Retrace Charles Darwin’s epic voyage to the ‘edge of the world’ on our Essential Patagonia: Chilean Fjords and Torres del Paine expedition, a comprehensive journey into Chile’s spectacular network of fjords and channels. Helicopter flightseeing and Zodiac cruises along this enchanting stretch of coastline provide awe-inspiring perspectives of some of the most remote and picturesque landscapes on Earth. From Magellanic penguin colonies and other seabirds to South American sea lions and southern elephant seals, the fascinating array of wildlife is as abundant as the majestic blue-toned tidewater glaciers. Join us in this enchanting wonderland and experience all the natural splendors of southern Patagonia.

Day 1Buenos AiresTransfer from airport, overnight hotel
Day 2Embarkation UshuaiaFly to Ushuaia. Embark on your cruise in the afternoon.
Day 3Cape Horn Explore some of the most remote places in South America
Day 6Dainelli (Aguila) GlacierSurrounded by lush sub-Antarctic forests in Agostini Sound, Dainelli Glacier where we hope to venture ashore
Day 4Diego Ramírez IslandsExplore some of the most remote places in South America
Day 5Pia and Garibaldi Glaciers, Glacier AlleyNavigate through the fjords, keeping watch for the massive Andean condors, Pia Glacier and pristine sub-Antarctic forests (Garibaldi Glacier)
Day 7Cruising the Chilean FjordsCoastal fjords and channels, we venture out into the Pacific Ocean
Days 8 & 9 Puerto Natales and Torres Del Paine National ParkTurquoise waters of the extraordinary stretch of coastline, see imperial and king cormorants, South American terns, black-necked swans and southern wigeons. Hike in one of the most stunning wilderness areas in South America
Day 10 Canal de las MontañasSeries of waterfalls cascading between jagged peaks, 66 km long channel dotted with glaciers exceeding 2510 meters
Day 11 Tuckers IsletsSmall islands and rocky outcrops in Almirantazgo Sound, superb location for viewing penguins, zodiac cruise near a pebble beach viewing a colony of 4,000-plus Magellanic penguins
Day 12Ainsworth Bay and Islote Albatros Explore ashore at Ainsworth Bay, surrounded by untouched sub-Antarctic forest and abundant birdlife
Day 13Bahia BrookesWaterfalls and glaciers, great for viewing ice fall deposits, which form reconstituted glaciers, and kame
Day 14Marta IslandHome to abundant birdlife and more than one thousand Patagonian sea lions observe from a short distance, in a Zodiac. Imperial cormorants, skuas, southern gulls, snowy sheathbill maybe dolphins
Day 15Disembark in Punta Arenas and Fly to Santiago, ChileGoodbye to your Expedition Team and disembark in Punta Arenas


Quark Ultramarine Render

The Ultramarine is designed to go beyond the familiar in polar exploration, to discover new places, and immerse you in the best the region has to offer. Ultramarine accommodates 199 guests and is equipped with two twin-engine helicopters to offer the most robust portfolio of adventure activities in the industry, the most spacious suites in its category, breathtaking public spaces, and more outdoor wildlife viewing spaces than other expedition ships its size. With two dining areas, four bars, a panoramic lounge, theatre, library, spa and fitness centre, Polar boutique and an oceanview sauna your days at sea can be as busy or relaxing as you decide.

Day 1 Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Your journey begins in Buenos Aires a beautiful city known for its architecture and rich European heritage. Settle into your hotel and explore the bustling city.

Day 2 Fly to Ushuaia, Embarkation

Beagle Channel

In the morning board your flight to Ushuaia. Upon arrival at the airport transfer to the pretty city with a mountainous backdrop and have some time on your own to explore this quaint port town before making your way to the port for an afternoon embarkation. Sailing the historic Beagle Channel, which transects the Tierra del Fuego archipelago in the extreme south of South America.

Day 3 Cape Horn

Cape Horn

Beginning your exploration of Chile’s southern extent, expect a new adventure every day. Each expedition will be different, depending on the weather, we start our journey to the “edge of the earth” with a visit to historic Cape Horn (Cabo de Hornos). At the southernmost point of the Tierra del Fuego (“Land of Fire”) archipelago, this steep, rocky headland on Hornos Island marks the northern boundary of the famous Drake Passage, where the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans meet. From the 1700s to the early 1900s, prior to the opening of the Panama Canal, this cape was part of a major global trade route.

You may go ashore for a hike out to the lighthouse, the tiny Stella Maris (“Star of the Sea”) Chapel, and the albatross- shaped monument honoring the many mariners who lost their lives attempting to “round the Horn.” Atop the windswept promontory, pause for a moment to take in the panoramic view and to enjoy the peaceful solitude that can only be found at one of the most southern stretches of land in the world.

Day 4 Diego Ramirez Islands

Antarctica Cruise from Australia - Falklands, Black Browed Albatross

Cruising farther south, to the Diego Ramírez Islands, the most southern point of South America and one of the least- explored places on the planet. This small archipelago was  discovered in 1619 by the Spanish Garcia de Nodal expedition. Named after the expedition’s cosmographer, the archipelago held this distinction for 156 years, until Capt. James Cook’s discovery of the South Sandwich Islands in 1775. Depending on conditions, we may choose to Zodaic cruise or ship cruise around these tussock-grass- covered islands to admire the abundant birdlife. A designated Important Bird Area, and part of the Diego Ramirez Islands and Drake Passage Marine Park, the archipelago is home to tens of thousands of breeding seabirds, and an exceptional place for birdwatching. Binoculars in hand, birders will marvel at the sight of nesting black-browed albatross and grey-headed albatross. These islands are the southernmost mollymawk albatross breeding ground in the world. Sightings of dolphins, South American fur seals, and rockhopper, macaroni and Magellanic penguins are also possible here.

Day 5 Pia and Garibaldi Glaciers, Glacier Alley

Beagle Channel

Sailing north toward the southern edge of Tierra del Fuego, enrich your knowledge of the glacial systems, geology, environment, wildlife and storied history of the region with the team onboard. Retracing Charles Darwin’s historic journey through the Beagle Channel, 240 km strait separating Tierra del Fuego’s main island from several smaller islands. Named after Captain Robert FitzRoy’s famous ship on which Charles Darwin was a young naturalist, the channel presents plenty of photo ops to capture seabirds hovering overhead and dramatic vistas of jagged-peaked mountains and glaciers. Rugged and untouched, this magnificent landscape is as starkly beautiful as it was when Darwin first laid eyes on it in 1833.

Nicknamed Glacier Alley it’s one of the most spectacular ship passages in Tierra del Fuego. Situated within the protected boundary of Alberto de Agostini National Park, both Pia and Garibaldi Glaciers sit at the head of picturesque, often ice- choked fjords that offer jaw-dropping views. Located within the Cordillera Darwin (Darwin Mountain Range), the impressive Pia Glacier extends from the soaring mountaintops down into the sea. A short hike to a lookout point provides superb vistas of the glacier and mountains.

Surrounded by pristine sub-Antarctic forests, Garibaldi Glacier flows from a separate mountain, providing equally exceptional views, with the Darwin Mountains rising dramatically out of the fjord. We can explore this area by Zodiac, including a beautiful glacial waterfall nearby. Alert for the massive Andean condor.

Day 6 Dainelli (Aguila) Glacier


Located at the end of a tranquil lagoon surrounded by lush sub-Antarctic forests in Agostini Sound, Dainelli Glacier (sometimes called Aguila— Spanish for “Eagle” Glacier) is a unique sight, as it appears to flow over rolling hills rather than mountains. Cruising aboard a Zodiac toward the blue-tinged ice, conditions permitting, you will be humbled by the wonder of nature’s power. We hope to venture ashore for an easy hike along the beach to get a more intensive look at the glacier and surrounding mountains.

Day 7 Cruising the Chilean Fjords

Wandering Albatross

Continuing north, we’ll navigate through a remote network of coastal fjords and channels, including time spent venturing out into the Pacific Ocean. Your Expedition Team will prepare you for the adventures that await, helping you further understand the glacial systems, as well as the flora and fauna that can be found in this part of Chile. Take a moment, as we glide past soaring snow-capped peaks, to contemplate the indigenous peoples who thrived here for thousands of years and the mariners of early European exploration who traveled these same sheltered passageways, and were rewarded with the same wondrous sights.

Days 8 & 9 Puerto Natales and Torres Del Paine National Park

Sailing the turquoise waters of the extraordinary stretch of coastline leading to the small port of Puerto Natales, Deep, windswept fjords, narrow channels and isolated bays, with an eye toward the rugged landscape, unique wildlife and impressive glaciers that tumble from the towering mountains into the icy waters below, along with the imperial and king cormorants, South American terns, black-necked swans and southern wigeons (Chiloé wigeons) that frequent the fjords.

Torres del Paine National Park is one of the most stunning wilderness areas in South America. This enormous park is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, so designated for both its natural wonders and ancient human history, and named for the three granite peaks that tower above the glacier-fed lakes. Enjoy a day of hiking and exploration aboard chartered buses tailored to your preferred activity level and stopping at lookouts in the park, followed by traditional Patagonian cuisine in the afternoon.

Visit a working Patagonian estancia (“ranch”), founded in 1891 by Scottish immigrants, learn about Patagonian sheep farming in a historic pastoral setting. Look for ostrich-like rhea, and guanacos in the surrounding grasslands. Enjoy lunch of barbecued lamb al palo (“on a stick”), and return to the ship in the early evening.

Day 10 Canal de las Montañas

Cruising the pristine waters of the Canal de las Montañas (“Channel” or “Fjord of the Mountains”) will leave you breathless. You’ll be awed by the amazing series of waterfalls cascading down between the jagged peaks that rise up sharply on either side of the narrow, 66 km long channel dotted with glaciers, five of which spill dramatically into the water. Here, impressive ice fields glisten in the distance, and steeply sloped glaciers exceed elevations over 2,510 meters. The channel also provides an ideal place to put our Zodiacs in the water for more detailed exploring or going ashore for a hike to scenic viewpoints. If you’re feeling more adventurous, perhaps you’ll treat yourself to an optional kayaking excursion (extra cost), an exceptional opportunity to experience the channel from a special perspective.

Day 11 Tuckers Islets

Magellanic Penguins Falkland Islands

A series of small islands and rocky outcrops in Almirantazgo Sound (“Admiralty Sound”), a fjord off the Strait of Magellan, Tuckers Islets is a superb location for viewing penguins. Though landing here is prohibited to protect the fragile nesting habitat, a Zodiac excursion will take you very near a pebble beach to view a colony of 4,000-plus breeding Magellanic penguins, conditions permitting. Named for Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan, whose crew sighted the charming creatures in 1520 during the first circumnavigation of the globe, the species is native to the region, and the sight of them in their burrows, lounging on the beach or waddling in and out of the water, is one you won’t forget. If we’re fortunate, we may also see Chilean skuas, Magellanic cormorants (rock shags), imperial cormorants (king shags), oystercatchers, kelp geese, or even dolphins.

Day 12 Ainsworth Bay and Islote Albatros

Continuing our exploration of Almirantazgo Sound, we plan to explore ashore at Ainsworth Bay, one of the most picturesque and pristine places in Patagonia. Surrounded by untouched sub-Antarctic forest, this isolated bay is a protected area within the border of Alberto de Agostini National Park. It hosts abundant birdlife, so you’ll want to keep your eyes peeled as we cruise in the Zodiacs. Hiking options will be available for all fitness levels, affording panoramic views of Marinelli Glacier, Marinelli Fjord and the surrounding Darwin mountain range.

Day 13  Bahia Brookes

Another excellent spot for glacier exploring in Almirantazgo Sound is Bahia Brookes (Brookes Bay), where, conditions permitting, we’ll go ashore by Zodiac. The bay offers ample chances for closer views of a number of waterfalls and glaciers, including the calving North Brookes Glacier, set against the breathtaking backdrop of the towering Darwin mountain range. Amid the serene silence of this icy wonderland, the only sound you may hear is the powerful roar of ice breaking off and crashing into the frigid waters below. This is also a great location for viewing ice fall deposits, which form reconstituted glaciers, and kame.

Day 14 Marta Island

In the middle of the Strait of Magellan, Marta Island (Isla Marta) is home to abundant birdlife and more than one thousand Patagonian (South American) sea lions. To protect the wildlife, shore landings are not possible here, but we do plan to circumnavigate the island, providing numerous opportunities to observe and photograph the colony from a short distance, in the comfort of a Zodiac. Called lobos marinos (“sea wolves”) by local Chileans, these giant pinnipeds—males can weigh over 700 pounds/320 kg—form quite a noisy group as each sea lion vies for a choice spot of coastline. As you cruise by, sightings of imperial cormorants, skuas, southern gulls, snowy sheathbill—and if we’re lucky, dolphins—are also possible.

Day 15 Punta Arenas and fly to Santiago

santiago, chile

After an adventurous two weeks of exploration, you’ll say goodbye to your Expedition Team and disembark in Punta Arenas, to be transferred to the airport for your charter flight to Santiago, where you are welcome to continue on your own travels or connect to your homeward flights.

To book this voyage call 1300 784 794 or email

We will tailor the perfect holiday to suit your needs.

Extend your trip to Patagonia

To make the most of your time in South America we can tailor a holiday to Patagonia to suit your voyage dates. If you have a bit more time we can create a tailor-made itinerary to some of the highlights of South America. Take a look at the Patagonia sample itineraries below and contact us to begin creating your perfect holiday.