Cape Horn & Strait of Magellan
Day 1 - Buenos Aires Founded in the early 16th century, Buenos Aires was transformed from a colonial port into a cosmopolitan metropolis - the "Paris of the South" - by the cattle boom of the 1880s. As in the American West, boom was followed by bust. But that did not stop Buenos Aires from becoming the city it is today. With its air of haunted grandeur, Buenos Aires is a place of icy intellect and smoldering passion. It is a city where the elegant Colon Theater, one of the world's great opera houses, stands in counterpoint to the working class barrios that gave birth to the tango. Perhaps the city's enigmas and contradictions are best embodied by its two most famous citizens - the reclusive librarian and literary genius Jorge Luis Borges and the showgirl turned First Lady, Evita Peron. The "Paris of the South" flaunts its European heritage. One of the pleasures of Buenos Aires is simply absorbing its charm and flavor, from Parisian-style confiterias - cafés - to the city's popular tango clubs.
Day 2 - Buenos Aires Founded in the early 16th century, Buenos Aires was transformed from a colonial port into a cosmopolitan metropolis - the "Paris of the South" - by the cattle boom of the 1880s. As in the American West, boom was followed by bust. But that did not stop Buenos Aires from becoming the city it is today. With its air of haunted grandeur, Buenos Aires is a place of icy intellect and smoldering passion. It is a city where the elegant Colon Theater, one of the world's great opera houses, stands in counterpoint to the working class barrios that gave birth to the tango. Perhaps the city's enigmas and contradictions are best embodied by its two most famous citizens - the reclusive librarian and literary genius Jorge Luis Borges and the showgirl turned First Lady, Evita Peron. The "Paris of the South" flaunts its European heritage. One of the pleasures of Buenos Aires is simply absorbing its charm and flavor, from Parisian-style confiterias - cafés - to the city's popular tango clubs.
Day 3 - At Sea
Day 4 - Puerto Madryn Fleeing the economic devastation of England's Industrial Revolution, Welsh settlers immigrated to Argentina in search of cheap land. Led by Viscount Madryn, one group of settlers sailed for Patagonia, founding the small city of Puerto Madryn in 1865. Life in Patagonia, however, was not easy. There were lonely prairies, brutally cold winters, and unrelenting winds. Still the Welsh survived, and today visitors can still see their legacy in Puerto Madryn and its surrounding communities. Puerto Madryn is your gateway to one of South America's largest breeding grounds for birds and mammals - Tombo National Reserve.
Day 5 - At Sea
Day 6 - Falkland Islands (Stanley) Capital of the Falklands since 1845, tiny Stanley lies on the windswept tip of East Falkland Island. The Falklands long served as a way station for ships, particularly whalers, bound to and from Cape Horn. The islands' rigorous environment is immediately apparent: Stanley Harbor is dotted with the hulks of vessels that succumbed to the fierce winds and waves of the South Atlantic. While their strategic location led to important roles in both World Wars, the islands are best remembered as the cause of the 1982 war between Argentina and the United Kingdom. Today, travelers increasingly journey to the islands to view their rich assortment of bird and marine life. Colorful houses occupy the low rolling moorland bordering Stanley Harbor. Stanley's climate resembles London's - cool and rainy though summer visitors are often blessed with clear, sunny skies.
Day 7 - Cape Horn, Scenic Cruising Located on Chile's Isla Hornos in the Tierra del Fuego archipelago, Cape Horn is widely considered to be the southernmost tip of South America. The culmination of the Andes mountain range, the legendary Cape is prone to unpredictably strong winds, choppy waters, icebergs and rogue waves - none of which phase the Princess ships that sail here. Nevertheless, hazardous maritime conditions have protected the rocky region from human settlement, so you'll enjoy the same views as the earliest explorers discovered centuries ago. Unusual rock formations with deep grooves and granite cliffs covered in trees are its signature features. Navigating around the Cape was a near-impossible feat for sailors who braved its intense winds and treacherous waters in the 17th century. However, those fortunate enough to return from a successful trip were entitled to numerous benefits, including dining with one foot on the dinner table and wearing a gold loop earring to boast of their seafaring victory. Though Cape Horn became a significant trade route between the 18th and early 20th centuries, the opening of the Panama Canal rendered this route obsolete - but that hasn't prevented adventurers from recreational journeys to the Cape, or the bragging rights that come along with them!
Day 8 - Ushuaia Ushuaia is the southernmost city in the world and one of two main cities on the island territory of Tierra del Fuego. Shared by Argentina and Chile, "The Land of Fire" features unforgettable scenery and trails of discovery framed by the sea, forests, lakes and mountains.
Day 9 - Punta Arenas, Chile Punta Arenas lies atop rolling hills, looking out over the Strait of Magellan. In the days before the Panama Canal, this was a major port as ships plied the waters of Cape Horn. Punta Arenas remains a prosperous town today, thanks to its rich natural resources. The city is also the gateway to Chilean Patagonia, a maze of fjords, rivers, steppes, and mountains to the north. To the south lies the great frozen mass of Antarctica. Adventure awaits in any direction at this port located near the end of the earth. Across the Strait of Magellan lies Tierra del Fuego, the lonely, windswept island discovered by Magellan in 1520. The region was settled by Yugoslavian and English sheep ranchers in the 19th century.
Day 10 - Amalia Glacier The Southern Patagonian Ice Field covered the entirety of southern Chile just 10,000 years ago. Today, this region gives way to the awe-inspiring channels and islands that comprise the fjords of southern Chile's Pacific Coast, which extend as far south as Tierra del Fuego and the Strait of Magellan. While cruising through the sparkling waters of Chile's legendary inlets, you'll be graced by the presence of snowcapped mountain peaks, majestic forests and spectacular blue-tinged glaciers that will take your breath away. The unspoiled scenery is filled with dramatic rock formations and abundant wildlife known for making their homes here, including sea lions, Peale's dolphins and a variety of seabirds that soar amid the splendor.
Day 11 - At Sea
Day 12 - Puerto Montt Puerto Montt is your gateway to Chile's magnificent Lake District. Here, snow-capped volcanoes gaze down on alpine valleys nestled among low hills. Glaciers carved out this terrain, leaving the jewel-like lakes in their wake. The Lake District was a magnet for German immigrants, and their legacy can be seen today in the manicured rose gardens of Puerto Varas, the "German Villages" like Frutillar, and the gabled homes with elaborate balconies of Puerto Montt. Despite a population of more than 130,000, Puerto Montt retains the feel of a small town. For a simple introduction to the city, walk along the waterfront road to the fishing port of Angelmo and browse the local artisans' stalls, then tuck into a snack in one of the small cafés along the way.
Day 13 - At Sea
Day 14 - At Sea
Day 15 - Santiago (San Antonio) Nestled between rolling hills topped with colorful houses and meandering coastal dunes, the bustling city of San Antonio enjoys its reputation as the gateway to Chile's central valley and the capital of Santiago. With a population of over five million people, Santiago sprawls at the feet of the snow-capped Andes. Inland lies the sun-kissed wine regions of Casablanca and Maipo Maipo Valley, Chile's internationally renowned wine district.
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