Southern Patagonia: Glaciers, Fjords & Wildlife

National Geographic Endurance
National Geographic Endurance
126 Passengers

Long before humans arrived on the continent, glaciers carved the landscapes of Southern Patagonia and the Chilean fjords. Now it's a place for the grandest nature adventures: marveling at calving glaciers, whale and dolphin watching, hiking through rugged landscapes, Zodiac cruising among icebergs, and observing penguins by the thousands. Explore iconic Torres del Paine, where guanacos roam the vast steppe. Discover private reserves such as Karukinka; visit the newest marine reserve on the Chilean coast; take in the view of Cape Horn; and enjoy special access to Argentina’s extraordinary Isla de los Estados (Staten Island). On hiking, kayaking, and Zodiac excursions, take in the natural treasures of a wilderness at the edge of the world.

Expedition Highlights
• Aboard National Geographic Endurance, glide into Patagonia’s “Glacier Alley” to explore three stunning glaciers over two days and navigate among floating icebergs by Zodiac and kayak.
• Explore iconic Torres del Paine National Park to search for foxes, rheas, and guanacos in the shadow of the famous saw-toothed peaks.
• Spend a day at Francisco Coloane Marine Park, where humpback whales and dolphins gather.
• Get up close to a vast Magellanic penguin colony on Isla Magdelena, and hike in search of the Andean fox and the Chilean flamingo.
• By special permission, explore the private reserve of Karukinka and the untouched, wildlife-filled landscapes of remote Isla de los Estados.

Brief Itinerary

Days 1 & 2 Home/Buenos Aires, Argentina
Day 3 Fly to Ushuaia/Embark
Days 4 & 5 Exploring the Chilean Fjords: Glacier Alley
Day 6 Francisco Coloane Marine Park
Days 7 & 8 Puerto Natales & Torres del Paine
Days 9 & 10 Exploring the Chilean Fjords: Kirke Narrows
Day 11 Punta Arenas & Isla Magdalena
Days 12 & 13 Tierra del Fuego: Karukinka Natural Park & Bahia Ainsworth
Days 14 to 17 Cape Horn & Isla de los Estados (Staten Island), Argentina
Days 18 & 19 Ushuaia/Buenos Aires/Home

Days 1 & 2 — Home/Buenos Aires, Argentina

Arrive in cosmopolitan Buenos Aires after an overnight flight (international flight not included) and check into the Alvear Icon Hotel (or similar). In the afternoon, we begin our guided afternoon explorations of this vibrant city, seeing the city’s Beaux-Arts palaces, the brightly painted bohemian community of La Boca, known for its street art and galleries, the Plaza de Mayo, and the famous presidential palace (called the rose palace) with its legendary balcony forever associated with Eva Perón.

Day 3 — Fly to Ushuaia/Embark

Fly to Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world. Before embarking, relax and enjoy lunch on a catamaran cruise of the Beagle Channel, a region of beech forests, mountains, and rushing rivers.

Days 4 & 5 — Exploring the Chilean Fjords: Glacier Alley

Sail into a vast wilderness of snow-capped peaks and mirror-like lakes, thick glaciers and islets blanketed with vegetation. In this pristine landscape, myriad fjords or senos cut between soaring granite walls and waterfalls splash down from high above. The region we explore for the next two days is known as Glacier Alley. This entire region is part of a greater UNESCO Biosphere Reserve focusing on the Magallanes Sub-Antarctic Evergreen Rainforest. This incredibly biodiverse region arose with the retreat of the glaciers which formed these fjords. We begin at Seno Pia, a secluded fjord in the northwestern arm of the Beagle Channel with an impressively large glacier at its terminus. Next is Seno Garibaldi, part of Alberto de Agostini National Park, a dramatic region where the formidable Andes meet the sea. We will visit the Garibaldi Glacier by Zodiac and ship, marveling at this stunning wall of ice. Seno Agostini is the origin of numerous glaciers from the nearby mountains, originating at more than 6,600 feet in elevation.  We’ll explore this region from our Zodiacs, getting close to floating brash ice and bergy bits, watching for wildlife, and hoping to witness the thundering process of glacial calving.

Day 6 — Francisco Coloane Marine Park

Located in the Strait of Magellan, Francisco Coloane Marine Park is the largest marine protected area along the Chilean coast, and it was also the first, established in 2003. This productive area supports vast and unique biological diversity, which will be the focus of our visit. A large summer population of humpback whales uses these waters as feeding grounds, as do South American sea lions. Black and white Peale’s dolphins are frequently seen, and we’ll search for the endemic and endangered Chilean dolphin. We’ll explore the marine park by Zodiac, kayak, and on foot. We’ll search for large marine and terrestrial birds including the Andean condor or the giant Antarctic petrel, and on Rupert Islet we’ll visit a large Magellanic penguin colony.

Days 7 & 8 — Puerto Natales & Torres del Paine

Our next two days will be spent exploring the region around Puerto Natales and Torres del Paine National Park, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. We’ll drive to the park on our first day, and you’ll have the option to trek on foot or explore part of the park by vehicle. The landscape is big, wide, and sprawling, with some of the most dramatic mountain scenery anywhere, and wildlife that includes rheas, foxes, and herds of guanaco. You’ll discover one of the most spectacular and wildlife-rich areas in the Americas, covering 450,000 acres of glaciers, forests and grasslands, rivers and gem-colored lagoons, crowned with the pinnacles of Torres del Paine. Our second day will be spent closer to Puerto Natales itself, to learn more about the burgeoning Chilean gastronomic scene, as well as the culture and history of the indigenous people of the region. Enjoy alternate opportunities for birding for Andean condors or hiking the beautiful terrain of the region.

Days 9 & 10 — Exploring the Chilean Fjords: Kirke Narrows

After a last morning in Torres del Paine, we have two days to continue our exploration of the Chilean fjords. Our captain and local pilots guide us through Kirke Narrows, accessible only to a small expedition ship such as National Geographic Endurance. While the wildlife of the region will leave you speechless, the combination of unspoiled scenery, national parks and lush Magellanic forests is what makes the fjords of Chile so captivating. We continue to explore the extensive maze of pristine channels and islands, where we may explore by Zodiac and kayak or take a walk in the surrounding forest.

Day 11 — Punta Arenas & Isla Magdalena

This morning we arrive in Punta Arenas, the largest city in Patagonia. With local guides, we’ll visit the historic center of the city, the Plaza de Armas, and a local handicraft market. Visit the Patagonia Institute and the Salesian Museum, to learn the region’s archaeology and wildlife. Alternatively, go for a hike in the Magallanes National Reserve, which offers outstanding views of the valley below and of Punta Arenas. Later, be on deck as National Geographic Endurance navigates the Strait of Magellan, en route to Isla Magdalena. The island has been designated a national nature reserve because of its importance as a penguin breeding site. Go ashore at the Penguins National Nature Reserve, home to 120,000 nesting Magellanic penguins. Photo opportunities abound here.

Days 12 & 13 — Tierra del Fuego: Karukinka Natural Park & Bahia Ainsworth

Continue to the newest and largest protected area on Tierra del Fuego: Karukinka, meaning "our land" in the language of the ancient inhabitants. We have obtained permission to visit this private reserve, which harbors abundant wildlife, including endangered culpeo foxes, guanacos, black-browed albatross, Andean condors, and elephant seals. On our last day in the Chilean fjords we set out to explore in Zodiacs and kayaks and on foot. Visit Bahía Ainsworth, at the base of Marinelli Glacier, to explore the sub-polar Magellan Forest. Keep an eye out for southern elephant seals along the beach.

Days 14 to 17 — Cape Horn & Isla de los Estados (Staten Island), Argentina

On the first of these days we visit Cape Horn, the southernmost tip of the South American continent. Conditions permitting, make a landing to look out at the waters of the Drake Passage. We continue to Isla de los Estados, whose wild, untouched landscapes are home to Magellanic penguins, fur seals, otters, sea lions, and countless water birds. We have received special permission to visit here. Our exact schedule will remain flexible to take best advantage of conditions for exploring this natural wonderland. See a reconstruction of the 1884 San Juan de Salvamento “lighthouse at the end of the world,” which inspired Jules Verne’s novel of the same name. The National Geographic Endurance is one of the few expedition ships to be granted access here, and the experience is bound to be unforgettable.

Days 18 & 19 — Ushuaia/Buenos Aires/Home

Disembark in Ushuaia and take a charter flight to Buenos Aires to connect with your overnight flight home (international flight not included).

* Itinerary may be subject to change

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Note: Prices for Endurance can change without notice. We attempt to keep the listed rates as accurate as possible but occasionally they may not reflect the most current prices. Be sure to ask when you contact us for that day's price.

Dates shown are USA/USA however international airfare is NOT included in trip price.

Free Bar Tab and Crew Gratuities are included in the listed rates.

Charter air : $TBD

Kayaking is available as an additional activity available to all passengers and arranged onboard free of charge.

All trips subject to possible fuel surcharge.

Only show rates under
$ X
Due to COVID-19 trip availability is not being updated. Please contact Polar Cruises to check on specific trips availability.
Per Person USD
Rates Antarctica 2022-23
Cat 1
Cat 2
Cat 3
Cat 4
Cat 5
Cat 6
Cat 7
Cat A
Solo
Cat B
Solo
Charter
Air
Photography
Free International Air Miami/Buenos Aires/Miami
Expires Mar 31st 2021
$26,670Limited$27,450Limited$33,460Limited$36,990Limited$41,200Limited$47,370Limited$52,550Limited$41,790Limited$46,370Limited 
Photography
$30,480Limited$31,370Limited$36,520Limited$40,870Limited$46,980Limited$53,980Limited$59,910Limited$45,570Limited$51,090Limited 
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$17,110Limited$17,610Limited$20,480Limited$22,870Limited$26,350Limited$30,150Limited$33,640Limited$25,580Limited$28,600Limited 
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$16,780Limited$17,270Limited$20,080Limited$22,430Limited$25,850Limited$29,570Limited$33,000Limited$25,090Limited$28,050Limited 
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$19,340Limited$19,750Limited$23,190Limited$25,950Limited$29,810Limited$34,270Limited$38,010Limited$28,910Limited$32,230Limited 
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$52,990Limited$56,550Limited$65,710Limited$73,830Limited$84,790Limited$97,510Limited$105,990Limited$82,310Limited$92,210Limited 
Photography
$52,990Limited$56,550Limited$65,710Limited$73,830Limited$84,790Limited$97,510Limited$105,990Limited$82,310Limited$92,210Limited 
Photography
$22,420Limited$23,090Limited$28,130Limited$31,010Limited$34,520Limited$39,740Limited$44,040Limited$35,170Limited$38,760Limited 
Photography
$19,840Limited$20,390Limited$24,870Limited$27,530Limited$30,590Limited$35,190Limited$39,030Limited$31,060Limited$34,440Limited 
No trips meet your criteria. Please increase the budget above to view more results.
Click on the tour dates in the left column to view a trip itinerary. Point MOUSE at Cabin Category to view DETAILED description.

Note: Prices for Endurance can change without notice. We attempt to keep the listed rates as accurate as possible but occasionally they may not reflect the most current prices. Be sure to ask when you contact us for that day's price.

Dates shown are USA/USA however international airfare is NOT included in trip price.

Free Bar Tab and Crew Gratuities are included in the listed rates.

Charter air : $TBD

Kayaking is available as an additional activity available to all passengers and arranged onboard free of charge.

All trips subject to possible fuel surcharge.

DeckPlan_NG-Endurance

   Category 1
Fore Deck (deck 4) with two large windows, Alcove seating, Relax chair. 183 square ft.
   Category 2
Fore Deck (deck 4) with two large windows, Alcove seating, Relax chair. 205 square ft.
   Category 3
Main Deck (deck 5)—Suite with balcony and sofa. 205 square ft.
   Category 4
Lounge Deck (deck 6)—Suite with balcony and sofa. 205 square ft.
   Category 5
Bridge Deck (deck 7)—Suite with balcony and sofa. 205 square ft.
   Category 6
Bridge Deck (deck 7)—Junior Balcony Suite with large balcony, sofa bed. 344 square ft.
   Category 7
Bridge Deck (deck 7)—Large Balcony Suite with large balcony, sofa bed, bathtub, walk-in closet. 430 square ft.
   Category A Solo
Main Deck (deck 5)—Suite with balcony and sofa. 140 square ft.
   Category B Solo
Lounge Deck (deck 6)—Suite with balcony and sofa. 140 square ft.