May 06 2019

What's it like to travel through Patagonia by ferry?


Traveling through Chilean Patagonia is fascinating. Even more so on board a ferry navigating some of the most pristine corners of the planet.

The following blog describes the experience of Raquel, a 43-year-old Spanish traveler, who explored this southernmost destination by taking a Navimag ferry along the Patagonia Fjords Route.

Sailing through the Patagonian fjords on a Navimag ferry is quite an adventure. On board, you can see views and natural wonders that don’t usually appear in travel guides.

This is what Raquel enjoyed most as she traveled, with her two children and husband, on the ferry route between Puerto Montt and Puerto Natales for four days and three nights.

They chose to take the ferry because it allowed them to see spectacular scenery as well as make the most of their time. What struck this family of travelers most was seeing places that were off the beaten track and practically inaccessible; the spot where they saw the most people on the whole route was in the tiny village of Puerto Edén.

This Spanish family found out about Navimag from a travel guide. They then organized their trip via the Internet. As they were traveling with children and time was limited – three and a half weeks – they had to plan the route well.

“Bearing in mind the time constraints, we decided our itinerary, so we could see the most without becoming too exhausted. After backpacking for a few days, the ferry offered a chance to rest. It’s also a good alternative to flying where you can’t see the scenery,” comments Raquel.

Travel style

Although they love backpacking, it was the first time Raquel and her husband traveled on a ferry with their children. In general, they prefer versatile places from where they can trek, camp and enjoy nature broken up with visits to cities.

When seeking accommodation, they follow the same logic: they usually camp but also stay in bed & breakfasts, Airbnb and hostels. When they were in Puerto Natales, the family stayed in a bed & breakfast for a few days before setting off on a three-day trek and sleeping in a tent.

The Patagonia Fjords Route allowed Raquel to become immersed in her surrounding and disconnect from everything else. “It’s a great help for people who have demanding routines. It’s a real break being on board a ferry. Stopping, resting and absorbing the views or the energy the surroundings give you; it's amazing. Although there is no direct contact with nature – because you don’t get off the boat and hike – the very fact of being completely isolated is a rest,” she says.

She’s also grateful that it was possible to disconnect from the world on board the ferry. “There’s no internet or telephone – nothing. Nowadays with technology, you’re always checking where you are or what animal you saw. I loved being disconnected!” she adds.

Spotting wildlife

Raquel and her family arrived with a wish-list of what to see and do but were most excited about seeing Patagonian wildlife.

For both Raquel and the children, the aim of the trip was to see penguins and whales. The waters of Chilean Patagonia are an excellent place to spot these animals, especially after the recent discovery of a new orca species, reported by National Geographic.


No one’s better placed to speak about a travel destination than someone who’s been there. The testimony of Raquel and her family about their Navimag journey is just a taste of the wonders that lie in store on a trip through the Patagonian fjords.

The Patagonia Fjords Route gave this family of travelers little-known views, disconnection from the outside world and absolute peace which helped them enjoy their adventure to the maximum.

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