In early February, I flew from El Calafate to Ushuaia in row one, my first time up the front of the plane in many years. Aerolineas’ Premium Economy tickets were similarly priced* to Economy so it was an obvious decision to make.
*Argentina has a two-tier flight ticket pricing policy with non-residents paying higher prices for Economy class.
Ushuaia is the southernmost city in the world and a major gateway for cruise ships and research vessels to the Antarctica. Ushuaia is also the capital of Argentina’s Tierra del Fuego, Antártida e Islas del Atlántico Sur Province.
From Ushuaia there is a fairly standard Beagle Channel day cruise offered by many boats to bird, penguin and seal colonies. One morning I walked to the harbour, chose a boat, bought my ticket and jumped on board. Despite being so far south, the weather out of the wind was quite pleasant.
The Beagle Channel divides Argentina and Chile and the Chilean coast was visible for much of the trip including Puerto Williams, the southernmost town in the world.
An island bird colony near Ushuaia
Seals basking on a Beagle Channel island
A penguin keeps watch over a duck, other penguins and tourists
A sail boat in front of the penguin colony, Beagle Channel
The final stop of the journey was a tiny, picturesque village before the boat turned around and headed back to Ushuaia
Birds flying in formation over the Beagle Channel
A sail boat in front of a coastal mountain, the Beagle Channel
Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas in Spanish) propaganda was prevalent in Ushuaia
Argentina officially recognises Ushuaia as the capital of a province which includes the South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands and the Falkland Islands, both self-governing overseas territories of the United Kingdom. Argentina’s claim is a source of national pride and, in my opinion, a convenient distraction away from their far more important, economic and political problems.
The Ushuaia Volunteer Fire-fighters logo features a penguin putting out a fire with a bucket of ice
Cruise ships and research vessels were a feature of Ushuaia’s harbour in the peak summer season. Passengers crowded the streets, shops and restaurants whenever they came on shore. The person-sized penguin in the foreground was a more obscure sight
Ushuaia, barely visible towards the top of the photo, stretches around the bay coast and is ringed by snow-capped mountains
On my final day I checked out of my hostel (the worst hostel I have stayed in on this trip) and took a taxi to the airport. Leaving Ushuaia for Buenos Aires (again in the Premium Economy) I was lucky enough to have fantastic mountain and coastal views.