Cape Horn Cruising Guide

Experience what it’s like to journey to the end of the world as you cruise past Cape Horn. Located on the southernmost tip of South America in the Tierra del Fuego archipelago, Cape Horn is the place where the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans meet. For centuries, adventurous explorers and daring sailors, including Ferdinand Magellan and Charles Darwin, navigated its famous choppy waters on their way from Europe to the East.

With the creation of the Panama Canal, the lengthy route was no longer a necessity. Instead, visitors flock to Cape Horn on a South America cruise to witness its stunning natural beauty and endemic wildlife. Discover this remote area of the world while on a cruise that sails around South America’s breathtaking Patagonia and marvel at snow-capped mountains, sparkling lakes, towering glaciers, and unrivaled landscapes during an unforgettable journey to one of the far corners of the planet.

Things to Do During a Cape Horn Cruise

See Where Two Oceans Meet

When you sail to Cape Horn, you get to visit the exact spot where the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean meet. Due to patterns of water currents, this mingling between the oceans can create rocky waves at certain times of the year and surprisingly calm waters at other times.

Look for Whales

When you cruise around Cape Horn, you’ll be sailing around one of the best places to view sea mammals, including sea lions, penguins, and whales. In the Patagonia region, you can expect to see a few different kinds of whales in the water, like orcas, humpback, and blue whales. Bring your camera along and snap photos of these majestic animals as they swim with their calves, feed in groups, and perform riveting breaching displays in the water.

Spot Penguins

Another animal you can’t miss seeing during a cruise around Cape Horn is the Magellanic penguin. Named after Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan, these penguins are some of the largest of their kind and typically have two black stripes running down their stomachs. Over one million Magellanic penguins live in Patagonia, making it more than likely that you’ll see some of these flightless birds during your journey.

Learn More About South America Shore Excursions

Culture & History of Cape Horn

Cape Horn is named after the city of Hoorn, the birthplace of explorer Willem Corneliszoon Schouten, who was the first man to sail through Cape Horn in 1616. During the ensuing centuries, the passageway became a popular shipping route, since it was the only way ships were able to travel from Europe to the Far East and back, until the opening of the Panama Canal in 1914. Cape Horn was once considered one of the most treacherous stretches of water in the world, and it is believed that over 10,000 seafarers lost their lives attempting to cross it. The Cape Horn Monument shaped like an albatross on Isla Hornos is dedicated to those who lost their lives off the coast of Cape Horn. 

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