Cape Horn, Chile (Cruise-by) cruises

Journey to the edge of the earth on a cruise past the fabled Cape Horn. At the southernmost tip of South America, Cape Horn lies off the coast of Chile on Hornos Island. Nestled amongst the dramatic landscape of the Tierra del Fuego archipelago, Cape Horn is the point at which the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans meet and has earned its place in historical tales and contemporary intrigue.

Cape Horn port guide

Thought to have been first navigated by Dutch explorers Jakob Le Maire and Willem Schouten in 1616, this mysterious region was named after Schouten’s place of birth – Hoorn. Over the centuries, explorers and sailors including Charles Darwin and Ferdinand Magellan have taken to the waters around the Cape, navigating its famously unsettled waters on their way to Europe from the East. When gold was discovered in California in 1848, the passageway became an integral route.

Robust and sturdy ships were built to withstand the choppy waters surrounding Cape Horn, but after the opening of the Panama Canal in 1914, the waterway became far less important. Most captains started opting for the quicker route through Panama.

Today, Cape Horn provides an unforgettable experience on a cruise to South America. From the spacious decks of your ship, gaze out at mesmerising natural beauty, untamed coastlines, and a variety of wildlife. A remote seafaring experience at the end of the world, a cruise by of Cape Horn allows you to follow in the wake of sailors of old, and experience an untouched world of natural beauty.

Top landmarks and sights in Cape Horn

On a cruise by of Cape Horn, you’ll see natural beauty you’ll never forget, plus, perhaps you’ll be treated to a display of marine wildlife while you relax on deck with a drink. Days spent here bring all kinds of new adventures.

Where two oceans meet

Witness the exact location where two oceanic superpowers meet – the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. As the oceans mingle, they create powerful currents that, depending on the time of year, can produce both spectacular waves and mysteriously calm waters. It’s a unique experience that you’ll no doubt recount to friends for years to come.

The Cape Horn Memorial

Standing 24 feet tall atop a hill rising 165 feet above sea level, the Cape Horn Memorial, also known as the Albatross Monument, is a spectacular artistic installation. While you may only catch a glimpse through a pair of binoculars, the memorial is made of two huge metal halves, representing a graceful albatross in flight. Built to withstand gusts of up to 120mph, it was erected in 1992, and serves as a tribute to all the sailors who have lost their lives around the Cape’s treacherous seas.

Experience the southern coastline

As you cruise past Hornos Island, you’ll see plenty of dramatic, untamed coastlines, and as you pass Cape Horn itself, you may be able to spot the Chilean Naval station – a picturesque lighthouse providing a beacon amongst the isolated straits.

Look out for local wildlife

A paradise for marine life, Cape Horn is home to a spectacular array of wildlife. Rockhopper penguins nest along the beaches of Hornos island, while in the skies, albatross glide silently on the breeze. Find yourself watching, absent-mindedly following their flight as they meander above.

Humpback whales breach the white-tipped waves, sea lions laze on the rocky outcrops around the archipelago, and king crabs patrol the shallows.

Pods of Orca and even mighty blue whales, can be spotted in this part of the world, so be sure to bring your camera and a pair of binoculars to capture these majestic creatures in their natural habitat.

Cape Horn weather

Temperatures in Cape Horn remain chilly throughout the year, with an average temperature of around 6 -7°C. Wind and rain are the norm, so pack a waterproof coat to keep warm as you stroll on deck.