9 Punta Arenas Group and Theme Cruise Reviews

Road Scholar. The ship and crew were always very accommodating. The food was probably my biggest concern. I’m not a picky eater but found the dinners not very enjoyable. I tried everything to be a good sport. Everything looked good ... Read More
Road Scholar. The ship and crew were always very accommodating. The food was probably my biggest concern. I’m not a picky eater but found the dinners not very enjoyable. I tried everything to be a good sport. Everything looked good but some entres were not very good. What I found odd was that we ran out of Chilean wine on the first day even though we departed from a Chilean port. There was always plenty of food. The excursion to learn about the geology of the Falklands was too short and we learned all there was to learn at the introduction class. The drivers of the 4 wheelers were fun and informative. The penguins, the cafe, and the museum store was wonderful. We ate lunch at a local crafted beer restaurant that was really good. Also we sat with some locals and that was informative too. We also enjoyed the kayaking excursion. The kids were delightful and made sure we were very safe and that we had a good time. On our day, the ship was our support boat, meaning they came to us to pick us up. The ship was a overly warm. We got to go to the bridge and that was fun and informative. A highlight was enjoying hurricane winds and seas returning to South America. Quite an experience. I always felt safe and was never afraid. Lastly, the clinic could use some improvement. I needed my eye checked. The problem was the equipment needs new batteries or new eye equipment. Not really worth the visit. Overall I had a terrific trip of a lifetime. Thank you. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
If you want the best cruise for exciting excursions, great service, excellent food - this cruise is perfect. The cruise lived up to documentaries we have seen about the ship. The ship is tidy and clean - outer windows are rinsed with ... Read More
If you want the best cruise for exciting excursions, great service, excellent food - this cruise is perfect. The cruise lived up to documentaries we have seen about the ship. The ship is tidy and clean - outer windows are rinsed with fresh water in port. Part of the total experience is the international make-up of passengers - really diverse and interesting. Everything is super organized from mealtimes, planning shore excursions, disembarking the ship to zodiacs for excursions. The dining is great. The food is varied and plentiful at each meal. The entertainment is either a pertinent movie or documentary of the history of the area, or information regarding the current state of what is on each excursion often accompanied by pictures. There is a tour of the bridge. Passengers are divided into groups according to a language they understand or other previously designated group to which they belonged. Excursion guides are extremely knowledgeable about plants, history, geography, geology, water life - many speak 3-6 languages. Suggestions are available for an off-shore port excursion such as Ushuaia. Passengers are handled with great care yet moved with a degree of expediency that is inherent with any excursion. Overall the crew are very skilled at the separate tasks performed and personable giving attention to all individuals in each group. Instructions are crystal clear. Information is superlative regarding conditions for levels of excursions where applicable - so individuals can make well informed and responsible choices. Nothing is promised that the cruise can't deliver - if weather is a factor preventing an excursion from starting, all is explained well. Safety is the first consideration as it should be. We are really impressed with the 'first class' performance of the Stella Australis. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
To see Cape Horn, Tierra Del Fuego, the glaciers and wildlife. The cruise staff were very attentive and friendly and the Expedition staff were extremely knowledgeable. The expedition group were also full of fun which made the trip very ... Read More
To see Cape Horn, Tierra Del Fuego, the glaciers and wildlife. The cruise staff were very attentive and friendly and the Expedition staff were extremely knowledgeable. The expedition group were also full of fun which made the trip very enjoyable. They had extensive knowledge of local history, local flora and fauna and were able to answer all the questions thrown at them. The only negative was the lounge for the presentations - it was difficult to get a seat and to see the screen in some places in the room. The guided excursions were very good and again very knowledgeable guides. The ship's sailing was extremely smooth. I would heartily recommend this trip and it is suitable for couples, older families, seniors. The food was varied and very well cooked - in particular the Pastry Chefs excelled. The ship was very clean and well kept. Again a very good trip and one our best vacations. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We joined this vessel as part of an Overseas Adventure Travel Tour. Apart from cruises on larger cruise liners, we have cruised with Grand Circle in the Baltic Sea, most recently, and the Dalmatian Coast. Those vessels were of similar ... Read More
We joined this vessel as part of an Overseas Adventure Travel Tour. Apart from cruises on larger cruise liners, we have cruised with Grand Circle in the Baltic Sea, most recently, and the Dalmatian Coast. Those vessels were of similar size, if not smaller. However, the amenities, crew members, dining/food offerings, and services far exceeded in quality those we found sadly lacking on Stella Australis. There is one, count them, one common rest room on the vessel ... located on deck 4, far removed from the Dining Room, lounge, or Bar. With the exception of our table waiter, Andreas, Mauricio Alvarez Ruiz, a naturalist and our guide and a few other crewmembers, we found the bar staff and others unresponsive and terse, if not surly, in responding to our requests. However, the shore excursions were well coordinated, and the Zodiac crew were highly skilled and safety conscious. The shore trips were excellent; Mauricio is an authoritative expert and an exceptionally professional teacher. His interpersonal skills were to be commended and should be used as a model in training other crew. Andreas, our dining waiter, was also a welcoming and passenger/guest-oriented professional. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
2 outstanding excursions a day, in gorgeous sites with very competent and helpfull staff. We could not dream of a better cruise to discover Tierra del Fuego glaciers, fauna and hike an hour on Cape Horn. We spent 4 hrs in Punta Arenas ... Read More
2 outstanding excursions a day, in gorgeous sites with very competent and helpfull staff. We could not dream of a better cruise to discover Tierra del Fuego glaciers, fauna and hike an hour on Cape Horn. We spent 4 hrs in Punta Arenas and we not thrilled by the downtown. Plaza de Armas is fun. Embarkation was not fun at all. We had to board buses to reach the ship. 20 minutes for just 100 meters. Bus was absolutely full, we were packed like sardinas...and waited and waited. The first minutes with Australis were terrible and give a very bad first impresseion. Once on board, everything was perfect. Staff was very competent and gave great information on suurounding nature and upcoming excursions. First time we visited the bridge and the engine room during the cruise. The captain showed several times and had kind words with everybody. Also 200 guests only makes a big difference, developping a better sense of community. We will strongly recommend Autralis cruises to our parents and friends who want to discover this part of the world Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
The Magellan Strait, Cape Horn, Tierra del Fuego is an area of the world I've dreamed of visiting for many years. The ships' crew, the ship facilities,the zodiac land tours, the quality of the food and the small size of the ... Read More
The Magellan Strait, Cape Horn, Tierra del Fuego is an area of the world I've dreamed of visiting for many years. The ships' crew, the ship facilities,the zodiac land tours, the quality of the food and the small size of the ship all contributed to an extremely memorable holiday. My numerical rating for this cruise is 100%. I cannot think of one thing the crew could do better to improve the quality of this experience. Weather is a factor that cannot be guaranteed, but on this cruise we had fantastic weather that multiplied the experience to a great degree. I highly recommend this cruise to anyone who loves the outdoors and enjoys hiking in superb mountain and glacial areas. I do recommend a traveler not delay this adventure until the later years of life as good physical condition allows one to fully view and enjoy the magnificence of this isolated area. Go now! Not later! Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Very well organized trip, with a staff which clearly made the difference and stood out of the crowd. Very appreciated our trips to glaciers, forests and Cape Horn, We left from Punta Arenas travelled through National Parks till finally ... Read More
Very well organized trip, with a staff which clearly made the difference and stood out of the crowd. Very appreciated our trips to glaciers, forests and Cape Horn, We left from Punta Arenas travelled through National Parks till finally reaching after 4 days Cape Horn, and from there reached Ushuaia and went back to Punta Arenas. The crew took very good care of everything and for all the wishes and desires they had an open ear, especially I remember the kitchen. When first asking for vegetarian food they achieved to improve their meals day by day, which was greatly appreciated by my wife and me. Also, safety standards were kept up very high, and lot of emphasis was put on safety instructions, so you always felt at ease. Thank youf or such an amazing trip and I can just but reommend to book a trip wit Stella Australis, you will not regret* Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
I was already planning to be in South America as a friend had asked me to visit the Atacama Desert with her. It's a long way to go for a week's visit so I decided that I should like to have a look at Patagonia as well. I had a ... Read More
I was already planning to be in South America as a friend had asked me to visit the Atacama Desert with her. It's a long way to go for a week's visit so I decided that I should like to have a look at Patagonia as well. I had a few hours to wait before embarkation so I explored Punta Arenas, picking up some wet weather gear that I needed and was fascinated to see and hear an impromptu drumming band of schoolchildren. Afterwards I took refuge in a very obliging internet cafe until boarding time. Excellent vibes from Punta! The dock staff and shop keepeers were kind and helpful. The embarkation process went smoothly and I was delighted with my comfortable and well appointed cabin. I have a gluten allergy which was very kindly catered for. The dining staff looked after me very well indeed. Despite some restrictions for me the food was delicious and varied. Funnily enough having an open bar led me to drink rather less than usual! The information sessions held by the crew were very good. It was great to be on the bridge when a pod of Minke whales showed up. The account of Shackleton's expedition was amazing and very well presented. The excursions to explore the wildlife, flora and glaciers were great. I was on my own and the Cruise Director, Mauricio, joined me up with a group with whom I got on very well. The activity level of the groups was graded which is sensible. We saw some beautiful plants including two varieties of wild orchid. We saw a condor! We heard the Pia glacier creaking and even saw a few lumps falling off it. Altogether the highlight was landing on Cape Horn. It was calm as a millpond and sunny, which allowed us to land, I felt slightly cheated it wasn't blowing a gale. I have Cape Horners in my background. The scenery of Patagonia as we cruised the Magellan Strait and Beagle Channel was absolutely spectacular, some of the best holiday photographs of my life. The crew were highly professional in their attention to our safety at all times and particularly so when we embarked on the Zodiacs for the shore excursions. Not only that but they were cheerful and friendly as well. Mauricio Alvarez is an excellent leader. I should love to travel on Stella Australis again but there is a lot of world still to see on my bucket list. If she went to Antarctica I'd be there like a shot. She is an awesome, beautiful little ship. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We enjoyed an amazing experience with Hurtigruten on their MS Midnatsol ship sailing from Punta Arenas, travelling along the Chilean Fjords to Antarctica Peninsula and back. The view was breathtaking throughout. When we cruised on smaller ... Read More
We enjoyed an amazing experience with Hurtigruten on their MS Midnatsol ship sailing from Punta Arenas, travelling along the Chilean Fjords to Antarctica Peninsula and back. The view was breathtaking throughout. When we cruised on smaller boats to look at glaciers and icebergs was incredible and satisfying. Accommodation was very good and comfortable. Food was varied and very good too. Expeditions and on board lectures from experts were excellent. It was an educational and adventurous cruise. Hurtigruten did an excellent job getting us from London through Madrid to Santiago then Punta Arenas and back without a single hitch! It was impressive and I will use them again. The staff were excellent and friendly especially those in the reception, restaurant, bar, cleaning and the expedition team. The expedition team members were all graduates and experts in their field. We had excellent lectures which were very informative and we had the first explorer to trek the Arctic and Antarctica in the same year. Every passenger on board seemed to be delighted with the cruise. The expedition team made every effort to ensure we were able to cruise or land at every convenient location Read Less
Sail Date November 2016

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