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Planning Your Patagonia Cruise to the End of the World

Planning Your Patagonia Cruise to the “End of the World”

A cruise is an excellent way to experience the splendor of Patagonia on your South American holiday. An endless number of itinerary variations are possible, but here is a suggested one that will take you through Punta Arenas, the Beagle Channel, Cape Horn, and Ushuaia, the city at the “end of the world.” Skirting through the southernmost point of the continent, it passes through the most iconic parks and other destinations in this region of Chile and Argentina.

The first step is to get to your cruise ship in Punta Arenas on the Chilean side Patagonia. The easiest way to do this is probably by air through Santiago. Cruise ships usually depart between 1 p.m. and 5p.m. in the afternoon. You can either arrive that same morning or a day or two earlier to spend some time exploring this small city.

After departure from Punta Arenas, Day 2 cruises through the Almirantazgo Sound until arriving at the spectacular Marinelli Glacier in Ainsworth Bay. Travelers have the opportunity to go ashore and hike through the Patagonian forest. The day ends with a visit to either Tucket Islet, where the penguins hang our until April, or to Brookes Bay for a glacier hike.

Day 3 features the famous Beagle Channel and Pia Bay. From onboard the ship, travelers can snap pictures of the very photogenic Pia Glacier, which extends out from the mountain and dips into the bay, or put on their boots to hike the ancient ice mass. The final passage through Glacier Alley is another visual treat to end the day.

On Day 4, the destination is Cape Horn National Park, which features pristine natural forests and still more gorgeous landscape all suitable for more or less intensive hikes. A second stop is on the shores of Wulaia Bay, where indigenous peoples have lived for centuries on end.

The last leg of the journey is to Ushuaia, the southernmost city on the South American continent. The surrounding Tierra del Fuego National Park offers excellent options in outdoor adventures, while the town of Ushuaia offers a full range of services and amenities to spend a few days in comfort and relaxation at the “end of the world.”

The highlights of this Patagonia trip are the glacier treks and opportunities to see marine and forest wildlife in a nearly pristine setting. The tour can also be comfortable or adventurous – or both – depending on the preferences of the travelers. This journey can also be done in reverse, from Ushuaia to Punta Arenas, and can also be combined with Chile vacation packages or Argentina travel packages. One option is to visit the respective capital cities of both countries. Santiago and Buenos Aires both tend to impress visitors with their modern feel and cosmopolitan offerings.