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Ventus Australis

An exclusive expedition vessel designed explicitly for exploring Chilean Patagonia's remote realms.

Overview

Launched in January 2018, Ventus Australis is a compact, 292-foot expedition ship, with a shallow draft for navigating the tidal fjords and sounds. She operates four-night and eight-night itineraries in the Southern Hemisphere from September to April, between Ushuaia in Argentina and Punta Arenas in Chile, exploring the misty sounds and inlets, forested islands and massive glaciers of Tierra del Fuego and Chilean Patagonia.

Life On Board

The expedition team hosts daily lectures and slideshows about the flora, fauna, history, geography, glaciology and ethnography of the legendary Patagonia region. A typical day onboard Ventus Australis Patagonia starts with an early breakfast, a morning hike or Zodiac tour, a presentation and/or slide show; lunch, a second trip ashore, drinks in the bar, dinner and a documentary, and social catchups in the Darwin Lounge.

You will have access to a library with extensive literature on Patagonian flora, fauna and history, as well as board games and other onboard entertainment activities. Deliberately there are no TVs in any of the 100 cabins, nor is there Wi-Fi (nor cell phone signal given your remote route) aboard the Ventus Australis ship, which means you will find yourself immersed in your surroundings without distraction, not least because each cabin has a large picture window with a panoramic view from which to admire the stunning scenery.

Onboard Dining

You can look forward to gourmet dining with buffet breakfasts and lunches, and four-course dinners that blend continental and Chilean cuisine, served in the large Patagonia Dining Room. Special dietary requests are also catered for. The all-inclusive bar features a wide selection of liquors, the signature cocktail Calafate Sour, local craft beers and fine Chilean wines.

Exciting Excursions

Shore excursions are carried out in powerful Zodiac boats that can easily navigate remote bays and shallow water. You can expect walks through trails in the native forests, visits to glaciers and landings at the wind-swept Cape Horn National Park. These excursions involve some reasonably challenging hikes, although there is always an easy option offered. You will be led by English-speaking guides who have intimate knowledge of the ecology.

The ship’s small size allows it to get close to the extraordinary scenery of Patagonia; towering cliffs, spectacular waterfalls, creaking glaciers and the curious ‘lenga’, lichen-draped evergreen beech forests. The protection and preservation of the environment is an essential focus of the Ventus Australis cruise. Guides with small groups of 20 or less stay on established trails to minimize any impact on local fauna.

Perfect for active couples and groups of friends, these short voyages follow in the wake of the great explorers through the Beagle Channel and the Strait of Magellan, retracing their many searches for a passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific. You can expect to see penguins, skuas, condors and cormorants, probably sea lions, and possibly whales and dolphins.

Itineraries & Prices

1 / 4
5-Day N
5-Day S
9-Day A
9-Day B

5 Day - Patagonian Explorer

itinerary map

Embarkation

PM: Check in at the Australis travel center at 409 San Martín Ave. in downtown Ushuaia between 10:00 and 17:00 on the day of your cruise departure. Board at 18:00.

After a welcoming toast and introduction of captain and crew, the ship departs for one of the most remote corners of planet Earth. During the night we traverse the Beagle Channel and cross from Argentine into Chilean territorial waters. The lights of Ushuaia disappear as we turn into the narrow Murray Channel between Navarino and Hoste islands.

Ventus' 5-Day Patagonian Explorer Itinerary Day One - Embarkation from Ushuaia.
Location
Ushuaia
Day
1 / 5

Nassau Bay & Cape Horn National Park

AM: By early morning, the ship is cruising across Nassau Bay into the remote archipelago that includes Cape Horn National Park. Weather and sea conditions permitting, we shall go ashore on the windswept island that harbors legendary Cape Horn. Discovered in 1616 by a Dutch maritime expedition -- and named after the town of Hoorn in West Friesland -- Cape Horn is a sheer 425-meter (1,394-foot) high rocky promontory overlooking the turbulent waters of the Drake Passage. For many years it was the only navigation route between the Pacific and Atlantic, and was often referred to as the "End of the Earth." The park was declared a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 2005. The Chilean navy maintains a permanent lighthouse on the island, staffed by a lightkeeper and his family, as well as the tiny Stella Maris Chapel and modern Cape Horn Monument.

PM: Sailing back across Nassau Bay, we anchor at fabled Wulaia Bay, one of the few places in the archipelago where the human history is just as compelling as the natural environment. Originally the site of one of the region’s largest Yámana aboriginal settlements, the bay was described by Charles Darwin and sketched by Captain FitzRoy in the 1830s during their voyages on the HMS Beagle. This area is also renowned for its mesmerizing beauty and dramatic geography. After a visit to the Australis-sponsored museum in the old radio station -- which is especially strong on the Yámana people and European missionaries in the area -- passengers have a choice of three hikes (of increasing degrees of difficulty) that ascend the heavily wooden mountain behind the bay. On all of these you will be strolling through an enchanted Magellan forest of lengas, coigües, canelos, ferns, and other endemic fauna to reach a panoramic viewpoint overlooking the bay. Before leaving Wulaia Bay, drop something into the wooden mail barrel inside the museum – letters or postcards meant to be hand delivered by future travelers – an ancient mariner tradition revived by Australis.

Ventus' 5-Day Patagonian Explorer Itinerary Day Two - Wulaia Bay.
Location
Cape Horn - Wulaia Bay
Day
2 / 5

Pia Glacier & Porter Glacier

AM: In the morning we will navigate the northwest arm of the Beagle Channel to enter and disembark in Pia Fjord. We will take a short hike to a lookout from where we can see Pia Glacier extending from the top of the mountain range all the way down to the sea.

PM: In the afternoon and aboard our Zodiac boats, we will sail between high rocky walls until we reach Porter Glacier. We will stop to observe its colors, listen to its sounds and if we are lucky, even witness some calving. We will stay here for a moment to discuss this incredible ice mass and take some photographs before returning on board.

Ventus' 5-Day Patagonian Explorer Itinerary Day Three - Visiting Pia Glacier.
Location
Beagle Channel
Day
3 / 5

Agostini Sound, Águila Glacier & Cóndor Glacier

AM: Early in the morning, we will sail through the Cockburn Channel and enter Agostini Sound. From there it is possible to see the glaciers that descend from the middle of the Darwin Mountain Range -- some of them reaching the water. This morning, we will disembark and go for an easy walk around a lagoon, which was formed by the melting of the Águila Glacier. We will reach a spot right in front of that glacier with stunning views.

PM: In the afternoon, we will approach the Condor Glacier via Zodiac -- and hopefully see some of the abundant Andean Condors in the area.

Ventus' 5-Day Patagonian Explorer Itinerary Day Four - Condor Glacier Excursion.
Location
Cockburn Channel
Day
4 / 5

Disembarkation

AM: After an overnight cruise that takes us back into the Strait of Magellan, we anchor off Magdalena Island, which lies about halfway between Tierra del Fuego and the Chilean mainland. Crowned by a distinctive lighthouse, the island used to be an essential source of supplies for navigators and explorers and is inhabited by an immense colony of Magellanic penguins. At the break of dawn, weather permitting, we go ashore and hike a path that leads through thousands of penguins to a small museum lodged inside the vintage 1902 lighthouse. Many other bird species are also found on the island. In September and April -- when the penguins dwell elsewhere -- this excursion is replaced by a ride aboard Zodiacs to Marta Island to observe South American sea lions. After a short sail south along the strait, disembarkation at Punta Arenas is scheduled for around 11:30 AM.

Ventus' 5-Day Patagonian Explorer Itinerary Day Five - Magdalena Island.
Location
Punta Arenas
Day
5 / 5
1 / 5

5 Day - Fjords of Tierra del Fuego

itinerary map

Embarkation

PM: Check in at 1398 Costanera del Estrecho Ave. (Arturo Prat Port) between 13:00 and 17:00. Board at 18:00.

After a welcoming toast and introduction of captain and crew, the ship departs for one of the remotest corners of planet Earth. During the night we cross the Strait of Magellan and enter the labyrinth of channels that define the southern extreme of Patagonian. The twinkling lights of Punta Arenas gradually fade into the distance as we enter the Whiteside Canal between Darwin Island and Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego.

Ventus' 5-Day Fjords of Tierra del Fuego Itinerary Day One - Punta Arenas.
Location
Punta Arenas
Day
1 / 5

Ainsworth Bay & Tuckers Islets

AM: By dawn the ship is sailing up Admiralty Sound (Seno Almirantazgo), a spectacular offshoot of the Strait of Magellan that stretches nearly halfway across Tierra del Fuego. The snowcapped peaks of Karukinka Natural Park stretch along the north side of the sound, while the south shore is defined by the deep fjords and broad bays of Alberto de Agostini National Park. We go ashore at Ainsworth Bay, which harbors copious bird life and a colony of southern elephant seals which can sometimes be spotted from the Zodiacs. Two guided excursions are available: one is along the edge of a stream, peat bog and beaver habitat to a waterfall-and-moss-covered rock face tucked deep inside a pristine sub-polar forest; the other is a more strenuous hike along the crest of a glacial moraine. Both afford views of Marinelli Glacier and the Darwin Mountains. Leaving Ainsworth Bay behind, we sail west along the sound to the Tucker Islets.

PM: After lunch, we board the Zodiacs again for a close-up view of the Magellan penguins that inhabit the tiny islands. More than 4,000 penguins use Tucker as a place to nest, give birth and nurture their chicks. Many other bird species also frequent the area including king cormorants, oystercatchers, Chilean skuas, kelp geese, dolphin gulls, eagles and even the occasional Andean condor. In September and April -- when the penguins live elsewhere -- this excursion is replaced by a short walk to a glacier at nearby stunning Brookes Bay.

Ventus' 5-Day Fjords of Tierra del Fuego Itinerary Day Two - Tucker Islets.
Location
Straight of Magellan
Day
2 / 5

Pia Glacier & Glacier Alley

AM: Overnight we sail around the western end of Tierra del Fuego via the very narrow Gabrial Channel, Magdalena Channel and Cockburn Channel. After rounding the remote Brecknock Peninsula, Stella Australis tacks eastward and enters the Beagle Channel again. By morning we are entering Pia Fjord and boarding the Zodiacs for a shore excursion to Pia Glacier. After disembarking we take a short hike to gain a panoramic view of the spectacular glacier, which extends from the mountaintops down to the sea or a longer much more difficult walk up a lateral moraine of the old Pia Glacier. No one knows for certain how the hulking mass of snow and ice got its feminine moniker, but one theory says it was named for Princess Maria Pia of Savoy (1847-1911), daughter of the Italian king.

PM: Back onboard the ship, we continue east along the Beagle Channel through an area called Glacier Alley. Living up to its name, the passage features a number of impressive tidewater glaciers flowing down from the Darwin Mountains and Darwin Ice Sheet on the north shore. Most of them named after European countries -- Holland, Italy, Germany, Spain and France.

Ventus' 5-Day Fjords of Tierra del Fuego Itinerary Day Three - Pia Glacier Visit.
Location
Cockburn Channel
Day
3 / 5

Wulaia Bay & Cape Horn

AM: During the early morning we navigate the narrow Murray Channel between Navarino and Hoste islands and drop anchor at historic Wulaia Bay, one of the few places in the archipelago where the human history is just as compelling as the natural environment. Originally the site of one of the region’s largest Yámana aboriginal settlements, the bay was described by Charles Darwin and sketched by Captain FitzRoy in the 1830s during their voyages on the HMS Beagle. This area is also renowned for its mesmerizing beauty and dramatic geography.

After a visit to the Australis-sponsored museum in the old radio station -- which is especially strong on the Yámana people and European missionaries in the area -- passengers have a choice of three hikes (of increasing degrees of difficulty) that ascend the heavily wooden mountain behind the bay. On all of these you will be strolling through an enchanted Magellan forest of lengas, coigües, canelos, ferns, and other endemic fauna to reach a panoramic viewpoint overlooking the bay. Before leaving Wulaia Bay, drop something into the wooden mail barrel inside the museum – letters or postcards meant to be hand delivered by future travelers – an ancient mariner tradition revived by Australis.

PM: In the afternoon we cruise across Nassau Bay into the remote archipelago that includes Cape Horn National Park. Weather and sea conditions permitting, we shall go ashore on the windswept island that harbors legendary Cape Horn (Cabo de Hornos). Discovered in 1616 by a Dutch maritime expedition -- and named after the town of Hoorn in West Friesland -- Cape Horn is a sheer 425-meter (1,394 foot) high rocky promontory overlooking the turbulent waters of the Drake Passage. For many years it was the only navigation route between the Pacific and Atlantic, and was often referred to as the "End of the Earth." The park was declared a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 2005. The Chilean navy maintains a permanent lighthouse on the island, staffed by a lightkeeper and his family, as well as the tiny Stella Maris Chapel and modern Cape Horn Monument.

Ventus' 5-Day Fjords of Tierra del Fuego Itinerary Day Four - Exploring Cape Horn.
Location
Murray Channel
Day
4 / 5

Disembarkation

AM: The following morning we sail into Argentine waters and dock in Ushuaia, the world's southernmost city. Australis is scheduled to arrive at 8:30 or 9:30 AM depending on the date of departure.

Ventus' 5-Day Fjords of Tierra del Fuego Itinerary Day Five - Disembarkation at Ushuaia.
Location
Ushuaia
Day
5 / 5
1 / 5

9 Day - Darwin's Route

itinerary map

Embarkation

AM - PM: Check in at 409 San Martín Ave. in downtown Ushuaia between 10:00 and 17:00 on the day of your cruise departure. Board the Australis at 18:00. After a welcoming toast and introduction of captain and crew, the ship departs for one of the most remote corners of planet Earth. During the night we traverse the Beagle Channel and cross from Argentina into Chilean territorial waters. The lights of Ushuaia disappear as we turn into the narrow Murray Channel between Navarino and Hoste islands.

Ventus' 9-Day Darwin's Route Itinerary A Day One - Embarkation from Ushuaia.
Location
Ushuaia
Day
1 / 9

Cape Horn & Wulaia Bay

AM: By early morning, Stella Australis is cruising across Nassau Bay into the remote archipelago that includes Cape Horn National Park. Australis is the only expedition cruise ship company with permission from Chilean authorities to navigate the Murray Channel to Cape Horn, and because of its concession the only travel company allowed to land passengers at Wulaia Bay.

Weather and sea conditions permitting, we shall go ashore on the windswept island that harbors legendary Cape Horn (Cabo de Hornos). Discovered in 1616 by a Dutch maritime expedition - and named after the town of Hoorn in West Friesland - Cape Horn is a sheer 425-meter (1,394-foot) high rocky promontory overlooking the turbulent waters of the Drake Passage. For many years it was the only navigation route between the Pacific and Atlantic, and was often referred to as the "End of the Earth." The park was declared a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 2005. The Chilean navy maintains a permanent lighthouse on the island, staffed by a lightkeeper and his family, as well as the tiny Stella Maris Chapel and modern Cape Horn Monument.

PM: Sailing back across Nassau Bay, we anchor at fabled Wulaia Bay, one of the few places in the archipelago where the human history is just as compelling as the natural environment. Originally the site of one of the region’s largest Yámana aboriginal settlements, the bay was described by Charles Darwin and sketched by Captain FitzRoy in the 1830s during their voyages on HMS Beagle. This area is also renowned for the mesmerizing beauty and dramatic geography. After a visit to the Australis-sponsored small museum in the old radio station - which is especially strong on the Yámana people and European missionaries in the area - passengers have a choice of three hikes (of increasing degrees of difficulty) that ascend the heavily wooden mountain behind the bay. On all of these you will be strolling through an enchanted Magellan forest of lengas, coigües, canelos, ferns, and other endemic fauna to reach a panoramic viewpoint overlooking the bay.

Ventus' 9-Day Darwin's Route Itinerary A Day Two - Wulaia Bay.
Location
Cape Horn - Wulaia Bay
Day
2 / 9

Pía Glacier & Porter Glacier

AM: In the morning we will navigate the northwest arm of the Beagle Channel to enter and disembark in Pia Fjord. We will take a short hike to a lookout from where we can see Pia Glacier extending from the top of the mountain range all the way down to the sea.

PM: In the afternoon and aboard our Zodiac boats, we will sail between high rocky walls until we reach Porter Glacier. We will stop to observe its colors, listen to its sounds and if we are lucky, even witness some calving. We will stay here for a moment to discuss this incredible ice mass and take some photographs before returning on board.

Ventus' 9-Day Darwin's Route Itinerary A Day Three - Visiting Pia Glacier.
Location
Beagle Channel
Day
3 / 9

Agostini Sound, Águila Glacier & Cóndor Glacier

AM: Early in the morning, we will sail through the Cockburn Channel and enter Agostini Sound. From there it is possible to see the glaciers that descend from the middle of the Darwin Mountain Range -- some of them reaching the water. This morning, we will disembark and go for an easy walk around a lagoon, which was formed by the melting of the Águila Glacier. We will reach a spot right in front of that glacier with stunning views.

PM: In the afternoon, we will approach the Condor Glacier via Zodiac -- and hopefully see some of the abundant Andean Condors in the area.

Ventus' 9-Day Darwin's Route Itinerary A Day Four - Condor Glacier Excursion.
Location
Cockburn Channel
Day
4 / 9

Magdalena Island & Punta Arenas

AM: After an overnight cruise through Magdalena Channel and back into the Strait of Magellan, we anchor off Magdalena Island, which lies about halfway between Tierra del Fuego and the Chilean mainland. Crowned by a distinctive lighthouse, the island used to be an essential source of supplies for navigators and explorers and is inhabited by an immense colony of Magellanic penguins. At the break of dawn, weather permitting, we go ashore and hike a path that leads through thousands of penguins to a small museum lodged inside the vintage 1902 lighthouse. Many other bird species are also found on the island. In September and April -- when the penguins dwell elsewhere -- this excursion is replaced by a ride aboard Zodiacs to Marta Island to observe South American sea lions.

PM: During the night we cross the Strait of Magellan and enter the labyrinth of channels that define the southern extreme of Patagonian. The twinkling lights of Punta Arenas gradually fade into the distance as we enter the Whiteside Canal between Darwin Island and Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego. *Camera extension poles are prohibited on Magdalena Island.

Ventus' 9-Day Darwin's Route Itinerary A Day Five - Magdalena Island.
Location
Magdalena Island - Punta Arenas
Day
5 / 9

Ainsworth Bay & Tuckers Islets

AM: By dawn the ship is sailing up Admiralty Sound (Seno Almirantazgo), a spectacular offshoot of the Strait of Magellan that stretches nearly halfway across Tierra del Fuego. The snowcapped peaks of Karukinka Natural Park stretch along the north side of the sound, while the south shore is defined by the deep fjords and broad bays of Alberto de Agostini National Park. We go ashore at Ainsworth Bay, which harbors copious bird life and a colony of southern elephant seals which can sometimes be spotted from the Zodiacs. Two guided excursions are available: one is along the edge of a stream, peat bog and beaver habitat to a waterfall-and-moss-covered rock face tucked deep inside a pristine sub-polar forest; the other is a more strenuous hike along the crest of a glacial moraine. Both afford views of Marinelli Glacier and the Darwin Mountains. Leaving Ainsworth Bay behind, we sail west along the sound to the Tucker Islets.

PM: After lunch, we board the Zodiacs again for a close-up view of the Magellan penguins that inhabit the tiny islands. More than 4,000 penguins use Tucker as a place to nest, give birth and nurture their chicks. Many other bird species also frequent the area including king cormorants, oystercatchers, Chilean skuas, kelp geese, dolphin gulls, eagles and even the occasional Andean condor. In September and April -- when the penguins live elsewhere -- this excursion is replaced by a short walk to a glacier at nearby stunning Brookes Bay.

Ventus' 9-Day Darwin's Route Itinerary A Day Six - Tucker Islets.
Location
Straight of Magellan
Day
6 / 9

Pia Glacier & Glacier Alley

AM: Overnight we sail around the western end of Tierra del Fuego via the very narrow Gabrial Channel, Magdalena Channel and Cockburn Channel. After rounding the remote Brecknock Peninsula, Stella Australis tacks eastward and enters the Beagle Channel again. By morning we are entering Pia Fjord and boarding the Zodiacs for a shore excursion to Pia Glacier. After disembarking we take a short hike to gain a panoramic view of the spectacular glacier, which extends from the mountaintops down to the sea or a longer much more difficult walk up a lateral moraine of the old Pia Glacier. No one knows for certain how the hulking mass of snow and ice got its feminine moniker, but one theory says it was named for Princess Maria Pia of Savoy (1847-1911), daughter of the Italian king.

PM: Back onboard the ship, we continue east along the Beagle Channel through an area called Glacier Alley. Living up to its name, the passage features a number of impressive tidewater glaciers flowing down from the Darwin Mountains and Darwin Ice Sheet on the north shore. Most of them named after European countries -- Holland, Italy, Germany, Spain and France.

Ventus' 9-Day Darwin's Route Itinerary A Day Seven - Pia Glacier Visit.
Location
Cockburn Channel
Day
7 / 9

Wulaia Bay & Cape Horn

AM: During the early morning we navigate the narrow Murray Channel between Navarino and Hoste islands and drop anchor at historic Wulaia Bay, one of the few places in the archipelago where the human history is just as compelling as the natural environment. Originally the site of one of the region’s largest Yámana aboriginal settlements, the bay was described by Charles Darwin and sketched by Captain FitzRoy in the 1830s during their voyages on the HMS Beagle. This area is also renowned for its mesmerizing beauty and dramatic geography.

After a visit to the Australis-sponsored museum in the old radio station -- which is especially strong on the Yámana people and European missionaries in the area -- passengers have a choice of three hikes (of increasing degrees of difficulty) that ascend the heavily wooden mountain behind the bay. On all of these you will be strolling through an enchanted Magellan forest of lengas, coigües, canelos, ferns, and other endemic fauna to reach a panoramic viewpoint overlooking the bay. Before leaving Wulaia Bay, drop something into the wooden mail barrel inside the museum – letters or postcards meant to be hand delivered by future travelers – an ancient mariner tradition revived by Australis.

PM: In the afternoon we cruise across Nassau Bay into the remote archipelago that includes Cape Horn National Park. Weather and sea conditions permitting, we shall go ashore on the windswept island that harbors legendary Cape Horn (Cabo de Hornos). Discovered in 1616 by a Dutch maritime expedition -- and named after the town of Hoorn in West Friesland -- Cape Horn is a sheer 425-meter (1,394 foot) high rocky promontory overlooking the turbulent waters of the Drake Passage. For many years it was the only navigation route between the Pacific and Atlantic, and was often referred to as the "End of the Earth." The park was declared a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 2005. The Chilean navy maintains a permanent lighthouse on the island, staffed by a lightkeeper and his family, as well as the tiny Stella Maris Chapel and modern Cape Horn Monument.

Ventus' 9-Day Darwin's Route Itinerary A Day Eight - Exploring Cape Horn.
Location
Murray Channel
Day
8 / 9

Disembarkation

AM: The following morning we sail into Argentine waters and dock in Ushuaia, the world's southernmost city. Australis is scheduled to arrive at 8:30 or 9:30 AM depending on the date of departure.

Ventus' 9-Day Darwin's Route Itinerary A Day Nine - Disembarkation at Ushuaia.
Location
Ushuaia
Day
9 / 9
1 / 9

9 Day - Darwin's Route

itinerary map

Embarkation

PM: Check in at 1398 Costanera del Estrecho Ave. (Arturo Prat Port) between 13:00 and 17:00. Board at 18:00.

After a welcoming toast and introduction of captain and crew, the ship departs for one of the remotest corners of planet Earth. During the night we cross the Strait of Magellan and enter the labyrinth of channels that define the southern extreme of Patagonian. The twinkling lights of Punta Arenas gradually fade into the distance as we enter the Whiteside Canal between Darwin Island and Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego.

Ventus' 9-Day Darwin's Route Itinerary B Day One - Punta Arenas.
Location
Punta Arenas
Day
1 / 9

Ainsworth Bay & Tuckers Islets

AM: By dawn the ship is sailing up Admiralty Sound (Seno Almirantazgo), a spectacular offshoot of the Strait of Magellan that stretches nearly halfway across Tierra del Fuego. The snowcapped peaks of Karukinka Natural Park stretch along the north side of the sound, while the south shore is defined by the deep fjords and broad bays of Alberto de Agostini National Park. We go ashore at Ainsworth Bay, which harbors copious bird life and a colony of southern elephant seals which can sometimes be spotted from the Zodiacs. Two guided excursions are available: one is along the edge of a stream, peat bog and beaver habitat to a waterfall-and-moss-covered rock face tucked deep inside a pristine sub-polar forest; the other is a more strenuous hike along the crest of a glacial moraine. Both afford views of Marinelli Glacier and the Darwin Mountains. Leaving Ainsworth Bay behind, we sail west along the sound to the Tucker Islets.

PM: After lunch, we board the Zodiacs again for a close-up view of the Magellan penguins that inhabit the tiny islands. More than 4,000 penguins use Tucker as a place to nest, give birth and nurture their chicks. Many other bird species also frequent the area including king cormorants, oystercatchers, Chilean skuas, kelp geese, dolphin gulls, eagles and even the occasional Andean condor. In September and April -- when the penguins live elsewhere -- this excursion is replaced by a short walk to a glacier at nearby stunning Brookes Bay.

Ventus' 9-Day Darwin's Route Itinerary B Day Two - Tucker Islets.
Location
Straight of Magellan
Day
2 / 9

Pia Glacier & Glacier Alley

AM: Overnight we sail around the western end of Tierra del Fuego via the very narrow Gabrial Channel, Magdalena Channel and Cockburn Channel. After rounding the remote Brecknock Peninsula, Stella Australis tacks eastward and enters the Beagle Channel again. By morning we are entering Pia Fjord and boarding the Zodiacs for a shore excursion to Pia Glacier. After disembarking we take a short hike to gain a panoramic view of the spectacular glacier, which extends from the mountaintops down to the sea or a longer much more difficult walk up a lateral moraine of the old Pia Glacier. No one knows for certain how the hulking mass of snow and ice got its feminine moniker, but one theory says it was named for Princess Maria Pia of Savoy (1847-1911), daughter of the Italian king.

PM: Back onboard the ship, we continue east along the Beagle Channel through an area called Glacier Alley. Living up to its name, the passage features a number of impressive tidewater glaciers flowing down from the Darwin Mountains and Darwin Ice Sheet on the north shore. Most of them named after European countries -- Holland, Italy, Germany, Spain and France.

Ventus' 9-Day Darwin's Route Itinerary B Day Three - Pia Glacier Visit.
Location
Cockburn Channel
Day
3 / 9

Wulaia Bay & Cape Horn

AM: During the early morning we navigate the narrow Murray Channel between Navarino and Hoste islands and drop anchor at historic Wulaia Bay, one of the few places in the archipelago where the human history is just as compelling as the natural environment. Originally the site of one of the region’s largest Yámana aboriginal settlements, the bay was described by Charles Darwin and sketched by Captain FitzRoy in the 1830s during their voyages on the HMS Beagle. This area is also renowned for its mesmerizing beauty and dramatic geography.

After a visit to the Australis-sponsored museum in the old radio station -- which is especially strong on the Yámana people and European missionaries in the area -- passengers have a choice of three hikes (of increasing degrees of difficulty) that ascend the heavily wooden mountain behind the bay. On all of these you will be strolling through an enchanted Magellan forest of lengas, coigües, canelos, ferns, and other endemic fauna to reach a panoramic viewpoint overlooking the bay. Before leaving Wulaia Bay, drop something into the wooden mail barrel inside the museum – letters or postcards meant to be hand delivered by future travelers – an ancient mariner tradition revived by Australis.

PM: In the afternoon we cruise across Nassau Bay into the remote archipelago that includes Cape Horn National Park. Weather and sea conditions permitting, we shall go ashore on the windswept island that harbors legendary Cape Horn (Cabo de Hornos). Discovered in 1616 by a Dutch maritime expedition -- and named after the town of Hoorn in West Friesland -- Cape Horn is a sheer 425-meter (1,394 foot) high rocky promontory overlooking the turbulent waters of the Drake Passage. For many years it was the only navigation route between the Pacific and Atlantic, and was often referred to as the "End of the Earth." The park was declared a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 2005. The Chilean navy maintains a permanent lighthouse on the island, staffed by a lightkeeper and his family, as well as the tiny Stella Maris Chapel and modern Cape Horn Monument.

Ventus' 9-Day Darwin's Route Itinerary B Day Four - Exploring Cape Horn.
Location
Murray Channel
Day
4 / 9

Ushuaia

AM: The following morning we sail into Argentine waters and dock in Ushuaia, the world's southernmost city. Disembarkation is scheduled at 8:00. You have almost a full day to explore Ushuaia which was founded in 1884 and was one of the original points of contact between the indigenous Yámana and European cultures. The city's name derives from the Yámana word for ‘penetrating bay.’ With around 65,000 inhabitants, Ushuaia is the second largest city in Tierra del Fuego (after Rio Grande) and is surrounded by the Southernmost Andes peaks. Among its highlights is the Prison at the End of the World, a former penitentiary that is now a maritime museum that features an Antarctic collection and memorial to those once incarcerated there. The city is also good for shopping (especially locally made chocolate) or hanging out in its many cafes.

PM: Passengers are required to be back onboard Ventus Australis at 17:30. After a welcoming toast and introduction of captain and crew to new passengers joining the cruise, the ship departs for more adventures in Tierra del Fuego. During the night we traverse the Beagle Channel, cross back into Chilean territorial waters, and turn into the narrow Murray Channel between Navarino and Hoste islands.

Ventus' 9-Day Darwin's Route Itinerary B Day Five - Exploring Ushuaia.
Location
Ushuaia
Day
5 / 9

Nassau Bay & Cape Horn National Park

AM: By early morning, the ship is cruising across Nassau Bay into the remote archipelago that includes Cape Horn National Park. Weather and sea conditions permitting, we shall go ashore on the windswept island that harbors legendary Cape Horn. Discovered in 1616 by a Dutch maritime expedition -- and named after the town of Hoorn in West Friesland -- Cape Horn is a sheer 425-meter (1,394-foot) high rocky promontory overlooking the turbulent waters of the Drake Passage. For many years it was the only navigation route between the Pacific and Atlantic, and was often referred to as the "End of the Earth." The park was declared a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 2005. The Chilean navy maintains a permanent lighthouse on the island, staffed by a lightkeeper and his family, as well as the tiny Stella Maris Chapel and modern Cape Horn Monument.

PM: Sailing back across Nassau Bay, we anchor at fabled Wulaia Bay, one of the few places in the archipelago where the human history is just as compelling as the natural environment. Originally the site of one of the region’s largest Yámana aboriginal settlements, the bay was described by Charles Darwin and sketched by Captain FitzRoy in the 1830s during their voyages on the HMS Beagle. This area is also renowned for its mesmerizing beauty and dramatic geography. After a visit to the Australis-sponsored museum in the old radio station -- which is especially strong on the Yámana people and European missionaries in the area -- passengers have a choice of three hikes (of increasing degrees of difficulty) that ascend the heavily wooden mountain behind the bay. On all of these you will be strolling through an enchanted Magellan forest of lengas, coigües, canelos, ferns, and other endemic fauna to reach a panoramic viewpoint overlooking the bay. Before leaving Wulaia Bay, drop something into the wooden mail barrel inside the museum – letters or postcards meant to be hand delivered by future travelers – an ancient mariner tradition revived by Australis.

Ventus' 9-Day Darwin's Route Itinerary B Day Six - Wulaia Bay.
Location
Cape Horn - Wulaia Bay
Day
6 / 9

Pia Glacier & Porter Glacier

AM: In the morning we will navigate the northwest arm of the Beagle Channel to enter and disembark in Pia Fjord. We will take a short hike to a lookout from where we can see Pia Glacier extending from the top of the mountain range all the way down to the sea.

PM: In the afternoon and aboard our Zodiac boats, we will sail between high rocky walls until we reach Porter Glacier. We will stop to observe its colors, listen to its sounds and if we are lucky, even witness some calving. We will stay here for a moment to discuss this incredible ice mass and take some photographs before returning on board.

Ventus' 9-Day Darwin's Route Itinerary B Day Seven - Pia Glacier.
Location
Beagle Channel
Day
7 / 9

Agostini Sound, Águila Glacier & Cóndor Glacier

AM: Early in the morning, we will sail through the Cockburn Channel and enter Agostini Sound. From there it is possible to see the glaciers that descend from the middle of the Darwin Mountain Range -- some of them reaching the water. This morning, we will disembark and go for an easy walk around a lagoon, which was formed by the melting of the Águila Glacier. We will reach a spot right in front of that glacier with stunning views.

PM: In the afternoon, we will approach the Condor Glacier via Zodiac -- and hopefully see some of the abundant Andean Condors in the area.

Ventus' 9-Day Darwin's Route Itinerary B Day Eight - Condor Glacier Excursion.
Location
Cockburn Channel
Day
8 / 9

Disembarkation

AM: After an overnight cruise that takes us back into the Strait of Magellan, we anchor off Magdalena Island, which lies about halfway between Tierra del Fuego and the Chilean mainland. Crowned by a distinctive lighthouse, the island used to be an essential source of supplies for navigators and explorers and is inhabited by an immense colony of Magellanic penguins. At the break of dawn, weather permitting, we go ashore and hike a path that leads through thousands of penguins to a small museum lodged inside the vintage 1902 lighthouse. Many other bird species are also found on the island. In September and April -- when the penguins dwell elsewhere -- this excursion is replaced by a ride aboard Zodiacs to Marta Island to observe South American sea lions. After a short sail south along the strait, disembarkation at Punta Arenas is scheduled for around 11:30.

Ventus' 9-Day Darwin's Route Itinerary B Day Nine - Magdalena Island.
Location
Punta Arenas
Day
9 / 9
1 / 9

Accommodations

Social Areas

Lounge
Dining Room
Darwin Lounge
Dining
Bridge
Bar
Sky Lounge

Suites & Cabins

Ventus' Magellan Deck Standard Suite - Twin. Ventus' Magellan Deck Standard Suite - Twin.
3 Cabins

Magellan Deck - Standard Suite

Guests
2
Size
16.5 m² / 177 ft²
Beds
Twin

Ventus' four B cabins are located in the front area of our vessels on the second deck, depicting a large panoramic window to enjoy the stunning views as we sail. Each cabin has a chair, bedside table, desk, twin fixed reading lights, a closet (with lifejackets), a safe and a dressing mirror. Every cabin provides water bottles (which you can keep). There are two plug sockets with three round pins - (note these are not compatible with either U.S. or U.K. plugs and you will need to bring an adaptor). Bathrooms are equipped with hairdryers and Algotherm cosmetics which are replenished daily.

Ventus' Magellan Deck Superior Suite - Double. Ventus' Magellan Deck Superior Suite - Twin.
34 Cabins

Magellan Deck - Superior Suite

Guests
2
Size
20.5 m² / 220 ft²
Beds
Double / Twin

Ventus' A cabins are located on the second deck. These cabins can be arranged with two twin beds or one matrimonial bed. Each cabin has a chair, bedside table, desk, twin fixed reading lights, a closet (with lifejackets), a safe and a dressing mirror. Every cabin provides water bottles (which you can keep). There are two plug sockets with three round pins - (note these are not compatible with either U.S. or U.K. plugs and you will need to bring an adaptor). Bathrooms are equipped with hairdryers and Algotherm cosmetics which are replenished daily.

Ventus' Land of Fire Deck Standard Suite - Double. Ventus' Land of Fire Deck Standard Suite View. Ventus' Land of Fire Deck Standard Suite - Twin.
2 Cabins

Land of Fire Deck - Standard Suite

Guests
2
Size
16.5 m² / 177 ft²
Beds
Double / Twin

Ventus' AA cabins are located on the 3rd deck of the ship. These cabins can be arranged with two twin beds or one matrimonial bed. Each cabin has a chair, bedside table, desk, twin fixed reading lights, a closet (with lifejackets), a safe and a dressing mirror. Every cabin provides water bottles (which you can keep). There are two plug sockets with three round pins - (note these are not compatible with either U.S. or U.K. plugs and you will need to bring an adaptor). Bathrooms are equipped with hairdryers and Algotherm cosmetics which are replenished daily.

Ventus' Cape Horn Deck Standard Suite - Double. Ventus' Cape Horn Deck Standard Suite - Twin.
2 Cabins

Cape Horn Deck - Standard Suite

Guests
2
Size
16.5 m² / 177 ft²
Beds
Double / Twin

Ventus' AAA cabins are located on the 4th deck of the ship. These cabins offer more oversized panoramic windows to enjoy the beautiful landscapes always surrounding us during our voyage with the highest placement on the ship. These cabins can be arranged with two twin beds or one matrimonial bed. Each cabin has a chair, bedside table, desk, twin fixed reading lights, a closet (with lifejackets), a safe and a dressing mirror. Every cabin provides water bottles (which you can keep). There are two plug sockets with three round pins - (note these are not compatible with either U.S. or U.K. plugs and you will need to bring an adaptor). Bathrooms are equipped with hairdryers and Algotherm cosmetics which are replenished daily.


Ventus' Land of Fire Deck Superior Suite.
36 Cabins

Land of Fire Deck - Superior Suite

Guests
2
Size
20.5 m² / 220 ft²
Beds
Queen

Ventus' two AA Superior cabins are on the 3rd deck of the ship. These cabins provide a panoramic view with floor-to-ceiling windows and are part of the most spacious cabins allowing passengers more room than the standard cabins. Each cabin has a chair, bedside table, desk, twin fixed reading lights, a closet (with lifejackets), a safe and a dressing mirror. Every cabin provides water bottles (which you can keep). There are two plug sockets with three round pins - (note these are not compatible with either U.S. or U.K. plugs and you will need to bring an adaptor). Bathrooms are equipped with hairdryers and Algotherm cosmetics which are replenished daily.

Ventus' Cape Horn Deck Superior Suite. Ventus' Cape Horn Deck Superior Suite View.
23 Cabins

Cape Horn Deck - Superior Suite

Guests
2
Size
20.5 m² / 220 ft²
Beds
Queen

Ventus' two AAA Superior cabins are located on our 4th deck. These cabins are part of our most spacious cabins. Each cabin has a chair, bedside table, desk, twin fixed reading lights, a closet (with lifejackets), a safe and a dressing mirror. Every cabin provides water bottles (which you can keep). There are two plug sockets with three round pins - (note these are not compatible with either U.S. or U.K. plugs and you will need to bring an adaptor). Bathrooms are equipped with hairdryers and Algotherm cosmetics which are replenished daily.

Technical Information

Deck Plan

Features

  • Lecture room
  • Cinema
  • Camera room
  • Medical staff
  • Souvenir shop
  • Hot showers
  • All inclusive
  • Heating
  • Family Room (Triple or Quadruple)
  • Charging areas for electronic equipment

Equipment

  • Satellite phone
  • Water canteen/bottle
  • Poncho
** Use of certain equipment at additional cost, ask for details