Australis Patagonian cruisesPatagonian Cruise, Chile-Argentina
M/V Stella Australis and her recently launched sister ship, M/V Ventus Australis, offer the best way to experience the stunning fjords of the southernmost part of Tierra del Fuego, including cruising across the Beagle Channel and (subject to weather conditions), disembarking on Cape Horn. The cruises last for four nights and follow a similar itinerary in both directions between Ushuaia in Argentina and Punta Arenas in Chile.
These excursions will take you to ‘the uttermost end of the earth’, passing through remote scenery visited by only a handful of tourists each year with impressive glaciers and amazing colonies of Magellan Penguins. Trips to the main places of interest include forays on land, or by Zodiac boat and are accompanied by knowledgeable guides. The highlight for us was the visit to Cape Horn, but we also found the Aguila Glacier extraordinary as it spreads down the mountain like a giant stretching his arms.
The cruises are full board, including alcoholic drinks, and there is a party atmosphere to be enjoyed every evening, as well as more cerebral daytime activities during the day including some excellent lectures. There is also a library on-board to supplement your knowledge with books on the flora, fauna and history of the area.
Both ships have one hundred cabins with a maximum capacity of 200 guests. Excursions ashore are carefully managed in small groups with a strong emphasis on causing minimal disruption to the natural environment. In the late afternoon guests return to the comfort of the ships with generous sized cabins between 177sq ft and 220 sq ft, which are all en suite and have large windows.