THE way to experience Patagonia and the Andean fjords!
This was my 9th time aboard the Alba and I can't wait to come back again!
I cannot say enough about how unique this experience is and how well attended everyone was while aboard. The Alba has always been a special place to come to and truly one of a kind. It is a hand-made yacht built entirely out of local lumber for the sole purpose and of pleasure cruising the protected waters of Southern Chile (where the Andes meet the Pacific Ocean) while blending into the Patagonian landscape.
This is not a cheap trip, but compared to the high-end hotels I have been to in Torres del Paine, the Alba provides a MUCH more unique and special experience with access to areas that only few people get to see a year.
Having also been on charters in the US, Caribbean and Europe, this is the best value I have seen from the perspective of crew / guest ratio and uniqueness of experience. I have chartered other boats in the region prior to the construction of the Alba, and they do not compare - Alba has earned its reputation as the best boat and crew.
Home to only small fishing and farming villages, the area is very sparsely populated. As much of the area is primarily accessible by water, one always feels much like an explorer as you approach each town without any other foreigners to be seen.
The food is world-class with the full range of South Pacific shellfish and seafood gathered daily and Don Luis in charge of preparing the region's famous dishes. Note: your only alarm clock will be the smell of his fresh dough rising in the oven every morning
Plenty of activities to do (kayak, hike, fish, beach comb) but navigating solo through the dramatic landscapes is the real highlight of the trip. For those who like to drive, el Capitan makes this a very interactive experience and you can easily find yourself spending the afternoon going through charts and mapping out the next destination while sipping fresh brew and getting the hang of the wheel.
Personal favorites: The natural volcanic hot springs in both Cahuelmo & Porcelana (I have yet to see anyone else visiting when we go)
A Must: "Asado al palo" - spit roasted meat of your choice on a beach of your choice (lamb recommended!)
And always keep an eye out for the dolphins …