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Southern Patagonia’s Fjords, Icebergs, and Wildlife (NG Endurance)

Southern Patagonia’s Fjords, Icebergs, and Wildlife (NG Endurance)

From AUD $24,320

Description

Discover Southern Patagonia’s fjords, icebergs, and wildlife

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, take in the natural treasures of a wilderness at the edge of the world.

Go by ship to explore Patagonia’s most inaccessible places
Cut by fjords, framed by sheer cliffs, and crossed with towering mountains, Southern Patagonia is largely inaccessible. Going by expedition ship is the only way to experience its myriad wild landscapes in comfort. Explore from massive and more temperate forests in the north to fjords and icescapes further south. You’ll visit one of Patagonia’s newest and largest protected areas: Karukinka Natural Park. We’re thrilled to have special permission to visit this reserve, which spans 1,160 square miles and harbors endangered culpeo fox and Andean condors.

Spend two days in spectacular ‘Glacier Alley’
Sail into fjords cut through granite walls with cascading waterfalls and dotted with isles covered in verdant flora. This UNESCO Biosphere Reserve this area is home to three unique and beautiful glaciers we’ll explore. Venture into secluded Seno Pia and see its impressive glacier; explore dramatic Seno Garibaldi and its stunning wall of ice; and see Seno Agostini, the source of numerous glaciers originating more than 6,600 feet above sea level.

Explore the coast’s largest marine park
Venture into the fast-moving, nutrient-rich channels of Francisco Coloane Marine Park where humpback whales congregate. Explore this protected region in search of black and white Peale’s dolphins, South American sea lions, and the endemic and endangered Chilean dolphin. Plus, spot Andean condors and giant Antarctic petrels that come to feed on the abundant life.

By special permission explore Isla de los Estados
When we visited Isla de los Estados on a pioneering expedition in 2015, we were stunned by what we encountered. This island, almost entirely untouched by humans for hundreds of years, had grown over with wildness. Its beech forests stretched across the land, kelp piled at the shores—all giving way to perfect habitat for penguins and waterbirds, which took to the area in vast numbers. Since then, we’ve returned each year to explore it, and call at the re-creation of the 1884 San Juan de Salvamento “lighthouse at the end of the world,” which inspired Jules Verne’s novel by the same name. Plus, conditions permitting, explore a very rarely seen archeological site where native people lived 1,500 years ago.

See the undersea, too
In the remote areas we venture, the undersea has never before been explored. National Geographic Endurance sails with an undersea specialist capable of deploying an ROV up to depths of 1,000 feet. We’ll shoot video of these benthic regions and then view them on the monitors in the lounge to find what lies beneath the sea in these remote areas. Expeditions in the past have even found species previously unknown to scientists.

Each day is active and engaging
You’ll get out on adventures often in Patagonia—to walk or hike, kayak, or Zodiac cruise through the fjords and alongside towering glaciers. Because of our fleet of both Zodiacs and kayaks, the entire expedition community can embark at once on forays, no waiting around for returning parties. You’ll have a choice of activities each day, and the option to join any naturalist whose interests mirror yours. Choice also includes opting to enjoy the view from the observation lounge, the library, or the bridge. To visit the fitness center with its panoramic windows, or ease into the sauna, or have a massage in the wellness center.

Take advantage of superb photo ops
You’ll have a National Geographic photographer as your traveling companion, to inspire you and provide tips in the field. And the services of a Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic certified photo instructor, as well—to help you turn your point-and-shoot camera into an aim & create. You’ll find no end of subjects, and the help you need to return home with your best photos ever.

Travel with a top team
Explore under the sure guidance of an expedition leader, an assistant expedition leader, eight veteran naturalists, a National Geographic photographer plus a Lindblad-National Geographic certified photo instructor, an undersea specialist,a wellness specialist, and a video chronicler. Their knowledge and passion for Patagonia is the key to your once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Trip Name
Southern Patagonia's Fjords, Icebergs, and Wildlife (NG Endurance)
Days
19
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 check into the Alvear Icon Hotel (or similar). In the afternoon, we begin our guided afternoon explorations of this vibrant city, seeing the city’s Beaux-Arts palaces, the brightly painted bohemian community of La Boca, known for its street art and galleries, the Plaza de Mayo, and the famous presidential palace (called the rose palace) with its legendary balcony forever associated with Eva Perón. (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 a catamaran cruise of the Beagle Channel, a region of 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 peaks and mirror-like lakes, thick glaciers and islets blanketed with vegetation. In this pristine landscape, myriad fjords or senos cut between soaring granite walls and waterfalls splash down from high above. The region we explore for the next two days is known as Glacier Alley. This entire region is part of a greater UNESCO Biosphere Reserve focusing on the Magallanes Sub-Antarctic Evergreen Rainforest. This incredibly biodiverse region arose with the retreat of the glaciers which formed these fjords. We begin at Seno Pia, a secluded fjord in the northwestern arm of the Beagle Channel with an impressively large glacier at its terminus. Next is Seno Garibaldi, part of Alberto de Agostini National Park, a dramatic region where the formidable Andes meet the sea. We will visit the Garibaldi Glacier by Zodiac and ship, marveling at this stunning wall of ice. Seno Agostini is the origin of numerous glaciers from the nearby mountains, originating at more than 6,600 feet in elevation. We’ll explore this region from our Zodiacs, getting close to floating brash ice and bergy bits, watching for wildlife, and hoping to witness the thundering process of glacial calving. (B,L,D)
Day 4 - DAY 5: Francisco Coloane Marine Park
Located in the Strait of Magellan, Francisco Coloane Marine Park is the largest marine protected area along the Chilean coast, and it was also the first, established in 2003. This productive area supports vast and unique biological diversity, which will be the focus of our visit. A large summer population of humpback whales uses these waters as feeding grounds, as do South American sea lions. Black and white Peale’s dolphins are frequently seen, and we’ll search for the endemic and endangered Chilean dolphin. We’ll explore the marine park by Zodiac, kayak, and on foot. We’ll search for large marine and terrestrial birds including the Andean condor or the giant Antarctic petrel, and on Rupert Islet we’ll visit a large Magellanic penguin colony. (B,L,D)
Day 5 - DAY 6-7: Puerto Natales & Torres del Paine
Our next two days will be spent exploring the region around Puerto Natales and Torres del Paine National Park, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. We’ll drive to the park on our first day, and you’ll have the option to trek on foot or explore part of the park by vehicle. The landscape is big, wide, and sprawling, with some of the most dramatic mountain scenery anywhere, and wildlife that includes rheas, foxes, and herds of guanaco. You’ll discover one of the most spectacular and wildlife-rich areas in the Americas, covering 450,000 acres of glaciers, forests and grasslands, rivers and gem-colored lagoons, crowned with the pinnacles of Torres del Paine. Our second day will be spent closer to Puerto Natales itself, to learn more about the burgeoning Chilean gastronomic scene, as well as the culture and history of the indigenous people of the region. Enjoy alternate opportunities for birding for Andean condors or hiking 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 have two days to continue our exploration of the Chilean fjords. Our Captain and local pilots guide us through Kirke Narrows, accessible only to a small expedition ship such as National Geographic Endurance. While the wildlife of the region will leave you speechless, the combination of unspoiled scenery, national parks and lush Magellanic forests is what makes the fjords of Chile so captivating. We continue to explore the extensive maze of pristine channels and islands, where we may explore by Zodiac and kayak or take a walk in the surrounding forest. (B,L,D)
Day 7 - DAY 10: Punta Arenas & Isla Magdalena
This morning we arrive in Punta Arenas, the largest city in Patagonia. With local guides, we’ll visit the historic center of the city, the Plaza de Armas, and a local handicraft market. Visit the Patagonia Institute and the Salesian Museum, to learn the region’s archaeology and wildlife. Alternatively, go for a hike in the Magallanes National Reserve, which offers outstanding views of the valley below and of Punta Arenas. Later, be on deck as National Geographic Endurance navigates the Strait of Magellan, en route to Isla Magdalena. The island has been designated a national nature reserve because of its importance as a penguin breeding site. Go ashore at the Penguins National Nature Reserve, home to 120,000 nesting Magellanic penguins. Photo opportunities 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 area on Tierra del Fuego: Karukinka, meaning "our land" in the language of the ancient inhabitants. We have obtained permission to visit this private reserve, which harbors abundant wildlife, including endangered culpeo foxes, guanacos, black-browed albatross, Andean condors, and elephant seals. On our last day in the Chilean fjords we set out to explore in Zodiacs and kayaks and on foot. Visit Bahía Ainsworth, at the base of Marinelli Glacier, to explore the sub-polar Magellan Forest. Keep an eye out for southern elephant seals along the 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, the southernmost tip of the South American continent. Conditions permitting, make a landing to look out at the waters of the Drake Passage. We continue to Isla de los Estados, whose wild, untouched landscapes are home to Magellanic penguins, fur seals, otters, sea lions, and countless water birds. We have received special permission to visit here. Our exact schedule will remain flexible to take best advantage of conditions for exploring this natural wonderland. See a reconstruction of the 1884 San Juan de Salvamento “lighthouse at the end of the world,” which inspired Jules Verne’s novel of the same name. The National Geographic Endurance is one of the few expedition ships to be granted access here, and the experience is bound to be unforgettable. (B,L,D)
Day 10 - DAY 17-18: Ushuaia/Buenos Aires/U.S.
Disembark in Ushuaia and take a charter flight to Buenos Aires to connect with your overnight flight home. (Day 18: B,L)
Day 11 - Please Note:
All day-by-day breakdowns are a sampling of the places we intend to visit, conditions permitting.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
26-02-202114-03-2021AUD $24,320Category 1
26-02-202114-03-2021AUD $24,990Category 2
26-02-202114-03-2021AUD $30,480Category 3
26-02-202114-03-2021AUD $33,740Category 4
26-02-202114-03-2021AUD $37,490Category 5
26-02-202114-03-2021AUD $38,070Suite A Solo
26-02-202114-03-2021AUD $42,200Suite B Solo
26-02-202114-03-2021AUD $43,130Category 6
26-02-202114-03-2021AUD $47,830Category 7

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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