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Bryn Mawr

Katharine Houghton Hepburn Center

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By Land & Sea

January 3 – 20, 2011

Enjoy the rare privilege of face-to-face encounters with two of the world’s last great frontiers: the magnificent fjords and glaciers of Southern Patagonia, on a small ship cruise; and the stunningly dramatic scenery ot Torres del Paine on a three night stay at the part. You will also visit Buenos Aires and Santiago as we discover the remarkable diversity of South America.

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Preliminary Itinerary
(please click on location to reveal details)


DAY 1: January 3, 2011 - Depart the U.S. for Buenos Aires, Argentina

Early this evening you’ll depart the United States on your flight to Buenos Aires, Argentina.

DAY 2: January 4, 2011 - Arrive Buenos Aires

You’ll arrive in Argentina’s sophisticated capital city this morning and transfer to the hotel, where there’s time to rest before this afternoon’s city tour. Argentines are justifiably proud of “BA,” as it’s called, home to nearly 40 percent of the nation and boasting avenues as broad, gardens as lovely, and buildings as stately as any in Europe. We see the elegant mansions and lovely parks and gardens of the bucolic Palermo neighborhood; the colorful bohemian district of La Boca; picturesque San Telmo; elegant Recoleta, with its cemetery of elaborate mausoleums; and historic Government House. Along the way we learn about European immigration to Argentina, as well as about Argentine politics, music, and theater. Tonight we get acquainted at a welcome dinner at our hotel.
Meals: Dinner

DAY 3: January 5, 2011 - Buenos Aires

On our full-day excursion we drive about 20 miles through Buenos Aires’ attractive riverside suburbs to the port town of Tigre, where we board a catamaran for a tour of the vast delta of the Paran River. A popular excursion for Porteños (residents of Buenos Aires), the voyage meanders along the delta’s multitude of winding canals and streams, passing colorful houses built on stilts. Lunch is included and we return to the city late this afternoon. Tonight we dine together and see a show at legendary Esquina Carlos Gardel – named for legendary tango icon Carlos Gardel – which is also one of the city’s most famous tango houses. Once considered the “vulgar” dance of Argentina’s lower classes, today the tango is the country’s national dance, an evocative and fiery expression of passion and pain.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 4: January 6, 2011 - Buenos Aires

Today is free to explore as you wish; urbane Buenos Aires offers an abundance of options from which to choose. Among the possibilities: shopping for leather goods, local gemstones, or items of sheepskin or wool; visiting the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (National Museum of Fine Arts); taking a guided tour of Teatro Colón, the city’s famed opera house, which is said to have the best acoustics in the world. Dinner tonight is on your own. Please note that restaurant dining in Buenos Aires is a leisurely affair; also, Argentines dine late and many restaurants don’t even begin serving dinner until after 8:00 p.m.
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 5: January 7, 2011 - Buenos Aires/Ushuaia

This morning we transfer to the airport for the flight to Ushuaia, the world’s southernmost city and where we embark our cruise ship. After checking in at our hotel, we tour this windswept city on the Beagle Channel, including a visit to the maritime museum, where you can find exhibits ranging from naval models to austral wildlife. Lunch and dinner are on your own today.
Meals: Breakfast

Day 6: January 8, 2011 - Ushuaia

This morning’s excursion takes us to Tierra del Fuego National Park, a 155,676-acre nature preserve with Andes peaks, rivers, glacial lakes, forest, and wildlife. Late this afternoon we embark M/V Via Australis; early evening we set sail to the Tierra del Fuego. This archipelago is separated from the southern tip of South America by the Strait of Magellan, the important – and inhospitable – natural passage between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Accommodations:
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Accommodations: M/V Via Australis

DAY 7: January 9, 2011 - Cruising – Cape Horn/Wulaia Bay

Today we see up close one of the world’s last unspoiled frontiers, as we sail through the Beagle and Murray channels. We may glimpse sea lions and Antarctic fur seals along the way to Cape Horn National Park, where we disembark to go ashore (weather permitting). This is the spot where the Atlantic and Pacific meet: a sheer promontory that rises some 1,400 feet from the roiling waters. A fabled sailing icon, Cape Horn marks the southernmost point of the South American continent. We return to the ship for lunch as we cruise to sheltered Wulaia Bay, with its sub Antarctic forests, beautiful hills, and multitude of land birds. We’ll take a guided walk to a lookout point for beautiful sunset views.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodations: M/V Via Australis

DAY 8: January 10, 2011 - Cruising – Piloto and Nena Glaciers

This afternoon, we see the awe-inspiring Gunther Pluschow Glacier from the decks of M/V Via Australis. Then upon reaching Chico Inlet later today we board inflatable zodiac expedition boats for an excursion to the Piloto and Nena glaciers, where we get an up-close look at these massive, and ancient, walls of ice.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodations: M/V Via Australis

DAY 9: January 11, 2011 - Magdalena Island/Punta Arenas/Torres del Paine

Early this morning we visit Magdalena Island, home to an immense colony of more than 120,000 Magellanic penguins that coexist peacefully with cormorants, sea lions, and other species. We’ll take some time to observe the penguins and also to visit the lighthouse that to this day guides ships navigating their way through the Strait of Magaellan. Then we return to our ship for the voyage to Punta Arenas, where we disembark and enjoy lunch together. Then we board our motorcoach for the five-hour journey to Torres del Paine National Park. We reach our lodging at the park early this evening and dine there tonight.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 10: January 12, 2011 - Torres del Paine National Park

We spend today exploring the breathtaking 700-square mile park, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve of ancient glaciers, jagged granite mountain peaks, exquisite turquoise lakes, rushing rivers, thunderous waterfalls, and distinctive flora and fauna. Beautiful, unspoiled, and remote, Torres del Paine ranks among the most stunning swaths of nature in South America, and indeed, in the world. Today’s sightseeing includes the southern icefield of Lago Nordenskjold; Salto Grande, with its rushing waterfall; Mirador Los Cuernos; and Lago Grey, site of colossal Grey Glacier and the hotel where we stop for lunch. We return to our hosteria late this afternoon and dine there tonight.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 11: January 13, 2011 - Torres del Paine National Park

Today’s excursion through the park features more of the dramatic lakes, mountains, and pristine wilderness, as we’ll enjoy a box lunch amidst the magnificent scenery. We’re sure to see some of the park’s only permanent residents: 106 species of birds and 26 species of mammals, including the beloved guanaco, an undomesticated relative of the llama. Dinner tonight is at our hotel inside the park.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 12: January 14, 2011 - Torres del Paine/Punta Arenas/Puerto Montt/Puerto Varas

We travel by coach this morning to Punta Arenas, where we board a flight to Puerto Montt, gateway to Chile’s Lake District. En route to Punta Arenas, we’ll stop at Milodon Caves just outside of Puerto Natales. Three caverns comprise this historic monument. We see remains and evidence of the extinct Mylodon, a sloth-like herbivore that stood ten feet tall. After exploring the caves you’ll have time for lunch on your own before continuing on to Punta Arenas to board our flight to Puerto Montt. Upon arrival we transfer by coach (about 30 minutes) to Puerto Varas and our lakeside hotel overlooking Lake Llanquihue.
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 13: January 15, 2011 - Vincente Rosales National Park

Today we enjoy a full-day excursion to Vincente Rosales, Chile’s oldest national park, a breathtaking swath of nature with dense green forests, snow-capped volcanoes, and cobalt lagoons. Inside the park we visit Osorno Volcano, with its perfectly conical shape; the virgin emerald lake of Todos los Santos, and exhilarating Petrohué Waterfalls, and the village of Ensenada, stopping for lunch together along the way. After returning to our hotel late this afternoon, dinner is on your own.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 14: January 16, 2011 - Lake Llanquihue/Frutillar

This morning we pass through small shoreside villages flanking 330-square mile Lake Llanquihue. We will stop in Frutillar to visit the Museum of German Colonization, housing a collection of artifacts from these early settlers to Chile. Early this afternoon, we return to the hotel for an afternoon at leisure. Tonight we enjoy a private dinner at the cozy Chilean style lodge Martin Pescador, a private BBQ venue (quincho) in a pastoral setting where we dine on local specialties and Chilean wines.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 15: January 17, 2011 - Puerto Varas/Puerto Montt/Santiago

We fly today to the sophisticated Chilean capital. Upon arrival we transfer to our hotel before this afternoon’s city tour. Highlights include Parque Forestal, the city’s main greenery; the majestic La Moneda Palace, the seat of government built during 18th century; and the Plaza de Armas, Santiago’s traditional city center surrounded by grand buildings including the Central Post Office, Cathedral. We also visit the superb Pre-Colombian Museum housing more than 1,500 pieces of ceramics, textiles, and other cultural artifacts from the ancient peoples who once inhabited the mainland. We return to our hotel late this afternoon, and have time to freshen up before tonight’s small group highlight: Tonight we’re dinner guests in the homes of gracious Santiago families.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 16: January 18, 2011 - Santiago/Concha y Toro Winery

Today’s excursion to Concha y Toro, one of Chile’s oldest and best known wineries, introduces us to the world of Chilean wines. We enjoy a tour of the winery and a tasting of select vintages. Mid-day we return to Santiago, where the remainder of the afternoon is at leisure. Lunch today is on your own; this evening we celebrate our adventure at a farewell dinner at local restaurant.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 17: January 19, 2011 - Santiago/Depart for U.S.

After a morning and early afternoon at leisure we transfer to the airport for our overnight flight to the U.S.
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 18: January 20, 2011 - Arrive U.S.

We arrive this morning

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Cost and Program Inclusions

  Miami Atlanta, Orlando, Tampa, Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Washington, DC Denver, Phoenix, Portland (OR), Seattle Land Only
Tour Cost * $5,995 $6,295 $6,395 $6,495 $5,495
Single Supplement: $2,095

Included Features:

  • Exclusive departure for the Bryn Mawr College Alumnae Association
  • Small group size limited to 24 guests
  • Bryn Mawr faculty host throughout the trip
  • Round-trip air transportation; all flights within itinerary
  • 15 nights’ accommodations in listed properties
  • 33 meals: 15 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 11 dinners
  • Extensive sightseeing as described in day-by-day itinerary, including all entrance fees
  • Open bar service (wine and select liquors) on board Via Australis
  • Services of a dedicated Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director
  • Private motorcoach transportation throughout the trip
  • All port taxes
  • Luggage handling for one bag per person
  • Gratuities for local guides (if applicable), dining room servers, airport and hotel porters, and all drivers
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Bryn Mawr Faculty Host

Maria Luisa Crawford
Maria Luisa Crawford

Our Bryn Mawr faculty host is Maria Luisa Crawford, Emeritus Professor of Geology. Her research is focused on solving the history of mountain belts (such as the Coast Orogen of British Columbia and southeastern Alaska or the older Appalachians in Pennsylvania) by looking at as many different aspects as possible of the kinds of rocks, the time the rocks formed, the location in which they formed, the way the earth moved. Her ongoing research programs have the aim to understand mountain building processes and related terrane accretion. This has focused on the nature, rates, and timing of the processes that resulted in the mountains formed along the present eastern margin of North America during the early Paleozoic (550-350 million years ago) and along the northwestern coast of British Columbia and southeastern Alaska from the Cretaceous (110 million years ago) to the present.

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M/V Australis or M/V Mare Australis

Built: 2002/2005 Width: 44 ft
Decks: 5 Draft: 11 ft
Cabins: 64 (all outside) Gross Tonnage: 2,716
Length: 236 ft

Your tour includes a three-night cruise aboard one of these two identical sister ships. Amenities: restaurant, 2 lounges, Zodiac expedition boats, boutique, on-board lectures, open bridge, panoramic open deck

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