1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Australis
  4. Australis Cruise Reviews

8 Australis South America Cruise Reviews

We chose to do this cruise to broaden our view of Chile. After spending 10 days in Santiago and Valparaíso exploring the wine valleys , we traveled south to board the Stella in Puerto Arenas .We were looking forward to seeing the ... Read More
We chose to do this cruise to broaden our view of Chile. After spending 10 days in Santiago and Valparaíso exploring the wine valleys , we traveled south to board the Stella in Puerto Arenas .We were looking forward to seeing the glaciers. As recreational sailors we were anxious to see Cape Horn. This cruise was everything we hoped it to be and more. Fortunately, the weather conditions allowed us to do all the excursions including visiting Cape Horn. Our cabin was comfortable with nice amenities. We even had a complimentary bottle of champagne from the Captain for our anniversary. Andreas, our cabin attendant, was very helpful. If you are looking for interesting well-coordinated outdoor activities, this cruise will deliver! The expedition guides are friendly and extremely knowledgeable - we had Pato. We were very impressed with the attention to safety from the guides and crew managing the Zodiacs. Safety was always first while assuring you have a good experience. As others have mentioned, be prepared for all types of weather. Waterproof clothing is recommended for good reason. We enjoyed meeting other guests during the cocktail hour prior to presentations and dinner. We would evaluate the food as average but abundant and table service inconsistent. Overall, our trip was an excellent, memorable experience and we highly recommend traveling on the Australis Cruise Line. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
The Ventus (means Southern Wind) is brand new, just coming online in early January, 2018, and holds 210 guests. I think we had about 140 on this sailing at the end of January with 60 crew members. We chose the 4 night itinerary from ... Read More
The Ventus (means Southern Wind) is brand new, just coming online in early January, 2018, and holds 210 guests. I think we had about 140 on this sailing at the end of January with 60 crew members. We chose the 4 night itinerary from Punta Arenas, Chile to Ushuaia, Argentina. You could also do the 3 night reverse itinerary or combine them. If you want to visit this spectacular landscape of glaciers, mountains and churning sea, this is really your only option. 6pm was the magic hour to finally board the ship. The boarding area had a number of craft booths so you could grab that last souvenir from Chile. You had to wait for a bus to drive you out to the ship, which took about 4 buses to load. Upon boarding, we were shown immediately to our lovely cabin. After ensuring our luggage was there, we all went to the 5th floor deck Darwin Lounge for a safety briefing. You didn’t need to wear your life jackets. English speakers were in this lounge and Spanish speakers met on the 4th floor lounge. Welcome Pisco Sours, or whatever you wanted, were handed out. By the time we got there, all the tables were taken and we saw that there were appetizer plates on each. When asked about how to get one from the bartender, he was shrugged off and said they were only on the tables. We only wanted something to nibble on, chips or nuts, and saw they next night that they did have these. The ship departed at 8pm and dinner was at 8:15 in the 1st Deck Dining Room where again, they assigned you to a table based on language. We were sat at a table for 6 and met our table mates, an interesting couple from Australia. The other two never showed up. I really didn’t like this arrangement because we sat with the same couple for breakfast, lunch and dinner for 4 nights. While we enjoyed talking with them, we do like meeting a variety of people and this wasn’t conducive to that. The food and wine for every meal was good. The dress code was decidedly casual…the first night especially, most people wore what they’d had on all day. There are two daily shore excursions which are again divided into two groups based on Challenging or Moderate Difficulty and again by language. We always picked the easiest option. After a good buffet breakfast, we don our lifejackets and carefully board the rolling Zodiacs. Perched on the seat, clinging to a rope for dear life with one hand and husband's leg with the other, wearing waterproof hiking boots, pants, jacket, gloves and hat, we set off. You have to either tuck your camera behind your life vest, or better yet, stuff it in a ziplock bag because you do occasionally get sprayed with ocean. Morning's are often cloudy, drizzly and cool, and we’re let off with a dry landing. With our guide, we set off on a coastal walk along the edge of a stream, a peat bog and a beaver’s habitat to a waterfall and moss cover rock face tucked deep inside a sub-polar forest. Our guide discusses flora and fauna, (how the introduced beavers and mink hurt the ecosystem) and it is lovely even with the monochromatic vista of sea, sky and mountains. Back for lunch at 1pm and the second excursion, to Tucker’s Islets to see the Magellanic penguins, is divided into 3 times from 3:15 to 5:30. The first group was lucky because the sun actually came out. When we went, it had turned blustery and rainy which made viewing them not that pleasant and quick. Our zodiac had run aground off the penguin’s beach, but was pulled out by a fellow zodiac’s rope. There also were a lot of king cormorants to observe. The gift shop on the ship sells a large, detailed map of the area filled with other information for $20...highly recommend reading this early on the cruise. A documentary film was shown after dinner for entertainment. It was rough sleeping in the middle of the night as we sailed around the western end of Tierra del Fuego into the open Pacific ocean before entering the Ballenero (Whaleboat) Channel. Next day found us cruising up the NW arm of the Beagle Channel until early afternoon. We had a lecture on Tierra del Fuego and the Bridge was open to tour. After lunch, entered Pia Fjord and boarded Zodiacs for the Pia Glacier to hike to a panoramic view. Again, we opted for the moderate hike, but as I struggled to scramble up the slippery, wet volcanic rock, aided in part by occasional ropes to hold onto, I realized I didn’t have the balance for this trek. Besides my husband, a crew member was very solicitous in helping me back down. I didn’t mind much as it wasn’t very pretty under the gloomy skies. Today the wind was blowing so hard you couldn’t go out on deck. I had wished this ship had some jacuzzi’s on the top deck, but I can see from a safety standpoint that wouldn’t work. At one point the rain pelted the ship so hard you couldn’t see out of the windows. Luckily, the weather improved as we cruised through Glacier Alley, where a number of impressive glaciers named after European countries flowed down from the Darwin Mountain Range on the northern shore. Staff served appetizers or drinks representative of each country as we passed by. Day 3 took us to Cape Horn, part of the archipelago that makes up Cape Horn National Park, Cabo de Hornos is a sheer 1394 ft. high rocky promontory overlooking the turbulent Drake Passage. The 7am departure to Cape Horn had everyone dressed and ready to go. We’d been warned during the presentation yesterday that if the winds or swells were too high for a safe Zodiac landing, the excursion would be cancelled. And, it was, to the disappointment of many. I had already decided climbing all those steps straight up in the usual windy conditions would not be fun so stayed in bed through the wake up announcement. But, I did scurry out to the deck to get photos of the Isla Hornos Monument, the negative space forming an albatross, to commemorate all the lost seamen. To make up for this, the Captain decided to sail round the Cape, which resulted in a rollicking, wild ride. The rest of the morning was spent viewing a documentary on Shackleton and hearing about the aboriginal people before our excursion to Wulaia Bay. In late afternoon we go ashore at Wulaia Bay, a scenic spot that had been the site of one of the largest Yamana aboriginal settlements. The sun was a welcome sight as we took an easy hike through a Magellanic forest for a panoramic viewpoint of the bay. Afterwards, you could explore a small, ethnographic museum that also housed the Barrel Post Office, where you can pick up a postcard from your country and mail it when you return like the old sailors used to do. You can also drop off a postcard and hope someone will do the same. All in all, this cruise was a unique way to explore the beautiful landscape in comfort and safety. The crew did a great job, the lectures were interesting and the food was good. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
This was the last part of a Patagonia adventure. Glaciers, fjords, etc were all breathtaking. Guides were excellent and we enjoyed the expeditions (although the were a little short for us). We would have liked to spend more time seeing ... Read More
This was the last part of a Patagonia adventure. Glaciers, fjords, etc were all breathtaking. Guides were excellent and we enjoyed the expeditions (although the were a little short for us). We would have liked to spend more time seeing penguins and hiking. There was quite a bot of variation in the fitness level of the people onboard. We seemed to be in the mid range for age but more fit and able to do more than we did. The cabins were clean and comfortable, and the staff was friendly and helpful, especially when our ride didn't appear at the end of the cruise. I One negative was the food. For the price we were paying the food should have been better. For some meals the "good" desserts were snatched up by the early eaters and not replenished. The steam-table selections for breakfast were pretty unappealing, although the baed goods were reasonable. In all, we would definitely do it again, as there is no other way to see this magnificent part of the world. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We were on board as part of a National Geographic Patagonia Expedition. My sailor husband was thrilled to go around Cape Horn, up Beagle channel and the Magellan Strait. I loved the hike and visiting the Aguila Glacier plus seeing ... Read More
We were on board as part of a National Geographic Patagonia Expedition. My sailor husband was thrilled to go around Cape Horn, up Beagle channel and the Magellan Strait. I loved the hike and visiting the Aguila Glacier plus seeing thousands of penguins on Magdalena Island. We were very lucky to have mild, sunny days, all be it was windy. Our berth was spacious, had a large window to enjoy the views from and a well-designed and comfortable head. Getting 200 passengers on and off zodiacs went down remarkably well. The crew are well trained, courteous and clearly enjoy what they do - they were a pleasure to be on board with. The food was very good, the and the bartenders excellent. The crew gave excellent service and team leader, Mauricio Alvarez made sure we were well taken care of. A wonderful experience from someone who doesn't like cruise ships! Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
I was on the Stella Australis as part of a tour to South America and specifically Patagonia. The Stella allowed me to make it to Cape Horn and set foot on the southernmost part of the Americas. This ship serves as a research vessel as well ... Read More
I was on the Stella Australis as part of a tour to South America and specifically Patagonia. The Stella allowed me to make it to Cape Horn and set foot on the southernmost part of the Americas. This ship serves as a research vessel as well as a tourist boat, and there are a cadre of young, enthusiastic and knowledgeable expedition leaders who both lectured on the ship and led the shore excursions. We were very lucky with weather on my trip and got to go ashore everywhere planned, but that is not always the case. The crew takes great care with passenger safety. We got up close and personal with penguins on Magdalena Island, saw glaciers and had some wonderful hikes. The accommodations are what I would expect from a mid-range cruise, and the food was good.One note- the little on board gift shop has some outstanding values. I thoroughly enjoyed my cruise and would recommend the Stella without reservation. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
On the plus side: Unexpectedly comfortable and well-appointed cabins (well worth splurging for the big windows), charming and competent guides (pretty remarkable given that they do the same itinerary every week), more and less strenuous ... Read More
On the plus side: Unexpectedly comfortable and well-appointed cabins (well worth splurging for the big windows), charming and competent guides (pretty remarkable given that they do the same itinerary every week), more and less strenuous options (sometimes three choices) for those who want serious hikes, good food (although it runs out fast), overall great value for money (compared to fancier cruise lines). They made big efforts to provide guides in several languages. On the minus side: Compulsory table seating for every meal with the same people (we ended up with a very boring table and purposely came late so we would not have sit too long with them!), most of the lectures could use a bit of polish (improve the slides or show a nature documentary!), long waits to board the zodiacs. It rained every day, but somehow that did not matter. Some people did not bring enough rain gear and were miserable. Do bring your own hiking pole(s) if you use one as they do not have many to loan. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
This exploration cruise ship was a wonderful surprise! We had sailed 8 nights on a tired catamaran in the Galapagos and thought this could be similar. We were wonderfully surprised by the spaciousness of the cabins, cleanliness, friendly ... Read More
This exploration cruise ship was a wonderful surprise! We had sailed 8 nights on a tired catamaran in the Galapagos and thought this could be similar. We were wonderfully surprised by the spaciousness of the cabins, cleanliness, friendly crew and staff, good food and wonderfully organized dry-landing shore excursions all included. We booked the 4-night Punta Arenas to Ushuaia cruise and traveled December 3-6, 2016. We were lucky to have exceptional good weather and calm seas so that added to our enjoyment of the cruise but aside from that, I would definitely recommend this cruise and company to everyone. The shore excursions are great with varying hiking "levels". You can do as much or as little as you like. And remember, all big cruise lines sail "around" cape horn, with the Stella Australis you use the zodiacs to go ashore and climb steps to the Albatross Memorial, the lighthouse and small chapel. You need to be in better shape than most for this cruise to fully enjoy all that is available. I highly recommend using this company. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
There aren't many reviews on this ship that goes to the end of the world. We did the 4 night 3 day cruise thru our tour. Here some insight into the ship. You will be taking a Zodiac everytime for all the tours. The ship does ... Read More
There aren't many reviews on this ship that goes to the end of the world. We did the 4 night 3 day cruise thru our tour. Here some insight into the ship. You will be taking a Zodiac everytime for all the tours. The ship does offer waterproof boots if you want them-you should get the first day since they don't have enough for everyone. Unless its raining you don't need the boots-your hiking boots will do just fine. We stayed dry. Having waterproof pants is a good idea even it its not raining. you have to sit on the zodiac and you may get wet which is why they are a good idea. the ship was a pleasant surprise. nice cabins, bathrooms and bedding. it does get warm in the room since there is no air conditioning. breakfast and lunch are buffet. the dinners are not but only 2 choices for the main course. they serve wine at dinner but its the house white or red. due to the weather, we could not disembark at Cape Horn. The expedition tour guides were great. it can be a bit rough but the scenery is wonderful. When you go thru the Glacier Alley, you need to be on the port (left side). get to the Darwin lounge early to get a good seat. overall, a great experience and the ship exceeding our expectations. There is no entertainment but an open bar so the other passengers end up being the entertainment. You can tip using your credit card. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click