Strait of Magellan – Cruise on the Carnival Splendor

John Konrad
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July 6, 2007

The Carnival Splendor - Straight of Magellan Cruise Ship

It isn’t often that we cover Cruise Ship news as this segment of the industry is already ripe with bloggers and media attention but it isn’t everyday we get a chance to discuss one of our favorite places in the world; the Straight of Magellan.

We also relish the opportunity to cross promote our sister blog UnofficialAndes.com – If you enjoy adventure travel, extreme skiing, or reality blogging go check it out.

Punta Arenas - Town on the Strait of MagellanSo the news is Carnival Cruise Lines, the largest cruise ship operator in the world, has announced it’s newest ship the Carnival Splendor will begin South American Itinerary starting 2009. A Carnival Press Release states:

For the first time, Carnival Cruise Lines will operate voyages to South America with 14- to 18-day departures featuring extended visits to magnificent destinations in Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Ecuador, Chile and Peru aboard the new 113,300-ton Carnival Splendor beginning in January 2009.

Strait of Magellan Pilotage ChartCarnival Splendor will sail on a 14-day, six-port “Cape Horn/Strait of Magellan” cruise from Buenos Aires to Santiago (Valparaiso) Feb. 17 – March 3, 2009. The voyage begins with an overnight call in Buenos Aires, Argentina’s cosmopolitan capital, then visits the charming cities of Montevideo, Uruguay; and Puerto Madryn, Argentina, followed by scenic cruising of historic Cape Horn – South America’s southernmost point.

This comes on the heels of similar announcements by Princess and Regents Cruise Lines (LINK).

Antique Mercator Chart - Strait of MagellanWhy are we fascinated by this strait? For those of us on ships unable to transit the Panama or Suez Canals we are left with only two options in leaving the Atlantic; the Cape of Good Hope to the East and Cape Horn to the West. With a high potential for extreme weather at Cape Horn the Strait of Magellan is the only safe way to move between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Protected by the Tierra del Fuego archipelago to the south and the bulk of South America to the north, ships crossed in relative ease, removed from the dangers of Drake Passage. Drake Passage is the relatively narrow stretch of ocean separating South America from Antarctica, the waters of which are notoriously turbulent, unpredictable, and frequented by icebergs and sea ice.

Carnival Spendors FunnelBook now for first itineraries:

  • January 31 – February 17, 2009: 17-night cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to Buenos Aires, with calls in Dominica, Barbados, Fortaleza, Recife, Salvador and Rio de Janeiro.
  • February 17 – March 3, 2009: 14-night cruise from Buenos Aires to Santiago, with calls in Montevideo, Puerto Madryn, Ushuaia, Punta Arenas and scenic cruising of Cape Horn and Cape Horn/Beagle Island.
  • March 3 – 21, 2009: 18-night cruise from Santiago to San Francisco, with calls in Arica, Lima, Manta, Acapulco, Puerto Vallarta and Long Beach.

If you’re looking to visit the Strait of Magellan before 2009 there are some older cruise ships making the route now. You can find information on these ships HERE

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