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Cruises

Traveling to Southern Chile is a unique experience, which can be done by plane or bus, on a train or car. However, one of the most comfortable and exciting ways to make the long trip to Patagonia and Southern Chile is by water, in one of the many cruise ships available in the country.

The Chilean Patagonia is formed by islands and archipelagos, beginning in Puerto Montt and finishing by the Antarctica. In this area the scenery is different, and big blocks of ice become the usual surrounding of a privileged place on Earth, filled with water and animals.

There are several companies which make the trip to this place and offer different types of tourist packages, like Skorpios, Catamaranes del Sur, Navimag, Mare Australis, Terra Nova Tours and Netnow.

Cruises Patagonia

Outstanding Duration Rates
San Rafael Lagoon on Navimag crusier 5 days USD $811
Skorpios II Crusier - Classical Route 7 days USD $1.150
Catamaranes del Sur - San Rafael glacier 8 days USD $1.277
Mare Australis crusier- Punta Arenas- Ushuaia 5 days USD $1.150

The journeys made by the cruise companies in Chile are:

San Rafael Lagoon
It is, perhaps, the most visited place in Patagonia. San Rafael Lagoon is located in the northern part of the Southern Patagonia Icefield, and it is surrounded by big blocks of ice, snowdrifts and canals formed by the melting of the millenary ice in the area. The cruises that travel to the lagoon are able to stay by it between five to eight hours, time you can spend enjoying the landscapes, the vegetation, the animals that live in the area and breathe the purest air. Because of the change in climatic conditions in the past years, it is possible to see how blocks of ice fall from the bigger ones, into the water and slightly moving the boats and ships nearby.
There are companies that offer trips which are six days long, when you can visit San Rafael and Puerto Montt, with all the areas in between. These kinds of tour packages include stay at hotels and trips to other glaciers in the area.
Puerto Natales
There are cruise companies that cover the journey from Puerto Montt to Puerto Natales, sailing by fiords and channels of great beauty. The trip to Puerto Natales allows the visitor to go to the Chiloe Island, with all its history and culture, a place like no other in Chile. Chiloe is the biggest Island in Chile, and it has its own architecture, flora and history, it is the home of over 150 churches, which were the center of each little town settled in the island.
From Chiloe you go on to the south through Patagonia canals, until you reach the Isla Magdalena National Park and the Queulat National Park, which leads to the San Rafael Lagoon, recognized by its glaciers. From San Rafael the journey continues to the Bernardo O'Higgins National Park, near Puerto Natales. Here you are welcomed by more glaciers and islands of wild vegetation and fauna in danger of extinction.
Tierra del Fuego
It's the last place of Chile and the American continent. Tierra del Fuego (Fireland) is a place of pampas, islands, penguins and ice. The most important places are Punta Arenas, Puerto Williams and Ushuaia in Argentina. Cruise companies cover the zone, sailing through the historic Magellan's Strip, the connection point for the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. You sail right by National Parks, like the Alberto de Agostini and Isla Magdalena, where hundreds of animals of different species live, most in danger of extinction and -therefore- protected by Chilean and international laws.
Antártica
It is the dream trip for many, even Chileans. To set foot on the white continent and be part, even for a short time, of its atmosphere and climate, makes Antarctica one of the most desired places to visit in the southern hemisphere. You can only get there by water, and the cruise companies are the best way to travel. You need to make reservations ahead of time, because the trips are only made in summer time, and depending on weather conditions. The access to the Chilean territory in Antarctica is complicated, it snows all winter and the winds are heavier than ever, and the `roads' are covered in snow. In winter the snow melts and different ships can make their way to the continent, finally. The Chilean Air Force keeps bases in Antarctica, where people live all year; other countries send scientists to research there too. Villa Las Estrellas is the only populated villa in Antarctica, completely equipped for daily life, it also has a hostel where visitors can stay and eat, with Internet access included.

The following is a listing of the companies that operate in Chile, by the journeys they provide:

San Rafael Lagoon
  • Skorpios I
  • Catamares del Sur
  • Navimag
  • Patagonia Connection
  • Austral Adventures
Puerto Natales
  • Skorpio
  • Catamares del Sur
  • Navimag
  • Austral Adventures
Tierra del Fuego
  • Navimag
  • Australis Cruises
Antártica
  • Quark Expeditions
  • Antarctic Shipping Company