Tracing Darwin’s Path in Tierra del Fuego August 13, 2010 By Elaine Glusac Before he got to the Galápagos Islands, Charles Darwin spent two years studying the distinct flora and fauna of the southern tip of South America, making observations that came to influence his groundbreaking theory of natural selection. Though the Galápagos typically draw Darwin tours, two cruises aim to shadow the H.M.S. Beagle’s less celebrated time in Tierra del Fuego. In October, the 64-cabin Via Australis from Cruceros Australis cruise line will ply the Strait of Magellan and the Beagle Channel between Punta Arenas, Chile, and Ushuaia, Argentina, on two Darwin-focused itineraries. The ships will visit glaciers, penguin and elephant seal colonies, Cape Horn and Wulaia Bay, where Darwin encountered a native settlement. John Woram, author of “Charles Darwin Slept Here,” and the photographer Gerardo Bartolomé, author of “Patagonia Through the Eyes of Darwin,” will provide the narrative. The Oct. 16 three-night cruise from Ushuaia to Punta Arenas starts at $1,050 a person, double occupancy, and prices for the return four-night itinerary departing Oct. 19 start at $1,400 a person, double occupancy. The ghost of Darwin is gratis.