Friday, 5 April 2013

A Patagonia Spectacular With Tauck

This isn't strictly cruising, but seeing as how our trip to Chilean Patagonia with Nomads of the Seas was so spectacular a couple of years ago, we thought this was well worth highlighting...

Guided tours specialist Tauck has unveiled a new 11-day journey to Patagonia for 2014 that explores the landscapes, culture and history of the rugged region shared by Chile and Argentina near South America’s southern tip. The new itinerary will feature departures from January through March and from October to December of next year and is among 31 different trips comprising Tauck’s portfolio of Exotics journeys.  

Booking are now open on all 2014 Exotics trips, and full information on the entire collection, including itinerary descriptions, pricing and departure dates, is now posted on the company’s website.
 
According to CEO Dan Mahar, the new exploration of Patagonia is a logical addition to the company’s existing South American journeys.  He said: “Our new Patagonia itinerary is a focused, immersive exploration of an incredibly scenic region, making it a great choice for past travellers returning to South America or for first-timers who really enjoy nature. It’s the perfect complement to our broader, 14-day ‘Essence of South America’ itinerary, highlighting cities like Santiago, Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro as well as natural wonders like northern Patagonia and Iguazu Falls.”
 
The new itinerary begins with a welcome reception, dinner, and overnight in Santiago, Chile.  The following morning, guests fly to Puerto Natales on the shores of Ultima Esperanza (“Last Hope”) Sound, where they’ll enjoy a four-night stay at the Singular Patagonia Hotel. A former waterfront factory and now a luxury resort, the hotel will serve as Tauck’s base as guests explore Torres del Paine National Park (above), visit a ranch for lunch and a look at local life, and take a day-cruise among the fjords, inlets, waterfalls and ice floes of Ultima Esperanza Sound.
 
The Patagonia journey then crosses into Argentina for a three-night stay at Los Sauces Casa Patagonia, a five-star hotel owned and operated by Argentinean President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner. Located in El Calafate, a small, picturesque village on the shores of Lake Argentino, the hotel is convenient to Glacier National Park where guests will enjoy a cruise on Lake Argentino, highlighting Upsala Glacier, which towers 100ft higher than the vertical drop of Niagara Falls. Guests will disembark for a visit to Estancia Cristina, a sheep and cattle ranch named for the daughter of the English immigrant who founded the ranch in the early 1900s. While at the ranch, guests will enjoy lunch, visit the ranch’s museum to learn about its history, and hike to a vantage point offering spectacular, panoramic views of Upsala Glacier.
 
Following a flight to Buenos Aires, guests conclude their journey with a two-night hotel stay at the Sofitel Buenos Aires Arroyo. Here there will be the chance to attend a tango show and venture outside the city to the artist community of San Antonio del Areco, with an equestrian demonstration by Argentinean cowboys, or gauchos, and a meeting with members of the Draghi family. World-famous silversmiths, the Draghis have crafted works of art for local gauchos, heads of state, and Hollywood celebrities alike.
 
Tauck’s new exploration of Patagonia is priced from $6,490 per person, double occupancy, plus international airfare. Included in the price are all sightseeing and admissions, two intra-tour flights, all ground transportation, including airport transfers, luggage handling, and much more.
 
For more info, call Tauck at 1800 468 2825, or visit www.tauck.com. In the UK, call The Cruise Line on 0800 008 6677.