The Cruceros Australis offers two vessels, the M/V Via Australis or M/V Stella Australis, which will take guests between the Chilean city of Punta Arenas and Ushuaia in Argentina.
Travel through the fjords, bays and glaciers of Tierra del Fuego, to discover some of the most breathtaking wilderness regions in the world - Southern Patagonia, navigating the legendary Straits of Magellan and the Beagle Channel down to Cape Horn.
Via Australis and her sister ship Stella Australis, are one of the most comfortable ways to explore this region. The smaller Via has 64 cabins and 2 cosy lounges, while Stella has 100 cabins and 3 lounges. However both vessles offer superb views of the local scenery.
On a 3 or 4 night cruise expert guides will take guest on daily land excursions to various islands to discover glaciers, regional flora and fauna, and wildlife such as Magellanic penguins and elephant seals. Every evening there are interesting lectures about the region and guests are informed of the following days' activities.
Exquisite all inclusive regional and international cuisine is served in the dining rooms, as well as an excellent selection of Chilean and Argentinean wines. Not to mention, there is an open bar.
A highlight of this journey between Punta Arenas and Ushuaia is an excellent option to combine the trip with a visit to Torres del Paine and El Calafate.
Why We Love It
Sail past ice glaciers and through channels to the edge of the world in Cape Horn.
Kau Tapen Lodge
The aptly named Kau Tapen (the 'house of fishing') is a comfortable lodge set on the Rio Grande in the isolated Tierra del Fuego region.
In this windswept zone full of sheep farming estancias, wild guanacos and condors, the Kau Tapen is a warm and welcoming retreat run by Nervous Water, specialists in alternative fly fishing destinations. Accommodating only 12 guests in five en suite doubles and four single rooms, the lodge is intimate and communal. The large lounge has an open fireplace, as does the outdoor deck area, and enjoys panoramic views across the Menendez valley.
Kau Tapen provides three meals per day for guests, including a hearty cooked breakfast with continental options and freshly baked bread. Lunches and dinners tend to focus on local meats and fresh vegetables, washed down with fine Argentinean wines from the cellar and followed by tasty desserts. The lodge's bar is also fully stocked with spirits, wines and beers.
The main attraction of Kau Tapen is of course the fishing. Sea-run brown trout were first introduced to the Rio Grande from Chile in 1935, and have flourished in these prime natural conditions with strict catch and release rules. The trout season runs from December to mid-April, and despite trout numbers fluctuating with changing environmental conditions guests can expect to land multiple fish on the morning and dusk sessions daily. The experienced, English-speaking local and international guides are knowledgeable and happy to teach guests about fly fishing on the Rio Grande, and deliver guests to the nearby pools in 4WD vehicles. At the lodge is a fully stocked shop for equipment and some loan rods, two wade gear rooms, and a Finnish steam bath, sauna and massage room to help guests wind down at the end of a long days fishing.
Why We Love It
Guests at the Kau Tapen Lodge can experience a traditional Asado (barbeque) during their stay, sampling different cuts of meat and fresh salads.
Located just 4 miles from Ushuaia, the southernmost city of the world, Los Cauquenes sits in splendid isolation overlooking the Beagle Channel, and most of the rooms have a beautiful view of the snow-covered peaks of the imposing Andes Mountain Range.
Los Cauquenes is unquestionably the best hotel in the area, built entirely from the local lenga wood and stone. There are 54 elegant and simple rooms, including five suites, designed using typically Fuegian architecture. In addition there are also private bungalows sleeping six.
The main restaurant at the hotel is Reinamora, serving gourmet international cuisine, and when not burning off breakfast in the great outdoors, the hotel also has a well appointed spa, gym and indoor swimming pool.
Outside you can explore the southernmost peaks of the Andes on hikes and bicycle rides, or enjoy other activities as diverse as birdwatching, fly fishing and, in winter, dog-sledding and ice climbing.
Why We Love It
Los Cauquenes is unquestionably the best hotel in the area, built entirely from the local lenga wood and stone.