During the cruise there will be interesting presentations on the wildlife, history and geography of this legendary region given by the Stella Australis and Via Australis Expedition Group. The presentation will take place both on board (with audio-visual support) and on land.
Discovering Tierra del Fuego This lecture gives an interesting vision regarding the sailors who explored this territory, their adventures and encounters with the southernmost natives of the world. The British Phillip Parker King, Pringle Stokes, Charles Darwin, Francis Drake, the Dutch Wilhem Schouten and Jacob Le Maire, the French Bouganville, the Spaniards Ferdinand Magellan, Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa, the Nodal brothers and their encounters with the local Patagones (Aonikenk), Onas (Selknams), Yamanas (Yaghans), Alacalufes (Kaweskars) and Haush (Manekenk.
”Birds of Patagonia” This lecture shows the great variety of birds that nest, visit and migrate to this part of the earth. Anyone could imagine that in this place so cold and rough it would not be possible to find a great number of birds but in Patagonia, specifically at Tierra del Fuego and Cape Horn it is possible to find more than 120 species such as land birds, coastal birds seabirds, predatory and scavengers, from Black – Browed Albatross, Condor, Eagle, Kelp Goose, Ashy-Headed Goose, Ringed Kingfisher and the magnificent Magellanic Woodpecker.
Information from the day’s excursions and observations will be reviewed depending upon what we see: birds, insects, dolphins, penguins, sea lions, elephant seals or whales.
This is a historical review of the great navigators and explorers that dared to sail in the southern seas, analyzing the contemporary facts during the explorations period, the reasons why and finally the results of the discoveries that happened to change the maps of the world. The lecture is based upon an important number of old navigation charts from Greece up to 1900´s: Marco Polo, Bartolomé Dias, Christopher Columbus, Vasco Nuñez de Balboa, Ferdinand Magellan and the ones that followed them discovering the planet most important ocean passages.
DAY 01: PUNTA ARENAS
Check in at Magallanes 990, Punta Arenas, between 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., with cruise ship boarding scheduled for 6:00 p.m. The captain and crew give a welcome cocktail reception on board and afterwards the ship departs on your great adventure!
DAY 02: AINSWORTH BAY & TUCKERS ISLET
At dawn, we continue navigating through Almirantazgo Sound, arriving at Ainsworth Bay, inside the Alberto De Agostini National Park. From a distance we may see the Marinelli Glacier which descends from the Darwin Mountain Range, and we will learn how life begins after the retreat of the ice. We will also take a walk to discover a beaver dam in the marvelous subpolar Magellanic forest. On the beach, we will try to see elephant seals, but we cannot guarantee this as the precise location of the colony is unpredictable. Later, we sail to Tuckers Islets, and after lunch we board the Zodiac boats to view Magellanic Penguins (which only live in the Southern Hemisphere), and Cormorants. In September and April this excursion is replaced by Brookes Bay where we land for a short walk to approach a glacier.
DAY 03: PIA GLACIER & GLACIER ALLEY
We navigate along the main part of the Beagle Channel to reach Pia Fjord, where we disembark near Pia Glacier. We take a short hike to a look-out point with a spectacular view of the entire glacier tongue, stretching from high in the mountains all the way to the sea. After this unforgettable experience, we continue sailing along the northwest arm of the Beagle Channel through majestic Glacier Alley.
DAY 04: CAPE HORN & WULAIA BAY
We sail through the Murray Channel and Nassau Bay to reach Cape Horn National Park, where we will disembark (weather permitting). The mythical Cape Horn was discovered in 1616, and it is a sheer, 425-meter (1,394-foot) high rocky promontory. For many years it was an important navigation route between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, and it is known as the End of the Earth. The park was declared a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in June 2005. In the afternoon, we go ashore at historic Wulaia Bay, once the site of one of the regions largest Yamana aboriginal settlements. Charles Darwin landed here on January 23rd, 1833, during the voyage of the HMS Beagle. This area is also renowned for the mesmerizing beauty of its vegetation and geography. We will walk through a Magellanic forest of Lengas, Coihues, Canelos, ferns, and other native vegetation to reach a look-out point.
DAY 05: USHUAIA
Arrive at Ushuaia, Argentina’s most important and southernmost city in the world on Tierra del Fuego. Disembark at 8:00 a.m.