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This five week journey started in Santiago Chile. This capital city has a mixture of old and modern architecture and green open spaces with the Andes in view. We stayed in the vibrant Lastarria area for two nights, the first day driving through historical and residential districts and rode the cable car to get an overall view of the city. The next day we toured the wine country traveling to the coastal cities of Valparaiso and Vina del Mar. Valparaiso topography is similar to San Francisco. Vina del Mar is an affluent resort city and has one of the original moai statues from the original inhabitants of Easter Island. The following day we drive to Port Antonio to board the Azamara Pursuit – our home for the next month. There were a number of sea days to rest between the various ports of call. Sailing along the Chilean coast we first stopped at Puerto Montt with a tour of the Chilean lake district starting at Puerto Varas on the shores of Lake Llanquihue with the snow capped Osorno Volcano in the background. German settlers developed this area. Our next stop was Port Chacabuco – the gateway to the Ansen region of northern Patagonia. We traveled through glacier carved valleys to the inland capital city of Coyhaique. We then sailed through the Chilean fjords where majestic blue ice glaciers meet the ocean. This is an inside passage with many inlets, islands and navigable channels before arriving at Punta Arenas, our last port in Chile. Here we visited a reconstruction of the fort protecting the Strait of Magellan from claims be other countries. We then sailed through the 150 mile Beagle Channel named for Charles Darwin’s HMS Beagle. This channel runs between Chile and Argentina with numerous glaciers. Here we saw global warming in action with a stream of ice melt flowing from under a glacier. You can see the recent decrease in the size of the glaciers by looking at the exposed sides that have not yet formed any vegetation. At the end of the channel, we arrived at Ushuaia – originally a penal colony - located at the southern tip of Tierra del Fuego National Park. This area is known for wind, wind and more wind. Luckily our Captain was able to arrive in the middle of the night before a major wind storm approaching hurricane force. In the morning the wind was so strong that another cruise ship made six attempts to dock before the port was closed and, along with another cruise ship, could not dock until the wind subsided in the afternoon. We were able to see the local attractions in town but missed the train ride to the top of the world. Anticipated high seas caused cancellation of our stop at the Falkland Islands (cruise ships are only able to make it about half the time) but was substituted by an interesting stop at Puerto Madryn. This allowed us to see the Patagonian interior from the Argentinian side which is much dryer than Chilean Patagonia on the west side of the Andes. Bones from some of the largest dinosaurs believed to have roamed the world are located here. Our next stop was Montevideo Uruguay. We toured the city in the morning and a local boutique winery in the afternoon before a traditional “Azamazing Evening” ashore. Our next stop was Punta del Este – a seaside resort on the coast. We drove in the countryside to Piriapolis where tourism began in Uruguay in 1903. Here we were treated to a traditional Uruguayan fiesta. We then docked at beautiful Buenos Aires (the Paris of South America) for two days between the first and second segments of the cruise. The city was laid out in the European style with wide boulevards and numerous parks. Plaza de Mayo is the most significant political square including the Cabildo (colonial government seat), Metropolitan Cathedral (Pope Francis former parish) and the Casa Rosada (the pink house) where Eva Peron (loved by the poor and hated by the rich) preached to the people. The square has been rife with protests over the years – the mothers who lost their sons during the military dictatorship in the late 70’s and early 80’s and more recently the 2001 protests when the currency was devalued. We also visited La Boca the area of Italian immigrants and incubator of the tango which spread from the former slaves and Recoleta cemetery where the famous are buried in elaborate tombs.

Chilean Fjords

Azamara Pursuit Cruise Review by Saltaire

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Trip Details
  • Sail Date: February 2019
  • Destination: South America
  • Cabin Type: Club Veranda Stateroom
This five week journey started in Santiago Chile. This capital city has a mixture of old and modern architecture and green open spaces with the Andes in view. We stayed in the vibrant Lastarria area for two nights, the first day driving through historical and residential districts and rode the cable car to get an overall view of the city.

The next day we toured the wine country traveling to the coastal cities of Valparaiso and Vina del Mar. Valparaiso topography is similar to San Francisco. Vina del Mar is an affluent resort city and has one of the original moai statues from the original inhabitants of Easter Island. The following day we drive to Port Antonio to board the Azamara Pursuit – our home for the next month. There were a number of sea days to rest between the various ports of call.

Sailing along the Chilean coast we first stopped at Puerto Montt with a tour of the Chilean lake district starting at Puerto Varas on the shores of Lake Llanquihue with the snow capped Osorno Volcano in the background. German settlers developed this area.

Our next stop was Port Chacabuco – the gateway to the Ansen region of northern Patagonia. We traveled through glacier carved valleys to the inland capital city of Coyhaique.

We then sailed through the Chilean fjords where majestic blue ice glaciers meet the ocean. This is an inside passage with many inlets, islands and navigable channels before arriving at Punta Arenas, our last port in Chile. Here we visited a reconstruction of the fort protecting the Strait of Magellan from claims be other countries.

We then sailed through the 150 mile Beagle Channel named for Charles Darwin’s HMS Beagle. This channel runs between Chile and Argentina with numerous glaciers. Here we saw global warming in action with a stream of ice melt flowing from under a glacier. You can see the recent decrease in the size of the glaciers by looking at the exposed sides that have not yet formed any vegetation.

At the end of the channel, we arrived at Ushuaia – originally a penal colony - located at the southern tip of Tierra del Fuego National Park. This area is known for wind, wind and more wind. Luckily our Captain was able to arrive in the middle of the night before a major wind storm approaching hurricane force. In the morning the wind was so strong that another cruise ship made six attempts to dock before the port was closed and, along with another cruise ship, could not dock until the wind subsided in the afternoon. We were able to see the local attractions in town but missed the train ride to the top of the world.

Anticipated high seas caused cancellation of our stop at the Falkland Islands (cruise ships are only able to make it about half the time) but was substituted by an interesting stop at Puerto Madryn. This allowed us to see the Patagonian interior from the Argentinian side which is much dryer than Chilean Patagonia on the west side of the Andes. Bones from some of the largest dinosaurs believed to have roamed the world are located here.

Our next stop was Montevideo Uruguay. We toured the city in the morning and a local boutique winery in the afternoon before a traditional “Azamazing Evening” ashore. Our next stop was Punta del Este – a seaside resort on the coast. We drove in the countryside to Piriapolis where tourism began in Uruguay in 1903. Here we were treated to a traditional Uruguayan fiesta.

We then docked at beautiful Buenos Aires (the Paris of South America) for two days between the first and second segments of the cruise. The city was laid out in the European style with wide boulevards and numerous parks. Plaza de Mayo is the most significant political square including the Cabildo (colonial government seat), Metropolitan Cathedral (Pope Francis former parish) and the Casa Rosada (the pink house) where Eva Peron (loved by the poor and hated by the rich) preached to the people. The square has been rife with protests over the years – the mothers who lost their sons during the military dictatorship in the late 70’s and early 80’s and more recently the 2001 protests when the currency was devalued. We also visited La Boca the area of Italian immigrants and incubator of the tango which spread from the former slaves and Recoleta cemetery where the famous are buried in elaborate tombs.
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