Veendam Antarctica Trip - Spectacular!: Veendam Cruise Review by Nature Cruiser

Veendam 5
Nature Cruiser
Member Since 2011
1 Forum Post

Overall Member Rating

Veendam Antarctica Trip - Spectacular!

Sail Date: December 2010
Destination: South America
Embarkation: Santiago (Valparaiso)
Our trip aboard the Veendam was nothing short of spectacular in every way. The entire crew, particularly the Captain and Cruise director made you feel welcome and even a little special. The Captain regularly addressed the ship and kept everyone informed about where we were, ice issues and whale sightings. The lectures on the ship and the scientists that boarded from the Palmer Ice Station really added to our enjoyment of the cruise and our understanding of the issues facing the Antarctic region. Our trip followed the harrowing storm in mid-December that made international headlines (140mph winds / 35 foot waves). There was some obvious damage to the ship when we boarded, but repairs went on throughout the cruise - largely invisibly, although the front deck had been smashed and many outside lights and doors were heavily damaged. We could not have had more perfect weather; which is well outside of HAL's control, but it was a spectacular trip. The natural beauty, the wildlife and the More excellent opportunities to enjoy them on shore as well make this the perfect cruise for families & nature lovers. I had so much fun I never even started to read the books I brought along. I would also like to mention that my college age children enjoyed this trip enormously. Without the Internet, cell phones, friends, school and work we had more uninterrupted time together than we'd enjoyed since they were infants. There were not many other college age people aboard, but they did eventually find each other so that they could enjoy the dancing at night and some of the other activities on the ship.

If there was anything on the ship that was less that great it was the food. It was good, and there was certainly a lot of choice as to what to eat and where, but just a little inconsistent. A few dishes arrived very heavily salted or over cooked, but with over 50 meals on board, the vast majority was very enjoyable. I was impressed that on a 3 week cruise we were consistently served fresh fruit and vegetables as well as a wide variety of dishes. Less

Published 01/23/11

Cabin review: N720 Standard Interior Stateroom

A bit tiny for three women, but lots of counter space in the bathroom and good closets made this work - even for 17 days. The look of a window in the room is a cleaver way to avoid the claustrophobia that could be caused by such a small room. It was both a good bargain and a good value.

Read All Standard Interior Stateroom (N) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

It is still the "Paris of Latin America". Buenos Aires has great food, great museums and a rich history that is readily explored on foot or via a tour. There are also a number of things to do near Buenos Aires such as the markets in Tigre that make for good fun. Don't miss the cemetery in Recoleta it is its own museum and art gallery - one can wander there for hours.

Our experience in the port was tempered by the fact that the plans we'd made with a local guide fell through and we had to hire a car and driver a the pier - the driver was new and not from the city so he spent the entire day lost and he knew nothing about history etc.. That said, the trip to Colonia del Sacramento was scenic and the city itself, while overly packed with tourists, was worth seeing as much of it dates back to the early 1600s. The city of Montevideo itself has certainly seen better days. It felt run down and grungy. Many have left the city for the newer beach town of Punta del Este (not unlike Detroit in the US, I suppose).

Puerto Montt is a sleep tourist town. It has the best handicrafts market in Chile (buy here if you see something you like). Best of all, Puerto Varas is about 30 minutes from here. the stunning views of Lake Llanquihuye and the Orsono Volcano are not to be missed. Another 30 minutes on are the Petrohuye Rapids/Falls which are well worth seeing.

Punta Arenas was a vibrant trade port up to the opening of the Panama canal in 1912. It boast many historical buildings, beautiful parks and scenery. About one hour from town the Penguin preserve is a must see. In addition the the penguins we saw condors, rhea, caracara, upland geese, flamingos and vultures on this trip. It was scenic and very worth while. Be sure to touch to foot of the Patagon in the plaza - this means you will return one day. Lunch at Luna's is a treat as well and it is easy to find. Please do note that this is a VERY windy place. You need to dress appropriately.

Santiago Chile is a beautiful and modern city. Its climate is lovely and it offers a wide variety of sight seeing and cultural opportunities.

Port Stanley is a remarkably British place. It is also situated on what has to be the rockiest place on Earth. In spite of the fact there there are howling winds and no naturally occurring trees, this is a remarkably beautiful place and offers opportunities to visit penguins and other wildlife as well as battle sites and minefields (yet uncleared) from the war. Ask someone about the cow that got blown to kingdom come last year! The locals are a charming and affable bunch. Apparently they also hold the world record for per person alcohol consumption.

We arrived on a beautiful day and took Patrick Watts' expedition out to Volunteer Point - it was AMAZING!!!

Read 95 Stanley Reviews

The city itself is very 'touristy' and the sidewalks are jam packed with people. If you leave the city and explore the Tierra de Fuego National Park you will be rewarded with beautiful scenery and a chance to take your picture at the sign that marks the very end point of the Pan American highway.

All of the major Antarctic expeditions leave from this port so there are interesting ships in the harbor and lots of outdoor gear stores. This is a very windy city, be sure to dress appropriately.

Read 179 Ushuaia Reviews

Compare Prices on Veendam South America Cruises

Read more Veendam cruise reviews >>
Read Cruise Critic’s Veendam Review >>

Compare Prices on Veendam South America Cruises

Nature Cruiser
Member Since 2011
1 Forum Post
Enrichment Activities
Family & Children
Fitness & Recreation
Onboard Experience
Public Rooms
Shore Excursions
Value for Money
Skip X

See Veendam deals up to 82% off:

October Deals
Veendam 67% Loved It

25-day Atlantic Adventurer
See all Veendam Deals >>