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Puerto Montt to Puerto Natales

This three-day ferry ride is one of the most spectacular sea journeys in the world as it takes you right into the heart of Patagonia.


From the pretty town of Puerto Montt, the route takes you through a wide gulf and into a rocky island-filled paradise of mountains and snow, where whales and dolphins swim and where the non-seafarer cannot reach.


This is as remote as it gets: a bleak and often damp and cloudy world with scenery appearing and disappearing through the mist and low clouds as the gentle drone of the ship’s engines power you through.


On board, the vessel is surprisingly comfortable. A nice lounge area is available with comfy cushions to relax while the canteen, where included meals are served, turns into a disco area at night. The cabins come in all sizes and have all the expected facilities, and there is plenty of deck space to move around and, most importantly, find the perfect position for the countless photos you end up taking during the daylight hours.

The ferry leaves port around midnight and heads into the night and, if the weather gods are on your side, you awake in a different world, surrounded by round-topped mountains and expansive scenery. The sun sets spectacularly and, with clear skies, the stars come out brighter than you have ever seen them before. Clear skies or no, seas tend to roughen up on the passage through the gulf on the second night. Dolphins and seals play in the bow waves as the ship continues to head through the mountainous and increasingly snowy scenery. Regardless of where you stand, there is plenty to see as the ship is very open, allowing travelers to visit the bridge and study the navigation charts as they prepare for one of the trickiest parts of the journey, the narrow English Passage.

Squeeze through the Passage and a town appears out of nowhere, a place called Puerto Eden, where the ship drops anchor and meets a small boat of townsfolk who collect their post and provisions, some boarding to join the ship on its route down to true civilization. Then the route flows past a rusty shipwreck, just to prove how dangerous it can be out here, as the passage narrows and the mountains become steeper, with waterfalls flowing through the tree-lined slopes and into the fjord.

Overnight and into the third day, the scenery takes on another dramatic change, with trees making way for barren moss-covered rocks and tall rugged, snow-covered peaks and rock towers.

Patagonia is truly upon you as you head through an archipelago of islands and through a narrowing just 100 meters wide before slowing right down to navigate the three-meter-deep shallows on the other side and on to the final destination at Puerto Natales.

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