After an interesting morning exploring Pia Glacier and its surroundings, we returned to the Australis as she continued her journey. Our next attraction didn’t require leaving the Australis and could actually be enjoyed from the deck of our ship. We were to navigate through what’s commonly called “Glacier Alley”.
Situated along the Beagle Channel, Glacier Alley is a string of massive and picturesque glaciers that extend to the sea from the massive Darwin Ice Field (which covers 2500 km2) on Isla Grande, the largest island in Tierra del Fuego. These glaciers are named after several European countries — Holland, Italy, Germany, Spain and France (in Spanish — Holanda, Italia, Alemania, Espana and Francia). If it seems a little odd that glaciers honoring other countries are found in Chile, its because they were named for the motherlands of the 19th-century explorers who first mapped this remote region.
You pass these glaciers in about two hours of cruising time and in between viewing of the individual glaciers, we enjoyed food from these countries served by the dedicated staff of the Australis. All of the glaciers either extended to the sea or are close to it, and several are associated with spectacular waterfalls. The scenery between the glaciers was also pretty spectacular.
I took a number of pictures during this stretch of our journey, although I did not specifically label which glacier was which (not that it really matters). I hope you enjoy this scenery as much as we did.
These were to be the last glaciers we were to see on our cruise. The next morning we were scheduled to disembarck on Isla Horne, the southern most island of South America.
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