South America Chile Cruise

National Geographic Epic Patagonia

The 20-day National Geographic Epic Patagonia small ship cruise explores remote and largely inaccessible places along the Chilean coast. On this Patagonia cruise, experience a maze of channels and islands on the southernmost tip of South America, filled with wildlife and wildness. Deep within Chile’s fjords are incandescent icebergs, massive glaciers and incredible wildlife. Explore the region by hiking, kayaking and Zodiac cruising alongside National Geographic experts, photographers and naturalist guides.

Sail between soaring granite walls, waterfalls, thousands of islands and snowcapped mountains deep in the Chilean Fjords. See the massive Pio XI Glacier, which is still advancing. Chiloé Island with its colorful stilt houses along the water is home to a colony of Magellanic and Humboldt penguins. At Pumalín National Park walk among alerce trees as giant as the California redwoods. Half way through the journey, rest your sea legs with a land trip to Torres del Paine National Park, a UNESCO Biosphere reserve where wildlife-rich forests, glaciers, grasslands, rivers and lagoons await. Back aboard, experience Tierre del Fuego and a rare opportunity visit to Karukinka National Park, where black-browed albatross, condors and elephant seals live, thanks to the National Geographic Explorer’s special permission to sail here granted by the Wildlife Conservation Society.

Zodiac and kayak through myriad small fjords and walk among tidewater glaciers lining the coast. Explore the Beagle Channel and then sail to Cape Horn, the southernmost tip of South America. Another special permission allows Nat Geo Explorer to visit Staten Island, where mountainous landscapes are covered with forests and fjords and wildlife such as rockhopper penguins, Magellenic penguins, fur seals and sea lions lounge.

The 148-guest National Geographic Explorer is your floating basecamp during the voyage. Technologically advanced, fully stabilized and equipped with a full set of exploration tools, including an ROV and enough kayaks and Zodiacs to send all guests out exploring at the same time, the Explorer offers cabins with private balconies and an included bar tab. She boasts a top speed of 18 knots and has special permission to visit incredible sites off limits to other small ship cruises. To see Patagonia by both land and sea in one all-encompassing and seamless cruise, spend 20 days aboard the Nat Geo Explorer on this National Geographic Epic Patagonia small ship cruise.

Read on for details about this trip, or view all of AdventureSmith’s Patagonia cruises.