The channels of Tierra del Fuego – the world’s southernmost archipelago – are a unique setting for sailing enthusiasts. Here, huge glaciers have sculpted a majestic natural landscape of narrow fjords that weave between the snow-capped peaks of the Darwin mountain-range. It is from these mountains that native forests and imposing glaciers reach the sea.
Expedition cruise company, Australis, explores this imposing landscape with its fleet of two ships specially designed to navigate the narrow and shallow channels of Patagonia.
With more than 30 years’ experience in the region, Australis has designed four-night itineraries between the cities of Punta Arenas and Ushuaia which explore the most hidden corners of Tierra del Fuego and allow guests to enter deep into the heart of Patagonia through daily excursions aboard zodiac boats. Guests can get up-close to glaciers and penguins, walk along beaches and bays, hike through forests and reach points that offer spectacular panoramic views. The experience allows guests to connect with remote natural landscapes that remain untouched by mankind.
Although there are no visible traces of human life here, the waters of Tierra del Fuego house many stories of early civilizations and ancient explorers who came from the old continent in search of new maritime routes. Historical figures including Hernando de Magallanes, Charles Darwin and Robert Fitz Roy navigated these fjords, encountered local ethnic groups and their impressive way of life and resistance to the southern climate, and challenged their boats to face the great swell that arose as soon as they left the archipelago to sail in the open sea. Within those stories, Cape Horn is emblematic. It is the southernmost point where the Pacific and Atlantic oceans meet and which took the lives of hundreds of seafarers, submerging entire ships and their crew.
Today, with state-of-the-art cruise ships, guests can travel these legendary routes in complete safety and with world-class hospitality on board. Expert expedition guides complement the experience by offering on-board lectures on various topics including the region’s history, glaciology, flora, and fauna.
So, many guests choose this cruise with the aim of disembarking on Cape Horn and walking on this legendary landmark of world navigation. Others seek the majestic landscapes of Patagonia and the unique opportunity to connect with a natural environment that has been preserved practically intact for centuries. Whatever the reason, once on board, our guests from across the globe delight in first-class gastronomy, the friendly and personalized service of the crew and the comfort of the cabins and lounges that make this trip a safe and unforgettable journey through the end of the world.