Cruise by Zodiacs amongst the beautifully sculpted icebergs and take excursions from the ship to explore local bays, channels and landing sites
This extraordinary 5-day cruise cruise will guide you to world’s most beautiful and exclusive places while indulging in luxury onboard of the Ventus Australis.
Embark on an adventurous journey between Ushuaia (Argentina) to Punta Arenas (Chile) aboard the Ventus Australis, through some of planet’s most remote places and incredible scenery. Discover the wild beauty of Patagonia on a voyage 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 penguin colony before docking at Punta Arenas.
*** Please note, this itinerary also operates in reverse, from Ushuaia to Punta Arenas ***
PLEASE NOTE: Pricing is subject to change and availability at the time of booking. Contact us for more information.
In this all-encompassing cruise, you will be provided with travel logistics for your travel party for the duration of your journey, plus expert guides for all the major sightseeing as per itinerary. Your all-inclusive cruise in will take place on in the upmarket comfort of the Ventus Australis.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
The Ventus Australis is a awe-inspiring cruise ship, launched in January 2018. Tailor-made for exploring the remote southern tip of South America, all aspects of the 210 passenger ship including size, length, draft and engine power are designed to give Ventus Australis the extreme maneuverability necessary to navigate narrow fjords and channels where no other cruise ship can venture. Ventus Australis will feature the latest regulations regarding safety at sea and protecting the marine environment, as all of Australis Patagonia fleet does. With 110 spacious cabins featuring cozy beds, full bathrooms and panoramic views of the Patagonian nature unfolding outside. The pampering continues in the dining room with buffet breakfasts and lunches and four-course dinners that blend continental and Chilean cuisine. The galley also caters to special dietary requests. The all-inclusive bar features a wide selection of liquors, excellent Chilean wines and local craft beers, as well our the trademark Calafate Sour. Passengers have access to a library with extensive literature on Patagonian flora, fauna and history, as well as board games and other onboard entertainment activities. Shore excursions are carried out in zodiac boats that can easily navigate remote bays and shallow water. During the journey, English speaking guides and guest lectures deliver presentations and slide shows on various aspects of Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego. Please note this vessel does not have elevators nor WiFi or internet. Currency accepted onboard is US dollars, Euros, Chilean Pesos and Argentinean pesos. Credit Cards accept onboard are Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Diners.
Speed: 6.8 / 5.7 knots
Electricity: 220 volts and 110 volts Passenger
View Ship Details
We believe that appropriate accommodation should add to the authentic travel experience, as well as providing utmost enjoyment. For that reason our accommodation is scrutinised by our staff on the ground frequently, ensuring the properties adhere to our high standards. This key will help you understand the levels of accommodation available on this tour.
Comfortable properties with dependable facilities and service.
Comfortable properties with dependable facilities and service.
Luxurious properties with impeccable facilities and service.
|Patagonian Explorer | Ventus Australis from USD 3,295
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Cabin accommodation on board Ventus Australis
All meals whilst on board
Port taxes (subject to change*)
All scheduled landings and excursions (subject to weather conditions)
Open bar (when bartender on duty)
All on board entertainment & lectures
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
A single supplement applies. Please contact us for more information and pricing.
*Transfers to/from the port in both cities are not included and can be booked with your Destination Specialist
Departure date, season and availability.