(5 days / 4 nights)
M/V Via Australis - Different Days
M/V Stella Australis - Saturday to Wednesday
Check-in and embarkation. The Captain and crew give a welcome cocktail reception on board. Immediately afterwards the ship departs for the utmost part of the world. Our excursion will take us through the Strait of Magellan and the Beagle Channel to explore one of the most breathtaking wilderness regions in the world: Southern Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego.
At dawn, we continue the navigation through Almirantazgo Sound until we finally arrive near Marinelli Glacier in Ainsworth Bay, where we will enjoy a walk to a beaver dam hidden in the midst of a marvelous Magellan forest. Beavers are not native to these parts but were imported for 'cultivation' in order to obtain their meat and fur. However, as is so often the case, with no natural predators they quickly increased in numbers and have caused considerable damage to the native forest. On the beach we may observe a colony of elephant seals before we make our way to Tucker Islet, where we view colonies of Magellan Penguins and Cormorants from the Zodiac boats. The islet's penguins migrate in April; at that time the excursion is replaced with a visit to Brookes Bay for a short walk to see a glacier.
We will navigate through the main part of Beagle Channel to reach Pia Bay, where we disembark near Pia Glacier. We will take a short hike to a lookout point with a spectacular view of the entire glacier tongue, stretching from high up in the mountains all the way down to the sea. After this unforgettable sight we will continue sailing along the northwestern arm of the Beagle Channel through the majestic 'Glacier Alley' passing Spain, Romanche, Germany, Italy, France and Holland Glaciers along the way.
We will sail through the Beagle and Murray channels to reach Cape Horn National Park (weather permitting). Cape Horn, on Hornos Island, is a sheer 425m (1,394 ft) high rocky promontory at the meeting point of the Atlantic and the Pacific ocean. This fabled place is known as the 'end of the world' and a visit is a singular privilege. The park was declared a World Biosphere Reserve by the UNESCO in June 2005. In the afternoon, we will go ashore in historic Wulaia Bay, once the site of one of the region's largest native settlements. This area is also renowned for the mesmerizing beauty of its vegetation and geography. Walking through Magellan forest of Lengas, Coigües, Canelos, ferns and other native vegetation, we will reach a lookout point.
Arrival at Ushuaia, Argentina's most important city in Tierra del Fuego, and the southernmost city of the world. We disembark after an early breakfast, so you can get an early start and visit the city and national parks, and to continue your trip through Patagonia.