucker as a place to nest, give birth and nurture their chicks. Many other bird species also frequent the area including king cormorants, oystercatchers, Chilean skuas, kelp geese, dolphin gulls, eagles and even the occasional Andean condor. In September and April -- when the penguins live elsewhere -- this excursion is replaced by a short walk to a glacier at nearby stunning Brookes Bay.
 

Day-03: Pia Glacier - Glacier Alley

Pia Glacier - Glacier AlleyOvernight we sail 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, Stella Australis 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.

Back onboard the ship, we continue east along the Beagle Channel through an area called Glacier Alley.  Living up to its name, the passage features a number of impressive tidewater glaciers flowing down from the Darwin Mountains and Darwin Ice Sheet on the north shore. Most of them named after European countries -- Holland, Italy, Germany, Spain and France.
 

Day-04: Wulaia Bay - Cape Horn

Cape Horn - Wulaia BayDuring the early morning we navigate the narrow Murray Channel between Navarino and Hoste islands and drop anchor at historic 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 the 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 wooden mountain behind the bay. On all of these you will be strolling through an enchanted Magellan forest of lengas, coigües, canelos, ferns, and other endemic fauna to reach a panoramic viewpoint overlooking the bay.  Before leaving Wulaia Bay, drop something into the wooden mail barrel inside the museum - letters or postcards meant to be hand delivered by future travelers - an ancient mariner tradition revived by Australis.

In the afternoon we cruise across Nassau Bay into the remote archipelago that includes 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.
 

UshuaiaDay-05: Ushuaia

The following morning we sail into Argentine waters and dock in Ushuaia, the world's southernmost city.

Arrival at 08:30 a.m. and 9:30 am according to date of departure.

NOTE: The excursions described in the itineraries can usually be carried out without any problems.  Nevertheless, the ship owner 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.


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