Skorpios III cruise ship visits Pio XI Glacier, Chile.
Pio XI Glacier (49¡13'S, 74¡W), is the largest western outflow from the Southern Patagonian Icefield. It is a tidewater glacier, meaning that it terminates in the sea. About 64 km in length, it is one of the longest glaciers in the southern hemisphere outside of Antarctica. Unlike most glaciers worldwide, it has been advancing since 1945.
The face is 50 meters high and over 3500 meters wide. Huge blocks of ice are continually discharged into the sea. It is part of Bernardo O'Higgins National Park, Chile. Southwestern Patagonia is one of the least populated and little visited areas on earth. With no roads, most visitors come by yacht or cruise ship.
Bernardo O'Higgins National Park, Chile.
Covering an area of 35,000 sq. km, this park is the largest protected area in Chile. Stretching from the Gulfo de Penas to Ultima Esperanza in the south, and from the Pacific Ocean on the west to the Andes in the east, it encompasses thousands of islands, fiords, glaciers, and a major portion of the Southern Icecap (Hielo Sur). The area shows different examples and stages of glacial action and periglacial ecosystems succession. The Southern Patagonian Icefield is the largest body of ice outside the polar regions, and is declining in size.