Ever since I studied South America in the 7th Grade, I have wanted to visit this continent, and especially Chile and Santiago. So we finally went! the Viking "Jupiter" was a beautiful, new ship, and the Planetarium on the upper deck made it especially interesting, as did the two NASA scientist/astronaut who gave enrichment talks.
My husband and I spent a few days on our own prior to the cruise. We visited Rio de Janeiro and both sides of the magnificent Iguazu Falls, where we had scheduled a private pick-up and tour. That took some prior planning, but worked out very well. We also spent an extra day in Santiago at the end of the cruise, driving into the beautiful Andres Mountains with a wonderful guide. In between these two private tours, we spent many interesting days on board the "Jupiter," seeing much of Argentina and Chile. Both of these countries have been having some economic/political problems, but we did not experience any difficulties at all, and found the people there to be very friendly and welcoming.
We found the staff to be extremely friendly and helpful, greeting us with big smiles and positive attitudes. The meals were excellent in all the dining venues, and in fact, we thought it was some of the best food we have ever had on our numerous cruises. I even had my favorite seafood -- soft-shell crab -- twice! that had never happened before! Our cabin was very nice, with plenty of storage and the bed and room were very comfortable. When I found the provided pillow to be too firm for me, the steward quickly found me a softer one, and made sure that it was soft enough. He also got us a top sheet to put under the duvet, which was really too heavy for most of the nights. Being a nearly new ship, everything was in great condition.
It was a very nice cabin, comfortable and in a good location, in a quiet part of the ship. One night, the sliding closet doors were squeaking (the sea was a bit rough that night), but I solved it by putting tissues in the spaces between the doors.
We did not get to the Falkland Islands, due to rough sea.
Our guide, Sebastian, was excellent. The National Park was very beautiful. An enjoyable excursion.