Where to start on such a wonderful trip!
We arrived in Santiago about 1 1/2 hrs. late two days before our Nov. 23rd cruise. The airport took about an hour to get through. Warning, do not take any type of fruit, or nuts with you. They will be taken there, possibly with a fine.
Our transfer was arranged by the Hostal Morgan B&B in Valparaiso. We were met outside customs by a wonderful gentlemen in uniform with our name on sign for our pleasant and beautiful drive to Valparaiso. This is the most reasonable of ways to reach Valparaiso without going on the bus.
Valparaiso should be visited! This is the most charming city. We stayed on Cerro Alerge at the Hostal Morgan B&B, which was like staying in a boutique hotel in Paris' St. Germain. Within walking distance of great restaurants, especially, La Concepion. Wonderful hosts and accommodations. I would without hesitation stay in Valparaiso after touring the area, which included Vina del Mar.
We boarded the ship at 1 P.M. Embarkment went fairly smooth since this was their first trip to this port. We were on within the hour and in our room and up to the Windjammer for lunch. Spent the afternoon on our aft balcony enjoying the warm South Pacific.
Our cabin was the best ever. Have had an D1 before and also, an aft, but this one was great. Large and the balcony had a lounge chair in addition to the two regular chairs and table.
The food was really good. I am an avid cook, cooking school addict, traveler and I really enjoyed the food. The staff, "B", Victor and Andy were really good.
The ship is gorgeous. Friendly staff, clean and some great entertainment. Captain is really funny and entertaining. Would love to have him again.
The ports of call were all great, even though we missed Puerto Madryn because of a tanker fire. We weren't too upset because of the beautiful scenery that we had already experienced. We had seen Penquins in Otway and sea lions in Valparaiso. Can't stress enough the beauty you will see on this cruise.
The guests were from 47 different countries. Majority were from U.S., followed by Canadians and Germans. Very pleasant.
The entertainment was very good, except for one show, which I didn't care for. The tango show was above and beyond great. Better than what you can see in B.A.
Clothing needed ranged from really hot weather to really cold. The majority of the trip required cool weather clothes. B.A. is extremely warm.
Tours I arranged at the pier, without any problem. Got 12 people together and before getting off the ship and we took vans for $20 pp for 7 1/2 hours. Puerto Montt, make sure you spend some time in Puerto Vargas and Petrohue Falls, (not to be missed). The market in Puerto Montt is the best one you will visit in all South America. Prices are high in Urg. Ushuaia is beautiful and Punta del Este is a beautiful place. Loved Puerto Vargas and will plan to return there.
Disembarkment was a breeze. Found a cab to Hilton for $30 in the parking lot without standing in the hour long line. The Hilton is a wonderful hotel. Very modern, great service, beautiful room.
Loved this trip!