Patagonian Explorer by Sea

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Featuring Buenos Aires & Ushuaia, then a 3 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
Dedicated tour escorts & guides throughout
Departures Scheduled Dates
Price Includes
  • Flights
  • Cruise
  • Coach
  • Transfers
  • Hotel
  • Meals
  • Guides
  • 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
  • 3 nights cruise in Category A cabins aboard M/V Stella Australis
  • 17 lavish meals: 9 breakfasts, 4 lunches and 4 dinners
  • English-speaking local guides
  • Expedition specialist on board the cruise
  • Optional pre-tour extension to Iguazu
Highlights Buenos Aires, Santiago, Ushuaia, Avenida 9 de Julio, Cape Horn, & Magdalena Island. Optional Iguazu Falls extension
Departs Miami (MIA) (flight schedule)
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, requiring a high level of physical fitness 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, 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, the Stella Australis, 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. Space on the Stella Australis is extremely limited, so we strongly recommend early booking.


Day 1: Depart USA

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

Day 2: Arrive Buenos Aires

Accommodations: 3 nights Sheraton Liberator, Buenos Aires.

  • Buenos Aires city tour
  • Balance of the day is at leisure

Recoleta Cemetary, Buenos Aires Photo by HalloweenHJBFull Day Itinerary: After arrival formalities, set out on a tour of the city and discover why Buenos Aires is so often referred to as "the Paris of the South." Buenos Aires is a city of neighborhoods, each with 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 and the charming San Telmo area. 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.

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." After a sumptuous barbecue lunch including delicious local wine, you'll enjoy a folkloric show with typical Argentine dance, song, and dress.

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.

Day 5: Buenos Aires & Ushuaia

Accommodations: Los Yamanas, 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 in the Tierra del Fuego province and the southernmost city in the world. The landscapes in this fascinating region range from barren, windburned 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. The Selk'nam Indians first arrived here about 10,000 years ago. The British ship HMS Beagle reached the channel in 1833, and the first European settlement was founded around 1870 by British missionaries. Later, Ushuaia became a penal colony, which you'll learn about during a visit the Prison Museum.

Day 6: Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego & Embark Cruise

Accommodations: 3 nights Stella Australis, Patagonia Cruise. Included meals: Breakfast & dinner.

  • Morning excursion to Tierra del Fuego National Park
  • Embark Patagonia cruise ship
  • Welcome cocktail reception and dinner

Photo by Mc ManusFull Day Itinerary: Morning excursion to the Tierra del Fuego National Park, home to the Martial Glacier. 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 Stella Australis, the National Geographic Channel's preferred vessel for sailing through Patagonia. The captain and crew will welcome you with a cocktail reception on board. Set sail through the waterways of Tierra del Fuego as you make your way to the famous Strait of Magellan.

Day 7: Patagonia Cruise: Cape Horn & Wulaia Bay

Included meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

  • Sail through the Beagle and Murray Channels
  • Disembark in Cape Horn National Park
  • Continue to Wulaia Bay for a walking exploration

Cape Horn, ChileFull Day Itinerary: On today's voyage, you'll sail through the Beagle and Murray Channels to the legendary Cape Horn, a treacherous milestone on the clipper route for centuries. The Horn, a sheer 1,400 foot promontory, marks where the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean merge, only 400 miles from Antarctica. The Horn was discovered in 1616 and was originally believed to be part of Tierra del Fuego, then discovered some time later to actually be an island. Disembark in Cape Horn National Park and explore the island.

Wulaia Bay Photo by Malte SieberReturn to your ship and sail this afternoon for Wulaia Bay, once home to the region's largest aboriginal settlements. Wulai is also renowned for the mesmerizing beauty of its vegetation and geography. Walk through a Magellanic forest of lengas, coigües, canelos, ferns and other native vegetation to a breathtaking lookout point.

Day 8: Patagonia Cruise: Agostini Sound & Aguila 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

Full Day Itinerary: Sail through the Brecknock, Ocasión, Cockburn, and Magdalena Channels to enter the spectacular Agostini Sound, in the heart of the Darwin Cordillera in Tierra del Fuego. Here you can see the glaciers flowing down the mountainside, often all the way to the sea. This afternoon, head to the Aguila Glacier and walk along the shore of a lagoon surrounded by mountains until you reach the base of the glacier. Learn about Patagonia's cold rainforest and the forces that molded the landscape.

Day 9: Patagonia Cruise: Magdalena Island, Punta Arenas & Santiago

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

  • Visit Magdalena Island or Marta Island
  • Sail to Punta Arenas for disembarkation
  • 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: Early this morning, go ashore at Magdalena Island, and enjoy a walk to the picturesque lighthouse that guides ships on their way through the Strait of Magellan. The island is home to an immense colony of more than 120,000 Magellanic Penguins and is cratered with their burrows. Magellanic Penguins mate with the same partner year after year, with the male reclaiming his burrow and waiting for the female, who can find her mate through his call alone. Reaching 24-30 inches tall when fully grown, the penguins are quite a spectacle, which you'll see up close.

South American Sea Lions near UshuaiaThe 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 10: 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, the Centro Civico and Plaza Constitucion. Visit the Casa de la Moneda, one of Spanish America's most stunning examples of colonial architecture and the current seat of the Chilean government. Continue to the bustling Plaza de Armas, the heart of Santiago and home to the ornate baroque Cathedral Metropolitana, 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 a spectacular panoramic view of Santa Lucia Hill, site where Santiago was founded in 1541, and a visit of San Cristobal Hill and 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 11: 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 cable cars 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 12: 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. Space on this extension is extremely limited and subject to availability.

Day 1: Depart USA

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

Day 2: Buenos Aires/Puerto Iguazú

Accommodations: 2 nights Melia Iguazu (Formerly Sheraton Iguazu) Puerto Iguazú. Included meals: Breakfast.

  • 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 arrival in Buenos Aires, transfer to the national airport for your flight to the Argentinean side of Iguazu Falls. Check into your deluxe hotel, the only one located within the Park.

Upon seeing Iguazu, 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. Iguazu boasts the greatest annual flow of any waterfall in the world.

Take the rest of the day to explore Iguazu on your own. There's plenty of well-marked trails through the rainforest which afford fantastic views of the falls and excellent picture-taking (be sure to protect your camera if it's not waterproof). Later, relax and cool off at your beautiful hotel pool.

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. Or, take advantage of an optional nautical adventure along the Lower Iguazu River, sailing under the falls. Later this afternoon, be sure to take time to stroll through the laid-back town of Puerto Iguazú.

Day 4: Depart Iguazu & Buenos Aires

Accommodations: 1 night Sheraton Liberator, 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


Melia Iguazú

First Class

Ideally situated in the heart of the Iguazu National Park, Sheraton Iguazú Resort & Spa combines a beautiful landscape with friendly service, comfortable amenities, and unrivalled views. The resort is walking distance the spectacular Iguazu Falls and the impressive Garganta del Diablo (Devil's Gorge). In addition to the park, you'll find a wide array of activities and services available at the Shertaon. Close to the Brazilian and Paraguayan borders, the hotel is conveniently located just 5 miles from Puerto Iguazú International Airport and 10 miles from the charming city of Puerto Iguazú.

More information

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


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Great value for the price! Especially the 4 day cruise on the Via Australis. It was everything that was described and more! The naturalists were outstanding in their knowledge.

Mary B, Leesburg, VA

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