​Antarctica. Earth's last great wilderness frontier and a place that's all but untouched by humanity. The power of nature here is overwhelming; the wildlife enchanting; the experiences almost unimaginable. This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, and one that's on many travellers' bucket lists.

Venture along the coast of Chile to the "End of the World" and beyond. Capture a glimpse of the remarkable medley of landscapes, from Patagonia's lakes, glaciers, mountains and fjords, to the icebergs and tundra of the Antarctic Peninsula. See a range of wildlife along the way, from guanaco to penguins, as well as getting a chance to interact with members of the local communities.​

Departure date: 14 November 2016

Current tour status: Places available

Your itinerary at a glance

13 November 2016 / Arrive into Santiago from your international flight and transfer to overnight accommodation (Grand Hyatt Santiago or similar).

14 November 2016 / Transfer to Valparaiso for embarkation aboard the Silver Explorer.

15 November 2016 / Day at sea.

16 November 2016 / Niebla, Chile.

17 November 2016 / Castro, Chile.

18 November 2016​ / Puerto Chacabuco, Chile.

19 November 2016 / English Narrows, Chile.

20 November 2016 / Pio Xi Glacier, Chile.

21 November 2016 / Chilean Fjords.​

22 November 2016 / Punta Arenas, Chile.

23-24 November 2016 / Drake Passage.

25-29 November 2016 / Antarctic Peninsula.

30 November-1 December 2016 / Drake Passage.

2 December 2016 / Arrive Ushuaia, Argentina, disembark cruise and transfer for charter flight to Buenos Aires. Transfer to overnight accommodation in Buenos Aires (Park Tower Hotel or similar).

3 December 2016 / Depart Buenos Aires on your international flight.​​​​


From £14,750 per person (single travellers)

From £11,795 per person (based on two adults sharing).

Prices include:

  • Fully escorted by Colin Prior from arrival into Chile including all photography workshops
  • 18 nights’ accommodation aboard the Silver Explorer cruising from Valparaiso to Ushuaia
  • All meals and beverages aboard the cruise 
  • Enrichment lectures by a highly qualified expedition team alongside Colin
  • Guided Zodiac, land and sea tours, and shore side activities led by the expedition team
  • Private/group transport throughout including hotel and airport transfers
  •  1 night’s pre-cruise accommodation in Santiago on 13 November 2016
  • Silversea charter flight from Ushuaia to Buenos Aires
  • 1 night’s post-cruise accommodation in Buenos Aires on 2 December 2016
  • Prices are based upon accommodation in an Adventurer's Suite, subject to availability​


Prices exclude:

  • International flights to Santiago and from Buenos Aires – guide price for round-trip international economy class flights UK-Santiago-Buenos Aires-UK is £1200 per person. Please speak to your Travel Director regarding all international flight arrangements.
  • Alternative flight arrangements and upgrades can be provided, subject to availability, and may have a supplementary cost.​​​​

Your Itinerary

18 nights Valparaiso - Ushuaia​


Day 1 / Santiago

Transfer to overnight accommodation in Santiago (Grand Hyatt or similar).

Day 2 / Valparaiso

Transfer to Valparaiso and embark Silver Explorer. During the evening, after a mandatory safety briefing, you'll meet your expedition team and enjoy the first of many dinners in the restaurant.

Day 3 / Day at sea

A leisurely day at sea is yours to enjoy. Meet some of​ your fellow explorers, spend some time with Colin, attend informative lectures on your upcoming adventures and enjoy the luxurious amenities aboard Silver Explorer.

Day 4 / Niebla, Chile

Niebla is a small village on the banks of the Rio Valdivia where Chile’s Corral Bay meets the Pacific Ocean. Today Niebla is a beach resort, but in 1671 was a defensive fortress built by Spanish conquerors to prevent attacks from pirates and corsairs. Visit the charming river port city of Valdivia, soak up the interesting blend of influences from the native Mapuche, Spanish settlers, and German immigrants and visit the Historical and Anthropological Museum Maurice Van der Maele for its collection of Mapuche artefacts and jewelry, as well as important pieces from Hispanic and German periods.

Day 5 / Castro, Chiloé Island, Chile

Chiloé Island is home to an amazing collection of 150 Jesuit-carved wooden churches, houses raised up on poles out of the water, and more than 400 native plant varieties. After dropping anchor, the Zodiacs will whisk you ashore. From Castro, head south to the picturesque village of Dalcahue, glimpsing the colourful hamlet of Llaullao with houses roofed with tejuelas en-route.

After a brief ferry ride to Quinchao, you'll pass through Curaco de Velez, a tiny village of approximately 500 inhabitants where along its coastal avenue it's sometimes possible to see Black-necked Swans. 

Just ahead, is Achao where you'll visit the Jesuit’s Achao Church, the oldest wooden structure in Chiloé and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Constructed in 1730, it contains beautiful baroque imagery.

There may also be time to visit Chiloé National Park for a walk along the El Tepual Trail through evergreen tepú forest. Located on the western coast of Chiloé Island, the park encompasses an area of 430.57 km², with dunes, temperate rainforests, swamps, and peat bogs. The park’s warm and humid climate contributes to the existence of the evergreen forest, made up mostly of terebinth shrubs, coigüe, luma, myrtle, tepu and larch. The fauna includes fox, sea lion, mountain monkey, sea otter, opossum, pudú, finch, and the Patagonian Woodpecker, some of which are endemic, due to the insular nature of this island.​

Day 6 / Puerto Chacabuco, Chile

Puerto Chacabuco is the entrance to Chile’s most isolated region, Region XI or Region Aysén del General Carlos Ibañez del Campo. The third-largest of Chile’s 15 regions, it is the least inhabited and, due to the predominant westerlies, the coastal area has a cool maritime climate with 3000mm of rain. The evergreen Magellanic forest is present in the vicinity of Puerto Chacabuco and during the morning you'll visit an ecological park to hike and to get a closer look at the typical flora (coigue de Magallanes, leña dura, canelo, and several types of cypress and fuchsia).

Day 7 / English Narrows

Early this morning, be out on deck to watch as you head towards the English Narrows and the Captain and local Chilean pilots expertly maneuver Silver Explorer through the slalom course of islands and channel markers. During this time, you may spot Magellanic Diving Petrels and Steamer Ducks, and if you're very lucky, the endemic Chilean dolphin too. Shy of ships, this small dolphin enjoys spending its time in narrow channels with heavy tidal rips.

Day 8 / Pio XI Glacier, Chile

Visit the Pio XI Glacier early this morning, a tidewater glacier that's 4.5 km wide and a remarkable shade of brilliant blue. An outlet glacier of the South Patagonian Ice Field, the Pio XI once extended out into the fjords whose waters you ply today. Conditions permitting, you'll board the Zodiacs and dodge brash ice as you approach the glacier at a safe distance. Alert for signs of calving, you may see small chunks of ice falling from the glacier front.

Day 9 / Chilean Fjords

Cruise through the vast expanse of the Chilean Fjords - a region that's so inhospitable that only one single settlement exists, and where mountains loom on both sides of Silver Explorer. Occasionally seals and dolphins can be seen, and further south, Andean Condors should majestically soar above the hills and mountains.​​​​​​​​

Days 1-9 / ​Photographic Highlights

  • Wooden churches of Chiloé Island
  • Chiloé National Park
  • Spotting Diving Petrels, Steamer Ducks and Chilean Dolphins in the English Narrows
  • The brilliant blue Pio XI Glacier
  • The mountains and wildlife of the Chilean Fjords

Day 10 / Punta Arenas, Chile

Established as a small penal colony in 1848, Punta Arenas today is the capital of Chile’s southernmost region “Magallanes and Antarctic Chile”.

Today you'll depart from the pier for an exploration of the city of Punta Arenas, stopping at the observation point of La Cruz Hill for a wide view of the city and the Strait of Magellan. During the afternoon the ship will once again take the Strait of Magellan, this time to enter the Pacific Ocean heading for the Drake Passage.

​​Days 10 to 12
Puenta Arenas to Antarctic Peninsula

Days 11-12 / Drake Passage

The Drake Passage has a notorious reputation for its turbulent seas due to the Antarctic Convergence, a natural boundary where cold polar water is flowing northward and warmer equatorial water moves southward. When they meet, nutrients are pushed to the surface, often attracting a multitude of seabirds and whales.

Spend some time on deck watching the horizon and the variety of seabirds that glide in the air currents of the ship’s wake such as the Black-browed Albatross, Sooty Shearwaters and White-chinned Petrels; or capture the colours of a midnight sunset.

Days 13-17 / Antarctic Peninsula

Sail into Antarctica’s vast white wilderness with its spectacular iceberg sculptures and calving glaciers, where you’ll have the possibility of up-close encounters with marine mammals. Watch for seals sunbathing on slow-moving ice floes and for Humpback, Minke, and Orca Whales to surface from below. Each day the Zodiacs will depart, if conditions permit, to cruise amidst colourful icebergs or step ashore to visit a variety of penguin rookeries and perhaps scientific research stations on excursions led by the Silver Explorer’s team of natural history experts.

A flexible itinerary will allow you to take advantage of favourable sea and weather conditions. Each day the expedition leader and captain will determine the best course, depending on weather, ice conditions and wildlife encountered, with the possibility of visiting:

Aitcho Islands, South Shetland Islands (just off the Antarctic Peninsula at the entrance to the English Strait) - Step off the Zodiac to explore the island, and it's very likely you'll be greeted by local penguins, including Gentoo and Chinstrap. Other annual seabirds include the Southern Giant Petrels. While heading back to the ship, you may have company as a leopard seal or southern elephant seal follows alongside your group’s Zodiac.

Brown Bluff, Tabarin Peninsula (a 2200-foot bluff on the Antarctic continent) - Brown Bluff is an ice-capped, 745-metre-high, flat-topped mountain with a prominent cliff of reddish-brown volcanic rock. Adelie and Gentoo Penguins, Kelp Gulls, and Pintado Petrels use this as a breeding area, and birds such as the all-white Snow Petrel and Skuas may be seen from a distance. As you explore,you may spot a Weddell Seal basking in the sunlight or the Adelie Penguins standing along the shore, finally making their way into the surf.

Cuverville Island, Errera Channel - This island was discovered by de Gerlache’s Belgian Antarctic expedition of 1897–99, and was named for a vice admiral in the French navy. Large, bare rock areas provide nesting sites for Gentoo Penguins, and during Zodiac tours you may spot hauled-out Weddell and Antarctic fur seals; Snow Petrels and Pintado Petrels; while Wilson’s Storm-petrels nest in the higher scree of the island.

Paradise Bay (on the Antarctic Peninsula) - The bay is well named for its spectacular scenery of mountains, glaciers and icebergs. From the ship, observe Argentina’s “Base Almirante Brown”, one of many Antarctic research stations. It's here that you'll actually set foot on the continent of Antarctica. View the wildlife from sea level while cruising in your Zodiac with expedition team members and there’s a good chance you’ll come across a Crabeater Seal relaxing on a nearby ice floe, or if you’re very lucky, your Zodiac driver may locate Minke Whales.

Paulet Island - As you arrive, you may be privileged enough to see Adelie Penguins covering the entire island as this island is home to 80-90,000 Adelies that come here to breed. On a nearby hill, view a massive colony of Blue-eyed Shags; Kelp Gulls and Snowy Sheathbills are amongst the birds that breed on Paulet Island, and Wilson’s Storm-petrels are regularly seen too. And, if time permits, hike to Crater Lake or take a Zodiac cruise to view impossibly-blue icebergs and the Adelie penguins making themselves at home on the ice floes.

Petermann Island, Wilhelm Archipelago - The on-board geologist will take the opportunity to point out various geological features such as the many basaltic dikes along the shoreline and the more granite composition of the small summit, where rock surfaces show glacial polish and some glacial grooving. During the landing, you'll also be able to observe rookeries of Adelie Penguins, Gentoo Penguins and Blue-eyed Shags.

Pleneau Island, Wilhelm Archipelago - Pleneau Island lies at the south end of the Lemaire Channel. Amongst the common breeding birds are Gentoo Penguins, Kelp Gulls and South Polar Skuas. See the Gentoo Penguins during a landing and southern elephant seals that are often hauled-out in wallows, and enjoy spectacular glacial and ice scenery.

Port Foster, Whalers Bay (Deception Island) - Deception Island is home to a collapsed volcano and an excellent example of a caldera where it is believed that the volcano’s summit collapsed with one section sinking far enough to allow the sea to flood the interior. The expedition plans to sail inside this breached wall through a narrow entrance called Neptune’s Bellows. The resident geologist will take the opportunity to explain the unique volcanic features of the area while the historian will introduce you to the whaling history of Deception Island. Still visible on the island are the boilers used to make whale oil in the early 1900s.

Port Lockroy, Goudier Island - The British built a listening station here during WWII, which was then used as a research station in the 1950s and since 1996 as a museum and gift shop. Snowy Sheathbills and Gentoo Penguins roam outside the museum and you may also see a whale or two while on your Zodiac cruise.

Expedition highlights and wildlife listed here are possible experiences only and cannot be guaranteed. Colin, your expedition leader and Captain will work together to ensure opportunities for photography and exploration are the best possible, taking into account the prevailing weather and wildlife activity.​

Days 18-19 / Drake Passage Return

Navigating the return through the Drake Passage, watch for seabirds and wildlife you may have missed on the first trip.

Day 20 / Ushuaia, Argentina

Silver Explorer will arrive at Ushuaia in the morning. Following breakfast, disembark Silver Explorer and transfer to the airport for your charter flight to Buenos Aires. Upon arrival into Buenos Aires you will transfer to you overnight accommodation.

Day 21 / Depart Buenos Aires

You will transfer to the airport to depart on your international flight.​​​​​

Days 10-17

Photographic Highlights

  • Encounters with Gentoo, Chinstrap and Adelie Penguins 
  • Spot seals – elephant, Antarctic fur, Weddell, leopard and crabeater 
  • Watch for whales – humpback, Minke, orca, pilot, and beaked 
  • Identify seabirds – Snowy Sheathbill, Antarctic Cormorant, Kelp Gull, Antarctic Tern, Cape Petrels, Wandering Albatrosses, Southern Fulmars, Blue-eyed Shags, Southern Giant Petrels, skuas, Black-browed Albatrosses, Wilson’s Storm-petrels, Sooty Shearwaters 
  • The stunning landscapes around the Antarctic Peninsula
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