Cruising the Chilean Archipelago

Cruise ship at the Chilean island of Magdalena

Chile Archipelago

The Chiloe or Chilean Archipelago is a series of spectacular islands located off the west coast of Chile. Stunning fjords, breathtaking ice floes and beautiful natural scenery await the traveler contemplating taking a cruise through this wonder of the world. The pinnacle of adventure eco-tourism, taking a cruise to this southern destination is something will create memories lasting a lifetime, as this remote place is far off the beaten path and is an unconventional tourist destination. Taking a cruise allows you to experience this natural wonder with the comfort and security of your own stateroom, and venture to a place few in the northern hemisphere have experienced.

Reminiscent of Alaska and Norway, cruising in South America, especially Chile, offers natural and wildlife experiences few countries can hold a candle to. Witness the ice-capped volcanoes, glaciers and icebergs while listening to the cracking of the stressed ice. Antarctic whale and sea life migration are also yours to discover, as Chilean Archipelago cruises give you the chance to see these splendid creatures close up.

Several niche and mainstream cruise lines operate through the Chilean Archipelago. Skorpius II Cruises operates the Skorpius II vessel, a 160-passenger ship designed to ply the southern waters. Their five-night cruise departs from the port city of Puerto Montt and weaves passengers through the fjords and islands of this magnificent cluster of islands. Glaciers and icebergs will be so close you can almost touch them, and witness the albedo effect as the sun shines off the pristine ice. Holland America offers a 21-day adventure itinerary departing from Buenos Aires, Argentia and proceeds south to the Falklands Islands before visiting Antarctica, Cape Horn, the Chilean Archipelago and ending in Santiago, Chile. And Princess Cruises takes travelers on a breathtaking excursion from Santiago, down through the Chilean Archipelago and to the southernmost point in South America, Cape Horn.

The best time to take a Chilean cruise is during the southern hemisphere summer months, from November through to February. This is an opportune time to witness iceberg breakups and sea mammal migrations. The temperature is also much more comfortable than during the winter months.

The Chilean Archipelago is truly one of the wonders of the world, and there’s no better way to experience it than via cruise ship. As there is a wide variety of cruise companies and ships passing through the area, there’s more than ample opportunity to hop aboard and witness the splendor of this part of the world.