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Home > Member Reviews > CJSANDFS's Port Reviews of Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Stanley, Ushuaia, Punta Arenas

CJSANDFS's Port Reviews of Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Stanley, Ushuaia, Punta Arenas
Veendam cruise in December 2010
Member Name: CJSANDFS
Cruise Date: December 2010
Embarkation: Buenos Aires
Destination: South America & Antarctica
Member Review: CJSANDFS's Veendam Review
Buenos Aires
Port Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
I had 2 days at the Iguazu Falls, staying at the Sheraton. All very easy to organise, especially the car and driver to go to the Brazilian side. Definitely a highlight of my trip. After a day shopping, I did a city tour before embarkation. Beautiful day and as it was a public holiday almost no traffic. Saw all the major sights on a tour with just 8 others, booked through the desk at the Sheraton Liberator. The HAL desk was most unhelpful. Must say that embarkation was easy. Hal organised things very well. The MSC lines for the cruise next to us looked horrendous.



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Montevideo
Port Rating: 2.0 out of 5+
Did the HAL city highlights tour. Dead boring.The highlight was a lovely Canadian gentleman who gave us photos of the Graf Spee that he had had copied from a navy friend.


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Stanley
Port Rating: 0.0 out of 5+
I decided to do it on my own as the tender lands right in town [the whole population is 2500] and not to go on a penguin excursion.

I set foot on the Falklands. Literally got off the tender, took a few photos and scuttled back to the comfort of the Veendam. As I wasn’t on a tour it took forever to get a tender but I am so glad I came back when I did. We were warned about the changeable weather and they were so right. It went from sunny to cloudy to wet to hail in less than 20 minutes. Not somewhere I want to stay. Very barren and no trees.

We waited ages for the tenders to come back and be winched up. Two of them were hanging around for nearly an hour, unable to get close enough to the ship to get the passengers back on. Very rough and windy.



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Ushuaia
Port Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
Ushuaia and Cape Horn.

I didn't booked anything. One lady told me that the only worthwhile thing was the chocolate shop in the main street so I skipped the penguins and the sea lions. Did some good shopping and I think the leather was even better than in Buenos Aires.Chocolate was great!

Before Ushuaia we got one of the real Cape Horn nightmare storms, waves over 35 feet and winds up to 90 knots. Just incredible.

The next morning was calmer but we still had 30 - 40 knot winds. The Captain,[Rik Krombeen] did not leave the bridge and was very, very good about updates. We were only doing 3 knots and he kept turning to try and get away from the wind. Then he would have to pump water into the stabiliser to right whichever side was listing. Everything in my cabin went flying so I ended up stashing glasses and just everything on the dresser into drawers buffered by undies. Water came in under my sliding door and I closed the curtains as it was so cold.

We ended up doing an overnight in Ushuaia. One of our anchors went and they had evidently had 1000 metres of chain hanging off the back of the ship on the portside.

Thanks be that I am a good sailor. Most the day was spent in our cabins, Captain's request. I had lots of books and I quite like just watching the sea. I had a light lunch before it got really bad and ordered a sandwich after my spa visit.It took 2 hours to arrive. Eventually they sent crew around to take orders as the dining rooms and, I suppose the kitchens, were closed. I'm quite happy as the 'rounding the Horn' experience was what I was after, not penguin viewing in port. The Clelia II was docked next to us. It is the one that had to be towed in. It made the news.



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Punta Arenas
Port Rating: 1.0 out of 5+
I didn't leave the ship but this place looked cold and windy. None of the excursions appealed. The Avenue of the Glaciers after Ushuaia was fantastic. Five glaciers, one after the other.It was like Alaska, Norway and NZ all in one. Just the best of scenic cruising.Very close to shore.

After Punta Arenas we headed for the the Brunjo Glacier. Magnificent. Got within 1 mile. Seems the Amalia Glacier has retreated 4 miles since 1950 so that part of the fjord is not mapped. The surrounding hills etc looked like 'Stollen', dusted with fresh snow. I went out on the bow while at glacier and saw the damage to the ship which showed just how powerful the storm was.



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