To the Edge of the World:Antarctica & Patagonia
Places visited: Buenos Aires, Antartica, Cabos de Hornos, Punta Arena & Ushuaia
Set course for a once in a lifetime trip to Antarctica & Patagonia back to back adventure and explore the world’s remotest corner from the sea! Get ready for some amazing arctic wildlife viewing as you visit the Gentoo penguin colonies and Blue eye shags breeding grounds, observe leopard seals and Crabeater seals and Whales and spot various other birds and mammals. All excursions are conducted in fast Zodiacs, allowing you to take a close up look at glaciers and wildlife. Travel to the ‘end of the world’ and experience the rugged beauty of Patagonia in Tierra del Fuego. Follow in Darwin’s footsteps with a cruise around Cape Horn and visit remote islands and channels off the most southern tip of Argentina & Chile. WHAT’S INCLUDED:
- International & domestic flights with Aerolineas Argentinas
- All transfers and port taxes
- 1 night accommodation in double room at Legado Mitico Hotel in Buenos Aires
- 4 nights accommodation in double cabin onboard the Antarctica XXI Hebridean Sky Cruise with full board, activities and flight from King George Island (Antarctica) to Punta Arenas (Chile)
- 2 nights accommodation in double room at Cabo de Hornos Hotel in Punta Arenas
- 4 nights accommodation in double cabin onboard the Stella Australis Cruises with full board and activities
- Free use of rubber boots and snowshoes onboard Antarctica XXI and Australis Cruises
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED:
- Meals and drinks other than those mentioned
- Tips and personal expenses
- Travel insurance
- Optional tours and experiences
- Any items not mentioned
Rates from US$ TBA*
Valid until 2019
*Price per person in US$, based on double occupancy, subject to availability and may change without notice. Airfare included. Please read terms and conditions. Insurance is highly recommended. This is an exclusive promotion through Borello Travel & Tours.
Dec 17: Buenos Aires
Upon arrival, transfer to Legado Mitico Buenos Aires Hotel.
Dec 18: Buenos Aires - Ushuaia
At appropriate time, transfer to the airport for your flight to Ushuaia.
Arrival to Ushuaia and transfer to board Antartica Hebridean Sky ship in the afternoon and sail along the Beagle Channel towards Puerto Williams, Chile, the southernmost town in the world. Explore the surroundings before setting sail to Cape Horn.
Dec 19: Cape Horn and Drake Passage
After an overnight crossing of Nassau Bay, you awake in full view of legendary Cape Horn! Weather permitting, board a Zodiac and be one of the few privileged adventurers to step foot on this famous and rarely visited island. Back on board, set sail towards Antarctica and cross the famous passage named in honor of Sir Francis Drake, the great 16th century British explorer.
Dec 20: Drake Passage
As you sail through the Drake Passage en route to King George Island, in the South Shetland Islands, attend an engaging program of lectures and presentations. In the company of expert guides, watch for wildlife from the lounge or from the outside decks. You may spot magnificent sea birds, such as albatrosses and petrels, as well as different species of whales on their way south to Antarctica.
Dec 21: Drake Passage and Antarctica
After crossing the Antarctic Convergence, the environment changes noticeably. Keep your camera ready, as this is the time to watch for the first icebergs and the first sight of Antarctic land. Reaching the South Shetland Islands, sail in ice-filled bays, while enjoying the company of sea birds, penguins, seals and whales. Board a Zodiac for your first memorable shore visit to a penguin colony. Taking advantage of the endless Antarctic daylight, exploration will continue well into the evening.
Dec 22: Antarctica and scheduled return fight
Upon reaching King George Island, disembark at Fildes Bay and explore the area, such as the Chilean Base Frei and the Russian Base Bellingshausen. Bid farewell to Antarctica before boarding the flight back to Punta Arenas, Chile. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel. (Note: Meals in Punta Arenas are at your leisure and not included in the program).
Accommodation at Cabo de Hornos Hotel.
Dec 23: Punta Arenas
Accommodation at Cabo de Hornos Hotel.
Dec 24: Punta Arenas
After breakfast, transfer to the Australis Cruises office.
Check in at 1385 O’Higgins Street (Arturo Prat Port) in Punta Arenas between 13:00 and 17:00 (1-5 PM) on the day of your cruise departure. Board the M/V Stella Australis (6 PM). After a welcoming cocktail reception hosted by the captain and his 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.
Dec 25: Ainsworth Bay - Tuckers Islets
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: one is along the edge of a stream, peat bog and beaver habitat to a waterfall-and-moss-covered rock face tucked deep inside a pristine sub-polar forest; the other is a more strenuous hike along the crest of a glacial moraine. Both afford views of Marinelli Glacier and the Darwin Mountains. Leaving Ainsworth Bay 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. In September and April -- when the penguins live elsewhere -- this excursion is replaced by a short walk to a glacier at nearby stunning Brookes Bay.
Dec 26: Pia Glacier - Glacier Alley
Overnight we sail around the western end of Tierra del Fuego via the very narrow Gabrial Channel, Magdalena Channel and Cockburn Channel. After rounding the remote Brecknock Peninsula, Stella Australis 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. After disembarking we take 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.
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 and Darwin Ice Sheet on the north shore. Most of them named after European countries -- Holland, Italy, Germany, Spain and France.
Dec 27: Wulaia Bay - Cape Horn
During the early morning 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. 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 wooden mountain behind the bay. On all of these 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 – letters or postcards meant to be hand delivered by future travelers – an ancient mariner tradition revived by Australis. In the afternoon 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). 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.
Dec 28: Ushuaia
The following morning we sail into Argentine waters and dock in Ushuaia, the world's southernmost city. Disembarking is scheduled at 8.30 a.m.
END OF SERVICES
Tour descriptions and approximate times are for informational purposes only. Some places described may be substituted and/or approximate times may be subject to change, due to unexpected circumstances or weather conditions.