Ferry Transbordadora Austral | Vehicle Shipping

Chile

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Last Visited: 6 months ago
GPS: -47.935300, -73.322950
Altitude: 16.4 masl
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FERRY FROM PUERTO YUNGAY - PUERTO NATALES (CHILE)

I had the chance to take as one of the fist tourists the ferry from Puerto Yungay (almost the end of Carretera Austral) to Puerto Natales. The first time in history the most austral part of Chile is connected to its main land - a promise the current Chilean President Michelle Bachelet gave during her election campaign to its people.

The trip took 41 hours hours trough a spectacular scenery of montains covered with glaciars that were mirrored in the flat sea. We saw a unbelivable variaty of wild animals from delphins, seals, pinguins to cormoranes. Even though the weather was mostly foggy and cloudy the landscape can only be described as breathtaking.

The ferry is well equiped, can host 100 passenges and 70 cars. There are two passenger decks where we were seated in comfortable seats that could be lowered to sleep. There were hot showers, a cafeteria bar and a TV. Via intranet one could connect his mobile phone to watch movies, listen music or play games. Food was served twice a day (breakfast, lunch) and was alright. However the the first night we only got two "empanadas" which was definity not enough if you have not eaten the whole day. The personal was always friendly, attentive and ready to serve.

Booking: Tourist Office Cochrane, tabsa.cl-Office in Caleta Tortel or eventually online (did not work) or contact Cristian Zuñiga Formantel, Agencia Tortel-Yungay, Cel. 984527228, [email protected]

Prices: CLP 120'000 p/P (driver too) + CLP 24'000.- /m length car.
The trip is subsidised by the Chilean governement for local residents. I totally agree that Chilean pay less than tourists. However, I paid 230'000 Pesos (320 USD) which was more than all 8 Chilean passengers together including one Chilean car!

PHONE NUMBER TO BOOK EVEN THOUGH IT'S FULL DO NOT WORRY YOU WILL BE ABLE TO BOOK (up to date as of February 2020).
+56953072520
Do not worry, the website says fully booked, dozens of people get reservation after harassing the lady on WhatsApp. Harass her, beg her, say you have a plane and not getting the boat would mess up your schedule. There is ALWAYS space on that boat.

Also, many people got seats + motorcycle by just showing up without booking anything.

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Thanks to the pandemic, we had to take this ferry twice and here are all the tips and tricks you need:
RUT gets you local passenger prices and you save a couple of hundred USD
Foreign plates still pay foreign price for vehicles, but they counted our van as 4m both times even though it is clearly over 5m

Go early to the dock to secure a good spot. Boarding is 5 hours before the leaving time on Yungay side and almost 11 hours before leaving time on Natales side.

Parking at back of ship is good if you need space to open the back of the van. Front is also good as you can access toilets and food area easily.

Middle is worst as its right next to very noisy engine room that is left open all day and night

Tell the dock workers you need a flat spot to sleep and they will at least give you that

Mealtimes - we were well fed. Go towards end of mealtimes to be guaranteed second portions

Showers are good and hot if you go morning or night. If you go after many have taken a shower, it will be cold

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Difficult to get infos during this troubled covid times, so here's our story :

Foreigners are now (February 2021) allowed to take this ferry again.
The reservation isn't possible online, you have to book by email at [email protected]
They will ask you personal infos, date of the journey...
The reservation will be completed only when you'll have a proof that you made a PCR test (certificado).
The results must be, of course negative, and less than 72 hours for departure (so before Saturday 8 PM). A verification is made before going on board. The boarding begins early, you have to be there around 3:30 PM.
They didn't check ours, but you supposed to have your c19 too and also to do it again before arriving at Natales (Entel reception 1 hour before the harbour).

You have to pay in cash on the boat $128 450 for foreigner and $12 840 (per meter) for your vehicle.

The boat leaves Puerto Yungay the Saturday at 8 PM and it arrives the Monday at 4 PM (theoretically!).
We arrived at 8 PM and were allowed to leave only at 9 PM because of the controls. Everything went fine for us : they scan your c19 and check your negative PCR.
There are two stops on the way 2 hours each : at Tortel around 10 PM the Saturday and at Puerto Eden the Sunday in the afternoon (only for passengers).

If you have a camper you are allowed to spend the night inside. If not there are several "salons" with comfortable inclinable seats (and a blanket, but it's heated).
On the ground floor there are two salons, toilets and common area to eat. On the first floor, big salon, toilets and shower (with hot water!). And the upper deck to enjoy the view!

The meals are included (breakfast, lunch and dinner). Don't expect great food and if you are a "big eater" take some snacks! There is hot water available all day to make tea/coffee.

The staff is very friendly. The captain even invited us in the control station to have a look!

This journey is expensive, but it's actually the only way to get to Tierra del Fuego with a vehicle. We absolutely don't regret doing it! The landscapes are beautiful: mountains, glaciers, all the fjords... magical! We saw a lot of seals and birds. If you're lucky you can also sea dolphins and whales!

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MODERATOR NOTE: post deleted because of inappropriate content.

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The option for to go to Puerto Natales by transbordador. 48h on route. Important to buy tickets before. Food its on board, but bring your own preferences. TABSA company.

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You definitely have to be aware that this service is design to provide connection to Chilenean citizens between this remote part of the world, not really as a tourist attraction. They pay almost a symbolic fee. If you come with this mindset you will be fine. Showers are not super warm but ok, portions in the food included are not generous but you’ll make it, bring snacks, seating is comfortable, pets are allowed without an extra cost, movies are displayed and the staff is friendly. Facilities in general are in good shape. It’s hard to leave on a side that you are paying much more money for the service but for us the cost of the gas, border crossings with a pet and mileage that we saved for our car worth it. If you do this trip in good weather you will enjoy the fiords, a huge shipwreck in the middle of nowhere, glaciers, a stop in Puerto Eden a very remote village in an island, dolphins and a huge section with ice over the sea were the highlights. If you don’t pay your ticket online you can pay once you arrive to Puerto Natales with credit card. Make your choices.

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price on 2 january 2019.
for information

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The ferry is going in the low season every Saturday at 8pm. It stopps at Caleta Tortel, Puerto Eden and Puerto Natales. In Puerto Natales the ferry arrive at 1pm on Monday. You have to pay in advance at Tourist information Cochrane, or over Tabsa.cl, or in cash at board. There a two small showers at board.

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So, really, if it s worth doing this or not is up to you.
the price for foreigners is 120000clp against 40000clp for Chileans and 20000 for villa o'higgins and tortel residents (upon proof of residency provided) and 24000clp per meter of length for your vehicle. I had a motorcycle and charged me for 2 meters. grand total of 170000clp for 2 days ferry ride in the fjords with just possibility of get out of the boat for 1h in Puerto Eden (not in tortel).
Some of the cheapest and saddest meals in the world are provided for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Can t have alcohol on board. Seats are not as comfy but ambient is warm and good banquets are provided. toilets are clean.
Despite of the high price and the poor quality food, I think that if you are heading south to Punta Arena, it is somehow worth taking this ride because to go back to Argentina and ride south will probably cost only 20 or 30 thousands clp more and definitely more time and effort (with 2 boarder crossing).
spotted some dolphins and weather was mostly foggy and rainy, but again, it is a convenient way to get to Puerto Natales without the hustle of getting back to Arg and back to Chile.
no wifi on board. only an entertainment system which you can connect via wifi, that has movies (English with Spanish sub), music, ebooks and games.
There s an open wifi available in Caleta Tortel right when you get on the pier and in Puerto Eden. Very very slow though. Otherwise chilean Entel sim cards work.
so if it s worth it or not really depends on which point of view you see this.
For me, it was worth it. not much for the sight seeing or the value for money, but more for the fact that I avoided riding 5 days in the rain and crossing two borders to get where I wanted to be. And cost of fuel in this part of the world is pretty dear (and even more in Argentina) so, do your math and you will probably find out if it s worth it or not.

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Nice boat trip, not spectacular but beautiful anyway! Very interesting and nice to visit Puerto Eden,a little village in the middle of nowwhere or in the middle of the fjords...
Paid CLP 120'000 p/P and 24'000.- /m of length of our Vanagon. A total of CLP 340'000.- (incl. a little discount). :-)
We have reserved this trip at the tourist office in Cochrane, the lady there was very helpful. Could also been done at the tabsa.cl-Office in Caleta Tortel, close to the police station there or direct at the port before shipping (if space available). Online did not work properly for us...
We recommend this trip and would do it again... and by the way, the most southern part of Carretera Austral, Tortel and/or O'Higgins is also the most beautiful!

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Great way to skip days of driving the windy pampas of Argentina :-). Ferry is comfortable and you can sleep in your rig. Food is ok, but not great. Friendly staff. Get in line early to get a flat parking spot on the ferry. We paid 120000 CHP per person and 120000 for our VW van.

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FERRY FROM PUERTO YUNGAY - PUERTO NATALES (CHILE)

NOT RECOMMENDED - FOR FOREIGNERS OVERPRICED
SOUTHERN CHILE IS A FANTASTIC PLACE WITH COUNTLESS TRAVEL OPPORTUNITIES . PLEASE DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY WITH TRANSPORDADORA AUSTRAL

I had the chance to take as one of the fist tourists the ferry from Puerto Yungay (almost the end of Carretera Austral) to Puerto Natales. The first time in history the most austral part of Chile is connected to its main land - a promise the current Chilean President Michelle Bachelet gave during her election campaign to its people.

The trip took 41 hours hours trough a spectacular scenery of montains covered with glaciars that were mirrored in the flat sea. We saw a unbelivable variaty of wild animals from delphins, seals, pinguins to cormoranes. Even though the weather was mostly foggy and cloudy the landscape can only be described as breathtaking.

The ferry is well equiped, can host 100 passenges and 70 cars. There are two passenger decks where we were seated in comfortable seats that could be lowered to sleep. There were hot showers, a cafeteria bar and a TV. Via intranet one could connect his mobile phone to watch movies, listen music or play games. Food was served twice a day (breakfast, lunch) and was alright. However the the first night we only got two "empanadas" which was definity not enough if you have not eaten the whole day. The personal was always friendly, attentive and ready to serve.

The trip is subsidised by the Chilean governement for local residents. I totally agree that Chilean pay less than tourists. However, I paid 230'000 Pesos (320 USD) which was more than all 8 Chilean passengers together including one Chilean car! This leaves the bitter taste of a company that had to make concesions to the governement and now is ripping off tourists.

Southern Chile is a fantastic place countless better opportunities to spent your money. Please don't waste it with Transpordadora Austral!

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