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About Punta Arenas

Located within the Straits of Magellan, Punta Arenas is proud of being a frontier town. Tour the scenic landscapes of Patagonia with its rich abundance of exotic wildlife and breath-taking views. Or fly in a chartered airplane over the White Continent of Antarctica.

 

Shore excursions in Punta Arenas

Please note: The shore excursions listed are typical for this port. The full programme of shore excursions available for your cruise will be displayed on Cruise Personaliser at least 12 weeks prior to departure.

Andean Park Trek

Activity highRefreshments included

Duration: 3½ hours

Absorb the amazing views of the stunning Patagonian landscape from Mount Fenton followed by a walk through the lush, native countryside.

Embark on a journey to the ski centre of Club Andino. This centre is unique as it has a view of the ocean as well as stunning landscapes.

Upon arrival at the Club, you’ll be whisked up Mount Fenton in a chair-lift. The chair-lift covers a distance of approximately 1500 yards and showcases stunning views over the surrounding area. At the top, you will be rewarded with a panoramic vista of the legendary Strait of Magellan and the city of Punta Arenas.

Your trek will take you downhill on a path that leads through woodland and lush forests where you’ll be surrounded by native flora and fauna.

At the end of the walk, you’ll enjoy refreshments of hot chocolate and cookies, whilst enjoying this mind-soothing landscape.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach, chair lift and on foot. There are several steps to enter Club Andino and to access the toilets. The chair-lift is not recommended for those that suffer from a fear of heights. It is recommended you wear warm, waterproof clothing, a head covering and sturdy, enclosed shoes as there is approximately 1 ½ hours of walking over uneven forest terrain and the Mount Fenton summit can be very cold and windy.

Birding the Magellan Straits with Nigel Marven

Activity highMeal included

Duration: 8 hours

Explore a variety of Birding habitats, from the Patagonian shore to the wetlands, along the mythical Magellan Straits with Nigel Marven.

Along with an experienced Nature guide and Nigel Marven, your journey starts by visiting the southern Beech woodlands located south of the city of Punta Arenas. On-route survey the freshwater lagoons where you’ll be rewarded by a wealth of water birds including Great and White-tufted Grebes, Crested Duck and White-winged Coots, among several others. Cinereous Harrier, Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle and Aplomado Falcon are sometimes seen hovering in these places in search of its prey.

At San Juan Bay, explore the beech forests and look out for the Austral Parakeet, Thorn-tailed Rayadito, White-throated Treerunner, Magellanic Tapaculo, Patagonian Sierra-Finch, Austral Blackbird and the striking Magellanic Woodpecker.

From the shoreline, you’ll scan the waters of the Magellan Straits, where you may see Black-browed Albatrosses, Southern Giant Petrels, Flightless and Flying Steamer-Ducks, Chilean Skuas, Dolphin, Kelp and Brown-hooded Gulls as well as South American Terns.

In the afternoon, head to the vast wind-swept Patagonian steppes and the interesting scrub community which holds a large variety of birds. Shorebirds including Two-banded, Tawny-throated and Rufous-chested Dotterels, and Least Seed-snipe. Chilean Flamingos, Black-necked and Coscoroba Swans as well as thousands of waders such as Wilson’s Phalarope, Baird’s and White-rumped Sandpipers.

Afterwards, explore the shrubby slopes and moorlands in search for specialties such as Lesser Rhea, Austral Canastero, Band-tailed Earthcreeper, Chocolate-vented Tyrant and the stunning Black-throated Finch. There is also a chance that you may see the southern Chloephaga geese species, including Upland, Kelp. Ashy-headed and the local and scarce Ruddy-headed Goose.

During your tour, a boxed lunch will be provided.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. There is approximately 5 hours total walking on this tour. Toilet facilities are limited. Smoking and flash photography is not permitted. Walking is on uneven woodland pathways and uneven terrain. Please wear warm, waterproof clothing and a head covering. Spaces are limited.

Highlights of Punta Arenas

Activity medium

Duration: 3 hours

Discover the intriguing history, interesting sights and varied scenery of the world’s most southerly city.

Discover the delights of this bustling southerly frontier town with a sightseeing drive around the capital of the Magallanes Region. Enjoy a stop at the main square which is dominated by a monument of the Portuguese explorer, Ferdinand Magellan. The monument was erected to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Magellan’s voyage and the tradition is to rub or kiss the toe of one of the Patagonian Indians (which adorn the lower level of the monument) for good luck.

A short drive from the square will bring you to Cerro la Cruz, a viewpoint which provides panoramic views of the city, Magellan Strait, Sarmiento Mountain and the legendary Tierra del Fuego Island.

Next, you will visit the Maggiorino Borgatello Museum, which was founded by the Salesian missionaries. The Museum has exhibits on the region's history, flora and fauna, indigenous tribes, mineralogy, and the work of the missionaries.

Continue onto the Museo del Recuerdo (Museum of Memories) - this open-air Museum houses antique trains, a typical pioneer’s house, machinery/tools used in pioneering times and relics of the early European settlers.

Round off your tour with a brief stop at Punta Arenas Cemetery. The Cemetery dates back to the 1890’s and is famous for its magnificent mausoleums, architectural construction and shaped pine trees.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. There is approximately 1 hour of walking on this tour. Please note some of the displays at the Maggiorino Borgatello Museum are located up a flight of stairs.

Magdalena Island by RIB

Activity highRefreshments included

Duration: 4½ hours

Journey by covered RIB to Magdalena Island, for the opportunity to observe the charming Magellan Penguins.

After a brief transfer by coach, hop aboard your covered RIB and take to the water for your journey across the Strait of Magellan to Isla Magdalena and Isla Marta. Together these small islands form the Los Pinguinos Natural Monument, a protected nature reserve, which has been a breeding site of Magellan Penguins since 1982.

The islands form an interesting ecosystem; Marta Island is home to a small colony of sea lions, along with cormorants, skuas, the Austral seagull, Antarctic pigeon and sea elephants.

Step ashore onto Magdalena Island. You’ll have approximately one hour to explore independently, observing the playful and curious Magellan Penguins, in their natural habitat.

During your tour, coffee and cookies will be provided on the RIB.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach, RIB and on foot. This tour is not suitable for those with back or neck injuries or conditions that may be affected by the fast, rib ride. Pregnant women and children under eight may not participate. Lifejackets must be worn. Please do not touch the penguins as their beaks can inflict serious wounds. Toilet facilities are not available at the reserve. Smoking and flash photography is not permitted. Walking is on pathways with approximately 30 minutes of uneven terrain. Please wear warm, waterproof clothing and a head covering. The circumnavigation of Marta Island is dependent upon on weather and sea conditions, and may be cancelled at short notice.

Magdalena Island Penguin Reserve

Activity highRefreshments included

Duration: 5½ hours

Become acquainted with the curious Magellan Penguins, at Magdalena Island, one of the largest penguin colonies in Southern Chile.

After a brief transfer by coach, you’ll board your ferry for the 2 hour journey across to Magdalena Island, designated a national nature reserve due to its importance as a penguin breeding site.

The Magellan Penguins return to Magdalena Island every year between October and March to lay their eggs and raise their young, burying their eggs in the sandy burrows and under shrubs. Your visit is therefore perfectly timed, as at this time of year most of the chicks should have hatched.

Relax on board the ferry, as your Captain crosses the famous Strait of Magellan, the same waters navigated by a number of explorers including Sir Francis Drake and Charles Darwin. During the journey you’ll be provided with information about the charming Magellan Penguin that grow no larger than 2 feet tall, and can be very entertaining to watch as they mill about on the pebbly terrain. You’ll also be provided with instructions for your visit and a snackbox refreshment.

As you approach the island, you’ll be greeted by an abundance of these charismatic creatures. Enjoy approximately 1 hour on the island to explore independently, observing the penguins antics, as well as a variety of other birds.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach, ferry and on foot. Passengers are strongly advised not to touch the penguins as their strong beaks can inflict serious wounds. As the island is a wildlife reserve, no visitor facilities are available. Smoking is not permitted. Please do not speak loudly or use flash photography, as this may distress the penguins. Walking is on mostly flat, marked pathways with approximately 30 minutes on uneven terrain. It is recommended you wear warm, waterproof clothing, a head covering and sturdy, enclosed shoes. The ferry is a local vessel that may differ from the style you are accustomed to. The duration of the ferry crossing is dependent on weather and navigational conditions, and may therefore take longer than advertised.

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