Connecting the Patagonian centres of Chile and Argentina – Punta Arenas and Ushuaia respectively – the MV Stella Australis takes three or four nights to make a comprehensive tour of the region. Whether it’s old growth, sub-polar forests, great glaciers or giant fjords, you’ll be treated to Patagonia’s finest scenery.
And, dipping in and out of winding channels, you’ll be able to reach unique destinations; there’s everything from wildlife-filled islands to impossibly scenic straits. Along the way, you’ll follow in the bow wake of Darwin to discover landing sites on remote beaches first pioneered by his HMS Beagle expedition. It’s all animated by a unique collection of fauna, from whale giants and elephant seals to pods of dolphins and whole colonies of penguins.
And the ship itself, built in 2010, is perfectly suited to its harsh environment. The sleek profile of its custom-built design allows it to slip through narrow, iceberg-troubled channels while the cabins’ floor-to-ceiling windows frame those all-consuming Patagonian views. As an expedition ship, simple comforts are favoured over design flourishes, with plush bedding and lounge areas found in each cabin.
Upgrades add in extra space and larger beds while further comforts can be found in the dining available. Taking inspiration from its surrounds, gastronomic dishes add a modern twist to Patagonian flavours. Lastly, in terms of amenities, there’s an on-board gym while evenings can be spent relaxing in the Sky Lounge where you can enjoy fine drinks accompanied by inky views of the Patagonian scenery.