Life on Board the Love Boat

loveboat1Okay, it wasn’t exactly the Love Boat, but our trip aboard the Via Australis (a 137 passenger boat run by Cruceros Australis) was a new, and mostly positive, experience for us all.


  • Nice hot showers.
  • Access to beautiful and remote areas.
  • Anyone can be a good photographer in these locales.
  • You don’t have to think about your day in terms of food or excursions (this is particularly nice if you have kids).
  • The trip was the right length, 5 days and 4 nights. Any longer and I would have had cabin fever on a boat that size.
  • The open bar (a plus for Ian and Tom, anyway).
  • Meeting mighty nice people. There were 14 countries represented on our boat. Two of our favorite passengers are pictured here: our tablemates Mary and Tommy, from Scotland. (We’re still speaking with our bad Scottish brogue thanks to them!) Tommy is the oldest Linux user (self-taught, no less) that we’ve ever met. Mary was a professor in elementary math education until she recently retired. (Her biggest triumph, though, may have been putting up with Tommy all of these years!)
  • Surprisingly nice rooms.
  • Whiskey and hot chocolate available at the end of land excursions. (Johnny Walker cooling in glacier ice pictured below.)


  • They gave Tom and I two twin beds instead of the queen bed that we had reserved.
  • The drains in the bathroom had some issues.
  • A table of French passengers got angry at us for closing the curtains in the dining room on the first night (we were blocking the sun from shining in our eyes). Maybe it was our imagination, but they seemed to maintain their anger throughout the trip. (Couple that with their loss in the table trivia contest and we almost had an international incident.)
  • The desserts looked good, but were really pretty sub standard. (Once they start putting corn in a signature dessert…well, need I say more?)


  • Really poor guiding. The lead English-speaking guide, who was nice enough, was spectacularly bad at his job. He prattled on endlessly in poor English and had no real information to impart. Ian had an order of magnitude more knowledge gained from his trip through the region 5 years ago than did our head guide. As a family, we made it a point to avoid all of his lectures and lagged behind during excursions so that we didn’t have to listen to him yammer about nothing. I would have expected a naturalist/historian/archaeologist type to be available on board, but this you will not find. We recommend self-study prior to taking the trip.


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