Glacier cruise in Chilean Patagonia

| Anke Hendriks

Captain Luis Kochifas speaking

Across the southern ice fields of Chile's Patagonia, Luis Kochifas, captain of the Skorpios lll, sails the unique and exclusive Kawesar route. Here enormous glaciers flow into fjords and canals, the lakes and rivers are bright blue, and the islands are populated by playful sea lions and penguins. We asked Luis some questions about this unique and breathtaking cruise.


Luis, can you tell me a little more about yourself?

My name is Luis Kochifas, son of Constantino Kochifas and Noemí Coñuecar. Together with my 5 brothers, I grew up in Puerto Montt. When I was 18, I started sailing and I succeeded my father as captain of the Skorpios lll.

Your father started Skorpios in 1957, can you tell us more about it?

My father founded the company in 1957. He had worked hard as a fisherman the years before and had earned just enough to buy a ship. In the early years, the ship was used as a cargo ship. Only 20 years later he decided to switch to tourism. So in 1976 he started as a pioneer with the route to the glaciers. He wanted to show the beauty of the Chilean south to the world. And now, many years later, I am at the helm to continue my father's work. At this moment we have two ships with which we make unforgettable cruises.

What do you like most about your job as captain?

I enjoy the scenery all the time, but that's not the best part of my job. I'm most happy when I get to know our guests. Often these introductions lead to friendships. There is a family atmosphere on board that makes people feel at home. It happens regularly that people come back to repeat the journey. I often say: ‘The boat is small, but our heart is big.’

Can you tell us more about the route of this expedition cruise?

The 3-day Kaweskar route is a unique and exclusive route that is not offered by anyone else. During the cruise you will be taken to numerous impressive glaciers, including Amalia and El Brujo, the two largest in the area. Along the way you can enjoy various animals, including dolphins, sea lions, cormorants and condors. You can also visit the Herman glacier which has coloured ice floes. During the entire trip you will be amazed by the unspoiled and beautiful landscape and the flora and fauna present here. It offers travellers the opportunity to feel part of a real expedition to a remote and untouched part of our world.

What do you think is the highlight of the route?

My father's personal favourite was the San Rafael Glacier. My favorite is the Calvo Fjord. As many as ten to twelve suspended glaciers come down here from the same spot in the Patagonian ice sheet. That's a magical sight.

How do you see the future of Skorpios?

I'm very positive about it. In recent years, Chile has developed into an attractive destination. Especially the southern part is becoming more and more famous. Skorpios has a lot to offer. Travellers are looking for the peace and beauty that are abundant in Chilean Patagonia. A cruise with Skorpios is a great adventure, but one in which you can enjoy the peace and quiet of this great area.


Travel through Chile - On a Skorpios cruise?

Would you like to make a trip through Chile yourself with a Skorpios cruise and are you curious about the possibilities? We are happy to help you organize a trip that meets your wishes. For more information, visit our page about Chile.

Do you have a question? Feel free to contact us. Call +31 73 610 62 04 or send an email to We are happy to help.

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