Accompanying each expedition is a diverse team of experts – from naturalists to regional specialists – who will share their knowledge and insights the wildlife, landscape and local culture. Select a member of the expedition team below to see their bio and dates.
Set sail aboard the National Geographic Orionto experience the fjords, glaciers, and panoramic vistas that make Chilean Patagonia one of the most lauded nature destinations on Earth. Encounter celebrated treasures, like the legendary Beagle Channel and Cape Horn, as well as remote wildlife reserves on Tierra del Fuego not easily accessible to the public. Along the way, venture out by Zodiac and kayak to explore Chile’s deeply indented coastline. Glide into fjords and inlets beneath walls of blue ice; hike on shore with naturalists; and watch for humpback whales, elephant seals, Magellanic penguins, and Andean condors. The expedition caps off on Argentina’s Staten Island, where we’ll have special access to nature reserves teeming with wildlife.
This trip is offered in partnership with Lindblad Expeditions.
Depart on an overnight flight to Santiago and check in to our hotel. Set out on a guided overview of the city to discover the Plaza de Armas and the Presidential Palace.
Fly to Punta Arenas, situated on the Strait of Magellan. Drive to Puerto Natales, where we embark our ship.
Our Captain and local pilots guide us through Kirke Narrows, accessible only to a small ship as the National Geographic Orion.We’ll make a first stop in the extensive maze of channels and islands of the Chilean fjords, where we may go out by Zodiac and kayak and look for elephant seals, or take a forest walk.
Explore the newest and largest protected area on the Tierra del Fuego archipelago: Karukinka, meaning “our land” in the language of the ancient inhabitants. We have obtained permission to visit the private reserve, which harbors rich wildlife.
Today we continue our exploration of the Chilean fjords. Board Zodiacs to explore protected waters and rugged shorelines, and look for the Andean condors, albatrosses, petrels, fulmars, and many other birds that inhabit this otherworldly realm. Later, sail the Beagle Channel, and hike and kayak amid this region of beech forests, mountains, and rushing rivers.
Visit the southernmost tip of South America: Cape Horn, named in 1616 by Dutch navigator Willem Schouten after his birthplace, Hoorn, Holland. Weather permitting, take Zodiacs ashore for a panoramic view from land’s end.
By special permission, explore the rugged landscapes of Staten Island, a wonderland of beech forests, mountains, and fjords. Spot southern rockhopper and Magellanic penguins, water birds, and sea lions; and see the San Juan de Salvamento “lighthouse at the end of the world.”
Disembark in Ushuaia, the world’s southernmost city. Take a charter flight to Santiago and connect to your overnight flight home.
Your expedition experience can be tailored to the activity level you choose, whether it’s light or moderate or a little of both. Travelers should be in good health, comfortable walking or standing for extended periods of time, and able to get in and out of expedition landing craft. Daily activities may include walking tours, visits to cultural or historic sites, Zodiac cruises, and easy hikes over uneven terrain, with options each day for more physical activities such as longer hikes, kayaking, or biking.
A National Geographic photographer joins the expedition team on each departure aboard the National Geographic Orion.
Traveling aboard the National Geographic-Lindblad fleet, you’ll enjoy the daily thrill of discovery without sacrificing comfort. Each of our ships provides an inviting home base with superior amenities, personalized service, and a vibrant yet casual onboard atmosphere. Step aboard and you’ll find comfortable cabins, a well-stocked library, and dining rooms serving regionally inspired cuisine with fresh, local ingredients. Expansive decks provide an exceptional vantage point for spotting and photographing wildlife.
he state-of-the-art National Geographic Orion is a fully stabilized, ice-class vessel with an ice-reinforced hull, enabling it to navigate polar ice as well as small harbors in Europe.
Public areas include an outdoor café, a lounge and bar, a sun deck, a state-of-the-art lecture theater, a library, a boutique, a mud room with lockers for expedition gear, a sauna, a fitness room, spa treatment rooms, a hot tub/plunge pool, and a centrally located elevator. The restaurant features international cuisine inspired by our ports of call and all meals are served in a single seating with unassigned tables.
Prices are per person, double occupancy, except those marked solo, which are based on single occupancy.
Airfare to/from Santiago and within South America is not included in the expedition cost. The group flights to Ushuaia and return from Punta Arenas are $805 (subject to change).
Please note: The October 29, 2018 departure will follow the itinerary shown but will spend only one day in Kirke Narrows/Chilean Fjords. The overall trip is 11 days in length. The March 8, 2020 departure will follow the itinerary shown but in the reverse order, beginning in Ushuaia and ending in Puerto Natales.
Book a voyage on the National Geographic Explorer, National Geographic Orion, Sea Cloud, or Lord of the Glens and we will cover your bar tab on board and all tips for the crew.
Offer is for new bookings only, may not be combined with other offers, and is subject to availability. Must book by October 31, 2018. Please call for details.