Cape Horn Chile
Cape Horn Chile
The first thing we wish to share with you is that we can arrange cruise trips to Cape Horn.
The famous Cape Horn (“Cabo de Hornos”) is in Chilean territory and named after the city of Hoorn in the Netherlands (actually named “Kaap Hoorn” by the Dutch, then referred to as Cape Horn by the English). It is the southernmost point of the “Tierra del Fuego” archipelago and of South America and some may say "the end of the World". It is a small piece of rock, or island, among others that make up the Horn Islands, around which the oceans from the southern Atlantic and Pacific converge. The sea passage around Cape Horn (the Drake Passage) is notorious for its huge seas, violent winds, strong currents and general danger. It is the graveyard for many tall ships that took this route when sailing from one side of the Americas to the other until the discovery, in 1520, of the natural sea passage further north (passing by Punta Arenas) connecting the Southern Atlantic and Pacific Oceans by Portuguese sailor Ferdinand Magellan. Named after Magellan, the Straights of Magellan enabled ships to take the more protected passage and take on supplies at Punta Arenas, cutting out the need to go around Cape Horn, although many Clipper-class ships still rounded the Horn because the narrow Magellan Straight did not offer enough width for necessary navigational maneuvers. In 1914 when the Panama Canal opened, both the passages around Cape Horn and the one through the Magallanes Straight became redundant for most shipping.
For yachtsmen the challenge of sailing around Cape Horn is still there and many still conquer their fear when participating in one of the major yachting races that take in this passage. Likewise many people who look at the World Atlas often dream about being able to see Cape Horn and wonder what it must be like to “go around” it.
The Horn Islands archipelago, as previously mentioned, lies within Chilean territorial waters and the Chilean Navy maintains a station on an island close to the real Cape Horn, but not on the island itself because it is so difficult to access. On Horn Island (not on Cape Horn Island), there is a residence, utility building, chapel, and lighthouse. A short distance way from the main station is a memorial, including a large sculpture featuring the silhouette of an albatross, in honour of the sailors who died while attempting to "round the Horn". On the real Cape Horn there is a 4 m (13 ft) fiberglass light tower with a focal plane of 40 m (131 ft) and a range of about 21 km (13 mi). This is the authentic Cape Horn lighthouse. There are no trees on the island.