It’s been a long time coming, but I finally got the slightly more than tentative word that, starting next Friday, Navimag will resume its weekly ferry shuttle between Puerto Montt (whose terminal building appears in the photograph above) and Puerto Natales. One of this summer’s biggest disappointments has been the lack of a suitable replacement for the former Evangelistas, which used to carry upwards of 300 passengers on this popular route, where Natales is the gateway to the southern Andean grandeur of Torres del Paine (pictured below).
Navimag's new vessel Edén, a reconditioned passenger and vehicle ferry that formerly connected the Baja California peninsula with the Mexican mainland, will have a smaller passenger capacity than the Evangelistas, but at least it will make matters more predictable. I was particularly pleased because it means that, on the 18th, I should be able to sail back to Puerto Montt rather than make the long drive back via Argentina.
The information is not yet up on Navimag’s website, and there could still be a glitch, but I’m reasonably confident that things will go according to schedule. My sources in Navimag’s Santiago headquarters told me the vessel had set sail from Valparaíso, so it should arrive in Puerto Montt well ahead of Friday’s scheduled departure.