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Boats and ferries are the best way to reach many places in Chile, such as Chiloé and the Southern Coast. They are also a great alternative to flying when your destination is a southern port like Puerto Natales or Punta Arenas. Navimag and Transmarchilay are the two main companies operating routes in the south. They both maintain excellent Web sites (Spanish-only in the case of Transmarchilay) with complete schedule and pricing information. You can buy tickets online, or book through a travel agent.
Navimag (2/2442–3120 in Santiago; 65/2432–360 in Puerto Montt. www.navimag.com.)
Transmarchilay (65/270–700 in Puerto Montt. www.transmarchilay.cl.)
Several international cruise lines, including Celebrity Cruises, Holland America, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Princess Cruises, Royal Olympic, and Silversea Cruises, call at ports in Chile or offer cruises that start in Chile. Itineraries typically start in Valparaíso, following the coastline to the southern archipelago and its fjords. Some companies, such as Holland America, have itineraries that include Antarctica. Victory Adventure Expeditions and Adventure Associates are tour companies that offer cruises to Antarctica.
You can spend a week aboard the luxury Skorpios, which leaves from Puerto Montt and sails through the archipelago to the San Rafael glacier. In Punta Arenas, you can boardCruceros Australis and motor through the straights and fjords to Ushuaia and Cape Horn.
Celebrity Cruises (800/647–2251. www.celebrity.com.)
Holland America Line (206/286–3900 or 877/932–4259. www.hollandamerica.com.)
Norwegian Cruise Line (866/234–7350. www.ncl.com.)
Princess Cruises (800/774–6237. www.princess.com.)
Silversea Cruises (800/722–9955. www.silversea.com.)
Cruceros Australis (877/678–3772 in North America; 2/2442–3115 in Chile. www.australis.com.)
Skorpios (718/831–7149 in USA; 2/2477–1900 in Chile. www.skorpios.cl.)
Adventure Associates (61/2–8916–3000 Australia. www.adventureassociates.com.)
Victory Adventure Expeditions (61/2227–098 in Chile. www.victory-cruises.com.)