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55 Ushuaia (Tierra del Fuego) to South America Cruise Reviews

My wife and I have done only two previous cruises, on HAL to Mexico and Alaska, and they whet my appetite for more, preferably on something a little smaller. After our experience with Australis, my concern now is that no other cruise ... Read More
My wife and I have done only two previous cruises, on HAL to Mexico and Alaska, and they whet my appetite for more, preferably on something a little smaller. After our experience with Australis, my concern now is that no other cruise could possibly measure up. This was the cruise of a lifetime. We were aboard Ventus Australis for four nights, from Ushuaia to Punta Arenas, the last week of March. Ship capacity is said to be 210 passengers, but there were only about 160 aboard our late season cruise. The ship felt very spacious; only at the last night’s captain’s toast (in the largest lounge) did anywhere on the ship feel at all crowded. The passengers averaged middle age, and were largely well-travelled and interesting people. At the first night dinner we were told that the 160 of us represented 19 nationalities, and as each nation was named, its citizens received a warm and welcoming applause from the rest of the crowd. I’m tempted to make a political statement right now, but I’ll refrain. Our group of six made a number of friends, especially a couple from San Francisco, a couple from Santiago, a family from Malaysia and three young solo travelers from Australia, Austria and Belgium who met a few days earlier in Ushuaia and decided to take a cruise together. As a lifetime sailor, disembarking on the small island that is Cape Horn was a thrill. And the weather was appropriately cold, windy and rainy. But on the whole, our weather was quite good. There were two shore excursions a day (except the morning we disembarked when there was one), all by way of Zodiac rafts. We were told exactly how to get on and off the rafts, and the guides were quick to point out when any of us got it wrong. That might seem a bit regimented, but the end result was a very efficient and safe transfer of all concerned from ship to land and back. We never had to step in the water, so hiking boots were sufficient, but waterproof ones were nice due to rain, wet grasses and some mud. Our stateroom felt spacious as staterooms go, in part due to the floor to ceiling window through which we could watch some of the world’s most spectacular scenery pass by. Almost all the staterooms are identical, except that those on Deck 2 had more normal size windows. For my money, the larger window was worth the money. But when we signed up there was nothing available on Deck 3, and we paid a second premium to be on Deck 4, which would not have been worth the extra fare had something been available on Deck 3. The only passenger space on Deck 1 was the dining room, and the only indoor space on Deck 5 was the lounge forward, largest of the three lounges, and the small gift shop. There was ample outdoor space to take in the spectacular scenery--most of Deck 5, the roof of the Deck 5 lounge, narrow walkways ahead of the lounges on Decks 3 and 5, and aft on all decks. The Deck 5 lounge (forward; excursion meeting place for English speakers) had a bar in the afternoons and evenings, the Deck 4 lounge (aft; excursion meeting place for Spanish speakers) had early morning coffee and snacks, and while the Deck 3 lounge (forward) had no food or beverage service, it was a wonderfully quiet space to read a book, play a game, or watch the passing scenery. With the exception mentioned above, none ever felt crowded. All food and beverages (including alcohol) were included; the only way to spend money on the ship was in the gift shop. Be aware, there is no elevator, which appeared challenging for a handful of passengers. Unfortunately the ship is just not friendly for the mobility impaired. The food was very good and plentiful, as was the wine (very easy to drink more than you might have intended). Meals were all at a set time and an assigned table. Our group of six had our own table, but solo couples were randomly assigned table mates. Everyone I talked to enjoyed the new friends they shared their meals with. Dinners usually included a choice of only two entrees, but we were never disappointed with what we chose. Back to the shore excursions-- all involved some short walks or short hikes, usually with several choices. With the exception of Cape Horn and Magdalena Island (penguins), on our route they all involved spectacular views of glaciers, some very much up close and personal. The most difficult hikes (which were optional) were steep and probably would be properly categorized as “strenuous” but for the short length (nor more than 3.5 miles round trip). The solitude ashore was amazing; in fact the only humans we saw not on our ship were when we passed the sister ship going the other way in the Beagle Channel middle of the third day. The excursion guides were fantastic -- friendly, very good English speakers, and well educated about the history, geography, flora and fauna. The rest of the crew was also very friendly, welcoming, and helpful, and mostly English speaking among those whose job entailed interaction with passengers. And those whose English was a little weak were quick to find someone who spoke it well (if your Spanish was as pitiful as mine is). In addition to excursions ashore, we were offered tours of the bridge (day 2) and the engine room (day 3). After the bridge tour, the Captain told us we were welcome to come back any time; just knock on the door and we would be told if it wasn’t a good time for visitors. The engine room was remarkable for how clean it was; I would have felt comfortable eating a meal off the floor! And if that is how they kept the engine room, you can imagine how immaculate the rest of the ship was. This was a fantastic adventure for those who like good company, good food, the outdoors and active travel. These wanting water slides, zip lines and casinos to keep them entertained would probably do better looking elsewhere. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
I recently returned from a wonderful cruise on the Stella Australis. This was my first cruise and I must confess I absolutely loved it. It was an adventure of a lifetime being in Patagonia and relatively so close to Antarctica ! We ... Read More
I recently returned from a wonderful cruise on the Stella Australis. This was my first cruise and I must confess I absolutely loved it. It was an adventure of a lifetime being in Patagonia and relatively so close to Antarctica ! We embarked at Ushuaia (Argentina), which was a quaint little town (stopped one night prior to my departure). Very scenic and plenty of stores to stock up ahead of your cruise. Then we set off heading towards Punta Arenas, Chile, as our ultimate destination. The ship was immaculate, clean, thoroughly hygienic. I occupied a cabin on the 2nd floor and there are a total of 4 floors for cabins. It's a small cruise ship (~166 passengers) and this actually proved great since by the end of the week you pretty much knew the majority of folks on a first name basis. Average age was around 60+ and predominantly comprised of retired couples from North America i.e. University Alumni tours, along with a sprinkling of European countries such as Italy, France, Germany. I was a solo traveler, there were not too many of us, but we were certainly made to feel welcome and constantly invited to join other tours for drinks etc. Each day/night for breakfast, lunch & dinner you are seated with the same people for the entire duration. Initially, I was a tad worried about this, but I absolutely loved my table companions and we have since exchanged emails to keep in touch. Everyone was exceptionally friendly and outgoing. The cruise is structured as follows: Each day you visit a new location and conduct excursions using the Zodiac boats, for example visiting Glaciers, Cape Horn and the highlight for me Magdalena island to see the famous Magellan penguins . - they were superb! Somedays comprised of 2 excursions per day. A typical excursion was a landing via Zodiac on the beach or coastline, then split into 3 groups based on your level of fitness and interest in the local fauna and Geology. For example, I love to run long distance and hike so each day i took the most challenging hikes. They were very demanding and certainly at times quite treacherous on the slippery rocks and grass but we were always safe on account of the excellent trained staff who accompanied you on all excursions. The staff were exceptionally knowledgeable on the local wildlife and Geology and always made the trips a great deal of fun! There were also hikes that didn't require much exercise and elderly people with walking sticks and who required assistance typically took these hikes. It was wonderful to complete one of the excursions and to be greeted on the beach by one of the staff handing out whisky and hot chocolate = delicious and warm. In terms of day to day activities on the boat, it mainly comprised of relaxing and watching the world go by with a drink or two. There is a fifth floor deck bar (all inclusive alcohol and soft drinks) which was superb! Each morning on the fourth floor Sky Lounge, tea, coffee and snacks were provided around 6am for the early risers - I really appreciated this nice touch. Each evening lectures of the following day excursions were provided and this really helped give you an appreciation of where you are visiting. The food on the cruise was excellent. Varied menu, typically 3 courses (all inclusive) and so many deserts to choose from it was ridiculous :) The waiters were very friendly and often chatted at the tables during meal times. In terms of the excisions, the staff ran this process like a machine and height of efficiency. They assisted all those who needed help getting in and out of the Zodiac. One cannot stress enough, the need for waterproof clothing, gloves, woolly hat and solid hiking boots. You will definitely get muddy if you opt for the more strenuous hikes so be prepared to have a change of clothes each day. The cabins were cleaned thoroughly each day, and new towels provided as one might expect in a hotel. Water was drinkable on the ship. It was very relaxing to watch the world go by in my cabin each morning and realize we were in a new location. All in all i cannot fault this cruise I thoroughly recommend it ! Huge shout out to "Vicky" and Emmanuel - very helpful, knowledgeable and humorous guides. Oh don't forget your camera iPhone will suffice for majority of excursions but i found an SLR with Zoom lens to be extremely beneficial for Magdalena island and close up of penguins One point to note, this is NOT a cruise for young children, they will literally be bored to tears, plus the excursions and getting on and off Zodiacs could be a tad risky for them. There is no WiFi or Cell service or TV/Games for them. It's definitely not one of the Disney type cruises that they might expect. I have 3 children and they would have been very bored on this - I feel it's fair to mention, it much more applicable to Adults who wish to experience an adventure of a lifetime, learn about Patagonia, history and Geology and get away from all the pressures of work and social media nonsense etc. Enjoy! Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
This trip certainly changed my anti-cruising mentality. I accept that it is a small ship in a unique location but really can't fault the trip. The boat itself is very comfortable with spacious lounges and very comfortable large ... Read More
This trip certainly changed my anti-cruising mentality. I accept that it is a small ship in a unique location but really can't fault the trip. The boat itself is very comfortable with spacious lounges and very comfortable large cabins. The beds were very comfortable and the 'portholes' were in fact large viewing windows enabling you to enjoy just sitting in the cabin and watching Patagonia go by. The ensuite shower rooms were fine with no problems in the supply of hot water. The food on board was exceptional with a wide range of dishes each day reflecting Patagonian cuisine and with vegetarian options for both lunch and dinner. The all inclusive bar provided a wide range of wines, cocktails and spirits together with savoury snacks. The Sky lounge provided the welcome early morning coffee, tea, juices and a selection of biscuits and was open throughout the day. Sight seeing trips to Cape Horn (we are lucky) and the glaciers were all done by Zodiac. The expedition team oversaw all this in a highly professional and safe manner even when the inevitable Patagonian winds suddenly blew up. This was all done with smiles. knowledge and advice and I can't praise them enough. As a tip, I'd recommend taking your own travel mug along making it easier to take drinks back to the cabin as they only provide small china cups. This is a very professional outfit, with a fun loving and experienced crew who provide exemplary service. You never know, I might even go on another cruise (albeit a small ship) after experiencing this. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We spend 4 nights on the Stella Australis, taking in all the excursions we could (usually two per day). We enjoyed the trips, the Zodiac process to get to land and guide, everything. On most excursions there are 2 to 3 levels of ... Read More
We spend 4 nights on the Stella Australis, taking in all the excursions we could (usually two per day). We enjoyed the trips, the Zodiac process to get to land and guide, everything. On most excursions there are 2 to 3 levels of activity, from easy to very hard. Most people should be able to get from the boat into the Zodiac and from the Zodiac, on and off the beach. We met many interesting people during the hikes and this made the trip even better. The food is good on the ship, but do not expect 5-star dining and a huge selection of entres. The purpose of the boat is to get you to the excursions, not luxury dining The all-enclusive nature of the cruise (excursions, alcohol, food) makes everything very easy. All aspects of the cruise went well and were very organized, from the embarkation to the disembarkation. Their process for running the Zodiacs is like a machine, very fact, efficient and safe This was the highlight of a 2.5 week trip to Chile Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We chose this cruise because we were so pleased with our last year cruise to Antartica. But, our cruise from Ushuaia to Valparaiso was disappointing; The beginning started well with a good excursion at the Cap Horn, but over the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we were so pleased with our last year cruise to Antartica. But, our cruise from Ushuaia to Valparaiso was disappointing; The beginning started well with a good excursion at the Cap Horn, but over the following 11 days we had few excursions (we expected 1/day or at least 1/two days): only 3 ! Conferences on board were few & not up to the standard we experienced before. On top of that, the Boreal had some issues: - a lift not working - the GPS Map not working - my wife & other female passengers got a virus through the air conditioning system, that obviously was not cleaned; she was prescribed antibiotics after the cruise & needed 4 weeks to recover from a deep lung infection. - The internet/wifi did not work, though we paid Usd180 for connections ! - Dining was fine, but not as refined as what we had before with Ponant, the quality is going down - Our Cabin had a bath stub, but we expected a shower Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
The date indicated on the form for this review states it is a 14 night Antartica cruise. In fact it was the Patagonia and Chilean Fjord Cruise. This was on an expedition ship and advertised as an expedition cruise. WE have been on two ... Read More
The date indicated on the form for this review states it is a 14 night Antartica cruise. In fact it was the Patagonia and Chilean Fjord Cruise. This was on an expedition ship and advertised as an expedition cruise. WE have been on two previous Silversea expedition cruises (Galapagos an Sub Antarctic islands of New Zealand) and two Linblad expedition cruises (Alaska and Arctic). This cruise was not by any stretch of the imagination an expedition cruise. During the fourteen days we were out on zodiacs only three times (not counting transport into a couple of ports) for any kind of wildlife or nature (glaciers) viewing . In fairness we did a great deal of cruising through the fjords and saw wonderful scenery which could only have been seen from a ship. This however was true on the other expedition cruises as well. What was missing here was getting out into nature on the zodiacs to view animals and birds or on land hikes. Instead when we were not cruising we were dumped at uninteresting ports and taken on buses to see "made up" activities (e.g. sheep shearing, so called "rodeos", and made up local dance exhibitions-all tourist ready) or dumped into a nondescript town in the rain and told the bus would pick us up in an hour-our only option was to go to a local bar to get out of the rain. The bus trips were all conducted by local guides who clearly didn't know the difference between an expedition cruise and any other tourists however they may have arrived. While a couple of ship expedition team members were on the buses they largely acted as "keepers' not as guides. The one bus trip which was justified was to Torres del Paine. While the park was a bit of a disappointment it was justified to go there given the fact we were nearby and it is well known. Otherwise the bus trips, the activities and destinations were insufferable. There were certainly others on the ship that were as frustrated as were we and I assume there were some that were happy to be dumped on buses. While the trip description disclosed some of the bus trips it did not do so in sufficient detail to commuicate the frequency or uselessness of them. As on of the naturilist said -this was more like a "traditional cruise" than an expedition cruise. I assume the itinerary is developed at the head office where is easy to sub out to local guide companies and the on board naturalist had no ability to modify the schedule. Most of them were very talented and it was a complete waste that we were only able to avail ourselves of their knowledge during presentations and not out in nature. We will be very skeptical of future SIlversea cruise descriptions of so called "expedition cruises " in the future. It is just unfortunate that Linblad doesn't have a more extensive itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
Chose the cruise to see Patagonia, the Chilean fjords and the flora and fauna associated with that area. We did not sign up for extended bus tours with local guides to go see antique cars, sheep shearing, local dancing or to be dumped in ... Read More
Chose the cruise to see Patagonia, the Chilean fjords and the flora and fauna associated with that area. We did not sign up for extended bus tours with local guides to go see antique cars, sheep shearing, local dancing or to be dumped in a town in the pouring rain. This was simply a repositioning of the ship with a lot of filler that was very uninteresting. Would definitely not recommend this cruise. The expedition guides, when they got the chance, were knowledgeable, interesting and personable. Unfortunately, they got little opportunity to share their expertise because of the itinerary. Lunch was the best meal. At dinner the main course, especially the fish, was often overcooked. Staff was very sensitive to my gluten allergy but they could have had a better quality of gluten free bread. Service in the suite and in the bar and dining room was generally excellent. People considering this trip should be aware of the excessive amount of rain at this time of year which seriously impedes visibility. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
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
As stated on their website, no amenities. If your expedition happens to get cancelled for the day you have nothing (TV, internet) to fill your time which can prove to be very boring. The expeditions and expedition guides were good. ... Read More
As stated on their website, no amenities. If your expedition happens to get cancelled for the day you have nothing (TV, internet) to fill your time which can prove to be very boring. The expeditions and expedition guides were good. The vast majority of the staff was helpful and nice however, the food is sub-par. For the price I would expect something of a little higher caliber in regards to the food. Room was small and we had a AAA room. It was nice to be able to wear relaxed clothing and that you did not have to dress up for dinner as you do for other cruises. We started our trip in Ushuaia and went roundtrip. I would say the portion from Punta Arenas to Ushuaia was the much better portion of the trip as opposed to the portion from Ushuaia to Punta Arenas. Although the scenery was great, overall I wouldn't say it was worth the high price tag. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We got advertisment with a gym on board. There is none. The itenirary of the ship is without competition and very interesting. Going both direction makes no sense (increased proximity to land on cape horn, we did both direction, ... Read More
We got advertisment with a gym on board. There is none. The itenirary of the ship is without competition and very interesting. Going both direction makes no sense (increased proximity to land on cape horn, we did both direction, landing was possible only once; from Puntas Arenas down to Ushuaia is better - you see the alley of the glaciers by daylight). The vessel is new, every cabin is more or less the same with a big window and proper equipped. There is 1 (!) public toilet on board. No restrooms close to restaurant, no restrooms at the bar. You have to run some floors down or up to your room. Plan your service stops carefully. Ship is all inclusive. Drink selection limited. Coffee ok. No Wifi (!?). Zodiacs need to circle to get all the passengers on land. Crew is very varying. Some Zodiac drivers and guides are super professional and with huge knowledge, others are who knows where from. Same for the waiters, some cannot basic english (and the boat is mostly frequented by Australian, US, Canadian, UK, German). Activities are split in moderate, challenging and very challenging. Very challenging is still not sportive (target group wealthy 60+). I would not book again for this price. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
The Stella Australis cruise was breathtaking. I boarded from Ushuaia, saw Cape Horn, Eagle Glacier and Magdalena Island (which I refer to as Penguin island) before arriving in Punta Arenas. By far my favorite part was seeing the ... Read More
The Stella Australis cruise was breathtaking. I boarded from Ushuaia, saw Cape Horn, Eagle Glacier and Magdalena Island (which I refer to as Penguin island) before arriving in Punta Arenas. By far my favorite part was seeing the hundreds (maybe thousands!) of penguins on Magdalena Island. They don't have fear of people, so we were advised to yield to them as groups of penguins pass along the walking trail. I had never seen a glacier before, so that was another highlight of the trip. The brilliant blue and turquoise color that radiates from the crevices of the glaciers is pretty remarkable. You can't catch it completely on camera. All the sights from the cruise were beautiful, the background information provided for the day trips was comprehensive, and the staff was extremely welcoming. In particular, if you sail with Felipe, Lorena or Carlos, you are lucky! The climate is unpredictable, so pack prepared for sun, rain, wind and cold all in the same day. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We chose this to enhance our experience of South America and because it was an expedition boat. We have only been on small expedition boats carrying 40 passengers one in the Galapagos and the True North in the Kimberley Australia. For this ... Read More
We chose this to enhance our experience of South America and because it was an expedition boat. We have only been on small expedition boats carrying 40 passengers one in the Galapagos and the True North in the Kimberley Australia. For this reason we were worried that the Stella Australis was too large at 200 passengers. We need not have worried because the whole experience was brilliant. The cabins were a decent size, the food was good, the waiting staff and the guides were excellent and the daily expeditions were most enjoyable.There were also some interesting presentations on board including an amazing film about Shackleton. We saw some very interesting wildlife including whales. The ship was well constructed and it coped well with heavy seas. We were also very lucky to be able to disembark at Cape Horn even though it was a little stormy which was a real bonus. We would certainly recommend the Stella Australis for those wanting an expedition experience in comfortable surroundings Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
This cruise was an amazing experience getting up close to glaciers, fjords, Cape Horn, and deserted islands. The views were spectacular from cabin, deck or lounge and mooring off and going ashore by zodiac made the experience quite and ... Read More
This cruise was an amazing experience getting up close to glaciers, fjords, Cape Horn, and deserted islands. The views were spectacular from cabin, deck or lounge and mooring off and going ashore by zodiac made the experience quite and adventure to enjoy the sights on shore by foot. The ship was comfortable, staff helpful and friendly, meals good and pre-excursion presentations interesting making the trips ashore more meaningful. Access throughout the ship was a challenge for those less able as stairs were the only way from cabin to dining room and steep outside steps the only access to the zodiacs. We would have appreciated a better embarking procedure where you didn't have to queue at a local travel agency with your bags and to be processed then have all day to walk and wander until you could board. The expedition cruise was very pricey but as it's a one off it was worth it for such a unique experience and we will be recommending it to others who are able and could afford it. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We thought it would be a great way to see Cape Horn and go around the Straits of Magellan. The cabin was comfortable, the lunches and dinners were really good. Breakfast was just okay. The staff there were very friendly and helpful. ... Read More
We thought it would be a great way to see Cape Horn and go around the Straits of Magellan. The cabin was comfortable, the lunches and dinners were really good. Breakfast was just okay. The staff there were very friendly and helpful. We loved the people helping with all the excursions, especially Felipe cause he was very friendly and he even remembered our names. The excursions were really good, but the some of the documentaries and films before the excursion were sort of boring. Embarkment and Disembarkment were really easy. The ship was very clean, but there was really no entertainment or activities in the evening except for the films. We had fun with the Trivia Sheets. I would definitely recommend this cruise but I wouldn't take it again since I already have done it. I don't know if I would take children because I think they would be bored. 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
We were touring Chile and Argentina including Tierra del Fuego and wanted to visit Cape Horn as well as all the remote channels and fjords interconnecting with the Beagle Channel and Strait of Magellen, not possible to do with a large or ... Read More
We were touring Chile and Argentina including Tierra del Fuego and wanted to visit Cape Horn as well as all the remote channels and fjords interconnecting with the Beagle Channel and Strait of Magellen, not possible to do with a large or medium size cruise ship. There were ~150 people on our Stella Australis cruise, we had generous sized births, and the crew provided spectacular food, beverage and tour guide service. The captain deviated from our route just so we could watch Minke whales, and we made at least one and sometimes two zodiac landings a day, accompanied by on board tour guides, to visit spectacular sites including landing and ascent of Cabo Hornus, stoping and hiking on a fjord island where FitzRoy and Darwin interacted with indigenous natives, and viewing up close massive glaciers by water and by foot, not to leave out the fascinating and amusing walk we took among Magellenic penguins. This was a wonderful and all-to-brief cruise. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
It was the ship that came with our Smithsonian tour. All the staff were friendly and eager to please. The food was fabulous and they worked hard for those with special diets. Each time when left the ship, everything was very well organized ... Read More
It was the ship that came with our Smithsonian tour. All the staff were friendly and eager to please. The food was fabulous and they worked hard for those with special diets. Each time when left the ship, everything was very well organized and departure and return were smooth and easy. The ship holds 220 people so it had an intimate feel. We had great fun with the staff and they demonstrated to us all the time how they wanted to help in any way possible. When there was wildlife to see the Captain changed the direction of the ship so we could see it as long as possible. We very much enjoyed our journey with the Stella Australus. Some crew served as tour guides and they were all highly educated to the areas history, culture, wildlife and habitat. They did a very good job. We highly recommend this ship. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
The service was great, the cabins and beds were comfortable. The itinerary was fantastic. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly. The food was good and they were good about meeting food sensitivities. The excursions onto Cape ... Read More
The service was great, the cabins and beds were comfortable. The itinerary was fantastic. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly. The food was good and they were good about meeting food sensitivities. The excursions onto Cape Horn and the other islands were mostly great, in spite of some bad weather. There were one or two guides who weren't the best when we were at Wulaia Bay. Also the instructions leading up to that excursion were confusing since their slide show beforehand had some mistakes. But, all in all, we were happy with the excursions. It was amazing how they moved so many people so efficiently when we did disembark on the islands. We also felt that the safety standards were very good. The store had things that were helpful, such as rain pants, which we had forgotten to bring. One thing that we would have liked better is if we had been able to eat with people with whom we chose to eat. They often had tables of just 4 people and you were expected to sit with them for every meal. We did find another table of 4 near to us and we joined the tables and that was better. It would have been nice, though, to meet other people at mealtimes. We did get a chance to explore Ushuaia before the cruise and were able to get a tour of Tiera del Fuego National Park. We would recommend doing this if you have time. We would definitely recommend Stella Australis to others. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We cruised on the Australis as part of a 3 week trip to Patagonia. We did not select the ship; our travel agency did. We were very pleased. The size of the ship (100 cabins) was excellent. The staff was knowledgeable, friendly, helpful ... Read More
We cruised on the Australis as part of a 3 week trip to Patagonia. We did not select the ship; our travel agency did. We were very pleased. The size of the ship (100 cabins) was excellent. The staff was knowledgeable, friendly, helpful and seemed to enjoy what they were doing. Food was very good; having the alcohol included was great. All the excursions were well organized. We received information prior to each one about what we'd see/do and what to look for. On several of the excursions, we could choose the level of activity. The staff also was very attentive to safety. All excursions were made via 'zodiac' inflatables. We were given detailed instructions for getting into and out of the zodiacs. While somewhat pricey, we would highly recommend the Australis. The only negative aspect was on the day we boarded, our luggage had to be at their office by 10 AM but we could not board until after 5 PM. Be sure to plan some activity for the 10-5 otherwise it's an empty day and there is not alot to see/do in Ushuaia. Read Less
Sail Date January 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
More than a small cruise ship is a big, friendly,family. A 4 day dream…from Ushuaia to Punta Arenas. Crew members are the most competent, caring professionals that I ever met and as a retired flight crewmember have seen a lot of ... Read More
More than a small cruise ship is a big, friendly,family. A 4 day dream…from Ushuaia to Punta Arenas. Crew members are the most competent, caring professionals that I ever met and as a retired flight crewmember have seen a lot of crews around the world. These persons are the very best, from Captain, to Guides, to restaurant stewards. The best Everything was so perfect…we were lucky to have an excellent weather and so, able to disembark all times as planned. Beautiful sites, everything worked like clockwork into the phases of disembarkation. They really are professionals. No one looks at you without a smile… And the food? Table service? Superb. Cabin? Everything was very very very good. English is not my native language so I find difficult to find words good enough to praise this Australis Cruise. Astounding will be short. Most sincere congratulations and thanks for those happy, beautiful days. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
This was the beginning of a Patagonia exploration. The Stella Australis was the perfect way to see Cape Horn, the Straights of Magellan and the Beagle Channel. The ship was a perfect size. The passengers were participants in several ... Read More
This was the beginning of a Patagonia exploration. The Stella Australis was the perfect way to see Cape Horn, the Straights of Magellan and the Beagle Channel. The ship was a perfect size. The passengers were participants in several different tour groups, but everyone was treated equally. The hospitality on the ship was warm and professional. But, the crew really shone on the expeditions. My husband was very excited to go to Cape Horn and still talks about the things he saw and the people he met there. When we went to see the penguins, the seas were too rough for a landing, but the crew made every effort to get the entire 200 of us out on Zodiaks and as close to the island as possible so we did not actually miss out on any experience. The presentations on board were well done and very interesting/informative. The public rooms were inviting, with beverages available all day. The meals were informal and very good. I would definitely recommend Stella Australis for anyone wanting to explore the bottom of the world. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We had not cruised before but it was the only option for the route at that time of year. For us it was quite expensive but it was worth it. The ship was very comfortable - large windows for views. The service and food were great. The ... Read More
We had not cruised before but it was the only option for the route at that time of year. For us it was quite expensive but it was worth it. The ship was very comfortable - large windows for views. The service and food were great. The highlights were the trips ashore - with the very capable crew who went to a lot of trouble to make sure every passenger had a great experience. We were not able to land at Cape Horn due to weather but being able to "round the horn" made up for it. There were informative talks etc so we could get the most out of each excursion and the sights. We learnt a lot about the exploration and history of the area, as well as about the natural history. We are used to independent travel but we enjoyed the company of fellow passengers ( around 180). We were not looking for a lot of "entertainment activities" etc and we will certainly not be rushing to book on a large ship any time soon, but this cruise met our expectations and needs at the time. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
My cruise on the Australis was part of a trip I took to Patagonia with Overseas Adventure Travel. I couldn't believe how spacious the rooms were, how accommodating the staff treated us and how amazing the food and drinks were. Our ... Read More
My cruise on the Australis was part of a trip I took to Patagonia with Overseas Adventure Travel. I couldn't believe how spacious the rooms were, how accommodating the staff treated us and how amazing the food and drinks were. Our safety was the first concern and they were very careful to insure we were all well taken care of as we boarded the zodiacs and access the land tours that they provided. Weather can be pretty tricky in the southern part of South American and especially around Cape Horn. I was a solo traveler on this trip but I felt like I was with family as the number of people on this cruise was less than 200. I enjoyed the activities that were planned during the day and at night we feasted on amazing arrays of dishes unique to the countries we were associated with. There was a laudable selection of wines and the bar tenders kept the libations flowing with their own unique mixtures and concoctions. I highly recommend this trip to any one venturing off the beaten track in Patagonia. You will be pampered and pleased, but you will see country as wild and wonderful as any on this earth. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016

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