The 75-foot classic ice-strengthened sailing vessel S/V Australis is a sturdy, seasoned veteran of polar waters and our base for nearly two weeks of remarkably unique exploration along the Antarctic Peninsula and its islands. She is a steel-hulled, fully rigged motor sailor powered by a 180hp Gardner engine, which can carry her along at a speed of 8+ knots for comfort and convenience. Carrying a full range of safety, operational and navigational equipment, Australis is also equipped with two Zodiac tenders which are key to our exclusive mode of exploration.
The interior of the vessel is cozy yet comfortable, giving our guests the rare experience of expeditions of days gone by while maintaining creature comforts. Four cabins accommodate a maximum of eight passengers and one Nat Hab Expedition Leader. (Ship crew members have their own berths below.) Bathroom facilities are shared. Guests can relax in the saloon, equipped with TV, DVD, VCR and CD player, and whose generous table seats 12 comfortably. The well-equipped galley features a cooktop, oven, microwave, toaster, double sink with hot and cold running water, and three full-sized fridge/freezers. Our crew members are our hosts and provide hearty and tasty meals throughout. A washer and dryer are available on board. The vessel has 240 volt electricity throughout (110 volt conversion available). On deck, the large outdoor cockpit area has a removable sun shade, and there’s a BBQ and hot water shower on the aft deck. A crow's nest with ladder access offers 360-views and unmatched wildlife viewing.
Important Notes on Rooming Configuration:
There are four cabins on board. Three of the cabins are configured with one double lower bed that converts to two twins (with a separation board), plus a single upper bed above the double. The fourth cabin has a lower single bed and a an upper single bed. Depending on the make-up and number of guests in our group, we usually operate our trips either with: A) four of the cabins set up as double rooms, or, B) three cabins set up as double rooms and one cabin set up as a triple, the Nat Hab Expedition Leader often being the 3rd person in that triple. Rooming configuration is determined by the date of booking as well as by gender and other preferences. The ship is surprisingly comfortable and utilizing this vessel as our mode of exploration allows us exclusive access to the “white continent” that most other travelers simply cannot experience. The rooming situation may not be as opulent as you might find on a large cruise ship with hundreds of guests on board, but getting traveling remotely far away from those ships is the point, isn’t it?