Introducing Puerto Williams
In 2014/15 our Antarctic and South Georgia program will include eight expeditions that will start or end in Puerto Williams, Chile’s gateway to Antarctica.
Located on Chile’s Isla Navarino along the eastern tip of the Beagle Channel, less than 50 kilometres south from the port of Ushuaia (about two hours sailing), Puerto Williams is geographically placed as the southern-most town in the world, with an ecosystem renowned for its great biodiversity. Already a popular port for yachts travelling to Antarctica, it is the perfect location to start or finish our small-ship expeditions.
The introduction of Puerto Williams to our itineraries also brings with it a great new landing site, with an opportunity to explore part of the UNESCO Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve, which hosts the world's southernmost forested ecosystems and culture (the Yaghans) as well as protecting five per cent of the world's bryophyte diversity (mosses and liverworts).
As an added bonus, all itineraries that start or end in Puerto Williams will include a tour of the port town and its surrounding natural attractions as well as a scenic flight over the spectacular granite spires of the Dientes de Navarino mountains as passengers make their way to or from Punta Arenas, Chile.
Getting to or from Puerto Williams
Voyages departing Puerto Williams
Voyages departing Puerto Williams will officially start in Punta Arenas with an included 45 min scenic flight from Punta Arenas to Puerto Williams. No accommodation or transfers are included in Punta Arenas. Passengers will be required to meet at Punta Arenas airport on the day of voyage departure and check in at the DAP Airlines check-in counter for the Aurora Expeditions charter flight. After disembarking the flight in Puerto Williams, passengers will join a town and surrounds tour to explore the diverse ecosystem of the region. Following the tour afternoon tea will be provided to passengers before they will be transferred to board Polar Pioneer at approximately 17:00.
For passengers on voyages starting from Punta Arenas we strongly recommend arriving into Punta Arenas the night before their voyage departure date.
Voyages disembarking in Puerto Williams
Upon disembarking Polar Pioneer at approximately 09:00 on the last day of the voyage passengers’ will enjoy a town tour. Morning tea will be served before a transfer to the airport for a flight back to Punta Arenas. Accommodation or transfers are not included on arrival to Punta Arenas.
For passengers on voyages finishing in Punta Arenas, we strongly recommend staying overnight before making their onward journey.
Why Puerto Williams
Whilst some of Aurora Expeditions voyages will continue to start or finish in Ushuaia, our Puerto Williams itineraries will offer some great benefits.
- Puerto Williams itself is an additional attraction to our itineraries. Located at the very end of the American continent, it has been categorised by UNESCO as one of the 20 most pristine places on the planet
- Puerto Williams and surrounding areas is part of the UNESCO declared Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve, hosting the world's southernmost forested ecosystems and culture (the Yaghans) as well as protecting five per cent of the world's bryophyte diversity (mosses and liverworts).
- The included 45 minute flight between Punta Arenas and Puerto Williams is extremely scenic, providing a birds’ eye view of the breathtaking landscape of Cordillera Darwin with its magnificent glaciers, narrow austral channels and hidden coloured lagoons. Weather and time permitting, we will attempt to fly over Cape Horn.
- All voyages that embark or disembark in Puerto Williams will include a guided tour or trek of the town and surrounding area, offering another highlight on the voyage itinerary.
- For our Fly/Sail departures clients will fly in and out of Chile, meaning clients could benefit from cheaper airfares with possibly only one airfare required in and out of Punta Arenas.
- Passengers will easily be able to include a Patagonia trip in to their itinerary with expeditions either starting or ending in Punta Arenas. View our range of Patagonia Adventure Treks here.