Best Season | Shoulder Season | Low Season | Not Available
Explore Patagonia with that adventurous four-night journey that starts in Ushuaia (Argentina) to Punta Arenas (Chile) via some of planet’s most remote places and incredible sceneries and areas in Patagonia. The Australis Cruise is an amazing cruise expedition to visit the southern channels, fjords, and glaciers in Patagonia, with disembarkation in the mythical Cape Horn, made year by year by passengers from all over the planet.
Discover the wild beauty of the remote area in South America, it´s 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. The last stop is the Isla Magdalena and its boisterous Patagonia penguin colony before docking at Punta Arenas.
Excursions in zodiacs are amazing, led by our guides you will find incredible landscapes! Return to your cabin with all the comfort you need. Enjoy food aboard, with breakfast, lunches, and dinners included. Enjoy the open bar!
During the cruise, you will enjoy some lectures and read more about these remotes areas. It´s a great experience for passengers of all ages, looking for adventure in just a 4-night cruise.
Are you ready to enjoy this incredible cruise expedition aboard the Australis Cruise? Read more information below:
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 ports 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. Passengers say goodbye to the lights of Ushuaia… It´s the beginning of a great experience.
Around the break of dawn, the Australis cruise crosses Nassau Bay and enters the remote archipelago that comprises Cape Horn National Park. Weather and sea conditions permitting, we shall go 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 425-meter (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 (currently awaiting repair after being damaged by fierce winds).
You can enjoy our lecture room, to learn more about these amazing areas in that portion of America. Sailing back across Nassau Bay, we anchor at fabled Wulaia Bay, one of the few places in the archipelago where 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 also 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, passengers have a choice of three hikes (of increasing degrees of difficulty) that ascend the heavily wooded mountain behind the bay. On all of these, you stroll through an enchanted Magellanic forest of lengas, coihues, canelos and ferns to reach panoramic viewpoints overlooking the bay. It´s an amazing great excursion. Return back to the ship and free time to review your amazing day.
Overnight we continue our Patagonia glacier tour around the western end of Tierra del Fuego via the very narrow Gabrial Channel, Magdalena Channel, and Cockburn Channel. After find and rounding the remote Brecknock Peninsula, the Australis ship tacks eastward and enters the Beagle Channel again. By morning we are entering Pia Fjord and boarding the Zodiacs for a shore excursion to Pia Glacier. It´s a great excursion! After disembarking we start a short hike to gain a panoramic view of the spectacular glacier, which extends from the mountaintops down to the sea, or 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 says it was named for Princess Maria Pia of Savoy (1847-1911), daughter of the Italian king.
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 onboard, our captain will point the bow towards the beautiful sky blue Garibaldi Glacier so everyone can enjoy the panoramic view from the upper decks.
Early in the morning, we will sail through the Cockburn Channel and enter Agostini Sound. From there it is possible to see the glaciers that descend from the middle of the Darwin Mountain Range — some of them reaching the water. This morning, we will disembark and go for an easy walk around a lagoon, which was formed by the melting of the Águila Glacier. We will reach 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.
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.
*Camera extension poles are prohibited on Magdalena Island.
After disembarkation, if you continue with an organized tour, transfer to airport in Punta Arenas, or Puerto Natales hotel or Puerto Natales bus station to continue with your itinerary. If you only booked the cruise, end of our services.
USHUAIA EXTENSION PROGRAM!
Ushuaia is the southernmost city in the world. Add this extension and enjoy a 3-night package to visit Tierra del Fuego National Park, the Train of the End of the World, navigate the Beagle Channel, visit the mythical Museo del Presidio, see penguins, visit Fagnano and Escondido Lakes, and much more:
DAY 1 – Arrival to Ushuaia
DAY 2 – Visit to Tierra del Fuego National Park + Train of the End of the World + Beagle Channel Navigation.
DAY 3 – Choose from visit to Fagnano and Escondido, 4×4 ride in Tierra del Fuego Island, Trekking to Laguna Esmeralda and more
DAY 4 – Transfer out. Good bye Ushuaia
PUERTO NATALES EXTENSION
Enjoy one of the must-see in Patagonia, visiting Puerto Natales. Yes, from there you can visit the unique Torres del Paine National Park and enjoy other glaciers in the area.
DAY 1 – Arrival to Puerto Natales!
DAY 2 – Visiting Torres del Paine National Park
DAY 3 – Enjoy a full day boat navigation to Balmaceda and Serrano Glaciers!
DAY 4 – Good bye Puerto Natales…
It`s just a suggested program, we can add or delete nights, and modify activities. If you`re looking for trekkings or a more active program based in trekkings in Torres del Paine, please ask for our 304 tour: Torres del Paine Basic Program.