On Expedition with Conrad: Deep into the Chilean Fjords

With almost 4,000 miles of coastline, it stands to reason that the country of Chile is best explored from the water. And the wild, lush, maze-like waterways of the southern Chilean fjords make this region ripe for expedition cruising on a nimble ship equipped with Zodiacs. A land of temperate rainforests, gargantuan glaciers, colorful villages, unique wildlife and towering mountains, the remote charms of the ends of the world stretch far and wide along the country’s seemingly unending coastline as you experience Chile just as explorers did centuries ago.

Expedition exploration

Silversea offers expedition cruises — onboard ships like the Silver Wind — that travel deep into Chile’s southern half. Some of these cruises set off from the port of Valparaiso, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Chile’s second-largest metropolitan area, explore the Chilean fjords and conclude at the edge of civilization in the southernmost communities of Puerto Williams and Ushuaia, in neighboring Argentina.

Colorful houses on stilts, locally known as palafitos, in Castro, Chile./Shutterstock

Admiring the beauty at world’s end

Aside from the spectacle of nature heightened by the backdrop of the mighty Andes Mountains, these journeys also feature plenty of man-made and cultural experiences. Some highlights include the tiny village of Niebla and the Patagonian commune of Tortel, where wooden walkways connect the piers and houses. Not to be missed is the colorful city of Castro in Chiloé Island, home to wooden stilt houses perched over the water.

For Conrad Combrink, Silversea’s Senior Vice President of Expeditions, Destination and Itinerary Management, the reasons why he loves this long and narrow South American nation are too many to count. “It’s a magnificent and diverse country that includes inspiring natural history and fascinating cultures.”

The tiny commune in Tortel lies deep within Chile’s fascinating fjords.

Eager to discover the beauty of southern Chile? Find your perfect Chilean Fjords & Antarctica itinerary and get ready to explore.