At dawn, sail to Alberto De Agostini National Park, a biosphere reserve which includes the snow-dusted Cordillera Darwin mountain range, the most southerly land-based stretch of the Andes where rocky slopes plunge steeply into the sea. Here, the ice-scalloped coastline hosts the snout of the Marinelli glacier, which calves into to bird-filled Ainsworth Bay releasing icebergs to drift offshore.
Disembark here with a couple of hiking options: one is to walk to a beaver dam in the emerald green, sub polar Magellanic beech forest. Beavers were introduced from Canada, and their activities have had a huge impact on the natural environment here.
Alternatively take a more strenuous hike along the crest of a glacial moraine – both offer views over wilderness mountains and fingers of ice which dwarf the ship lying at anchor. With luck you’ll spot the sprawling bulk of massive elephant seals on the pebbly beach, sometimes yawning to expose their bright pink throats, an extraordinary sight.
Once you are back on board the ship sails to Tuckers Islets, where once again you’ll and embark Zodiac boats to view Magellanic penguins, more than 4,000 of which breed here. Other birds you may spot include king cormorants, oyster catchers, Chilean skuas, kelp geese, dolphin gulls, eagles and even the Andean condor