MV Ventus Australis

MV Ventus Australis current position

MV Ventus Australis current location is at South America East Coast (coordinates -55.04000 S / -68.16666 W) cruising en route to PUNTA ARENAS. The AIS position was reported 53 minutes ago.

Current Position

Specifications of MV Ventus Australis

Year of build2018  /  Age: 5
Flag state Chile
BuilderASENAV Shipyard (Valdivia, Chile)
Classice-strengthened expedition ship
Building costUSD 50 million
Speed13 kn / 24 km/h / 15 mph
Length (LOA)89 m / 292 ft
Beam (width)14 m / 46 ft
Gross Tonnage4508 gt
Decks with cabins3
Sister-shipsStella Australis
Christened bySol Lecaros de Nevares
OwnerAustralis Cruceros
OperatorAustralis Cruises Patagonia

MV Ventus Australis Review

Review of MV Ventus Australis

The 2018-built Ventus Australis cruise ship is owned and operated by the Chilean travel company Australis Cruceros Patagonia. From the same design is the sistership and fleetmate MV Stella Australis (2010-built). Both polar expedition vessels were ordered by and specifically built for the Australis cruise company.

The vessel (IMO number 9805403) is currently Chile-flagged (MMSI 725001586) and registered in Punta Arenas.

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 only zone of operations of the cruise line (September through April). Ventus Australis cruises to Cape Horn with both one-way and roundtrip 4- to 7-night itineraries leaving out of Ushuaia (Argentina) or from Punta Arenas (Chile).

MV Ventus Australis cruise ship (Australis Cruises Patagonia)

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 /under construction). Its ship Via Australis was sold in 2016 to Lindblad and renamed Nat Geo Endeavour 2. 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 the 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."

The name Ventus Australis (Latin for "Southern Wind") reflects the distinctive weather of Tierra del Fuego, a factor which has long determined the socio-cultural development of the region and that impressed the early mariners who explored Patagonia's southernmost waterways.

MV Ventus Australis cruise ship (Australis Cruises Patagonia)

Decks and Cabins

For an expedition ship, Ventus Australis staterooms (100 total) are relatively larger, with floor-ceiling windows and either a double bed or two twin beds. 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 Cabins are sized 16 m2 (175 ft2), while the 4 Superior Cabins (located midship) are sized 20 m2 (220 ft2) and have larger double beds. All cabins are with picture windows. Cabo de Hornos deck rooms are with floor-ceiling windows, which cover nearly the room's entire outside wall.

The boat has 5 passenger decks, of which 3 are with cabins.

Shipboard facilities

Patagonia Dining Room (on the lowest deck) serves buffet-style breakfast and lunch. 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.

Public rooms consist of 3 lounges for lectures, socializing and relaxing. The smallest (Yamana Lounge) is a forward-facing observation lounge. The aft (Sky Lounge) is where lectures about Patagonia's history, sights and wildlife take place, given in two 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. Navigation Bridge is open to passengers at most times. Room service is not available. The currency onboard is USD. The vessel is equipped with 6 Zodiacs (large-capacity inflatable boats used for passenger tendering and landings).

Although the ship has no dress code, there is a list of suggested clothes, including hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, sweaters, 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 itineraries ("Patagonian Explorer" expeditions) with departures from homeports 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 3x one-way itineraries can be combined in 7-day or 8-day B2Bs/back-to-back cruises (departing roundtrip from either Ushuaia or Punta Arenas).

Australis cruise prices for season 2023-2024 ranged between US$1500-6500 per person (with double occupancy).

Australis cruise fares are inclusive of all shore excursions (guided Zodiac boat landings / 1 or 2 per day, each with a duration of around half a day), onboard enrichment program (lectures, media presentations), onboard meals and drinks (including coffee, 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).

Following 20+ months of hiatus due to the Coronavirus crisis, Australis Patagonia restarted operations in South America with Ventus Australis on December 30, 2021. The program included 5-night cruisetours (roundtrips from Punta Arenas) visiting destinations in the Chilean Fjords and Tierra del Fuego.

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    MV Ventus Australis Wiki

    On January 2, 2018, was the vessel's christening ceremony held at ASENAV Shipyard in Valdivia, Chile. The ship's godmother is Mrs Sol Lecaros de Nevares - niece of the Australis company's President Pedro Lecaros.

    Inaugural Cruise 2018

    The following table shows the ships' "Inaugural Cruise" (2018 maiden voyage) as ports of call sequence and port sequence.

    4 nights / 5 days from Punta Arenas to Ushuaia (prices started from USD 1660 per person / ~USD 400 pp double-occupancy "Standard Cabin" rates / Porthole stateroom).

    Note: Generally, in Beagle Channel (Glacier Alley) the Australis ships visit either Pia Glacier, Aguila Glacier or De Agnosti Sound.

    Date / TimePort
    27 SepDeparting from Punta Arenas, Chile Antarctica
    28 SepAinsworth Bay, Chile Antarctica
    28 SepAt Sea
    29 SepBeagle Channel, Glacier Alley, Chile Patagonia (Pia Glacier)
    30 SepCape Horn, Chile Antarctica
    30 SepPuerto Williams, Navarino Island, Chile Antarctica
    01 OctArriving in Ushuaia, Argentina

    Godspeed to the new ship!