Christenings & Deliveries: Pocket Cruiser for Patagonia

Tuesday, March 11, 2003

Built to a design by Seattle-based Elliot Bay Design Group, the Chilean pocket cruise ship "Mare Australis" made her maiden voyage this past November. With a crew of 44 catering to the needs of only 127 passengers, this is a unique alternative to the usual mass cruise ship industry. Even the cruise route is unique with the ship offering expeditionary cruises to the Chilean and Argentinian Patagonia through the Tierra del Fuego with terminus at Punto Arenas in Chile and Ushuaia in Argentina. The cruise includes visits to a number of glaciers and passes through parts of the Strait of Magellan and Beagle Channel. The Transportes Maritimos Terra Australis company has an excellent web page showing the routes and other information at:

Constructed at the yard of ASENAV (Astilleros y Servicios Navalas S.A.) the ship is 70.1 by 13.4-m with a depth to the first deck of 4.26 m. Main engines are a pair of Cummins KTA38-M0 rated for 850 hp each at 1,800 rpm. The engines turn five-blade fixed pitch propellers through Twin Disc MG5202 gears with a 4.03:1 ratio. The vessel was designed for a speed 12 knots at 80 percent MCR.

Auxiliary power is provided by two Cummins Marine Auxiliaries of 230 kW each. The emergency gen set is a 120 kW Cummins Marine Auxiliary. An additional 120 kW Cummins Marine Auxiliary powers the diesel electric bow thruster. Cummins of Chile supplied and supported the complete Cummins Marine propulsion and auxiliary equipment package with applications engineering assistance from the Marine Department at Cummins Americas. Tankage includes 100 cu. m. for fuel and 160 cu. m. for water.

For over 120 years the family owned and operated Transportes Maritimos Terra Australis S.A. has operated sea liners for commercial transport in southern Chile's austral waters. With the addition of the new vessel MV "Mare Australis", the company intends to develop a new form of expeditionary waterways eco-tourism. From restaurants and dance floors to movie theatres and game rooms, within its 5 decks and 67 luxury cabins, "Mare Australis" boasts comforts and amenities typically found only in larger cruise ships. As a state of the art vessel built to comply with ABS Class and SOLAS codes, "Mare Australis" adds a new chapter to a long standing tradition of maritime excellence in Chile.

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