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A view of the Cockburn Channel near Chile.

Cockburn Channel

As you near the southern tip of South America, traveling along the Chilean or Pacific coast, you'll know that you're approaching the Cockburn (pronounced "CO-burn") Channel when you see the twin rocks that guard its entrance. The channel flows between the Brecknock Peninsula (the westernmost edge of Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego) and a number of islands, including Clarence Island with its irregular coastline of dramatic sounds that reach deep into its interior. The channel is part of the route that connects the Strait of Magellan to the Beagle Channel, while along both sides of the waterway is one of the crown jewels of Chile’s network of parks: Alberto de Agostini National Park.

The Cockburn Channel shares the same entrance to the Pacific as the Bárbara Channel. Because of its proximity to the open sea, you may experience some ocean swells as your ship navigates its length. The coastline here is rich in fjords and glaciers. The Pia Fjord is especially beautiful, as dozens of waterfalls cascade down the slopes into its waters. If you watch long enough, you may see huge chunks of ice calve off Pia Glacier and fall into the sea.