Cape Horn: a legendary land at the end of the world

Written on : 09 February 2018

Cruise in Argentina: Zoom on Cape Horn

Going on a cruise to Cape Horn will take you through the fjords and glaciers, discovering the wonders and mysteries of the mythical Tierra del Fuego, but especially in the footsteps of brave sailors.

Also known by Spanish speakers as "Cabo de Hornos", Cape Horn is a perfect destination if you are looking for a unique and exceptional cruise. 

Located between South America and Antarctica, at the Southern end of the mythical Tierra del Fuego Archipelago, it is considered the southernmost point of South America. Basking in the territorial waters of Chile, Cape Horn is actually a cliff culminating at 425 metres above sea level on the island of Hershel. Cape Horn occupies a symbolic geographical position, as it marks the Northern border of the Drake Sea Passage and it is also the meeting point between the Atlantic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean and the Southern Ocean. Difficult to cross, it has acquired the sad reputation of marine cemetery. Today, only a handful of boats are still attempting the journey of this crossing.

These are usually the few sailing boats participating in races such as the Vendée Globe, the Golden Globe Challenge, the Volvo Ocean race, the velux 5 Oceans, or the Jules Vernes Trophy. In tribute to the many navigators who perished there, a memorial built by the Cape Horniers of Saint-Malo in 1989 stands facing the Atlantic. In addition to this majestic sculpture, it is also possible to see on this famous cape, a station and a lighthouse occupied by a caretaker and his family who are the only inhabitants of Cape Horn.

Discovering the mythical Tierra del Fuego

A cruise to Cape Horn is the perfect opportunity to discover the mythical Tierra del Fuego, its wonders, but also its mysteries, a land that has attracted the interest of glorious characters such as Magellan, Captain Fitz Roy and the eminent Darwin.

For the record, this archipelago located in Southern Patagonia owes its name to the fires lit by the natives that explorers saw from the open sea. Known for its glaciers and fjords, this region is home to an exceptional flora and fauna. Its immense natural wealth has earned it the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve classification. There are countless parks like Omora Ethnobotany Park, Cape Horn National Marine and Terrestrial Park and El Calafate National Glacier Park. It is home to a unique flora represented by nirre, lengua, orchid magdalenas, flor de la Cascasda and el frutilia del diablo. It is also a true animal sanctuary with its steam ducks, geese, royal cormorants, gentoo penguins, black dolphins, Patagonian dragons and orcas.

But the charm of a cruise to Cape Horn through the Tierra del Fuego certainly lies in the beautiful scenery it offers. It will be difficult not to succumb to the authentic beauty of Ushuaia and its houses with multi coloured corrugated iron roofs, the magnificent port of Punta Arenas or that of the small military town of Puerto Williams.