Tailor-Made Holiday

Cruise the Patagonian Fjords

Navigate to the End of the World and amble the cosmopolitan streets of Buenos Aires

10 days

from £3,150pp (excluding flights)
  • Sail through the remote fjords of southern Patagonia, only accessible by boat, searching for penguins, condors, whales and the illusive elephant seal.
  • Follow in the footsteps of Charles Darwin and disembark at the historical site where he stepped off the HMS Beagle.
  • Gaze at isolated glaciers and silently observe penguin colonies as they nest and nurture their chicks from offshore zodiacs.

This cruise is ideal for those who endeavour to be surrounded by stunning natural beauty and wish to visit the remote wilderness of southern Patagonia in the company of on-board expert guides. Navigate through fjords and channels in the shadow of soaring mountains and creaking glaciers, exploring native subpolar forests on foot and searching for signs of resident wildlife.

Why cruise?

This cruise sails to remote regions that are only accessible by boat on an exclusive route. As there are no towns or roads for miles around, a voyage to these Patagonian fjords is a positively isolating experience that allows for almost complete detachment from the rest of the world.

Little critters and great creatures alike gravitate to the splendid coastline and navigable fjords that accompany this vast and secluded region. Entire colonies of native Magellanic penguins toddle on the shore while elephant seals, dolphins and multiple species of whales frolic in the iridescent ocean.

Pre and post cruise

From your starting point in the valley city of Santiago, travel past the snow-capped Andes to a classic Chilean winery. Chile is one of the largest wine-producing countries in the world, and the grapes grown in the Maipo Valley are favourably influenced by the surrounding mountains. In particular, the considerable fluctuation in temperatures that is brought about by the chilly night and balmy days produces a characteristically refined and bold Cabernet Sauvignon.

Following the leisurely cruise through the fjords of southern Patagonia, experience the liveliness and grandeur of Buenos Aires. Wander the lively streets, lined with magnificent Neoclassical architecture, pausing only to observe live tango shows, listen to live jazz or sample hot empanadas and sweet alfajores.

Unique experiences

Not only is this region solely accessible by boat, but furthermore the Stella Australis is the only cruise vessel that navigates through these fjords. Occasionally a small sailboat may punctuate the panoramic landscape, but the only other traces of humanity are brought here on the Stella Australis.

Disengaging with civilisation is a condition of carriage as the ship is deliberately and proudly constructed without Wi-Fi capabilities. As such, a voyage on the Stella Australis feels truly cut off from the rest of the world.

Observe the unfolding ocean views through large picture windows from the warmth of indoors, or hop up in cold-weather clothing and board a zodiac boat to venture out in to the untamed wilderness. Those interested in learning about the fascinating human history of the indigenous Yámana aboriginal settlements will appreciate the little Stella Australis-sponsored museum located in in the old radio station at historic Wulaia Bay.

Experience nature at its purest, observing idle glaciers in almost complete isolation. The on-board guides, many native to Chilean Patagonia, are fond of momentarily powering down their radio equipment and encouraging a moment of complete silence while observing these huge masses of dense ice.

What is given back?

Preservation of environment takes precedence here, and the Stella Australis works closely with the Chilean government and independent environmental bodies to safeguard the area. As this boat is the only regular traverser of these Patagonian fjords, its crew have been trained by CEQUA to collect samples, record iceberg formations and examine the flora and fauna of the place. This data is then delivered to scientists in Punta Arenas on a weekly basis to aid with their important research programmes.

Sustainability

The Stella Australis is mindful never to abandon waste in these pristine oceans, and so they are committed to recycling at their own plant in Ushuaia. You won’t find plastic water bottles on board, as instead guests are encouraged to fill provided flasks with hot and cold water from the dispensers that line the decks.

Guides

From marine scientists to anthropologists, mountaineers to photographers and engineers to sailors, the guides that accompany a voyage on the Stella Australis are a diverse group of passionate and knowledgeable experts on Patagonia and the wildlife of the region.

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Price Excluding Flights £Flight cost from 
£ 3150 £ 950

Itinerary at a glance

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Day 1

Day at leisure in Santiago


Santiago de Chile enjoys a striking setting sandwiched between The Andes and the Pacific Ocean. It is a modern, cosmopolitan capital city with much to keep the discerning traveller occupied.

Cable car rides offer panoramic views, while art museums both classic and modern vie for your attention. As a modern city, it is easy to explore and any visitor will delight in wandering the bohemian district of Lastarria, home to high quality boutiques and restaurants.

Readily accessible from the city are horse riding, white water rafting or skiing excursions and the region's much celebrated vineyards.


You will be staying at Hotel Orly, bed and breakfast

Day 2

Travel from Santiago to the Maipo Valley Winelands


The drive from Santiago to Maipo Valley will take apporximately one hour.


Casa Real Activities
There is plenty to do while staying at Casa Real. There are a variety of interesting walks around the estate or bikes are available, take a visit to the fascinating Andean Museum, that contains over 1800 pieces of pre-Colombian art. Casa Real is surrounded by beautifully well-kept English style gardens with an outdoor pool, the perfect place to relax. Go for a tour of the estate which includes learning the history of the winery, guided by a local expert and the tour ends with wine tasting.

It is possible to eat at Casa Real Hotel, during the day the restaurant beside the vineyard is open or you can enjoy a beautifully prepared picnic.


You will be staying at Casa Real, full board

Day 3

Maipo Valley to Santiago


The drive from Maipo Valley to Santiago will take approximately one hour.

Fly Santiago to Punta Arenas


Situated at the foot of The Andes with striking views across the Straits of Magellan to Tierra Del Fuego, Punta Arenas is Patagonia's liveliest and most interesting city. Made rich by the wool boom following the importation of sheep from The Falklands in the 19th century, vestiges of the town's heyday remain today in the form of fine colonial architecture and interesting history. The town itself is compact with everything within walkable distance. A visit to the extraordinary Palacio Sara Braun and the manicured cemetery are strongly recommended.


You will be staying at Hotel Cabo de Hornos, bed and breakfast

Day 4

Punta Arenas
Arrive at the Arturo Prat Port in Punta Arenas between 13:00 and 17:00 to check in before boarding the M/V Stella Australis at 18:00. After a welcome toast and an introduction to the captain and crew, depart Punta Arenas and sail towards the Whiteside Canal between Darwin Island and Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego. During the night, the ship crosses the Strait of Magellan and the labyrinth of channels which define the southern extreme of Patagonian.


You will be staying at Stella Australis, full board

Day 5

Ainsworth Bay and Tuckers Islets
Take in the views this morning as the ship sails up Admiralty Sound, a branch of the Strait of Magellan that stretches nearly halfway across Tierra del Fuego. The snow-capped peaks of Karukinka Natural Park stretch along the north side of Admiralty Sound, while the south shore is defined by the deep fjords and broad bays of Alberto de Agostini National Park. Go ashore at Ainsworth Bay and look out for the copious bird life and the colony of southern elephant seals which can sometimes be spotted from the Zodiacs.

This morning, join one of two guided excursions which both afford views of Marinelli Glacier and the Darwin Mountains. Travel along streams, bogs and beaver habitats to a moss-covered waterfall inside a pristine sub-polar forest or take a more strenuous hike along the crest of a glacial moraine.

Leave Ainsworth Bay behind and sail west along the Admiralty Sound to the Tucker Islets. Board a Zodiac after lunch and navigate towards the tiny islands nearby, from where it is possible to get a close-up view of the Magellan penguins that inhabit them. More than 4,000 penguins use the Tucker Islets as a place to nest, give birth and nurture their chicks. Look out for the many other bird species that frequent this 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 the nearby Brookes Bay.

During the night, the ship sails around the western tip of Tierra del Fuego via the narrow Gabrial, Magdalena and Cockburn Channels. After rounding the remote Brecknock Peninsula, Stella Australis heads eastward and enters the Beagle Channel.


You will be staying at Stella Australis, full board

Day 6

Pia Glacier and Glacier Alley
This morning, enter Pia Fjord and board the Zodiacs for a shore excursion to Pia Glacier. After disembarking, choose to either take a short hike to gain a panoramic view of the glacier, which extends from the mountaintops down to the sea, or join a longer and much more difficult hike up a lateral moraine (rock deposits released by melting glacial ice) of the old Pia Glacier.

Head back to the ship and continue sailing east along the Beagle Channel through an area called Glacier Alley, a passage that features impressive tidewater glaciers which flow down from the Darwin Mountains and Darwin Ice Sheet on the north shore.


You will be staying at Stella Australis, full board

Day 7

Wulaia Bay and Cape Horn
During the early morning, navigate the narrow Murray Channel between the Navarino Island and Hoste Island before dropping anchor at the 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 1830's during their voyages on the HMS Beagle. This area is also renowned for its mesmerizing beauty and dramatic geography.

After a visit to the museum in the old radio station, choose from one of three hikes (of increasing degrees of difficulty) which ascend the mountain behind the bay. Each hiking trails begins in a forest of lengas, coigues, canelos, ferns, and other endemic fauna before reaching a panoramic viewpoint overlooking the bay. Before leaving Wulaia Bay take part in an ancient mariner tradition by drop a letter or postcard into the wooden mail barrel inside the museum.

This afternoon, cruise across Nassau Bay into the remote archipelago that includes Cape Horn National Park. Weather and sea conditions permitting, go ashore on the windswept island that harbours the legendary Cape Horn. Discovered in 1616 by a Dutch maritime expedition, and named after the town of Hoorn in West Friesland, Cape Horn is a sheer 425-metre-high rocky promontory that overlooks 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".


You will be staying at Stella Australis, full board

Day 8

Disembark in Ushuaia
Arrive and disembark in Ushuaia between 08:30 and 09:30. Acknowledged as the southernmost city in the world, Ushuaia was founded in 1884 and was one of the original points of encounter between the Yamana and Anglican cultures. It is surrounded by the last high peaks of the Andes and is one of the largest cities on Tierra del Fuego Island.

Fly Ushuaia to Buenos Aires


Known as 'The Paris of Latin America', Buenos Aires is quite simply one of the world's greatest cosmopolitan cities. World class museums and leading restaurants jostle for space with boutique shops and antique markets, and the colonial architecture and cobbled streets of San Telmo contrast with the modern lines and waterfront designs of up and coming Puerto Madero. It is a city with a colourful and fascinating history, which has given rise to a variety of neighbourhoods from the uber trendy Palermo Soho to the bohemian charm of La Boca, the birth place of tango.


You will be staying at Pulitzer, bed and breakfast

Day 9

Day at Leisure with Optional Sightseeing
Free day to explore Buenos Aires. Here are some of the best ways to spend your time in this vibrant city:-

" Learn to tango in one of the city's famous milongas (dance halls)

" Linger over a martini in the opulent surroundings of the Alvear Palaces lobby bar

" Watch a game of polo involving some of the world's leading players

" Check out the trendy bar and restaurant scene in hip Palermo Viejo

" Explore the riverside suburb of Tigre and cruise the waterways of the Delta

" Experience gaucho culture and traditional rural life on a Pampas estancia

" Make a day trip by ferry across the Plata River to explore the charming UNESCO town of Colonia in Uruguay


You will be staying at Pulitzer, bed and breakfast

Day 10

Day at leisure in Buenos Aires

Accommodation

Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.

Hotel Orly

Hotel Orly

Hotel Orly has 26 rooms, all tastefully decorated with country manor furnishings, pine floors and wooden windows....

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Stella Australis

Stella Australis

Stella Australis was launched in 2010 having been specifically designed to cruise the waters of the Tierra del Fuego archipelago....

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Casa Real

Casa Real

Located on renowned vineyard, Vina Santa Rita, Casa Real is the original estate home which was converted into a boutique hotel in the late 1990's....

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For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

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For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

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