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Crown Princess Review

4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating
2032 reviews
3 Awards

Around Cape Horn on a Calm Day

Review for Crown Princess to South America
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Sussex Duo
10+ Cruises • Age 70s

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Sail Date: Feb 2017
Cabin:

Our cruise was from Santiago (Valparaiso) to Buenos Aires via Cape Horn and the Falkland Islands in late February. It provided a break between land trips to Machu Picchu, in Peru, and the Iguassu Falls on the Argentine / Brazil border, which were the main reasons for visiting South America.

Having mentioned the reason for us taking the cruise, it would be remiss not to mention Machu Picchu and the Iguassu Falls. The cruise itself was certainly not a “trip of a life-time” but we were really glad that we had these two highlights on our “bucket list”.

Machu Picchu

Response from TaylorW, Social Team, Princess Cruises

Hi Sussex Duo, thank you for your feedback regarding your recent voyage on Crown Princess. We will pass along your comments about entertainment to our team. We hope to have the opportunity to...

Cabin Review

Port Reviews

Buenos Aires

The ship docked overnight at Buenos Aires, which is good as there is plenty to see in the Argentine capital. It is also worth staying a couple of extra nights there to tour the city and take in a tango show.

The port area is a run down part of town and it is also common to be mugged elsewhere, so avoid wearing any jewellery or watches. We had no problems exploring on foot but did not try the buses. We caught a train to Tigre, where you can enjoy a relaxing cruise for an hour or two in this family-friendly resort.

The theatre (and opera house) offers tours but do not go there unless it is fully open. We were charged full price, only to find that the auditorium was in total darkness whilst they set up the stage lighting for several days. The botanical gardens are worth a visit but the nearby zoo is now closed and we failed to find the Japanese gardens.

Our group attended the Tango show on the last night, which was a highlight. The dancing was fantastic and we enjoyed huge portions of the famous Argentinean steak.

Santiago (Valparaiso)

Embarkation was delayed by several hours because the Valparaiso port stevedores were on strike.

Puerto Montt

Puerto Montt is not a very exciting place, especially if it is raining but it is worth catching the local bus to Puerto Varas, which is known as the city of roses. The bus station (turn right towards the town) is just a few minutes walk from the tender landing point and is a 30 minute ride.

We enjoyed coffee and cake in a German cake shop but we were unable to see the Osorno volcano, in the mist, when we walked off the calories along the lakeside.

Passengers who had booked on the Princess tours were disappointed to find that yet another port protest had prevented coaches leaving the port. No doubt Princess were not too pleased either, having experienced similar action in Valparaiso, two days earlier.

Amalia Glacier, Chile

By 7 am, the upper decks were lined with passengers taking photos of the Amalia Glacier. The weather was cold but dry and travel had been calm since turning inland from the Pacific Ocean.

Punta Arenas

There is not much to see or do in Punta Arena, especially on a Monday when the museums are closed. The cemetery, which is close to town, is worth a look but the fish market near the port had hardly any fish. The small supermarket had a good selection of Chilean wine, so we took the opportunity to purchase a couple of bottles of Chardonnay.

Ushuaia (Tierra del Fuego)

Before going anywhere, it is best to get some Argentinian Pesos because the museums do not accept credit cards. The banks are not helpful but ATMs are available. The Naval Museum did not look very exciting and wanted to charge USD 23 each, so we did not bother. Instead, we paid 135 Pesos for a ticket that gave admission to the Governor's House and the End of the World Museum. We thought that the Governor's House was worth a visit but there was not very much in the museum.

For USD 15 you could go around town in an elderly Route-master bus but there is not much to see. There is a monument to commemorate the loss of Argentinean lives in the Falklands war, dating back to 1982.

You can take a short ride on the End of the world train or head off to see some penguins but the trips can be quite expensive and were heavily booked.

Cape Horn

It was calm and sunny, so the Captain circled Cape Horn Island before continuing towards the Falkland Islands. With 123 km/hour winds, it was really windy on the upper decks but we could just about see the lighthouse in the distance.

Montevideo

Montevideo is, potentially, a much more interesting place than the earlier ports in Argentina. However, on a Monday and the day before a carnival, most of the places of interest were closed. It is possible to tour the theatre at 11 or 12 am but they only accept the Uruguay Pesos (not USD or credit cards). Elsewhere, most places do accept the USD.

Stanley

The Falkland Isles

This was the final tender stop and the Captain dropped anchors some distance from land. It was a lovely dry, sunny day but the winds on the cliffs made it feel much cooler than the 14 degrees forecast.

We skipped the ships tours and caught the local bus to Gypsy Cove which gave a good view of some large groups of penguins on the beach and also young penguins nesting on the headland. The cove was only about 10 minutes drive from Stanley and seemed reasonable value at £18 (or USD 20).

The Falkland Islands community were very welcoming and we enjoyed walking around Stanley, where most of the 4,500 islanders live. There are no great sites in Stanley but the town has an old world charm and its own character.

Puerto Madryn

This is the starting point for those heading off to Puerto Tomboy, about 70 km away, to see wildlife.

There is little to see in the town, especially on a Saturday when museums etc are closed. The nearby town of Gaimen is known for its Welsh teas. There is an Eco Centre about 5 km along the coast and it is a pleasant walk if the weather is good. The little shuttle, that used to go there from the tourist office, no longer runs. They charge 13 USD entry, which is not great value since there are very few exhibits.

Montevideo

Montevideo is, potentially, a much more interesting place than the earlier ports in Argentina. However, on a Monday and the day before a carnival, most of the places of interest were closed. It is possible to tour the theatre at 11 or 12 am but they only accept the Uruguay Pesos (not USD or credit cards). Elsewhere, most places do accept the USD.

Buenos Aires

The ship docked overnight at Buenos Aires, which is good as there is plenty to see in the Argentine capital. It is also worth staying a couple of extra nights there to tour the city and take in a tango show.

The port area is a run down part of town and it is also common to be mugged elsewhere, so avoid wearing any jewellery or watches. We had no problems exploring on foot but did not try the buses. We caught a train to Tigre, where you can enjoy a relaxing cruise for an hour or two in this family-friendly resort.

The theatre (and opera house) offers tours but do not go there unless it is fully open. We were charged full price, only to find that the auditorium was in total darkness whilst they set up the stage lighting for several days. The botanical gardens are worth a visit but the nearby zoo is now closed and we failed to find the Japanese gardens.

Our group attended the Tango show on the last night, which was a highlight. The dancing was fantastic and we enjoyed huge portions of the famous Argentinean steak.

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