Why cruising is not just for old people: Punta Arenas to Ushuaia on the good ship Cruceros Australis Stella

Cruising. You might think it’s for old people… and you’d be right. But before you go all huffy and puffy and think ‘well, I’m young and in my prime, why in god’s name would I launch myself out to sea on a ship of wrinkly, bingo-loving bird-watchers?’, just you stop for a moment and re-evaluate. Let’s look at it in a different light. Cruising is cool because of the old people. There. I said it. And let me tell you why.

Old people are quiet and respectful. Unlike in many youth hostels we’ve stayed in on our travels so far, these lovely people do not hump against your bedroom door at four in the morning barking “Who let the dogs out?” and swigging cheap vodka, nor do they demand the microphone when it’s time for you to shine at karaoke.

That’s right. On a cruise, in particular the good ship Cruceros Australis Stella from Punta Arenas to Ushuaia, you get to sleep in peace in a comfy bed in your own plush cabin and you get to sing more songs when it’s karaoke night… mostly because you’re alone in the bar and your respectful elders all went to bed after you sang Like a Virgin.

Old people do not eat or drink much. This is a good thing on a cruise because cruises as you know have the best buffet spreads in the world. Unlike in youth hostels, where fighting for the last slice of free, cold toast is a tiresome morning must, on the good ship Cruceros Australis Stella I often found myself able to consume not one, but nine mini king crab hot pots, several loaves of garlic and thyme encrusted bread and three bottles of all-inclusive wine without having to mentally shoot anyone Hunger Games style with a bow and arrow.

Old people do not criticize you for dressing in, or indeed looking quite fat and ugly in various rubber, waterproof or neon items.

On our cruise, we could wear what we liked. And we quite often did.

Old people have stories. In between chatting with hot, intrepid explorers who are studying elephant seals and living in snow-covered Ainsworth Bay, and marveling at the mindboggling Pia Glacier…

…and licking ice sculptures (oh come on, you’d do it too)…

…we got to rug up in our choice of lounge and hear tales of adventures from back when the world was still small. You can’t beat story time with gran when you’re full of king crab, tearstained from weeping over the Shackleton documentary and aching from pretending to be an ice-queen, draped on beached ice-blocks.

You know the Enid Blyton novel, The Magic Faraway Tree? Well that’s what doing a cruise through the Tierra del Fuego’s archipelago with your new, awesome old friends is like. Every time you wake up, there’s a whole new world outside your window – one you get to explore via zodiac with your trusty, knowledgeable guide.

Our four-day cruise to Ushuaia through Tierra del Fuego and around Cape Horn (the southernmost tip in the entire world, just 550 nautical miles from Antarctica) provided us a brand new landscape every day. We saw more glaciers than I can remember, frozen in mid air, falling forever from craggy cliffs. And as we oohed and aahed at the ‘land of fire’ before the ice that not many people are lucky enough to visit I found myself thinking I was in on a secret. A delicious, all inclusive secret at sea.

Fellow travellers, I am telling you, old people are the new young people and cruising is for everyone.

You can read more about our cruise on the Cruceros Australis Stella in Latinalicious – The South American Diaries. I may even tell you what it’s really like being a cruise ship top fashion model…

All photos by Autumn Mooney

 

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