Glaciers at the Edge of the World

Chile, Pia Glacier Excursion

6 Days/5 Nights

From $2,590 per person

(Dbl. Occupancy, Not Incl. Airfare)

Select Departures from December to March

Overview

Departing from Punta Arenas, Chile, you will travel along the Beagle Channel to Pia Glacier, Glacier Alley, and Wulaia Bay, where you will learn about the human history of the area. You will then head to Cape Horn National Park, the southernmost point of the continent, where you go ashore. Heading back north, you will appreciate the glaciers descending to the sea from the Darwin Mountain Range and enjoy walks at Aguila Glacier and Ainsworth Bay. The last part of the journey takes you to Magdalena Island, where you will witness an immense colony of Magellanic penguins and many other species. The ship then returns to Punta Arenas.

Lodging and Meals: This tour includes accommodations for 5 nights on the Ventus Australis, and 14 meals (5 breakfasts, 4 lunches, and 5 dinners).

Best Time to Go: December-March.

Destinations: South America, Chile, and Patagonia.

Interests: Adventure, Expedition Cruising, and Wildlife Viewing.

Places Visited: Punta Arenas.

Day-by-Day Itinerary

Day 1: Punta Arenas.

The starting point of the expedition cruise is the port city of Punta Arenas. Here the Ventus Australis lie on the quay and wait to set sail. The boarding will be at 4:15 p.m. For the first evening on board, the departure from the port of Punta Arenas, a first-class dinner and a first introductory lecture to get to know the captain, his crew and the expedition team are planned. Overnight aboard the Ship. (D)

Day 2: Pia Glacier-Glacier Alley.

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. Back onboard Ventus Australis, 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. Overnight aboard the Ship. (B,L,D)

Day 3: Cape Horn-Wulaia Bay.

By early morning, the ship is cruising 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. Sailing back across Nassau Bay, we anchor at fabled 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 Ymana aboriginal settlements, the bay was described by Charles Darwin and sketched by Captain FitzRoy in the 1830s during their voyages on the HMS Beagle. Overnight aboard the Ship. (B,L,D)

Day 4: Aguila Glacier.

Early in the morning, we will sail through the Cockburn Channel and enter Agostini Sound. From there it is possible to see the glaciers that descend from the middle of the Darwin Mountain Range – some of them reaching the water. This morning, we will disembark and go for an easy walk around a lagoon, which was formed by the melting of the Aguila Glacier. We will reach a spot right in front of that glacier with stunning views. Overnight aboard the Ship. (B,L,D)

Day 5: Parry Fjord-Ainsworth Bay.

At dawn we will navigate Parry Fjord. From this area it will be possible to appreciate various glaciers that come down to the sea from the upper icefield. Onboard Zodiac boats, we will motor to the far end of the fjord to see an amphitheatre of glaciers in an area where sometimes it is possible to see leopard seals. In the afternoon, we will navigate our way through Almirantazgo Sound, arriving at Ainsworth Bay which is sited within Alberto De Agostini National Park. It’s the perfect spot from which to see the Marinelli Glacier descending from Darwin Mountain Range in the distance; and to appreciate how the land returns to life after glacial retreat. We will also take a walk to a beaver dam in the stunning sub-polar Magellan Forest. Overnight aboard the ship. (B,L,D)

Day 6: Magdalena Island-Punta Arenas.

After an overnight cruise through Magdalena Channel and back into the Strait of Magellan, we anchor off Magdalena Island, which lies about halfway between Tierra del Fuego and the Chilean mainland. Crowned by a distinctive lighthouse, the island used to be an essential source of supplies for navigators and explorers and is inhabited by an immense colony of Magellanic penguins. At the break of dawn, weather permitting, we go ashore and hike a path that leads through thousands of penguins to a small museum lodged inside the vintage 1902 lighthouse. Many other bird species are also found on the island. After a short cruise south along the strait, disembarkation at Punta Arenas is scheduled for around 12:15 PM. (B)

B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner

Itinerary Map

Route Map - Glaciers at the End of the World

Prices & Dates

Price per Person

CategorySingleDoubleTriple
B Cabins$3,885$2,590$2,590
A Cabins$5,249$3,499$3,499
AA Cabins$5,580$3,720$3,720
AAA Cabins$5,984$3,989n/a
AA Superior Cabins$6,728$4,485n/a
AAA Superior Cabins$7,125$4,750n/a
** The prices shown above are in U.S. Dollars. See the cost of this tour in your currency at xe.com.

Notes:

  1. The above prices are based on High Season departures and are valid through March 15, 2002.
  2. A limited number of triples can be accommodated.

Departure Dates

Cruise High Season: Dec 30, 2021; Jan 4, 9, 14, 19, 24, and 29; Feb 3, 8, 13, 18, 23, and 28; Mar 5, 10, and 15, 2022.

What's Included

Price Includes

  • South American Vacations’ expert pre-departure planning services and documentation.
  • Accommodations on board the M/V Ventus Australis.
  • All meals scheduled on board including alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages (during defined hours).
  • Shore excursions.
  • On-board entertainment.
  • Local, English-speaking tour guides.

Price Does Not Include

  • International airfare.
  • Domestic airfare.
  • Boarding Fees.
  • Port tax in Punta Arenas, Chile ($65).
  • Port Transfers.
  • Hotel nights before/after the cruise.
  • Gratuities to ship crew and guides (suggested $15/passenger/day).
  • Gifts and personal items.
  • Travel insurance.

We will be happy to quote the cost of airfare, hotels, land services, and travel insurance, and to make these arrangements for you.

Accommodations

Patagonia

Additional Details

Group/Private: All services included in this tour are operated on a group basis.

Elevations: N/a.

Passport/Visa: U.S., Australian, Canadian, and EU citizens (except Greece) require a valid passport (for the duration of your visit) and return ticket for stays of up to 90 days. Greek citizens can stay for up to 60 days. Australian, and Canadian citizens are required to pay a reciprocity fee (considered a multiple entry visa) of $95 and $132 respectively upon arrival (subject to change without notice due to currency fluctuations or other reasons). Citizens of other countries are advised to contact the Chilean embassy in their country before traveling.

Travel Insurance: In order to protect your travel investment from unforeseen circumstances that may arise before or during your trip, we strongly recommend that you purchase travel insurance. We offer Allianz Global Assistance’s Classic Comprehensive and other plans. The Benefits and Coverage Limits are summarized on our Travel Insurance page. Call your travel counselor if you have any questions or to purchase a plan.

To Book This Trip: We require a non-refundable deposit of $800 per person plus the cost of the airfare (if we make the arrangements for you).

Have Questions? Call 1-888-268-9753 to Speak to An Expert.