Cruceros Australis offers special cruises focusing on Darwin’s research in Patagonia

Most people believe that Charles Darwin developed his theory of natural selection in the Galapagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador. In fact, he previously spent nearly two years in Patagonia, the southernmost portion of South America, on the H.M.S. Beagle, an experience that greatly influenced his work and his ground breaking first book “Origin of the Species.”

 In celebration of Darwin’s birth 200 years later, Cruceros Australis is now offering two unique cruises based on that voyage with well-known Darwin scholars John Woram, lecturing in English, and Gerardo Bartolome, lecturing in Spanish.

From October 16 to 19, 2010, the Via Australis will cruise for three nights from Ushuaia to Punta Arenas and from October 19 to 23, 2010, four nights from Punta Arenas to Ushuaia. Rates range from $1,050 per person for the first itinerary and $1,400 per person for the return.

Passengers are immersed in an itinerary mirroring Darwin’s original adventure to the end of the Earth. Visiting a number of ecologically diverse locations, they sail through the Strait of Magellan, Beagle Channel and the famous Glacier Alley, explore Wulaia Bay and not-to-be-missed Mount Darwin. The pinnacle of the trip is a visit to the legendary Cape Horn.

Unlike his comparatively short visit to the Galápagos Islands, Charles Darwin spent approximately two years in Patagonia, including more than three months in Tierra del Fuego where he had contact with the indigenous people of the region, an experience that greatly influenced his famous first book.

While sailing through rocky fjords and vast wilderness, passengers will be treated to several enriching and educational lectures from the onboard experts. Each of these specialized guests will also be available for one-on-one discussion or to answer specific questions as the tour progresses.

All rates are based on double occupancy and include accommodation, sea transportation, meals, open bar (when on duty), shore excursions and on-board entertainment. Optional tours and transportation are not included. Both tours can be combined for an extended seven-day cruising opportunity. Built in 2005, the modern Via Australis is a five-deck ship offering 64 cabins with private facilities and panoramic views.

With more than 17 years of experience, Cruceros Australis owns and operates the Mare, Via and Stella Australis (debuting this year) which navigate the waters and fjords of Tierra del Fuego and its archipelagos in Southern Patagonia. Australis offers high-quality and enriching learning experiences combined with unique cruising itineraries to discover the cultures and destinations at the end of the Earth.

For more information, visit www.australis.com, email australis@bellsouth.net or call (877) 678.3772.

About Cynthia Boal Janssens

Cynthia Boal Janssens is the editor and chief blogger for AllThingsCruise.com. She is a former national president of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW). She has sailed on over 40 cruises all over the world.

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