Antarctica, Patagonia & Chilean Fjords 20 daysAboard: MS Fram
This fantastic Southern expedition offers the chance to sail across the famous Drake Passage to discover Antarctica, an outstanding part of the world that needs little introduction, before sailing through the stunning Chilean fjords region where snow-tipped volcanoes, beautiful lakes, raging rivers and lush vegetation combine to create some of the world’s most fascinating landscapes. With an exploration of the truly remarkable Torres del Paine National Park and an attempt to land at Cape Horn in between, this unique itinerary will certainly be one to remember. Accompanied by your experienced and highly knowledgeable expedition team you can enjoy remarkable wildlife encounters, adventures and breathtaking scenery at every turn.
- Experience the Chilean fjords, Patagonia and Antarctica in one fantastic voyage
- Sail through the exceptionally scenic Chilean Fjords
- Step foot on the Antarctic continent
- Discover one of the world's most impressive national parks
- Spectacular and contrasting scenery throughout including glaciers, icebergs & towering cliffs
- Land and marine wildlife and myriad birds including thousands of penguins
- Exciting Zodiac landings and excursions
- Informative lecture programme
- Kayaking options
- Full board accommodation on board ship
- One night pre-voyage hotel stay in Buenos Aires with breakfast
- Economy flight Buenos Aires to Ushuaia
- Transfers from airport to ship in Ushuaia
- Wind and water-resistant jacket
- Landings with small boats and activities on board and ashore
- Professional English-speaking Expedition team that provides lectures as well as accompanying landings and activities
- Free tea and coffee
So much to experience
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Your exciting Southern exploration voyage begins in Buenos Aires, where after having arrived independently you can make your way to your hotel for your included overnight stay. Today you will have time to explore this exciting and diverse capital city before enjoying a good night’s rest in preparation for the adventures that lie ahead.
Buenos Aires to Ushuaia
After an early breakfast at the hotel we will make our way to the airport for our included flight to Ushuaia. Upon arrival in Ushuaia you can enjoy some time exploring the city or joining an optional excursion to Tierra del Fuego National Park before we making your way to the port to board your polar expedition vessel. After settling into your comfortable cabin and exploring your new surroundings we recommend spending some time on deck watching as this southernmost city fades into the distance and we leave civilisation behind.
At Sea - Drake Passage
Having traversed the scenic Beagle Channel we will venture into the famous Drake Passage for a 1 ½ to 2 days crossing to Antarctica. This unpredictable massive churn of water can often give us a rocky crossing but your first class Polar expedition vessel has been designed to cope comfortably with crossings exactly like these. Whilst at sea you can enjoy the informative and entertaining lecture and presentation programme delivered by your team of onboard experts, spend time on deck watching for seabirds and whales following the ship, or simply relax in one of the comfortable lounges and prepare for your time on the white continent. The first sightings of icebergs on the horizon will signal our arrival in the magical lands of Antarctica.
Today we have reached one of the most remote areas on earth…Antarctica! We will spend our days here exploring by small boat and on foot to get up close to this land of superlatives that will without doubt take your breath away. As you set foot on the endless expanse of snow and ice it is not uncommon to feel a sense of euphoria as you discover a land where few have been and experience unforgettable scenery and wildlife encounters. Throughout your time here you are likely to see thousands of penguins along with numerous seals, whales and seabirds, all set amongst the most picture perfect landscapes you could imagine.
Any expedition to Antarctica requires an element of flexibility as ice and sea conditions can often dictate the routes taken, and your captain will choose each day the best route to take to ensure you experience everything that this amazing region has to offer, with each day offering a new and exciting experience. Areas we expect to visit on the Peninsula itself include Cuverville Island to see one of the largest known colonies of Gentoo penguins, the aptly named Paradise Bay and beautifully scenic Neko Harbour. For whale spotting we will visit Wilhelmina Bay, often called “Whale-mina Bay”, because of the large number of humpback whales that are often spotted here. We will also stop at the often mist-shrouded volcanic islands of the South Shetland Islands group, and make sure to have your cameras ready as we visit the staggeringly photogenic Half Moon Island, home to the most beautiful Antarctic scenery imaginable, and Yankee Harbour to visit another large colony of Gentoo penguins. We also plan to sail into the Antarctic Sound to visit Brown Bluff. Each day will bring a new adventure and focus, with planned activities designed to ensure every moment is memorable.
Antarctica has been outlined in the Antarctic Treaty as being a continent dedicated to peace, science and tourism, and as such we will be adhering throughout to strict environmental guidelines. The rule is to leave nothing but footprints, and take nothing but memories and pictures.
Whilst in Antarctica the fun isn’t restricted to land, as your expert expedition crew will deliver activities and talks to suit a wide range of interests. If you prefer to spend some time on board there will be excellent viewing opportunities from the deck or observation lounges.
From hiking across the snowscapes and optional kayaking excursions to small boat cruises in search of wildlife and expert lectures and discussions, your time in Antarctica is likely to be the pinnacle of this trip of a lifetime.
Drake Passage & Cape Horn
After our thrilling exploration of Antarctica we will sail back through the Drake Passage to return to South America, with the iconic Cape Horn next on our list of adventures. We hope to board our small boats here at this southernmost point of South America to soak up the unique views and enjoy some photo opportunities at the famous albatross-shaped Cape Horn monument which pays homage to the thousands of seafarers who perished here in days gone by when it used to be the only route to cross from one side of the Americas to the other. Cape Horn is renowned for its high seas and challenging conditions so although we have often been successful in landing here, it cannot be guaranteed.
As we spend the day sailing through the exceptionally scenic fjords you will want to be out on deck soaking up the remarkable landscapes and scenic opportunities on offer. In this wild and remote area we will sail by countless fjords and mountains plunging straight into the water, and by the end of our passage through the fjords your cameras will be bursting with fabulous landscape photos. The unique fjord landscape of Chile is one of the country’s most impressive features and a day sailing through this area is likely to rank high on your list of experiences.
Torres del Paine National Park
For some these next two days may be the highlight of the whole voyage as we arrive at one of the most visually stunning national parks in the world. We will dock at Puerto Natales to spend two days exploring the park with its azure lakes, meandering trails through the emerald forests, looming peaks and famous rock formation towers the “Torres del Paine”. We will have ample opportunities for hikes here through the contrasting landscapes of wide open spaces and rugged mountain terrain in search of wildlife encounters including pumas, llamas, chilla foxes, skunks and over 100 different species of birds. Birds we can expect to see here include the black-chested buzzard eagle and the Andean condor.
After an unforgettable time sailing through the Patagonian waters our stop this morning will be the unique village of Puerto Edén in Bernardo O’Higgins National Park. This tiny, isolated island at the end of a deep fjord surrounded by mountains is home to just 250 people, including the 15 remaining members of the Kawéskar people, and we will go ashore to learn more about the traditional indigenous culture of Patagonian tribes and spend some time browsing the traditional Kawéskar crafts on offer. We can also enjoy a stroll along the laneways in search of sightings of the numerous bird species that reside here including Magellan hummingbirds. There will also be opportunities for enjoyable hikes and optional kayaking excursions.
Today we sail further north through Ultima Esperanza (last hope), which is one of the most remote, undisturbed and scenic places on earth. As we sail through the fabled waters of Patagonia you can enjoy some time on deck with your camera soaking up your unique surroundings, whilst inside your programme of lectures and presentations will continue.
Today we arrive at Isla Grande de Chiloé to visit Castro, a colourful city set among windswept hills where vibrant wooden houses mounted on stilts dot the landscape along the water’s edge. We will spend some time here on shore to get a sample of the area’s culture and take a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Iglesia San Francisco as well as the Plazuela del Tren, Cementerio Parroquial and the bustling market of Feria Campesina Yumbel. A walk along the waterfront with its welcoming restaurants and cafes will delight, and for a more active day you can join an excursion to the Chiloé National Park for a trek through the forest. This largely unexplored area is home to an abundance of flora and fauna that is unique to the area and we can expect to see numerous penguins, sea lions and dozens of seabird species.
As our fantastic adventure comes to an end we will our way north along the Pacific coast to Valparaiso. This is an excellent time to recap on the countless experiences you will have had throughout your voyage. You can attend the last of your lecture and talk programme and spend some time on deck looking for those final wildlife sightings.
Arrival in the colourful and poetic city of Valparaíso will sadly signal the end of our Antarctica and Chilean Fjords adventure. After disembarkation you will be free to make your way to the airport for your onward travel. Alternatively, both Valparaíso and nearby Santiago offer a huge range of post-voyage options and excursions so please ask us for more details should you wish to extend your stay here.
A view from Above
The MS Fram has been specifically designed for those who thirst for adventure. As an expedition cruise ship, it is an ideal base camp for explorers. The ship places a high priority on your comfort, which means that after a long day of exploring, you can kick back and relax in a hot tub or enjoy a meal at one of two restaurants, including an outdoor BBQ. You can also socialize with other guests over cocktails in the Explorer Lounge & Bar, taking in the stunning views as you go.
At the heart of MS Fram lies the Science Centre, where you can learn more about the places you'll be sailing to and listen to talks by the Expedition Team. The ship is equipped with key expedition features and technology, making it the perfect vessel to take you on a journey of discovery to some of the most beautiful and unspoiled regions on the planet.
The MS Fram offers an expedition experience that will bring you closer to nature and leave a lasting impression. The recent 2022 upgrade has given the ship a fresh new look that's quintessentially Nordic, while still keeping exploration and learning at the forefront of the experience.
The Science Center has been expanded and improved, and there's now a larger fleet of small expedition boats available for off-ship exploration. Lecture areas have been upgraded, and you can stream Expedition Team talks directly to your cabin.
One of the most notable aspects of MS Fram is the way the ship has been designed to blur the line between inside and outside. The Explorer Lounge & Bar, gym, sauna, and hot tubs all offer panoramic views of the surrounding scenery. The top-deck BBQ allows you to dine al fresco and enjoy local flavours, while numerous artworks commissioned from local Arctic artists adorn the interior, adding an extra layer of inspiration to your journey.
we work hard to earn passionate reviews from our clients.
Now that I am back from my odyssey voyage, I thought I would let you know that after all that planning it really did exceed my expectations – we managed landings everywhere even on Tristan da Cuhna and had great bird sightings. The guides all knew what they were talking about too and made sure I got some great photos – still sorting them all out! Thanks for everything and see you at Birdfair!Dave Martin
I want to thank you for all you did to make my recent Falklands trip run so smoothly and comfortably. Thank you for all your help over the diet too.Dr Lorna Mairs
Just a quick note to express my sincere thanks to you and all your staff for making this an epic adventure of immense proportions. Everything went smoothly, pickups, hotels and most of all the expedition itself. Truly a mind blowing experience unlike any I have ever taken.Mr J Borg, Malta
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Mike has more than fifteen years hands-on experience in the industry, travelling to some of the most incredible wild places on the planet. His far-reaching knowledge and invaluable skills will ensure that your wildlife travel adventure is a dream come true.
Simon’s deep passion for and first-hand knowledge of a vast range of destinations all over the world gives him the ideal skills to help you create a truly unforgettable wildlife inspired adventure to the most exciting places on the planet.
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