Patagonia Voyages

Written by Patricia Tunstall
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Patagonia voyages take astounded passengers through some of the most spectacular scenery on the planet. Often following the route taken by Charles Darwin on the HMS Beagle, through the Beagle Channel and along the dramatic, 8,000-foot-high peaks of the Charles Darwin Range, yachts and other tall ships easily sail through the narrow waterways. Passengers get close-up views of majestic fjords and awe-inspiring, ice-blue glaciers.

Patagonia includes the southernmost sections of Chile and Argentina, although the regional boundaries are controversial and subject to varying definitions. Tierra del Fuego, a large island at the southern tip of South America, is itself divided between these two countries, and the entire island is also a part of Patagonia. Some of the most spectacular fjords and glaciers are found along the southern coast of Tierra del Fuego, and tall ships take advantage of the multitude of sheltered inlets and coves in case of harsh winds and weather during Patagonia voyages.

Patagonia Voyages along the Chilean Coast

Looking at a map of Chile, two things immediately stand out. First, the long, narrow country takes up an inordinate amount of the west coast of South America. Second, the extensive coastline is laced with islands of all shapes and sizes. These two geographic facts create the unique beauty that makes Chile a prized destination for sailors and passengers alike.

Chile voyages run the gamut from smooth trips through the inside passage formed by the network of islands along the west coast, to the dramatic experience of rounding the Horn. Some passageways are only able to accommodate yachts with a small number of passengers and crew, while the wider channels can handle small passenger ships, which must sail mostly on the ocean during Patagonia voyages. With the diversity of vessels, itineraries, and schedules offered for the Patagonian summer, prospective travelers have a wide range of selections to choose from.

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