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San Isidro Lighthouse and Fort Bulnes Heritage Route
Historical & Heritage Tours

San Isidro Lighthouse and Fort Bulnes Heritage Route

1 review
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08:00 hrs Pick up of passengers instead of lodging.<br><br>08:30 aprox hrs Departure from Punta Arenas to San Isidro Lighthouse by route 9, "end of the continental roads".<br>* Home Walk to the San Isidro Lighthouse.<br><br>This trekking of medium difficulty will take you to the southernmost continental lighthouse in the world inaugurated in 1904.<br>* In total the walk is 8 kms on the edge of the beach. In the whole walk you could observe fauna and flora, Dawson Island and a large part of the Darwin Mountain Range.<br><br>Estrecho Park, where we will visit historical places, patrimonial tour.<br>* Fuerte Bulnes, established in 1843, which was the first Chilean settlement in Patagonia.<br>* Visitor Center, where you can learn about the natural and human history of the Strait of Magellan.<br>* Visit to the geographical center of Chile, a milestone that marks the center of our country considering the territory it intends on the Antarctic, to then return to Punta Arenas.
$381.42 per adult
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suzntk wrote a review Apr 2020
Chandler, Arizona13 contributions7 helpful votes
We had a most excellent trip on the Ocean Nova 29FEB-09MAR...Saw lots of wildlife (seals, sea lions, penguins , orcas, whales!!!!)...All the expedition team was excellent and notably Hadleigh was a great leader (and funny), Machu was very nice and we hope to see him again here in the States or in Chile, and Zebo was the most adventurous in the Zodiac and a great guitar player...The staff in the dining room and housekeeping were very nice and helpful to get to your seats during the Drake Passage...Shout out to Jimmy (dining room) and Winston (housekeeping)! Also the guys that helped get people in and out of the Zodiacs were very helpful but I never got their names...Since my husband and I are a little older, it was very kind of everyone to help us when needed (hopefully we weren't a burden...LOL)...The whole staff was willing to lend a helping hand (literally) and we'll take fond memories away from our trip! Also met some great people from all over the world on board and hopefully stay in touch for years to come...You guys put on a great trip!!!
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Date of experience: March 2020
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Response from renatomarinA21, Market Engagement Manager at Antarctica21
Responded Apr 6, 2020
Dear suzntk, Thank you for your comments regarding your trip with Antarctica21 on Ocean Nova. We are so happy to hear that you had a trip of a lifetime and enjoyed our sightseeing activities. Our polar guides love Antarctica and enjoy sharing their knowledge with our guests We are also happy to hear that you felt well taken care of during the weather conditions that affected your trip. We do our best to ensure that our travelers have a good experience with us no matter the weather in Antarctica and appreciate your feedback. Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with us. Best regards, Renato Marin Market Engagement Manager, Antarctica21
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Gary Novotny wrote a review Mar 2020
1 contribution
My wife and I wanted to cruise on the Magellan Polar Circle cruise in 2020. When I contacted them in 2019, the only cabin available was the Penthouse. Fair enough, others made reservations before us. Since the Penthouse was out of our budget, I asked if we could book for 2021. I was told that I could not book until after the 2021 schedule was published. Fair enough, so I specifically asked when that schedule would be published. I was told that it would be sometime in March 2020, but they did not have the exact date. Fair enough, so starting in the beginning of March 2021, I started checking the site to see if the new schedule is out. In mid-March, the schedule finally appeared, and I immediately contacted the company. I was told only 1 cabin on the entire ship was available. The available cabin was once again out of our price range. When I asked how that could be as the schedule was just put up, I was told that there was waitlist that had requests from clients and those were honored first. This waitlist essentially filled the entire ship. With such a long waitlist, they obviously have far more demand than supply, so they apparently feel that they can neglect proper customer support with impunity. While this seems to be true, I felt that it was only fair to describe our ordeal to others with the hope that they can make up their own minds if it is worth promoting such activities. If the company feels that I am being unduly unfair about this review, I would encourage them to contact me.
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Date of experience: March 2020
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Response from Jamie E, Director of Marketing at Antarctica21
Responded Mar 13, 2020
Dear Widget27, Thank you for your review. We contacted everyone on our waitlist in order by the date the request was made. Unfortunately, the cabins on the trip and ship you requested had sold by the time we were able to connect with you. We did try to offer you another ship and date that would allow you to take the same trip, but that would not work for you. While we do understand your frustration and we try our best to ensure everyone who contacts us is able to book the trip that they desire, we cannot guarantee space will always be available. One of the main benefits of traveling with Antarctica21 is that we are a company focused on delivering small-scale wilderness experiences in Antarctica. That means space is limited as we have maximum capacity on our air-cruises of 75 passengers. Being a small operator makes for great landings in Antarctica, one-on-one interactions with the expedition leaders and crew, as well as the ability for our ships to be flexible in the changeable Antarctic environment. We would be more than happy to give you a call again and relook at other options that might work for you. Also, for your information, we have placed a note on the specific trip you requested that if someone cancels we will contact you first to offer you space. Thank you again for contacting us. Warm regards, Jamie Ensey
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Sonya M wrote a review Mar 2020
3 contributions
Went to Antarctica from Ushuaia Argentina on there ship Ocean Nova. Small ship only 70 passengers. Everything about it was amazing. All staff and food. We had 2 outings aday. We were all treated like royalty. What an amazing trip. Thank you I will never forget.
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Date of experience: March 2020
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Response from Jamie E, Director of Marketing at Antarctica21
Responded Mar 12, 2020
Dear 43sonyam, Thank you for your message. Here at Antarctcia21, we are committed to creating the ideal Antarctic expedition, providing safe, convenient, comfortable access to a life-changing experience. We are very happy to hear that you had an amazing experience! Warm regards, Jamie Ensey, Director of Marketing
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sittingonthedock wrote a review Mar 2020
4 contributions
I was on the Ocean Nova on a fly and sail trip. As I got a lot of helpful info from Tripadvisor for this trip, I will attempt a longer review in return. In summary, I thought the trip was fantastic, loved it!! - ORGANISATION BY A21: Very good. I booked directly with A21, a most helpful customer service lady. Payment a bit of a hassle (2.5% charge if paid by cc for anything aside from deposit, otherwise wire to Chilean bank which requires a bit more info to effect). I asked her many detail questions and she was very responsive and friendly. Organisation at meeting point (Hotel in PA) and throughout trip also good. I checked out various trip organisers. A21 is a (only one as far as I could see) Chilean organiser. Likely higher credit risk but in return some benefits (priority in tricky weather situations for flights to KGI, hopefully higher % of their profits to make way back into local economy). The company seems to be owned by a group of individuals who also have investments in other companies in Chile (including in the airline that flies the trip from PA to KGI). Check that travel insurance covers bankruptcy of provider if booking directly. If I hadn’t gone with A21, I would have probably gone with Quark. Check out the Antarctic Adventures Forum on TA for lots of tips and info about organisers etc. - HOTEL Cabo de Hornos IN PUNTA ARENAS (where you spend first night as part of the trip): Rooms OK, noise from road not bad as per some reviews (maybe i had the ‘right side’ of hotel), but the hotel has these fire safety doors that are weighted and slam shut plus not well noise insulated so you hear the bangs from doors shutting all through the night. It was not that warm in PA, so temperature in rooms (no AC) not an issue, but if bothered bring a portable fan for bedside table. Food in hotel was ok, Antarctica21 dinner at a stunning venue, food was fine. At the hotel, you try on the waterproof boots for size and you then receive a pair in that size (loan). Don’t forget to bring thick socks (and any insoles you want) to the try on. PA seemed a bit boring, so if you arrive a few days before meeting day (to account for the risk of your luggage getting lost on flights), consider spending 2 nights in puerto natales/ TdP. - FLIGHT TO Frei/KGI: Our flights left both ways on the scheduled date, albeit a bit later in day on the way out. As I knew the delay and cancellation risks involved in fly/sail trip I was just happy to fly out on the day. You really have to understand the risks and also read and understand the A21 contingency plan clauses in contract- request before booking. I had booked flexible internal chile and international flights just in case. Flight to KGI no issue, plane seating similar to easyjet/ryanair, there was even drinks and food service. - SHIP AND SEASICKNESS Ship has what you need but is quite ‘compact’ which shows in size of cabins, common areas, disembarkation area etc. Did not bother me as I was expecting it, had all I needed. Interior a bit dated, but I actually quite enjoyed the slight retro/simple feel. Ship is said to be agile, in return sways more than larger more stabilised ships. I get motion sick at literally the slightest provocation even just in daily life but i was fine because sea sickness tablets did the trick. adjust the dosage to optimise the sweet spot between effectiveness and sleepiness (eg i am quite small and 1/2 tablet was enough- 1 tablet made me too sleepy) . the ship has parts of the journey when sailing through passages between islands (more calm- no tablets needed for me) and open water (initial part from KGI and later on, outside of various islands) when there was a bit of rolling, but not as bad as I saw on some youtube videos of Drake Passage. The manageable sleepiness effect through adjusting dose of motion sickness tablets encouraged me- I would now consider the Drake passage crossing. - CABIN Twin ones quite small, but manageable. Kept very clean. Lovely fluffy bathrobes but thin and old/stiff towels- Antarctica21: buy new ones, that’s low hanging fruit to increase client comfort! Temperature perfect, can control with radiator, if in ‘off’ position it was maybe 20 degrees celsius, good for sleeping. Pillows synthetic unless you request otherwise, mattresses not the thickest but comfortable ok. The air is of course quite dry in Antarctica and on ship. I get very dry eyes (contacts) even in normal air and dry nose but with some help (eye drops for contacts) , surprisingly, it was fine. You have to keep all your (sometimes wet) gear in the room, incl kayaking gear if you signed up for it, which brings moisture into room and you can leave door from bathroom open after shower to increase moisture level. You are provided with a free aluminium water bottle/thermos but recommend bringing another one as I needed both refilled to keep in room at night- you drink about double the amount you drink at home. - SERVICE ON SHIP Very good. Laundry, even though i had requested air dry (form allows for it) came back same day. Room kept very clean. Towel/pillow requests quickly followed through. Bought some communication via satellite (1GB USD 50), worked for communicating photos and text, not download/browsing/videos. - FOOD ON SHIP Great. breakfast: croissants, bagels, pancakes, muffins, egg/bacon etc, toast, oatmeal, congee, fresh fruit, smoothie; cereals not that great, unhealthy versions. Lunch: two hot meals (eg lasagne), fresh salad bar, cheese spread, soup. Dinner: creative starter, choice of 3 mains (one seafood, one meat, one vegetarian), 2 desserts or ice-cream, wine. Free tea/coffee/biscuit station with cookies/salty nibbles. Afternoon tea and cake. - GIFT SHOP Has useful clothing if you lack gloves, fleece, waterproof trousers, buff etc. The Antarctica21 branded items were limited and a bit boring looking (logo A21 etc), not like the gear by Lindblad or Hurtigruten with more exciting patches. - EXURSIONS/LANDINGS Some days, especially first and last day, have longer stretches where ship just has to advance a distance, so there may have been no excursion or just one. the days in the middle mostly 2 excursions/day. All excursions were great, loved every one! we had a good mix, penguin rookeries, dramatic landscapes, historic huts, big iceberg cruising, elephant, crab eater, and weddell seals, bird colonies, walking on sea ice, two landings on the peninsula itself (rather than the islands around it). My focus was on landscape/icebergs/remoteness/history rather than animals but really, is the variety of different things to see that makes the trip. Expedition leader+captain did a great job each day choosing outings and on communication. A few landings (ie landing the zodiac on a shore which may require to step up out of zodiac onto uneven slippery rocks or ice from a rocking zodiac) were considered a bit more challenging (but you are practically lifted out like a child onto shore, if you want to), but the point of view is from the perspective of a mixed group with a considerable number of older people and some not so sporty ones. if you are reasonably fit even if middle aged/older, no issue at all, i would have preferred a higher challenge level on landings and activities (but, again, realise that is not possible in a mixed group). Expedition team often stakes out a hike at a landing (with poles with flags), they generally require more energy than normal hiking because deep snow or very rocky, but you can turn around halfway etc. The difficulty level is easier than medium difficulty hikes in normal hiking areas. That said, I have a family member (not on board) with a small disability (one ankle is ‘stiff’ ie does not move/bend at all) and the whole trip would not have been appropriate for her (she could have come, but she would have been frustrated at not being able to do many things) as you need to have a somewhat stable footing to be able to do the outings. Expedition team super and very personable bunch. Several lectures a day in between outings. Spotting of whales around ship and when zodiac cruising, observed a pod of orcas a bit further away from ship. Various bird sightings around ship and on land. - SNOW-SHOEING Loved it. Smaller group, through virgin snow, calm and peaceful, great views, plus you get some exercise. Never snowshoed before, no problem, as the groups generally mixed, location and route chosen with that in mind. Again, in a mixed group, speed gets adjusted to weakest member. If you are keen on this activity, do it early on, because weather and topography on later outings may not make it possible to do more snow-shoeing. - KAYAKING I was on the kayak program and mighty glad about it. It was really really good. Peaceful, more immersive, small group. It greatly enhanced the overall experience. I had minimal experience, as did pretty much everyone else, no problem. You board the kayak not from the ship but from the zodiac- two people hold the kayak in balance and tight to zodiac and you step and slide in, it was a doddle. they are very stable. kayaking outings only if waters are really calm so minimal risk of something happening. I would have preferred to take a bit more risk with weather in order to have more kayak outings, but we overall had 5 or 6 outings during trip and that was fine. If you are an experienced kayaker, be aware that the speed at which group paddles is very slow -depending on the experience of group- (anyway, everyone is always taking photos in between!) and it is only a bit of a workout. you paddle through icebergs and floating ice, crunching through it, look at blue shimmering icebergs, pass by seals lying on ice floes, penguins on others, if lucky you see whales, alongside rocky cliffs with bird colonies etc. After maybe 1-1.5 hrs of kayaking, you board back the zodiac, get brought to the landing where the rest of the passengers have been in the time that you kayaked and spend another hour or so at that landing. basically, you get the same landing experience as everyone else, just not as long. - PASSENGERS I would guess largest group was 60+ retired/semi-retired (but mostly fit!) very well travelled couples. Rest a mixed bunch, families with older children (16-25 yrs), groups of friends 35-55 yrs old, single travellers etc. Maybe 40-50% US. Substantial number of Chinese/ first generation Chinese-Americans (1/4 to 1/3 of passengers)- and yes, to refer to the previous reviewers' comments on this topic, some may be less experienced in travel ‘etiquette’ and with varying degrees of English language skills (on board language is billed as English in trip literature) but hey-ho. That said, A21, as you can see from previous reviewers, a well balanced mix of backgrounds among passengers supports an inclusive group environment and thus enhances client experience (and in turn long term revenue stability- and reduces financial impact of adverse regional epidemics/financial/political etc events). And staff should be empowered to be firm with passengers when needed. - RISKS Aside from the usual travel risks (you get injured, food poisoning etc), consider 1. flight to KGI being delayed by days shortening your on board part 2. passenger or staff being taken seriously ill and ship needs to prematurely return to KGI to offload ill person (it happens, I heard from staff, though rare). 3. Bad weather at many intended landings and you end up with say, just 4 landings 4. ship problems before or during trip (engine etc) that curtails trip. I would strongly advise booking a longer trip such as the polar circle cruise because you then have more days ‘buffer’ if something goes wrong. Also, I loved the landings we did furthest south and thought they were different (maybe psychological, but I thought scenery was ‘wilder’). IF YOU GO- ENJOY!
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Date of experience: January 2020
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Response from Jamie E, Director of Marketing at Antarctica21
Responded Mar 13, 2020
Dear Sittingonthedock1, Thank you very much for your review. We are very happy to hear about what a wonderful trip that you had with us on Ocean Nova. At Antarctica21, we are passionate about offering travelers a better way to get to Antarctica and that is why we developed this very successful air-cruise model. We have been operating our air-cruise expeditions since 2003 and have completed over 180 fly and cruise departures, more than any other air-cruise operator in the industry. We appreciate your thorough review of our service and agree that it is important to understand all the intricacies of travel to Antarctica. Our sales representatives are well-trained and happy to help answer questions and ensure that travelers have all the details they need. We would like to be in touch with you personally to see if you would like to share your thoughts with more of our travelers. If so, please email mem@antarctica21.com. Warm regards
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JWRhodeIsland wrote a review Feb 2020
Rhode Island10 contributions4 helpful votes
Antarctica is breathtaking, and Antarctica 21 provides an over the top travel experience. Their ships are comfortable, the food is great, the guides are knowledgeable, and friendly. In addition to guides they carry a complement of researchers who combine education/lectures with their own research activities while on board, and engage interested passengers to help out. Who knew we would be collecting phytoplankton samples and doing cloud studies on vacation :-). Several of the researchers gave in depth (optional) lectures on the climate, the food chain, and on the geology. Ships only carry about 60 guests, so you never feel overwhelmed by the fellow passengers, and with so few people, do become friendly with quite a few of them. Our trip had an extra two days appended to it due to weather (a common Antarctica problem), and the staff couldn't have been more accommodating, not only ensuring we stayed entertained, but ensuring we had proper hotel accommodations when we returned onshore but also onshore transportation to get to our new planes. This is the trip of a lifetime. It isn't inexpensive, but it is worth it...
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Date of experience: January 2020
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Response from Jamie E, Director of Marketing at Antarctica21
Responded Feb 6, 2020
Dear JWRhodeIsland, Thank you for your comments regarding your trip with Antarctica21. We are so happy to hear that you had a trip of a lifetime and enjoyed our educational activities. Our polar guides love Antarctica and enjoy sharing their knowledge with our guests. We are also happy to hear that you felt well taken care of during the weather conditions that affected your trip. We do our best to ensure that our travelers have a good experience with us no matter the weather in Antarctica and appreciate your feedback. Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with us. Best regards, Jamie Ensey Director of Marketing, Antarctica21
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