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Stella Australis: Patagonian Explorer

5 Days FROM AUD 2,399

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Overview

Enjoy the spectacular fjords and stunning natural beauty of Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego, as you cruise from Ushuaia to Punta Arenas aboard the Stella Australis. See the wildlife at Ainsworth Bay, massive Pia Glacier and Glacier Alley, as well as mystical Wulaia Bay and the legendary Cape Horn.  Enjoy daily Zodiac excursions to the most remote areas that are too hard to reach on foot. Accompanied by expert crew and guides, this adventure takes you to the 'End of the World'.

GREEN POINTS!

• This vessel uses specialised processes such as separation of oil waste and contamination fluids which are deposited at port. • The excursion vessels have 4 stroke engines which are not as polluting and more friendly on the environment. • The operation works with local suppliers and staff, the majority of the staff are local to the Southern regions of South America. • The Australis often hosts scientific parties and groups in order to conduct important studies of the ecosystems of Patagonia which helps to support preservation and conservation efforts. • The vessel uses MGO oil as an alternative to heavy burning diesel to avoid polluting the pure waters of Patagonia.

Optional Activities :

Trip Code: CLTSSPE

Travel Style: Small Ship Cruise 

Location: Chile, Patagonia & Argentina

Ship: STELLA AUSTRALIS

Flights: We offer a range of flight options to meet your cruise. Contact us today to discuss.

WHY CHOOSE THIS CRUISE?

  • You will experience the wonders of Patagonia, a landscape of incredible dramatic scenery, the likes of which is not found anywhere else in the world. 

  • This itinerary is perfectly combined with other land based tours of South America, allowing you to combine incredible natural landscapes with unique and dynamic cultural experiences, 

  • Starting in Ushuaia is the perfect launching pad for undertaking the incredible journey to the 'Frozen White Continent', Antarctica. Allowing you to experience two of the most diverse and indescribable continents in the world in one unique journey. 

  • Sailing through the Patagonian fjords is a perfect way to combine luxury  and elegance with the dramatic beauty and indescribable landscapes of the region. 

CRUISE ITINERARY

Check in and luggage drop off is at the Cruceros Australis office, between 10:00hrs and 17:00hrs (10am-5pm) at 409 San Martin Street, in downtown Ushuaia. Boarding commences at 18:00hrs (6pm) with departure scheduled at 20:00hrs (8pm). All passengers must be on board the vessel at least one hour before departure. Please note your luggage will be taken to your cabin.

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.

Ushuaia

Around 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.

Cape Horn - Wulaia Bay

Overnight 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.

Pía Glacier – Garibaldi 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.

Agostini Sound – Águila Glacier – Cóndor Glacier

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

Magdalena Island - Punta Arenas

This is a suggested itinerary. All Tailor-Made journeys can be customised to suit. Add in additional highlights, spend more time in areas of particular interest to you, or extend your journey to visit other regions of Latin America or Antarctica.

DOWNLOAD ITINERARY PDF

ITINERARY ADD-ONS

  • Before embarking on your voyage, why not experience the amazing wonders of two of South America’s most vibrant cities? A 9 Day Rio to Buenos Aires journey will be the perfect way to indulge in a mix of Latin American cultural experience and sights. From the awe-inspiring Christ the Redeemer, to the roaring cascades of Iguazu falls and the European avenues of Buenos Aires this is a spectacular way to experience this unique and dynamic corner of our world. Find out more

  • Why not undertake an incredible journey to the world’s most remote wilderness? A 10-day Antarctica adventure will take you to the final frontier, take to the icy waters in a zodiac, be enthralled by ice-capped vistas and magnificent glaciers and introduce yourself to a host of Antarctic wildlife including penguins, seals and whales. Find out more.

  • Follow in the footsteps of the explorers of old and visit one of the most spectacular places on Earth. Leave Punta Arenas and journey to spectacular locations such as Cape Horn, the mythical Drake Passage and of course the frozen White Continent on an Antarctica express air cruise! Find out more.

Pricing & date

Stella Australis: Patagonian Explorer from AUD 2,399
Selected dates between 25/09/19-04/04/20 & 23/09/20-24/03/21 
Enquire Now

Important Information

  • Cabin accommodation on board Stella Australis 
    All meals whilst on board
    Port taxes
    All scheduled landings and excursions 
    Open bar (when bartender on duty)
    All on board entertainment

    Exclusions 

    Airfares to/from embarkation and disembarkation city 
    Visa fees (if applicable)
    Any additional activities not mentioned in itinerary 
    Gratuities for staff/crew
    *Transfers to/from pier 

  • 2 (light adventure)
  • Available upon request, contact us for more details. 

  • Transfers to/from the port in both cities are not included and can be booked with your Destination Specialist.

     

  • Departure date, season and availability. 

SPEAK TO A SPECIALIST

Talk to one of our Destination Specialists to plan your South American adventure and turn your dream into a reality. With exceptional knowledge and first hand experience, our consultants will assist in every way possible to make your journey the most memorable it can be, matching not only the itinerary, but the accommodation and activities to suit your style of travel and budget.

Sustainability

Being environmentally accountable is a crucial part of our organisation. Chimu is currently striving towards using less paper, taking several initiatives to do so and tracking our progress along the way. Our goal: A paperless organisation. For this reason, all information given to you will be sent electronically. We encourage those who choose to travel with us to support our aspirations and actions and ask that you reconsider printing out documentation. To view these documents, you can download them to your iPad or portable computer before and during your trip.

Chimu is passionate and dedicated to sustainability measures and understands the crucial part sustainability plays within the tourism industry.

We use local guides and office staff to both maximise local employment opportunities and minimise carbon footprint. Local guides also ensure you benefit from the intimate knowledge, passion and culture of the country you’re visiting. Our guides are all highly qualified (most with university degrees) or equip with many years of experience and are paid above the standard wage. Whether it be our knowledgeable local guides, locally produced meals or the transport on tour, we do not use imported goods when local products are available. We aim to minimise our impact on the environment and give as much back as possible to the communities we work in.

Australis operates with a focus on sustainability at their core. A member of CEQUA (Centre of Qaternary Studies Fuego-Patagonia and Antarctica), Australis carries out scientific research whilst on its expeditions, contributing to passenger experience but also providing useful data in regard to biological preservation and diversity in the region. Expert guides are educated in the best way to carry out explorations without endangering the local environment. Australis vessels themselves utilise waste, water and energy management to minimise the physical impact on the environment. While visiting the many national parks, heritage sites, museums and landmarks our travellers are encouraged to explore whilst remaining culturally aware and sensitive. We further encourage you to buy appropriate souvenirs and discourage the buying of anything wrongfully made or taken from the environment i.e. shells and endangered species products. Information on how you can be environmentally conscious, and travel responsibly will be made available in our Travellers Guides and provided during your travels by guides and staff.

For more information on our sustainability policies, including how we are striving towards being a paperless organisation, click HERE