Cruise Through the Chilean Fjords In Patagonia

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An Amazing Cruise Through the Chilean Fjords In Patagonia

We enjoyed an amazing cruise through the Chilean Fjords in Patagonia on our cruise around South America with Oceania Cruises. The days were spent enjoying the wonderful views all around us. Our stop at the Amalia Glacier was awesome.

A port day in Punta Arenas gave us a fun day at Magdalena Island for a penguin visit. When we docked in Port Montt, on our day trip we explored the Osorno Volcano and Petrohue Waterfalls. We only skimmed the surface of what there was to see and do in Patagonia Chile. And we knew that one day we would return.

Started In Argentina Patagonia in Ushuaia

The area referred to as “Patagonia”, covered the area in the southern end of South America in both Argentina and Chile. We started in Ushuaia in Argentina Patagonia. From Ushuaia, we explored the Tierra del Fuego National Park in many different ways – by train, bus and catamaran. It was our first view of the stunning outdoor vistas that awaited us in Patagonia.

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Tierra Del Fuego Lake Acigami - Cruise Through the Chilean Fjords In Patagonia.jpg

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Cruise Through the Chilean Fjords In Patagonia

When we left Ushuaia, we cruised along the Beagle Channel towards the Chilean Fjords. As the sun went down, we got our first view of the glaciers as they crept towards the water.

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We cruised through the Chilean Fjords and enjoyed so many great views. The rocks towered above the channel. And we saw waterfalls as they cascaded down. It reminded us very much of our cruise through the Norway Fjords.

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It was not long before we reached the area with higher snow-capped peaks all around us. We imagined how stunning the view was when winter snows covered much more.

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Snowy Views - Cruise Through the Chilean Fjords In Patagonia.jpg

As we cruised through the Chilean Fjords, we had great weather and there was always something to see. Sometimes we sat on our cabin balcony and watched the views as they passed by. And at times we joined others on the upper decks taking in the wonders on both sides of the ship.

An Awesome Day To View The Amalia Glacier

One day we got very excited when we headed towards the Amalia Glacier (or Skua Glacier). This was a tidewater glacier that originated in the Southern Patagonian Ice Field in the Torres Del Paine National Park. It flowed through a valley and ended in the ocean near the Reclus volcano. This glacier was receding at a much fast pace than other glaciers in the region.

We were ready for our visit to the Amalia Glacier. We staked out a spot and enjoyed the cruise along the Sarmiento Channel. Ahead we saw the entrance to the bay for the glacier. The ship slowed as floating ice started to appear. The icebergs at this time of year were generally not an issue. But the Captain was wary of all ice in the channel.

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Oceania Cruises Marina Amalia Glacier - Cruise Through the Chilean Fjords In Patagonia.jpg

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Amalia Glacier

When we got in front of the glacier, the Captain swung the ship from side to side so that people on both sides of the ship saw the Amalia Glacier. It reminded us very much of a similar day on our Alaska cruise when we enjoyed the Sawyer Glacier in the Tracy Fjord. The view of the Amalia Glacier was quite stunning.

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The ship got quite close and we saw the amazing blue ice that characterizes a glacier. The bubbles of air that were normally present in ice were compressed out of it and made it more dense and created that brilliant blue colour.

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Amalia Glacier - Cruise Through the Chilean Fjords In Patagonia.jpg

There were so many great views on a cruise through the Chilean Fjords. But the view of the Amalia Glacier sure stood out!

Penguins And More In Punta Arenas

On our cruise around South America, we had our first amazing penguin experience when we visited the Bluff Cove Lagoon in the Falkland Islands. We saw vast fields filled with Gentoo Penguins. And we were treated to King Penguins too. So we were excited when we docked in Punta Arenas and did a day trip to Magdalena Island for another penguin adventure.

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We took a catamaran to Magdalena Island and explored amongst the Magellanic penguins that inhabited this spot. It was a wonderful spot to wander and find the molting penguins.

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The landscapes were amazing on our cruise through the Chilean Fjords. But we loved the chance to visit with the fun penguins on Magdalena Island.

Osorno Volcano And Petrohue Waterfalls From Puerto Montt

On our day in Puerto Montt, we enjoyed a busy day as we chased views of the Osorno Volcano from many different vantage points. We got our first view of the stunning peaks in the area when we cruised into the harbour.

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On our day trip, we then saw the volcano high above Lake Llanquihue. From there we drove up the Osorno Volcano and took a chair lift up higher for stunning panoramic views.

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Puerto Montt Osorno Volcano - Cruise Through the Chilean Fjords In Patagonia.jpg

When we stopped in the Parque Nacional Vicente Perez Rosales where we got another view of the Osorno Volcano over the flowing Petrohue Waterfalls. Our final stop was in Puerto Varas for yet a different view of the volcano over Lake Llanquihue.

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We knew there were volcanos in many parts of Patagonia Chile. So we were so delighted we got so many views of the Osorno Volcano on this stop on our cruise through the Chilean Fjords.

A Lazy Day in Puerto Chacabuco

When we originally booked our cruise excursion for our port day in Puerto Chacabuco, we planned to take a catamaran and visit Ensenada Perez. This was a collection of pools naturally heated by the volcanically fueled hot springs. The trip then returned along the Aysen Fjord for views of the Cinco Hermanas Natural Monument, known as a paradise for birdwatching. It was a very expensive excursion and we cancelled this before we arrived in Puerto Chacabuco.

There were other outdoor trips that we also passed on. One went to Coyhaique and the Simpson Valley. Another trip included kayaking on Lake Los Palos. Yet another excursion offered a guided walk along a nature trail on Deer Island. For the fishermen, there was even a fly fishing adventure. We ultimately decided we wanted a lazy day on the ship.

When we saw the weather as we entered the harbour at Puerto Chacabuco, we were doubly glad we passed on the available outdoor experiences.

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Puerto Chacabuco.jpg

We saw so many great outdoor sights on a cruise through the Chilean Fjords in Patagonia. We were ok to miss one day and just relax.

Starting And Ending The Days Were Beautiful

We often picked our cruises for the great port destinations. But we never forgot that it was often quite magical when we started and finished our day at sea.

On a cruise through the Chilean Fjords in Patagonia, it always paid to be up early. And the setting sun was often the last outside view we got for the day.

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So Many Awesome Sights When Cruising The Chilean Fjords In Patagonia

We enjoyed so many awesome sights on our cruise through the Chilean Fjords. Everywhere we looked there was something to enjoy. Great port stops gave us amazing day trips. And our trip to the Amalia Glacier was something we would not forget. One day we knew we would return and explore more.

From the Chilean Fjords, we continued our trip north in Chile. When we docked in San Antonio we had a very different kind of day planned. On our day trip to Casablanca, we enjoyed both a great horse show and a wine tasting experience.

What are your favourite things to do on a sea day when cruising? Or do you get bored waiting for the next port?

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Travel blogger and photographer! Scuba diving, luxury cruising, chocoholic, sea and sunshine addicts, camera attached and just generally curious! Join us on our adventures!

86 Comments

  1. This is so enjoyable to read. We are booked on Oceania, Buenos Aires to Miami in 2023. Looking forward to the Chilean Fjords and Machu Picchu. We leave in three weeks for our first cruise since the pandemic. Istanbul to London on Sirena. We have 3 stops in Portugal. Very excited to be cruising again.

    • I must tell you that the segment from Buenos Aires to Peru was our favourite segment on the South America trip with Oceania – even with getting stranded when Covid started. There were some amazing sights and we know we will go back again. Enjoy your cruise from Istanbul. That port and area is still an unexplored one for us. Wave at us when you cruise around Portugal as we should be on our land stay when you pass by.

  2. Cruising the Chilean fjords would be a dream! I’ve never experienced this part of the world but Argentina and Patagonia is top of my list. The penguins in Punta Arenas are adorable, would love to see them in person.

    • We were so glad we got some time in the towns and got to see so much when we cruised the Chilean Fjords. It was a real treat and we definitely want to go back to Chile one day.

  3. We did a small cruise through the Chilean fjords a few year ago. Actually it was a ferry between Puerto Montt and Punta Arenas. But we got close to some of the impressive glaciers and there was also an educational program on board about the national parks and the flora and fauna of Chile. Lovely pictures!

  4. You know, cruising has never been my thing. But after reading this post, I can see why it’s such a great way to travel. You visiting so many amazing destinations along the way! I would love to see the Amalia Glacier (that color!!), penguins, volcanos, and of course, the lovely sunsets over the ocean. You may have just changed my mind…sign me up!

    • We loved this cruise in South America. So many great stops. But it was just a taste test of why we need to go back. Hope you get to try such a cruise one day.

  5. Your visit to the Chilean fjords is awesome covering the stunning views of the snow capped glaciers. And watching the molting Magellanic penguins straddling across the Magdalena Island is such visual treat.And the sight of the Osorno volcano from Puerto Vartas overlooking lake Llanquihue is out of this world!

  6. I want to visit the penguins on Magdalena Island! I have wanted to visit South America for a longtime. These images of Amalia Glacier of motivated me to start looking at tours

  7. I’ve visited the Argentinian side of Patagonia – actually, it was my last carefree trip before covid. I was pretty amazed and I’ve heard, that some places in Chile are even more impressive. Since Chile is one of the countries I want to visit when I’m retired, I think I’ll follow your foot prints one day 😉

    • We were indeed so glad we got to Chile. This was our long trip as Covid hit. And we were very lucky it did not disrupt much of our port stops until the very end. We definitely have Chile on our plans for a much long re-visit.

  8. Patagonia was and is to this day one of my favorite trips ever! This post took me right back. I highly recommend visiting the Perito Moreno Glacier if you’re on the Argentina side – it’s an experience I’ll never forget!

  9. I don’t know much about Patagonia, but cruising through the Chilean Fjords seems to be an incredible experience. I would love to do this tour mainly and mainly because of the penguins.

  10. I am embarrassing because I thought you can only find fjords in Norway. This Chilean fjords are really incredible! And look at those brilliant blue color glacier. It’s really fantastic! You make me jealous, Linda. Hehe..

    • Happy to show you the Chilean Fjords! We have cruised the fjords in Norway so it was interesting to see fjords in a different area. And so great to see the glaciers.

  11. What a wonderful trip you had! A cruise through fjords, waterfalls, volcanoes and penguins too. The views look simply magical. I have not been to this part of the world yet, but am adding this to my bucket list. As usual, your images are stunning! 🙂

    • I am happy to be a tease and show you another part of the world to visit. We loved every part of Chile that we visited. Should definitely be on your travel wish list!

  12. Those glacier views are incredible!! We have hiked for hours and hours to get close up to Glaciers…so it is pretty cook (heh!) that you got such fabulous views with so little effort! The views of the Osorno Volcano are fantastic too.

    What an adventure!

    • The views in the Chilean Fjords were stunning. We were so excited our captain got us such amazing views of the Amalia Glacier. A real treat on a cruising day.

  13. Patagonia looks absolutely stunning! I’d love to take a cruise through those fjords, it sounds like it was an amazing adventure!

  14. We did a similar cruise a few years ago but it looks like you had much better weather! Your photos are beautiful. I absolutely loved the Chilean Fjords and would love to do this all again.

  15. This is such a beautiful part of the world! Being able to see it from the water must have just been incredible (because it sounds like it was incredible!)

  16. This sounds and looks like an awesome experience. Chile is so high on my bucket list, but never realised that you can book an incredible cruise. Definitely something I’ll consider before travelling to the country.

    • We were so happy we booked a cruise with so many great stops in Chile. One of the favourite cruises we have done. And so much we want to go back and see more of.

  17. This looks like an amazing cruise! You’re right that parts of it are reminiscent of an Alaska cruise. I also loved seeing a glacier and watching the big chunks of ice calve into the water. And who wouldn’t love watching those cute penguins! Thanks for all the great info.

  18. Those penguins! Love this post. What a cool adventure to see so many awesome sights while cruising the Chilean fjords in Patagonia.

  19. This is a bucketlist destination of my husband’s when he retires! He always talks about wanting to see the glaciers and hearing the cracking of the ice. We did the Norway fjords cruise a few years back and loved it. Out of the two cruises which was your favourite and why? I would love to have a comparison of the two.

    • It is hard to choose between Norway and Chile. In Norway we did some great road trips too for interesting sights. But Chile was an amazing surprise to us and it has put Chile very high on our list of places to re-visit.

  20. Absolutely fantastic! cruising this part of the world must be a fantastic adventure! I have always wanted to see Ushuaia and the “end of the world” area and now I am even more motivated to go! thanks for sharing!

  21. A cruise through the Chilean Fjords In Patagonia seems a perfect idea as it’s easier to admire this breathtaking scenery from a boat for sure. I took a day cruise when I was in the area to see glaciers and penguins. I hope to back to Punta Arenas for longer.

    • Cruising through the Chilean Fjords was definitely a treat. Every day was a new thing to see. And we had a great captain who made sure we missed nothing on the route.

  22. Lovely to read your blog and view the beautiful photos. I’m so excited about a (non cruise) trip I have booked to Patagonia in November this year. I’ve wanted to go there since reading the Bruce Chatwin book many years ago. I travel solo and it will be my first trip after recovering from a major illness and since Covid affected the world! I’m actually commencing my trip in Chile and completing it in Argentina, but I’ve snuck in a little detour to Easter Island.
    Thanks for sharing your trip.

    • Your trip sounds great. We will definitely go back and see more one day. Easter Island is definitely on our travel wish list too. I hope your trip goes well in November. And is well worth the wait!

  23. Chile has been on my list to see! This looks like so much fun. The Lake Llanquihue views look so peaceful. I hope to one day see it.

  24. Such a beautiful area. You brought back some great memories. Did you get into the park and see the guy that stamps your passport for a few bucks because he declared a small piece of land, gifted to him by the government as his own country?

  25. This looks like an epic cruise. I definitely want to go to South America in my lifetime whether throw plane or cruise. Love seeing the penguins too!

  26. Wow! The view at the Amalia Glacier is amazing. Happy to know that you had great weather during your cruise. It’s cool that you were able to see it up close. How fun to see all the penguins too. Thank you for sharing your wonderful experience.

  27. What an amazing adventure. It looks amazing and inspiring. I plan on traveling to Chile next year. I’ve never been on a cruise ship before but I’m starting to think maybe I should.

    • The cruise was a great way to get a taste test of a bunch of different spots in Chile. It showed us how much more we need to explore one day when we go back for a land trip!

  28. Cruising through those fjords looks incredible! I can only imagine how beautiful it is to see the glacier move towards the water in person. This is one cruise I’d love to go on one day!

  29. Wow we have our honeymoon in Antarctica and are following it up with a stint trekking in Pategonia. This has given me more ideas of the glaciers and penguins I would love to see.

  30. This cruise through the Chilean fjords looks amazing! The views from the ship of the mountains and the glaciers are incredible. I’d love to stop and see penguins – they’re so cute!

  31. Visiting the Chilean Fjords its such a dream! I love living through your experiences. There is a new show on Netflix about National Parks and Patagonia was featured, I can’t wait to experience this for myself.

  32. I remember the penguins from your other posts. Patagonia is one of the top destinations on my list. I’d love to go hiking there for a week or two. That said, you probably took in more fabulous views the way you travelled than I would if I’d get to do some hiking. Those glaciers are magnificent.

    • We were happy to get such great views from our cruise through the Chilean Fjords. But it showed us how much more there was to explore. One day we will go back.

  33. This is just so cool! Looks like a great trip – I want to do this so bad. My husband is from Argentina but we always stay up north. I’d love to visit the Chilean Fjords and cruise around next time. Thanks for sharing.

  34. These fjords look absolutely incredible to cruise through. Chile is high on my list of places to go – I’d love to experience this in person.

  35. Wow, I didn’t expect Chile to look so similar to Alaska and Norway, but I suppose they’re at similar, but opposite, latitudes. Sounds like a fantastic cruise.

  36. Wow, what a dream-come-true kind of cruising.
    This was never in my wish list but you have given me inspiration to explore Patagonia. Penguins would be the top thing to explore for me.

    • We were pretty lucky with the weather in the south part of South America. Our seas were pretty manageable. So we did not rule out Antarctica. But we will see!

  37. A couple years ago, my cousin went to Chilean Fjords and she was telling us how nice it is and showing us pictures. I was so surprised to see that Chile has landscapes that look like Alaska. Now its my turn to go, and I am researching places and activites. Thanks!

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