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QuarkExpeditions_ Essential Patagonia

Patagonia & Chilean Fjords Expedition

Witness Chile’s spectacular network of fjords and channels aboard the Magellan Explorer

Length

9 Days

Ship category

Premium

Ship type

Small Ship

Capacity

73 Passengers

Patagonia & Chilean Fjords Expedition

17 Reviews

Trip highlights

Sail between massive blue-hued glaciers

Photograph incredible wildlife

Live the natural splendors of southern Patagonia

Visit the isolated village of Puerto Eden

The Polartours experience

Best price guaranteed

Stand in awe of the Andes mountains

Your booking contributes to our Conservation Project

Learn from Polar experts

In the Chilean Patagonia, one of the southernmost regions of the world, sail between massive blue-hued glaciers and the sharp peaks of the Andes mountains. This untamed terrain is home to fjords, channels, and islets with beaches teeming with marine wildlife, birds, and stunning natural landscapes best accessed by ship or Zodiac.

On this wilderness expedition, visit Puerto Cisnes, the San Rafael Bay and Glacier, the Gulf of Penas, the isolated village of Puerto Eden, the Strait of Magellan and Tierra del Fuego, and the Beagle Channel.

Note: the itinerary operates in both a southbound and northbound direction, depending on travel dates. Travelers should confirm the itinerary applicable to their selected departure.

Your ship: Magellan Explorer

Magellan Explorer
Magellan Explorer

Welcome aboard the Magellan Explorer, an ultra-modern expedition cruise ship built for the Antarctic. An Antarctic trip aboard the Magellan Explorer is unlike the rest. Instead of boarding your cruise ship right away and spending long days crossing the Drake Passage to get to the Antarctica, you’ll take a two-hour plane ride from Punta Arenas straight to the continent itself. This flight will save you time, and you’ll be able to head straight to the Antarctic action. A Magellan Explorer is a pioneer air-cruise is designed for adventure and with your comfort in mind.

To manage environmental im … Read more about Magellan Explorer

Cabins

Porthole Cabin

Type:

Twins

Max. occupancy:

2

More about this cabin

Penthouse Suites

Type:

Double/Matrimionial (convertible)

Max. occupancy:

2

More about this cabin

Veranda Cabin

Type:

Double/Matrimionial (convertible)

Max. occupancy:

2

More about this cabin

Triple Suite

Type:

Triple

Max. occupancy:

3

More about this cabin

Deluxe Veranda Cabins

Type:

Double/Matrimionial (convertible)

Max. occupancy:

2

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Suite

Type:

Double/Matrimionial (convertible)

Max. occupancy:

2

More about this cabin

Single Cabin

Type:

Single

Max. occupancy:

1

More about this cabin

Map

Itinerary

Keep in mind this is an expedition cruise, so your itinerary will depend greatly on the weather, amount of ice and wildlife breeding behavior.

Paddling Excursion

0 Days

Paddling Excursion

Please note that depending on the ship, length of your cruise, and the itinerary, this price may vary. Inquire with your Polar Specialist. Enjoy being out on Polar waters on a two-person inflatable kayak, which enables you to enjoy a more intimate sailing experience in an unforgettable location. The kayaks are stable and comfortable, the perfect vehicle to see the Polar regions from a different perspective. This is a one-time activity, and no prior experience is necessary. IMPORTANT: This activity is dependent on weather conditions and logistics.

Price on request

Sea-Kayaking-What-To-Wear-In-Antarctica

0 Days

5.0

(1)

Sea Kayaking

Embark on an exhilarating sea kayaking adventure in some of the world's most magnificent and biodiverse wilderness areas, including Antarctica and the Arctic. Take in the breathtaking scenery as you navigate through ice and icebergs of all shapes and sizes. In Antarctica, spend unforgettable moments with penguins, seals and whales, and keep an eye out for the occasional encounter with leopard seals or killer whales. In the Arctic, paddle through bird colonies, past massive glaciers and around huge icebergs. Led by experienced guides, you will join a small group of like-minded adventurers to explore the picturesque coastlines of these wild and remote destinations. Paddling offers an intimate and unique way to experience the beauty of these regions and make the most of your time there. Important: This activity is subject to weather conditions and logistics.

Price on request

Stand Up Paddleboarding

0 Days

Stand Up Paddleboarding

Please note that depending on the ship, length of your cruise, and the itinerary, this price may vary. Inquire with your Polar Specialist. Combine surfing and kayaking into one fun and unique Antarctic experience. Stand-up paddle boarding is conducted in small adventurous groups, accompanied by a safety Zodiac boat. You’ll paddle around in calm bays and harbors, in good weather conditions only. IMPORTANT: This activity is dependent on weather conditions and logistics.

Price on request

Exclusive Heli-Landing

0 Days

Exclusive Heli-Landing

Please note that depending on the ship, length of your cruise, and the itinerary, this price may vary. Inquire with your Polar Specialist. Antarctica- Picture yourself setting foot in an area of Antarctica that can only be safely reached by helicopter. Now, THAT’s what we call remote! Traveling in small groups, you’ll board a helicopter and soar off to an unshared polar site where no ships can navigate. You’ll have the best seat in the house as you take in the wonders of the Antarctic peninsula. Arctic- You will be flown from a helicopter to a pre-selected Arctic destination, where you’ll have the opportunity to explore, guided by an experienced Expedition team member. After your landing, you’ll be picked back up in the same location and taken back to your ship. IMPORTANT: heli-landings are dependent on weather conditions and logistics.

Price on request

A21 Magellan Explorer
A21 Magellan Explorer
Puerto Montt

City tour Puerto Montt

Your journey begins in Puerto Montt, Chile, with boarding between 15:00 and 16:00 hrs. After all mandatory briefings, the ship sets sail towards the Gulf of Corcovado.

Puyuhuapi Chile
Aysen, Chile
Puyuhuapi, Chile

We continue south to visit the area around Puerto Aysen and Puyuhuapi in the Aysén region. As we cruise and explore the area, we see the landscape unfold with its many fjords, islands, and channels. We hope to visit either Puerto Cisnes, Puyuhuapi, or Magdalena Island, with the possibility to see dolphins, whales, cormorants, sea lions, and river otters

Cape Horn
Cape Horn
Cape Horn

Laguna San Rafael

patagonia - glaciar Pio XI

patagonia - Puerto Eden

Patagonische Fjorde

Seno Otway Penguin Colony

Today, the ship reaches the Chonos Archipelago. Heading towards the Moraleda Channel, the vessel cruises around the area of San Rafael National Park, a biosphere reserve, if weather permits. The park is the main entry point to Chile's Northern Patagonian Ice Field. We will also explore the surrounding fjords, channels, islands, and coves.

Cape Horn
Cape Horn
Cape Horn

patagonia - Puerto Eden

patagonia - glaciar Pio XI

Seno Otway Penguin Colony

Patagonische Fjorde

As we sail south, we cross the Gulf of Penas, enjoying beautiful views of the surrounding mountain ranges. The expedition team tells us about the indigenous inhabitants of these southern lands, the early Spanish colonizers, and famous explorers such as Charles Darwin, Fitz Roy, and Alberto de Agostini. We also learn about the region's biodiversity through presentations about the local marine fauna and flora.

Caleta Tortel
QuarkExpeditions_ Essential Patagonia
QuarkExpeditions_ Essential Patagonia

Caleta Tortel

If weather permits, a visit to Caleta Tortel or the surrounding region is planned for the morning. Located between the mouth of the Baker River and a small cove within the Baker Channel, Caleta Tortel is a small village consisting mainly of stilt houses, typical of Chilotan architecture, built along the coast for several kilometers. Wooden walkways are built with Guaitecas cypress, they connect houses and give the village its distinctive look and unique culture. We continue sailing south towards Messier Channel and navigate through the dramatic 18-meter-wide (59 feet) English Narrows for a privileged view of the glaciers of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field. Outside Antarctica, some of the largest glaciers in the southern hemisphere are found here.

Torres del Paine
torres del paine
llama

patagonia - Puerto Eden

patagonia - glaciar Pio XI

Seno Otway Penguin Colony

Patagonische Fjorde

We embark on a Zodiac excursion to the Amalia Glacier area or the surrounding glaciers along the Peel Fjord in the Bernardo O'Higgins National Park. We bask in the glacier’s icy-blue beauty and cruise across the sea and among its ice floes to uncover part of Chile's natural mystique. As we sail between snow-capped peaks to get a closer look at the glacier and its brilliant and rugged textures, we may spot dolphins swimming at a distance, cormorants or condors flying above, and otters.

QuarkExpeditions_ Essential Patagonia
pinguino rey
QuarkExpeditions_ Essential Patagonia

On the Route 3 through Fireland

Fjord Pía

Fjord Garibaldi

Wulaia Bay

Isla Magdalena

Parque Pinguino Rey

Glaciar del Aguila

While heading south along the Strait of Magellan, we explore the waters of the fjords that branch out from Tierra del Fuego. We follow the remote coast around the Francisco Coloane Marine Park, a protected area in the southern hemisphere where whales feed. If we are lucky, we may be able to spot humpback or sei whales breaching in the distance. We may also see dolphins, sea lions, seals, penguins, albatrosses, and petrels.

Beagle Channel
Beagle Channel
QuarkExpeditions_ Essential Patagonia

Fjord Garibaldi

The Beagle Channel is a striking narrow passage in the archipelago of Tierra del Fuego, a region originally named after the fires that burned in local native settlements when the first European explorers arrived. Dividing Chile and Argentina, the passage showcases ice formations along the snow-dusted Darwin Range. We will sail along Glacier Alley, home to the Holanda, Italia, Francia, Alemania, and Romanche glaciers, aiming to explore the Garibaldi Fjord

Arrival to Ushuaia
Arrival to Ushuaia
Laguna Esmeralda

City tour Ushuaia

City Exploration

Dinner in a refuge

King Crab Lunch

Beaver watching (opt.)

Embark in Ushuaia

Dinghy tour to Lapataia Bay

Ushuaia - PN Tierra del Fuego

Welcome Cocktail with the Crew

Ushuaia

Penguin Island Isla Martillo

Boat Tour on Beagle Channel

Picnic at Laipataia Bay

Hike in Fireland National Park

Morning in Ushuaia

End of the World Museum

Canoeing to Lapataia Bay

Arrival at Ushuaia

Morning arrival in Ushuaia and disembarkation.

Note: the itinerary presented above is for reference. A southbound itinerary description is available on request. As for any expedition cruise, our route will be subject to weather conditions and the requirements of the Chilean authorities.

Dates & Prices

From

Until

Info

Availability

Price

31

Mar

2025

8

Apr

2025

- 1000 USD Discount on all cabins

Available

From

EUR 5,044

EUR 5,962

31

Mar

2025

8

Apr

2025

1000 USD Discount on all cabins

Available

From

EUR 5,044

EUR 5,962

15

Sep

2025

23

Sep

2025

- 1500 USD Discount on all cabins

Available

From

EUR 4,126

EUR 5,503

15

Sep

2025

23

Sep

2025

1500 USD Discount on all cabins

Available

From

EUR 4,126

EUR 5,503

4

Apr

2026

12

Apr

2026

- 1500 USD Discount on all cabins

Available

From

EUR 4,126

EUR 5,503

4

Apr

2026

12

Apr

2026

1500 USD Discount on all cabins

Available

From

EUR 4,126

EUR 5,503

Preferred date unavailable? Contact us

Info

Single Cabin Supplement

When booking online, you can choose the option to "Upgrade to single occupancy". This will guarantee you the whole cabin to yourself, for an additional fee. If you don't select this option, then another traveler of the same sex might be placed into the same cabin with you.

What's included

Leadership throughout your voyage by our experienced Expedition Leaders, including shore landings and other activities

All Zodiac transfers and cruising as per the daily program

All shore landings as per the daily program

Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping

All meals, snacks, soft drinks and juices on board throughout your voyage (Please inform us of any dietary requirements as far in advance as possible. Unfortunately, the ships’ galleys cannot prepare kosher meals.)

Select beer and wine during dinner; and coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock

Formal and informal presentations by our Expedition Team and guest speakers as scheduled

A photographic journal documenting the expedition

A pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for landings and Zodiac cruising excursions

An official Quark Expeditions® parka to keep

Hair dryer and bathrobes in every cabin

All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program

All luggage handling aboard the ship

Emergency Evacuation insurance for all passengers to a maximum benefit of USD $500,000 per person

One 10- to 15-minute helicopter flightseeing excursion (weather and logistics permitting)

Torres del Paine National Park entrance fee and ground transfers

Estancia visit and ground transfers

Barbecue lunches ashore during Puerto Natales/Torres del Paine excursion days

What's not included

Mandatory Transfer Package of $995 USD (your polar Travel specialist will provide you with all the information about this package)

International airfare

Passport and applicable visa expenses

Chilean reciprocity fee, if applicable

Government arrival and departure taxes not mentioned

Meals ashore unless otherwise specified in the itinerary

Baggage, cancellation, interruption and medical travel insurance—strongly recommended

Excess-baggage fees on international flights

Mandatory waterproof pants for Zodiac landing and cruising excursions, or any other gear not mentioned

Laundry, bar, spa services and other personal charges, unless specified

Phone and Internet charges

Voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for expedition staff and shipboard crew

Additional overnight accommodation

Arrival and departure transfers, except where explicitly stated

Adventure Options not listed in Included Activities

Credit Card charges may apply

A fuel surcharge may apply at a later stage. More info

Reviews

Marion K

Magellan Explorer Antarctica Cruises

Premium

It was an AMAZING journey through one of the most spectacular landscapes I have ever scene (if not the most). The boat was top of the line, the professional crew incredibly professional, knowledgeable and fun to hang out with. The service crew took well care of us during all the journey. The kayak pack is specially recommended and if you are lucky you will also a face to face hunch whale experience you will remember as your top wildlife adventure for life (copied from Trip Advisor)

Cristian Coudeu

Magellan Explorer Antarctica Cruises

Premium

Impressive trip, a beautiful destination that thanks to A21 becomes unforgettable. The concern for every detail, the professional level of the team, the joy with which they do their work make this experience something unique. Discovering Antarctica with A21 is a dream that we should all have. (copied from Trip Advisor)

Till K

Magellan Explorer Antarctica Cruises

Premium

We booked the 2.5 week trip incl. Antarctic peninsula and South Georgia. We received good information on clothing, recommended literature, itinerary etc. previously. The one night in Punta Arenas extended due to fog around the antarctic landing strip to three days, with an OK emergency program. The difficulty to get to Antarctica shows that it a somehow adventurous place and not normal tourism. Once arrived on board, we were welcomed nicely and shown the beautiful new vessel, the Magellan Explorer. The expedition staff and the crew are very friendly and professional. The cabins and excellent, all have balconies, mini bars are refilled all the time. Food on boards in really good and varied every day. Wine is OK. The expeditions are what you came for. Protocols are very strict, in order to protect wild life. Whats you see is totally amazing, in Antarctica the icebergs and white sceneries, later on in South Georgia the immense amount of king penguins, seals with puppies, etc. During the days of pure navigation, you can spot whales, albatrosses etc., and get very interesting lectures of Antarctic related topics (history, political situation, animals, etc.). Lecturers are excellent professionals, some are also funny. What could be improved? On our specific trip, the three days lost in the beginning were cut off just from the Antarctic peninsula part of the trip, nothing from South Georgia. Could have been more balanced. And in general, on zodiac tours without landing, people could be grouped by interest (photographers have other needs than the rest, some older people get cold earlier than some younger, etc.). Overall… a trip of the lifetime. I intend to do the pure Antarctic trip with the same company and the same vessel. (Copied from Trip Advisor)

FAQ

When it comes to traveling to Antarctica, one of the first questions that often arises is, "Can I fly to Antarctica?". The answer is: Yes, you can. Most trips start in Patagonia (Ushuaia and Punta Arenas) and cross the Drake Passage by ship, but there are also trips that use planes to cross that infamous sea passage. Here are the Pros and Cons for each method:

Flying to Antarctica:

  • Pros: Flying to Antarctica is the quickest way to reach the continent. It offers convenience and is often the choice for those with very limited time.

  • Cons: There are limited commercial flights to Antarctica, and these are primarily reserved for research and expedition purposes. Tourist accessibility is limited, and it can be costly. Also, as not many trips include flights, you'll be limiting your choice a lot if you decide to only look for such trips.

Crossing the Drake Passage by ship:

  • Pros: If you choose to cross the Drake Passage by ship, you embark on an incredible adventure. This journey is not just a means of transportation; it's an expedition in itself. The crossing takes 1.5 - 2 days, which are filled with scientific lectures that prepare you for the experience. You'll witness diverse wildlife, including penguins and whales, as your anticipation starts building up. To us, the crossing is a quintessential experience of a true Antarctic explorer.

  • Cons: Crossing the Drake Passage takes some time, and the seas can be rough. It's not the quickest way to reach the continent, and you need to allocate more time for your expedition.

In conclusion, when it comes to traveling to Antarctica, you have these two choices. Flying offers efficiency and direct access, perfect for specific purposes. Crossing the Drake Passage by ship provides an unmatched adventure and connection with Antarctica's unique environment. Consider what truly matters to you, and you'll find the Antarctic transportation choice that suits your goals and spirit of exploration.

All cruises in the polar regions operate to itineraries that are more-or-less fixed. We say "more or less", because wildlife (breeding, seasonality) and weather always play an important role in routing. Most cruises will offer a range of land-based and water-based activities that you will enjoy at various points in your cruise, including:

  • Land excursions (including hiking trails, visitor centers, time relaxing on beaches, observing animals, etc.)
  • Bird Watching
  • Snorkeling (from ship or beaches)
  • Dinghy rides
  • Kayaking
  • Diving (on ships with diving itineraries)
  • Naturalist presentations. These usually take place every evening - on board the bigger ships also with help of projectors, microscopes etc.

All boats carry English speaking, scientifically trained guides. They will lead you on your excursions, allowing you to learn as much as possible about the unique wildlife and habitats of the Polar Regions.

Choosing the right ship for a cruise to Antarctica or the Arctic seems difficult, but it doesn't have to be. Our fleet is over 30 vessels, we are sure that there is the perfect one for you. Please, follow these simple steps, and you will be able to find your ideal ship:

  • Determine your budget and desired level of comfort: Are you looking for luxury or more budget-friendly options? On our website you can set the price range.
  • Consider ship size: Large ships offer more amenities and facilities, but they can also feel crowded and impersonal. Smaller ships offer a more personal experience, but may not have as many amenities.
  • Look at the cabins: Although you probably won’t spend much time in your cabin, look at the photos and read the descriptions to make sure you're happy with the one you choose.
  • Consider the activities on board: Are you interested in kayaking, camping, diving or a photography workshop? Or maybe you want to take part in a Citizen Science Program? These activities can enhance your overall experience. See what our ships have to offer.
  • Read customer reviews: Learn about other travelers' experiences by reading reviews.
  • Ask your Polar Specialist: Feel free to contact your Polar Specialist. They are happy to share their knowledge and are always ready to help.

In addition: We work with responsible partners who provide a great experience for their passengers. All of our providers are committed to sustainability and to preserving the beauty of the polar regions. You don’t need to worry about the impact of your cruise, because we’ve already taken care of it.

We love to help people find their dream vacation to the Arctic and Antarctic. Whether you give us a call, contact us via email, or use our website inquiry form, one of our Polar travel experts will be more than happy to answer any questions, recommend ships and itineraries, and walk you through the whole process!

Step 1: Find your perfect trip. If you have already started looking for Polar Cruises, you will have quickly noticed that the sheer amount of options can be quite overwhelming. To help you navigate the countless departures and itineraries that our fleet offers, we have put together a great filter page for Antarctic and Arctic Expedition Cruises. Use this page to filter all trips by price, date, ship category, and even destinations you wish to visit. We update all dates, prices, and availabilities daily, and are proud to host what is doubtlessly the world's most complete collection of information.

Step 2: Found something you love? We'll hold your spaces, free of charge! If you find a cruise you like, you can either inquire directly with us or make an unbinding booking online. We will then reach out to the shipowners to put a hold on your spaces for a limited time, free of charge. Once we have confirmed your block with the ship, we will send you a written confirmation of your reservation and include full payment details in an invoice. Typically, we are able to hold unpaid reservations for up to 1 week*. This gives us time to clarify all your remaining questions, and also ensures that no other passengers can book your spaces, while we continue our conversation.

Step 3: Confirm your booking. In order to confirm your booking, we ask for a deposit payment. You can pay via bank transfer or credit card. Keep in mind, that we can only hold your spaces for a limited amount of time. If we don't receive your payment after this time, we can no longer guarantee that the places will be available or that the price won't increase. To prevent disappointment, we will automatically cancel your reservation if we don't receive your deposit by the due date stated on your booking reservation.

Step 4: Booking confirmation & Payment. As soon as we have received your deposit and a completed passenger information form, we will be pleased to send your booking confirmation and updated invoice, along with your trip itinerary, important information, and other great tips for your cruise.

Step 5: Final payment. In your initial invoice, we will define a final payment date by when you need to pay us the remaining amount of your trip. Once we have received your final payment we'll send you your cruise documents and voucher. As your trip approaches, we make sure to pass along all necessary information, so you feel super prepared and stress-free.

*For last-minute bookings, we might not be able to hold your spaces for so long. We will also require the full payment of your cruise upon booking.

An expedition cruise to Antarctica or the Arctic is a big deal! Most people plan for this type of trip at least 8 months in advance. This means the earlier you book, the better chance you'll have to reserve your prefered cabins. Early bird discounts are also popular and a great way to get 10-30% off your cruise.

Most expedition cruises offer optional activities like camping and kayaking, but the spaces are limited. A cruise with 120 passengers can have only 10-15 spaces for kayaking. These are reserved on a first come first served basis. The earlier you book, the higher your chance of grabbing a spot.

Even though last minute deals do occur, keep in mind that the airline prices will be much higher if you purchase them last minute. You may save a few hundred on your cruise, but you may end up paying the most for airfare.

If you are prone to motion sickness then here are a few hints to help you.

Firstly, book a cabin in the middle of the ship. The middle of the ship will move less, both in roll and in pitch. Secondly, chose a larger ship. Bigger vessels typically are more stable, and some of them are even equipped with "stabilizers", fins under water that remove the rolling in the swells. Thirdly, take medical advice on anti-seasickness medication. Some traditional remedies are said to be very effective, such as taking ginger or using commercially-available acupressure wristbands.

Watch this informative video about life onboard an expedition ship and seasickness from our expert guide and Polartours Brand Ambassador, Kevin.

Life Onboard & Seasickness
Patagonia & Chilean Fjords Expedition

4.8

(17)

Premium

From

EUR 4,126



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