Located at the aft (back) of the ship on Deck 2, the Patagonia Dining Room is the sole dining room onboard and is where all meals are served.
The room features picture windows and has multiple tables ranging in size from four to eight. You are assigned a table at the start of the cruise where you'll sit throughout the trip. The ship's crew makes an effort to seat you with passengers who speak the same language as you, so you are likely to find tables of nationalities or same language speakers grouped together.
What you won't find is a menu full of dishes made with various dietary intolerances in mind, but if you advise beforehand then these can be catered for. There are always plenty of dishes without meat.
Overall, the quality is superb, as is the variety of food on offer. Australis' decision to hire well-known Peruvian chef Emilio Peschiera as consultant has really paid off. His influence can be felt at every level, and it's clear the chefs take real pride in what they serve. You will never go hungry onboard.
Breakfast is served buffet style and includes: scrambled or fried eggs, boiled eggs, bacon or sausage, various breads, cereals, yogurts, cold cuts and juices. Coffee or tea is served at your table. There are no a la carte options. Breakfast is served from 8 to 9 a.m. daily, except on the Cape Horn day, when it is served from 8.30 to 10 a.m.
Also served buffet style, lunch includes a wide selection of interesting salads, a soup and hot dishes that are themed by day. For example, you might have an Asian-themed lunch, which would include a selection of sushi and sashimi, ceviche and Chilean red seaweed chop suey to start; miso soup; and main dishes including Nikkei-style short ribs, beef shogayaki and stir fried vegetables with rice. A Chilean-themed lunch might include empanadas, mussels with peppers, Southern-style ceviche and king crab chowder followed by a beef stew. Red and white wine is served at your table. Lunch is served from 1 to 2 p.m.
During lunch you'll choose what you'd like for dinner from a menu of three choices: typically a meat, fish and vegetarian.
Dinner is served in four courses at the table and consists of a starter, soup, main and a dessert. It's beautifully presented, always with a bit of flair. The appetizer might be local octopus in a carpaccio style and soup might be a broth; mains are always a choice of meat such as beef pot roast, stuffed chicken steak or -- on the last night -- an outstanding leg of lamb; fish might be southern hake or conger (not eel). Wines from Argentina and Chile (Vina Montes and Cono Sur wineries are both featured) are included. If you don't like the wine, you can always request another type. Dinner is served from 8 to 9 p.m.
Self-service coffee, tea, hot chocolate, juice, plus a selection of pastries and cookies are available in the Sky Bar on Deck 4 from 6 a.m. daily.
There is no room service.
Stella Australis Ship Stats
- Crew: 64
- Launched: 2010
- Decks: 5
- Passengers: 200
- Registry: Chile