Well-organized but unregimented, the cruise is informal in terms of dress and behavior. As the start, the 120 passengers sign up for meal tables; places are fixed for the duration except at breakfast, when people tend to straggle in at different times. In general, passengers are grouped according to language, though they often place together people who speak English as a second language. The staff themselves can handle Spanish, English, German, French, and occasionally other languages.
The cabins are spacious, with either a double or twin beds, built-in reading lights, a closet with hangars and a lock box for valuables, and a private bath with excellent hot showers. Some cabins have a fold-down bunk for children or a third person. The food is abundant and occasionally excellent, though breakfasts are a little monotonous; the wine is superb and the service exceptional. Vegetarian menus are available on request. The package includes bar consumption.
For those who tire of the landscape or when the weather is bad, on-board activities include karaoke, PowerPoint lectures on flora and fauna, engine-room tours, and culinary demonstrations of carved cucumbers, peppers, zucchinis, and other vegetables. The farewell dinner is a fairly gala affair, followed by champagne on the topmost deck.
Punta Arenas  is the home port; check-in takes place at Turismo Comapa (Magallanes 990, tel. 061/200200) 1–5 p.m., while boarding takes place 5–6 p.m. at Muelle Prat. Some passengers begin or end the trip in Argentine Tierra del Fuego, where check-in takes place at Comapa’s Ushuaia  office (San Martín 245, tel. 02901/430727) 9 a.m.–4 p.m.; boarding takes place at the Muelle Commercial 5–6 p.m.
Make reservations through Cruceros Australis (Av. Bosque Norte 0440, 11th floor, Las Condes, Santiago, tel. 02/4423110, www.australis.com ), which also has offices in Buenos Aires (Carlos Pellegrini 989, 6th floor, Retiro, tel. 011/4325-8400) and in Miami (4014 Chase Ave., Suite 202, Miami Beach, FL 33140, tel. 305/695-9618 or 877/678-3772). Per-person rates for four days and three nights start at US$960–1,680 in low season up to US$1,140–1,980 in high season. Four five days and four nights, the comparable rates are US$1,110–1,940 in low season to US$1,310–2,290 in high season.