Our Navimag ferry trip

Sailing through fjords

Sailing through fjords

At first we were unsure about whether or not we should take the Navimag, as maybe some of you are. We had heard some conflicting reports about it, mostly because the weather can at times be awful, all but restricting you to your cabin, which would amount to a pretty expensive reading trip. We decided to go for it at any rate, and maybe our experience will help others in determining whether they should give it a try as well.

The Navimag is a large cargo vessel that sails along the coast of Chile, from Puerto Montt all the way down to Puerto Natales in the very Southern section of the country. Starting in Puerto

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market afterwards. Salmon is the local specialty, and a personal favourite of mine, so I was quite enchanted with their offerings. In the morning we went out and stretched our legs with a short jog in preparation of what would be a long journey at sea.

chess in Navimag

chess in Navimag

As the journey began we knew it would be pretty special. The scenery is really awe inspiring from the outset, and though it did rain a bit at times, it wasn’t enough to keep us in our rooms. Small islands abound out in this region, and as we went further south, the mountains began to become more prominent along the coastline, with snow capped peaks and glaciers. There was a short stop on the third day at a small coastal village, a nice little respite from the boat, though there wasn’t much to do there.

It’s funny, because the main tourist tracks are often called the gringo route (not in a demeaning way, as gringo can sometimes be taken in some other areas), and you often see many of the same travellers along these routes, depending on how long you’re in the region. We were fortunate enough that a couple we had already met at a previous point were our cabin mates on the ship. They were a really nice older couple from Britain.

The first night about the boat we realized we were the last people left in the bar, which I don’t think I had done in years. We even did a little dancing, which it usually takes both of us a few drinks in us to do (which we had had by that point). All in all the sights were great, and the people aboard the ship were great too. We had a fun time, and would recommend it to anyone who doesn’t mind a little rain.

Bulks onboard

Bulks onboard

Puerto Natales was much like the last place we had been, not a whole lot to do, as it was a small down way down off the beaten track in Southern Chile. It was mainly a tourist destination, with plenty of shops around selling camping gear for those trekking out into the wilderness, which we would be doing next.

Before I end this though, here are a few further details on the ship for those interested. There are 4 different room types aboard the ship. There are private rooms for those who don’t like sharing, as well as three different shared accommodation rooms, some which had private bathrooms, and in varying sizes. We were in a mid-sized shared room (as I mentioned, we got paired up with the older British couple). The room wasn’t terribly big, but we really didn’t mind at all, as we were out and about on the ship most of the time anyway. The rooms all came with private lockers for storing your belongings in as well.

Relax

Relax8

The meals were served in a sort of cafeteria style, with set meal times, and you going up to the counter and getting doled out whatever was on the menu for the day. The helpings were always very generous, and the food was quite good. Breakfast usually consisted of eggs, bread and cereal, while steak, chicken and pasta was served in the evenings, among other things, along with some delicious fresh fruit desserts.