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.