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Ventus Australis: Fjords of Tierra del Fuego

5 Days FROM AUD 3,169

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Overview

This cruise to Patagonia 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. This four-day journey aboard the new Ventus Australis includes visits to wildlife rich Ainsworth Bay, massive Pia Glacier and Glacier Alley, as well as mystical Wulaia Bay and the legendary Cape Horn.

Optional Activities :

Trip Code: CLTSVFTF

Travel Style: Small ship Cruise 

Location: Chile, Patagonia & Argentina

Ship: VENTUS AUSTRALIS

Flights: Internal flights included in itinerary. Ask us to help book your flights to/from South America.

WHY CHOOSE THIS CRUISE?

  • Experience the wonders of the Patagonian fjords, a visual spectacle where dramatic landscapes and beautiful vistas reign superior. 

  • Ending in Ushuaia is a perfect launching pad for undertaking the incredible journey to the Frozen White continent, Antarctica. Allowing you to experience the amazing offerings of two of the worlds most unique and indescribably beautiful continents. 

  • This itinerary is perfectly combined with other land based tours in South America, allowing you the opportunity to blend incredible landscapes with indescribable cultural encounters. 

  • Encounter unique wildlife of the region including elephant seals, cormorants and the famous Magellan penguins. 

CRUISE ITINERARY

Check in and luggage drop off is at the Cruceros Australis office, between 13:00hrs and 17:00hrs (1pm-5pm) at 1385 O'Higgins Street (at Arturo Port) on Punta Arena's waterfront. 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 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.

Punta Arenas

By 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.

Ainsworth Bay - Tuckers Islets

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, 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.

Pia Glacier - Glacier Alley

During 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.

Wulaia Bay - Cape Horn

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.

Ushuaia

We specialise in Tailor Made Journeys in Latin America. All Tailor-Made journeys depart daily and can be customised around your cruise. Contact us for today to discuss.

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ITINERARY ADD-ONS

  • 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.

  • 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

Pricing & date

Ventus Australis: Fjords of Tierra del Fuego from AUD 3,169
Selected dates between 11/10/19-04/04/20 & 21/09/20-01/04/21 
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Important Information

  • Cabin accommodation on board Ventus 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

  • 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.

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