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Customer Reviews for Off the Beaten Track: Magdalena Penguin Reserve

Off the Beaten Track: Magdalena Penguin Reserve

Begin with a motor coach drive to the ferry dock. It is an approximately 1½-hour ferry ride across the famous Strait of Magellan and you will be sailing the same waters as Sir Francis Drake and Charles Darwin. Upon arrival at Magdalena Island, declared a Natural Monument in 1982, you will see one of the largest penguin colonies in southern Chile, and get acquainted with the unspoiled habitat of penguins, cormorants and many other birds. A substantial colony of Magellan penguins nests and breeds here. These penguins return every year to this spot between October and March to lay eggs and raise their young. They bury their eggs in the sandy burrows and under shrubs; at this time of year most of the chicks will have hatched. The animals are naturally curious and untamed; if approached too quickly they will scamper into their burrows or try to reach the water. A snack pack will be provided. After ample time to observe the birds it is time for the invigorating walk back to the ferry and the navigation back to Punta Arenas, where your bus will be waiting to take you back to the pier. You will have about one hour on the island to observe the curious and entertaining penguins before returning to Punta Arenas.Notes:Do not attempt to touch the penguins as their strong beaks can inflict serious wounds. Since this is a wildlife reserve, no visitor facilities are available. Walking is on mostly flat, marked pathways with approximately 30 minutes on uneven terrain. Wear sturdy, comfortable walking shoes. It is essential that you wear warm layered clothing in order to fully enjoy and participate in this excursion. The ferry is a local vessel that may differ from the style you are accustomed to at home. Seasonal migration, which is somewhat unpredictable, can affect the operation of this tour from March to April. The ship will liaise with the tour operator prior to arrival in Punta Arenas and, in the event that the penguins are no longer present, guests will be given the chance to substitute an alternative shore excursion.
Average Customer Rating:
4.364 out of 5
4.4
 out of 
5
(22 Reviews) 22
Open Ratings Snapshot
Rating Snapshot (22 reviews)
5 stars
11
4 stars
9
3 stars
1
2 stars
1
1 star
0
22 out of 22(100%)reviewers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for Off the Beaten Track: Magdalena Penguin Reserve
Review 1 for Off the Beaten Track: Magdalena Penguin Reserve
Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

So cute

Date:April 30, 2014
Fossy
Location:Australia
Cruise Date Year:2014
Cruise Date Month:January
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
Enjoyed it?
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
We saw 1000's of penguins, my camera ran hot. The day was cold, wet and windy, but it didn't matter. You can walk up to the lighthouse or still see heaps of birds down near the barge. Don't let the 2 Hour boat trip each way put you off going. A great day.
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
+1point
1out of 1found this review helpful.
Review 2 for Off the Beaten Track: Magdalena Penguin Reserve
Overall Rating
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Lots of penguins

Date:April 1, 2014
JohnMorgan
Location:Connecticut
Cruise Date Year:2014
Cruise Date Month:March
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
Enjoyed it?
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
On this tour you spend about 3 1/2 hours on a 50 year old boat with your knees intertwined with the person sitting opposite. It's a little tight to say the least.
On the island is a large colony of megallan penguins which are fun to see. The ad says there are 85,000 but I doubt that there were 8,500 when we visited in late March.
Talking with others on the cruise this seemed to be the best tour to see penguins.
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
+1point
1out of 1found this review helpful.
Review 3 for Off the Beaten Track: Magdalena Penguin Reserve
Overall Rating
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Must See!

Date:March 18, 2014
WanderWoman
Location:Virginia
Cruise Date Year:2014
Cruise Date Month:February
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
Enjoyed it?
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
If you have never been to a penguin colony, this you must see. Do not believe them when they say you can return to the ferry at any time. It pulled out and left us there. Also, do not be tempted away with the speed boat tour. We were, it was cancelled, and we almost missed out since this one was sold out and wait listed. If you are really into birding, go up top of the ferry. As you approach the island, you can see the penguins swimming in the water. Bring warm clothes and goggles if the wind is blowing. If you go to the Falkland Islands, Volunteer Point is better.
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
+3points
3out of 3found this review helpful.
Review 4 for Off the Beaten Track: Magdalena Penguin Reserve
Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Awesome

Date:March 16, 2014
Malia
Location:NC and HI
Cruise Date Year:2013
Cruise Date Month:December
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
Enjoyed it?
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
This is an easy tour for anyone who has difficulty walking distances. I was helped getting off the ferry across grassy area and stones to the path. The path was smooth and the penguins were everywhere. You can walk a few feet or further up a hill or simply stand where you are. You will see more penguins than you could imagine. It was windy and cold but you have the ability to return to the ferry at any time. I returned earlier than many and the guys from the ferry helped me walk across the short area of uneven grass, mud and stones. Wear comfortable shoes and dress warmly. Take lots of pictures!
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
+2points
3out of 4found this review helpful.
Review 5 for Off the Beaten Track: Magdalena Penguin Reserve
Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Penguins

Date:March 3, 2014
Brissie14
Location:Brisbane
Cruise Date Year:2014
Cruise Date Month:January
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
Loved the penguins, Extremely windy day but a great day. Well worth the trip.
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
0points
0out of 0found this review helpful.
Review 6 for Off the Beaten Track: Magdalena Penguin Reserve
Overall Rating
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Great Trip

Date:February 2, 2014
LoisandRay
Location:Mesa, Arizona
Cruise Date Year:2013
Cruise Date Month:December
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
Enjoyed it?
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Nice boat ride and a very interesting place. Loved seeing all the penguins.
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
0points
0out of 0found this review helpful.
Review 7 for Off the Beaten Track: Magdalena Penguin Reserve
Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Wow this is the Best

Date:January 21, 2014
Greenspeed
Location:Columbus Ms
Cruise Date Year:2013
Cruise Date Month:December
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
Enjoyed it?
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
If you want to see penguins this is the trip for you. The boat trip is very smooth and a great nap on the way back to the ship. On the Magdaena Island there are penguins everywhere. They are easy to get as close as you want. They will even walk up to you on their way to the water.
wear warm clothing. The best excursion on the trip.
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
+2points
2out of 2found this review helpful.
Review 8 for Off the Beaten Track: Magdalena Penguin Reserve
Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Great Day With the Penguins!

Date:January 15, 2014
Loreto
Location:Victorville, California
Cruise Date Year:2013
Cruise Date Month:December
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
This is a not to be missed excursion! The ferry ride (comfortable) and packaged lunch have been adequately described by others. The actual ride was pleasant, with calm waters. We had to wait for the ferry already docked on the island to pull out. We still got our full hour on the island, thank goodness. The penguins were waiting as we stepped on land, and the sense of wonder and fun began! They were everywhere, looking at you, walking in front of you, posing for pictures...they seemed feerless. The chicks in various stages of moulting were adorable, and since they held relatively still, I captured many tender parent penguin/chick moments with my simple camera. I also saw seagull chicks, something I had never seen before.
This was such a great experience....you cannot look at these penguins and not smile! I fell under their happy spell.
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
+2points
2out of 2found this review helpful.
Review 9 for Off the Beaten Track: Magdalena Penguin Reserve
Overall Rating
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Lots and lots of penguins

Date:January 12, 2014
boulders
Location:Canada
Cruise Date Year:2013
Cruise Date Month:December
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
Enjoyed it?
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
This shore excursion involved a short bus ride to the ferry and a 2 hour ferry ride each way to Magdalena Island. A snack and lunch pack was provided with 2 sandwiches, chocolate bar, cereal bar, large bottle of water and a large juice pak. Magdalena Island was covered with Magellan penguins. We were told there were 200,000 penguins. Even on the ferry you were extremely close to the penguins.
We had been to Volunteer Point on the Falklands earlier in the cruise and I felt that this excursions was not quite as good.
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
+1point
1out of 1found this review helpful.
Review 10 for Off the Beaten Track: Magdalena Penguin Reserve
Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Pure fun!

Date:December 30, 2013
Gaylekr
Location:Winnipeg. Canada
Cruise Date Year:2013
Cruise Date Month:December
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
Enjoyed it?
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I admit I found the price outrageously high but booked it anyway. Once I set foot on Magdalena Island and viewed the enchanting penguins I had to say it was worth it. Expensive but worth it. The penguins were so endearing everyone was walking around with smiles on their faces.
The only suggestion I would make would be to make it options to be dropped off in town after the tour rather than the ship. That way it would not be necessary to pay for a taxi to get to town as there is plenty of time to do both things on this stop.
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
+2points
2out of 2found this review helpful.
Review 11 for Off the Beaten Track: Magdalena Penguin Reserve
Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Penguins Gallore!

Date:April 21, 2013
Sceniccruiser
Location:Marion, Ohio
Cruise Date Year:2013
Cruise Date Month:March
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
Enjoyed it?
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
If you take this cruise to view penguins you got your moneys worth on this shore excersion.Yes the ferry ride was longer than time spent viewing penguins but I felt guides commentary was entertaiining and informative(Marcella for sure!) Sandwiches were certainly interesting, but filling. Very comfortable ferry ride. Could sit inside or walk outside on viewing deck. Only saw 60 to 70 thousand penguins as was end of nesting season. Can only imagine what earlier cruises saw(300,000 to 400,000 they say) We fortunately had perfect weather. Would still have seen alot even had it not been.
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
+5points
8out of 11found this review helpful.
Review 12 for Off the Beaten Track: Magdalena Penguin Reserve
Overall Rating
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Close up encounter with penguins

Date:April 12, 2013
Hendo
Location:London, UK
Cruise Date Year:2013
Cruise Date Month:March
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
Enjoyed it?
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
A good excursion with a great boat crossing and then plenty of time to get close to the thousands of penguins on the island.Great for photos as the residents arent too bothered by your presence.We had a great day due to clear blue skies etc but rough seas or rain might have made for a very different memory.
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
+3points
5out of 7found this review helpful.
Review 13 for Off the Beaten Track: Magdalena Penguin Reserve
Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Lots of penguins

Date:March 31, 2013
Travelers48
Location:Atlantic Canada
Cruise Date Year:2013
Cruise Date Month:March
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
Enjoyed it?
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
We were met at the pier and a bus took us for a short ride to the ferry dock. The ferry was very comfortable with reclining seats and tables between seats. Most people had access to large windows. There are good washrooms on the ferry but not on the island. It was a 1 3/4 hour trip to the Magdalena Island. The waters were fairly calm and no rough water was encountered. A substantial boxed lunch consisting of a water bottle, juice, two sandwiches and chocolate bar was provided. During the ferry ride, the various guides described the penguins and island. Marcella gave a wonderfully imaginative description of penguin mating habits. The weather was cool but sunny. We made our way to the lighthouse via the well-defined walkways. There were penguins everywhere and lots of photo opportunities. We were able to get close to the penguins and some even crossed our path. Be sure to bring a hat and gloves as it was windy and cold on the island. It was a wonderful hour on the island. The trip back was a great time to eat and catch up on sleep. On the way back, we saw some black & white dolphins. A very worthwhile adventure. Following our return to the ship, a shuttle bus took us into town where we walked around the square and craft market.
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
+7points
11out of 15found this review helpful.
Review 14 for Off the Beaten Track: Magdalena Penguin Reserve
Overall Rating
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Magdalena Penguin Reserve

Date:March 30, 2013
terter
Location:The Villages, FL
Cruise Date Year:2013
Cruise Date Month:March
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
The ferry ride is long with little to no entertainment. And once at reserve, you really cannot get close to the penguins as it is all roped off (which they don't show you in the picture). But you do get to see a lot of penguins!
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
-1point
4out of 9found this review helpful.
Review 15 for Off the Beaten Track: Magdalena Penguin Reserve
Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Exciting adventure

Date:March 23, 2013
PresbyGuy
Location:Buffalo, NY
Cruise Date Year:2013
Cruise Date Month:February
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
Enjoyed it?
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
We went here because we had been cautioned that sometimes you could not land at the Falklands and then you would miss seeing penguins up close and personal. We are glad that we went on this trip even though later we saw the Falkland penguins (even better). But, this trip was exciting (high winds and seas made for a roller coaster ride back through the Magellan Strait). Make sure you have good layered clothing and EYE PROTECTION...winds blew sand everywhere...got a free skin abrasion cleansing. When we got back on ship and took a bath we left a a sandy residue at the bottom of the tub. MUST DUE adventure...and had time to tour city on our own when we got back.
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
+7points
7out of 7found this review helpful.
Review 16 for Off the Beaten Track: Magdalena Penguin Reserve
Overall Rating
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

ALL FOR PENGUINS!!

Date:March 1, 2013
BoyntonBeach
Location:Boynton Beach, Florida
Cruise Date Year:2013
Cruise Date Month:February
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
Enjoyed it?
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
The ferry ride is very long and the narration is bad. BUT, if you love penguins like us and that's what we were there to see its a must. We saw gulls and lots of penguins, up close within 2 feet of us. You are on a man made path and are not to deviate from it. The penguins of course can cross and it is fun watching them go back and forth.
The snack is not very good so you do need to eat before you leave and there is always food available on the ship when you return. The weather was good for us but you should layer your clothes and protect your cameras from the blowing sand.
It's really not to be missed if you want to see penguins. There is nothing else there to do or see.
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
+1point
1out of 1found this review helpful.
Review 17 for Off the Beaten Track: Magdalena Penguin Reserve
Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Off the Beaten Track: Magdalena Penguin Reserve

Date:January 18, 2013
anner
Location:Connecticut, USA
Cruise Date Year:2012
Cruise Date Month:December
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
Enjoyed it?
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Book this excursion early because it does fill up. Once the ferry is full, it's full! But it is a very comfortable ride with a seat for everyone and even tables if you want to play cards (bring your own deck).
The ferry brings you directly to the penguins. Quite an experience to be able to get so close to them. A roped-off path brings you right through the penguins and their nests, and up to the Lighthouse (if you even make it there with so many excellent photo opportunities). It is a very open area, so dress warm and wear eye protection in case it's windy. We had a perfect day!
We almost changed this excursion to something else because we did another penguin excursion in the Falklands. But we are so glad we did not cancel this one!
We also went into town after the bus dropped us back off at the ship. We highly recommend doing that to see the town and its sites. We always felt safe walking around and no one ever bothered us. We bought some postcards and showed them to a taxi driver that drove us to every picture we showed her. (It's not a big town.) She was very helpful and eager to please, even though she did not speak much English. We enjoyed the Chilean people and all their hospitality!
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
+8points
8out of 8found this review helpful.
Review 18 for Off the Beaten Track: Magdalena Penguin Reserve
Overall Rating
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

A long trip just to see penguins but well worth it

Date:November 28, 2012
TNTJ
Location:Adelaide, Australia
Cruise Date Year:2012
Cruise Date Month:November
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
Enjoyed it?
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
You need to understad that while this excusion lasts over six hours and is quite costly basically five of those hours are spent travelling just to spend one hour with the penguins. If you love experiencing wild life, as we do, it is well worth it, and the cost! Penguins and gulls everywhere. If you are looking for more, then don't choose this trip but if you want a true wild life experience this is for you.
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
+11points
11out of 11found this review helpful.
Review 19 for Off the Beaten Track: Magdalena Penguin Reserve
Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

70,000 penguins to 120 tourists

Date:February 9, 2012
Lucille
Location:Canada
Cruise Date Year:2012
Cruise Date Month:January
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
Enjoyed it?
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Loved this one! The reviews had warned us about dressing warmly and protecting our eyes in case of blowing sand, so we had no trouble with the environment. The penguins were fascinating, as they went about their business with no more than a wary eye on the invaders. We took lots of pictures. There was an easy ferry ride to the island and back, and the ship had made arrangements for late dining on our return.
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
+20points
20out of 20found this review helpful.
Review 20 for Off the Beaten Track: Magdalena Penguin Reserve
Overall Rating
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Needs Improvement

Date:December 18, 2011
Cruisinguy
Location:Vancouver
Cruise Date Year:2011
Cruise Date Month:November
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
Enjoyed it?
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
The excursion itself is worth doing. The experience with the penguins is unforgettable. However, while the tour guides do their very best, they are hampered by poor equipment. The sound system in the boat is so bad that you can't hear anything they are saying. In addition, the so called lunch is terrible. They serve a really bad sandwich made of bread that tastes like cardboard with a questionable filling. We were lucky in that we got a ham and cheese which was at least edible, but the other is some sort of paste that smelled bad. Most people threw it out. They do give you a couple of bars, which are OK, and juice.
Try to make sure you ear something before you go. The other thing is that this tour gets back late and the dining room is closed. If you really hurry, you might make the buffet of the lido deck, otherwise you will have to order to your room. As this tour is very popular, I think Holland should keep the buffet open a little longer that night so people can eat.
Would you recommend this product to a friend? Yes
+29points
29out of 29found this review helpful.
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