Expedition Cruises Through Southern Patagonian Waters


If you look at the map of the tip of the South American continent you will see thousands of islands, channels, fiords and inlets. Especially on the Chilean side there are several thousand islands, whereupon the Pacific Ocean is filtered through a series of narrow passages in-between. Equally, at the southern-most tip of the South American continent the land is broken into small and even smaller islands where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Pacific Ocean.

These islands, and the straits separating them, are among the remotest areas on Earth. On these islands wildlife is, fortunately, undisturbed my man; and in sea channels in many places Humpback whales come to feed on the nutrient-rich waters. And, on the larger islands with higher ground, glaciers slowly slide down to the water’s edge where they crack open into icebergs.

This combination of remoteness, and of being in the heart of where the natural world is still thriving is one of those “incredible” experiences in life for the lucky few.

If you have the time, the budget and the desire we whole heartedly recommend that you include one of the following Patagonia Expedition Cruises in your travel itinerary when you come to South America.

Below, we will describe the different navigational routes available in the southern Patagonian waters of Chile and Argentina.

And, as always, ExperienceChile.Org is here to help you work in the logistics of building in a Patagonia Cruise into the rest of your itinerary in the best way possible.

The maritime areas

The maritime areas covered by the ships that navigate these waters can be divided into these sectors:

Western Archipelago (Navigated by Navimag and Skorpios)


  • The Navimag operates the route between Puerto Montt to Puerto Natales.

Skorpios II

  • MV Skorpios II operates the Chonos route from Puerto Montt to San Rafael Glacier and back to Puerto Montt.
Interior Archipelago (Navigated by Skorpios)

Skorpios II

  • The Skorpios III ship covers the route from Puerto Natales and back to Puerto Natales, visiting many glaciers in the fiords and channels.
Southern Archipelago (Navigated by Australis)

This is the area between Punta Arenas and Ushuaia, including Cape Horn, navigated by two Australis Ships.

Vantus Australis and Stella Australis

  • Both the Ventus and Stella Australis ships operate out of Punta Arenas in Chile and Ushuaia in Argentina exploring the numerous channels, fiords and inlets throughout the Southern Archipelago waters of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.