Winter in in the northern hemisphere is summer in the southern hemisphere, best season to cruise towards the south end of America. In the desire to explore the glacier landscape we decided on this cruise that allowed us to also visit many ports in Argentina (Patagonia) and Chile (Tierra del fuego).
Holland America filled our expectation of 5 star accommodations and service. The cabin was comfortable and clean. Dining was excellent with a wide variety of selections. Entertainment was different and I was glad it included south American artists showcasing Latin music, singers and dances. I always appreciate the classical music presentation at the adagio, but also enjoyed the unique bandoneon concerts by Guido.
Buenos Aires, was a tough afternoon with the protest that blocked the city traffic.
Montevideo is a nice port town, friendly people and best place to buy non expensive leather goods(soft sheep leather) and souvenirs. In front of the port there is a large market with approximately 20 fire pit grills serving good quality meat and sausages. Worth while a visit.
The Falkland Islands were a surprise, with a British style village and beautiful cove from were to observe penguins on the seashore with a non expensive shuttle drive (not a cruise excursion) offered on the port. The sea on our way there was a 2 day cruising, a bit more shaky but tolerable, and an opportunity to relax and rest.
Punta Arenas, Ushuaia, and Puerto Montt, each had their own characteristics, all very nice small towns. Cruising through the channels was relaxing with beautiful scenery. The weather changed very rapidly in all these ports but in general we had lost of sunshine and nice temperatures. Required layers for the changing temperatures.
Upon arrival to Valparaiso we were met by Jorge Salgado who has his own tour company and he picked 4 of us in the Valparaiso port and gave us a tour of Valparaiso and Viñas del mar and then took us on a ride to Santiago leaving us in our hotel at 4:30 pm and taking the other passengers on a tour of Santiago and then on to the airport. Jorge is a very honest and respectful tour guide which made our transportation to Santiago and our tour of Valparaiso a great experience. We continued to use his services while enjoying our short stay in Santiago all at an affordable price. He gave us insights to the best places in the city. His phone is 993110796 and his email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Prior to our cruise we also visited El Calafate and the Glacier Park of Perito Moreno, and it was the best decision because we were able to enjoy this magnificent glacier close up. The town is also a very pleasant experience.
In El Calafate we stayed at a very comfortable and simple hotel were the staff were very friendly and helpful, Schilling Hostel Patagonico, and walking distance from the center of the town with abundant good resturants and shops. In Santiago we stayed at the Apart Hotel Providence, and had a similar experience with a clean small apartment with a kitchen and friendly staff. Very accessible to transportation in a very nice neighborhood.
Overall it was a very nice trip, relaxing and with time to rest. There were many days cruising, so if you don't like cruising this trip is not for you. We were very fortunate for the weather at sea was calmer than usual.
Visited the cities main attractions with a tour guide. 3 hours unexpensive.View All 62 City Tour Reviews
NIce bay area, Had lunch at la Luna, great experience.
We had bad weather.
NIce british town. Took a shuttle to penguin cove, beautiful site.
It was a bad afternoon due to protest in the city with all traffic interrupted.
Small rapids, good pictures.View All 36 Petrohue Falls Reviews
It was a nice tour. Puerto Varas was a quaint small town, pretty streets.View All 21 Puerto Varas Reviews