Patagonia cruising holiday, Ushuaia to Punta Arenas
Description of Patagonia cruising holiday, Ushuaia to Punta Arenas
What better way to explore the beautiful fjords and mighty glaciers of Chile and Argentina than by boat? This Patagonia cruising holiday takes you from Ushuaia to Punta Arenas, past captivating scenery and varied marine wildlife. You’ll board your cruise ship in Ushuaia and head first through the Murray Channel to Cape Horn National Park, declared a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in June 2005. Then you’ll move on to Wulaia Bay, which was once home to one of the largest Yamana aboriginal settlements in the region.
The next day, the boat makes its way to Chico Sound, where you’ll explore Alakaluf Fjord and gain dramatic views of the Piloto and Nena glaciers; as well as get a geography lesson about the formation of the glaciers! Moving on, the following day is spent in the company of sea birds. You’ll go ashore on Magdalena Island, which houses a vast colony of Magellanic penguins, as well as a lighthouse used to guide ships on their way through the strait.
PlanetAs a locally owned Argentine business, we strive to operate all of our tours in a responsible manner. We work with local tour operators, tour guides and properties to ensure that they understand the importance of protecting the environment as it is a finite resource that, if managed properly, can provide economic benefit to the local community.
We follow all local environmental laws and legislation, and work with local partners that minimally impact the natural surroundings to ensure that we protect the national parks and destinations that we visit for future generations.
National Park entrance fees are paid directly to the national parks by the clients to ensure that they directly support the parks´ maintenance and preservation.
During our trekking tours with overnight camping in a national park, local or wilderness site, we aim to minimize waste by using products with minimum packaging, leaving no litter behind, keeping all water sources clean and leave the camp sites cleaner than we found them. At the core of this effort is the desire to leave no trace behind and to minimize our impact on the beautiful lands that we visit.
We are working to keep our operations green and are utilizing web/e-communication to reduce paper consumption. We have taken the decision to no longer produce 75 page printed brochures and focus on web/e-communications. We utilize low energy lightbulbs in our offices, recycle paper/glass and try to minimize our water consumption. We also reduce our plastic bottle waste by providing refillable large water coolers. Additionally, we are constantly assessing our operations to see how we may partner with and support local communities, NGOs, wilderness areas, regional and national parks that we visit.
We are also looking into how we might implement a voluntary carbon-offset program for our clients.
PeopleAs an Argentine owned travel business, we understand the importance of supporting our local partners during both the good times and the bad times. By partnering with locally owned hotels, activity providers, guides, restaurants and properties over the years, we not only ensure a high level of quality and that our clients' needs are satisfied, but we also develop long term relationships with local business owners and help them plan and prepare for the busy and slow times of the year. And this also helps our clients to better experience the local culture.
We hire local guides and pay them a solid wage (which is generally higher than the local average). We also train our guides and cover the associated costs with the training program.
We prefer small, family run operations to ensure that we help sustain the community economy, and actively seek them out rather than using international chains. For example on this trip you will stay in local Estancia's, settled in Iberá area which are much more a family house than a hotel.
We donate each month to the Argentine not-for-profit organization, “Por los Chicos” and our support benefits poor and vulnerable street children in Argentina.
In addition, we also share our ethos of cultural and environmental respect with our local partners. Be it a small hotel, mountain lodge, kayak or hiking guide/outfitter, we ensure that they work their best to incorporate environmental and culturally sensitive best practice in their operations, so as to benefit the diverse communities in which we operate.
On this trip in particular, we work closely with the El Chalten community and in our pre-departure materials (and on tour) we recommend local cafes, restaurants and shops to ensure that our clients support the local businesses. In addition, we hire certified and local Argentine mountain guides to ensure that those clients interested in guided hiking will have the best local leaders available.