Laguna San Rafael | Puerto Chacabuco | Puerto Montt | Punta Arenas
Welcome back to the Chilean Fjords; it has only been a few months since we last sailed through this untouched and raw, majestic part of the world. Feeling blessed, we sail through these peaceful and tranquil fjords another two times with Oceania Cruises on our 110-day voyage around South America throughout the cruise.
The scenery has changed as summer has rolled on through and melted the snow from the peaks, and it is an abundance of now lush green hues. There are 30000 islands amongst the channels and fjords in the south, with 11000 of them unnamed.
The first evening we were spoilt cruising the beagle channel and caught glimpses of glaciers and waterfalls; it was a great reminder of what was in store for us over the next few days as we cruised and navigated the channels and fjords of Chile.
The following day we woke to find ourselves in the depths of the breathtaking Chilean Fjords and channels. The day started with a moody shadow over the majestic scenery, followed by the sun peeking through to shine on the magnificent Patagonian scapes.
We thoroughly enjoyed the pace of cruising through the fjords whilst we enjoyed our morning coffees with a view and meals throughout the day, blessed with outstanding nature engulfing us.
A day full of smiles and being spoilt on Oceania, we were delighted when we found Chef Andrea preparing fresh pasta for lunch, and as the sun settled for the day, we were blessed with a sky full of colour.
Puerto Chacabuca, Chile
This morning we arrived at Puerto Chacabuca super early at 7 am, but we couldn't wait to open the curtains to soak up the morning view, as the ship had been busy navigating the narrow channels of the fjords whilst we were all sleeping.
Upon opening the blinds, it was mesmerising. We were tucked into a tiny pocket of the fjords surrounded by snow-capped peaks and delicious greenery, covered with a sheet of majestic silver clouds; we couldn't wait to capture a few morning snaps.
The beginning of a beautiful day indeed; we were up and enjoying our morning coffee outside on the upper deck lounges basking up our majestic surroundings.
Once all the passengers had embarked on their excursions and the tenders were less crowded, we popped on and crossed to the nearby village.
A quaint fishing village located deep within the Chilean Fjords of an intimate 500 people, all living a very remote and relaxing life amongst the fjords, we strolled around taking in the local living and enjoyed getting in some steps, fresh mountain air. We were blessed with a glorious day of sunshine (possibly too much for Sal & Wayne after we realised we had been kissed a little too much by such sun later in the day).
We couldn't leave without visiting the local general store; always fun perusing the shelves and checking out the local display of wines and spirits, which of course, we left with a bag full of goodies for the crew and ourselves.
We arrived back on the ship just in time for a relaxing lunch with front-row seats to the fjords at the Terrace cafe on the outside deck; it was remarkable!
The ship departed mid-afternoon, and we were all in for a treat of the most spectacular scenic cruising as we navigated through the channels and fjords; feeling like we could reach over and touch them, we were in awe of the beauty. We recently cruised through the Chilean Fjords and were very surprised that a ship this size could create such an intimate feeling and opportunity to fully appreciate the fjords over and above the experience from an expedition cruise; thank you, Oceania, for gifting us with this incredible travel moment.
Dinner time in Polo Grill, we were ever so spoilt with a window table as we continued the scenic cruising through the islands scattered in the channels with a stunning backdrop of the dusty pink hues of a sunset sky. Not only did we have the majestic scenery, but an abundance of marine life followed us through as we dined throughout the evening; it was a constant check that out, Wayne; what is it? Next time we will be sure to have our extra set of eyes and invite our binoculars to join us for dinner! We believe they were seals, flying fish, and possibly penguins… but we are still in debate!
Upon returning to our room, the day bid us farewell as the nearly full moonlight sparkled over the ocean waters; it was a perfect day experiencing the Chilean Fjords!
The Chilean Fjords take a few days to navigate as you cruise to your next destination; it's the perfect time to relax and enjoy your surroundings and the magnificent scenery.
Oceania keeps you entertained, well-nourished, and hydrated during these sea days, and we love catching up with our friends and enjoying the surprises each day. You have high tea during the afternoons, long lunches in the Grand Dining Room, specialty dining each evening and the most fun of all the Oceania Club members' parties!
Punta Arenas, Chile
After a week of sensory overload cruising the Chilean coast and navigating the channels and fjords, we arrived in Punta Arenas.
It has been interesting to experience the scenery due to the rapidly changing weather throughout the week, as you feel Summer fast escaping us as we continue south.
Punta Arenas is a city home to 125,000 near the tip of Chile's southernmost Patagonia region. Located on the Strait of Magellan, which connects the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, it's often used as a base for the surrounding wilderness and Antarctica. The Plaza Muñoz Gamero has a memorial to explorer Ferdinand Magellan, and legend has it that if you rub his toe, you will return to the city. Alternatively, you can book a back-to-back cruise with Oceania and visit Punta Arenas thrice.
We took the opportunity to explore the city as we skipped the last stop due to visa delays; as we were docked close to the town, it was easy to wander off.
The first stop was coffee, and we were super impressed with this little gem we found, Guana Coffee; it was a tiny little cafe and didn't disappoint.
With coffee in hand, we continued strolling the city, getting some steps in. We observed the cleanliness of this city, which was a pleasant surprise after visiting other destinations in Chile, so kudos to Punta Arenas for not forgetting too much about your Pachamama (Mother Earth).
We soon found ourselves on the edges of the city in the backstreets, so we put our sights on the coastline and headed in that direction, which then led us to enjoy the beach esplanade walk back to the ship, capturing some iconic pics for our memory bank on the way.
We enjoyed the vibrant street art and murals decorating the city as we walked. The mural along the waterfront paying tribute to the city's maritime history on buildings was magnificent.
Thank you, Chilean Fjords, for delivering another memorable and magical experience.
Our next adventure is coming soon as we continue our 110-day journey with Oceania Cruises, the circumnavigation of South America.