These experiences are the keys to a Patagonian adventure, one reflected in Australis' newest itinerary: “Gauchos, Penguins & Glaciers.” This is a roundtrip land and sea experience from Punta Arenas, Chile; see everything Tierra del Fuego has to offer with daily lectures given by experts in the field.
With multiple departures this season, passengers have the option of two itineraries; the only difference is the addition of Pia glacier, one of the tallest in South America, for that extra day. From October 2013 to April 2014, the Stella Australis will be part of a five-night program. From November 2013 to March 2014, the Via Australis will be part of a six-night program.
After a night in Punta Arenas, cross the Strait of Magellan to debark at Porvenir, capital of the Chilean Province of Tierra del Fuego, near the world's most accessible colony of king penguins. It is here you will be able to see these penguins up close; they are the second largest species of penguins and one of the most beautiful to capture on film.
Drive on to an estancia (a rural estate) where passengers are able to interact with gauchos, Patagonian cowboys, and see how the locals live. Observe how they handle their dogs for herding sheep, and see what a Patagonian barbeque is like. Usually, the barbeque would consist of lamb, Patagonia's meat of choice, with a very serious cooking process. The result is a very sweet and tender meal. While with the gauchos, everyone will have the opportunity to horseback ride with the pros.
Before the journey comes full circle, go ashore at mystical Cape Horn, also known as the “End of the Earth;” and take in the mesmerizing beauty of the Magellan forest, looming glaciers and the Magellan Penguins at Madgalena Island. Many of these places are only accessible using Australis' small expedition ships.
And finally, end back in charming Punta Arenas, and reflect on your Patagonian adventure.
Rates start at $3,536 per person sharing, depending on the season and itinerary (the larger the group, the lower the rate). This includes accommodation, all meals, an open bar, shore excursions and on board entertainment. For more information, visit www.australis.com/site/en-us/routes-itineraries/punta-arenas-punta-arenas-2