We chose this cruise to be away over Christmas and New Year and because we wanted to explore more of South America. It was nice to have four full weeks rather than rushing through two weeks. We arrived early in Valparaiso and enjoyed spending some time in this colourful town. The Viking Sun, which is identical to its sister ships, was once again a haven of understated comfort and elegance. Although smaller than many ships the Viking ships never appear crowded, there is never a mass of people even around the central pool and there is always a quiet spot to sit and read or watch the world (and the dolphins) go by. The ship is pristine and gleams showing the obvious attention to detail and cleanliness. Although decorated for Christmas they did not go overboard with garish decorations and instead focused on keeping the ambiance soft and gentle. Of course that gentle calmness went out the window New Years Eve when we had a blast of a party, fortunately at sea where no one could hear us. Best New Year ever. This was followed by an amazing New Years Day buffet which served every kind of food imaginable. The king crab legs were awesome. The gym on board has excellent equipment and of course a great sea level view. This was one leg of a record breaking world cruise so some passengers had been on quite a while and as a result the relationship between passengers and crew was definitely different. The crew are so nice, always smiling, always helpful but because of the longer time spent with passengers they became almost friends while maintaining a respectful regard. I have scored the entertainment a little less than perfect simply because although the artists were good there is in my mind need for a little more variety rather than always singers. The local performers brought on board were excellent. The guest lecturers were very interesting, particularly the naturalist and the Astronaut. We did run into disappointment on one of the excursions but Viking handled the situation well. Looking forward to our next cruise with Viking.
An excellent cabin with a comfortable bed and given it is being used for longer cruises, there were extra drawers providing ample storage. You never hear any noise from either the neighbouring cabins or the hallway so the ship is well insulated for sound. The verandah was a nice place to sit in the late afternoon/early evening (we were on the port side so facing the setting sun). Although the ship does provide binoculars they are pretty much useless so would recommend people bring their own if you are wanting to watch for wildlife.
A trip through some pretty countryside
We flew to Tikal which was spectacular although rather too rushed for such a large site.
We chose to do The Gamboa aerial tram here and it was a little disappointing as we saw no wildlife other then one Toucan. The visit to the sloth sanctuary however was very good.