Skorpios Cruises currently operate two regular itineraries in Chile. The Chonos route takes place in the Northern Ice Field, sailing from Puerto Montt to Glacier San Rafael and back again, cruising past islands, water channels, bays and hot springs. The Kaweskar route explores the Southern Ice Field in a round trip from Puerto Natales up to Fiordo Calvo, taking in about 15 glaciers during the voyage. In addition they operate some occasional cruises on special routes.
The 2 ships, MV Skorpios II and MV Skorpios III, carry up to 106 and 90 passengers respectively, and are similar in design and layout. Both have a choice of lounges where you can relax between excursions, enjoy the views, chat to other passengers and listen to talks given by the guides, plus outside deck space. Each vessel has a large dining room which can comfortably accommodate all passengers in one sitting.
Generally there are 2 excursions each day, in the morning and afternoon. These include walking tours and trips in small boats, which give you ample time to explore the region, admire the dramatic and photogenic scenery, observe animals and birds and visit towns and villages. All excursions are led by guides, and are preceded by talks on board providing useful and interesting background information. On the final night of each cruise there is a farewell party and the Captain’s dinner.
Operational: MV Skorpios II was built in 1988 and accommodates a maximum of 106 passengers. MV Skorpios III was constructed in 1995 and was remodelled in 2012, and carries up to 90 passengers. Cruises run between September and April each year.
Location: MV Skorpios II operates from Puerto Montt, and MV Skorpios III sails from Puerto Natales.
Cabins: MV Skorpios II has 53 cabins on 5 decks made up of twins and doubles, all en-suite and with TV and background music. MV Skorpios III has 45 cabins arranged over 5 decks, a mix of twins and doubles, each with an en-suite shower room, TV, safe and background music. The 5 decks of Skorpios II are (from lowest to highest): Atenas (cabins 105-116), Acropolis (cabins 203-216), Parthenon (cabins 302-361, Olympo (cabins 401-410) and Athos (cabins 501-504). The 5 decks of Skorpios III are: Altenas (cabins 103-112), Acropolis (cabins 201-212), Parthenon (301-312), Olympo (401-412) and Athos (502-504).
Activities: The ships offer 2 itineraries: Chonos and Kaweskar.
Chonos is a 6 day Northern Ice Fields cruise that departs from Puerto Montt, 1,000kms south of Santiago every Saturday, heading south to Glacier San Rafael though channels and archipelagos, then changes direction to arrive back at Puerto Montt on Thursday morning, having covered 800 miles in the Northern Ice Field. Chonos is operated by MV Skorpios II. Kaweskar is a 4 day cruise that sails in the Southern Ice Fields, departing from Puerto Natales every Tuesday and Friday, and travels 380 miles for excellent views of some 15 glaciers and chances to see wildlife along the way.
Kaweskar is operated by MV Skorpios III. Guides give onboard presentations about different destinations included on the itinerary. You should bring suitable clothing including a waterproof jacket, trousers, a warm hat and gloves, walking boots, a fleece. A daypack is useful, as are sunglasses. On the Chronos route you should take a swimming costume as you visit the Termas de Quitralco.
Cruise itineraries may be changed due to weather and safety conditions or force majeure circumstances, to be determined by the captain.
Facilities: MV Skorpios II has 2 lounges, Quitralco and San Rafael both on Parthenon deck, outside deck space on Olympo deck and a large dining room on Acropolis deck. MV Skorpios III has 2 lounge-bars, Zeus and Apolo on Parthenon deck, a restaurant on Acropolis deck and outside deck space including some exercise machines on Olympo deck. There are reading rooms, games areas and TVs on both vessels. Passengers are free to visit all areas of the ship including the bridge, engine room and kitchen, if they wish. Each ship has a small shop selling a selection of clothes, postcards and batteries. There is a laundry service but only small items can be accepted.
Dining: Restaurants operate a single sitting. Breakfast is a buffet style meal, as is the Captain’s farewell dinner with an array of Patagonian dishes, and a la carte options at other times.
Children: Children aged 1 year and over are welcome. Children’s safety is the responsibility of their parents.
Health: There is no malaria in Chile.
Communication: There is no internet or Wi-Fi internet access on board ship. There is a satellite phone for communication.
Notes: Cruise rates include accommodation, all meals, drinks from the bar and shore and boat excursions included as part of the itinerary.
Voyage through the scenic northern Patagonian fjords and including the San Rafael Glacier of the northern ice fields. Watch wildlife, soak in hot springs, explore Chiloe Island, see glaciers and icebergs.
A rare opportunity to cruise through the fjords and channels of the Southern Ice Field to view immense glaciers, exploring on foot and by small boat for close-up views and observe flora and fauna.
Naviera y Turismo Skorpios has established a joint operation with the National Forest Corporation, CONAF, working together for the conservation of the environment and ecosystems, including the building of paths with small bridges to reach glaciers located away from the coast in the Bernardo O’Higgins National Park. During the cruise, shore excursions follow established paths so as to avoid soil and vegetation erosion. Passengers are advised to keep a safe distance from wildlife and not to feed them, and are asked to keep litter to a minimum and collect any they find to dispose of on board. The ships have waste water treatment plants, and old water treatment plants, to handle waste generated on board.