Chilean Fjord Adventure
Discover the dramatic fjords, glaciers and peaks of southern Chile.
We make our way north through a vast network of deep fjords and channels, occasionally venturing out to the Pacific Ocean as we navigate towards Valparaiso – Chile’s historic deep-sea port.
Length of Travel: 14 days
Itinerary in Brief
We explore our surroundings by Zodiac boat, approaching huge glaciers and observing resident and migratory wildlife and birdlife.
On shore, we enjoy hikes of varying durations to outstanding viewpoints, in the company of expert guides. In addition, visits to small coastal communities showcase the unique way of life of the hardy local inhabitants – telling a story of both indigenous and European settlement.
Day 1 – Ushuaia, Argentina
Day 2 – Garibaldi Fjord and Alberto de Agostino National Park, Chile
Day 3 – Alberto de Agostino National Park and Marinelli Glacier, Chile
Day 4 – Punta Santa Ana, Chile
Day 5 – Southern Patagonia, Chile
Day 6 – Torres del Paine National Park
Day 7 – White Narrows, Chile
Day 8 – Brueggen Glacier and Messier Channel, Chile
Day 9 – Caleta Tortel
Day 10 – Pacific Ocean
Day 11 – Castro & Chiloe Islands, Chile
Day 12 – Mocha Island, Chile
Day 13 – Day at Sea
Day 14 – Valparaíso, Chile
Day 1 - Ushuaia, Argentina
Our journey through Chile’s spectacular fjord region commences this afternoon in Ushuaia (Argentina). Excitement is in the air as we enjoy a welcome cocktail and dinner before casting off, bound for the stunning landscapes of Patagonia, rugged coastal Chile and historic city of Valparaiso.
Day 2 - Garibaldi Fjord and Alberto de Agostino National Park, Chile
During the night we have sailed in a westerly direction along the Beagle Channel, which separates Argentina from neighbouring Chile. This morning we enter Garibaldi Fjord, where two glaciers rise up towards a stunning mountain backdrop. We take to the Zodiacs for the first time and explore them from a safe distance. In the afternoon, we arrive at Alberto de Agostino National Park.
Day 3 - Alberto de Agostino National Park and Marinelli Glacier, Chile
The most famous of Alberto de Agostino National Park’s glaciers is the impressive tidewater Marinelli Glacier. This huge, crevasse-covered ice field spills from the Darwin Mountain range into Ainsworth Bay. From a distance, the glacier can be heard creaking and groaning, and large icebergs that have calved from its face brood silently in the dark waters.
Day 4 - Punta Santa Ana, Chile
This morning we make our way ashore by Zodiac boat to explore the promontory of Punta Santa Ana, where the historic ‘Fuerte Bulnes’ (Fort Bulnes) is located. We explore the grounds and visit the small church, barracks, powder magazine and log cabins.
Day 5 - Southern Patagonia, Chile
Today we cruise north along the rugged Chilean coastline. Forested mountains, snow-capped peaks, waterfalls and glaciers continue for mile after mile.
Day 6 - Torres del Paine National Park
For many, today’s excursion to Torres del Paine National Park is one of the highlights of the trip. This iconic location boasts some of the most stunning mountain scenery in the world, with the celebrated ‘towers’ (from which the park gets its name) looming above the surrounding plateau and glacier-fed lake systems. Powerful waterfalls surge through narrow channels between the lakes, and there are some excellent short hikes to lookouts and viewpoints, providing jaw-dropping views of the immense massif.
Day 7 - White Narrows, Chile
We will the transit of White Narrows – a channel of water just 80 meters wide. No doubt everyone will be on the outer decks as the Captain skillfully steers us through this challenging passage. The Bernal Glacier is a particular highlight and provides a textbook lesson in glaciology, featuring a large moraine, pushed forward by actions of the moving ice.
Day 8 - Brueggen Glacier and Messier Channel, Chile
Navigating into Eyre fjord, the vast sweep of the Brüggen Glacier comes into view. Often called the ‘Pio XI’, at almost 60 kilometres in length it is the largest glacier in the southern hemisphere outside Antarctica. In the afternoon we sail into the Messier Channel that separates continental South America from Wellington Island.
Day 9 - Caleta Tortel
After several days immersed in the glacial systems, fjords and forests, today we visit the small outpost of Caleta Tortel. Situated on a steep escarpment, the village has no roads but is instead connected via a series of wooden walkways that link houses to town services. Most residences have jetties as boats are virtually the only mode of transport.
Day 10 - Pacific Ocean
We continue our journey north, leaving the fjords and entering the Pacific Ocean. We sometimes encounter migrating whales that use the Humboldt current as an oceanic conveyor belt.
Day 11 - Castro & Chiloe Islands, Chile
This morning we are in position close to the town of Castro – the provincial capital of the island of Chiloé. The town was founded in 1567 and is the third oldest city in Chile. We make our way ashore and are immediately struck by the colourful houses built on stilts around the harbour. Known as ‘palafitos’, they are simple homes built by local fisherman. The local markets are a highlight and showcase some of the most impressive crafts and textiles in the country. Reboarding the ship in the afternoon we hug the coastline, hoping to see the snow-capped summits of the numerous volcanoes that characterise this region.
Day 12 - Mocha Island, Chile
Located 35 kilometres off the coast of mainland Chile, the remote outcrop of Mocha Island is an important historic site. Inhabited for centuries by the indigenous Mapuche tribe, Europeans first discovered it in the mid-15th century. The island was frequented by pirates, as well as Sir Francis Drake, and legend has it that more than 100 shipwrecks lie in the surrounding waters. Weather conditions permitting, we head ashore where there are several hiking options. We hope to spot the resident sea lions and may be lucky to encounter whales. The rare Pink-footed shearwater can be also found on the island, nesting in burrows on the forested slopes
Day 13 - Day at sea
As we make our way towards the historic port of Valparaiso, the educational presentations continue and we enjoy an entertaining voyage recap by our Expedition Leader. Join our photography expert in the multimedia room, where you can download and/or back up your precious images. Or spend time outside on the observation decks, in our spacious lounges or on the bridge.
Day 14 - Valparaíso, Chile
This morning we arrive at Valparaiso. A transfer to downtown Santiago, via Santiago Airport, is provided for all guests, however Valparaiso is well worth a day or two of exploration if your schedule allows.