- Day 1 Buenos Aires, Argentina
- Day 2 Buenos Aires/Ushuaia, Argentina
- Day 3 At Sea
- Day 4 Puerto Williams, Chile
- Day 5 Garibaldi Glacier or Pia Glacier, Chile
- Day 6 Chilean fjords
- Day 7-8 Puerto Natales, Chile
- Day 9 Pio XI Glacier, Chile
- Day 10 Puerto Edén, Chile
- Day 11 Tortel, Chile
- Day 12 At Sea
- Day 13 Castro, Chile
- Day 14 Niebla, Chile
- Day 15 At Sea
- Day 16 Valparaíso, Chile
March 25, 2023
Buenos Aires moves to a rhythm that is unmistakably unique to the Argentinian capital. Just ask a local and they’ll tell you straight away: It’s the diverse melting pot of people who inject vibrancy into the city. These porteños (port people) have roots from all across the globe, bringing their diverse cultures with them. The result is an intoxicating blend of romantic music, tango dancing around every corner, Maradona soccer fans, Old World Colonial architecture, and flavorful food.
You’ll spend one night at a hotel in the city before catching an early flight the next morning. Depending on when you arrive, you may have some time to explore a slice of this bustling capital. Visit Teatro Colón, a beautiful opera house dating back to 1908. Then pop into the historic Café Tortoni for Parisian-inspired coffees and chocolate-dipped churros. Caminito is a multi-colored ‘street museum’ in the La Boca neighborhood, filled with lively markets and restaurants hosting live folk dancing and tango shows. The party doesn’t stop there, though. Late into the night, the upscale Palermo district is filled with bars and boliche clubs (night clubs).
We recommend coming to Buenos Aires a few days early to fully explore the city or join our Pre-Program to wild Patagonia.
March 26, 2023
Estimated time of departure is 7:00 PM
Today, you’ll have an early start. We’ll meet in the hotel lobby in the morning to head to the airport for our flight to Ushuaia. The capital of Argentina’s Tierra del Fuego province sits on a bay backed by the snow-capped mountains of Martial Glacier, to the north. Although Ushuaia claims to be the world’s southernmost city, two other Chilean cities also lay claim to this dubious title. Your base camp at sea, MS Roald Amundsen, will be waiting here at the port for you. On board, pick up your complimentary wind and water-resistant expedition jacket before attending our mandatory safety drill before departure. Afterward, you will have time to tour the ship and settle into your cabin before we enjoy a welcome dinner together. Our expedition is officially underway!
March 27, 2023
As we sail through the scenic Beagle Channel in the morning, watch for the rare, endemic Peale’s dolphins and other wildlife. Once we leave the channel, our journey down to the legendary Cape Horn begins. Dutchman Willem Schouten discovered this headland on Hornos Island in 1616. He named it ‘Kaap Hoorn’ after the city of Hoorn, in the Netherlands. For centuries, it was a major landmark in the old clipper routes that connected Europe with the Far East and Oceania. It is still a monumental point for those sailing around the world.
The area around the island is where the open waters of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans collide, creating powerful waves that are made even stronger by swirling westerly winds. For yachters, rounding Cape Horn is a maritime feat, comparable, for them, to summiting Mount Everest. The notoriously turbulent waters make it impossible to guarantee a landing here. But if fortune plays in our favor that day and the weather is stable enough to dock on the island and go up to the cape, you may be among a select few in the world to set foot on glorious Cape Horn.
March 28, 2023
There are few places that feel as ‘end of the road’ as Puerto Williams, which is located on Isla Navarino, between Dientes de Navarino mountain range and the southern bank of the Beagle Channel. Even though it is one of three contenders for the title of ‘World’s Southernmost City’, Puerto Williams has a quiet atmosphere more akin to a small town. Why not go to the post office and send a postcard to friends and family back home? They will be thrilled to receive a message all the way from the ‘end of the world’.
The city began as a military outpost in 1953 and most of its 3,000 residents are affiliated with the local naval base. Puerto Williams is also home to around 70 indigenous Yahgan people, who have lived in the Tierra del Fuego region for 10,000 years. To learn more about the history of the Yahgan people and the city, it is well worth dropping into the Martin Gusinde Anthropological Museum. Examine Yahgan artifactsand a traditional canoe, as well as maps and photographs or the region.
Check out a replica of the bow of the Yelcho—the ship that rescued Shackleton’s men, who were stranded on Elephant Island in 1916. Or go for a walk in the town and immerse yourself in the gorgeous scenery, either on your own or through a guided optional excursion. If the weather is nice, you may also have the opportunity to participate in an optional kayaking activity, too. Birdwatchers, on alert! Have your binoculars at the ready to spot a range of seabirds, including the mighty albatross.
March 29, 2023
The day’s activity is a scenic cruise in Garibaldi Fjord, in Alberto de Agostini National Park, all the way up to Garibaldi Glacier. In this stunning region, the Andes tumble into the Pacific Ocean and great glaciers feed ice (and sometimes icebergs) into the beautiful Chilean fjords. The waters are filled with glacial sediment, giving them a creamy blue appearance. Meanwhile, the sheer cliffs glisten with ribbons of waterfalls, perhaps in full flow from recent rainfall.
From our past sailings here, we know that strong winds and thick sea ice may block our route. If weather and waters are kind, however, we may be able to reach the head of the fjord at Garibaldi Glacier, one of the most impressive glaciers in all of Chile. This wall of crumbling sapphire and teal–colored ice looms taller than some buildings. Here you’ll find ice of all shapes, shades, and sizes, towering over the waters beneath it. There is an amazing experience we can hope for but not guarantee: If we’re lucky, we might witness chunks of the glacier calve off the wall, plunging and crashing below in an explosion of ice and water. More than just the sight of this spectacle, it is the dramatic noise, which reverberates throughout the fjord, that is likely to leave the deepest impression.
Thanks to the oxygen-rich, plankton-packed cold waters sourced from the glacier, the fjord is also recognized as part of a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. It is not uncommon to see seals and sea lions poking their heads out of the water or roaming on the shores. Keep an eye out for a range of seabirds soaring above or perched on miniature islands of floating ice. The impressive silhouette of the Andean condor might even pass over us. This a member of the vulture family with a wingspan as wide as 10 feet.
March 30, 2023
This wild and remote wonderland was once the domain of the canoe-faring indigenous people who lived, sailed, and hunted in these very fjords for centuries. Admire this serene maze of waterways surrounded by islands, glaciers, and steep mountains. Head to the deck and bask in the view of the mighty mountains plunging into the icy water, while keeping an eye out for wildlife such as elephant seals, dolphins, and whales.
Throughout your journey, the Expedition Team will give lectures in the Science Center and share their extensive knowledge of the region. Topics may include periods of pre-Columbian history, the geology of the surrounding mountains and islands, the folklore of the local communities, and much more. Not all of our lectures are indoors, though! If curious seabirds come fly alongside the ship, the Expedition Team might also help you spot and identify them from the deck. Our designated expedition photographer will also be on board. In addition to taking pictures from our journey, he or she will be available to help you learn the basics of expedition photography.
March 31, 2023 - April 1, 2023
While entering and leaving Puerto Natales, we will sail through the White Narrows—a passage only 87 yards wide. These narrows require careful navigation, and we can only pass through them in daylight and at slack tide.
Scottish and German immigrants founded Puerto Natales in 1911. They came to export lamb and wool back to Europe. Today, the city has around 20,000 residents and plays host to constant flow of adventure travelers from around the world—a stop on their way to the world-renowned Torres del Paine National Park. Join an optional excursion to the park and discover a stunning range of landscapes, from vast open steppes to rugged mountain terrain topped by looming peaks, all teeming with wildlife. Watch for llamas, pumas, and foxes, in addition to more than 100 bird species, including the Andean condor.
You can also choose to spend time in Puerto Natales itself. There are a number of trendy eateries here, along with Bohemian-style bars and outdoor gear suppliers. Gin lover? Take a tour of the Last Hope Distillery, which could just be the southernmost distillery in the world. Or, head to Etherh Aike, a small artisan village selling various handicrafts and gifts. The waterfront is particularly photogenic, such as the wooden posts of the old pier stretching into the fjord, with snow-capped mountains in the background. You can also admire the fingers of the hand monument and the dancing figures of the wind monument.
We set sail very early the second day, but the ship will spend the night alongside port.
April 2, 2023
Emerging from the Southern Patagonian Ice Field and almost 41 miles in length, Pio XI Glacier is the longest glacier in the Southern Hemisphere (outside of Antarctica, of course). Also known as Brüggen Glacier, after German geologist Johannes Brüggen Messtorff, its wall is almost 3 miles wide and 262 feet high, marked by intricate cracks and deep crevasses. Remarkably, Pio XI is the only glacier in Bernardo O’Higgins National Park to be advancing every year. It appears to buck the trend of most glaciers worldwide, which are generally in retreat. Pio XI, on the other hand, grows as much as 164 feet a day in length, height, and density.
To reach the glacier, we’ll sail east through Eyre Fjord, where you can admire the scenery all around you. Temperate forest lines the shores, with sea lions making the occasional appearance in the foreground. Dolphins are also known to swim the waters, accompanied by seabirds such as gulls and terns. Weather and waves permitting, we’ll launch our small boats (RIBs) to explore the fjord and get closer to the glacier, while always taking care to not get too close. Ice occasionally calves off the Pio XI’s wall into the waters below, creating a thrilling sight (and sound) to behold—from a safe distance!
April 3, 2023
The settlement of Puerto Edén sits at the edge of a peninsula in a fjord located in Bernardo O´Higgins National Park. You can certainly qualify the park as being off the beaten path, as Puerto Edén is only accessible by sea, with this paradise being one of Chile’s most hard-to-reach inhabited places. To get here, we sail through the English Narrows. This passage, at the south end of the Messier Channel, can only be navigated at slack tide and in daylight. The narrows are only 197 yards wide at certain points, with low-lying islands and steep mountains on both sides, flanked by evergreen trees from the Magellanic subpolar forests.
Puerto Edén’s isolation is also due to the region’s climate, which includes frequent rainfall, high humidity, and heavy storms. There are no roads to, from, or even within the village, just boardwalks and footpaths that connect the homes of its fewer-than 200 inhabitants. The village is also home to the last-known community of the indigenous Kawéskar people, with only dozen living here. This unique community is designated a Living Human Treasure by UNESCO, which recognizes the Kawskar people’s cultural significance and the need to protect their heritage. You can walk freely through the village and interact with locals. You’ll admire their synergy with local plants and marine animals, and no doubt respect their desire to preserve their precious history and customs.
April 4, 2023
South of the San Rafael Laguna National Park, you’ll find Caleta Tortel, in between the Northern and Southern Patagonian Ice Fields. This remote village is located at the mouth of Rio Baker, the largest river in Chile. A single road to Caleta Tortel opened in 2003, freeing the village from its almost complete isolation. The melting ice of the surrounding glaciers makes the waters here an eye-catching mixture of turquoise and milky blue. If the weather cooperates, run your hands through water yourself on an optional kayaking excursion.
The village sprang up as part of the timber industry, explaining the village’s rustic look—it’s made entirely from wood sourced from Guaitecas cypress trees in the surrounding forest. Common throughout the Aysén region, migrant workers from Chiloé in the north came here to work, and typical of Chilotan style, many of the houses are constructed on stilts. The 500 residents here form a close-knit community that is still closely connected to the logging trade. The town includes a school, library, medical center, police station, and some restaurants. There are no streets within the village per se, rather a maze of boardwalks that weave over the water and around the mountain base. It’s a perfect place to explore. A tour of the village with a local guide is also available as an optional excursion. The locals are known to give guests a warm welcome, and you might be greeted by locals selling handicrafts or to a performance by folk dancers. You can also learn about the area’s fascinating history, including 8,000-year-old cave paintings and evidence that the unique Chilesaurus, a herbivorous dinosaur, roamed the region 145 million years ago.
April 5, 2023
Your expedition cruise will continue north through the fabled waters of Patagonia. When Magellan sailed here in 1520 on his circumnavigation of the Earth, he and his crew somehow imagined the indigenous people here to be giants that were over 16 feet tall! He therefore named them ‘Patagons’ after a literary character in a Spanish novel that was popular at the time. While the indigenous people here were slightly taller than most Europeans at the time, they were far from giants. However, the name stuck. Thus, we have the region the world now knows as ‘Patagonia.’ Of course, now is known more for the beautiful Andean seascapes, rather than its giants! Attend one of the many interesting lectures hosted by the Expedition Team, perhaps about the seabirds, geography, or indigenous culture of the region. Join an art workshop, where you can paint something inspired by your experiences from the expedition, or participate in one of the proposed Citizen Science projects in the Science Center.
April 6, 2023
Castro is the capital of Chiloé Island, set among windswept hills and green vegetation. Most visitors make a beeline to the Gamboa wharf district to see the brightly painted wooden houses, called palafitos, raised on stilts along the Fiordo de Castro. This small city has many things to offer. Antiquities buff? Head to the town square to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site Iglesia San Francisco, a Neo-Gothic church build from wood that dates back to the city’s founding in 1567. If you have more contemporary taste, the Museum of Modern Art of Chiloé is worth a visit. If you get hungry, stop into one of the city’s many great restaurants.
You may also have an opportunity to book an optional excursion into nearby Chiloé National Park. This walk will take you through the park’s Valdivian rainforest, made up of evergreen southern beech and native alerce conifers, the largest tree species in South America. You might even catch sight of sea lions, seabirds, and whales along the shore.
April 7, 2023
The small seaside town of Niebla is perched on a picturesque peninsula with views of Corral Bay on one side and the mouth of the Valdivia River on the other. Its name is Spanish for ‘fog’, which Pacific winds often push into the area. Locals from the nearby city of Valdivia visit Niebla for its lively folk market and dark-sand beach. Stroll along the wide beach, and if the Feria Costumbrista market is open, sample your choice of traditional empanadas, anticuchos, churros, and more.
Aside from visiting the town itself, you’ll likely want to spend your time here exploring the ruins of the old Spanish fort and its associated museum. Castillo de la Pura y Limpia Concepción de Monfort de Lemus (or just Niebla fort, for short), was built by the Spanish between 1671 and 1679. It is one of four main fortresses, and together with a network of other small battlements, once protected ships and towns from pirates who roamed the waters and raided communities. Learn more about the region’s strategic history in the museum, walk around the lighthouse, pose next to the row of rusted canons, and take in beautiful views across the river and bay.
April 8, 2023
Your expedition cruise is nearing its end, but it is not over just yet. Make the most of your remaining time on MS Roald Amundsen watching for birds and wildlife out on deck, chat with your new friends, or enjoy your favorite drink in the Explorer Lounge & Bar. The Expedition Team will recap the highlights of your cruise and keep you engaged. Our onboard photographer might even present a slideshow of photos taken on your adventurous expedition cruise.
April 9, 2023
Estimated time of arrival is 8:00 AM
Your voyage ends at Valparaíso. Built on steep hillsides overlooking the ocean, this UNESCO-listed city is a maze of monuments, churches, historical funiculars (cable cars), trendy neighborhoods, cobblestone alleys, colorful houses, and charming plazas. Cerros Alegre and Concepción have arguably the best views, while the historic port district has Colonial architecture, bustling mercados, and the maritime and modern art museums. This colorful and unusual city is fascinating, so why not stick around for an extra day or two? You can also join a Post-Program to Easter Island, famous for its mysterious statues of giant heads.
Included in Your Expedition
- Overnight in Buenos Aires before the expedition cruise, including breakfast
- Flight in economy class from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia
- Transfer from the hotel in Buenos Aires to the airport before the expedition cruise
- Transfer from the Ushuaia airport to the ship, including a tour of the town
- Expedition cruise in a cabin of your choice
- Breakfast, lunch, and dinner including beverages (house beer and wine, sodas, and mineral water) in restaurant Aune
- Fine-dining À la carte restaurant Lindstrøm is included for suite guests
- Complimentary tea and coffee
- Complimentary Wi-Fi on board. Be aware that we sail in remote areas with limited connection. Streaming is not supported.
- Complimentary reusable water bottle to fill at onboard water refill stations
- English-speaking Expedition Team who organize and guide activities, both on board and ashore
- Range of included activities
- Experts from the Expedition Team present detailed lectures on a variety of topics
- Use the ship’s Science Center, which features an extensive library and advanced biological and geological microscopes
- The Citizen Science program allows guests to contribute to current scientific research projects
- The onboard professional photographer will give tips and tricks for taking the best landscape and wildlife photos
- The ship has hot tubs, sauna, and an indoor gym
- Participate in informal gatherings with the crew, such as daily recaps and the next day’s preparations
- Escorted landings with small boats (RIBs) while in Antarctica
- Loan of boots, trekking poles, and all equipment needed for the activities
- Complimentary wind- and water-resistant expedition jacket
- Expedition photographers will help configure your camera settings before landings
Not Included In Your Expedition
- International flights
- Travel protection
- Baggage handling
- Optional shore excursions with our local partners
- Optional small-group activities with our Expedition Team
- All planned activities are subject to weather and ice conditions
- Excursions and activities are subject to change
- Please ensure you can meet all entry and boarding requirements
- No gratuities are expected
MS Roald Amundsen
|Passenger capacity||530 (500 in Antarctica)|
|Gross tonnage||20 889 T|
In 2019, Hurtigruten added a brand new ship to its fleet: the MS Roald Amundsen. The state of the art vessel features new and environmentally sustainable hybrid technology that will reduce fuel consumption and show the world that hybrid propulsion on large ships is possible.
Sailing with MS Roald Amundsen
- MS Roald Amundsen: Life on board and Practical information
- Meet Our Expedition Team
- Young Explorers’ Program: Bring your kids on board