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 websites (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; 65/2432–360; www.navimag.com.
Transmarchilay. 65/270–700; www.transmarchilay.cl.
Several international cruise lines, including Celebrity Cruises, Holland America, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Princess Cruises, 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 board Cruceros Australis and motor through the straights and fjords to Ushuaia and Cape Horn.
International Cruise Lines
Celebrity Cruises. 800/647–2251; www.celebrity.com.
Holland America Line. 206/286–3900; 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.
Chilean Cruise Lines
Cruceros Australis. 877/678–3772; 2/2442–3115; www.australis.com.
Skorpios. 718/831–7149; 2/2477–1900; www.skorpios.cl.
Cruise Tour Companies
Adventure Associates. 61/2–8916–3000; www.adventureassociates.com.
Victory Adventure Expeditions. 61/2227–098; www.victory-cruises.com.