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Patagonia: Penguins, Santa, kids go free on Christmas cruise

November 16, 2012|By Mary Forgione
  • Passengers take a Zodiac craft during a Cruceros Australis cruise of southern Patagonia.
Passengers take a Zodiac craft during a Cruceros Australis cruise of southern… (Cruceros Australis )

Cruceros Australis offers Christmas expedition cruises that are far from the North Pole but just as icy and remote. The company's all-inclusive trip along the southern Patagonia coast will be filled with glaciers, penguins and of course a visit from Santa. And, as an added inducement, kids sail free.

The deal: The four-day sailing starts in Ushaia, Argentina, and ends in Punta Arenas, Chile, though you can do the reverse itinerary, too. It begins by sailing through the Straits of Magellan and on to Almirantazgo Sound and Alberto de Agostini National Park, the Pia Fjord and what's called Glacier Alley. Passengers also stop at Cape Horn National Park and Wulaia Bay, where Charles Darwin landed in 1833 during his voyage aboard the Beagle.

During the trip, passengers take Zodiac boats to go wildlife viewing or explore fiords. In keeping with the holiday spirit, Santa appears on board, where a special Christmas dinner is served.

When: There are two four-night cruises leaving Ushaia or Punta Arenas on Dec. 21 and Dec. 22. Cruises must be reserved by Dec. 7.

Details: The cruise usually costs about $2,000 per child, according to a company news release, so the Christmas trips present a good savings. There's still availability on both cruises.

Price: $2,187 per adult, double occupancy. (Kids younger than 16 sail free with an accompanying adult.) It includes the cruise, shore excursions, on-board entertainment and meals (including an open bar). Airfare to and from Chile and Argentina is extra.

Contact: Cruceros Australis, (877) 678-3772
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