The sculpture of the albatross is one of the few sights that most tourists are heading to, when coming to Cape Hoorn / Kap Horn. It is made of a square bloc of steel, where the middle-part was cut out and looks like an Albatross flying with its wings at the bottom and on top. When you take a look at my last photograph you will see such an albatross in a monument in Valparaiso. The part that was cut out of the steel at Cape Horn looks the same !
That Albatross is also the symbol for all people who were sailing around Kap Hoorn, they have a brotherhood and are called Kaphoorniers, Kap Hoornier or Kap Horner (engl.: Cape-Horner; frz.: Cap Hornier) Members of that brotherhood have sailed around the Cape without engine, just by sails, so there are only a few members left over today.
Kap Horn / Cape Hoorn is the southern-most of thousands of small islands in that area and all of them are looking great in the early morning sun. For navigating between these islands the larger ships will have to take a local pilot onboard. For our ship the pilot came onboard the night before in Ft.William and he left the cruiseship again, when a boat of the chilean coastguard was waiting for him close in the bay of the lighthouse of Cape Hoorn.
The island of Cape Horn is of course a strategic point in this remote part of the world and the southernmost island of Chile, except a large sector of Antarctica that belongs to Chile as well. According to the informations we were given onboard the cruiseship Celebrity Infinity, there are 3 persons living in that lighthouse all year long.
I came to Cape Hoorn / Kap Horn onboard the cruiseship M/S Infinity of Celebrity Cruises, a giant ship with more than 90.000 GRT and about 2000 passengers onboard. Cruising around the island of the Cape was one of the highlights of a cruise that took us from Valparaiso / Chile around the southern end of Southamerica and finally ending in Rio de Janeiro.
Cruising around Cape Hoorn takes about 1,5 to 2 hours, when you really like to enjoy it !
Mare Australis is one of the ships that offers landings at Cape Horn several times in the southern summer between September and April. They are doing 4 and 5-day cruises from Punto Arenas
Why dont you take home one of the great T-shirts that are offered for a cheap price onboard the Celebrity Infinity ?
What to buy: That T-shirt shows the itinerary of the cruise and makes certainly a perfect souvenir !
What to pay: Around 17 US$ for a single T-shirt and 20,- $ for 2 of them !
Take extra warm clothes, no matter how you get to Cape Hoorn / Kap Horn ! The southern part of the island is a lot more windy and cold than the northern part of the island ! I was glad to have taken that cap with me, because it covered my ears as well as my neck. Warm gloves would have been great as well, but unfortunately I did not have any !
When landing on the island - like offered by some local tours from Usuaia and smaller cruiseships, dont expect to find any shop, watersupply etc. on the island !