Antarctica and the Chilean Fjords

Antarctica and the Chilean Fjords

A journey to the most remote continent on Earth is without doubt a trip of a lifetime!

No matter where you have been on previous travels, Antarctica is a totally different experience. On this isolated continent, in the midst of the great white open, you will find nature at its most sublime and haunting.

The awe-inspiring landscapes of Antarctica have remained unchanged since the day man first arrived there. It is the coldest, driest, highest and cleanest continent on Earth. There are no permanent human inhabitants, instead it is home to millions of penguins, seals and birds. You can see shoals of penguins swimming out to sea, torpedo-like leopard seals patrolling the shorelines and singing humpback whale as they acrobatically breach the water. Since the first great explorers raced to the South Pole, Antarctica has always been the place for the most adventurous spirit.

Our journey will be aboard Hurtigruten’s MS Midnatsol, which belongs to the famous Norwegian Coastal Voyage Fleet. Features of the ship include a two-story panorama lounge, different types of restaurants, bars, library, sauna, Jacuzzi, fitness room and amphitheatre for lectures. For this cruise we have all outside cabins with unobstructed views, twin beds and private bathroom with shower. Choose between a “Polar” category (smaller yet comfortable cabins) or the larger “Artic Superior” category.

There will be guided shore expeditions to see wildlife, incredible ice formations and historic sites close up, all aboard special Zodiac craft designed to explore Antarctica and the deep fjords of Chile. We will see the spectacular landscapes and nature of Patagonia, visit Cape Horn and all the highlights of Antarctica. Onboard lectures almost daily will round out this memorable experience.

We finish with a 2-night stay in Chile’s capital – Santiago, which lies scenically at the foot of the Andes Mountain. Included will be a city tour, a wine excursion to Colchagua Valley and a dinner outing with special entertainment.

*** Suitable only for the fit and active traveller.

Tentative Itinerary

Day 1: Departure

We depart for Santiago, capital of Chile.

Day 2: Santiago

We arrive in Santiago and transfer to our hotel. The rest of the day is free until our Welcome Dinner.

Day 3: Punta Arenas / Embarkation

We fly to Punta Arenas in Chile’s spectacular Patagonian region, where we embark our ship and begin our voyage.

Day 4: Chilean Fjords / Tierra Del Fuego

For the next 3 days we will sail though the amazing rugged scenery of the Strait of Magellan, which separates the South American continent from Tierra Del Fuego and the Beagle Channel. Deep fjords and majestic mountains surround us in these remote areas which are almost completely undisturbed by humans. Over time, ice has separated the mountains, leaving isolated islands and hidden bays, thus creating the uniquely beautiful fjord landscape.

Day 5: Chilean Fjords / Tierra Del Fuego

Any nature enthusiast will love exploring the Chilean fjords, Garibaldi Fjord being one of them. Within this fjord lies a beautiful surprise - The Garibaldi Glaciers. The mountains here are steep, and even if there is snow on top of them the region is very green and rich in wildlife. There will be the option to go ashore and perhaps meet some sea lions, Andean condors and several other birds only found here. This evening there will be an Argentinean wine-tasting.

Day 6: Cape Horn / Tierra Del Fuego

Cape Horn is the southernmost point of South America. Before the Panama Canal was built, seafarers had to pass this infamous, rocky island to cross from one ocean to the other. Weather permitting, we will make a landing on Cape Horn.

Day 7: At Sea / Drake Passage

As we cross the famous Drake Passage there will be several lectures on various topics, a tango lesson and other activities.

Days 8 - 12: Antarctica

The next 4 days will be the highlight of our journey as we explore Antarctica. In addition to the penguins and seals, there will be many chances to see whales from up on deck. We will enjoy shore excursions with the Expedition Team, have close encounters with wildlife and glaciers and discover old whaling stations and their relics. We will see the South Shetlands and Cuverville Island - home to one of the largest colonies of chinstrap penguins. Neko Harbour is beautifully located in the innermost part of Andvord Bay and Paradise Harbour, which got its name from the whalers during the last century. Wilhelmina Bay has spectacular scenery and is also known as ‘Whale-mina Bay’, because of the large number of humpback whales spotted here.

Day 13: At Sea

Spend the day listening to lectures, or be on the lookout on deck for whales and intensely colourful ice flows and glaciers.

Day 14: Cape Horn / Chilean Fjords / Puerto Williams

Spotting Cape Horn again means we are back in civilization. In the Beagle Channel we visit Puerto Williams - a small town picturesquely situated between the ocean and the mountains. On our way back to Punta Arenas we sail through the majestic Chilean fjords.

Day 15: Chilean Fjords

We will make one last landing in the Chilean fjords, surrounded by high mountains and glaciers. As this is the last night on board, there will be a celebratory Farewell Dinner.

Day 16: Punta Arenas / Disembarkation / Santiago

We reach Punta Arenas, disembark and transfer to the airport for our flight to Santiago. This evening’s dinner will consist of traditional Chilean fare in an authentic setting, with dance performances from the various regions of Chile.

Day 17: Colchagua Valley / Santiago

We take a tour to Colchagua Valley - one of Chile’s best known wine areas. We will visit the Colchagua Museum and the vineyards of Vina Santa Cruz and Vina Casa Lapostolle, sampling the wines along the way. We will also enjoy a cable car ride and a BBQ lunch before returning to Santiago.

Day 18: Santiago / Departure

Santiago is a city of contrasts with traces of its Colonial past mixed with ultramodern, high-rise buildings. On our guided city tour we see Club Hípico - a beautiful horseracing track located in the city’s oldest residential area, the Parque O’Higgins and Cousiño Palace, built in the 19th century for the wealthy Cousiño family. Then we will drive along the famous Alameda - Santiago’s colourful main avenue, and see Santa Lucia Hill - site of Santiago’s founding in 1541. We also see the Plaza de Armas, the cathedral, the famous Central Market, the bohemian Bellavista District and San Cristóbal Hill for wonderful views of Santiago and the Andes Mountains. After our included lunch we transfer to the airport for our flight home.

Day 19: Home

Morning arrival back in Canada.

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Cost per person: $5197
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