MV Stella Australis

MV Stella Australis Review and Specifications

Specifications of MV Stella Australis

Year built2010  /  Age : 8
Flag state Chile
BuilderASENAV Shipyard (Valdivia, Chile)
Classice-strengthened expedition ship
OwnerAustralis Cruises Patagonia
OperatorAustralis Cruises Patagonia
Speed13 kn / 24 kph / 15 mph
Length (LOA)89 m / 292 ft
Beam (width)14 m / 46 ft
Gross Tonnage4508 gt
Passengers100 - 210
Crew62
Decks5
Cabins100
Decks with cabins3

Current itinerary of MV Stella Australis

MV Stella Australis current cruise is 5 days, one-way from Punta Arenas to Ushuaia. Prices start from USD 1768 (double occupancy rates). The itinerary starts on 17 Nov, 2018 and ends on 22 Nov, 2018.

Date / TimePort
18 Nov     Punta Arenas, Chile Antarctica   
19 Nov     Ainsworth Bay, Chile Antarctica   
19 Nov     At Sea   
20 Nov     Beagle Channel, Glacier Alley, Chile Patagonia(Pia Glacier)   
21 Nov     Cape Horn, Chile Antarctica   
21 Nov     Puerto Williams, Navarino Island, Chile Antarctica   
22 Nov      Arriving in Ushuaia, Argentina   

Review of MV Stella Australis

MV Stella Australis cruise ship is owned and operated by the Chilean travel company Australis Cruises Patagonia. The polar expedition vessel was ordered by and specifically built for the Australis cruise company. It was constructed in 2 years and launched in 2010. Its sister-ship and fleetmate is MV Ventus Australis (2018).

The ship is luxurious, with yacht-like design and able to navigate the Chilean Fjords and Patagonia's  shallow bays and narrow fjords at the tip of South America. This region is the cruise line's only zone of operations (September through April). Stella Australis cruises either on one-way or roundtrip 3- to 7-night itineraries leaving out of Ushuaia (Argentina) or Punta Arenas (Chile).

MV Stella Australis cruise ship, Antarctica

The Australis cruise line is owned by the Patagonia-based Menendez family. During the late 1800s, their business was focused on seal hunting and sheep breeding. Currently, the company owns and operates two expedition cruise ships (Stella Australis and Ventus Australis (launched 2018). Its ship Via Australis was sold in 2016 to Linblad and renamed National Geographic Endeavour II. The Australis company's current business is run by 3 brothers. They acquired the first ship, "Terra Australis" (formerly Savannah), in 1990, and ran weekly cruises roundtrip from Punta Arenas. In 2002, the company built Mare Australis. About that time, Murray Channel was opened to commercial traffic, which opened the door for itineraries to Cape Horn via a direct route.

The Chilean cruise line specializes exclusively in the archipelago making up the most remote Patagonia's part - Tierra del Fuego. The fleet operates on 5 itinerary routes between Ushuaia and Punta Arenas, including Beagle Channel and Strait of Magellan. Australis is among the few cruise lines to offer the opportunity to go ashore at the World Biosphere Reserve "Cape Horn National Park" (often called "the end of the earth").

MV Stella Australis cruise ship

Cabins

For an expedition ship, Stella Australis cabins are relatively larger and with either double bed or twins. The contemporary decor is in white and nautical blues. En-suite bathrooms are shower-only (with WC and sink vanity). Though there are 6 cabin categories (2 grades on each of the 3 cabin decks), actually there are just 2 layouts. Standard staterooms measure 16 m2 (177 ft2), while the 4 superior cabins (located midship) are 20 m2 (220 ft2) and have larger double beds. All cabins are with picture windows. Cabo de Hornos deck rooms are with floor-to-ceiling windows, which cover nearly the room's entire outside wall.

Shipboard facilities

Patagonia Dining Room (on ship's lowest deck) also has picture windows. Breakfast and lunch are buffet-style. Dinner, which is a mix of international and local fare, is always served. Entree selections usually include fish, chicken, beef or lamb. Wines from Chile and Argentina are included in the Australis cruise fares.

MV Stella Australis cruise ship

Public rooms consist of 3 lounges for lectures, socializing and relaxing. The smallest (Yamana Lounge) is forward-facing observation lounge. The aft (Sky Lounge) is where lectures about Patagonia’s history, sights and wildlife take place, given in line’s two official languages, English and Spanish. Darwin Lounge (on the upper deck) is the largest, with a bar, cocktail tables and armchairs.

The crew is generally made up of locals. The bridge is open to passengers at most times. Room service is not available. Currency onboard is USD.

Although the ship has no dress code, there is a list of suggested clothes, including hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, sweater, waterproof (gloves, pants, hiking shoes or boots). At the Captain's Dinner, for men is recommended to wear a jacket, for women - a dress.

Australis Cruises itineraries

The Australis cruise line operates a set of three one-way polar cruise itineraries with departures from Ushuaia and Punta Arenas.

  • 3-night from Ushuaia to Punta Arenas (with Stella Australis) - Day 1 (Ushuaia),Day 2 (Cape Horn - Wulaia Bay), Day 3 (De Agostini Sound - Aguila Glacier), and Day 4 (Magdalena Island (in September and April replaced with Marta Island) and Punta Arenas.
  • 4-night from Ushuaia to Punta Arenas (with Ventus Australis) - Day 1 (Ushuaia), Day 2 (Cape Horn - Wulaia Bay), Day 3 (Pia Glacier - Garibaldi Glacier), Day 4 (De Agostini Sound - Aguila Glacier - Condor Glacier), and Day 5 (Magdalena Island (in September and April replaced with Marta Island) and Punta Arenas.
  • 4-night from Punta Arenas to Ushuaia (with Stella Australis and Ventus Australis) - Day 1 (Punta Arenas), Day 2 (Ainsworth Bay - Tuckers Islets / in September and April replaced with Brookes Glacier), Day 3 (Pia Glacier - Glacier Alley / in September and April replaced with Brookes Glacier), Day 4 (Cape Horn - Wulaia Bay), and Day 5 (Ushuaia / no excursion day).
  • These 3 one-way itineraries can be combined in 7-day or 8-day roundtrip cruises (departing from either Ushuaia or Punta Arenas).

Australis cruise fares are inclusive of all shore excursions (guided Zodiac boat landings / 1 or 2 per day, each with duration about 1/2 day), onboard enrichment program (lectures, media presentations), onboard meals and drinks (including coffe, tea and juices, plus wines at lunch and dinner). Gratuities are not price-included. Suggested discretionary tipping is USD 15 pp per day (tips envelope is left in the stateroom on the last cruise night / optional credit card payment).

MV Stella Australis wiki

The following table shows an examplary cruise itinerary to Antarctica operated by Stella Australis roundtrip from homeport Punta Arenas.

7 nights / 8 days Chilean Fjords and Antarctica (themed "Darwin's Route") with prices starting from around USD 3400 per person (USD 490 pp per day, double-occupancy "Standard Cabin" rates / Porthole stateroom)

01 OctDeparting from Punta Arenas, Chile Antarctica
02 Oct     Ainsworth Bay, Chile Antarctica
03 Oct     Chilean Fjords, Patagonia
04 Oct     Puerto Williams, Navarino Island, Chile Antarctica   
04 Oct     Cape Horn, Chile Antarctica   
05 Oct     Ushuaia, Argentina   
06 Oct     Cape Horn, Chile Antarctica   
07 Oct     Beagle Channel, Glacier Alley, Chile Patagonia
08 Oct     Magdalena Island, Chile   
08 OctArriving in Punta Arenas, Chile Antarctica

Note: In Beagle Channel (Glacier Alley) the ship visits either Pia Glacier, Aguila Glacier or De Agnosti Sound.

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    MV Stella Australis Itineraries

    The below listed MV Stella Australis cruise prices on itineraries are only indicative and Per Person (in US dollars, based on double occupancy). These are the cheapest Small Cruise Lines fares on the ship’s lowest category cabins available for booking. Cruise fares typically change with departure dates approaching, last minute deals, discounts, promotions, independent travel agency offers.

    DateCruise NameDeparture PortPrice from
    2018 Nov 17 5 days, one-way from Punta Arenas to Ushuaia Punta Arenas$1768
    2018 Nov 21 5 days, one-way from Ushuaia to Punta Arenas Ushuaia$1768
    2018 Nov 25 5 days, one-way from Punta Arenas to Ushuaia Punta Arenas$1768
    2018 Nov 29 5 days, one-way from Ushuaia to Punta Arenas Ushuaia$1768
    2018 Dec 03 5 days, one-way from Punta Arenas to Ushuaia Punta Arenas$1768
    2018 Dec 07 5 days, one-way from Ushuaia to Punta Arenas Ushuaia$1768
    2018 Dec 11 5 days, one-way from Punta Arenas to Ushuaia Punta Arenas$1768
    2018 Dec 15 5 days, one-way from Ushuaia to Punta Arenas Ushuaia$1768
    2018 Dec 19 5 days, one-way from Punta Arenas to Ushuaia Punta Arenas$1768
    2018 Dec 23 5 days, one-way from Ushuaia to Punta Arenas Ushuaia$1768
    2018 Dec 27 5 days, one-way from Punta Arenas to Ushuaia Punta Arenas$1768
    2018 Dec 31 5 days, one-way from Ushuaia to Punta Arenas Ushuaia$1768
    2019 Jan 04 5 days, one-way from Punta Arenas to Ushuaia Punta Arenas$1768
    2019 Jan 08 5 days, one-way from Ushuaia to Punta Arenas Ushuaia$1768
    2019 Jan 12 5 days, one-way from Punta Arenas to Ushuaia Punta Arenas$1768
    2019 Jan 16 5 days, one-way from Ushuaia to Punta Arenas Ushuaia$1768
    2019 Jan 20 5 days, one-way from Punta Arenas to Ushuaia Punta Arenas$1768
    2019 Jan 24 5 days, one-way from Ushuaia to Punta Arenas Ushuaia$1768
    2019 Jan 28 5 days, one-way from Punta Arenas to Ushuaia Punta Arenas$1768
    2019 Feb 01 5 days, one-way from Ushuaia to Punta Arenas Ushuaia$1768
    2019 Feb 05 5 days, one-way from Punta Arenas to Ushuaia Punta Arenas$1768
    2019 Feb 09 5 days, one-way from Ushuaia to Punta Arenas Ushuaia$1768
    2019 Feb 13 5 days, one-way from Punta Arenas to Ushuaia Punta Arenas$1768
    2019 Feb 17 5 days, one-way from Ushuaia to Punta Arenas Ushuaia$1768
    2019 Feb 21 5 days, one-way from Punta Arenas to Ushuaia Punta Arenas$1768
    2019 Feb 25 5 days, one-way from Ushuaia to Punta Arenas Ushuaia$1768
    2019 Mar 01 5 days, one-way from Punta Arenas to Ushuaia Punta Arenas$1768
    2019 Mar 05 5 days, one-way from Ushuaia to Punta Arenas Ushuaia$1768
    2019 Mar 09 5 days, one-way from Punta Arenas to Ushuaia Punta Arenas$1768
    2019 Mar 13 5 days, one-way from Ushuaia to Punta Arenas Ushuaia$1768
    2019 Mar 17 5 days, one-way from Punta Arenas to Ushuaia Punta Arenas$1385
    2019 Mar 21 5 days, one-way from Ushuaia to Punta Arenas Ushuaia$1385
    2019 Mar 25 5 days, one-way from Punta Arenas to Ushuaia Punta Arenas$1385
    2019 Mar 29 5 days, one-way from Ushuaia to Punta Arenas Ushuaia$1385