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Zaandam Review

4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating
527 reviews
5 Awards

Fantastic itinerary at the bottom of the world

Review for Zaandam to South America
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10+ Cruises • Age 60s

Rating by category

Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation

Additional details

Sail Date: Nov 2018
Cabin: Large Interior Stateroom

My wife and I are recently retired and have long wanted to cruise an "around the horn" itinerary. This Holland America cruise fit the bill the perfectly. Overall, an outstanding cruise, a decent value and a great itinerary.

We departed from Rio de Janeiro. Our flight departed the east coast for Miami on Halloween. Many of the airport and airline employees were in costume and having a good time. We ended up,with a business class upgrade for the overnight flight from Miami to Rio. Since we have been to Rio before, we didn't do anything touristy other than stroll on Copacabana Beach. I paid for our Airbnb for the night of the 31st so we could check in immediately upon arrival the morning of the first.

HAL emailed us the day before embarkation to warn us that check in was going to involve two security checks and to expect delays. Because of this, we left early for the pier. Our uber driver was completely unfamiliar with the cruise port but found it without too much difficulty. Other than confusion about where to drop our bags and where to line up for check in, things went relatively smoothly. There was almost no signage but following the heard and gentle inquiries had us on board in about 30 minutes.

Cabin Review

Large Interior Stateroom

Cabin K

Large, quiet, plenty of closet space. Everything worked. Convenient to elevators and easy to get to gangway or tenders.

Port Reviews

Rio de Janeiro

Have visits before. Would recommend Corcovado, Sugarloaf and strolling the beaches. Don't flash money or jewelry and be aware of your surroundings and you'll have no problems. We enjoy our churrascaria dinner at Carretao.

Punta del Este

Walked about the peninsular area near the port. No real sights to see but a very pleasant town. The sea lions near the port were very entertaining.

Buenos Aires

Be prepared to walk and enjoy this great city. Using the subway is tricky if you don't speak Spanish but once we figured it out, it was a quick, clean, safe and cheap way to get around. It is a cashless system so you need to buy a card and load it. If you speak Spanish, easy. If not, keep trying and you will persevere as we did.


We were fortunate with good, if cold, weather. Tendering was easy and quick. Since we arrived on a Sunday and on Armistice Day, we attended a church service and military parade and memorial ceremony. We enjoyed a beer at the Globe Pub. All sights can be seen on foot unless you want to get out and see penguins, then you will need a tour.

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