Cruising the Chilean Fjords
Trip Start Aug 25, 2008
50Trip End Dec 16, 2008
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I booked passage on the Navimag Ferry - four days cruising the chillean fjords, weaving between islands, skirting icebergs, and escourted by dolphins, whales, and sea lions.
The ferry mostly carries backpackers, a few locals, vehicles,
The best part of the journey was spending four days aboard a ferry with 160 backpackers who have nothing better to do than watch the scenry flow by, tell stories, play cards, drink chillean wine and pisco sours.
The drinking part got me in a little trouble, though. We had to go out into the open Pacific for 12 hours and experience what 35MPH Patagonian winds do to open water.
Reaching for my glass of wine, I confidently decided I've spent enough time on ships that I can handle anything the Pacific can dish and ignored the advice.
On que, the ship started it's up and down motion and within an hour,
The final blow was the spaghetti for dinner. I took one look at my plate and just couldn't do it. Spaghetti on open sea night is a sick joke...
I took the pill and slept for 12 hours.
Save those 12 hours on open seas, the ship stuck to the calm water in the narrow passages between mountains and the scenry was spectacular! Dolphins would surf our wake, seals would swim by and check us out. Condors circled above while icebergs floated by.
The bridge came to be the second most popular place to hang out - we had open access to the bridge and it was a nice, warm place to watch the captain maneuver through the fjords. Every time it started to rain, everyone would dash for either the bar or the bridge.
On day 3, we passed a glacier and the captain took us close to get a better view.
Two of the crew were lowered in a zodiac and zipped out to get pick up a small iceburg, brought it back, cut it into chunks and the bar special that night was 10yr old scotch over 300yr old glacieral ice!
...It rained one night and my room had a leak. Drip by drip, the water filled one of my inconveniently located waterproof shoes. Everyone was giving me grief for wearing sandals out in the freezing weather. I endured as long as possible, but as my toes turned red I ran in to put on my wet shoe.
The best part of the Navimag were the friends I made - by the end of the four days, there were 25 of us who got to be close, and most all of us were planning to hike in Torres del Paine National Park.
Where I stayed