Patagonia & Chilean Fjords Cruises on the Magellan Explorer
This is a 9-day wilderness experience in Southern Chile and the Patagonia Ice Field. Visit the San Rafael Glacier, Puerto Eden, Madre de Dios Island, the Strait of Magellan and Tierra del Fuego, and the Beagle Channel. Sail between massive blue-hued glaciers and the sharp peaks of the Andes mountains. This untamed terrain is home to fjords, channels, and islets with beaches teeming with marine wildlife, birds, and stunning natural landscapes best accessed by ship or Zodiac.
Day 1: Puerto Montt, Embarkation
Your journey begins in Puerto Montt, Chile, with boarding between 3 and 4 PM (15:00 – 16:00 hr.)
Day 2: Puerto Cisnes
We head south to the village of Puerto Cisnes, in the remote region of Aysén, for an afternoon visit. We visit the seaport and explore the area, with its many fjords, islands, and channels. We hope to visit Magdalena Island, where we have a good chance of seeing penguins, cormorants, sea lions, and river otters.
Day 3: San Rafael
The expedition continues with a full day of activities planned at San Rafael Bay. Declared a Biosphere Reserve, the park is the main entry point to Chile’s Northern Icefields. San Rafael Glacier is the main attraction, but we will also enjoy exploring the surrounding fjords, channels, islands, and coves.
Day 4: Gulf of Penas
We cross the Gulf of Penas, enjoying beautiful views of the surrounding mountain ranges. As we continue to sail southward, the expedition team tells you about the indigenous inhabitants of these southern lands, the early Spanish colonizers, and famous explorers such as Charles Darwin, Fitz Roy, and Alberto de Agostini. You also learn about the region’s biodiversity with presentations on the local marine life and flora.
Day 5: Puerto Eden
We sail the dramatic, 18 mt-wide English Narrows on our way to the famous fishing village of Puerto Eden, one of Chile’s most isolated settlements. The village sits on the eastern side of Wellington Island and is only accessible by sea. Puerto Eden has no roads. Instead, a network of wooden boardwalks connects the houses and establishments. Rich evergreens cover the landscape steeped in indigenous traditions and culture, being home to the Kawéskar people.
Day 6: Madre de Dios Island
We continue sailing south towards Madre de Dios Island, several natural caves that create a unique landscape evocatively named Marble Glaciers. In one of those caves, skeletons of whales 2600 to 3500 years old have been discovered. Many caves near the coast were used in the past as burial sites by the Kawéskar people. The whole region is an ideal place for exploration.part of an uninhabited archipelago west of the Trinidad Channel and Concepción Channel. The island is composed partly of limestone, with
Day 7: Strait of Magellan and Tierra del Fuego
While cruising along the Strait of Magellan, we explore the waters of the fiords that branch out from Tierra del Fuego, a region named after the fires that burned in local native settlements when the first European explorers arrived. We follow the remote coast around the Francisco Coloane Marine Park, a protected area in the southern hemisphere where whales feed. If you are lucky, you may be able to witness Humpback or Sei whales breaching in the distance. You may also see dolphins, sea lions, seals, penguins, albatrosses, and petrels.
Day 8: Beagle Channel
We continue along the Beagle Channel, a striking narrow passage, partly belonging to Chile and partly to Argentina. We sail along Glacier Alley, a 240 km (150 mi) stretch within the Channel in Southern Chile, home to a family of five glaciers: the Holanda, Italia, Francia, Alemania, and Romanche glaciers. We hope to explore the Garibaldi Fjord where we will be surrounded by hanging and tidewater glaciers; nearby waterfalls are so close they can almost be touched. Spectacular ice formations are sprawled along the sea, forming part of the Southern Patagonian Ice field and the snow-dusted Darwin Range. It is a perfect time to enjoy the graceful view and, if possible, get a glimpse of sea lions and steamer ducks. The Beagle Channel, with the Strait of Magellan to the north and the Drake Passage to the south, is one of the three navigable passages in South America connecting the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. On our way to Ushuaia, Argentina, the largest settlement on the channel, we will make a brief nighttime technical stop in Port Williams to comply with Chilean customs and immigration requirements.
Day 9: Ushuaia, Disembarkation
Morning arrival in Ushuaia and disembarkation.
Dates: Sept. 13-21, 2024 from Puerto Montt to Ushuaia
March 31-April 8, 2025 from Ushuaia to Puerto Montt
Prices per person, double occupancy (except for triple and single cabins) in US$:
The Magellan Explorer is a modern expedition vessel custom-built in Chile to the latest Polar Code specifications and launched in 2019. Magellan Explorer has seven categories of accommodation, including dedicated single cabins. All cabins, except Porthole Cabins, feature private balconies. All double cabins, except ten, have twin beds, which can be configured as a king-size bed. All cabins feature a wardrobe, an individually controlled heating system, a sitting area, and a private bathroom with a shower. The ship features a glass-enclosed observation lounge and presentation room with state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment, a spacious and stylish dining room, a well-stocked bar, a library, a meeting room, a gym, a sauna, and a medical clinic. The forward-facing observation deck leads to the ship´s bow, which is accessible to guests to offer proximity to marine wildlife. The ship has a fleet of Zodiacs that are well-suited for disembarking and wildlife watching. The fitness center aboard Magellan Explorer has been designed and built by the professionals at Anytime Fitness, the only fitness company with boutique gyms on all 7 continents.