There’s not been a better time to visit the spectacular fjords of Tierra del Fuego than since the recent launch of the Ventus Australis ship. The 210-passenger vessel, whose name translates to “Southern Wind”, offers guests one of the more comfortable and luxurious ways to explore the southern tip of Latin America. Plus, her unique design has been custom built for the narrow waterways bringing guests to spots never thought possible before.
So, what does a cruise on board the Ventus Australis look like. Here’s our day by day itinerary beginning in Punta Arenas.
Day 1 – Punta Arenas
Today, you will check in on board in the afternoon and at 6pm the ship departs. As she cruises away from the port, you can enjoy an introduction about the upcoming experience from the captain and crew accompanied by a welcome drink. The rest of the evening is free to relax.
As you sleep in your comfortable cabin, the newly built ship will silently cross the Strait of Magellan and criss-cross the narrow passageways and channels towards the extreme south of Patagonian. You’ll pass between Darwin Island and Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego, the Land of Fire.
Day 2 – Ainsworth Bay and Tuckers Islets
When you wake up in the morning, the shop will be cruising through the Admiralty Sound. After breakfast on board, you can head up to the top deck to catch a glimpse of the spectacular snow-capped peaks of the Karukinka Natural Park and the bays of the Alberto de Agostini National Park.
Your first stop is at Ainsworth Bay. Hop aboard zodiacs and make a dry landing to get up close to nesting sea birds and a noisy colony of southern elephant seals. Your guide will take you on a walk inland along the banks of a stream where you can see beavers before a more challenging hike up the crest of a glacial moraine. Along each walk, you can take in magnificent views of the Darwin Mountains and the Marinelli Glacier.
Set sail again and cruise through sounds towards Tucket Islets. After lunch on board, you’ll jump back on to zodiacs to get up close to more than 4,000 Magellan penguins. You’ll also spot oystercatchers, Chilean skuas, eagles, king cormorants and circling Andean condors. Return back to the Ventus Australis for a relaxed evening.
Day 3 – Pia Glacier and Glacier Alley
During the night, you would have cruised around western edge of Tierra del Fuego along the narrow Gabrial Channel. As you wake up, you’ll be sailing through the beautiful Pia Fjord. Accompany the views with breakfast before heading to shore on board zodiacs.
Your guide will take you on a hike which reveals views over a spectacular glacier which tumbles down a mountainside towards the sea. There’s also the opportunity for a longer trek up a lateral moraine on the Pia Glacier.
Return to the ship for a relaxed evening and enjoy several tidewater glaciers that flow down the Darwin Mountains and Darwin Ice Sheet, many of which have been named after European countries.
Day 4 – Cape Horn and Wulaia Bay
During the morning, you will cruise along Nassau Bay towards one of the most remote archipelagos in Patagonia and the Cape Horn National Park. If the weather permits, you will be heading ashore at the iconic Cape Horn. It was first discovered in the early 17th century and was declared to as the “End of the Earth”. Today, the site has been designated as a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO.
During the afternoon you’ll navigate along the Murray Channel and drop anchor at the historic Wulaia Bay. It was once the last settlement of the Yamana tribe and was detailed by Charles Darwin during his 1830’s voyage on the HMS Beagle. You’ll take a visit to the small museum housed in an old radio station which has exhibits on the human history. Be sure to leave a letter in the old mailing barrel.
Afterwards, there are several challenging hikes to choose from which will take you along a winding trail which passes enchanting Magellan forests and views over the bay. Return to the vessel for your last evening on board.
Day 5 – Ushuaia
After a comfortable night’s sleep, you’ll arrive back in Ushuaia, the world’s most southernly city and disembark after breakfast.
Ready to start planning your cruise in Tierra del Fuego? Call one of our experts on +44 (0) 207 407 1478 or email us here.