A wonderful way to get to know the glaciers and come close to these icy giants is on board an incredible cruise ship: Mar Patag’s Leal.
For a while, a large barrier of ice floes has been preventing vessels from accessing the main wall of the Upsala Glacier. However, this event has not discouraged tourists. We got on board a cruise ship and beheld the particular aesthetic and vastness of the Upsala and the Spegazzini Glaciers. We were dazzled by its ice-floes going adrift.
The tour started at 9 in the morning in Puerto Bandera. It was organized by MarPatag, a company run by three expert navigators from Chubut. One of them, Héctor "Tiño" Resnik, is the captain of the ship called Leal -which stands for "loyal" in Spanish. It was awaiting us in silence, moored at the dock. Accompanied by his crew, Tiño welcomed all the passengers, who soon made ourselves comfortable inside the watercraft.
The ship has all the necessary amenities to pamper guests. We were impressed by its main room with large panoramic windows, next to which several cozy tables and armchairs were disposed within an atmosphere recreated by music and the friendliness of the staff. Outside, several decks offered the chance to see the surroundings straightforward.
We got ready to behold the blue ice floes drifting away on the cold waters in anticipation of the proximity of the Upsala Glacier. We captured astonishing images with our cameras to treasure so much beauty. After we had watched the ice walls, the ship came close to the shore so that we could see the cascade and take a piece of ice with our own hands. Some of the passengers succeeded in sculpting some figure on them.
A natural scene of high visual value
Its ice-floes going adrift
Heading for the Spegazzini
As we crossed Lake Argentino towards the south, the vessel slowly advanced along the Spegazzini Channel up to the point where the glacier bearing the same name is located. We enjoyed that icy monument in Los Glaciares National Park, one of the most beautiful in the country. When it was time for lunch, we were served gourmet food as we admired the amazing scene.
The walls reach between 80 and 135 meters of height, thus giving evidence that all glaciers are different. Illuminated by the last sun beams, the Spegazzini gained a fantastic hue that left us speechless.
Finally, we landed at Puesto Vacas, where the guides took us for a walk that let us appreciate those massifs of ice right under our feet. As the sun set, we started our way back.
And so we returned following the northern arm of Lake Argentino and sailed up to Port Punta Bandera, where the tour came to an end. We bade our farewell to our hosts at the same time we shared comments teeming with all the thrill we had experienced amidst the grandeur of thousand-year-old glaciers.
Mónica Pons Marpatag
Contact of the excursion or tour
9 de Julio 57, of.4 Paseo Los Pájaros El Calafate (9405) El Calafate, Santa Cruz, ArgentinaTel: +54 2902-49-2118
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