Last updated on January 2nd, 2019 at 02:43 pm
Escape to the most remote, rugged, and remarkable landscapes of South America on a Patagonia cruise, or launch into the unknown on an Antarctica cruise this year. The southern tip of the world is at its best — and most kind to visitors – during the Southern hemisphere’s summer, from November to March. And we’ve got 5 great Antarctica and Patagonia cruises for you to choose from for your next South America vacation.
Skim along the icy waters of Patagonia on this 5 day Patagonia Cruise from Puerto Natales in Chile to the Amalia Glacier, along with the route of several stunning ice formations in the Southern Ice Fields of Chile. Highlights include the Milodon Cave, where fragments of the Milodon creature were found in 1896, the sprawling Torres del Paine National Park which was declared a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserver in 1978, and several of the lakes and lagoons inside the park where pumas, guanacos, black-necked swans, and more wildlife are abundant. The Patagonia cruise ship M/V Skorpios III whisks travelers through Chilean Patagonia in luxury and comfort, with plenty of local cuisine and chilled wines aboard the ship.
Embark on an adventure through the Northern Ice Fields of Chile, departing from Puerto Montt and heading to the San Rafael Glacier on a 6 day Patagonia cruise. You’ll pass through spectacular lagoons and archipelagos, isolated fishing villages such as Puerto Aguirre and Queilen, and the Laguna San Rafael National Park (over 3.8 million acres), which is a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve and boasts glistening glaciers more than 70 meters tall. The San Rafael Glacier is estimated to be over 30,000 years old. The national park is home to several glaciers, as well as bountiful wildlife such as the black-browed albatross, the huala duck, the black-necked swan, the cormorant, dolphins, fur seals, and elephant seals.
Set sail on a 5-day cruise from Santiago de Chile to Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world, on this Waters of Patagonia Cruise, with a land tour of Patagonia that adds up to a full 17 days Patagonian extravaganza. Explore Santiago & Valparaiso, enjoying the best of Chile’s wineries. In Punta Arenas, board the M/V Mare Australis for a cruise through Torres del Paine National Park, the Strait of Magellan, and Tierra del Fuego and Cape Horn to Ushuaia. Get up close to the Marinelli Glacier and the Pia Glacier on Glacier Avenue. In Tierra del Fuego National Park, you can ride The End of the World Train through scenic landscapes. Continue the land portion of your Patagonia tour with a flight to Puerto Madryn to see the Península Valdéz Reserve, where marine birds, seals, and whales are a common sight. Waddle with Magellan penguins in Punta Tombo before flying to Buenos Aires, where you can finish your Patagonia tour with a Buenos Aires city tour, and a tango show and dinner.
A cruise to remember: this Patagonia cruise follows the route of the Waters of Patagonia Cruise mentioned above, except the cruise portion of the tour follows a shorter route. After visiting Santiago and the surrounding areas, fly to Punta Arenas and embark on the M/V Mare Australis for a cruise through Ainsworth Bay to see the Marinelli Glacier, then Tuckers Islets to visit a Magellanic penguin colony. Continue through the Beagle Channel to see the Pia Glacier and then around Cape Horn, stopping to hike through Cape Horn National Park. Also hike through the historic Wulaia Bay, once the site of the Yamana tribe. Finish the Patagonia cruise in Ushuaia, touring the nearby Tierra del Fuego National Park. Then fly to Buenos Aires and enjoy a Buenos Aires city tour, a visit to an estancia with a traditional Argentine asado or barbecue, and a tango show and dinner to conclude your Patagonia tour in style.
There are several Antarctica cruise options, including the Classic Antarctica Cruise of 10 days, the Ushaia to Antarctica Cruise of 11 days. Along the way, you’ll see looming glaciers, huge icebergs, rugged mountains, and remote regions of Antarctica that have seldom been visited. Embark for your Antarctica cruise in Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world. Sail through the Beagle Channel, and then continue through the Drake Passage until you reach the Antarctic Convergence.
On some islands in the South Shetlands, you’ll be able to board zodiac boats and go on land for hiking and kayaking, depending on weather conditions. Waddle with Gentoo Penguins and Chinstrap Penguins. Enjoy alpine views, myriad icebergs, and deep cut fjords. On some of the southern Antarctica islands, you’ll meet researchers at the Ukrainian Vernadsky Station, where we will receive a warm welcome from the station crew. Sailing north through Neumayer Channel we arrive at the Melchior Islands with a breathtaking landscape and again possibilities for zodiac cruising among the icebergs, where we may encounter Leopard Seals, Crabeater Seals, and whales.
All of our Patagonia cruises and Antarctica Cruises include luxury cruise ship cabins, all meals aboard the ship, tours, and transfers while on the cruise, cold weather gear when embarking on zodiac trips, all entrance fees, and hotels and transfers for the cruises that include land tours. Contact a travel consultant to ask about current departure dates, specific itineraries, and available cabins.
Read our blog post, What It’s REALLY Like On An Antarctica Cruise.