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Patagonia Cruises

Cruising amongst GlaciersAdventure cruising is a great way to discover Patagonia's dramatic coastline and sail through its channels and fjords which are only accessible by sea. On the way you'll witness the richness of Patagonia's wildlife (dolphins, whales, seals & seabirds), jump into Zodiac boats & be dazzled by towering glaciers.

Plus, if you dread the thought of a 12hr+ bus trip to get across Patagonia from Punta Arenas to Ushuaia, or you'd like to relax & refresh between hikes in Patagonia's national parks, adventure cruising is the right option for you.

On this page you'll find more information about which cruise, when to go and how to get there.

Cruises: Tierra del Fuego, Cape Horn, Chile Fjords  

Whale Watching Adventure

An amazing opportunity to get close to the marine wildlife of Patagonia: Austral Dolphins, Sea Lions, Magellan Penguins, Fur Seals, and of course the ...

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4 days

$1,500

Patagonia cruise from Ushuaia to Punta Arenas

This once in a lifetime cruise navigates through the fjords of southern Patagonia starting at the End of The World, Tierra del Fuego. Stay ...

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4 days

$1,595

Glaciers of Patagonia Adventure Cruise

This cruise offers a fantastic way to see a host of stunning glaciers coming down from the Southern Patagonian ice field, visiting the most ...

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4 days

$1,725

Patagonian cruise Punta Arenas to Ushuaia

A unique way to see the glaciers and wildlife of Southern Patagonia, Tierra del Fuego and Cape Horn. Sail the Magellan Straits and enjoy ...

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5 days

$1,932

4-Night Cruise from Ushuaia to Punta Arenas

The best way to explore Patagonia's ice choked bays, glaciers and Chilean fjords on an adventure cruise along the Magellan Straits and around Cape ...

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5 days

$1,932

Northern Patagonia's Glaciers & Springs Cruise

Explore the fjords and glaciers of northern Chile and experience the stunning forests and fishing villages in the area. You'll discover native flora and ...

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6 days

$2,001

Whale Watching Adventure Cruise Patagonia

Be awe inspired by majestic Humpback whales, and if you're lucky enough, get within a few metres away from them in Zodiac boats. You'll ...

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5 days

$2,958

8-Day Tierra del Fuego Adventure Cruise

The extended version of the Tierra del Fuego and Magellan Straits cruise combines all the highlights of the southbound and northbound trips. So you'll ...

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8 days

$3,175

Patagonia Cruises - Your Questions Answered

Which cruise?

A great way of celebrating after completing the W Circuit or Full Circuit in Torres del Paine National Park is taking one of the most magical cruises available in Patagonia; a 5-day trip that starts in Punta Arenas in southern Chile and takes you down through fjords and glaciers from islet to islet. You'll hop into a Zodiac boat to get up close to a rookery of penguins, see an alley of glaciers and round Cape Horn as you complete your journey down to the southernmost city in the world, Ushuaia. This cruise can also be done in reverse and whilst you aren't on the viewing deck or exploring in a Zodiac boat, you can listen to the crew's interesting talks on the history, flaura and fauna of the region or sip a Pisco Sour.

If you'd prefer to travel to northern Patagonia after hiking in Torres del Paine why not exit the park via cruise rather than bus? In just five days you'll arrive in the port town of Puerto Montt in the Chilean Lake District, a warm, lush region famous for its alerce forests and deep blue lakes. On the way you'll navigate through small channels surrounded by lenga forests, small islands and with the possibility of spotting 'toninas', a breed of dolphin. You can choose from a range of cabins, from dorm-style to private superior cabins, all pretty standard but comfortable.

Travelling solo? Want to share a cabin?

Unfortunately the Single Supplements aboard these cruises are expensive, and the operators sadly do not have a 'willing to share' option for Solo Travellers.

So, if you are travelling solo and are looking for a likeminded travel companion to share a cabin with and avoid the single supplement then please let us know.

We have customers booked on the following dates looking for people to join them:

  • 11th January 2014 Punta Arenas to Ushuaia > contact us
  • 22nd February 2014 Ushuaia to Punta Arenas  > contact us

What about sailing?

If you're a group of 4 or more, you could potentially charter your own yacht and navigate the fjords and channels of Tierra del Fuego.

If you are interested in sailing in Patagonia, don't hesitate to get in touch.

What about Antarctic cruises?

If you're looking for that once in a lifetime adventure cruise, a trip to Antarctica is a real must. Sail for 8-26 days in the Great White Continent where you'll walk amongst thousands of penguins on Brown Bluff, sail through iceberg choked waters in the Weddell Sea and down the fjords of the Lemaire Strait or Cystal Sound.

On a typical Antarctic cruise you'd set off from and return to Ushuaia on a small cruise which allows you to get up close to the landmarks of Antarctica and of course you'll spend several hours each day off the ship in small Zodiac boats (apart from the two days it takes to cross the notorious Drake Passage) which enable you to explore the South Shetland Islands, often the first port of call, as well as walk on the Continent itself. If you want the excitement of walking on the ice and getting off the ship to explore, make sure not to book a big cruise ship, as these offer few if any excursions in small boats.

If you're short on time and want to see the highlights of Antarctica without getting seasick on the way, our operators offer Fly & Cruise departures where you fly from Punta Arenas in southern Chile straight to King George Island in Antarctica. This saves about 48 hours of crossing the Drake Passage, but also means your trip can be a little bit more expensive. Please also note that the Fly & Cruise option usually offers the flight one way, so you'll have to return by ship on the way back.

Plus, if you're starting out your adventure in Ushuaia, what better place to start out and explore southern Patagonia from? In Ushuaia you can explore the nearby mountain ranges on Tierra del Fuego; Isla de los Dientes (Teeth Island) or kayak the beautiful Beagle Channel to sea sealions & penguins.

About Antarctic Cruises >>

 

When should I go?

Patagonia's seasons are a bit back to front compared to the UK, with their summer months running from October to early April and their winter months starting from mid April to late September. With this in mind, most Patagonian cruise operators run their trips only from late September to early April and in general it's easier to find departure dates and availability during the adventure season. This isn't to say however that Patagonia isn't beautiful during the winter, it is, it's just harder to find groups to join if you would like to trek in Patagonia's national parks.

How do I get there?

We usually recommend that clients fly from London Heathrow to Buenos Aires or Santiago before taking an internal flight to either el Calafate or Punta Arenas respectively. It's also a good idea to return to the same airport as this can sometimes help keep the cost down. See our guide for more info on flights to Patagonia.

To join a cruise that starts in Ushuaia, fly to Buenos Aires and on to Ushuaia. You can normally find decent rates with Aerolineas Argentinas.

If you're joining a cruise after trekking in Torres del Paine, take the bus to Punta Arenas (a 3 hr journey) where you board. To get to Punta Arenas fly from London to Santiago and on to Punta Arenas.

Landmarks visited on Patagonian Cruises

Google Map

Questions? Need help?

Ask a question on our Adventure Planner

Call us on: +44 (0) 117 369 0196 (we're open 9am to 6pm, 7 days a week)

Email us at: advice@swooptravel.co.uk

Contact us on Skype: swoop_in

Twitter: @SwoopPatagonia

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When are you
thinking of going?

January

See Patagonia at the height of the season, when you'll have 18 hours of daylight and feel Patagonia's infamous wind at its strongest. There are just so many options open to you in addition to hiking, why not try glacier trekking, mountain biking and white water rafting on the rapids of the Futaleufu River?

If you want to visit last minute, the key is moving quickly and booking your flights. Availability in Chalten shouldn't be too difficult but in Torres del Paine it's likely that refugios will be fully booked. Don't worry though, it's warm enough to camp under the stars. If you're still in the planning stages of your trip but hope to go this season, it's a good idea to get flights booked as early as possible and make the most of Patagonia's summer before autumn sets in April.

February

February is a great time to trek Patagonia's national parks, in particular Torres del Paine quietens down as Chilean visitors head back to their cities. In Feb you can expect temperatures of between 5 and 19 degrees in Torres del Paine, and this could be a good time to trek the W Circuit independently if you want to save some money to go kayaking for example.

If you want to go in February but you've left it last minute, you may be able to find a late deal on our Exclusive Deals page. Your best bet is finding a Patagonia Tours which tend to have lots of departure dates to join during February.

If you're considering visiting next season, (starting in October), why not getting your flights booked good and early? If you're lucky you may be able to get flights from London to Punta Arenas for £850.

March

March is the tail end of the season for adventure in Patagonia so the infamous Patagonian wind will be on its way out, there'll be fewer people in the national parks so generally quieter on the trails. This is great as you may find prices come down slightly as the locals and tourists leave, but it's more difficult to get a group together, so could be harder if you're travelling alone (although we'll strive to pair you up with someone). However, most longer, multi-location trips run by our global operator partners still run in March and they tend to have bigger groups, but prepare for rain if your trip visits the lake district!

April

In April the season is coming to an end, so try to get there in the first half of the month for more availability and better weather conditions. If you're hoping to stay in the Eco Camp in Torres del Paine or do an adventure cruise round Cape Horn, they finish for the season in early April, so get going! Luckily it's about this time that skiing in Bariloche becomes available in the Argentinian Lake District. Remember that many mountain lodges and estancias close around this time making it hard to do the W or Full Circuit for example. Plus certain services become unavailable such as the catamaran across Lago Pehoe in Torres del Paine and glacier hiking, so it may be a good idea to go earlier in the season if these are on your list of things to do.

Find out more about visiting Torres del Paine in winter >>

May

Winter is getting into full swing now so you may want to try out volcano skiing in the Patagonian Lake District or tailor made tours that take into account the potentially difficult weather conditions. As many operators and lodges wind down for the winter, fewer travellers visit the trails and parks so private departures on most trips are likely. The weather will be a bit like trekking in wales in Dec, are you up for that challenge?

Find out more about visiting Torres del Paine in winter >>

June

At this time of year, the snow is starting to settle in Torres del Paine National Park and the trees are brown and orange, a very beautiful time to see the highlights. June is also when operators launch their Winter W Circuit and Fitz Roy trips, which vary from the usual itineraries as many refugios are closed and van transfers are required because the catamaran across Lago Pehoe stops. Although days are short and weather temperamental, if you can see Patagonia in winter, it will be serene and picturesque.

Find out more about visiting Torres del Paine in winter >>

July

Mid winter, July is equivalent to our January in terms of weather. This is a great time to take advantage of the skiing Patagonia has to offer, particularly in the Chilean and Argentinian Lake Districts. Araucania offers off piste skiing, whereas Bariloche is home to the popular Cerro Catedral Resort but also caters for off piste skiing. For adrenaline junkies, you can ski down the slopes of several volcanoes on certain trips. If you're planning a trip for next season, start looking at flights as the sooner you book them, the cheaper they are.

If you hope to visit Torres del Paine this month, find out more about visiting Torres del Paine in winter >>

August

This is a great time for snow shoeing in Bariloche, or skiing in the Patagonian Lake District. There are also some winter trips in the Torres del Paine & Fitz Roy areas. Come prepared - cold temperatures, snow and short days means that your trip may not go 100% according to plan, Chalten is known for snow blocking the roads for a day or 2. Alternatively, August is a great time to plan and book trips for the early part of the season ahead, at this time operators will be starting to release availability and rates to help with that.

August is the last month to take advantage of specially designed winter trips in Torres del Paine. If you're keen to see the park covered in snow, find out more about hiking in Torres del Paine in winter >>

September

In September, it's still pretty chilly in Patagonia, with snow and temperatures of 5 degrees in El Calafate for example. If you're hoping to trek the main national parks, you may find that operators don't have any groups heading out, so you may have to go on a private trip with just your guide. The season really kicks off at the end of September/beginning of October with W Circuit and Full Circuit trips as well as estancias and lodges opening their doors to clients.

However, winter trips are still running in Torres del Paine. Find out more here >>

October

Get in before the crowds - you won't see many people on the W Circuit and you'll have the northern part of the park pretty much to yourself on the Full Circuit (you may even come face to face with the endangered Huemul deer). It's still a bit too early for horse riding and rafting trips, you're best off doing these from November onwards. So if you're thinking about visiting Patagonia this season, get your flights and trips booked, as availability really starts to tighten up over October/November.

November

November is a good time to visit: late spring/early summer. Not too busy but a full range of trips and itineraries to choose from. If you want to visit this month, you need to move fast. Refugios are getting booked up until January, but the operator will work hard to fit you in. Don't forget it takes at least a week to organise a tour, so don't leave it too late!

December

Mid summer, 18 hours of daylight and there will probably be days when you're hiking in shorts and t-shirt. Many Chileans and Argentinians will come down to Patagonia for their Christmas break so availability may be tight and you should expect the National Parks to be busier.

It's essential that you get your flights and tours booked asap, as flight prices are also increasing.

Guide to Patagonia

Patagonia spans over 1,000 miles north to south and landscapes ranging from forests, to glaciers, to volcanoes and deserts. Read our Patagonia Guide to find out: how to get there, when to go, what to see and how to find the best trip. Or find out about:

 

Read our Patagonia Guide >

 

Tours of Patagonia

One way to see the very best that Patagonia offers is to join a tour that takes you to 2 or more different destinations in one trip. With these tours you'll be able to spend a few days in each area, hiking and exploring; and have all the logistics, transport and accommodation organised for you as you move around Patagonia. See all of our Patagonia Tours, or consider:

For trips in specific destinations consider: Torres del Paine and El Chalten.

How can we help you?

We are Patagonian specialists, and have helped all sorts of different people arrange their perfect adventure holiday in Patagonia. Whatever your budget, group size, length of stay, preferred activity or appetite for adventure we're here to help you.

  • Join a group trek or tour
  • Plan an independent day by day itinerary
  • Organise your group's trek, expedition or multi-sport adventure
  • Tailor-made luxury holidays

 

Find out how we can help you >>

About Swoop

We help people organise adventure travel holidays in Patagonia, just Patagonia. Our exclusive focus on this incredible corner of world means that we've got the knowledge and the relationships to find just the right trip for everyone that we speak to. Patagonia is a vast region with all sorts of possibilities and we take real pleasure in helping people find the best adventure for their experience, dates, budget and appetite for adventure.

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