Patagonian Explorer by Sea

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from$5899Tour + Flights 13days
  • Flights
  • Cruise
  • Coach
  • Transfers
  • Hotel
  • Meals
  • Guides
price per person, double occupancy,* based on Sep 20, 2019 departure from MIA

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$600 Early Bird Discount. Expires Jan 24, 2019.*   All prices reflect savings.

Overview

Featuring Buenos Aires & Ushuaia, then a 4 night cruise to Tierra Del Fuego, Cape Horn & the penguins of Magdalena Island; plus Santiago & Valparaiso, Chile
Style Small Group TourTravel with a small, intimate group of 15-24 likeminded travelers escorted by an English speaking guide and/or tour manager for some or all of your journey. More of these packages
8 travelers max, tour escorts & guides for some segments
Departures Scheduled Dates: 3 open departures, September 2019 – April 2020
Price Includes
  • Non-stop flights from Miami (MIA) to Buenos Aires and Santiago to Miami via LATAM Airlines, including fuel surcharges, taxes and fees
  • All intra-South America flights
  • All transfers with meeting and assistance
  • Accommodation in First Class and Deluxe hotels
  • 4 nights cruise aboard M/V Stella Australis or M/V Ventus Australis
  • 21 lavish meals: 10 breakfasts, 5 lunches and 6 dinners, including a welcome dinner with wine
  • English-speaking local guides
  • Expedition specialist on board the cruise
Optional
  • Optional pre-tour extension to Iguazu
  • Optional tango lesson in Buenos Aires
Highlights
  • Attend a tango show in Buenos Aires
  • Experience the gaucho way of life on an Argentine cattle ranch
  • Discover Ushuaia, the world's southernmost city
  • Visit Cape Horn, at the southern tip of South America
  • Admire 4 magnificent glaciers
  • Opportunity to see thousands of penguins in the wild
  • Explore Valparaiso, a UNESCO World Heritage port city
  • Taste local Chilean wines at their origin in the Casablanca Valley
Departs Miami (MIA)
Themes ActiveGrand ToursNature & WildlifeSmall Ship Cruises
What to Expect This fast-paced, escorted tour involves a significant amount of walking or hiking, often on uneven terrain, as well as climbing into and out of Zodiac boats. Because of this, and the fact that the cruise ship has no elevators requiring being able to climb up and down several flights of stairs, a high level of physical fitness is necessary to fully enjoy the trip. The Patagonia cruise portion of the tour may have up to 210 passengers.

Prepare for your trip Already booked? Find everything you need to know before you go, including information about passport & visa requirements, flights, luggage, and more.


Patagonian Explorer by Sea itinerary

Explore amazingly diverse and fascinating Patagonia, a magnificent "off-the-beaten-path" region spanning portions of Chile and Argentina, where you'll find soaring mountains, windy plains that stretch endlessly toward the distant horizon, lush forests filled with ancient flora and fauna, and pristine glaciers. It is an enchanted voyage filled with contrast and beauty, excitement and adventure, and one that you will never forget.

Begin in Buenos Aires, the beautiful and diverse capital city of Argentina, where a rich history and culture, world-class cuisine and spirited nightlife make this one of the world's most exciting destinations. You'll also visit Santiago, Chile's charming capital city, where Spanish colonial buildings and old churches are juxtaposed against the spectacular, snowy peaks of the Andes Mountains.

At Ushuaia, you'll board your Patagonia cruise ship, the Stella Australis or her sister ship, the Ventus Australis, and sail around the inlets and waterways of Tierra del Fuego and through the Strait of Magellan. The ship's fleet of Zodiac boats will whisk you to shore at various points along the way, and en route, you'll enjoy fascinating presentations by the ship's naturalist-guides, all of whom are involved in the study of Patagonia and its natural treasures as well as its preservation.

If you enjoy cruising, you won't want to miss this very special opportunity. Your ship provides all the modern comforts you'll need or want, plus important extras that you'll be glad to have—even high-top rubber boots to borrow if you don't bring your own! Delicious and bountiful meals are served three times daily in the ship's dining room that is encircled by huge picture windows so you don't miss a single view. Hot beverages, snacks and even wine and other alcoholic beverages are served, free of charge, each day.

Dates, Prices & Options

Departure Dates & Prices

Early Bird Discount: Save up to $600 per person if you book by Jan. 24, 2019!
Departures & Prices, with flights
per person, double occupancy*
2019 DEPARTURES
Depart / Return Package Price Early
Bird
Early Bird
Good Thru
Your
Price
Departs: Fri, Sep 20, 2019
Returns: Wed, Oct 2, 2019
Book by Thu, Jan 24, 2019 (midnight ET) to get the current early bird discount!
Sep 20 – Oct 2 $6499 –$600 Jan 24 $5899 Select
Departs: Fri, Oct 18, 2019
Returns: Wed, Oct 30, 2019
Oct 18 – Oct 30 $6999 Closed
2020 DEPARTURES
Depart / Return Package Price Early
Bird
Early Bird
Good Thru
Your
Price
Departs: Tue, Feb 11, 2020
Returns: Sun, Feb 23, 2020
Book by Thu, Jan 24, 2019 (midnight ET) to get the current early bird discount!
Feb 11 – Feb 23 $7599 –$600 Jan 24 $6999 Select
Departs: Fri, Apr 3, 2020
Returns: Wed, Apr 15, 2020
Book by Thu, Jan 24, 2019 (midnight ET) to get the current early bird discount!
Apr 3 – Apr 15 $6499 –$600 Jan 24 $5899 Select

If you want a few extra days to explore on your own, we may be able to arrange for you to stay later than the scheduled dates, including extra hotel nights and separate airport transfers, for an additional charge. Ask us about prices and availability when you reserve. More information Want to extend your trip?

Options & Fees

Patagonia Explorer By Sea
Rooming Selection/Cabin Categories1
Category A, Double Occupancy
Oct 18, 2019 unavailable
All other departures included
Category A, Single Occupancy
Feb 11, 2020 +$1999
Oct 18, 2019 unavailable
All other departures +$1599
Category AA, Double Occupancy
Feb 11, 2020 +$149
All other departures +$99
Category AA, Single Occupancy
Oct 18, 2019 +$1999
Feb 11, 2020 +$2299
All other departures +$1799
Optional Tango Lesson
Optional tango lesson in Buenos Aires +$75

1. Cabin upgrades are subject to availability. We will confirm your cabin selection usually within 1 business day of your reservation. If the category you selected is unavailable, you'll have the option to select a different category.

Iguazu Falls Extension
Iguazu Falls Extension +$1099
Rooming Selection
Double Occupancy included
Single Room Occupancy +$359

So that we can offer you the best deals, our packages are, like most hotels and cruises, priced based on double occupancy rooms or cabins. We charge solo travelers an extra fee to cover the extra costs of single occupancy rooms or cabins. (Consider: if you booked a $200/night hotel room solo, you would pay the $200 yourself; but if a couple booked the same room, each one would pay only $100.) But you only pay extra for the rooms or cabins, nothing else, including meals, sightseeing, tips, etc.

Want to find a roommate and avoid single occupancy fees? We can help! Learn more
Why are single rooms more?

Flights & Departure Cities

Departure Airports
Miami (MIA) included

This package includes round-trip flights from the city listed above.

Want to fly from another city? Unfortunately, we don't offer flights from other cities, but you can book your own connecting flights.

How to Make a Reservation

To make a reservation, simply select an available departure date and reserve online using our secure booking system. Or call one of our travel specialists at 800-555-5765. But first, check out our Things to Know section.

We only require a per-person deposit payment, which you can pay with your credit card or PayPal account. This deposit will be applied towards the cost of your package, and is generally non-refundable. The balance is due 95 days prior to departure (or within 72 hours, if you're booking less than 95 days prior to departure), and can be paid by credit card, PayPal, check or money order.

Deposit
Deposit $2500

Itinerary

Day 1: Depart USA

  • Depart the USA on your flight bound for Buenos Aires, Argentina

Day 2: Arrive Buenos Aires

Accommodations: 3 nights Recoleta Grand, Buenos Aires. Included meals: Dinner.

  • Buenos Aires city tour
  • Balance of the day is at leisure
  • Join your fellow travelers for a welcome dinner

Recoleta Cemetary, Buenos Aires Photo by HalloweenHJBFull Day Itinerary:After arrival formalities, stop for coffee and a local pastry at a historic café in Buenos Aires. Then, you will set out to discover why Buenos Aires is so often referred to as “the Paris of the South.” Each neighborhood has its own distinctive flavor, but everywhere you go, the people are warm, welcoming and happy to see visitors.

Your exploration begins at the Plaza del Mayo, historic and political center of the city. You'll see the Casa Rosada, the presidential palace from which Juan and Eva Perón spoke to throngs of adoring Argentinians. Continue to the Obelisk landmark on the Avenue 9 de Julio, the widest avenue in the world, then to the crowded Florida Street, a true shopper's paradise. Pass through the colorful neighborhood of La Boca with its famous colorful painted houses and tango performers. Admire the French architecture in the exquisite Recoleta neighborhood, including the beautiful Cemetery of La Recoleta, where Evita Perón is buried. It is one of many ironies of this complex city that Evita, heroine of the poor, is buried in the most elegant (and expensive) section.

In the evening, meet your fellow travelers for a welcome dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 3: Buenos Aires & Estancia Visit

Included meals: Breakfast & lunch.

  • Full day excursion to an Argentinean cattle ranch with lunch

GauchoFull Day Itinerary: After breakfast this morning, travel outside the city for a full day excursion to the Argentine Pampas. Visit a traditional estancia (ranch), where you'll discover the life of the Argentine cowboys known as "gauchos." You will be met with welcoming wine and empanadas. After a sumptuous barbecue lunch, you will enjoy a folkloric show with typical Argentine dance, song, and dress, along with a demonstration of gaucho horsemanship.

Day 4: Buenos Aires

Included meals: Breakfast & dinner.

  • Full day at leisure for independent exploration
  • Enjoy a tango dinner show

Dancing tango in the colorful La Boca DistrictFull Day Itinerary: Enjoy a full day at leisure to explore the city on your own. Your tour guide will gladly make suggestions for independent exploration. We recommend an early evening stroll through the colorful streets and shops around your hotel, where you'll enjoy shopping for bargains on souvenirs (and that gorgeous leather bag).

Tonight, join your fellow travelers for dinner and an exciting performance of the tango, Argentina's passionate national dance.

Optional Excursion: Tango lesson $75 p.p.  Learn the basic steps of the Argentine tango on this one-hour lesson with professional dancers in the world capital of tango.

Note: This optional excursion must be pre-purchased and requires a minimum of 2 passengers to operate.

Day 5: Buenos Aires & Ushuaia

Accommodations: 1 night Las Hayas Ushuaia Resort, Ushuaia. Included meals: Breakfast.

  • Fly from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia
  • Afternoon orientation tour of Ushuaia
  • Visit the Prison Museum

Ushuaia, ArgentinaFull Day Itinerary: Transfer to the airport this morning for your flight to Ushuaia, the most important city on the island of Tierra del Fuego. The landscapes in this fascinating region range from barren, windswept plains to quiet pine and beech forests, pristine blue lakes, and snowcapped mountains. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel for check-in. In the afternoon, you'll enjoy an orientation tour of the town and discover the city's unique history. Ushuaia is often referred to as the world’s southernmost city, and you will get the opportunity to learn more about its past as a penal colony at the museum that is housed in what once was the prison.

Day 6: Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego & Embark Cruise

Accommodations: 4 nights M/V Stella Australis or M/V Ventus Australis. Included meals: Breakfast & dinner.

  • Morning excursion to Tierra del Fuego National Park
  • Embark Patagonia cruise ship
  • Welcome cocktail reception and dinner
  • Sail through the Beagle and Murray Channels

Tierra del Fuego National Park entranceFull Day Itinerary: Take a morning excursion to the Tierra del Fuego National Park. When Ferdinand Magellan first sailed along these shores in 1520, he saw fires lit by the Yaghan Indians, giving the region its name: Tierra del Fuego, or "Land of Fire."

Later today, board your expedition cruise ship. The captain and crew will welcome you with a cocktail reception on board. After a welcoming toast and introduction of captain and crew, the ship departs for one of the most remote corners of planet Earth. During the night, you will traverse the Beagle Channel and cross from Argentina into Chilean territorial waters. The lights of Ushuaia disappear as you turn toward the narrow Murray Channel between Navarino and Hoste islands.

Day 7: Cape Horn & Wulaia Bay

Included meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

  • Disembark in Cape Horn National Park
  • Explore the fabled Wulaia Bay

Cape Horn, ChileFull Day Itinerary: Around the break of dawn, the Australis cruise crosses Nassau Bay and enters the remote archipelago that comprises Cape Horn National Park. Weather and sea conditions permitting, go ashore on the windswept island that harbors legendary 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 1,394-foot high rocky promontory overlooking the turbulent waters of the Drake Passage. For many years, it was the main sailing 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.

Wulaia Bay Photo by Malte SieberSailing back across Nassau Bay, anchor at fabled Wulaia Bay, the site of one of the region’s largest Yámana aboriginal canoer settlements. Charles Darwin disembarked here in 1833 during his voyage aboard the HMS Beagle. This area is also renowned for its mesmerizing beauty and dramatic geography. You will have the opportunity to walk through an enchanting Magellanic forest of beeches, Winter’s bark trees and ferns to reach a panoramic viewpoint overlooking the bay.

Day 8:  Pía Glacier & Garibaldi Glacier

Included meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

  • Hike to reach a panoramic view of Pia Glacier
  • Admire the Garibaldi Glacier

Group overlooking Pía GlacierFull Day Itinerary: By morning, you’ll be entering Pía Fjord and boarding the Zodiacs for a shore excursion to Pía Glacier. After disembarking, take a short hike to gain a panoramic view of the spectacular glacier, which extends from the mountaintops down to the sea.

During the afternoon, the ship will enter the Garibaldi fjord, and drop anchor near Garibaldi Glacier for another shore excursion. This time you can hike through virgin Magellanic forests to a glacial waterfall, a towering wall of ferns and moss, and spectacular viewpoints looking down on the glacier and fjord. The walk is demanding –a very steep trail with rough footing– and not for everyone. For those who choose to stay on board, the captain will point the bow towards the beautiful sky blue Garibaldi Glacier so everyone can enjoy the panoramic view from the upper decks.

Day 9: Agostini Sound, Águila Glacier and Condor Glacier

Included meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

  • Sail to Agostini Sound and see stunning glaciers
  • Continue to Aguila Glacier and walk along the shore of the lagoon

Darwin Mountain rangeFull Day Itinerary: Early in the morning, sail through the Cockburn Channel and enter Agostini Sound.  From there, see the glaciers that descend from the middle of the Darwin Mountain Range, some of them reaching the water. Later this morning, you can disembark and go for an easy walk around a lagoon, which was formed by the melting of the Águila Glacier, to a spot right in front of that glacier with stunning views. In the afternoon, you will approach the Condor Glacier via Zodiac, and hopefully see some of the abundant Andean Condors in the area!

Day 10: Magdalena Island, Punta Arenas & Santiago

Accommodations: 2 nights Crowne Plaza Hotel, Santiago. Included meals: Breakfast.

  • Visit Magdalena Island or Marta Island
  • Sail to the port of Punta Arenas, on the Straits of Magellan
  • Transfer to the airport for your flight to Santiago, Chile
  • Upon arrival, meet your guide and transfer to your hotel

Magellanic Penguins Photo by Mc ManusFull Day Itinerary: After an overnight cruise through Magdalena Channel and back into the Strait of Magellan, anchor off Magdalena Island, which lies about halfway between Tierra del Fuego and the Chilean mainland. Crowned by a distinctive lighthouse, the island used to be an essential source of supplies for navigators and explorers and is currently inhabited by an immense colony of Magellanic penguins. At the break of dawn, weather permitting, you can go ashore and hike a path that leads through thousands of penguins to a small museum lodged inside the vintage 1902 lighthouse. Many other bird species are also found on the island.

 *Camera extension poles are prohibited on Magdalena Island

South American Sea LionsThe penguins migrate in early April, so passengers traveling between April and September will enjoy a different treat: a visit to the sea lion colony on Marta Island.

Sail on to Punta Arenas, disembarking late this morning. Transfer to the airport for your flight to Santiago. Upon arrival, your guide will escort you to your centrally located hotel.

Day 11: Santiago

Included meals: Breakfast & lunch.

  • Morning orientation of modern and colonial Santiago
  • Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant in the Bellavista district
  • Return to the hotel and enjoy the balance of the day at leisure

Santiago, ChileFull Day Itinerary:This morning, you'll explore Santiago, the bustling capital of Chile, located between the Pacific Ocean and the majestic Andes Mountains. Enjoy an orientation tour that showcases both the colonial and modern highlights of the city. Begin your tour with a visit to the colonial district and Plaza Constitución. Visit the Palacio de la Moneda, which was built toward the end of the colonial period to house the Royal Mint, and is now the seat of the Chilean government. Continue to the bustling Plaza de Armas, the heart of Santiago and home to the ornate baroque Metropolitan Cathedral, the magnificent Post Office building and Municipality and the best place to view the dozens of lively street artists and mimes and busy "Santiaguinos" on their way to and from work. End your tour with spectacular panoramic views from Santa Lucía Hill, the site where Santiago was founded in 1541, and San Cristóbal Hill. At the foot of San Cristóbal lies the district of Bellavista, where you'll have lunch at a local restaurant.

Enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure to explore the city independently.

Day 12: Valparaiso & depart Santiago

Included meals: Breakfast.

  • Visit a vineyard in the Casablanca Valley for a wine-tasting tour
  • Continue to Valparaiso for a city tour 
  • Transfer to the airport for your overnight return flight to the USA

Calfulafquen Bar Restaurant & hillside tram, ValparaisoFull Day Itinerary:This morning, depart Santiago on a full day excursion. First, you'll visit a local vineyard in the Casablanca Valley for a tour and wine-tasting. Then head to Valparaiso, a vibrant port city and UNESCO World Heritage site founded in 1536. The city brims with charming colorful neighborhoods nestled amongst and perched atop hills, and more than a dozen funiculars connect the port with higher areas of the city. In the afternoon, walk to the hills of Alegre and Concepcion, the most historic and important in the city.

Later today, transfer to the airport in Santiago for your overnight flight back to the USA.

Day 13: Arrive USA

  • Arrive back in the USA early this morning

This tour involves some hiking and walking, and as the ship does not have an elevator aboard, you must be able to walk up and down several flights of stairs. Patagonia is a wild, rugged region, and our tour package is designed to get you up close and personal with the glaciers, terrain, wildlife and people of this area. While the cruise and shore excursions are not particularly strenuous and are suitable for most people, they do involve some uphill walking, hiking, and traveling in a zodiac boat. Travelers who have certain physical limitations may find that they cannot fully participate in the tour program aboard the cruise. All passengers boarding the Australis cruise will be required to sign a disclaimer during check-in. Please review this disclaimer in advance to be certain you accept the terms, and contact us if you have any questions.

 

Iguazu Falls Optional Pre-Tour Extension

Why not take advantage of your already-included international airfare to visit Iguazu Falls, one of the world's most spectacular natural wonders. You will depart the USA 3 days earlier than the departures dates listed. 

Day 1: Depart USA

  • Depart the USA on your flight bound for Buenos Aires, Argentina

Day 2: Buenos Aires/Puerto Iguazú

Accommodations: 2 nights Iguazú Grand, Puerto Iguazú. Included meals: Breakfast & dinner.

  • Upon arrival in Buenos Aires, transfer to the domestic airport
  • Fly to Puerto Iguazú and transfer to your hotel for check-in
  • Balance of the day at leisure

Aerial view of Devil's Throat at Iguazu Falls Photo by Mario Robert Duran OrtizFull Day Itinerary: After clearing the immigration and customs formalities upon arrival in Buenos Aires, your guide will meet you for the transfer to the domestic airport, where you will board your flight to the Argentinean side of Iguazú Falls. Check into your deluxe hotel, the only one located within the Park.

Upon seeing Iguazú, Eleanor Roosevelt exclaimed "Poor Niagara!" You'll soon discover why this UNESCO World Heritage Site is considered one of the greatest natural wonders of the world! Straddling the border of Argentina and Brazil, the Falls consist of 275 inlets and cataracts that cascade down 250 feet, framed by multiple rainbows and mist that rises up to 500 feet in the air. Iguazú is certainly among the most impressive waterfalls in the world.

Take the rest of the day to stroll through the laid-back town of Puerto Iguazú on your own, enjoy the lush gardens, or relax and cool off at your beautiful hotel pool. Dinner is included this night at the hotel.

Day 3: Iguazu Falls

Included meals: Breakfast.

  • Tour the Argentinean side of the waterfalls and see Devil's Throat
  • Afternoon at leisure or optional boat ride on Iguazu River

Exploring the Falls by boat Photo by Dr. Robert NguyenFull Day Itinerary: This morning, you'll get a fantastic close-up view of the falls and their dazzling display of power. Travel through the rain forest to the most spectacular sight at Iguazu: Devil's Throat, a massive U-shaped cataract that measures 270' high, 490' wide and 2300' long.

Spend the afternoon at leisure to explore further on your own. 

Day 4: Depart Iguazu & Buenos Aires

Accommodations: 1 night Recoleta Grand, Buenos Aires. Included meals: Breakfast.

  • Transfer to the airport for your flight back to Buenos Aires
  • Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel for check-in

Day 5: Buenos Aires

Included meals: Breakfast.

  • Continue on main tour itinerary Day 2

Hotels

Las Hayas Ushuaia Resort

Las Hayas Ushuaia Resort

First Class

The hillside location of the Las Hayas Ushuaia Resort provides beautiful views overlooking Ushuaia and the waters of the Beagle Channel to the south and the towering Martial Mountains to the north. The surrounding forests provide a wonderful natural setting for this hotel, welcoming you to this vast, wild and pristine land that is Patagonia.

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Recoleta Grand

Recoleta Grand

Superior First Class

Located strategically in the heart of the exclusive Recoleta neighborhood of Buenos Aires, the Recoleta Grand is the perfect starting point for a stroll through this trendy area, with its Beaux-Arts architecture, elegant shops and excellent restaurants.

More information

In the unlikely event that a particular hotel is not available, a similar or better hotel may be substituted.

Cruise Ship

M/V Ventus Australis

M/V Ventus Australis

M/V Ventus Australis welcomes you aboard for a spectacular scenic cruise through the waterways of Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego. Launched in January of 2018, the M/V Ventus Australis was tailor-made to navigate narrow fjords and channels of the southern tip of South America, bringing you up close and personal with the spectacular glaciers, rugged terrain and pristine environment of this remote corner of the Earth.

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Reviews

Things to Know