The Navimag Ferry
For many travelers, a journey through Chile's spectacular fjords aboard the Navimag Ferry becomes a highlight of their trip. This four-day and three-night northbound voyage has become so popular it should be booked well in advance. To confirm when the ferry is due, contact Turismo Comapa or Navimag a couple of days before your estimated arrival date. There is a second office in the Rodoviario.
The ferry leaves Natales at 8am on Tuesdays and stops in Puerto Edén (or Glaciar Pía XI on southbound sailings) en route to Puerto Montt. It usually arrives in Puerto Montt on Friday at 8am, but schedules vary according to weather conditions and tides. Disembarking passengers must stay on board while cargo is transported; those embarking have to spend the night on board.
High season is November to March, mid-season is October and April and low season is May to September. Fares vary according to view, cabin size and private or shared bathroom, and include all meals (request vegetarian meals when booking) and interpretative talks. Bring water, snacks and drinks anyway. Per-person high-season fares range from US$450 for a bunk berth to US$2100 for a triple-A cabin; students and seniors receive a 10% to 15% discount. Check online for current schedules and rates.
Puerto Yungay Ferry
This new ferry option between Puerto Natales and Puerto Yungay links two areas of Patagonia with no road connections. Transbordador Austral Broom (TABSA) runs the 41-hour Puerto Yungay Ferry with a stop in Puerto Edén. Frequency varies month to month, but high season offers around 10 departures per month.
Travelers should note that under the current schedule the ferry usually arrives in Puerto Edén and Puerto Yungay (where there are no services) late at night, so reserve Puerto Edén hotels in advance and bring a headlamp to get around.
Buses arrive at the Rodoviario, a bus terminal on the town outskirts, though companies also sell tickets at their downtown offices. Book at least a day ahead, especially for early-morning departures. Services are greatly reduced in the low season. Several lines go to Punta Arenas. For Argentina, try Turismo Zaahj, Cootra, Bus Sur or Buses Pacheco.
Torres del Paine–bound buses include Buses Fernandez, Buses Gomez, Buses JBA and Turismo Zaahj. Buses leave for Torres del Paine two to three times daily at around 7am, 8am and 2:30pm. If you are headed to Mountain Lodge Paine Grande in the low season, take the morning bus to meet the catamaran. Tickets may also be used for transfers within the park, so save your stub. Schedules change, so double-check them before heading out.
Companies and destinations include the following:
Torres del Paine