19/04/2015 The 4-day Navimag cruise from Puerto Natales to Puerto Montt is known for it’s amazing views on the Patagonian Fjords and the chance to see blue whales. I was lucky with the whales, but not so much with the weather, leaving me with mostly grey skies and rain.
Having paid 290€ for the 4-day cruise from Puerto Natales (near Torres del Paine) to Puerto Montt (near the Lake District) and considering the fact that it included 3 nights of accommodations as well as breakfast/lunch/dinner buffets each day, it was actually not too expensive for Patagonian standards. The weather was great when we left Puerto Natales, but sadly changed quickly once we departed the harbour. We were not able to see a lot of the landscapes around us and only went out on the rainy deck for some special occasions, such as crossing an 80m wide channel with our 45m wide ship. Apart from the roughly 50 passengers, we also had company from around 30 cows and other animals that were transported together with a lot of other goods. If you consider using the ferry yourself, you should be aware that it is not a 5-star vessel purely designed for tourists.
The meals provided were basic, but plenty, which was enough for me. I met a lot of interesting people on the boat and we had enough stories to tell each other while waiting for the rain outside to stop. When it did, we could actually see some highlights such as the wrack of “Bajo Cotopaxi” about half way through. The ship looked pretty spooky in our rainy environment! The weather slightly improved on day 3 and we spotted the blue whales for the first time! It was actually three of them, but we could not see much more than a part of their bag. Nevertheless, it was amazing to see the largest animal of our planet live!
Later that day I was attending an interesting lecture about Chiloé, the largest island in the region and found out about their customs to prepare food and move houses. Throw in some nice wooden churches, and it was actually enough to convince me to change my plan and head there for a few days before going up north to Puerto Varas. We had a last breakfast on day 4 before disembarking the ship, saying good bye to new made friends and old companions such as the British guys I met on the Torres del Paine trek. The rain finally stopped completely and we were blessed with an awesome sunrise on the boat. I can totally recommend the tour, but would just hope for you to have some better weather in the fjords 🙂
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