The southern coast of Chile is stunning, remote, full of fascinating places to hike, fish and kayak, and mostly roadless. It’s impossible to fully explore by vehicle, and a ship is great for the deeper waters off the coast, but can’t get you into the mountains that rise directly from the sea or sail into most of the secluded bays. What you need is a special ship that carries a helicopter, multiple watercraft, and an expert crew of trained guides who can lead the way. You could join the Chilean navy, but the MV Atmosphere is a much better choice and carries a chef who prepares gourmet meals, a masseuse and a bar tender who also makes a mean cappuccino on cool mornings. Our Patagonia adventure cruise may be just what you’re looking for.
The Atmosphere caters to only 28 passengers at a time, and it bears no resemblance to the massive cruise ships that sail far offshore. You get individual attention from the crew of 32, who will take you on fly fishing excursions to remote mountain streams, hiking on glaciers, kayaking among sea lions, or for a soak in a hot spring hidden in the temperate rainforest.
At day’s end you can take a sauna, enjoy a glass of fine Chilean wine in the bar, recount the day’s adventures with the guides, then sit down to an excellent dinner.
It’s a wonderful all-round adventure at the end of the earth, yet it’s relatively easy to get there. The ship sails out of Puerto Montt, Chile, which has frequent daily flights from Santiago. You can leave the USA on Friday and be on board the next afternoon, setting sail for the fjords of Chile. Read our MV Atmosphere reviews to learn more about this Patagonia adventure cruise.
8-day cruise from $9850 per person, double occupancy.
Includes cruise, all guided activities and helicopter time.
Orvis selects one particularly good week in the middle of the austral summer for “Orvis Week”, which includes an Orvis trip leader to make sure everything is extra special. Jeremy Kehrein is your host for Orvis Week on the Atmosphere in 2014.
Here’s what previous guests have to say about Orvis Week:
"What a tremendous variety of adventure options, from a boat with a helicopter and numerous watercrafts, in the most beautiful place on earth. Added to this were an incredible staff, excellent food, very nice fellow guests, and our own Orvis representative, Jason Elkins. Jason was great to have along. The Chilean Staff was outstanding, but having Jason there made everyone feel more comfortable. Also, he was a lot of fun to be around, and made a great experience even better. We hope to go back next year on the Orvis Week." —Allan & Annette D., Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
"I didn't think the Nomads trip could get any better after my first trip in 2007, but returning in March of 2009 I found the fishing, the food, the helicopter rides, and of course the staff better than ever. This is an expensive trip but I can assure you that if you can afford it it will be the trip of a lifetime. As a couple of guests on my last trip stated: "Yes, it's very expensive, but I asked myself 'if not now, when?'" I do not think there is a better combination of adventure, education, food, wine, fishing, wildlife, scenery--and companionship--in the world." —Tom Rosenbauer, Marketing Director, Orvis Rod & Tackle
Orvis International Travel invites you to join us for an extraordinary experience aboard the Nomads of the Seas.
Puerto Montt, Chile: the port where the Patagonia fly fishing trip begins and ends. There are multiple flights between Santiago and Puerto Montt daily on scheduled flights. LAN airlines has frequent service. You can depart the USA on a LAN flight in the evening and be in Puerto Montt the next day by 1:00pm.
This voyage to the central-southern and southern areas of Chilean Patagonia covers over 926 kilometers/500 nautical miles from the bay of Puerto Montt (latitude 41°S and longitude 72°W) to the Taitao peninsula (latitude 46°S and longitude 73°W).
The departure location and times does not change. However, each trip is different and actual locations visited on the journey will change from week to week based on weather, current fishing conditions and passenger interest.
Arrive in Puerto Montt on flights from Santiago before 3:00 PM. You will be met by a representative from Orvis Travel and transferred to a private club house at the marina. Orientation and boarding begins at 4:30 PM. Welcome aboard the MV Atmosphere. Settle into your cabin. Reception and dinner on board. During the evening the ship sets sail and cruises south through Reloncavi Sound into the Ancud Gulf with the coast of mainland Chile to the east.
The coast of Chile is a constantly changing landscape of fjords created by rivers flowing down from the high Andes, and vast number of islands offshore creates a unique wilderness of forests, mountains and rivers that are rarely explored by anyone. Today we enter the waters near the Huqui Peninsula with Comau Fjord on the north and Rinihue Fjord on the south. The Pumalin Preserve dominates this coast line and protects the watershed. (N.B. The exact route will be determined by the guides and captain while we sail, based on weather, fishing and wildlife viewing opportunities. For example, you may sail further south early in the voyage rather than stay in the Comau Fjord region.) After breakfast and a briefing by the guides, you will head out by Zodiac, jet boat or helicopter to fly fish or hike in the temperate rainforest.
The east coast of the Corcovado Gulf is dominated by mountains rising 6,000 to 9,000 feet, and numerous rivers flow into it. The Yelcho is the best-know of these, mostly because it’s close to a road, but there are many isolated streams we can reach from the vessel that are untouched. South of Punta Navarro, the coast is roadless as far south as Tic Toc Bay, presenting us with a taste of real wilderness. And from Melimoyu south to the mouth of the Rio Cisnes the protected area of Isla Magdalena National Park present a wonderful opportunity to explore temperate rainforest and fish rivers and lakes inland nearly to the Argentine border. We may also sail west into the Chonos and Guaitecas Archipelagos, a wilderness of dozens of forested islands that would take a lifetime to fully explore.
We enter a world of narrow waterways and islands south of Puyuhuapi Channel and there are more glaciers and snowcapped peaks at these lower latitudes. Long bays like the San Francisco or Barros Arana Estuaries present fascinating options for excursions to completely pristine shores and streams. We may venture south through the Elefantes Sound and through a narrow passage into Laguna San Rafael, the southernmost point on our journey. Our excursions will take us in sight of and onto glaciers, weather permitting, and the number of remote rivers and lakes to fish is staggering. We’ll only visit a few, giving you something to return for next time. At some point, the vessel will turn around and head north in this region.
Disembark the ship and transfer to airport in time to catch any flight departing Puerto Montt anytime after 10:00 AM. If you have a later flight you can relax in the private club house at the marina until it is time to transfer to the airport. Depart Puerto Montt on homeward flights or book an extension package with Orvis Travel.
There are 9 professional guides and a helicopter pilot on board to lead daily excursions, which include:
Activities are entirely weather dependent and the crew schedules them about 12 hours in advance. Some activities may vary from those stated here.
Unlike land based operations, the advantage of this program is the ability to move from one area to another with short notice. This provides a different experience for every angler and from one week to the next. No two weeks are identical and therefore impossible to describe accurately. However, you can be assured of a wide variety of freshwater trout fishing for browns, rainbows and brook trout in rivers and lakes. One day you may be streamer fishing with a fast sink tip line and the next you may be stalking rising fish with dry flies. The best experience will be had by anglers that like variety and are willing to try new techniques. The guides are knowledgeable and can show you exactly what you need to do to increase your odds for success in any setting you find yourself in.
The lower stretches of rivers, closer to the sea, tend to be wide with strong currents. This is where you will most likely find the best streamer fishing. This type of fishing can often require longer casts, fast sink tip lines and big heavy flies. If you have a seven weight rod, this is the perfect place for it.
The smaller rivers, streams and lakes typically provide the best opportunity for dry fly and nymph fishing. During the week you should have several opportunities to access these waterways where you can wade fish or cruise the banks in a drift boat looking for trout willing to feed on the surface.
Wind and rain can be a factor in Chile and the wise angler comes prepared for the worst. Taking some time to practice your casting or signing up for a casting lesson prior to your trip can increase your enjoyment if the conditions are less than ideal. The ship crew, helicopter pilots and guides will do their best to get you out of the wind but rain is a little more difficult to avoid. The extreme topography of this region often creates small microclimates. These protected areas may be dead calm, while the surrounding area is experiencing windy conditions.
The fishing guides all speak English and are fly fisherman themselves. They are highly trained in fly fishing techniques as well as safety and boatmanship. Many are very good instructors and all know proper fly selection, lines, knots and where to find fish. The guide manager reviews the day’s activities nightly and makes adjustments to the next days schedule accordingly. Typically, anglers will have the opportunity to fish with a variety of different guides throughout the course of the week.
The highlight of the sophisticated aero-maritime transportation system that makes this Patagonia adventure unique is a new Bell 407 helicopter. Depending on weather and safety concerns, groups of up to 4 anglers and 2 guides will be taken into the best fishing locations in the expedition area. These excursions have a scheduled drop-off and pick-up time and are included in your package.
You will spend time in Rogue River jet boats for at least part of your fly fishing trip. These boats accommodate four anglers and two guides. Although the ride can be a bit rough in the bays and estuaries, most of the time will be spent in the smoother water of the rivers that you will be fishing.
You will also likely spend some time in one of the drift boats that the guides use to fish some of the lakes and rivers in the area. These boats are designed for two anglers and a guide.
The guide staff may use a small Zodiac, Cataraft, or raft when accessing rivers by helicopter.
There is a 30’ Zodiac with two 250 hp 4-stroke motors that is used for the nature watching excursions. This boat is well suited to the rough seas that are sometimes crossed on whale watching expeditions. The boat is brand new and very well equipped with navigational and safety equipment.
Jetboating expeditions afford the perfect combination of speed and safety. Aboard one of the six jetboats -specially built for Nomads of the Seas- our guests will experience breathtaking journeys through beautiful riversides and forests.
Jetboating has proved to be one of the most exciting features of the operation. It appeals to the pure, essential love of speed that every adventurer carries deep within their hearts. Our guests will take home lasting memories of the sheer exhilaration of soaring upriver, blending with the wind, water and astonishing beauty.
The rivers and the fiords of Patagonia provide natural navigation routes for a unique kayaking experience. True kayakers know that no other form of navigation offers quite the same vantage point as a good kayak. The paddler virtually immerses in the flow of the current below, almost touching the leaves of the tress lining the banks, a unique perspective to fully admire flora and fauna at short range.
During your trip, kayaking will be available in three different forms: gently paddling down quiet, peaceful rivers, navigating different levels of white waters or cruising the maritime coastline admiring the amazing oceanic wildlife.
The highpoint of our rafting program includes a spectacular flight on our Bell 407 helicopter into the Patagonian mountains, to a river specifically chosen by Nomads of the Seas for an unforgettable whitewater adventure. Along the course, rafters get the chance to tackle from mild to Class III rapids.
If our guests want to absorb every inch of this amazing ecosystem step by step, Nomads of the Seas will transport them by jetboat or helicopter to remote inland or coastal locations. In these hidden spots our experienced guides have selected various day routes. Trekkers serpent their way through the astonishing southern cold jungle and its plethora of endemic flowers, centennial trees, leafy bushes and an endless number of species of ferns, fungi, algae and lichens.
Some sites where we make landfall offer the possibility of enjoying the steam and high temperatures of rustic hot springs, or of taking in the sights of majestic glaciers or impressive volcanoes.
A marine biologist and zoologist guides expeditions aboard the ship’s seagoing Zodiac to watch for the blue whales that come to feed in the Boca Del Guafo during the Austral summer. The exact location of blue whales is never a certainty and seasonal weather fluctuations make it impossible to ensure that they will be there during your trip. However, blue whales are often seen by guests. In addition to blue whales, guests may spot pygmy killer whales, Chilean dolphin and a variety of other sea mammals during a single outing.
In addition to the activities outlined above, guests aboard the MV Atmosphere may also have opportunities to participate in a wide variety of activities. Although activities vary depending on the course of the ship, time of year and weather, guests can be assured of an adventure filled vacation. Some examples of other activities that may be available during your trip include:
The Atmosphere is a 150’ long luxury expedition yacht. With accommodations for up to 28 passengers and a crew of 32, the ship is large enough to provide a first class experience but small enough to get very close to the coastline guests have come to see. The ship’s maiden voyage was in 2006 and all of the equipment is state of the art and complies with all international safety standards. The ship is captained by a former Chilean Naval officer.
Cabins are specially designed to give passengers the privacy and comfort they need. All cabins are exterior with large viewing windows. The premium queen cabins are on the top deck and are the same dimensions and configuration of the deluxe queen cabins.
10 deluxe cabins with twin beds
2 deluxe cabins with queen bed
2 premium cabins with queen bed
Orvis Week: February 22 - March 1, 2014
The cruise begins/ends in Puerto Montt, Chile, on Saturdays from December - March
|Cabin Rates (valid through March 31, 2014)|
|Deluxe||$9,850||per person, double occupancy|
|Premium||$12,805||per person, double occupancy|
Contact Orvis Travel for availability on other dates if the Orvis Weeks don't work for you. We will gladly take care of reservations at no extra charge.
Call 800-547-4322 or email email@example.com
25% of the cruise cost per person. Balance due 120 days before departure.
More than 180 days before departure: $500; 179-120 days before departure: $1000; 119-90 days before departure: 25% of cruise cost; less than 90 days before departure: 100% of cruise cost.