'Patagonia Explorer with Fjord cruise'

What makes this trip special?

Chile's southernmost city

Chile's southernmost city

Punta Arenas

Punta Arenas for most travellers acts solely as a point of entry to Southern Patagonia. However, Magellanic penguin colonies at Ceno Ottway and Isla Magdallena make this one of the best places in Chile to see the species, whilst a small colony of King penguins across the straits of Magellan onto Tierra del Fuego, makes staying a couple of days well worthwhile.

The Fjords of Patagonia

The Fjords of Patagonia

Cruise through southernmost Patagonia

Almost inaccessible by land, exploring the Southernmost part of Patagonia by boat opens up some of the regions most spectacular landmarks. Between Punta Arenas in Chile, and Ushuaia in Argentine Tierra del Fuego, navigate the through fjords, glaciers and sub-polar forests to see an array of marine and terrestrial wildlife. Landings are built into itineraries through the Fjords enabling you to see the landscapes from upclose as well as from the deck of a cruise ship.

Modern Metropolis in the Andes

Modern Metropolis in the Andes


Set with a backdrop of the Andes to the east and the Pacific coast to the west, Santiago makes for a stunning arrival or departure point. The city has a great range of restaurants and hotels, whilst the vineyards on the city outskirts make some of the continent's most well-known wines.

Itinerary map for Chile 'Patagonia Explorer with Fjord cruise' holiday


  • Day      Overnight
  • 1 Santiago
  • 2 Santiago
  • 3 Santiago
  • 4 Torres del Paine
  • 5 Torres del Paine
  • 6 Torres del Paine
  • 7 Punta Arenas
  • 8 Aboard the Stella Australis
  • 9 Aboard the Stella Australis
  • 10 Aboard the Stella Australis
  • 11 Ushuaia
  • 12 Ushuaia
  • 13 Buenos Aires
  • 14 Buenos Aires
  • 15 Buenos Aires
  • For the detail of each day click the ‘Day-by-day’ tab above.

Day-by-day itinerary for 'Patagonia Explorer with Fjord cruise'


Arrive in Santiago

Upon arrival in Santiago you are met and taken to your hotel in the city. Your guide is on hand to give you a brief introduction to the area you are staying in, and point out some areas of interest as well as showing you some nearby restaurants and cafes.


Concha y Toro Winery visit

Depart from your hotel and head south to the town of Pirque to visit the Concha y Toro Winery, the most famous wine makers in Chile. Currently, Viña Concha y Toro is the largest exporter of wine in Latin America, with a presence in over 130 countries. The tour takes you through the country mansion and into the vineyards and wine cellars stocking the most well known Casillero del Diablo bottles. At the end of your tour you have the opportunity for a tasting of various wines, whilst there is also a shop on site should you wish to take anything away with you.


Tour of Valparaiso

Depart in the morning and travel towards the Pacific Coast passing through the Casablanca and Curacavi valleys before arriving at Viña del Mar, Chile’s largest beach resort which is known as the ‘Garden City’ due to its well kept parks and gardens. Stop at the Quinta Vergara Park and then have time (approximately ½ hour) for a quick optional visit to either the Carrasco Palace, the Fonck Museum of Archaeology and Natural History or a lapis lazuli shop. Continue along the most important ocean front of the central coast to reach the city’s famous clock of flowers before proceeding to the port city of Valparaíso. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Valparaíso is renowned for its important role in maritime history as well as its picturesque hillside houses and its National Monuments, such as the monument to the Heroes of Iquique near the port in Sotomayor Square. Visit La Sebastiana, once the Valparaíso home of Chile’s Nobel Prize winning poet, Pablo Neruda, before finishing the excursion with a short boat trip (approximately ½ hour) to appreciate views of the city from the bay. Return to your hotel in Santiago in the afternoon. NB: excursion on Shared basis does not include La Sebastiana Museum. On private includes La Sebastiana (closed on Mondays)


Fly to Southern Patagonia

This morning you are met and taken to the airport on time for your flight to Punta Arenas. On arrival in Punta Arenas you are taken to the iconic Torres del Paine National Park for a stay of three nights. Your accommodation is at a lodge on a full board basis with a menu of excursions to chose from each day. There is a large variety of half day and full day activities on offer from boat rides to horseriding, and you can chose which trips you would like to do on a day by day basis. Walking options range from strenuous all day hikes, to more gentle morning or afternoon trails and guides are on hand to advise on what is most suitable for you.


Excursions within Torres del Paine National Park

Today you are free to chose from the menu of excursions on offer at your Lodge.


Excursions within Torres del Paine National Park

Today you have a second full day where you are free to chose from the menu of excursions on offer at your Lodge.


Transfer to Punta Arenas and board your Australis Cruise

This morning return to Punta Arenas city in time to board the Stella Australis Cruise. Check in is between 13:00 and 17:00 and you can then board the M/V Stella Australis around 6pm. After a welcome drink on board, the cruise starts across the Strait of Magellan as the lights of Punta Arenas fade into the distance and you begin your journey towards some of the most remote areas of the continent.


Ainsworth Bay and Tuckers Islets

Today you wake up in Seno Almirantazgo, a spectacular offshoot of the Strait of Magellan that stretches nearly halfway across Tierra del Fuego. This is your first view of the snowcapped peaks of Karukinka Natural Park and the deep fjords and broad bays of Alberto de Agostini National Park. Ainsworth Bay is be your first opportunity to land, and here there is a great variety of bird life and a colony of southern elephant seals which can sometimes be spotted from the Zodiacs. Two guided excursions are available: one is along the edge of a stream, peat bog and beaver habitat to a waterfall-and-moss-covered rock face tucked deep inside a pristine sub-polar forest; the other is a more strenuous hike along the crest of a glacial moraine. Both afford views of Marinelli Glacier and the Darwin Mountains. Leaving Ainsworth Bay behind you sail west to the Tucker Islets. After lunch, you board the Zodiacs again for a close-up view of the Magellanic penguins that inhabit the tiny islands. More than 4,000 penguins use Tucker as a place to nest, give birth and nurture their chicks. Many other bird species also frequent the area including king cormorants, oystercatchers, Chilean skuas, kelp geese, dolphin gulls, eagles and even the occasional Andean condor. In September and April -- when the penguins live elsewhere -- this excursion is replaced by a short walk to a glacier at nearby stunning Brookes Bay.


Pia Glacier and Glacier Alley

Overnight you sail around the western end of Tierra del Fuego via the very narrow Gabriel Channel, Magdalena Channel and Cockburn Channel. After rounding the remote Brecknock Peninsula, Stella Australis tacks eastward and enters the Beagle Channel again. By morning you arrive at Pia Fjord and board the Zodiacs for a shore excursion to Pia Glacier. After disembarking you take either take a short hike to a panoramic viewpoint of the spectacular glacier, or a longer much more difficult walk up a lateral moraine of the old Pia Glacier. Back onboard the ship, you continue east along the Beagle Channel through an area called Glacier Alley. Living up to its name, the passage features a number of impressive tidewater glaciers flowing down from the Darwin Mountains and Darwin Ice Sheet on the north shore. Most of them named after European countries -- Holland, Italy, Germany, Spain and France.

DAY 10

Wulaia Bay and Cape Horn

This morning navigate through Murray Channel between Navarino and Hoste islands and drop anchor at historic Wulaia Bay, one of the few places in the archipelago where the human history is just as compelling as the natural. Originally the site of one of the region’s largest Yámana aboriginal settlements, the bay was described by Charles Darwin and sketched by Captain FitzRoy in the 1830s during their voyages on the HMS Beagle. After a visit to the museum in the old radio station -- which is especially strong on the Yámana people and European missionaries in the area -- you have a choice of three hikes (of increasing degrees of difficulty) that ascend the heavily wooden mountain behind the bay. On all of these you are strolling through an enchanted Magellan forest of lengas, coigües, canelos, ferns, and other endemic fauna to reach a panoramic viewpoint overlooking the bay. Before leaving Wulaia Bay, drop something into the wooden mail barrel inside the museum – letters or postcards meant to be hand delivered by future travellers. In the afternoon cruise across Nassau Bay into the remote archipelago that includes Cape Horn National Park. Weather and sea conditions permitting, you go ashore the windswept island of Cape Horn. Discovered in 1616 by a Dutch maritime expedition -- and named after the town of Hoorn in West Friesland -- Cape Horn is a sheer 425m high rocky promontory overlooking the turbulent waters of the Drake Passage. For many years it was the only navigation route between the Pacific and Atlantic, and was often referred to as the "End of the Earth." The park was declared a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 2005, and the Chilean navy maintains a permanent lighthouse on the island, staffed by a lightkeeper and his family, as well as the tiny Stella Maris Chapel and modern Cape Horn Monument.

DAY 11

End cruise in Ushuaia

This morning between 08.30 and 09.30 you sail into Argentine waters and dock in Ushuaia, the world's southernmost city. On arrival you will be met and taken to your hotel for a stay of 2 nights. You have the rest of the day at leisure in Ushuaia to regain your 'land legs' and may wish to visit some of the towns museums.

DAY 12

Tierra del Fuego National Park

Depart for your half day tour to the Tierra del Fuego National Park travelling through scenic coastal landscapes before stopping first at the Southern Fuegian Railway station where you can choose to enter the Park on board the famous ‘End of the World Train’ (optional). During the tour you can see the varied flora of the area and have the chance to see the local fauna of both native and introduced species such as the red fox, beavers, rabbits and numerous species of birds. The Park is home to some beautiful scenery and, once inside, you visit Ensenada Bay and Lake Roca, where you have the chance to see beaver lodges. Finally, at Lapataia Bay, and some 3,063 km from Buenos Aires, you reach the end of Argentina’s National Route 3 to truly have the sense of being at the end of the world. Return to Ushuaia and have rest of the day at leisure.

DAY 13

Fly to Buenos Aires

At the agreed time you are taken to the airport on time for your flight to Buenos Aires where upon arrival you are met and dropped off at your hotel for a stay of three nights.

DAY 14

Tour of Buenos Aires and Evening Tango Show

Today you are taken on a half day tour of this elegant cosmopolitan city. You visit some highlights such as the Obelisk and the historic Plaza de Mayo and stroll down broad avenues, such as 9 de Julio, lined by impressive buildings. You stop in the colourful quarters of San Telmo and La Boca before continuing with a drive through stylish Palermo with its beautiful parks and gardens, the Recoleta, and the modern neighbourhood of Puerto Madero. This evening you are then collected from your hotel and taken to one of Buenos Aires' famous tango shows. Dinner is served followed by an unforgettable show, featuring first rate musicians, dancers and singers which revive the original styles and melancholic rhythms of the world renowned tango.

DAY 15

Day out at an Argentine Estancia

Today you venture into the Pampas, the cultural heartland of Argentina and the birthplace of the gaucho. You visit a traditional Estancia for a full day experience of the Gaucho way of life. For lunch you tuck into a hearty traditional 'asado' where the meat is expertly cooked over flames and charcoal to create a tender, delicious yet simple meal. For the adventurous there is the opportunity to have a short horse ride. Return to your hotel in the evening.

DAY 16

Transfer to the airport for your flight back to the UK

At the agreed time you are taken to Ezeiza International airport on time for your flight back to the UK.

Guide prices for 'Patagonia Explorer with Fjord cruise'

options based on all year low season mid season high season peak season other season
Mid-range hotels and category B boat cabin, shared excursions 2 people sharing £5,980
Prices are per person and include:
  • all accommodation
  • all travel within Chile
  • meals as indicated (B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner)
  • 4 night cruise on the Stella Australis
  • excursions as indicated
  • domestic flights
Prices do not include:
  • transatlantic flights
  • travel insurance
  • airport and departure taxes
  • items of a personal nature such as drinks, tips, laundry, etc

Customer reviews for 'Patagonia Explorer with Fjord cruise'

Recent reviews are shown here from holidays based on this initial design. In each case the itinerary may have been modified (a little or a lot) to suit the individual traveller.


Seasonal information for 'Patagonia Explorer with Fjord cruise'

Along this route in January

Day Location Max °C Monthly rainfall
1 Santiago 30°C rainfall 1mm
2 Santiago 30°C rainfall 1mm
3 Santiago 30°C rainfall 1mm
4 Torres del Paine 10°C rainfall 117mm
5 Torres del Paine 10°C rainfall 117mm
6 Torres del Paine 10°C rainfall 117mm
7 Punta Arenas 15°C rainfall 36mm
8 Aboard the Stella Australis 13°C rainfall 72mm
9 Aboard the Stella Australis 13°C rainfall 72mm
10 Aboard the Stella Australis 13°C rainfall 72mm
11 Ushuaia 12°C rainfall 57mm
12 Ushuaia 12°C rainfall 57mm
13 Buenos Aires 29°C rainfall 100mm
14 Buenos Aires 29°C rainfall 100mm
15 Buenos Aires 29°C rainfall 100mm

Typical weather for January


Max °C figures are the average daily maximum temperatures for the month. Rainfall is the average precipitation for the month.

Hotels for 'Patagonia Explorer with Fjord cruise'

Days 1 - 3

Hotel Providencia


A newly renovated, 75 room traditional hotel with a garden swimming pool and fitness centre, conveniently located near the Providencia metro station and close to the entrance to the Cerro San Cristobal. Rooms have cable TV, A/C and free Wi-Fi. There is a restaurant on site, as well as pleasant gardens and food is served in the terrace area by the pool.


Hotel Providencia
Double room
Days 4 - 6

Hotel Las Torres

Torres del Paine

Located near the start of the trail to the base of the Torres (Towers) the lodge is one of the few located within the park. All the rooms, divided between Standard, Superior and Suites, are en-suite and have central heating, Wi-Fi and hairdryers. There is a restaurant and bar, a Spa, a gift shop, an interpretation centre and a conference centre as well as stables where the local guides work and an organic garden. The location of this hotel is what really sets it apart, and it offers B&B as well as all inclusive programmes.

Hotel Las Torres
Lodge Exterior
Days 11 - 12

Altos de Ushuaia


Hotel Los Altos de Ushuaia is situated in a hilltop suburb overlooking Ushuaia and the Beagle Channel. Our 46 rooms have views over the city, the surrounding forest and the Beagle Channel, a king-sized or twin beds, heating, safe, LCD cable T.V, bathroom with shower and hairdryer. Suites are larger with a living area and desk. Hotel facilities include a living room and dining room with views over the Ushuaia Bay and Beagle Channel, free WiFi, laundry service.

Altos de Ushuaia
Days 13 - 15


Buenos Aires

The Pulitzer is a modern hotel located in the centre of Buenos Aires. Rooms are equipped with safe, minibar, airconditioning and free high speed wifi whlist there is a downstairs bar that serves lights meals and drinks throughout the day. Up on the 7th floor there is a swimming pool and even a gym where it is possible to book in for a massage.



Hotel exterior