South American cruise operator Cruceros Australis is slated to have its third new ship delivered in October 2010 – the 210-passenger Stella Australis – Jorge Rodriguez, marketing manager, told Cruise Industry News.

She will be built at Asenav Shipyards in Valdivia, Chile, and be larger than the line’s other two ships, the Mare and Via Australis, which can both accommodate 130 passengers.

Cruceros Australis offers three- and four-night cruises from Ushuaia to Punta Arenas, accounting for roughly 15,000 passengers per year. But when the Stella comes online, only four-night sailings will be offered, “because they are more profitable,” Rodriguez said.

“The economy hasn’t really hit us as that hard. Our ships are filled at 90 percent occupancy this year, and the marketing for this third ship has been going on for a year now, and people seem to be excited,” he added.