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.
The sister ships Stella and Ventus Australis offer an unparalleled cruise experience through the southernmost channels of the continent.
Operating between October and April each year, these cruises take you as far as the mythical Cape Horn, the last headland before crossing to Antarctica.
A professional expedition team leads small groups on nature walks, Zodiac tours and offer onboard lectures that make every moment of this Patagonia small ship cruise a memorable adventure.
ITINERARY IN BRIEF:
Day 1: Ushuaia - Embark
Day 2: Cape Horn - Wulaia Bay
Day 3: Pia Glacier - Garibaldi Glacier
Day 4: Agostini Sound - Aguila Glacier - Condor Glacier
Day 5: Magdalena Island - Punta Arenas - Disembark
The 5 Day Fjords of Tierra del Fuego cruise can be combined with the 5 Day Patagonian Explorer cruise to create a round trip 9-day/8-night itinerary.
NOTE: The excursions described in the itineraries can usually be carried out without any problems. Nevertheless, the shipowner 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.
Ushuaia - Embark
Check in at 409 San Martín Ave. in downtown Ushuaia between 10:00 and 17:00 (10 AM-5 PM) on the day of your cruise departure.
Board the Australis Cruise 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.
Cape Horn - Wulaia Bay
By early morning, the Australis cruise 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.
Pia Glacier - Garibaldi Glacier
After 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.
Agostini Sound - Aguila Glacier - Condor Glacier
Early 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.
Magdalena Island - Punta Arenas
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.
- Year of construction: Stella Australis 2010 & Ventus Australis 2017
- Passenger capacity: 210
- Crew: 45
- Total cabins: 100
- Length: 72.3m
- Draft: 3.30m
- Beam: 13.4m
- Propulsion: 2 Cummins diesel main engines at 850 hp each
- Cruising speed: 10 knots
- Electricity: 110-220 volts
- Safety: complete navigation systems, emergency generator, fire stations, smoke detectors in every cabin, corridor and lounge and a sprinkler fire suppression system
Guests have the option of six cabin classes. On the first deck there are 34 A cabins, and 3 B cabins. On the second deck there are 36 AA cabins and 2 AA Superior cabins. The third deck has 23 AAA cabins and two AAA Superior cabins. Standard cabins are 177 sq. ft. and superior cabins are 220 sq. ft. All offer sweeping panoramic views of Patagonia.
AAA Superior cabins measure 220 square feet and are located on the Cabo de Hornos Deck, next to the Sky Lounge and bridge. These cabins offer the best views on board, with windows measuring 5 feet wide by 6 feet high, and larger double beds measuring 6 x 6.5 feet.
AA Superior cabins measure 220 square feet and are located on the Tierra del Fuego Deck, next to the Yamana Lounge. These cabins offer larger windows measuring 5 feet wide by 4.5 feet high and larger double beds measuring 6 x 6.5 feet.
Located on the upper Cabo de Hornos Deck, next to the Sky Lounge and the bridge. These cabins offer the best views on board, with windows measuring 5 feet wide by 6 feet high and standard-size twin or double beds. Standard size twin or double beds are available.
All AA cabins are located on the Tierra del Fuego Deck, next to the Yamana Lounge on the third deck of the boat. These rooms have large windows measuring 5 feet wide by 4.5 feet high and standard-size twin or double beds.
Located on the Magallanes Deck, by reception. These cabins offer impressive views slightly above sea level. Windows on this deck measure 5 feet wide by 4 feet high. Standard size twin or double beds are available.
Located on Deck 2, there are three B rooms located on the Magallanes Deck, by reception, and over the engine and anchor. Windows on this deck measure 5 feet wide by 4 feet high. Standard size twin beds are available.
- On-board accommodation
- All meals throughout the voyage
- Tours led by English-speaking Guide
- Activities as specified
- On board entertainment
- All alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages (only when bar is on duty)
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED
- Air transportation
- Passport, visa, immigration fees
- Airport arrival/departure taxes
- Airport transfers
- Additional hotel nights
- Port taxes*
- National park fees*
- Travel Protection Plan
- Laundry service
- Any items not mentioned as included
*Port Taxes & National Park Fees
Port taxes and national park fees are not included in the price of the voyage and will be an additional cost of US$65 per person for the 2020 season. This price will increase to US$75 per person for the 2020-2021 season.
We recommend sports clothing for both women and men. Summer nights and sometimes during the days the Magellan climate is cold. We recommend sweaters, jackets, pants and rain garments during the excursions. For exploring and walking, gloves and a pair of firm shoes or boots are suitable.
The excursions described in the itineraries can usually be carried out without any problems. Nevertheless, the shipowner 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.