adventure travelers wearing life jackets riding in a black skiff watch and take pictures of a whale sticking its head out of the water on a cloudy day in patagonia
various colored patagnia sea birds walk around a grassy bluff while one flies directly above them
looking beyond a field on cape horn patagonia with the sea in the distance on a sunny day in patagonia
group of black and brown patagonia elephant seals fight with their mouths open with fangs showing
travelers load into and ride in zodiac skiffs on icy water with a small cruise ship anchored in the distance on an overcast day in patagonia
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South America Patagonia Cruise

Patagonian Explorer – Ushuaia to Punta Arenas

The 5-day Patagonian Explorer cruise aboard the 210-guest Stella Australis or 210-guest Ventus Australis sister ships begins in Ushuaia, Argentina, and ends in Punta Arenas, Chile. Behold some of the planet’s most remote landscapes and incredible wildlife and discover the pristine beauty of Patagonia. Highlights of this Patagonia cruise include the huge and rarely visited Cóndor Glacier in Agostini Sound and the Garibaldi Glacier in the Beagle Channel, which is one of three Patagonia glaciers currently gaining mass rather than staying the same or slowly shrinking.

The Stella Australis and Ventus Australis cruise Patagonia, bringing you luxury and comfort only surpassed by their activities. Visit fabled spots like Cape Horn and Wulaia Bay before cruising down the Beagle Channel. Continue through the maze of islands and glaciers, including Pia Glacier, Garibaldi Glacier, Agostini Sound, Águila Glacier and Cóndor Glacier before entering the legendary Strait of Magellan. Search for condors and other wildlife by Zodiac, hike through Magellanic forest to glacial waterfalls and panoramic views of bays, and walk to a lighthouse on stunning Magdalena Island and its immense penguin colony before disembarking in Punta Arenas.

The Australis sister ships are the only small expedition vessels in the world to visit the Cóndor Glacier regularly. This spectacular but remote glacier at the southernmost tip of South America is guarded by and takes its name from the world’s largest flying bird, the Andean condor, which can weigh up to 33 pounds and have a wingspan of over 10 feet.

The 5-day Patagonian Explorer cruise can be combined with the 5-day Fjords of Tierra del Fuego cruise to create a round-trip, 9-day/8-night itinerary.

Read on for details about this trip, or learn more about AdventureSmith’s Patagonia cruises.



Itinerary

Patagonian Explorer - Ushuaia to Punta Arenas Itinerary

The 5-day Patagonian Explorer – Ushuaia to Punta Arenas cruise operates from Ushuaia, Argentina to Punta Arenas, Chile, moving south to Cape Horn and then north past glaciers and the Strait of Magellan.

Route map of Patagonian Explorer Ushuaia to Punta Arenas 5-day small ship Patagonia cruise, operating from Ushuaia, Argentina to Punta Arenas, Chile with visits to Cape Horn & Wulaia Bay, Pia Glacier & Garibaldi Glacier, Agostini Sound, Águila Glacier, Cóndor Glacier & Magdalena Island.
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Day 1
Embark Ushuaia, Argentina

Check in at 409 San Martín Ave. in downtown Ushuaia, Argentina, between 10:00am and 5:00pm on the day of departure. Board the ship at 6:00pm. 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, traverse the Beagle Channel and cross from Argentina into Chilean territorial waters. The lights of Ushuaia disappear as the ship turns into the narrow Murray Channel between Navarino and Hoste islands.

Accommodations

Stella Australis, Ventus Australis

Meals

dinner

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Day 2
Cape Horn & Wulaia Bay

Around the break of dawn, cross Nassau Bay and enter the remote archipelago that comprises Cape Horn National Park. Weather and sea conditions permitting, venture 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 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, which awaits repair after being damaged by fierce winds.

Sail back across Nassau Bay and 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 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, choose between three hiking options of increasing degrees of difficulty and ascend the heavily wooded mountain behind the bay. On all hiking options, stroll through an enchanted Magellanic forest of lengas, coigües, canelos and ferns to reach panoramic viewpoints overlooking the bay. Before leaving Wulaia Bay, drop something into the wooden mail barrel inside the museum – letters or postcards meant to be hand delivered by future travelers – an ancient mariner tradition revived by Australis.

Accommodations

Stella Australis, Ventus Australis

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 3
Pia Glacier & Garibaldi Glacier

Continue overnight to the Patagonia glacier tour 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, cruise eastward into the Beagle Channel again. By morning, enter Pia Fjord and board the Zodiacs for a shore excursion to Pia Glacier. Take a short hike to a panoramic view of the spectacular glacier, which extends from the mountaintops down to the sea, or enjoy 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 suggests it was named for Princess Maria Pia of Savoy (1847-1911), daughter of the Italian king.

Farther west along the Beagle Channel, 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. 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 with very steep, negligible trail and rough footing, so it is not for everyone. For those who choose to stay on board, the captain points the bow towards the beautiful sky blue Garibaldi Glacier so everyone can enjoy the panoramic view from the upper decks.

Accommodations

Stella Australis, Ventus Australis

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 4
Agostini Sound, Águila Glacier & Cóndor Glacier

Early in the morning, sail through the Cockburn Channel and enter Agostini Sound, where it is possible to see the glaciers that descend from the middle of the Darwin Mountain Range, some of which reach the water. Disembark for an easy walk around a lagoon, which was formed by the melting of the Águila Glacier. Reach a spot right in front of that glacier with stunning views. In the afternoon, approach the Condor Glacier via Zodiac and hope to see some of the abundant Andean Condors in the area.

Accommodations

Stella Australis, Ventus Australis

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 5
Magdalena Island & Disembark Punta Arenas, Chile

Cruise overnight through Magdalena Channel and back into the Strait of Magellan. 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, 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, disembark at Punta Arenas around 11:30am.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast

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Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

Accommodation; sea transportation; all meals; open bar when on duty (without additional costs for wines, beverages and liquors); shore excursions and onboard entertainment.

Exclusions

Airfare; excess baggage charges; items of a personal nature; insurance of any kind; optional tours and transportation; port tax, migration fee, and national park fee ($75 USD for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 season, but may be modified by the port authorities of each country).

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of $300 is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms may apply. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure:
119 to 60 days – 100% of deposit
59 to 50 days – 25% of trip cost
49 to 40 days – 50% of trip cost
39 to 30 days – 75% of trip cost
29 to 0 days – 100% of trip cost

Terms & Conditions

This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.

Arrival & Departure

The Patagonian Explorer Cruise begins in Ushuaia, Argentina (USH) and ends in Punta Arenas, Chile (PUQ). Plan to arrive to Ushuaia in time for check in between 10:00am and 5:00pm, with embarkation at 6:00pm on day 1. Disembarkation is in Punta Arenas at 11:30am on day 5. Verify all arrival and departure details upon booking your sailing. We highly recommend arriving one day prior to your trip start date in case of any flight delay, cancellation or lost luggage issues. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page.

Activities

Whether you are looking for light activity options or more challenging outdoor pursuits, the ship’s crew can tailor most excursions to suit your skill level. Adventure activities may include hiking, inflatable boat/skiff excursions, land treks, glacier viewing and wildlife observation. Note that camera extension poles are prohibited on Magdelena Island.

Room Configuration

Single travelers wishing to book a double-occupancy cabin may do so at 150% of the per-person listed rate in select cabins upon availability. Special single cabin rates may available in cabin categories A or B.

Families & Children

Children are welcomed aboard all departure dates. Infants between 0 and 3 years old receive a 100% discount when sharing the bed with their parents. Kids between 4 and 12 years old receive a 50% discount when sharing a cabin with an adult.

Travel Insurance

Protect your travel investment with insurance. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. You must purchase your travel insurance policy within 15 or 21 days of booking (depending on plan) for it to cover pre-existing medical conditions; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.

Itinerary Notes

Use the itinerary as a guide only. Itineraries may be altered due to weather, wildlife, national park regulation or at the captain’s discretion. Sighting of birds and other species cannot be guaranteed as their exact location is variable by nature. The ability to be flexible makes this type of small ship cruising unique.

Rates & Dates

Cruise Rates & Dates

In addition to the rates and dates listed below, a longer 9-day Australis Patagonia Expedition Cruise is available by combining this itinerary with the 5-day Fjords of Tierra del Fuego cruise. Contact AdventureSmith Explorations for pricing and more information.

Dec 22 - Dec 26, 2020
Ventus Australis • 5 days
From $2590USD
Per Person
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Dec 30 - Jan 03, 2021
Ventus Australis • 5 days
From $2590USD
Per Person
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Jan 07 - Jan 11, 2021
Ventus Australis • 5 days
From $2590USD
Per Person
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Jan 15 - Jan 19, 2021
Ventus Australis • 5 days
From $2590USD
Per Person
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Jan 23 - Jan 27, 2021
Ventus Australis • 5 days
From $2590USD
Per Person
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Jan 31 - Feb 04, 2021
Ventus Australis • 5 days
From $2590USD
Per Person
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Feb 08 - Feb 12, 2021
Ventus Australis • 5 days
From $2590USD
Per Person
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Feb 16 - Feb 20, 2021
Ventus Australis • 5 days
From $2590USD
Per Person
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Feb 24 - Feb 28, 2021
Ventus Australis • 5 days
From $2590USD
Per Person
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Mar 04 - Mar 08, 2021
Ventus Australis • 5 days
From $2590USD
Per Person
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Mar 12 - Mar 16, 2021
Ventus Australis • 5 days
From $2590USD
Per Person
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Mar 20 - Mar 24, 2021
Ventus Australis • 5 days
From $1990USD
Per Person
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Mar 28 - Apr 01, 2021
Ventus Australis • 5 days
From $1990USD
Per Person
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Sep 29 - Oct 03, 2021
Ventus Australis • 5 days
From $1590USD
Per Person
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Oct 07 - Oct 11, 2021
Ventus Australis • 5 days
From $1990USD
Per Person
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Oct 15 - Oct 19, 2021
Ventus Australis • 5 days
From $1990USD
Per Person
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Oct 23 - Oct 27, 2021
Ventus Australis • 5 days
From $1990USD
Per Person
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Oct 27 - Oct 31, 2021
Stella Australis • 5 days
From $1990USD
Per Person
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Oct 31 - Nov 04, 2021
Ventus Australis • 5 days
From $1990USD
Per Person
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Nov 04 - Nov 08, 2021
Stella Australis • 5 days
From $2590USD
Per Person
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Nov 08 - Nov 12, 2021
Ventus Australis • 5 days
From $2590USD
Per Person
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Nov 12 - Nov 16, 2021
Stella Australis • 5 days
From $2590USD
Per Person
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Nov 16 - Nov 20, 2021
Ventus Australis • 5 days
From $2590USD
Per Person
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Nov 20 - Nov 24, 2021
Stella Australis • 5 days
From $2590USD
Per Person
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Nov 24 - Nov 28, 2021
Ventus Australis • 5 days
From $2590USD
Per Person
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Nov 28 - Dec 02, 2021
Stella Australis • 5 days
From $2590USD
Per Person
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Dec 02 - Dec 06, 2021
Ventus Australis • 5 days
From $2590USD
Per Person
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Dec 06 - Dec 10, 2021
Stella Australis • 5 days
From $2590USD
Per Person
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Dec 10 - Dec 14, 2021
Ventus Australis • 5 days
From $2590USD
Per Person
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Dec 14 - Dec 18, 2021
Stella Australis • 5 days
From $2590USD
Per Person
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Dec 18 - Dec 22, 2021
Ventus Australis • 5 days
From $2590USD
Per Person
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Dec 22 - Dec 26, 2021
Stella Australis • 5 days
From $2590USD
Per Person
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Dec 26 - Dec 30, 2021
Ventus Australis • 5 days
From $2590USD
Per Person
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Dec 30 - Jan 03, 2022
Stella Australis • 5 days
From $2590USD
Per Person
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Jan 03 - Jan 07, 2022
Ventus Australis • 5 days
From $2590USD
Per Person
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Jan 07 - Jan 11, 2022
Stella Australis • 5 days
From $2590USD
Per Person
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Jan 11 - Jan 15, 2022
Ventus Australis • 5 days
From $2590USD
Per Person
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Jan 15 - Jan 19, 2022
Stella Australis • 5 days
From $2590USD
Per Person
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Jan 19 - Jan 23, 2022
Ventus Australis • 5 days
From $2590USD
Per Person
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Jan 23 - Jan 27, 2022
Stella Australis • 5 days
From $2590USD
Per Person
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Jan 27 - Jan 31, 2022
Ventus Australis • 5 days
From $2590USD
Per Person
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Jan 31 - Feb 04, 2022
Stella Australis • 5 days
From $2590USD
Per Person
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Feb 04 - Feb 08, 2022
Ventus Australis • 5 days
From $2590USD
Per Person
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Feb 08 - Feb 12, 2022
Stella Australis • 5 days
From $2590USD
Per Person
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Feb 12 - Feb 16, 2022
Ventus Australis • 5 days
From $2590USD
Per Person
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Feb 16 - Feb 20, 2022
Stella Australis • 5 days
From $2590USD
Per Person
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Feb 20 - Feb 24, 2022
Ventus Australis • 5 days
From $2590USD
Per Person
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Feb 24 - Feb 28, 2022
Stella Australis • 5 days
From $2590USD
Per Person
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Feb 28 - Mar 04, 2022
Ventus Australis • 5 days
From $2590USD
Per Person
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Mar 04 - Mar 08, 2022
Stella Australis • 5 days
From $2590USD
Per Person
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Mar 08 - Mar 12, 2022
Ventus Australis • 5 days
From $2590USD
Per Person
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Mar 12 - Mar 16, 2022
Stella Australis • 5 days
From $2590USD
Per Person
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Mar 16 - Mar 20, 2022
Ventus Australis • 5 days
From $2590USD
Per Person
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Mar 20 - Mar 24, 2022
Stella Australis • 5 days
From $1990USD
Per Person
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Mar 24 - Mar 28, 2022
Ventus Australis • 5 days
From $1990USD
Per Person
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Mar 28 - Apr 01, 2022
Stella Australis • 5 days
From $1990USD
Per Person
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Apr 01 - Apr 05, 2022
Ventus Australis • 5 days
From $1990USD
Per Person
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Apr 09 - Apr 13, 2022
Ventus Australis • 5 days
From $1590USD
Per Person
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Accommodations

Choose the Small Ship that Fits Your Travel Style

Expedition Ship
Stella Australis

The deluxe, 210-guest Stella Australis is one of the top vessels sailing around Chile's Cape Horn and Patagonia region. Enjoy her comfortable cabins with large windows, open bar and delicious dining.

Expedition Ship
Ventus Australis

The luxury 210-guest Ventus Australis small ship cruises Chile's pristine Patagonia region and features three lounges, spacious cabins with view windows, an all-inclusive bar and gourmet dining.

Book with the confidence that comes from experience.

100+ combined years of experience, 7 continents explored, decades of expedition cruising around the world & here to help you find & book your dream trip.

Extend Your Trip

Additional Travel Options Before or After Your Cruise

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5 Day Cruise
Fjords of Tierra del Fuego - Punta Arenas to Ushuaia

The 5-day Fjords of Tierra del Fuego cruise aboard the 210-guest Stella or Ventus Australis begins in Punta Arenas, Chile, and ends in Ushuaia, Argentina. Explore Glacier Alley, Darwin Mountains, Magellanic penguins in Tucker Islet, elephant seals in Ainsworth Bay, Wulaia Bay, Cape Horn and more.

From $1590USD
Jan Feb Mar Apr Sep Oct Nov Dec
Add to Wishlist
4 - 7 Day Land Tour
Explora Patagonia

This 4-, 5-, 6- or 7-day lodge-based trip in the center of Torres del Paine National Park offers over 40 unique explorations to choose from, including Base Torres and Grey Glacier. Enjoy breathtaking views of the Paine Massif and Salto Chico waterfall from home base.

Special Offer
From $1766USD
Year Round
Add to Wishlist
4 - 7 Day Land Tour
Patagonia Wildlife Safari

Discover the magic at the end of the world on a 4- to 7-day Patagonia Wildlife Safari! No matter the length of your stay, you will be blown away by the unlimited beauty of the world heritage site Torres del Paine National Park.

From $1890USD
Jan Feb Mar Apr Sep Oct Nov Dec
More to Explore

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7 Day Land Tour
Torres Del Paine Trek

The trails amongst the famous Torres del Paine craggy mountains are among the world's classic trekking routes. By day, explore nature in its raw form while winding through these exceptional mountains to enjoy the cozy luxury of EcoCamp's unique dome accommodations by night.

From $1690USD
Jan Feb Mar Apr Oct Nov Dec
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12 Day Cruise
Chilean Fjords & Argentina's Staten Island

Embark into the unknown lands and islands of the southern tip of South America and visit places only now accessible to travelers on this 12-day Chilean fjords cruise. Take in seldom-seen channels, waterfalls and glaciers while searching for wildlife within this rugged, magnificent land.

Special Offer
From $10780USD
Mar Oct Nov
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20 Day Cruise
National Geographic Epic Patagonia

20-day National Geographic Epic Patagonia explores a remote and largely inaccessible maze of channels and islands deep within Chile’s fjords. Hike, kayak and Zodiac with National Geographic photographers and guides aboard the 148-guest Nat Geo Explorer.

Special Offer
From $19950USD
Oct
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Patagonian Explorer – Ushuaia to Punta Arenas

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