Patagonian cruise line Australis will launch its brand new expedition ship – Ventus Australis – in January 2018, with a spectacular, but remote, glacier at the southernmost tip of South America added into the new ‘bottom of the world’ itinerary.
The huge and rarely visited Condor Glacier in Agostini Sound will be a highlight of a new, four-night Patagonian Explorer itinerary that the 210-passenger Ventus Australis will offer from Ushuaia in Argentina to Punta Arenas in Chile when the ship debuts on 2 January 2018.
Passengers will be able to see the glacier up close on zodiacs, and also watch out for the Andean condors that gave the glacier its name. The Andean condor is the largest,flying bird in the world, weighing up to 15kg and with a maximum wingspan of 3.3m.
Ventus Australis will be the only ship in the world to visit the Condor Glacier regularly, with the exclusive new four-night sailing from Ushuaia available every eight days from January to March 2018, and again from September 2018 to April 2019.
To mark the debut of Ventus Australis, Australis has indefinitely frozen fares for the next two summer seasons at the same level as those for the current 2016/17 summer season.
Australis is also offering a 10 per cent discount to passengers who combine two four-night cruises to create an eight-night exploration of the spectacular mountain and glacier-lined fjords of Tierra del Fuego, the Magellan Strait and Beagle Channel. The route from Punta Arenas back to Ushuaia will vary slightly, taking in different glaciers, islands and bays, allowing those who do back-to-back cruises to enjoy an in-depth, eight-night expedition of the breathtaking fjords of Tierra del Fuego.
Fares for four-night sailings aboard Ventus Australis in the 2017/18 and 2018/19 seasons are available from USD$1440 person, twin-share. A combo eight-night cruise is available from USD$2592 per person, twin-share, including a 10 per cent discount. Prices include guided excursions ashore and beverages through an open bar.
The Patagonian Explorer itinerary through the mountain-lined fjords of Tierra del Fuego also includes Cape Horn, where guests can walk ashore, weather permitting, Wulaia Bay, a Magellanic penguin colony at Magdalena Island and three other glaciers – Pia, Giribaldi and Aguila – where guests will be taken ashore by zodiacs for close-up views and walks.
Ventus Australis will be a twin sister to the line’s other vessel, the popular 210-guest Stella Australis, with both offering panoramic floor to ceiling cabin windows, free open bar, complimentary, guided excursions, nature lectures and gourmet cuisine including local dishes and Chilean and Argentine wines.
IMAGE: Condor Glacier