Chilean Fjords Expedition 2021

  • days: 15
  • from US$7,395

Save $1,000!

International Flights Not Included

Types of travel:

Countries Visited:

  • Argentina
  • Chile

Description

Please note this tour is priced in US Dollars (USD).

Discover the dramatic Fjords, Glaciers & Peaks of Southern Chile on this extraordinary cruising expedition. It's hard to think of a more remote, pristine location and we’ll discover it all in the comfort of one of the world’s most capable expedition ships, RCGS Resolute.

Extend and enhance your experience!

Why not combine this with our Antarctic Peninsula Adventure expedition. Visit the white continent on a stunning 10-night voyage before joining this tour in Ushuaia, creating what may be the world's greatest small-ship journey!

Immense glacial systems, towering mountains

The vast Patagonian ice-sheet that straddles the Andes mountains in South America is the third largest ice-mass on the planet, after Antarctica and the Greenland icecap. It is a remnant of the earth’s most recent ice age and dominates the landscape, ecology and geology of Patagonia. Immense glacial systems cut through towering mountains as they move inexorably towards the sea. Take a look at any map of the region and this action becomes immediately apparent, in the maze of fjords and islands that make up one of the earth’s last great remaining wilderness regions. Ancientboreal forests also tell a story of an evolving planet and the supercontinent of Gondwanaland. They are home to several species of flora only found in South America, New Zealand, and Australia’s most southerly state, Tasmania.

Journey through Fjords, observe rich wildlife

Commencing in Ushuaia, we make our way north through a vast network of deep fjords and channels, occasionally venturing out to the Pacific Ocean as we navigate towards Valparaiso – Chile’s historic deep-sea port. We explore our surroundings by  zodiac boat, approaching huge glaciers and observing resident and migratory wildlife and birdlife. On shore, we enjoy hikes of varying durations to outstanding viewpoints, in the company of expert guides. In addition, visits to small coastal communities showcase the unique way of life of the local people – telling a story of both indigenous and European settlement. It is hard to think of a more remote, pristine location and we’ll discover it all in the comfort of one of the world’s most capable expedition ships, RCGS Resolute.

Everything included!

One-Ocean-Included-Kit-200-px

We include the use of an expedition gear package free of charge. Containing around $US900 worth of essential equipment, this kit includes a quality waterproof/windproof jacket and bib-pants plus insulated rubber boots designed for extended walking. We also include a set of binoculars and a trekking pole for use when on shore. A waterproof backpack completes your package. This kit saves you buying expensive clothing and equipment you may only ever use once, and means more weight allowance for your main luggage.

Itinerary

Please note this tour is priced in US Dollars (USD).

Info-Icon

Your trip commences in Ushuaia, Argentina. We have included a pre-voyage night stay at the out signature hotel in Ushuaia to enhance your travel experience by giving you more time between home and voyage embarkation. Here we board our expedition ship, charting a course along the Beagle Channel and enter the great Fjord systems of Patagonia. Our voyage ends with our arrival into Valparaiso, Chile. Upon disembarkation, transfers are provided to our signature hotel in Valparaiso, to the airport in Santiago or to our signature hotel downtown. We advise booking flights out of Santiago that depart in the late afternoon. You may also choose to spend a night in Valparaiso or Santiago at the conclusion of your voyage. Full joining instructions are provided in your final travel documentation. If you have questions before this time, please ask your booking agent.

Note: You can combine this with our Antarctic Peninsula Adventure expedition. Visit the white continent on a stunning 10-night voyage before joining this tour in Ushuaia, creating what may be the world's greatest small ship journey! 

Abbreviation: [B,L,D] Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 1. Ushuaia, Argentina

Our journey commences in Ushuaia, in southern Argentina. Upon arrival, make your way to our signature hotel for an included pre-voyage hotel. This evening, we encourage you to visit the welcome desk set up in the lobby of the hotel to check in with the One Ocean Expeditions representative and to collect luggage tags for your voyage. One of the southernmost cities in the world, windswept Ushuaia is the gateway to Tierra del Fuego National park where hiking enthusiasts and wildlife aficionados will discover the beauty of the area.

DAY 2. Ushuaia- embark RCGS Resolute

We gather at our central meeting point then transfer to the pier for embarkation. Excitement is in the air as we enjoy a welcome cocktail and dinner before casting off, bound for the stunning landscapes of Patagonia, rugged coastal Chile and historic city of Valparaiso. [B,D]

DAY 3. Cape Horn and Hornos Island

Our journey is now well under way. Through the night we sailed south through the Wollaston Islands and down to the notorious Cape Horn headland on Horonos Island – one of the most southern points of Chile and the northern boundary of the Drake Passage. Prior to the opening of the Panama Canal in 1914, Cape Horn was part of a key world trade route (the Clipper route) and today rounding Cape Horn is a bucket list item for many recreational sailors. Weather and sea permitting, we’ll go ashore to explore the rugged landscape, lighthouse and chapel found on Horonos Island. [B,L,D]

DAY 4. Garibaldi or Pia Fjord and Alberto de Agostini National Park

We have rounded Cape Horn and during the night we sailed in a north westerly direction back into the Beagle Channel, which separates Argentina from neighbouring Chile, and into Alberto de Agostini National Park, designated as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve due to its large tracts of ancient sub-Antarctic forest systems. Naturalists believe these forests started growing around 10,000 years ago. At the break of dawn, we’ll find ourselves at the opening of the Pia and Garabaldi fjords. OurFjord and glacier of choice will depend on current sea and tidal conditions. We plan to head to shore for the first time, with the option of taking a short but steep hike up to find panoramic views of either of the glaciers. We also plan to explore either of the massive glaciers and near-by waterfalls here by Zodiac. Resident wildlife in the Beagle Channel includes the South American sea lion and several species of birds, including Magellanic penguins and albatross. [B,L,D]

DAY 5. Alberto de Agostini National Park, Dainelli and Serrano Glaciers

Sailing through the night, by morning we have rounded the western tip of the great isle of Tierra del Fuego. We take in views of the ice-capped peaks of the Darwin Range as we enter remote D’Agostini Sound. Here, the Dainelli and Serrano Glaciers, along with several others, cascade into the sea. Our captain will assess current ice and weather conditions to determine where we can land to explore from shore. [B,L,D]

DAY 6. Magellan Strait and Cabo San Isidro

We arrive at Cabo San Isidro, on the north shore of the Magellan Strait, and site of the southernmost lighthouse on the continent. This is our opportunity to enter the normally impenetrable Magellanic southern beech forests. A hiking trail follows the shoreline, passing shell middens left by the indigenous Kawéskar people, leading from Aguila Bay, a site of an important whaling station over a century ago. Wildlife watchers will appreciate the variety of forest birds, and the viewpoint above the bay where dolphins are often observed swimming in the kelp beds below. [B,L,D]

DAY 7. Alacalufes National Reserve

We cruise through the maze of channels that form Chile’s inside Passage, gradually making our way northward. We exit the Strait of Magellan and soon find ourselves in the Smyth Canal along the east coast Manual Rodrigues Island – named after the guerilla leader and arguably one of the founders of independent Chile – home to a large section of the Alacalufes National Reserve. As we explore this rugged area keep a look out for Chilean dolphins, whales and sea lions, as well as White-Crested Elaenias, Southern Churríns, Southern Crested Caracara and the Magellanic Woodpecker. Conditions permitting we will land for a shore excursion before returning to the ship for dinner. Over dinner and through the night we continue to sail through the Smyth Channel towards Peel Fjord. [B,L,D]

DAY 8. Peel Fjord, Asia and Amalia Glaciers

In a trip full of superlatives and highlights, today may well be near the top. Navigating into Peel Fjord, we make our way towards the impressive glaciers of this region. If you’re on the outer decks for a morning coffee or photography session you may hear what sounds to be thunder - a noise stemming from glacier movement and breakage known as calving. After breakfast we’ll make our way onto the water where, from the low vantage point of our Zodiacs or Kayaks, the sheer scale of the glacier faces is an experience you won’t forget. Be on the lookout for wildlife such as South American Sea Lions, Rock Cormorants, and Andean Condors. [B,L,D]

DAY 9. Bruggen Glacier and Falcon Fjord

Navigating into Eyre fjord, the vast sweep of the Brüggen Glacier comes into view. Often called the ‘Pio XI’, at almost 60 kilometres in length it is the largest glacier in the Southern Hemisphere outside of Antarctica. It rises almost 70 metres above the surface of the water and is a staggering 4 kilometres wide. In the afternoon, we put on our expedition gear to explore the seldom visited Falcon Fjord. [B,L,D]

DAY 10. Wellington Island and Puerto Eden

We awaken off the shores of Wellington Island, outside one of the most remote inhabited places in the world. The tiny indigenous village of Puerto Edén is home to the last remaining Kawéskar people. A visit to shore allows us to explore the village and to potentially purchase local handicrafts including baskets and models of bark canoes reflecting the Kawéskar’s paddling heritage. In the afternoon, we sail north along Messier Channel, now leaving the Patagonian fjords to voyage over the open sea, rounding the Taitao Peninsula by night. [B,L,D]

DAY 11. Coastal Cruising

Throughout the day our onboard experts educate us with a series of presentations about the environment, wildlife and history of this stunning region. Take some time to relax in the wellness centre, pool or stroll around the decks. Our open bridge policy means that you can join the ship’s Captain and learn about the operations of our modern expedition vessel. [B,L,D]

DAY 12. Castro and Chiloe Island

This morning we are in position close to the town of Castro – the provincial capital of the island of Chiloé. The town was founded in 1567 and is the third oldest city in Chile. It flourished when the early Jesuits chose to base their mission here. We make our way ashore and are immediately struck by the colourful houses built on stilts around the harbour. Known as ‘palafitos’, they are simple homes built by local fisherman. The local markets are a highlight and showcase some of the most impressive crafts and textiles in the country. Reboarding the ship in the afternoon we hug the coastline, hoping to see the snow-capped summits of the numerous volcanoes that characterise this region.  [B,L,D]

DAY 13. Coastal cruising and Niebla

Located at the mouth of the Valdivia River, Niebla is an intriguing coastal town with rich history, inhabited for centuries by the indigenous Mapuche tribe. Europeans first discovered it in the mid-15th century. Take in the historical remains of Fuerte de Niebla – part of an important fort system established by the conquering Spanish army to protect the estuary of the Valdivia River – and immerse yourself in the exhibitions at the Casa del Castellano museum. Unwind before the day is done by taking stroll along one of the outstanding nearby beaches and enjoy the sand, cliffs, and rock formations that scatter the coastline. [B,L,D]

DAY 14. Coastal cruising towards Valparaiso

As we make our way towards the historic port of Valparaiso, the educational presentations continue and we enjoy an entertaining voyage recap by our Expedition Leader. Join our photography expert in the multimedia room, where you can download and/ or back up your precious images. Or spend time outside on the observation decks, in our spacious lounges or on the bridge. It’s a fitting time to reflect on a wonderful expedition. This evening we enjoy a special dinner attended by the Captain of the ship. [B,L,D]

DAY 15. Disembark - Valparaiso

This morning we arrive at Valparaiso, the principal deep water port for Santiago, around 100 kilometres inland from the coast. After breakfast it is time to say farewell to your crew and fellow travellers as we disembark RCGS Resolute. A transfer to downtown Santiago, via Santiago Airport, is provided for all guests, however Valparaiso is well worth a day or two of exploration if your schedule allows. Ride the historic funicular railways that still operate around the city and enjoy the bohemian atmosphere. Or spend some time exploring the celebrated Casablanca wine region located nearby.  [B]

Please Note: Expedition cruising can be unpredictable. Specific sites visited will depend on prevailing weather and ice conditions at the time of sailing. The above itinerary should be read as a ‘guide only’ and may change. The ship’s Captain in conjunction with the Expedition Leader continually review the sailing plan throughout the voyage, making adjustments to the itinerary along the way to take advantage of optimal weather and ice conditions or to maximize our encounters with wildlife. Decades of experience spent exploring these waterways mean we have a large number of outstanding landing sites and zodiac cruising locations to consider, even when the weather conditions may not be ideal or when heavy ice may hinder our a planned route. A flexible approach is something we encourage you to bring to the ship.

Inclusions

Please note this tour is priced in US Dollars (USD).

One-Ocean-Included-Kit-390

We include the use of an expedition gear package free of charge. Containing around $US900 worth of essential equipment, this kit includes a quality waterproof/windproof jacket and bib-pants plus insulated rubber boots designed for extended walking. We also include a set of binoculars and a trekking pole for use when on shore. A waterproof backpack completes your package. This kit saves you buying expensive clothing and equipment you may only ever use once, and means more weight allowance for your main luggage.

Travel

  • All cruising on board the RCGS Resolute

Accommodation & Meals

  • 1 night pre-cruise accommodation in Ushuaia 
  • 13 nights on board the RCGS Resolute
  • 14 breakfasts, 12 lunches and 13 dinners

Inclusions

  • Polar gear hire package including waterproof/windproof jacket, bib-pants, insulated comfortable rubber boots, binoculars, trekking pole and waterproof backpack for use on shore
  • Comprehensive pre-voyage information package including details to help you prepare for your trip
  • Transfer from the hotel to port on embarkation day and from port to airport on disembarkation day
  • Shipboard accommodation in your selected cabin category with daily housekeeping. Cabins feature outside views with windows or portholes
  • All breakfasts, lunches and dinners on board throughout your voyage with daily afternoon tea
  • 24 hour tea, coffee, hot chocolate in bar lounge plus in-cabin tea and coffee making facilities
  • Experienced Expedition Leader and professional expedition team of marine biologists, naturalists, historians, adventure guides and photographers
  • Daily off-ship excursions by Zodiac boat breaking into small groups for shore landings
  • Guided hikes and walks on shore of various durations for guests of all abilities
  • Visits to wildlife colonies, historic sites, places of outstanding natural beauty and community visits
  • Educational presentations and talks by polar experts in their field (ie. marine biologists, naturalists, historians etc). On board or on shore
  • Resident photography guide available to assist all guests
  • Access to computers in the multimedia lab for image downloads, file back up and management
  • An emergency trained Physician on board every voyage
  • Dedicated hospitality team including Hotel Manager, professional chefs, professional bar staff and Adventure Concierge staff
  • On board sauna, swimming pool, Jacuzzi and fitness centre including massage options (charge applies for massage treatments)
  • Access to well stocked library full of polar reference books
  • End of voyage video, photos and take home USB
  • Port fees and all permits to access visited areas

 Not Included

  • Any international or local airfares unless otherwise specified in the voyage itinerary 
  • Visa and passport expenses
  • Pre or post-cruise hotel accommodation unless otherwise specified in the itinerary (or pre-arranged)
  • Pre or post-cruise transfers unless otherwise specified in the itinerary (or pre-arranged)
  • Personal expenses on board such as bar charges or laundry expenses
  • Telecommunication charges (ie. email, satellite phone)
  • Baggage, cancellation or medical travel insurance related expenses (travel insurance is mandatory on all voyages)
  • Tipping payable locally, suggested amounts are approx. $15-$20pp US per day

Dates & Prices

Please note this tour is priced in US Dollars (USD).

Dates & Prices

Starts Ends Save Total Cost* Status Book
30/03/21 13/04/21 $1,000 US$7,395 On Request  
Valid From: This tour does not include flights from Australia Chile/Argentina. Please contact our office for the latest special fares to match your independent tour.
Other departure cities:
Tips: Tipping payable locally, suggested amounts are approx. $15-$20pp US per day
Taxes:
Single supplement: On application

Single Travellers, please note:

  • No single supplement is required if you are happy to share. You would be matched up with a fellow expeditioner of the same gender. If there is no-one suitable to share, you will have sole use of the cabin at no extra cost.
  • If you prefer exclusive use of the cabin a single supplement would apply which is 1.5 x the cabin price or 2 x cabin price for suites.
  • Triple share cabins are also available for single travellers on a limited basis.

Cabin upgrades and itinerary length variations may be available, please contact Bunnik Tours for more details.

Fitness to Travel

Please note this tour is priced in US Dollars (USD).

Let's Talk Fitness

Levels-of-Fitness-sml

At Bunnik Tours we don’t put specific age limits on our tours, but we also recognise some travellers may find our itineraries challenging.
We have a duty of care to all tour participants and the tour guides, so we do impose a firm policy on the level of fitness required by all our clients to attempt to ensure your safety and the safety of other travellers on our tours.
At Bunnik Tours our goal is for all our travellers to enjoy their tour, not struggle through it! Which is why we want to work with you to ensure you are on the best possible trip for your fitness level. We do reserve the right to refuse bookings if we feel that the requirements of the tour are too demanding.
Bunnik Tours are for independently minded travellers with good levels of mobility.

Our tours include:
1. Generous amounts of free time
2. Lots of walking
3. Local and authentic experiences including various modes of transport and accommodation

In some regions travellers can also expect:
1. Long days of travelling, at times on dirt and gravel roads in Africa
2. Extended periods at high altitude (3,000-4,000 metres) in Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Ethiopia
3. Extended periods of walking/hiking through humid forest areas in Rwanda, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Mexico and Costa Rica
4. Limited medical facilities in remote areas

Bunnik Tours travellers are required to at least:
1. Be able to walk 2-3 hours on uneven surfaces
2. Walk up multiple flights of stairs and short, steep hills
3. Stand for 20 minutes without needing to sit down, often in hot/humid climates
4. Carry their own luggage
5. Get on and off various modes of transport without assistance, including small boats

Optional Tours

Please note this tour is priced in US Dollars (USD).

ON BOARD CRUISE SHIP

Sea kayaking - $495.00pp US

Sea kayaking allows you to experience another side of the Arctic and highly professional guides will introduce you to a slower paced, quieter polar experience. Kayak excursions are offered whenever weather conditions permit and you can expect to get out around six or seven times over the course of your voyage, for periods up to three or four hours. The programme is directed at any passenger with an adventurous spirit and a some previous paddling experience.

Please note: This optional MUST be reserved at the time of booking and attracts an additional charge of $495 US per participant. You will need to complete a special questionnaire outlining your previous paddling experience. Ask us for a copy of this document if you are interested in the sea kayaking programme.

Accommodation

Please note this tour is priced in US Dollars (USD).

Accommodation

Accommodation is subject to change and every effort is made to avoid this. However if a change does become necessary, accommodation of a similar standard will be used.

One Ocean RCGS Resolute

NEW: 360 Degree Virtual Ship Tour. With the highest possible ice classification, a proven track record for stability and safety, large indoor and outdoor viewing platforms, and exceptional manoeuvrability, RCGS Resolute is ideally equipped to carry you through the world’s most pristine regions. RCGS Resolute carries a maximum of just 146 passengers in great comfort, with an array of amenities, educational opportunities and all of the well known One Ocean Expeditions activities tailored to guests’ particular interests, as well as personalised service. The ship features two expansive full-view dining areas, a forward observation lounge with 180 degree panoramic windows, bridge access, a fleet of 14 zodiacs, multimedia room, modern gym, and wellness centre with massage therapy, steam room, jacuzzi and Finnish sauna.

One Ocean: Ship overview | Cabin types available

Visa Information

Please note this tour is priced in US Dollars (USD).

Visa Requirements

Passport-AU2

Please note, a Reciprocity Fee is payable upon arrival in Chile for Australian passport holders. Please check with your travel agent for further details.

  • Australian passport holders
    • A Chile Reciprocity Fee of $117pp US is payable upon arrival by cash or credit card.
  • Non-Australian passport holders
    • Please check with your travel agent on visa requirements.

The following government websites are also a handy source of general information.

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Special Experiences

  • Learn about the environment, glacial systems, history and ecology from experts
  • Visit historic sites, local communities and experience rural Chilean culture
  • Experience some of the most remote and pristine wilderness areas on earth
  • Observe resident and migrating wildlife on shore, in Zodiacs and from the ship

Trip Info

Group Size

Min: 1

Transportation

Polar Expedition ship

Tips

Tipping payable locally, suggested amounts are approx. $15-$20pp US per day

Tour Highlights

• Garibaldi Fjord • Alberto de Agostino National Park • Glacier Alley • Chiloe Island • Brüggen Glacier • Mocha Island • Valparaiso

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