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Southern Patagonia: Glaciers, Fjords & Wildlife

Southern Patagonia: Glaciers, Fjords & Wildlife

From AUD $25,550

Description

Long before humans arrived on the continent, glaciers carved the landscapes of southern Patagonia and the Chilean fjords. Now it’s a place for the grandest nature adventures: marveling at calving glaciers, whale and dolphin watching, hiking through rugged landscapes, Zodiac cruising among icebergs, and observing penguins by the thousands. Explore iconic Torres del Paine, where guanacos roam the vast steppe. Discover private reserves such as Karukinka; visit the newest marine reserve on the Chilean coast; take in the view of Cape Horn; and enjoy special access to Argentina’s extraordinary Isla de los Estados (Staten Island). On hiking, kayaking, and Zodiac excursions, see the natural treasures of a wilderness at the edge of the world.

Trip Name
Southern Patagonia: Glaciers, Fjords & Wildlife
Days
17
Overview
Vessel Type: Expedition Ship Passenger Capacity: 126 Built: 2020 A next-generation expedition ship, purpose-built for polar navigation. National Geographic Endurance is a next-generation expedition ship, purpose-built for polar navigation. A fully stabilized, highly strengthened, ice-class Polar Code PC5 (Category A) vessel, it is designed to navigate polar passages year-round, and safely explore unchartered waters, while providing exceptional comfort. Its patented X-BOW® is key to its design; its powerful wave-slicing action provides an extremely smooth ride in even adverse conditions, and even reduces spray on deck, for superior observation. She carries a full suite of expedition tools and offers a variety of experience-enhancing amenities. The luxury of comfort on expedition National Geographic Endurance comfortably accommodates 126 guests in 69 outside-facing cabins. Cabins are efficiently designed, with sizes range from the 140-square-foot solo cabin to the 430-square-foot category 7 suite. Fifty-three of the 69 cabins, including all 12 of the solo cabins, will feature small balconies with floor-to-ceiling sliding doors that bring in the spectacular views and ample natural light.  Comfort & convenience in every room Every cabin has two portholes, a large window or balcony, and temperature controls. Bathrooms are modern and stocked with botanically inspired hair products, soap, and shower gel, plus a hairdryer. Cabins are equipped with expedition command centers with tablets and USB/mobile device docking, TVs, Wi-Fi connections, and hair dryers. Dining: Food served aboard is fresh, local, and delicious, and sourced from suppliers who share our values of sustainable use whenever possible. Meals aboard are almost always served in the dining room, located aft of the lounge deck. When weather conditions allow, lighter fare may be served on the observation deck. There is no assigned seating and our dining room accommodates the entire expedition community in a single seating. During meals your expedition leader, naturalists, and any guest speakers aboard will join you. Public Areas: Two restaurants, a Chef’s Table for small group dining, Observation Lounge with bar, gym, Wellness area, infinity-style outdoor hot tubs, library, main lounge with full service bar, 24-hour beverage, state-of-the-art facilities for films, slideshows and presentations, and a photo workshop area; plus, an expedition base with lockers for expedition gear, and an “open bridge” for access to our captain, officers and the art of navigation. Meals: Two restaurants, featuring local, sustainable choices and unassigned seating for flexible, inclusive dining; plus a Chef’s table for intimate, small group dining. Main restaurant has 270º views, and the Observation deck restaurant features lighter, made-to-order fare.  Cabins: All cabins face outside with large windows, private facilities and climate controls. 53 cabins have balconies. Cabins are equipped with expedition command centers with tablets and USB/mobile device docking, TVs, Wi-Fi connections, and hair dryers. Expedition Tools: Zodiac landing craft, kayaks, snowshoes, cross-country skis, undersea specialist operating a remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) and underwater video camera for unique access to polar marine world, hydrophone, aerial remote-controlled camera and video microscope. Special Features: A full-time doctor, undersea specialist, National Geographic photographer, Lindblad-National Geographic certified photo instructor and video chronicler, an internet cafe and laundry. Wellness: The vessel is staffed by our wellness specialists and features a glass-enclosed yoga studio, gym, treatment rooms and spa relax area, and high- and low-heat saunas with ocean views. Expedition Landing Craft: Key to our operation is our fleet of expedition landing craft, which we use to land in places that would otherwise be inaccessible. With 8 of these boats and two loading stations used every time we disembark, we’re able to transfer guests off the ship quickly, so you can be out on adventures, not idly waiting. The expedition landing craft we use are 19 feet long, powered by four-stroke outboard engines, and are capable of comfortably carrying 10-12 people. They are widely recognized as the safest and most versatile small boats afloat. Remotely Operated Vehicle: Capable of reaching 1,000 feet, far beyond the range of any Scuba diver, the ROV allows you to literally view parts of the undersea that are as unexplored as the moon. Chances are you, like many of our guests, will be struck by how surprisingly colorful undersea life is in these unlikely places. And this glimpse may fundamentally change how you view the ocean. Kayaks: National Geographic Endurance will be equipped with a fleet of kayaks large enough to ensure everyone who wants to can paddle at every opportunity. Consequently, prior kayaking experience isn’t necessary—many of our guests have their first kayaking experience in extraordinary locations. Our custom-designed floating platform lets us deploy kayaks from the ship, or any location we want—including far from shore. Kayakers are usually free to explore where they want within boundaries set by the undersea specialist and officer of the watch. Underwater camera: Our undersea specialist will dive often during your expedition, even in Alaska, with cold-water gear, to shoot high-definition, Cousteau-like footage of the deep. Colorful nudibranchs, swimming, plant-like crinoids, and mysterious fish with antifreeze blood that thrive in the frigid sea will give you an entirely new appreciation of the marine environment. Video microscope: Naturalists will use the video microscope to help explain all elements of the environment, including tiny organisms that are the building block of the marine ecosystem. Spellbinding live views of krill at 80x magnification fills the high-definition screens in the lounge with vivid detail, and fills every onlooker with a sense of wonder at the importance of otherwise unobservable creatures. Hydrophone: This underwater microphone is deployed to listen to the vocalizations of marine mammals. Real time transmissions of their eerie, haunting sounds can be broadcast through the ship or recorded for later playback. Few experiences in nature are as captivating as watching humpback whales feed close to the ship as their vocalizations play through the ship’s PA system. Electronic charts: An electronic chart showing the ship’s location, course, and speed is almost always on display in the lounge. Open bridge: You’ll find our captains are engaged, knowledgeable members of your expedition who are eager to share their passion with you. Venture’s open bridge features comfortable spaces to sit, enjoy the view, drink your morning coffee, or simply chat with the officers. Snorkeling gear & wetsuits: On warm weather itineraries where there will be snorkeling, you’ll select a mask, snorkel, fins, and wetsuit that remain yours for the duration of the expedition. There’s no need to pack and tote your own gear, although guests who prefer to are welcome to bring their own.

Itinerary



Day 1 - DAY 1: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Arrive in cosmopolitan Buenos Aires and checkinto the Alvear Icon Hotel (or similar). In theafternoon, we begin our guided afternoonexplorations of this vibrant city, seeing the city’sBeaux-Arts palaces, the brightly painted bohemiancommunity of La Boca, known for its street art andgalleries, the Plaza de Mayo, and the famouspresidential palace (called the rose palace) with itslegendary balcony forever associated with EvaPerón. (L)
Day 2 - DAY 2: Fly to Ushuaia/Embark
Fly to Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world.Before embarking, relax and enjoy lunch on acatamaran cruise of the Beagle Channel, a regionof beech forests, mountains, and rushing rivers.(B,L,D)
Day 3 - DAY 3-4: Exploring the Chilean Fjords: Glacier Alley
Sail into a vast wilderness of snow-capped peaksand mirror-like lakes, thick glaciers and isletsblanketed with vegetation. In this pristinelandscape, myriad fjords or senos cut betweensoaring granite walls and waterfalls splash downfrom high above. The region we explore for thenext two days is known as Glacier Alley. Thisentire region is part of a greater UNESCOBiosphere Reserve focusing on the MagallanesSub-Antarctic Evergreen Rainforest. Thisincredibly biodiverse region arose with the retreatof the glaciers which formed these fjords. Webegin at Seno Pia, a secluded fjord in thenorthwestern arm of the Beagle Channel with animpressively large glacier at its terminus. Next isSeno Garibaldi, part of Alberto de AgostiniNational Park, a dramatic region where theformidable Andes meet the sea. We will visit theGaribaldi Glacier by Zodiac and ship, marveling atthis stunning wall of ice. Seno Agostini is the originof numerous glaciers from the nearby mountains,originating at more than 6,600 feet in elevation. We’ll explore this region from our Zodiacs, gettingclose to floating brash ice and bergy bits, watchingfor wildlife, and hoping to witness the thunderingprocess of glacial calving. (B,L,D)
Day 4 - DAY 5: Francisco Coloane Marine Park
Located in the Strait of Magellan, FranciscoColoane Marine Park is the largest marineprotected area along the Chilean coast, and it wasalso the first, established in 2003. This productivearea supports vast and unique biological diversity,which will be the focus of our visit. A large summerpopulation of humpback whales uses these watersas feeding grounds, as do South American sealions. Black and white Peale’s dolphins arefrequently seen, and we’ll search for the endemicand endangered Chilean dolphin. We’ll explore themarine park by Zodiac, kayak, and on foot. We’llsearch for large marine and terrestrial birdsincluding the Andean condor or the giant Antarcticpetrel, and on Rupert Islet we’ll visit a largeMagellanic penguin colony. (B,L,D)
Day 5 - DAY 6-7: Puerto Natales & Torres del Paine
Our next two days will be spent exploring theregion around Puerto Natales and Torres delPaine National Park, a UNESCO BiosphereReserve. We’ll drive to the park on our first day,and you’ll have the option to trek on foot or explorepart of the park by vehicle. The landscape is big,wide, and sprawling, with some of the mostdramatic mountain scenery anywhere, and wildlifethat includes rheas, foxes, and herds of guanaco.You’ll discover one of the most spectacular andwildlife-rich areas in the Americas, covering450,000 acres of glaciers, forests and grasslands,rivers and gem-colored lagoons, crowned with thepinnacles of Torres del Paine. Our second day willbe spent closer to Puerto Natales itself, to learnmore about the burgeoning Chilean gastronomicscene, as well as the culture and history of theindigenous people of the region. Enjoy alternateopportunities for birding for Andean condors orhiking the beautiful terrain of the region. (B,L,D)
Day 6 - DAY 8-9: Exploring the Chilean Fjords: Kirke Narrows
After a last morning in Torres del Paine, we havetwo days to continue our exploration of the Chileanfjords. Our Captain and local pilots guide usthrough Kirke Narrows, accessible only to a smallexpedition ship such as National GeographicEndurance. While the wildlife of the region willleave you speechless, the combination ofunspoiled scenery, national parks and lushMagellanic forests is what makes the fjords ofChile so captivating. We continue to explore theextensive maze of pristine channels and islands,where we may explore by Zodiac and kayak ortake a walk in the surrounding forest. (B,L,D)
Day 7 - DAY 10: Punta Arenas & Isla Magdalena
This morning we arrive in Punta Arenas, thelargest city in Patagonia. With local guides, we’llvisit the historic center of the city, the Plaza deArmas, and a local handicraft market. Visit thePatagonia Institute and the Salesian Museum, tolearn the region’s archaeology and wildlife.Alternatively, go for a hike in the MagallanesNational Reserve, which offers outstanding viewsof the valley below and of Punta Arenas. Later, beon deck as National Geographic Endurancenavigates the Strait of Magellan, en route to IslaMagdalena. The island has been designated anational nature reserve because of its importanceas a penguin breeding site. Go ashore at thePenguins National Nature Reserve, home to120,000 nesting Magellanic penguins. Photoopportunities abound here. (B,L,D)
Day 8 - DAY 11-12: Tierra del Fuego: Karukinka Natural Park & Bahia Ainsworth
Continue to the newest and largest protected areaon Tierra del Fuego: Karukinka, meaning "ourland" in the language of the ancient inhabitants.We have obtained permission to visit this privatereserve, which harbors abundant wildlife, includingendangered culpeo foxes, guanacos, blackbrowed albatross, Andean condors, and elephantseals. On our last day in the Chilean fjords we setout to explore in Zodiacs and kayaks and on foot.Visit Bahía Ainsworth, at the base of MarinelliGlacier, to explore the sub-polar Magellan Forest. Keep an eye out for southern elephant seals alongthe beach. (B,L,D)
Day 9 - DAY 13-16: Cape Horn & Isla de los Estados (Staten Island), Argentina
On the first of these days we visit Cape Horn, thesouthernmost tip of the South American continent.Conditions permitting, make a landing to look outat the waters of the Drake Passage. We continueto Isla de los Estados, whose wild, untouchedlandscapes are home to Magellanic penguins, furseals, otters, sea lions, and countless water birds.We have received special permission to visit here.Our exact schedule will remain flexible to take bestadvantage of conditions for exploring this naturalwonderland. See a reconstruction of the 1884 SanJuan de Salvamento “lighthouse at the end of theworld,” which inspired Jules Verne’s novel of thesame name. The National Geographic Enduranceis one of the few expedition ships to be grantedaccess here, and the experience is bound to beunforgettable. (B,L,D)
Day 10 - DAY 17: Ushuaia / Buenos Aires / Home
Disembark in Ushuaia and take a charter flight toBuenos Aires to connect with your flight home.(B,L)
Day 11 - Please Note:
Itineraries are subject to change.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
14-03-202330-03-2023AUD $26,040Category 1
14-03-202330-03-2023AUD $26,770Category 2
14-03-202330-03-2023AUD $32,640Category 3
14-03-202330-03-2023AUD $36,140Category 4
14-03-202330-03-2023AUD $40,150Category 5
14-03-202330-03-2023AUD $40,770Suite A Solo
14-03-202330-03-2023AUD $45,200Suite B Solo
14-03-202330-03-2023AUD $46,190Category 6
14-03-202330-03-2023AUD $51,230Category 7
13-03-202429-03-2024AUD $26,250Category 2
13-03-202429-03-2024AUD $32,030Category 3
13-03-202429-03-2024AUD $35,450Category 4
13-03-202429-03-2024AUD $39,390Category 5
13-03-202429-03-2024AUD $39,990Suite A Solo
13-03-202429-03-2024AUD $44,340Suite B Solo
13-03-202429-03-2024AUD $45,320Category 6
13-03-202429-03-2024AUD $50,250Category 7
13-03-202429-03-2024AUD $25,550Category 1

Inclusions

    • Aboard National Geographic Endurance, glide into Patagonia’s “Glacier Alley” to explore three stunning glaciers over two days and navigate among floating icebergs by Zodiac and kayak
    • Explore iconic Torres del Paine National Park to search for foxes, rheas, and guanacos in the shadow of the famous saw-toothed peaks
    • Spend a day at Francisco Coloane Marine Park, where humpback whales and dolphins gather
    • Get up close to a vast Magellanic penguin colony on Isla Magdelena, and hike in search of the Andean fox and the Chilean flamingo
    • By special permission, explore the private reserve of Karukinka and the untouched, wildlife-filled landscapes of remote Isla de los Estados

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