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Wonders of Chile & the Fjords

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Overview

 

Spanning from the icy south to the desert north, from the rugged Pacific coastline to the highest peaks of the Andes, salt plains, geysers and volcanoes, this Chimu adventure will immerse you in Chile's unique geography and culture. Northern Chile is home to the world's most arid desert and salt flats, hot springs and geysers. It also boasts fertile ravines and oases whose unique fruits make for excellent culinary tours; it is inhabited by some of the country's most fascinating people who you will get to meet on your trip. In Patagonia you are at one with the wild - The immensity of the ice floes, the majesty of the mountains and the expanse of the lakes are a constant source of wonderment. Our 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. The voyage aboard the 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.

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Optional Activities :

Trip Code: CLFOWCF

Travel Style: Small Ship Cruising 

Location: Chile

Ship: STELLA AUSTRALIS

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

WHY CHOOSE THIS CRUISE?

  • In just under two-weeks you will experience some of the most Amazing highlights of Chile before finishing in the Southernmost city in the world, Ushuaia. 

  • This itinerary offers perfect opportunity to undertake the amazing voyage to the 'Frozen White Continent', Antarctica. 

  • Experience the breathtaking beauty and stark contrasts from the Atacama desert to awe-inspiring glaciers of untamed Patagonia. 

  • See incredible wildlife including elephant seals and famous Magellan Penguins.

CRUISE ITINERARY

On arrival at Santiago Airport, please make your way through Customs and Immigration and only exit from the green doors marked 'Meeting Point’.
Our representative will be holding a sign with your name on it and waiting for you outside this exit. Please only make contact with our representative.

This service includes a driver and local English speaking guide who will provide you with any useful information needed for your stay.

Arrival transfer in Santiago

Santiago, Chile’s capital and largest city, lies in a valley surrounded by the snow-capped mountains of the Andes and the Chilean Coastal Range. Founded in 1541, Santiago has been Chile’s capital since colonial times. It is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city and although it features many colonial buildings, it has grown into a modern metropolis and the cultural centre of the country.

Santiago de Chile

This morning, you will be collected from your hotel for your tour of Santiago. Visit both the old and new areas of the city. Highlights include the Plaza de Armas, the city's central square and the heart of the city’s old colonial core. The Plaza de Armas is home to the beautiful 18th century Metropolitan Cathedral, the early 19th century Royal Court Palace that houses the Natural History Museum and the Central Post Office completed in 1882. Will continue along the Government Palace and where we will have the opportunity to walk through some of the most traditional streets and neighbourhoods. Visit Cerro Santa Lucia, the hill on which Santiago was founded in 1541, now a park with fountains and stairs leading to a fort and panoramic viewpoint across the city. On completion of your tour, you will be taken to your hotel.

Please note this is small group tour and only operates in the morning.

Santiago Panoramic City Tour

Welcome to the Atacama Desert. Upon arrival in Calama, you will be transferred to San Pedro de Atacama (1.5 hours, shared with other hotel guests). Dinner will be served at Alto Atacama hotel. During the evening, the guides will suggest optional activities available the following day.

Alto Atacama is a village hotel at the base of the Cordillera de la Sal (Salt Mountains), near the ancient ruins of Pukara de Quitor and 3km from the famous oasis of San Pedro de Atacama. Combining raw nature with comfort and convenience, Alto Atacama offers the perfect refuge to rejuvenate the body and soul.

Arrival Hotel Alto Atacama

You will be collected from your hotel at the appropriate time and transferred to the airport for your onward flight. This service includes a Spanish speaking driver only.

Transfer to the airport for onward destination

The small oasis town of San Pedro de Atacama lies on an arid high plateau in the Andes Mountains in the heart of some of northern Chile’s most spectacular scenery. Overlooking the Licancabur Volcano, its dramatic surrounding landscape ranges from desert, salt flats, steaming geysers and hot springs to fascinating rock formations. The church, dating back to 1774 and featuring adobe, cactus wood and leather-bound beams and the Archaeological Museum are both worth a visit.

Atacama

Alto Atacama has created a program so you can enjoy as much of the local area as you want, in any way you want. There is something for everyone, from visiting museums to volcano climbing. The excursions are designed for people who love nature and extraordinary landscapes, but the vast majority do not require any special physical training or abilities. All are classified by type (on foot, vehicle or bicycle), length (half or full day) and difficulty. Each night, meet with the guides in the bar to discuss options for the following day. There are eight choices per day out of 23 total outings.

Explore the Atacama Desert

Alto Atacama has created a program so you can enjoy as much of the local area as you want, in any way you want. There is something for everyone, from visiting museums to volcano climbing. The excursions are designed for people who love nature and extraordinary landscapes, but the vast majority do not require any special physical training or abilities. All are classified by type (on foot, vehicle or bicycle), length (half or full day) and difficulty. Each night, meet with the guides in the bar to discuss options for the following day. There are eight choices per day out of 23 total outings.

Explore the Atacama Desert

After breakfast, you will be transferered to Calama Airport for your onward flight.

Departure Hotel Alto Atacama

This flight will operate via Santiago to Punta Arenas.

Fly to Punta Arenas via Santiago

On arrival at Punta Arenas or Puerto Natales airport you will be met and transferred to the Singular Patagonia hotel at the edge of the Fjord of Last Hope. The afternoon is at leisure to relax at the hotel, maybe enjoy the spa facilities or explore the grounds surrounding the hotel. In the evening you will be briefed on the excursion options for the following day.

The Singular Patagonia features 57 spacious guest rooms that look out over the fjord and the mountains, cosy lounge areas, an eco-spa with indoor and outdoor pools, sauna and steam room, a restaurant and a staff dedicated to personalized service. The restaurant serves dishes based on traditional Patagonian recipes, made using locally grown ingredients. A range of excursions and activities are offered including horseback riding, trekking, cycling, kayaking and fly fishing.

Arrival in Puerto Natales

Two days to explore the breathtaking landscapes of Patagonia - an untamed wilderness of stunning beauty with windswept pampas, snow-capped peaks, glaciers, blue-tinged icebergs, fjords and lakes.

Friendly, experienced and knowledgeable guides lead the way, and give you an in-depth, insider look at Patagonia. There are over 20 different Patagonia excursions available ranging from leisurely day trips to activities that will excite the thrill-seeker.

For a leisurely option, join us as we navigate our way through meandering, mountain-fringed fjords, wander through wetlands on a bird-watching trek or discover the historic pioneer town of Puerto Natales. Explore caverns where the prehistoric milodon once lived or head out by horseback or mountain bike along the banks of Laguna Sofia. For a more challenging option you may like to kayak through the Last Hope Sound or take a full-day trek in the stunningly beautiful Torres del Paine National Park with its iconic towers of granite.

Basic Level Options
• Trekking Sierra Baguales - Private Reserve
• Discovering Torres Del Paine National Park
• Sailing around the Patagonia Fjords: Serrano and Balmaceda Glaciers
• Puerto Natales, Land of Pioneers
• Trekking to the Milodon Caves
• Horseback Riding to Puerto Consuelo
• Cycling around Puerto Natales

Medium Level Options
• The Water Track
• Cycling around Laguna Sofía
• Trekking and watching Andean condors
• Horse Riding around Laguna Sofía
• Kayak Puerto Bories to Puerto Natales
• Kayak Fjord Eberhard to Villa Luisa
• Kayak harbour tour
• Fly fishing Patagonia

Difficult Level Options
• Tenerife 360° - Horseback Riding or Trekking
• Trekking to the Base of Torres Del Paine
• Horseback Riding - Tres Paso

Patagonia Activities

This morning after breakfast you will be transferred from the Singular Patagonia to Punta Arenas in time to check in for your cruise.

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 cocktail reception hosted by the Captain and his crew, the ship will depart for one of the remotest parts of the planet. Our trip will take us through the Strait of Magellan and Beagle Channel to explore one of the most breathtaking wilderness regions in the world: Southern Patagonia, which includes the Tierra del Fuego archipelago.

Punta Arenas

At dawn, we will navigate our way through Almirantazgo Sound, arriving at Ainsworth Bay which is sited within Alberto De Agostini National Park. It’s the perfect spot from which to see the Marinelli Glacier descending from Darwin Mountain Range in the distance; and to appreciate how the land returns to life after glacial retreat. We will also take a walk to a beaver dam in the stunning sub-polar Magellan Forest. Whether on the beach or the island, there’s a good chance of sighting Southern Elephant Seals. But do bear in mind the fact that sightings cannot be guaranteed due to the colony’s unpredictable movements.Later, we will be sailing to Tuckers Islets, and after lunch, we will board well-equipped Zodiac boats to get close to a colony of Magellan Penguins (indigenous to the Southern Hemisphere) and cormorants.

* In September and April, this excursion is replaced by a short walk to a nearby glacier at Brookes Bay.

Ainsworth Bay - Tuckers Islets

We will navigate along the northwest arm of the Beagle Channel before disembarking at Pia Fjord. From there, we’ll take a short hike to a panoramic viewpoint from where we can enjoy spectacular views of the awe-inspiring Pia Glacier whose main tongue extends from the mountaintops down to the sea. After this memorable experience, we will continue our voyage along the Beagle Channel through the majestic Glacier Alley.

Pia Glacier - Glacier Alley

During the morning we will be sailing through Murray Channel, going ashore at historical Wulaia Bay, originally the site of one of the region’s largest Yamana aboriginal settlements. Charles Darwin landed there in 1833 during his voyage on the HMS Beagle. This area is also renowned for the mesmerizing beauty of its vegetation and geography. We will take an enchanted walk through the Magellan Forest of lengas, coigües, canelos, ferns, and other endemic vegetation, to reach a panoramic viewpoint.In the afternoon we will go South through Nassau Bay to reach Cape Horn National Park, where, weather permitting, we shall go ashore. The legendary Cape Horn was discovered in 1616 and is a sheer 425-meter (1,394-foot) high rocky promontory. For many years it was an important navigation route between the Pacific and the Atlantic, and is referred to as the ‘End of the Earth’. The park was declared a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 2005.

Wulaia Bay - Cape Horn

Disembarkation in Ushuaia.

Stella Australis: arrival at 08:30 a.m. and 9:30 am according to date of departure.

Ushuaia

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

  • 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.

  • Why not add on a tour to the Galapagos to your South American journey, spending 4 days exploring the beautiful archipelago that abounds with fascinating wildlife? Amidst spectacular volcanic scenery you will see a myriad of birds and animals from lava lizards to blue-footed boobies, Galapagos penguins, frigatebirds and giant tortoises. Find out more

  • Combine your journey with a tour to the mystical Easter Island, one of the most isolated places on the planet. Bear witness to one of the most ancient and logic-defying mysteries as you gaze upon the giant stone Moai, the watchful guardians of the island. Or perhaps experience the islands savage beauty, enjoying scenic hikes or relaxing on white sandy beaches. Find out more here Find out more.

Pricing & date

Wonders of Chile & the Fjords from USD 0
Selected dates from October 2019 – March 2020
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Important Information

  • Cabin accommodation
    All meals daily
    Open bar (when bartender on duty)
    Daily shore excursions as scheduled 
    Whisky and hot chocolate during shore excursions
    All on-board activities 
    Port Taxes 

    Exclusions

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

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

  • All entrance fees are subject to change without prior notice.

    This is a Tailor-Made itinerary which can be customised to create your own unique journey. Contact us to discuss your travel plans.

  • Season and availability

SPEAK TO A SPECIALIST

Your Destination Specialists will turn your South America adventure dream into a reality. With exceptional knowledge and first-hand experience, our Destinations Specialists 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 remain 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