A cruise on one of the Australis fleet vessels is the only direct way to travel between Punta Arenas in Chile and Ushuaia in Argentina. The Australis cruise is a spectacular way to see South America's southern tip and visit Cape Horn if the weather permits.
The fjords of "Tierra del Fuego" are among the most impressive regions to visit on earth. During our Australis expedition cruise, we’ll explore secluded and unspoiled landscapes, see impressive glaciers up close, discover the mystical Cape Horn, and travel through the Strait of Magellan and the Beagle Channel.
The sister cruise ships—the Stella and Ventus Australis—are specifically designed for comfortable, safe, and environmentally conscious expedition cruises through Patagonia's fjords and canals. Each cruise ship has only 100 cabins.
Onboard the ship, the experienced and well-trained expedition team offers exciting background information on the glaciology, geography, history, flora and fauna of Patagonia, etc. During the presentations, the team discusses the next day's landings and excursions. Each day the expedition team will guide us onshore in small groups.
The adventure begins in the Chilean port city of Punta Arenas, where you will step onboard your cruise ship in the early evening. On the following day, the expedition program includes Agostini National Park and the picturesque Ainsworth Bay. We will admire the high mountains of the Darwin Cordillera and the flora and fauna of Tierra del Fuego during a guided excursion on the third day. The last day of our journey to Ushuaia will feature breathtaking landscapes as we pass through Glacier Avenue, cruising through narrow fjords flanked by untouched virgin forests and glaciers that extend down to touch the sea. Each day of the expedition will include excursions on a Zodiak boat and easy to moderately challenging guided hikes, far away from civilization.
This Australis cruise carries us to Ushauaia, the final destination of our tour "Patagonia by Rail & Cruise."
Travel Options between Punta Arenas and Ushuaia for those not interested in the Australis cruise: Between the two cities Punta Arenas and Ushuaia there are no regular flights. There is a daily flight from Punta Arenas to Puerto Williams, from which the Beagle Channel can be crossed on a chartered boat to reach Ushuaia. Additional to the flight, there is a the weekly ferry service between Punta Arenas and Puerto Williams. The company Tabsa runs the ferry service, and according to the information I have, private cabins are not available on the ferryboat. The voyage on the ferry takes 32 hours and is quite scenic in certain parts.
I will treat the subject of traveling between Punta Arenas and Ushuaia in more detail in a later blog post.