Eternal Beauty of Chilean Patagonia and Antarctica

Eternal Beauty of Chilean Patagonia and Antarctica | MS Maud | Antarctica Tours Eternal Beauty of Chilean Patagonia and Antarctica | MS Maud | Antarctica Tours
Embark on a 17-day expedition starting in Santiago, Chile, with exploration of the city's museums and culinary delights. Journey to Punta Arenas to board MS Maud, sailing through the Beagle Channel towards Antarctica via Cape Horn.

In Antarctica, witness towering icebergs, massive glaciers, and diverse wildlife including penguins and seals. Return via the Drake Passage, with a final day exploring the Chilean Fjords before concluding in Punta Arenas.

Fly back to Santiago with unforgettable memories of your Antarctic adventure. Optional Post-Programs are available for those craving further exploration.

17 Day Antarctica Itinerary

Day 1: Santiago

Your journey commences with an overnight stay in Santiago, the vibrant cultural hub of Chile. Bursting with museums, exquisite architecture, and dining establishments, the city fulfills all expectations of a South American capital. Countless sites and attractions await exploration, ensuring that time rather than options is the only constraint. If time allows, visit the Mercado Central fish market to savor the traditional Chilean seafood stew, caldillo de congrio.

Given the city's wealth of offerings, those seeking additional exploration time in Chile's capital are advised to arrive a few days early and consider participating in one of the optional Pre-Programs.

Day 2: Punta Arenas

Depart Santiago in the early morning for Punta Arenas, the largest city in Chilean Patagonia. This enchanting destination exudes old-world charm and promises discovery at every turn. Situated as one of the southernmost cities worldwide, Punta Arenas is truly unique.

Upon arrival, you'll board the expedition ship MS Maud. A mandatory health and safety briefing will be conducted for all guests. Subsequently, you'll have the opportunity to meet the crew and Expedition Team, who will serve as your guides, hosts, and fellow adventurers throughout the journey.

Day 3: Rivers of Ice

No amount of preparation can ready you for the breathtaking beauty of this untamed and remote wilderness. Take in the tranquil maze of waterways, encircled by islands, glaciers, and towering mountains. Weather and wildlife permitting, we'll strive to make a landing in a peaceful glacial valley.

Located in a secluded corner of Glacier Alley, the massive Pia glacier descends from the mountains toward the sea, emitting creaks and cracks along the way. This immense river of ice frequently calves into the ocean, offering the chance to witness spectacular splashes and hear the enigmatic sounds of the glacier.

Day 4 & 5: Beagle Channel, Cape Horn & the Drake Passage

If the weather is clear as we navigate through the Beagle Channel, you might catch sight of the towering Mount Darwin, part of the southernmost range of the Andes mountains.

At the southernmost tip of South America lies the renowned Cape Horn, a significant landmark in the historical clipper routes that linked Europe with the Far East and Oceania. Its true historical importance is often underestimated. Here, the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans converge, creating powerful waves intensified by swirling westerly winds.

Due to the notoriously rough waters, it's challenging to guarantee a landing at Cape Horn. However, if conditions are favorable and the weather permits docking on the island, you may have the rare opportunity to step foot on this iconic location.

From Cape Horn, the route to Antarctica via the Drake Passage is straightforward. The passage was named after the English sea captain Sir Francis Drake, who stumbled upon it in 1578 when strong winds pushed his ship southward, inadvertently proving the existence of open water below the southern tip of Chile.

The Drake Passage is renowned for its fierce winds, large waves, and strong currents. Despite its usual rough conditions, the passage can also be remarkably calm. This unpredictable nature has earned it two nicknames: 'The Drake Shake' or 'The Drake Lake'. Rest assured, the modern vessel MS Maud was constructed to handle these conditions and more, ensuring your safety throughout the journey.

Day 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 & 13: The Seventh Continent

Prepare to have all previous experiences eclipsed. No matter your expectations, Antarctica will surpass them. Holding 90% of the world’s ice within an area twice the size of Australia, it is colossal in every sense. Vast ice shelves, equivalent to the size of countries, and towering icebergs dwarf the ship. Glaciers spill down from the mountains toward the sea, occasionally calving in spectacular displays.

This pristine continent is inhabited by an estimated 12 million penguins across seven species. Yet, impressive figures cannot convey Antarctica's true grandeur and splendor, nor can words capture the sensation of witnessing a colony of several thousand penguins firsthand. It's a place that defies belief until seen with one's own eyes.

Upon the arrival in Antarctica during the height of summer, expect towering icebergs illuminated by the midnight sun and bustling penguin colonies with newly hatched chicks. You'll also encounter numerous seals, whales, and seabirds. Keep watch for skuas, shearwaters, and perhaps even albatrosses.

Led by the Expedition Team, we'll embark on landings to bring you closer to this extraordinary world of ice and wildlife. Over seven days, we'll explore the frozen continent without a fixed itinerary, aiming for landings at multiple potential sites. With years of experience navigating these waters, we know the optimal locations and activities. Adapting to weather conditions and sea ice, we'll seize each day to craft an authentic and unforgettable adventure.

Day 14 & 15: Voyage back north

Following an extraordinary seven-day expedition in Antarctica, MS Maud begins its journey northward, returning you safely across the Drake Passage. During this passage, the Expedition Team will review the unforgettable experiences from the frozen continent and prepare you for our final destination in Chilean Patagonia.

We anticipate spending approximately two days crossing the Drake Passage, providing ample opportunity for relaxation and reflection on your remarkable adventures. If you're still energized from the activities and excursions of the past week, you might consider a workout in the gym. It's an ideal time to build up an appetite and indulge in more delectable dishes at the onboard restaurants.

Day 16: The beauty of the Chilean fjords

Coming directly from our Antarctic adventure and following the second crossing of the Drake Passage, we will spend one final day exploring the Chilean Fjords. Marvel at the tranquility of this intricate network of waterways, enveloped by islands, glaciers, and towering mountains. Weather and sea conditions permitting, our Expedition Team will aim for a landing.

If conditions do not allow for a landing, take in the fjords' beauty from the deck. Keep an eye out for wildlife such as Magellanic penguins and possibly elephant seals along the coastline. With luck, you may also encounter dolphins and various whale species known to inhabit these waters.

Day 17: The end of your adventure

Upon the return to civilization, we dock at Punta Arenas in the morning. From here, you'll board a flight back to Santiago de Chile, carrying with you wonderful memories from your remarkable Antarctic journey.

However, if you're not quite ready to conclude your adventure, we encourage you to consider joining one of the optional Post-Programs.

Itinerary Map

Eternal Beauty of Chilean Patagonia and Antarctica

17 Day Antarctica Itinerary Includes

  • Accommodation in a cabin of your choosing
  • Daily meals including breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • Wine, beer, and spirits served during meals and throughout the day (within licensing regulations; excludes premium beverages)
  • Unlimited coffee, tea, and soft drinks available all day
  • Meals and takeaway options offered during Fredheim restaurant hours
  • Suite guests can enjoy fine dining at restaurant Lindstrøm
  • Complimentary refillable water bottle provided for use during the trip and to take home
  • Professional photographs from the journey taken by the onboard photographer
  • Free Wi-Fi; note that streaming services are not supported

17 Day Antarctica Itinerary Does not Include

  • International flights
  • Additional overnight(s) if required due to international flight timings
  • Travel protection
  • Baggage handling
  • Optional shore excursions with the local partners
  • Optional small-group activities with the Expedition Team

17 Day Antarctica Itinerary Highlights

  • Enjoy the extended daylight of Antarctica's summer, perfect for observing whales and witnessing young penguins and seals.
  • Explore iconic Cape Horn, sail through the Beagle Channel, and admire the stunning landscapes of Chilean Patagonia.
  • Participate in ice and fjord excursions aboard small expedition vessels and participate in landings guided by the expert Expedition Team.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast Served Daily
  • 16 Dinners
  • 17 Lunches
Punta Arenas | Chile |  Antarctica
Beagle Channel | Ushuaia |  Antarctica
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 | Faroe Islands | Puffin

17 Day Antarctica cruise activities

Sea Kayaking
Under full instruction from your sea kayaking guide, experience true tranquillity as you paddle through clinking ice floes and realise the enormity of the surrounding scenery. Look out for breaching whales, lounging seals and penguins zipping alongside your kayak. Some experience is required.
Ice Camping
Camp out on the ice and experience the silence which blankets the continent by night. This is your chance to completely connect with this ethereal ice world – wrap up warm and embrace the Antarctic elements.
Snowshoeing
Get a spring in your step when you slip on a pair of snowshoes in Antarctica. Enabling you to easily scale gentle slopes, this unique activity allows you to access hard to reach places and seek out the most impressive views.
Photography
Learn to capture wildlife and landscape shots in a small group photography program, including critiquing sessions and editing classes. Plus, Explorer Boat excursions with a dedicated photography expert on landings.
Explorer Boats
Achieve the best views and photographs from a forward facing Explorer Boats. They allow you to sit comfortably and securely while crackling through the ice-strewn waters. Look out for wildlife such as penguins, seals and whales as you cruise.
Yoga
It doesn’t get more serene than complimentary yoga classes to the tune of glacial scenery. Join the most unique exercise setting in the world after a day of exploration. Classes are regular but are dependent on weather conditions and swell.
Eternal Beauty of Chilean Patagonia and Antarctica
17 Days


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