Even larger than the Moreno Glacier , 50 kilometers long and 10 kilometers wide at its foot, the Upsala glacier is accessible only by crowded catamaran trips from Puerto Bandera via Lago Argentino’s Brazo Norte (North Arm). Impressive for its sheer extent, the sizeable bergs that have calved off it, and their shapes and colors, it’s the trip’s outstanding sight.
At midday the boat anchors at Bahía Onelli, but bring a bag lunch (skipping the restaurant) to hike to ice-clogged Lago Onelli. The land portion of this excursion is regimented, and the guide-suggested pace—30 minutes from dock to lakeshore—is suitable for those on crutches. Smoking is prohibited on the forest trail.
Visitors should realize that this is a mass-tourism excursion that may frustrate hikers accustomed to freedom of the hills. If you take it, choose the biggest available ship, which offers the most deck space to see the Spegazzini and Upsala glaciers. On board, the freshest air is within the cabin of the ALM, whose seats are cramped but where smoking is prohibited; on deck, desperate smokers congregate even in freezing rain. Reasonably priced cakes, sandwiches, coffee, tea, and hot chocolate are available on board.
Puerto Bandera is 45 kilometers west of Calafate  via RP 11 and RP 8. For information and reservations, contact concessionaire Fernández Campbell (Avenida Libertador 867, El Calafate, tel. 02902/49-1155 or 02902/49-1428, www.fernandezcampbell.com.ar ). The full-day trip costs about US$85 pp; this now includes transfers to Puerto Bandera but not the US$17 park fee for non-Argentines.
A new alternative is an overnight trip, with on-board accommodations and meals, through Cruceros Marpatag (9 de Julio 57, Local 10, El Calafate, tel. 02902/49-2118, www.cruceros 
marpatag.com), which visits the Upsala and Spegazzini glaciers the first day and the Moreno glacier  on the second before returning to Puerto Bandera. Rates are US$625 pp, double occupancy.