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On Jan. 2, 2018, Australis Expeditions will debut the 210-passenger Ventus Australis, a state-of-the-art expedition vessel, setting sail on its inaugural cruise from Punta Arenas, Chile to Ushuaia, Argentina.

“We are so excited to be adding the custom-built Ventus, tailor-made for exploring this remote region of South America—southern Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego—and designed to maneuver Patagonia’s narrow fjords and channels where no other cruise ships can venture,” Felipe Castro, Australis’ sales director for North America, told Recommend during an interview. “Asenav, the internationally acclaimed Chilean shipyard, has created this latest vessel, just as they did with the three other expedition ships for Australis.”

Castro points out that Ventus Australis, while similar to Stella Australis, has many upgrades such as grand picture windows in most of the 100 cabins. What it won’t have, he adds, is a gym. “We found that passengers aboard the Stella seem to invest their energies on excursions—tailored to different physical abilities, and no one was using the gym.”

The Ventus Australis' 4-night Fjords of Tierra Del Fuego itinerary visit Pia Glacier.
The Ventus Australis’ 4-night Fjords of Tierra Del Fuego itinerary visit Pia Glacier. (Photo credit: Borello Travel & Tours)

Additionally, Ventus will be taking a routing that treats passengers to a wildlife wonderland of whales, elephant seals, sea lions and, of course, colonies of penguins; the Condor Glacier will also be added to those itineraries explored and photographed from a small craft.

Ventus Australis will be dedicated to two 4-night itineraries:

  • Punta Arenas to Ushuaia—The Fjords of Tierra Del Fuego itinerary visits wildlife rich Ainsworth Bay, massive Pia Glacier and Glacier Alley, as well as mystical Wulaia Bay and legendary Cape Horn; priced from $1,440 pp dbl.
  • Ushuaia to Punta Arenas—The Patagonian Explorer itinerary calls at Cape Horn and Wulaia Bay—where Darwin landed in 1833—before cruising down the Beagle Channel, continuing through the maze of islands and visiting a number of glaciers—Pia Glacier and Garibaldi Glacier—before entering the Strait of Magellan; the last stop is Isla Magdalena with its boisterous Patagonia penguin colony; priced from $1,440 pp.

Ventus becomes the sister ship of the 210-passenger Stella Australis, which continues to cruise on two routings: the 3-night Discover Patagonia from Ushuaia to Punta Arenas; priced from $ 1,189 pp, and the 4-night Fjords of Tierra del Fuego from Punta Arenas to Ushuaia.

Both ships offer a full panorama of the uttermost end of the earth on roundtrip cruises that combine their respective routings to 7- or 8-night cruises. For more information, call (877) 678-3772 or visit