The Chilean Fjords & Patagonia by Sea
The Chilean Fjords & Patagonia by Sea 14 Days aboard Greg Mortimer
The beautiful country of Chile offers some of the world’s most spectacular and diverse scenery, with a unique combination of wine country, dazzling Andean landscapes, and tantalising cuisine. On this unique voyage aboard the Greg Mortimer you will get to experience all that makes this country so remarkable from sea, sailing in optimum comfort and style. Traverse through the glacier-filled narrows and fjords of Patagonia, Zodiac cruise and kayak through the wildlife-rich waterways in search of whales, penguins, seals and dolphins, and experience the expansive wildernesses and awe-inspiring granite spires on hikes in Torres del Paine National Park. Join us on a journey exploring the fjords and coast of southern Chile and discover why it was voted best adventure destination in South America for three consecutive years at the World Travel Awards.
Namibia Birding and Photography GuideAn accomplished and experienced Namibia birding and photographic guide, Toni holds a Namibia Academy for Tourism and Hospitality Level 3 qualification (the highest level attainable in Namibia) and is widely renowned for her extensive knowledge of the cultures, ornithology, flora, astronomy and wildlife of the country. Read more >
Wildlife Guide & PhotographerAndy is a 6th generation Falkland Islander, with a passion for wildlife, plants and photography. Raised in the Falkland Islands, Andy developed a close affinity with the Islands natural environment at a young age. School holidays where spent in the ‘camp’ or countryside with friends and family. For more than 10 years, Andy had the privilege of spending a time on Sea Lion Island, visiting his mother who managed one of the Islands premier tourist destinations. Read more >
Photographer and founder of the Travel Photographer Of The Year awardsA fascination with natural light and a passion with nature, landscape and travel underpin Chris Coe's photography. His images often have a striking simplicity and graphic quality. More recent work has introduced a subtlety with experimentation with both movement and light.Read more >
Falklands Expert & GuideBorn in Chartres in the West Falklands, Jenny grew up on the family farm where her love for animals was nurtured by the25,000 sheep, horses and cows that lived alongside her. Forever a nature, conservation and wildlife enthusiast Jenny has travelled extensively throughout the Falkland Islands, visiting each and every wildlife island at least once, and even travelling around some by yacht. Read more >
- Spectacular mountain and glacial landscapes at every turn
- Discover the majestic beauty of Torres Del Paine Natural park
- See the UNESCO heritage listed unique timber churches in Chiloé
- Thrilling Zodiac cruises, hikes and shore excursions
- Good whale watching opportunities as well as other wildlife including penguins and seals
- Kayaking options available
- Resident photography guide
- Full board accommodation on board ship with daily breakfast, lunch and dinner, afternoon tea and snacks
- Wines, beers and soft drinks with dinner
- 1 night accommodation in Ushuaia pre-voyage, with breakfast and half-day city tour included
- Transfers from ship & luggage transfer to ship
- Captain's Welcome and Farewell drinks including four-course dinner, house cocktails, house beer and wine, non-alcoholic beverages
- Overnight hotel stay in Torres Del Paine
- All Zodiac landings and excursions
- Programme of expert lectures
- Loan of rubber boots
- Complimentary 3-in-1 polar jacket
ITINERARY13 Nights 14 Days
- Days 1 - 2 | Ushuaia / Embarkation
- Days 3 - 4 | Glacier Alley & Francisco Coloane
- Days 5 - 7 | Chilean Patagonia & Torres Del Paine NP
- Days 8 - 11 | PIO X1 & Chilean Fjords
- Days 12 - 13 | Corcovado Gulf & Castro
- Day 14 | Puerto Montt
Ushuaia / Embarkation
Your journey begins in Ushuaia, the world’s southernmost city. Arrive independently and transfer to the hotel for your included overnight stay. Enjoy time seeing the sights and sounds of this city which is renowned for its enchanting scenery, before enjoying a good night’s sleep in preparation for the adventures ahead.
After a leisurely breakfast at your hotel on the morning of day 2, you can join your included half-day tour of Ushuaia and its surrounds. This beautiful city is the capital of the Tierra del Fuego province and its unique landscape of mountains, sea, glaciers and forest is simply a delight to explore. This fantastic tour will take you to some of Ushuaia’s most impressive areas including The Mission, Solier and Brown neighbourhoods where you can see the ancient houses belonging to the first families in Tierra del Fuego, and the nearby Martial Glacier where you can enjoy a chair lift ride to some excellent hiking trails that reward in superb views over Ushuaia and the Beagle Channel. There will also be time to visit the End of the World Museum where you can get an insight into the history of Tierra del Fuego, before heading to the port in the mid-afternoon to board the Greg Mortimer. Settle into your comfortable cabin, join your crew at the welcome dinner and get to know your home for the next 10 nights as the ship sets sail into the scenic Beagle Channel and we begin our adventure in earnest. A luggage transfer from the hotel is included today.
Glacier Alley & Francisco Coloane
As we travel into a stretch of the 240-kilometre long Beagle Channel, we follow the route that a young Charles Darwin took on board the famous HMS Beagle back in 1831, a five-year expedition that forever changed his life and which led him to develop his seminal theory of evolution. Sailing west from Ushuaia we travel into the dazzling Glacier Alley where you can marvel from deck at this string of tidewater glaciers pushing down to the edge of the sea from the enormous Darwin Ice Field. Surrounded by snow-capped peaks, most of the glaciers were named after European countries or the explorers who discovered them: Holland, Italy, Romanche, Spain, Garibaldi. Weather permitting, we’ll board our Zodiacs for a closer look at the impressive Romanche Glacier. Even if fog obscures the view, the sound of the cracking ice as it calves into the water is sure to impress. Apart from the spectacular scenery, Glacier Alley also offers opportunities to spot wildlife such as penguin rookeries and South American fur seals.
Day 4 will see us arrive at Chile’s first marine reserve, Francisco Coloane, which was the first known feeding ground for humpback whales along the Pacific coast of South America. Reaching the southern area of Santa Ines Island, surrounded by spectacular views including the tidewater glacier pushing down the rugged mountainous island, a thrilling Zodiac cruise will aim to offer close-up observations of Magellanic penguins, imperial cormorants, flightless steamer ducks, and southern fur seals. This is also a great spot for the kayakers amongst us to enjoy their first paddle adventures. (Please note kayaking places are limited, incur an additional charge and should be booked well in advance). Later we will sail around Carlos III Island to look for humpback whales from the comfort of the ship’s many observation areas.
Chilean Patagonia & Torres Del Paine NP
Commencing our journey north along Chile’s staggering west coast we will enter one of the many channels and fjords of Patagonian Chile. The fjords and islands of Chilean Patagonia take the brunt of the prevailing westerlies that blow across the southern seas, and here, the wind can blow almost constantly, and rain and snow can fall all year round, so prepare for some possible wild weather at sea. We may sail through Montañas Fjord, a long fjord flanked by rugged mountains and a number of glaciers including Herman, Bernal, and Paredes. If the Captain opens up the bridge, it’s an ideal opportunity to watch the scenery unfold as you sail through this beautiful channel. Enjoy informative and entertaining presentations from our hand-selected expedition team, who will bring to life the natural environment, wildlife, culture and history of the places you’ll be experiencing.
After your day at sea it will be time for one of the highlights of your trip as we reach Puerto Natales, the gateway to Torres del Paine National Park. World-renowned for its granite towers, which give the park its name, these gigantic spires were carved by glacial ice and upon entering the park, you will see a series of lakes with intense colours, mountains covered in ice, and an array of local fauna. In Patagonia, you will feel the immensity of nature and delight in feeling completely insignificant in its presence. The jaw-dropping landscapes of turquoise waters, glaciers and towering granite horns of the Torres del Paine National Park is a humbling experience.
You will have two days to experience the wonders of Torres del Paine National Park on various hikes suited to your fitness level. You will pass several estancias (ranches) en route to the national park, and you will witness the landscape change from a steppe eco-region to deciduous forest. Along the way, pause amongst the mountains to admire views of the lakes called Amamrga, Sarmiento, and Nordenskjold, and Salto Grande. You may be able to see some of the local fauna, including many species of birds including the majestic condor. Look out for foxes, huemul (Andean deer) and guanacos, which are wild camelids related to the llama. The reclusive difficult-to-spot puma has also been seen inside the national park where authorities are happy to report a healthy growing population.
We spend the night at a comfortable hotel located just outside of the national park offering superb mountain and river views. Here you will enjoy local cuisine and Chilean wine and hear about the various hiking options available to you and suited to your individual interests and fitness level. On the afternoon of your second day in Torres del Paine National, you will be transported back to the Greg Mortimer in time for dinner, swapping stories on the drive back, of your exploration of the park.
PIO X1 & Chilean Fjords
On the morning of day 8 we cross the White Narrows – a narrow channel of water approximately 80 metres wide. Find a spot on one of our many observation areas and appreciate the masterful skills of our Captain as they navigate us through this difficult channel. At the heart of Chilean Patagonia lies Bernardo O’Higgins National Park. More than 320 kilometres (200 miles) from one end the other, the park encompasses Patagonia’s Southern Ice Field, which in combination with its northern counterpart forms one of the largest expanses of glacial ice outside the Polar Regions.
The only way to visit this area is by sea, through a maze of fjords that ultimately leads to the entrance of Pío XI, named in honour of Pope Pius XI by Father Alberto de Agostini, an Italian missionary and explorer, who in 1931 was the first person to cross the Southern Ice Field. Of the 48 glaciers in the Southern Ice Field, nearly all are retreating, except Pío XI. Scientists have not been able to explain exactly why it has advanced so far and so fast over the past 80 years. In any case, Pío XI Glacier is an anomaly in a world where nearly all glaciers are retreating and being able to see it up close is a privilege. We head to Puerto Eden on our journey northwards, navigating more challenging passages including Paso del Abismo, a very narrow and spectacular channel where you can continue to enjoy remarkable scenery.
On the morning of day 9 we will arrive at Puerto Eden. Located on the east coast of Wellington Island, inside Bernardo O’Higgins National Park, Puerto Eden is a tiny fishing village connected by intricate canals, imposing mountains, icefields, and is considered one of Chile’s most isolated inhabited places. The village is known for being the home to approximately 25 Kawésqar indigenous inhabitants – roughly 10% of the population of the village. The village is connected by beautiful timber boardwalks called ‘pasarelas’. Kawésqar are traditionally nomadic sea people and it comes as no surprise that the main economic activity is fishing - mussels being a local speciality. Known for their excellent craftsmanship for canoe-making and basketry, local handicrafts are also a speciality, and you’ll have ample opportunity to meet the locals and to purchase locally-made handicrafts directly from them. You’ll enjoy exploring the picturesque boardwalks over the maze of canals, meeting the friendly locals, and soaking in the tranquil natural beauty of this isolated hamlet.
Leaving Puerto Eden behind, we re-enter the channels for a few days of navigating our way through Patagonia’s maze of fjords towards Chiloé. As we sail you can enjoy the continuation of your lecture and presentation programme or enjoy the many on-board facilities including the fitness centre, library, wellness centre and the jacuzzi and sauna. Some time on deck could reward in sightings of whales, dolphins and seabirds, while admiring the beautiful landscapes of the maze of channels and islands around. We will be sailing along part of the 90-mile long Moraleda Channel, which separates the mainland from the huge archipelagos of Chonos and Guaitecas. To the east we will see magnificent Andes peaks such as the Mentolat, Melimollu volcano, and the Maca Volcano. We will be scanning the waters for the occasional presence of pods of killer whale that predate on the numerous South American sea lion colonies located along the coast and forested islands.
Corcovado Gulf & Castro
Over the course of the next two days you can discover the delightful and impressive coastline of Tic Toc Bay – either from the ship or perhaps by Zodiac and kayak. This whole area has been recently recognised as one of the few marine parks of Chile based not just on the seasonal presence of the blue whales but also on the rich array of other cetaceans, marine mammals, and seabirds. In the Corcovado Gulf, you will enjoy watching a good sample of oceanic seabirds including black-browed albatross, southern giant petrel, southern fulmar and long-distant migrants such as the migratory Arctic skua. On a hike through the dense temperate woodland, we hope to see interesting species such as black-throated Huet-huet, chucao, ochre-flanked and Magellanic tapaculos, Des Mur’s wiretail, thorn-tailed rayadito, white-throated treerunner, Magellanic woodpecker and rufous-legged owl.
Continue to keep watch for whales in the Corcovado Gulf as we sail into Chiloé, an archipelago of lush islands, a land of myths and legends, unique folklore and culinary traditions. It’s a region blessed with natural beauty and culture, cherished by Chilenos. Explore this mythical island with its colourful timber churches, 16 of which have been declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. In Castro, discover palafittes – colourfully-painted timber houses built on stilts above the water – and enjoy the wit and warmth of the Chilote people whose traditions give this unique archipelago its distinctive character. Gastronomy is another principal reason why Chilenos travel to Chiloé. Blessed with abundant seafood such as mussels and cod, and with hundreds of potato varieties to choose from, the local cuisine is an experience to savour in Chiloé. You will sample traditional curanto, a specially-prepared meal and one of the most ancient recipes still being used today.
Two fantastic excursions will be available to choose from during our two days in this area including a Castro City and Dalcahue tour and a visit to Chiloé National Park.
Your thrilling Patagonia and Chilean fjords cruise will sadly come to an end in Puerto Montt where after breakfast it will be time to bid farewell to your crew and transfer to the airport for your onward or homeward flights.
What Our Customers
We had a very special experience organized by you in Feb, especially the wedding in Antarctica and our stay in Patagonia. Thank you.
You were right, Chile is enormous! We packed so much into to our two weeks and despite the huge distances we still found time to sit back and enjoy the incredible scenery. I don’t believe any country could offer more diversity, we were sat up on the Atacama Desert one week and surrounded by penguins and glaciers the next. Still not sure how all the logistics worked out so well, but they did so thank you. Loved all three of the Tierra properties so a great recommendation and thoroughly enjoyed our stay on the estancia, took me back to my childhood when I worked on a farm, although I don’t remember eating steak as good as that when I was a child!
The holiday did exactly what it said on the tin and delivered everything that I hoped it would and more. Seeing pumas in the wild was a real privilege and a dream come true, thoroughly enjoyed all the hiking in Torres Del Paine as well and of course the wine tasting in Mendoza definitely went down a treat!!!
We would like to thank you with all our heart for our fabulous trip. It was amazing. Everything was perfect. I recommend Antarctica and South America to everybody. Doing business with you was also a great experience. You are the best travel agent I ever met. I hope to have the chance to do business with you again in the future.
We've just got back from out trip to Patagonia and the Antarctic and want to say a big thank you to all of you at Wildfoot but specifically you, Tina and Sara, for organising our trip and sorting out all my queries before we went. You've all been thoroughly professional - and friendly with it. I always get concerned that hotels won't have received the booking, the air e-tickets won't be recognised or luggage ends up somewhere other that where we are, but I didn't need to worry as everything was well planned in advance and the various elements, air travel, two cruises, hotels etc, fitted seamlessly. You can take this as a 10 out of 10 satisfaction rating and recommendation for your company. You will certainly be my 'go to' provider if we ever do anything similar in the future. Thanks once again for our trip of a lifetime.
I just got back from my trip. It was fabulous. The Falklands were perfect for me. Lots of birds, few people, lots of time to wander around on my own. All the islands were wonderful. The only day that was not excellent was the trip to Dolphin point. A long drive, few birds and few sea lions. I was very lucky with the weather. Lots of wind but hardly any rain. I debated whether to do this or go to antarctica, and am delighted I did this. La Yegua Loca in PA was a delight. I usually could care less about hotels and restaurants on trips like this, but La Yegua Loca was wonderful. The new restaurant they have - a glass enclosed space on the terrace in front of the hotel with old tools as fixtures and views out to the straights and delicious food was great. The only change I would make doing it again was to work with you better on flights. I wanted to use frequent flyer miles on American Airlines so I made reservations from Boston to Santiago and you did the rest. I didn't know there was a flight from Santiago to Mt. Pleasant (by way of PA). And I could have left PA and come all the way home without another night and say in Santiago. But that was minor. Thanks again. Danny
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