This new cruise season in Patagonia, which just started this spring, has a special significance: it will finish in 2020 when Punta Arenas and the whole world celebrates 500 years of the discovery of Strait of Magellan.
Spring is the official start season for cruises in Patagonia. Between September and October, cruises from all over the world come to Punta Arenas, in southern Chile, to begin their navigation routes through fjords and channels. It is the ideal season to go through the area looking for ice fields and penguin colonies.
For cruises setting sail from Punta Arenas, such as the Chilean company Australis – which has been sailing through Tierra del Fuego’s fjords and channels for 30 years-, this new spring season has an additional historic focus, because it will end for the 500 years celebration of the discovery of the Strait of Magellan. This world’s navigation milestone is the starting point of the route covered by the cruise ships, Ventus and Stella Australis. Both ships set sails from Punta Arenas to Ushuaia, in a round trip, passing through Cape Horn. Due to their small size specially designed to sail through places others cannot, they are able to reach the most hidden corners of Patagonia. Larger cruise ships and international flags will also sail through the historic waters of the Strait this season, recalling the achievement of the Portuguese navigator who opened a new navigation route 500 years ago and revealed the whole world this amazing region called Terra Incognita until then.
Besides better weather conditions to navigate through southern channels, spring brings along longer and brighter days. It is that time of the year when the Patagonian prairies become covered with yellow flowers and migratory birds, penguins among them, who settle for a while to lay their eggs and feed their offspring during their first months of life. It is the time when everything blossoms: the ideal scenario to observe the spectacle offered by Patagonia to the travelers that decide to explore it, either by sea or land.
Departure from Punta Arenas
Several cruise ship companies set sails from the Chilean port Punta Arenas to sail through fjords and channels of the southern end of the American continent. In its website, Australis publishes details and rates of its 4-night routes Fjords of Tierra del Fuego and Patagonian Explorers. www.australis.com