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For those who dream of sailing around Cape Horn.
Australis, an expedition cruise company in the Austral fjords for 26 years, invites you to explore the wonders of the Patagonia channels and to navigate the principle places of interest of Tierra del Fuego, the Strait of Magellan, the Beagle Channel and Cape Horn.
This cruise from Punta Arenas in Ushuaia (or inversely), navigating channels of a rare beauty interspersed with landings and dinghy outings on a daily basis, lets you discover these untouched areas and impressive topography, marked by imposing glaciers, primary forest and an exotic flora and fauna. All debarcations are accompanied by expert guides in geography, glaciology and regional flora and fauna.
Australis also offers onboard cuisine of an international level and operates with an “all-in” menu, which also covers breakfast with a thematic buffet and à la carte diners. During the cruise, passengers dispose of a library with selected books on flora, fauna and the zone’s history, board games and other onboard activities.
Ushuaia or Punta Arenas
Vast lounges, a relaxing atmosphere, spacious cabins and spectacular views from all of the ship’s vantage points as well as from the gym located on the upper deck. This impressive ship, specially designed to navigate the Austral Channels, is the ideal alternative to take in the beauty of Patagonia.
Check in at 1398 Costanera del Estrecho Ave. (Arturo Prat Port) in Punta Arenas between 13:00 and 17:00 (1-5 PM) on the day of your departure.
Board the vessel at 6 PM. After a welcoming toast and introduction of captain and crew, the ship departs for one of the remotest corners of planet Earth. During the night we cross the Strait of Magellan and enter the labyrinth of channels that define the southern extreme of Patagonian. The twinkling lights of Punta Arenas gradually fade into the distance as we enter the Whiteside Canal between Darwin Island and Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego.
By dawn the ship is sailing up Admiralty Sound (Seno Almirantazgo), a spectacular offshoot of the Strait of Magellan that stretches nearly halfway across Tierra del Fuego. The snowcapped peaks of Karukinka Natural Park stretch along the north side of the sound, while the south shore is defined by the deep fjords and broad bays of Alberto de Agostini National Park. We go ashore at Ainsworth Bay, which harbors copious bird life and a colony of southern elephant seals which can sometimes be spotted from the Zodiacs. Two guided excursions are available. Both afford views of Marinelli Glacier and the Darwin Mountains.
Leaving our Ainsworth Bay tour behind, we sail west along the sound to the Tucker Islets. After lunch, we board the Zodiacs again for a close-up view of the Magellan penguins that inhabit the tiny islands. More than 4,000 penguins use Tucker as a place to nest, give birth and nurture their chicks. Many other bird species also frequent the area including king cormorants, oystercatchers, Chilean skuas, kelp geese, dolphin gulls, eagles and even the occasional Andean condor.
Overnight we sail around the western end of Tierra del Fuego via the very narrow Gabrial Channel. After rounding the remote Brecknock Peninsula, the Australis cruise tacks eastward and enters the Beagle Channel again. By morning we are entering Pia Fjord and boarding the Zodiacs for a Pia Glacier tour.
Back onboard the ship, we continue east along the Beagle Channel through an area called Glacier Alley. Living up to its name, the passage features a number of impressive tidewater glaciers flowing down from the Darwin Mountains.
During the morning we cruise across Nassau Bay into the remote archipelago that includes 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). 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.
In the afternoon we navigate the narrow Murray Channel between Navarino and Hoste islands and drop anchor at historic 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 the HMS Beagle. With a choice of three hikes you will be strolling through an enchanted Magellan forest of lengas, coigües, canelos, ferns, and other endemic fauna to reach a panoramic viewpoint overlooking the bay. Before leaving Wulaia Bay, drop something into the wooden mail barrel inside the museum, an ancient mariner tradition revived by Australis.
The following morning we sail into Argentine waters and dock in Ushuaia, the world’s southernmost city.
Arrival at 08:30 a.m. and 9:30 am according to date of departure.