Patagonian Clinical Conference 19-24 October
Our 2nd Patagonian Clinical Conference in beautiful Southern Patagonia will on the Ventus Australis Cruise ship. Departure from Sydney is 18 October & arrival back into Sydney will be 26 October.
The conference is taking place in Chilean Patagonia with conference sessions being held in Punta Arenas and onboard our ship. The scenic maritime route through the fjords of the southern edge of Tierra del Fuego - only viewed from this ship - highlights the stunning, natural beauty of Patagonia and several of its most important historical sites. Between conference sessions, you can participate in excursions off the ship to see glaciers, icebergs & penguins.
Depart Sydney for Chile & arrive into Santiago in the afternoon of the same day. Transfer to an airport hotel
Fly to Punta Arenas in Southern Chile and view spectacular scenery along the way. Tonight you'll enjoy local delights at our conference welcome dinner
Morning conference sessions & a hospital visit then it's time to board your ship for an evening departure from Punta Arenas. After a welcoming cocktail reception hosted by the captain, the ship departs for one of the remotest corners of planet Earth
By dawn the ship is sailing up Admiralty Sound that stretches nearly halfway across Tierra del Fuego. The snowcapped peaks of Karukinka Natural Park stretch along the north side of the sound, & the south shore is defined by the deep fjords & broad bays of Alberto de Agostini National Park. You'll go ashore at Ainsworth Bay, which harbors copious bird life & a colony of southern elephant seals which can sometimes be spotted from the Zodiacs. Two guided excursions of varying difficulty are available, both afford views of Marinelli Glacier & the Darwin Mountains. Leaving Ainsworth Bay we sail west along the sound to the Tucker Islets. You'll board Zodiacs again for a close-up view of the Magellan penguins that inhabit the tiny islands. More than 4,000 penguins use Tucker as a place to nest, give birth & nurture their chicks. Many other bird species also frequent the area including king cormorants, oystercatchers, Chilean skuas, kelp geese, dolphin gulls, eagles & the occasional Andean condor. Afternoon conference sessions
Overnight we sail around the western end of Tierra del Fuego. By morning we are entering Pia Fjord & boarding the Zodiacs for a shore excursion to Pia Glacier. After disembarking, there will be a short hike to gain a panoramic view of the spectacular glacier, which extends from the mountaintops down to the sea OR a longer, much more difficult walk up a lateral moraine of the old Pia Glacier. Back onboard the ship, it continues east along the Beagle Channel through an area called Glacier Alley. Living up to its name, the passage features a number of impressive tidewater glaciers flowing down from the Darwin Mountains & Darwin Ice Sheet on the north shore. Most of them are named after European countries - Holland, Italy, Germany, Spain & France. Morning conference sessions
During the early morning, the ship navigates the narrow Murray Channel between Navarino & Hoste islands & drops anchor at historic Wulaia Bay, originally the site of one of the region’s largest Yámana aboriginal settlements. The bay was described by Charles Darwin in the 1830's during his voyages on the HMS Beagle. This area is also renowned for its mesmerizing beauty & dramatic geography. After a visit to the Australis-sponsored museum in the old radio station, you'll have a choice of 3 hikes (of increasing degrees of difficulty) that ascend the heavily wooden mountain behind the bay. On all of these you will be strolling through an enchanted Magellan forest of lengas, coigües, canelos, ferns & other endemic fauna to reach a panoramic viewpoint overlooking the bay. In the afternoon we cruise across Nassau Bay into the remote archipelago that includes Cape Horn National Park. Weather & sea conditions permitting, we shall go ashore on the windswept island that harbors legendary Cape Horn (Cabo de Hornos). Cape Horn is a sheer 425-meter (1,394-foot) high rocky promontory overlooking the turbulent waters of the Drake Passage. For many years it was the only navigation route between the Pacific & Atlantic & was often referred to as the "End of the Earth." The park was declared a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 2005. The Chilean navy maintains a permanent lighthouse on the island, staffed by a light-keeper & his family, as well as the tiny Stella Maris Chapel & modern Cape Horn Monument. Morning conference sessions
This morning we sail into Argentine waters & disembark in the picturesque town of Ushuaia, the world's southernmost city. For those travelling back to Australia, you will be transferred to Ushuaia airport to start your journey home. Arrival back into Australia will be 26 October.
For those delegates wanting to extend in Argentina or other areas of South America, please let us know so we can assist you with additional travel arrangements
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