Antarctica & Patagonia Explorer

A combination of  ‘Antarctic Explorer’ + ‘Patagonia & Chilean Fjords’

Departure Date: 17 March – 10 April 2026 | 25 days

Departure/Arrival: Punta Arenas, Chile – Puerto Montt, Chile

Voyage code: APC001S

Voyage type: Expedition

Ship: Sylvia Earle

Price: from USD $32,395 (Aurora Stateroom Superior)

Call us on 1800 637 688 for full pricing and special offers!


Welcome to Aurora’s Antarctica & Patagonia Explorer expedition.

This new voyage combines the icy spectacle of Antarctica with the calm beauty of the Chilean Fjords. Start your journey with a flight to the South Shetland Islands and explore what wonders are on offer in the late summer season. Certainly, you will delight in the plentiful numbers of whales gathering in the icy sounds, not to mention the moulting penguins and inquisitive fledgings taking their first tentative steps into the sea. Skuas, terns and a suite of petrels wheel against a backdrop of spectacular sunsets as the days shorten and winter makes its gradual approach. Then continue your adventure northwards through the stunning Chilean Fjords. As you pass craggy peaks, snow-covered mountains and waterfalls, spot the vast array mammals and birdlife that call this region home.



  • Late season is the perfect time to bear witness to the sheer number of whales congregating in the region before beginning their migration north for the winter
  • Combine the grandeur of Antarctica with the calm beauty of the Chilean Fjords, both offering unique wildlife and spectacular sights
  • Spend a night in Torres del Paine National Park and maximise your hiking time over two action-packed days



Aurora Expeditions operates in remote and challenging environments, and in the spirit of expedition travel, we encourage you to adopt a flexible and adventurous attitude when joining our voyages. This itinerary is a guide only and is subject to change due to weather, sea state and other conditions beyond our control.



Arrive in Punta Arenas, where you will be met by a representative of Aurora Expeditions and transferred to our hotel. We ask that you arrive no later than 2.00 pm so that you may attend our important briefing this evening.

Please visit the Aurora Expeditions hospitality desk in the lobby between 10.00 am – 6.00 pm to collect your luggage cabin tags. Our team will confirm details regarding your embarkation day, answer any questions and provide you with information about where to dine or purchase last minute items.

Overlooking the Straits of Magellan, the city sits astride one of the world’s most historic trade routes. Today, Punta Arenas reflects a great blend of cultural backgrounds, from English sheep ranchers to Portuguese sailors. It remains an utterly fascinating testament to Chile’s rich history. Modern-day Punta Arenas is home to many popular restaurants, and bars, offering a mix of local and international fare (meals at your own expense today).

At 7.00 pm this evening, meet your fellow expeditioners at a voyage briefing where we will reconfirm your transfer times for tomorrow, explain the procedures for your flight to King George Island and outline important IAATO regulations for visitors to Antarctica.

Accommodation: Hotel Cabo de Hornos or Hotel Dreams

This morning we will be transferred to Punta Arenas airport for our charter flight to King George Island, Antarctica (weather permitting). The flight will take approximately one hour and forty-five minutes. On arrival into King George Island our expedition team is on hand to greet you and to prepare you for your Zodiac transfer to the vessel. You will have time to settle into your cabin before our important safety briefings.

Note: King George Island is located at the northern part of the Antarctic Peninsula in the South Shetland Islands and is one of the most remote places on Earth. A clear sky with perfect visibility is required for safe take-off and landing. A contingency plan will be applied to your itinerary should your flights not proceed today. Your safety is our utmost priority. We apologise in advance for any delays caused due to this unpredictable situation. Please refer to our terms and conditions for a more detailed explanation.

It’s almost impossible to describe the feeling of arriving in Antarctica. Spotting your first iceberg and taking a deep breath of some of the most fresh, crisp air on earth is an experience that will stay with you forever.

Once we arrive, the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands are ours to explore, and we have a host of choices available to us. Because we are so far south, we will experience approximately 18-24 hours of daylight and the days can be as busy as you wish.

Your experienced expedition team, who have made countless journeys to this area, will use their expertise to design your voyage from day to day, choosing the best options based on the prevailing weather, ice conditions and wildlife opportunities.
We generally make landings or Zodiac excursions twice a day. You will want to rug up before joining Zodiac cruises along spectacular ice cliffs or among grounded icebergs, keeping watch for whales, seals and porpoising penguins. Zodiacs will also transport you from the ship to land, where you can visit penguin rookeries, discover historic huts and explore some of our favourite spots along the peninsula.
While ashore we aim to stretch our legs, wandering along pebbly beaches or perhaps up snow-covered ridgelines to vantage points with mountains towering overhead and ice-speckled oceans below. If you have chosen an optional activity, you will have the option to do that whenever conditions allow, and of course keen polar plungers will have the chance to fully immerse themselves in polar waters – conditions permitting!

In addition to Zodiac cruises and shore excursions, we may ship cruise some of the narrow, dramatic straits separating offshore islands from the mainland, or linger in scenic bays to watch whales travelling or feeding.

This is a great time to enjoy the observation lounge or make your way to the bridge for uninterrupted views of Antarctica in all its splendour. Keep an ear out for the creak and deep rumble of glaciers as they carve their way from summit to sea. Take a quiet moment to experience the wonder of this incredible white continent.

Enjoy a final morning landing in the South Shetland Islands before we re-enter the Drake Passage for our return journey to South America.

With lectures and film presentations to complete our Antarctic experience, there is still plenty of time to enjoy the magic of the Southern Ocean and the life that calls it home. There is time for reflection and discussion about what we have seen and experienced. We hope you become ambassadors for Antarctica telling your family, friends and colleagues about your journey to this magical place, advocating for its conservation and preservation so that they might one day visit the region to experience what you have been lucky to see and do here.

As we approach the tip of South America, our Captain may sail close to legendary Cape Horn, weather and time permitting.

Spend the day at leisure in Ushuaia today. We will be happy to arrange for you to join a group tour. Please contact your Reservations Consultant for this service.

Located on Hornos Island in the Tierra del Fuego archipelago lies Cape Horn, near the southernmost point in South America. Until the opening of the Panama Canal in 1914, ships had to sail round Cape Horn to travel between the east and west coast of South America—a hazardous endeavour due to the strong winds and current, large powerful waves and occasional icebergs. These days, Cape Horn attracts adventurous travellers—mostly from expedition cruise ships, who go ashore and hike to the landmark lighthouse known as ‘Stella Maris Chapel.’ At the top of the hill, you can enjoy panoramic views of where the Pacific and Atlantic oceans meet and feel the incredible power of nature as these two mighty oceans squeeze through the Drake Passage.

As we re-enter the Beagle Channel, an important waterway that allowed ships to avoid the notoriously rough waters around Cape Horn, we follow the route that a young Charles Darwin took on board the famous HMS Beagle back in 1831, a five-year expedition that forever changed his life and which led him to develop his seminal theory of evolution.

Sailing west past Ushuaia, you travel through a dazzling stretch of the 240-kilometre (150 mile) long Beagle Channel called Glacier Alley or ‘Avenue of the Glaciers’ as it’s more elegantly known. You will marvel at this string of tidewater glaciers pushing down to the edge of the sea from the enormous Darwin Ice Field. Surrounded by snow-capped peaks, most of the glaciers were named after European countries or the explorers who discovered them: Holland, Italy, Romanche, Spain, Garibaldi. Weather permitting, we’ll board our Zodiacs for a closer look at the impressive Romanche Glacier. Even if fog obscures the view, the sound of the cracking ice as it calves into the water is sure to impress. Apart from the spectacular scenery, Glacier Alley offers opportunities to spot wildlife such as penguin rookeries and South American fur seals.

Established in 2003 as Chile’s first marine reserve, Francisco Coloane was the first known feeding ground for humpback whales along the Pacific coast of South America. The park honours Francisco Coloane, a celebrated Chilean author who wrote many stories of ocean adventures about Patagonia and Antarctica. Coloane was himself an adventurer, explorer and son of a whaler. Around the southern area of Santa Ines Island, surrounded by spectacular views including the tidewater glacier pushing down the rugged mountainous island, we spend time kayaking and Zodiac cruising, getting a close look at Magellanic penguins, imperial cormorants, flightless steamer ducks, and southern fur seals. Around Carlos III Island, a known feeding ground for the humpback whales, we hope to see the majestic creatures from the comfort of our ship, or if conditions permit, from our kayaks or Zodiacs.

As we venture north, we enter one of the many channels and fjords of Patagonian Chile. Be prepared to experience wild weather. The fjords and islands of Chilean Patagonia take the brunt of the prevailing westerlies that blow across the southern seas, and here, the wind can blow almost constantly, and rain and snow can fall all year round. We may sail through Montañas Fjord, a long fjord flanked by rugged mountains and a number of glaciers including Herman, Bernal, and Paredes.

At low tide this evening, we cross the White Narrows – a narrow channel of water approximately 80 metres wide. Find a spot on one of our many observation areas and appreciate the masterful skills of our Captain as they navigate us through this difficult channel. At the heart of Chilean Patagonia lies Bernardo O’Higgins National Park. More than 320 kilometres (200 miles) from one end to the other, the park encompasses Patagonia’s Southern Ice Field, which in combination with its northern counterpart forms one of the largest expanses of glacial ice outside the Polar Regions.

Puerto Natales is the gateway to Torres del Paine National Park, world-renowned for its granite towers, which give the park its name. These gigantic spires were carved by glacial ice and upon entering the park, you will see a series of lakes with intense colours, mountains covered in ice, and an array of local fauna. In Patagonia, you will feel the immensity of nature and delight in feeling completely insignificant in its presence. The jaw-dropping landscapes of turquoise waters, glaciers and towering granite horns of the Torres del Paine National Park is a humbling experience.

You will have two days to experience the wonders of Torres del Paine National Park on various hikes suited to your fitness level. You will pass several estancias (ranches) en route to the national park, and you will witness the landscape change from a steppe eco-region to deciduous forest. Along the way, pause amongst the mountains to admire views of the lakes called Amarga, Sarmiento, and Nordenskjold, and Salto Grande. You may be able to see some of the local fauna, including many species of birds including the majestic condor. Look out for foxes, huemul (Andean deer) and guanacos, which are wild camelids related to the llama. The reclusive difficult-to-spot puma has also been seen inside the national park where authorities are happy to report a healthy growing population.

We spend the night at a comfortable hotel located just outside of the national park offering superb mountain and river views. Here you will enjoy local cuisine and Chilean wine and hear about the various hiking options available to you and suited to your individual interests and fitness level. On the afternoon of your second day in Torres del Paine National Park, you will be transported back to the vessel in time for dinner, swapping stories on the drive back, of your exploration of the park.
Later this evening, enjoy the crossing of the Kirke Narrows. From the observation areas, it’s an ideal opportunity to watch the scenery unfold as you sail through this beautiful channel. Enjoy informative and entertaining presentations from our hand-selected expedition team, who will bring to life the natural environment, wildlife, culture and history of the places you’ll be experiencing.

You can choose from one of the following three itineraries to suit your fitness levels: Easy, Medium, and Difficult

Day One in Torres del Paine National Park
Easy option– minimal walking required with visits to the national park’s most impressive lookouts, shorter days. Highlights include:

  • Sarmiento Lake viewpoint
  • Laguna Amarga lookout
  • Nordenskjold Lake lookout
  • Salto Grande lookout
  • Lunch at Pehoe Lake

End the day at Villa Serrano to check-in to your hotel for the evening

Medium option – easy treks of up to 14 km (8.7 mi) per day

  • Lazo-Weber trek, stopping for lunch during the trek. The trek is not difficult but it is long in distance.
  • We recommend walking poles for this trek.

End the day at Villa Serrano to check-in to your hotel for the evening

Difficult option – longer and more challenging treks of up to 22 km (13.7 mi) per day. Highlights include:

  • Fauna Trail from Sarmiento to Amarga
  • Salto Grande + Mirador Cuernos
  • Lunch at Pehoe Lake
  • Cóndor lookout

End the day at Villa Serrano to check-in to your hotel for the evening

Today’s itinerary consists of three short treks, which combined makes for a long, challenging and rewarding day.

Accommodation: Hotel Rio Serrano (or similar)

Day Two in Torres del Paine National Park
Easy option – Depart from Villa Serrano. Visit Cascada del Río Paine and Laguna Azul. Stop at Cerro Castillo on our drive back to Puerto Natales to rejoin the ship.

Medium option – Today’s itinerary consists of two short treks of up to 6 km (3.7 mi) each. Highlights include:

  • Salto Grande + Mirador Cuernos
  • Nordenskjold Lake lookout
  • Fauna Trail from Sarmiento to Amarga
  • Laguna Amarga lookout

Drive back to Puerto Natales to rejoin the ship

Difficult option – Las Torres Base trek – up to 20 km (12.5 mi)
You will explore the Ascencio Valley, walking through a beautiful Lenga forest and getting up close to the astounding Torres del Paine viewpoint. Throughout the trek you will walk through forests, along streams and across glacier moraines.

Drive back to Puerto Natales to rejoin the ship.

This afternoon, a maze of fjords ultimately leads us to the entrance of Pío XI, named in honour of Pope Pius XI by Father Alberto de Agostini, an Italian missionary and explorer, who in 1931 was the first person to cross the Southern Ice Field. Of the 48 glaciers in the Southern Ice Field, nearly all are retreating, except Pío XI. Scientists have not been able to explain exactly why it has advanced so far and so fast over the past 80 years. In any case, Pío XI Glacier is an anomaly in a world where nearly all glaciers are retreating and being able to see it up close is a privilege. We head to Puerto Eden on our journey northwards, navigating more challenging passages including Paso del Abismo, a very narrow and spectacular channel where you can continue to enjoy remarkable scenery.

Located on the east coast of Wellington Island, inside Bernardo O’Higgins National Park, Puerto Eden is a tiny fishing village connected by intricate canals, imposing mountains, icefields, and is considered one of Chile’s most isolated inhabited places. The village is known for being the home to approximately 25 Kawésqar indigenous inhabitants – roughly 10% of the population of the village. The village is connected by beautiful timber boardwalks called ‘pasarelas’. Kawésqar are traditionally nomadic sea people and it comes as no surprise that the main economic activity is fishing – mussels being a local speciality. Known for their excellent craftsmanship for canoe-making and basketry, local handicrafts are also a speciality, and you’ll have ample opportunity to meet the locals and to purchase locally made handicrafts directly from them. You’ll enjoy exploring the picturesque boardwalks over the maze of canals, meeting the friendly locals, and soaking in the tranquil natural beauty of this isolated hamlet.

Leaving Puerto Eden behind, we re-enter the channels for a few days navigating our way through Patagonia’s maze of fjords towards Chiloé. Our team of experts will continue to deliver informative and entertaining presentations in the lecture theatre or, you may choose to enjoy a book from our library or stay active in the fitness centre.

Spend time on the decks to scan for whales, dolphins and seabirds, while admiring the beautiful landscapes of the maze of channels and islands around. We will be sailing along part of the 145 km / 90-mile long Moraleda Channel, which separates the mainland from the huge archipelagos of Chonos and Guaitecas. To the east we will see magnificent Andes peaks such as the Mentolat, Melimoyu and the Maca volcanoes. We will be scanning the waters for the occasional presence of pods of killer whale that predate on the numerous South American sea lion colonies located along the coast and forested islands.

Spend the morning exploring the delightful and impressive coastline of Tic Toc Bay – either ship cruising or perhaps by Zodiac and kayak. This whole area has been recently recognised as one of the few marine parks of Chile famous not only for the seasonal presence of blue whales but also for the rich array of other cetaceans, marine mammals, and seabirds. In the Corcovado Gulf, you will enjoy spotting a good variety of seabirds including black-browed albatross, southern giant petrel, southern fulmar and long-distant migrants such as the migratory Arctic skua.

Continue to keep watch for whales in the Corcovado Gulf as we sail into Chiloé, an archipelago of lush islands, a land of myths and legends, unique folklore and culinary traditions. It’s a region blessed with natural beauty and culture, cherished by Chileans. Explore this mythical island with its colourful timber churches, sixteen of which have been declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.

Continue to Castro, the charming capital of Chiloé region. Here you have a choice of one of the following two shore excursion options.

Option 1 – Castro and Chonchi (5 hours)
Discover the main attractions of Castro town including palafittes (houses on stilts), museums, churches and the handicraft market. You will then visit the beautiful renowned churches of the area recognised by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites. Continue to Chonchi, nicknamed the “city of three floors” for its terraces, with important sites such as the Museum of Traditions, Accordion Museum and its attractive waterfront. For lunch, savour the taste of the region’s fresh produce before returning to Castro for some free time.

Option 2 – Chiloé National Park (6.5 hours)
This excursion takes you through the pristine natural landscapes that amazed Charles Darwin during his explorations of the Huillinco and Cucao Lakes and Pacific Ocean. At Chiloé National Park visit the interpretation centre, walk along lovely “Sendero el Tepual” a pathway that winds through Chiloé’s thick and humid forest. After the walk, it’s time to relax and enjoy lunch, where you will savour the flavours of the region’s produce, before returning to Castro for some free time.

This evening, enjoy Captain’s Cocktail Party and Farewell Dinner to celebrate the end of a memorable adventure in this magical part of the world.

Our voyage ends In Puerto Montt. Farewell your expedition team and fellow adventurers before transferring to the airport for your onward travels.

Note: At the conclusion of the voyage, we do not recommend booking flights departing Puerto Montt prior to 11.00 am on the day of disembarkation in case there are delays.


  • All transfers as mentioned in the itinerary.
  • One night’s hotel accommodation in Punta Arenas, including breakfast, on Day 1.
  • Charter flight from Punta Arenas to King George Island.
  • One night’s hotel accommodation near Torres del Paine National Park on Day 18.
  • On-board accommodation during voyage including daily cabin service.
  • All meals, snacks, tea and coffee during voyage.
  • Beer, house wine and soft drinks with dinner.
  • Captain’s Farewell reception including four-course dinner, house cocktails, house beer and wine, non-alcoholic beverages.
  • All shore excursions and Zodiac cruises.
  • Educational lectures and guiding services from Expedition Team.
  • Complimentary access to onboard expedition doctor and medical clinic (initial consultation).
  • One 3-in-1 waterproof, polar expedition jacket.
  • Complimentary use of Muck Boots during the voyage.
  • Comprehensive pre-departure information.
  • Port surcharges, permits and landing fees.
  • Wi-Fi (Please note we travel to remote regions and therefore the connection can be unreliable).


  • International or domestic flights – unless specified in the itinerary.
  • Transfers – unless specified in the itinerary.
  • Airport arrival or departure taxes.
  • Passport, visa, reciprocity and vaccination fees and charges.
  • Travel insurance or emergency evacuation charges
  • Hotel accommodation and meals unless specified in the itinerary.
  • Optional excursions and optional activity surcharges.
  • Optional activity surcharges
  • All items of a personal nature including but not limited to alcoholic beverages and soft drinks (outside of dinner service), gratuities, laundry services, personal clothing, medical expenses or phone charges.

Note: A $15 USD per person per day gratuity for the crew is automatically added to your onboard account. It is at your discretion if you would like to remove the tip (or adjust the amount) when you settle your bill. It is not necessary to tip the expedition team members. This gratuity amount is included for suites as part of their ‘Suite Benefits’. 


Included Activities

Bird watching

Lectures on wildlife, our environment, history and destinations


Near shore cruises



Polar plunge

Trips ashore


Walking & hiking


Whale and mammal spotting

Zodiac cruises

Add-on Activities

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Cabins & Prices

Browse our comfortable staterooms and suites below. Please contact us for best pricing and current availability.

Aurora Stateroom Triple Share

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Aurora Stateroom Superior

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Balcony Stateroom Category C

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Balcony Stateroom Category B

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Balcony Stateroom Category 

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Balcony Stateroom Superior

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Junior Suite

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Captain’s Suite

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Some cabin images of the Sylvia Earle are artist’s impressions only and final results may vary.

Prefer a shorter voyage?

‘Antarctica & Patagonia Explorer’ is a combination of the 13-day Antarctic Explorer & the 15-day Patagonia & Chilean Fjords. View these itineraries below or contact us for more information.

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