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7 Helpful Votes
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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
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
5 Helpful Votes
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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 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
2 Helpful Votes
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
2 Helpful Votes
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
1 Helpful Vote
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
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 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
2 Helpful Votes
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
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