This is a long report, because the voyage around Cape Horn includes so many different ports, environments, scenery and weather that it is impossible to describe it in just a few paragraphs: there is just so much to see, experience, and enjoy. In all, we sailed a total of 4385 miles from San Antonio to Buenos Aires.
Our ocean view cabin was located on Deck 1, starboard side near the aft elevator.
It was comfortable and very roomy after we asked our stewards to separate the double bed into two singles, thus creating a central aisle that gives the cabin an appearance of being larger than it really is.
As well as the beds, there is a foldable couch (to make a bed for a 3rd occupant, if required) and a bathroom off to the right as you enter. The bathroom suite includes a bath/shower combination and the usual vacuum toilet, washbasin and storage cabinet.
TIPS: the bath tap/shower head assembly was a design we had not seen previously, and getting the flow to divert to the shower took some experimentation. The mixer-tap mechanism includes a temperature control on the right hand side, a flow control on the top, but no obvious means of diverting the flow from the spout to the shower head. Here’s the secret: there is a movable collar around the spout. After you have set the temperature and the flow you want, pull the collar downwards, and water begins to flow from the shower head. The shower stops after you turn off the flow.
There is no refrigerator in the cabin, so the mini-bar is just a collection of cans and bottle of Evian water sitting on the dressing table. The safe does not use a numerical keypad; you have to swipe a card with a magnetic stripe to lock and unlock it.
In this part of the ship, you will inevitably hear the noise made by the powerful stern thrusters as the ship manoeuvres during docking. These noises don’t bother us, but others may be more sensitive to noise. This is an important consideration when selecting a cabin.
In port, people working on the dock can see into cabins on this deck – just be aware!
In Puerto Montt we were greeted by intense rain, so much so that the roof of the Crow’s Nest developed a small leak, and crew needed to place towels on some seats to absorb the drips. We never saw rain of such intensity anywhere else during the voyage: needless to say, we stayed on board in that day.
Very strong winds required 18 lines and 2 tugs to keep us up against the dock! From the dock you can catch buses into town. TIP: the buses are supposedly free, but we are not sure how frequently these free buses run, so instead we opted to pay $3 US per person to travel each way. Operators quote the prices in both Chilean pesos and US dollars, and seem happy to accept either currency. Walking in high winds can be difficult and we were really glad we had followed the layered clothing advice.
Montevideo (alongside) We wandered around a rather decrepit part of town to a flea market in the main square. Sellers here accept pesos or US dollars and their prices are reasonable. On our way back to the dock we explored the meat market. Part of the inner harbour seems to be a ship graveyard – there must be a fortune in scrap metal here! TIP: Montevideo is perhaps best known for the Battle of the River Plate that took place during WWII. On the dock you can examine the recovered rangefinder from the German battleship Admiral Graf Spee, the vessel that was at the centre of the battle before being scuttled by her captain.
At a Pizzeria in La Boca we ate some very mediocre empanadas.