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Australis Cruises

Patagonia

Rating: Mid-range    

Australis Cruises overview

The sister ships, Stella and Ventus Australis, are designed to cruise in Patagonia, along the Strait of Magellan, the Beagle Channel, past glaciers and round Cape Horn. They offer a choice of itineraries and cruise durations between September and April each year.

Each vessel has 100 cabins arranged over 3 decks, all with windows and en-suite shower room. Communal facilities include the Patagonia dining room and lounges on 3 different decks, so there are plenty of places to relax and enjoy the company of fellow passengers and take in views of the changing scenery. Board games and reference books are available to help pass the time too. Naturalist guides give talks about forthcoming the geography, wildlife and history of upcoming destinations, and the initial presentation outlines the scope of the cruise.

Daily shore excursions let you experience the pristine beauty of the environment and watch wildlife including penguins and elephant seals among others, often with the choice of a walk or a more strenuous hike, as you prefer. You can also explore by zodiac. Back on board you are free to relax, and if you wish can join guided tours to the engine room and the bridge.

details

Operational: Stella Australis is an adventure cruise ship which was built in 2010 and operates between September and April each year. In 2017 she was joined by her new sister ship, Ventus Australis.

Location: The ships operate in Patagonia and are designed to navigate through Tierra del Fuego’s narrow channels and fjords. Cruises start from the ports of Punta Arenas and Ushuaia.

Rooms: There are 100 en-suite cabins with a maximum passenger capacity of 210. These are divided into 6 categories: B = 3 cabins on Magallanes deck, A = 34 cabins on Magallanes deck, AA = 36 cabins on Tierra del Fuego deck, AA superior = 2 cabins on Tierra del Fuego deck, AAA = 23 cabins on Cabo de Hornos deck and AAA superior = 2 cabins on Cabo de Hornos deck. Standard cabins are 16,5sqm and superior cabins are 20.5sqm. Twin and double cabins are available. All cabins have windows rather than portholes, have an en-suite shower room and are equipped with a hairdryer and safe.

Activities: The ships offer a choice of itineraries. Tierra del Fuego Fjords Route is a 5 day trip from Punta Arenas to Ushuaia. The reverse cruise is called Patagonian Explorers Route. They also offer a 7 day circular cruise from Punta Arenas (Gauchos, Glaciers and Penguins) and 9 day round trip cruises (Darwin’s Route) starting from both Punta Arenas and Ushuaia. During cruises guides give lectures to give you background information about the places you’ll be visiting on the daily shore excursions. Cruise itineraries may be amended due to weather conditions. You should bring a cap, sunglasses, a waterproof jacket, jumper or fleece, waterproof trousers, waterproof gloves and waterproof hiking boots for shore excursions.

Facilities: The large restaurant is on Patagonia deck, and there are 3 lounges (Darwin, Sky and Yamana) and a library. Each ship has a spacious reception area and open panoramic deck area. Board games are supplied. There is a small shop selling souvenirs and sportswear.

Dining: The restaurant serves international cuisine. Lunch is a buffet and there are a la carte options for dinner.

Children: Children of all ages are welcome.

Health: There is no malaria in Chile.

Communication: There is no internet or Wi-Fi internet access on board ship.

Notes: On board payments can be made by MasterCard, Visa, American Express and Diners credit cards, US Dollars, Euros and Chilean Pesos cash. Cruise rates include accommodation, all meals, drinks from the bar when open, shore excursions and onboard entertainment. Optional excursions, port taxes, migration fees and national park fees are not included.

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Guy Marks
PAUL
Paul Cook
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Australis has provided funds for eco-friendly boardwalks at Cape Horn and Ainsworth Bay, and financial support for the museum at Wulaia Bay. The ships regularly host scientific researchers from Magallanes University, the Wildlife Conservation Society and the Centre for Quarternary Studies of Fuego, Patagonia and Antarctic.    

 

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