Polar adventure company launches helicopter trip through Patagonia

Quark Expeditions has blazed a new trail in expedition travel with its inaugural helicopter-supported voyage through Chilean Patagonia.

The polar operator also confirms that 90 of the 165 passengers (55 per cent) who joined the maiden voyage of “Essential Patagonia: Chilean Fjords and Torres del Paine” in March 2024 were repeat guests of Quark Expeditions.

The 15-day itinerary, which ran March 13 to 27, 2024, departed Buenos Aires with embarkation from Ushuaia, and included Cape Horn, a transit through the Beagle Channel, then into Chile’s spectacular network of fjords and channels, featuring helicopter flightseeing and Zodiac cruises along an enchanting stretch of coastline that’s known for some of the most remote and picturesque landscapes on Earth.

Trip highlights

Highlights included:

  • Heli flightseeing: Our two H145 helicopters provided unmatched views of Patagonia’s mountain-top glaciers and ice caps—which are not visible from sea level.
  • Heli landingUltramarine‘s helicopters transported guests to the peaks of Canal de las Montanas (Channel of the Mountains) where they enjoyed unsurpassable views of the surrounding fjords.
  • Immersive cultural experiences: Guests visited an 85,000-hectare estancia (South American ranch) and explored the cultural heritage of the town of Puerto Natales.
  • Unrivalled wildlife: Guests observed a staggering array of wildlife, including guanacos, the elusive puma, South American sea lions, Andean foxes and whales.
  • Phenomenal bird-watching: Species included Andean condors, Magellanic penguins, Chilean flamingos, oystercatchers, kingfishers and three types of Caracaras.
  • Hiking and photography tours: Guests choose from guided photographic adventures and various levels of hikes in Torres del Paine National Park.
  • Paddling and kayaking excursions: Guests observed a variety of marine life up close, such as mussels, kelp, snails, starfish and krill.
  • Journey down Iceberg Alley: From the deck of Ultramarine, guests witnessed a series of epic ice formations, most notably in the region of Tierra del Fuego.

Quark Expeditions’ next departure of Essential Patagonia: Chilean Fjords and Torres del Paine embarks March 13 to 27, 2025, and March 12 to 26, 2026.




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