A vast land at the southern end of South America, Patagonia spans national boundaries but has no precise borders of its own. Embark on a South America expedition and discover massive snow-covered Andean peaks, steppes, fjords, glaciers, forests, rivers, lakes, and valleys—inhabited by exceptionally interesting wildlife that is marvelously adapted to living here. Fall under the spell of this mythic land, exploring its national parks, its privately held parklands, and the seldom-seen Isla de los Estados, which has been closed to the world for decades and is overrun with wildness. Lars-Eric Lindblad led the first travelers to the region in 1967, and we’ve been pioneering expedition-style travel here since.
Embark on an active, immersive adventure in the iconic wildness of Patagonia aboard National Geographic Endurance, National Geographic Explorer, or National Geographic Orion. This region, isolated by jagged peaks amd vast steppes and carved with fjords and channels, was once only the domain of hearty backpackers. Today, aboard our specially equipped expedition ships, we are able to explore its wildest places with the luxury of comfort. Zodiac cruise, kayak, hike, and walk in the wilderness. See Magellanic penguins, massive elephant seals, which can reach up to 20 feet in length and weigh up to nearly 9,000 pounds, and birdlife of incredible diversity. Discover cerulean glaciers, deep fjords, and cliffs carved into shape by Patagonia’s powerful environment.
Wild Personalities: Guanaco
As synonymous with Patagonia as the jagged peaks of Torres del Paine, guanacos can be found roaming the terrain’s wild, windswept steppes, grazing on grassy patches, and bolting across the slopes in herds of up to 50.
Incredible journey and experience! Very well organized and absolutely professional. Ship was extremely comfortable and expeditions were full of wonder!
Explore with top expedition teams
See, do, and learn more by going with engaging experts who have been exploring this region for decades.
Every Patagonia expedition sails with a veteran expedition leader and a team of naturalists with a variety of specialties: zoology, biology, ornithology, geology, history, and more. Other members of the team include a National Geographic photographer, plus a Lindblad-National Geographic certified photo instructor, an undersea specialist, a wellness specialist, and a video chronicler. A generous 10-to-1 ratio of guest-to-staff ensures access and personal attention.
Veteran expedition leaders are the orchestrators of your experience. Many have advanced degrees and have conducted research or taught for years. They have achieved expedition leader status because they possess the skills, the experience, and the depth of knowledge necessary to continually craft the best expedition possible for our guests.
Explore Patagonia with a team of naturalists who have a variety of specialties: zoology, biology, ornithology, geology, history, and more. Our guests consistently cite the expertise and engaging company of our staff as key reasons to repeatedly travel with us.
Discover what lies beneath the waves with an onboard undersea specialist who can dive into the cold waters to shoot video of what lies beneath the waves or deploy an ROV to depths of 1,000 feet to explore rarely seen regions.
Travel and shoot with a bona fide National Geographic photographer. These top pros are at your side and at your service—providing advice, tips, and slideshows. Access to photographers of this caliber will help you improve your skills and ensure you go home with incredible photos.
Every Patagonia expedition also offers an exclusive service—a Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic certified photo instructor. This naturalist is specially trained to help you become a better, more confident photographer—and to help you understand the movements of wildlife so you can create top shots.
Video chroniclers accompany every expedition and shoot vivid HD footage—with no recycled footage ever—to provide you with a professionally edited and completely authentic memento of your expedition. Working during the day and editing into the night, they have your DVD ready for preview prior to—and available to purchase at—disembarkation.
Our wellness program embodies the belief that nature is vitalizing and that wildness, as Thoreau famously said, supplies a tonic. Wellness Specialists are fully accredited and experienced licensed massage therapists and are aboard every ship in the National Geographic-flagged fleet. They lead morning stretch class, aerobic walks ashore, kayak outings, and more.
Luxury of comfort
It is a privilege to sail among the fjords and secluded coasts of Patagonia, a richly diverse and vibrant region, and to this privilege our ships add the luxury of comfort—a quality of shipboard life and a philosophy of wellness designed to relax and rejuvenate body, mind, and spirit.
Making a Difference
Lindblad Expeditions supports stewardship efforts in the places we explore, and one way we do that is through the Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic (LEX-NG) Fund. Traveler contributions to the LEX-NG Fund aboard National Geographic Explorer, National Geographic Endurance, and National Geographic Orion currently support three major National Geographic Society initiatives: Pristine Seas, the Grosvenor Teacher Fellow Program, and Early Career Grants.
After leaving South America behind and traveling for a day to the Falklands, we awoke off the islands feeling some uncertainty, much like the rest of the world. What would our future hold? We were all healthy onboard and in good spirits, so when the news came that we couldn’t disembark immediately, it was met with mixed reactions. It was determined that we would need to wait a few days (about five) until we reached a safe quarantine since our last contact with new people. At first, this seemed harsh. But in reality, it was probably better for everyone involved. We wanted to know we were all healthy, and we didn’t want to spread anything as we dispersed. And, being on board a healthy ship is a great thing. We not only had endless food, drink (wine!), and TOILET PAPER! We were onboard
National Geographic Orion
! The crew were ready to spoil us like always, and the staff were ready to step up with a series of presentations and activities.
For the first few days, we were cruising back and forth on the calm, leeward side of the islands. Albatross and other seabirds surrounded the ship continuously and Peale’s dolphins repeatedly came in to bow ride.
We even encountered a pod of killer whales and spent quality time with these top predators. Our sister ship,
National Geographic Explorer
, also provided a fun interlude. After disembarking their guests, they were able to make a supply run to us for essentials. They passed off some fruits and vegetables, some technical engine equipment, and an entire Zodiac of TOILET PAPER! I’m not sure if it was necessary or a great joke, but something we all still talk about!
Yes, we were isolating ourselves from the rest of the world, but not from each other. We could still do whatever we wanted, just onboard. Many became “Nolanites,” circling the upper deck getting exercise while enjoying some fine weather. Full gourmet dinners continued, cocktail hour was even more popular, and many guests formed their own groups doing various things they love. We then anchored for a few days in a sheltered bay and had many presentations to entertain ourselves and learn even more about the region.
As our time passed, Lindblad Expeditions was constantly updating us and planning. We were ready, our time had come, and then the weather threw us a curveball. Heavy winds were coming, and the Falklands closed the airport for a day. The office scrambled again, rebooking not only charter flights, but flights for every guest and staff to their homes. And then, finally, it came together. A charter flight to Santiago, Chile, where we said goodbye to some of our fellow shipmates from South America. Then onto a Boeing 767 Dreamliner, chartered back to Miami. It was a shock to all of us, who were used to socializing in fun, close groups onboard, to reach the ghostly airport of Miami where no one was approaching anyone. From there, we dispersed and headed home.
We left behind
National Geographic Orion
. The crew are still there. They will be there for awhile, navigating in this new uncertainty. My thoughts are with them. They showed us all much love and great hospitality. I know that myself and quite a few others certainly considered staying onboard. Destination…unknown? But, being
National Geographic Orion
, I am sure they are having fun right now and enjoying themselves very much.
Today we left South America behind and enjoyed following seas and wind on our way to the Falkland Islands. After spending the entirety of our voyage with land in sight, it was refreshing to wake with ocean surrounding our ship all directions with nothing but sky on the horizon.
However, this is not to say there wasn’t anything to see! Wildlife was abundant today. Seabirds were our constant companions as well as bow-riding dolphins. This open ocean is the realm of seabirds. From the tiny storm-petrels to the massive albatross, these birds were taking advantage of the winds to effortlessly glide in search of food. Birds surface from all over the globe to enjoy the richness of this area, much the same as we have. Royal albatross from New Zealand, wandering albatross from South Georgia, and black-browed albatross from the Falklands. All concentrating on this stunning part of the globe.
What started off a foggy day with leaden seas, turning later into a stunning blue-sky morning as we Zodiac-cruised around the face of the Garabaldi Glacier. This tidewater glacier thundered and calved all morning, as we sipped hot-chocolate and dodged the bergy bits. We worked our way west along the Beagle Channel, making a brief foray into the wild open sea of the South Pacific this evening.
The southern reaches of South America is shrouded in stories of treacherous waters and the explorers that dare them as they trail their way toward at the end of the world. Our experience in this wild region today proved to be on the opposite end of the spectrum, however, with beautiful sunny skies and calm seas. Cruising out through Beagle Channel, we devoted our morning to the craft of expedition photography with National Geographic photographer Kike Calvo and the cetaceans of Patagonia, along with with naturalist and resident whale nerd Conor Ryan.
Making our way south, the day’s conditions offered simply impeccable views with the occasional sighting of sei whales and various dolphins. Our fortunes with the day’s weather continued well into the afternoon, allowing us to make a landing at the famous island of Cape Horn. From the albatross monument to the lighthouse and stunning scenery, our afternoon certainly exceeded all expectations as we were spoiled, getting to enjoy this incredible location and monument in mariner history. A spectacular day at the end of the world!
Our second full day on this remote and wild island brought the opportunity to explore an ice-carved fjord called Caleta Capitán Cánepa. What a morning! South American fur seals, a southern elephant seal weaner, and South American sea lions cavorted around the Zodiacs. An otter family was sighted both in the water and along the shoreline near a rushing waterfall. Rock and imperial shags, steamer ducks, striated caracarás, Magellanic penguins, and Andean condors were sighted within these protected waters. The steep cliffs and narrow channels made for incredible photographic opportunities! The morning simply flew by with each new discovery.
Our afternoon landing took us to Franklin Bay, on the southewest side of Isla de Los Estados. Here we encountered rock Hopper penguins by the hundreds. The bay is also the site of a circa 1970 mass stranding of long-finned pilot whales. The bones strewn along the beach above the high tide line bore testament to the tragedy that occurred here some 50 years ago. Wild and windy, the entire day brought nothing but new delights!
You may share my belief that exploring the world is always a privilege. If so, this expedition takes that up a notch—as it provides exclusive access to wildernesses that are in private hands. The term seldom seen has seldom been more appropriate.