Australis Cruises Patagonia Review: Exploration of the South Pole Cruise ship

Australis Cruises has carved a niche for itself in the realm of Patagonian exploration, offering travelers an unparalleled opportunity to discover the breathtaking landscapes and captivating wildlife of this remote region. With a fleet of purpose-built expedition vessels, Australis Cruises provides an immersive and enriching experience that sets it apart as a premier choice for those seeking to explore the southernmost reaches of South America. The Australis Cruises fleet, which includes the Ventus Australis and the Stella Australis, is designed to navigate the intricate waterways and fjords of Patagonia with ease and agility. These small, expedition-style ships, with a capacity of just 210 passengers, allow for a more intimate and personalized experience compared to larger cruise vessels. The nimble nature of the ships enables them to access remote and hard-to-reach destinations, providing guests with exclusive access to the region’s natural wonders.

In a Nutshell…

  1. Cruise Operator: Australis Expeditions specializes in small ship expedition cruises through the captivating landscapes of Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego.
  2. Ships: Australis operates two vessels:
    • Stella Australis: In service since 2010.
    • Ventus Australis: A more recent addition (since 2017).
  3. Capacity: Each ship accommodates up to 210 passengers, ensuring an intimate experience.
  4. Luxurious Exploration: These ships are designed for luxury, offering passengers a comfortable and elegant journey while navigating some of the most spectacular regions of Chilean and Argentine Patagonia.
  5. Remote Corners: Ventus Australis and Stella Australis are specially crafted to access the most remote corners of the Strait of Magellan, where larger vessels cannot venture.
  6. Fjords of Tierra del Fuego Route:
    • From Punta Arenas (Chile) to Ushuaia (Argentina): A mesmerizing 4-night journey through the fjords of Tierra del Fuego.
  7. Patagonian Explorer Route:
    • From Ushuaia (Argentina) to Punta Arenas (Chile): Explore the wonders of Patagonia on this captivating route.
  8. All-Inclusive Service: Passengers enjoy a premium all-inclusive experience, including meals, excursions, and onboard amenities.
  9. Expert Guides: Knowledgeable naturalists enhance the journey, providing insights into the unique flora, fauna, and history of the region.
  10. Embark on the Australis Experience: Discover the magic of exploring Patagonia’s pristine corners aboard these remarkable cruise ships!

Australis Cruises has been operating since 1990, offering voyages that tour the main attractions of Tierra del Fuego, the Strait of Magellan, the Beagle Channel, and Cape Horn. The company’s focus on promoting exclusive, non-massive or invasive tourism, accompanied by expert guides trained to inform and instruct guests, sets it apart as a pioneer in sustainable and responsible tourism. The voyages sail through one of the few uninhabited areas of the planet, showcasing impressive geography marked by imposing glaciers, native forests, and exotic flora and fauna. This unique experience is underpinned by a premium all-inclusive service, the best standards in hospitality, and fascinating field expeditions, all based on an operation that prioritizes, above all, sustainability and safety.

The voyages on Australis cruise ships offer a range of highlights, including Punta Arenas, Chile, and Cape Horn, which is considered the southernmost cape among the three great projections of the southern hemisphere. Disembarkation at Cape Horn National Park depends on the weather conditions, with the historical percentage of possible landings being 75%. The cruise routes for the 2022/23 season include the “Fjords of Tierra del Fuego,” departing from Punta Arenas, Chile, and the “Patagonian Explorer,” departing from Ushuaia, Argentina. These routes provide an unforgettable voyage of discovery through the fjords and channels of Tierra del Fuego, offering the opportunity to discover Cape Horn and the historic Wulaia Bay, among other attractions along the route.

Safety on board and during excursions is a priority, with the cruise line governed by the highest standards in terms of infrastructure and equipment, and implementing strict protocols to safeguard the safety of passengers and crew members. In response to COVID-19, Australis has adopted a series of measures to provide an unforgettable experience while sailing through Patagonia. This includes providing passengers with a kit containing masks and hand sanitizer, mandatory mask usage in enclosed public areas, and the replacement of the buffet system during breakfast and lunch with table service to maintain the quality of the gastronomic experience. The cruise also conducts daily monitoring of the temperature and symptoms of all guests and crew members, ensuring a safe and enjoyable voyage.

The expedition cruise with Australis is suitable for those who want to witness glaciers at the “edge of the world,” be among the Magellanic Penguins, and reach the southernmost point of the Tierra del Fuego archipelago, Cape Horn. If safety, sustainability, and an immersive, educational experience are important to you, then the Australis cruise is a perfect fit for your travel aspirations.

In summary, Australis Cruises has established itself as a leader in providing exceptional voyages through the Patagonian fjords, offering a unique blend of adventure, education, and environmental responsibility. With a focus on exclusive, sustainable tourism and a commitment to safety, the company continues to deliver unforgettable experiences for travelers seeking to explore the wonders of this remote and captivating region.

The Australis Cruises Patagonia Cruises Fleet

Australis Cruises Patagonia operates a fleet of expedition ships specifically designed to navigate the rugged and pristine landscapes of Patagonia, offering passengers an unforgettable journey through some of the most remote and breathtaking regions on Earth. With a focus on exploration, adventure, and environmental stewardship, Australis Cruises Patagonia provides an immersive experience that allows guests to connect with the natural beauty and cultural heritage of Patagonia.

One of the standout features of the Australis fleet is its small size, which allows for intimate and personalized experiences for passengers. The ships are purpose-built for expedition travel, with reinforced hulls and ice-strengthened exteriors that enable them to navigate the challenging waters of the southern seas safely. Despite their compact size, the vessels are equipped with all the amenities and comforts necessary for a comfortable and enjoyable journey, including spacious cabins, dining facilities, observation decks, and lecture rooms.

The fleet comprises two ships: the Stella Australis and the Ventus Australis. Both vessels offer similar amenities and features, with slight variations in design and layout. The Stella Australis, the older of the two ships, has a classic and elegant interior design, with warm wood accents and nautical-themed decor. It features spacious cabins with large windows, a cozy lounge and bar area, and a panoramic observation deck where passengers can take in the stunning scenery of Patagonia.

The Ventus Australis, on the other hand, is a newer addition to the fleet, boasting a more contemporary and modern design. The ship features sleek and stylish interiors, with clean lines and minimalist decor. It offers a range of cabin options, including suites with private balconies, as well as a spacious dining room, a fitness center, and a spa area where passengers can relax and unwind after a day of exploration.

Both ships offer a variety of onboard activities and amenities designed to enhance the passenger experience. From informative lectures and guided excursions to thrilling zodiac cruises and wildlife viewing opportunities, there is always something exciting to see and do onboard. Passengers can also enjoy delicious meals prepared by skilled chefs using locally sourced ingredients, with menus inspired by the flavors and traditions of Patagonia.

In addition to providing exceptional expedition experiences, Australis Cruises Patagonia is committed to environmental conservation and sustainable tourism practices. The company takes great care to minimize its impact on the delicate ecosystems of Patagonia, adhering to strict guidelines and regulations to ensure that its operations are environmentally responsible. By choosing to travel with Australis Cruises Patagonia, passengers can feel confident that they are supporting responsible tourism and contributing to the preservation of this unique and pristine region for future generations to enjoy.

Overall, the fleet of Australis Cruises Patagonia offers a unique and unforgettable way to explore the breathtaking landscapes and rich cultural heritage of Patagonia. With its small ships, personalized service, and commitment to sustainability, Australis Cruises Patagonia provides an immersive and enriching experience that will leave passengers with memories to last a lifetime. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or cultural immersion, a journey with Australis Cruises Patagonia is sure to exceed your expectations.

Destinations of Australis Cruises Patagonia Cruises Cruises

The Ships: Stella Australis and Ventus Australis

  • Stella Australis: This seasoned vessel has been sailing since 2010, offering a comfortable haven for up to 210 passengers.
  • Ventus Australis: A newer addition (since 2017), Ventus Australis shares the same commitment to luxury and exploration.

The Routes: Where Do They Sail?

Fjords of Tierra del Fuego Route (4 Nights)

  • From Punta Arenas (Chile) to Ushuaia (Argentina):
    • Tierra del Fuego: Traverse the mystical fjords of this southernmost region.
    • Strait of Magellan: Navigate through narrow channels, surrounded by snow-capped peaks.
    • Cape Horn: Feel the winds of this legendary maritime landmark.
    • Glaciers and Wildlife: Witness glaciers calving into the sea and spot penguins, seals, and seabirds.

Patagonian Explorer Route (4 Nights)

  • From Ushuaia (Argentina) to Punta Arenas (Chile):
    • Beagle Channel: Sail along the channel named after Darwin’s ship.
    • Magdalena Island: Encounter a massive colony of Magellanic penguins.
    • Ainsworth Bay: Explore pristine forests and watch for Andean condors.
    • Pia Glacier: Marvel at this colossal ice wall.
    • Garibaldi Glacier: Witness its electric blue hues.
    • Cape Horn National Park: Step ashore at the end of the world.

What Makes Australis Cruises Unique?

  • All-Inclusive Luxury: From gourmet meals to guided excursions, everything is included.
  • Expert Guides: Naturalists share their knowledge of Patagonia’s flora, fauna, and history.
  • Remote Access: These ships reach secluded corners inaccessible to larger vessels.
  • Wild Beauty: Patagonia’s glaciers, fjords, and wildlife unfold before your eyes.

The Magic of the Australis Experience

  • Luxury Meets Adventure: Imagine sipping wine while glaciers calve into turquoise waters.
  • Connect with Nature: Spot humpback whales, sea lions, and albatrosses.
  • Historical Insights: Learn about early explorers and indigenous cultures.
  • Sunsets and Starry Skies: Patagonia’s dramatic landscapes provide the backdrop.

Ready to Set Sail?

  • Book Your Adventure: Visit the official Australis Cruises website to plan your voyage.
  • Pack Your Sense of Wonder: Patagonia awaits—where fjords meet glaciers, and adventure meets luxury.


One of the hallmarks of an Australis Cruises experience is the exceptional excursions and activities offered to passengers. The cruise line’s team of experienced naturalist guides leads a variety of shore excursions, including hikes, zodiac boat tours, and wildlife-watching expeditions, allowing guests to immerse themselves in the stunning landscapes and diverse ecosystems of Patagonia. These guided explorations provide a deeper understanding and appreciation of the region’s unique flora, fauna, and geological features.

While the focus of an Australis Cruises voyage is on the extraordinary natural surroundings, the onboard experience is equally impressive. The ships feature comfortable and well-appointed cabins, with floor-to-ceiling windows that offer panoramic views of the passing scenery. The culinary offerings on board showcase the flavors of Patagonia, with a focus on locally sourced ingredients and regional specialties. Passengers can also enjoy a range of amenities, including observation decks, lounges, and lecture halls, which enhance the overall comfort and enrichment of the journey.

Australis Cruises demonstrates a strong commitment to sustainability and environmental conservation, reflecting the company’s deep respect for the fragile ecosystems of Patagonia. The cruise line operates its vessels in an eco-friendly manner, minimizing its carbon footprint and implementing measures to protect the delicate landscapes and wildlife encountered during the voyages. This dedication to responsible tourism ensures that guests can explore the region with a sense of stewardship and appreciation for its natural wonders.

Australis Cruises has consistently received high praise from guests, who have lauded the cruise line’s exceptional service, immersive experiences, and commitment to showcasing the best of Patagonia. The company’s vessels have been recognized for their excellence, with the Ventus Australis and Stella Australis earning accolades for their comfort, amenities, and overall cruising experience5.In conclusion, Australis Cruises offers a truly remarkable and unforgettable journey through the stunning landscapes of Patagonia. With its intimate expedition ships, immersive excursions, culinary delights, and dedication to sustainability, the cruise line provides travelers with an unparalleled opportunity to explore one of the world’s most captivating and remote regions. Whether seeking adventure, natural beauty, or a deeper connection with the environment, Australis Cruises is a compelling choice for those looking to embark on a truly exceptional Patagonian expedition.

– Reviewed by Contributing Author Silvester Thomson

Pin to Pinterest

Enjoyed this guide? Help others find it too! Share the following Pinterest pin to your Pinterest account, by simply clicking on the top left corner. And Remember: Sharing is Caring !

N.B. – The information on this review has been compiled by contributing author and Cruise Expert Silvester Thomson for and is provided “as is” for the convenience of online readers. The Sources come from personal opinions, online research on official and unofficial websites, and in some cases with the help of AI generated content. It should not be taken as fact, as it can be mistaken or altered by future ship modifications from the cruise line done after review. does not and cannot verify all information and should not be taken as granted fact. All readers must take measures to find reliable facts by their travel agent or from the official page of the cruise line to verify any doubts.

* Some links posted in this article may represent an advertisement that provides a small compensation to the website owner