Two domestic flights. 5 day cruise in Patagonia.
This holiday incorporates a comfortable voyage on board an expeditionary cruise ship, Stella Australis or her sister Ventus Australis (date dependent).
Your hotel in Santiago and Puerto Madryn lodge are mid-range; your accommodation in Buenos Aires is first class.
Breakfast daily, dinner and full board on the cruise ship days 3-6. On board ship, all meals and snacks are included, as are drinks when the bar is open. Dinner day 7, full board days 8,9.
We carefully select our local partners, some of whom we have worked with for over 30 years. Their English-speaking guides understand the expectations of our clients very well, and are consistently singled out for praise by the latter on their return. Guides, lecturers and presenters on the cruise ship are all qualified in a field of expertise relevant to the cruise.
• Guided city tour in Santiago.
• Guided excursion to the Maipo Valley vineyards with wine tasting.
• Land and sea-based excursions and activities on the expedition cruise.
• Wildlife spotting outings from El Pedral lodge.
• Guided city tour in Buenos Aires.
Summary of nights
Santiago, Chile, 2 nights; cruise 4 nights; Valdés Peninsula area 3 nights, Buenos Aires 3 nights.
Included in the journey price
• Services of our team of experts in our London office.
• Services of Journey Latin America local representatives on the mainland..
• All land and air transport within Latin America.
• All inclusive cruise as specified, including land and sea excursions.
• Accommodation as specified.
• Meals as specified.
• Excursions as specified.
Not included in the journey price
• Tips and gratuities on the mainland and mainland excursions.
• Meals other than specified.
• International flights to Latin America
• Airport taxes, when not included in the ticket.
• Excursions designated optional.
The unit of currency in Chile is the Chilean Peso, in Argentina it is the Argentine Peso.
It is very difficult to give a guideline for essential expenses but a budget of around US$50 per day should cover the cost of good quality meals, drinks and the odd souvenir on those days in the holiday itinerary or extension outside the cruise. Eat at the very best restaurants and you will pay considerably more. On the cruise, excursions, drinks, meals and tips are included.
How to take it
Cash machines are available in Santiago, Puerto Madryn and Buenos Aires, and so taking a debit or credit card with a PIN number is the most convenient way of withdrawing money while on your trip, and in most shops and restaurants you can also pay by card. However, since cards can get lost, damaged, withheld or blocked, you should not rely exclusively on a card to access funds.We recommend that additionally you take a reasonable quantity of US dollars cash (no more than is covered by your insurance), which you can spend as the dollar is the local currency. Dollar bills should be in good condition, soiled or torn bills may be refused. You can take sterling, but the exchange rate is not always competitive or even available, restricting the number of places where you can change money.
On the ship, items from the onboard shop (such as souvenirs, books and sportswear) can be purchased with Mastercard, Visa, American Express and Diners credit cards, travellers checks, U.S. dollars, Euros, Chilean pesos or Argentinian pesos.
On the cruise, tips are at the discretion of the passenger. But we suggest US$15 per day per passenger for the staff and crew, handed in at the reception desk on the last day of the cruise.
Local guides onshore will welcome a gratuity: they often rely on their tip as a significant proportion of their income. Most service industry workers will hope for a tip so it is useful to have spare change for waiters, hotel porters, taxi drivers etc. It is common to leave 10 - 12% in restaurants.
Travel insurance is essential. Details of our recommended policy can be found on our Travel Insurance page.
If you have purchased your flights through Journey Latin America, the international departure tax is usually included in the ticket.
This holiday is suitable for all able, reasonably fit visitors. If you have doubts about your fitness for the cruise, we will send you a medical questionnaire.
Children are accepted without a minimum age limit but there are limited facilites and no special entertainment programme on board for children.
The weather in Patagonia from October to March can vary wildly; in high summer it can even get hot with temperatures in the 20sC. However as a general rule, expect any or all of the four seasons in one day - sun, rain, hail, snow, wind.. Be prepared for zero temperatures and a cold wind, though you may be lucky and have calm, warm, sunny weather throughout. it is completely unpredictable.
It can get very hot in northern Patagonia in the summer months Dec-Feb; while temperatures are frequently pleasantly warm - 20s C - in spring and autumn. The wind can blow hard at any time.
< >In Santiago and Buenos Aires, expect sun and high temperatures (30sC) in summer Dec-Mar where there is little rain in the Chilean capital but the Argentine equivalent may be subject to heavy tropical showers at this time. In Oct-Nov and March, expect a warm and sunny climate to prevail in thee two cities.
Clothing and special equipment
Pack for both warm and cold weather: layered clothing is best. Include summer-weight loose, comfortable clothing including shorts and trousers (bear in mind that you have to get in and out of Zodiac boats but also that you are in cities for a few days). Brings sun-protective headgear, swimwear, smart casual for the evening, light sweater or jacket for cool evenings on and off shore. There is no dress code on the ship, and there is no formal night, though there may be a Captain's Dinner, when passengers dress up slightly more formally (men wear a jacket, women a dress).
For southern Patagonia bring a warm fleece or two, woolly-type hats and gloves, scarf, and wet weather gear with waterproof jacket and waterproof trousers, rain-cape or coat, comfortable non-slip footwear including stout walking boots or shoes. You may consider bringing collapsible walking poles.
Sun block and insect repellant are essential. Don’t forget your sun-glasses, binoculars, camera, charger and memory cards. Consider taking sea-sickness prevention (consult your pharmacist). A small first aid kit with blister pads, aspirin etc may come in handy. .
Preventative vaccinations are recommended against the following: polio; tetanus; hepatitis A. You should consult your GP for specific requirements.
You can also find helpful information on the Masta Travel Health website.
Holders of a full British passport do not require a visa, although passports must be valid for at least 6 months after the trip begins. Anyone with a different nationality should enquire with us or check with the relevant consulate.
APIS and ESTA - important flight information:
ESTA - if flying to the US, or via the US you will need to fill in your application to ESTA online at https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/esta.html
This costs $14 per person, and must be applied for by you personally.
UK Passport holders must present an e-passport with a built in chip. Avoid locking suitcases if transiting the USA, as their customs authorities retain the right to break into them.
APIS - many countries now oblige airlines to provide additional information about passengers prior to the flight departure. This Advance Passenger Information (APIS) must be supplied to us promptly in order to issue tickets and avoid fare increases. We will provide the airlines with the relevant details if we are booking your international flights. If the information is not provided you may be denied boarding.