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Sail the legendary Beagle Channel and marvel at the snow-covered peaks of rugged Patagonia!
14 Nights from $ Per Person
Sail the legendary Beagle Channel and marvel at the snow-covered peaks of rugged Patagonia. Zodiac-cruise through fjords flanked by glaciers and watch as the captain skillfully navigates narrow channels while you keep watch for acrobatic dolphins, penguins and seals. Spend two days hiking and exploring in Torres del Paine National Park, renowned for its majestic granite towers and jaw-dropping landscapes. Join us on a journey exploring the fjords and coast of southern Chile and discover why Chile was voted best adventure destination in South America for three consecutive years at the World Travel Awards.
On our new purpose-built ship, the Sylvia Earle, connect with like-minded travellers in a meaningful way on perspective-altering voyages to some of the most remote, unique and spectacular places on the planet.
The Sylvia Earle is a floating ambassador for the conservation of the planet. Paying tribute to Dr. Sylvia Earle and six pioneering conservationists with public decks honouring their contributions and shining a light on their important conservation causes.
Certified 100% Climate Neutral, with a fully equipped Citizen Science Centre, expert lectures and participative Citizen science programs, to enrich your knowledge and connection to the places we travel to.
The Sylvia Earle is a comfortable base camp for adventure. With a maximum of 132 expeditioners, our aim is to get you off ship experiencing the natural environment as much as possible and our smaller groups also mean we can tread lightly, making a positive impact to the environment.
Each of the vessel’s public decks bear the names of six pioneering female conservationists – Dr. Carden Wallace AM, Joanna Ruxton, Sharon Kwok, Bernadette Demientieff, Dr. Asha de Vos and Hanli Prinsloo – along with a deck dedicated to Dr. Earle herself. The scientists are inspiring leaders in their fields, and as part of the deck theming, will educate our expeditioners on the impressive and important conservation work they continue to do.
Your Fly, Stay & Cruise Package Includes:
Rate is per person twin share and based on travel 05-19 April 2024
Solo traveller pricing available, speak with your travel consultant
Day 1 Arrive Ushuaia
Arrive in Ushuaia, where you will be met by a representative of Aurora Expeditions and transferred to our group hotel. Upon arrival at your included hotel, please visit the Aurora Expeditions hospitality desk to collect your luggage cabin tags and to speak with our ground operations team, who may have information to share with you about pre-embarkation or to provide you with information about where to dine, withdraw cash or purchase last minute items from a local pharmacy or supermarket.
The remainder of your time is at leisure. All meals today are at your own expense.
Accommodation: Las Hayas Hotel or Los Acebos Hotel
Day 2 Embarkation Day
This morning, enjoy breakfast and check-out. Please ensure your cabin luggage is fitted with cabin tags clearly labelled with your name and cabin number. Take your cabin luggage to hotel reception, prior to, or at check-out. Your luggage will be stored and transferred directly to the port for clearance, to be placed in your cabin ahead of your arrival on board. Please keep any valuables or personal items with you throughout the day.
Your morning is at leisure to explore Ushuaia.
Those wishing to join our afternoon catamaran cruise, meet back at the hotel lobby at 12.45 pm ready to transfer to the port at 1.00 pm. Here we board our catamaran and sail the Beagle Channel, towards the city’s iconic Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse. Crossing the Bridges Archipelago we’ll slow down to watch colonies of sea lions and imperial cormorants sun themselves on the rocky outcrops, while gulls, rock cormorants, skuas, petrels, albatrosses and cauquenes are often sighted. Our cruise offers panoramic views of the city and the surrounding mountain range, in addition to hearing tales of the people and communities of the region.
Alternatively, enjoy your day at leisure and meet at your hotel lobby at 3.45 pm to be transferred to the pier for embarkation.
Once onboard, you’ll have time to settle into your cabin before our important mandatory briefings. As the ship pulls away from port, we’ll gather on the deck to commence our adventure with spectacular views over Ushuaia and Tierra del Fuego.
This evening get to know your fellow expeditioners and friendly expedition team and crew at a welcome dinner to celebrate the start of a thrilling adventure to Antarctica.
Day 3 Cape Horn
Located on Hornos Island in the Tierra del Fuego archipelago lies Cape Horn, near the southernmost point in South America. Until the opening of the Panama Canal in 1914, ships had to sail round Cape Horn to travel between the east and west coast of South America—a hazardous endeavour due to the strong winds and current, large powerful waves and occasional icebergs. These days, Cape Horn attracts adventurous travellers—mostly from expedition cruise ships, who go ashore and hike to the landmark lighthouse known as ‘Stella Maris Chapel.’ At the top of the hill, you can enjoy panoramic views of where the Pacific and Atlantic oceans meet and feel the incredible power of nature as these two mighty oceans squeeze through the Drake Passage.
Days 4-5 Beagle Channel & Glacier Alley
As we re-enter the Beagle Channel, an important waterway that allowed ships to avoid the notoriously rough waters around Cape Horn, we follow the route that a young Charles Darwin took on board the famous HMS Beagle back in 1831, a five-year expedition that forever changed his life and which led him to develop his seminal theory of evolution.
Sailing west past Ushuaia, you travel through a dazzling stretch of the 240-kilometre (150 mile) long Beagle Channel called Glacier Alley or ‘Avenue of the Glaciers’ as it’s more elegantly known. You will marvel at this string of tidewater glaciers pushing down to the edge of the sea from the enormous Darwin Ice Field. Surrounded by snow-capped peaks, most of the glaciers were named after European countries or the explorers who discovered them: Holland, Italy, Romanche, Spain, Garibaldi. Weather permitting, we’ll board our Zodiacs for a closer look at the impressive Romanche Glacier. Even if fog obscures the view, the sound of the cracking ice as it calves into the water is sure to impress. Apart from the spectacular scenery, Glacier Alley offers opportunities to spot wildlife such as penguin rookeries and South American fur seals.
Day 6 Francisco Coloane Marine Reserve
Established in 2003 as Chile’s first marine reserve, Francisco Coloane was the first known feeding ground for humpback whales along the Pacific coast of South America. The park honours Francisco Coloane, a celebrated Chilean author who wrote many stories of ocean adventures about Patagonia and Antarctica. Coloane was himself an adventurer, explorer and son of a whaler. Around the southern area of Santa Ines Island, surrounded by spectacular views including the tidewater glacier pushing down the rugged mountainous island, we spend time kayaking and Zodiac cruising, getting a close look at Magellanic penguins, imperial cormorants, flightless steamer ducks, and southern fur seals. Around Carlos III Island, a known feeding ground for the humpback whales, we hope to see the majestic creatures from the comfort of our ship, or if conditions permit, from our kayaks or Zodiacs.
Day 7 Chilean Fjord, White Narrows
As we venture north, we enter one of the many channels and fjords of Patagonian Chile. Be prepared to experience wild weather. The fjords and islands of Chilean Patagonia take the brunt of the prevailing westerlies that blow across the southern seas, and here, the wind can blow almost constantly, and rain and snow can fall all year round. We may sail through Montañas Fjord, a long fjord flanked by rugged mountains and a number of glaciers including Herman, Bernal, and Paredes.
At low tide this evening, we cross the White Narrows – a narrow channel of water approximately 80 metres wide. Find a spot on one of our many observation areas and appreciate the masterful skills of our Captain as they navigate us through this difficult channel. At the heart of Chilean Patagonia lies Bernardo O'Higgins National Park. More than 320 kilometres (200 miles) from one end to the other, the park encompasses Patagonia's Southern Ice Field, which in combination with its northern counterpart forms one of the largest expanses of glacial ice outside the Polar Regions.
Days 8-9 Puerto Natales / Torres del Paine National Park, Kirke Narrows
Puerto Natales is the gateway to Torres del Paine National Park, world-renowned for its granite towers, which give the park its name. These gigantic spires were carved by glacial ice and upon entering the park, you will see a series of lakes with intense colours, mountains covered in ice, and an array of local fauna. In Patagonia, you will feel the immensity of nature and delight in feeling completely insignificant in its presence. The jaw-dropping landscapes of turquoise waters, glaciers and towering granite horns of the Torres del Paine National Park is a humbling experience.
You will have two days to experience the wonders of Torres del Paine National Park on various hikes suited to your fitness level. You will pass several estancias (ranches) en route to the national park, and you will witness the landscape change from a steppe eco-region to deciduous forest. Along the way, pause amongst the mountains to admire views of the lakes called Amarga, Sarmiento, and Nordenskjold, and Salto Grande. You may be able to see some of the local fauna, including many species of birds including the majestic condor. Look out for foxes, huemul (Andean deer) and guanacos, which are wild camelids related to the llama. The reclusive difficult-to-spot puma has also been seen inside the national park where authorities are happy to report a healthy growing population.
We spend the night at a comfortable hotel located just outside of the national park offering superb mountain and river views. Here you will enjoy local cuisine and Chilean wine and hear about the various hiking options available to you and suited to your individual interests and fitness level. On the afternoon of your second day in Torres del Paine National, you will be transported back to the vessel in time for dinner, swapping stories on the drive back, of your exploration of the park.
Later this evening, enjoy the crossing of the Kirke Narrows. From the observation areas and perhaps from the bridge, it’s an ideal opportunity to watch the scenery unfold as you sail through this beautiful channel. Enjoy informative and entertaining presentations from our hand-selected expedition team, who will bring to life the natural environment, wildlife, culture and history of the places you’ll be experiencing.
Days 10-11 PIO XI Glacier, Puerto Eden
This afternoon, a maze of fjords ultimately leads us to the entrance of Pío XI, named in honour of Pope Pius XI by Father Alberto de Agostini, an Italian missionary and explorer, who in 1931 was the first person to cross the Southern Ice Field. Of the 48 glaciers in the Southern Ice Field, nearly all are retreating, except Pío XI. Scientists have not been able to explain exactly why it has advanced so far and so fast over the past 80 years. In any case, Pío XI Glacier is an anomaly in a world where nearly all glaciers are retreating and being able to see it up close is a privilege. We head to Puerto Eden on our journey northwards, navigating more challenging passages including Paso del Abismo, a very narrow and spectacular channel where you can continue to enjoy remarkable scenery.
Located on the east coast of Wellington Island, inside Bernardo O'Higgins National Park, Puerto Eden is a tiny fishing village connected by intricate canals, imposing mountains, icefields, and is considered one of Chile's most isolated inhabited places. The village is known for being the home to approximately 25 Kawésqar indigenous inhabitants – roughly 10% of the population of the village. The village is connected by beautiful timber boardwalks called ‘pasarelas’. Kawésqar are traditionally nomadic sea people and it comes as no surprise that the main economic activity is fishing - mussels being a local speciality. Known for their excellent craftsmanship for canoe-making and basketry, local handicrafts are also a speciality, and you’ll have ample opportunity to meet the locals and to purchase locally made handicrafts directly from them. You’ll enjoy exploring the picturesque boardwalks over the maze of canals, meeting the friendly locals, and soaking in the tranquil natural beauty of this isolated hamlet.
Day 12 Chilean Fjords
Leaving Puerto Eden behind, we re-enter the channels for a few days navigating our way through Patagonia’s maze of fjords towards Chiloé. Our team of experts will continue to deliver informative and entertaining presentations in the lecture theatre or, you may choose to enjoy a book from our library or stay active in the fitness centre.
Spend time on the decks to scan for whales, dolphins and seabirds, while admiring the beautiful landscapes of the maze of channels and islands around. We will be sailing along part of the 145 km / 90-mile long Moraleda Channel, which separates the mainland from the huge archipelagos of Chonos and Guaitecas. To the east we will see magnificent Andes peaks such as the Mentolat, Melimoyu and the Maca volcanoes. We will be scanning the waters for the occasional presence of pods of killer whale that predate on the numerous South American sea lion colonies located along the coast and forested islands.
Day 13 Corcovado Gulf, Tic Toc Bay
Spend the morning exploring the delightful and impressive coastline of Tic Toc Bay – either ship cruising or perhaps by Zodiac and kayak. This whole area has been recently recognised as one of the few marine parks of Chile famous not only for the seasonal presence of blue whales but also for the rich array of other cetaceans, marine mammals, and seabirds. In the Corcovado Gulf, you will enjoy spotting a good variety of seabirds including black-browed albatross, southern giant petrel, southern fulmar and long-distant migrants such as the migratory Arctic skua.
Continue to keep watch for whales in the Corcovado Gulf as we sail into Chiloé, an archipelago of lush islands, a land of myths and legends, unique folklore and culinary traditions. It’s a region blessed with natural beauty and culture, cherished by Chileans. Explore this mythical island with its colourful timber churches, sixteen of which have been declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.
Day 14 Castro, Chonchi
Continue to Castro, the charming capital of Chiloé region. Here you have a choice of one of two shore excursion options.
This evening, enjoy Captain’s Cocktail Party and Farewell Dinner to celebrate the end of a memorable adventure in this magical part of the world.
Day 15 Puerto Montt
Our voyage ends In Puerto Montt. Farewell your expedition team and fellow adventurers before transferring to the airport for your onward travels.
*Conditions apply. Subject to availability and change without notice. Prices listed are in Australian Dollars, based on twin occupancy/travel, unless otherwise stated. Prices/Offers are correct at the time of distribution. Full travel supplier booking conditions apply.
Prices listed are per person in Australian Dollars, based on twin occupancy, including all discounts unless otherwise stated. The offer is subject to availability at time of booking and shown on the lowest cabin category available at the time. Fares are capacity controlled and are subject to change at any time without notice. Prices/Offers are correct as at 19 December 2023 and can be withdrawn without notice. Cabin categories include prepaid government fees and port taxes unless otherwise stated. Hotels may charge resort fees not included in this package, payable direct upon check in. Visas are not included. Payments made by credit card will incur a surcharge. Air credit is applicable on airline of choice, subject to availability and subject to the carriers’ flight schedules and conditions.
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