13 Ushuaia (Tierra del Fuego) Group and Theme Cruise Reviews

Vantage Adventures booked it for me as a part on an Antarctica adventure. I have always wanted to see Antarctica and I didn't know anything about the Midnatsol before booking with Vantage. I looked the ship up on the internet and ... Read More
Vantage Adventures booked it for me as a part on an Antarctica adventure. I have always wanted to see Antarctica and I didn't know anything about the Midnatsol before booking with Vantage. I looked the ship up on the internet and downloaded the ship's passenger manual, which was very helpful in packing and planning my trip. The crew on the Midnatsol was attentive and did everything they could to make our adventure a wonderful experience. They familiarize themselves with the adventurers and attempted to meet all of our individual preferences in our cabins, the dining rooms, and the bars. The guides learned the adventurer's strengths and weaknesses and catered to our individual needs. We had 348 Adventurers on board and only 100 could be onshore at one time. They did a spectacular job of traffic control. Everyone got the shore time that they wanted, including the campers and swimmers. Excellent job Midnatsol! Our Vantage Adventures guide, Valerie Martin, from Buenos Aires, provided additional services to the 37 Vantage Advrnturers which enhanced our experience even more and personalized our experience because of her 16 previous trips to Antarctica! Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
A cruise aboard a luxury ship is a first. Everything went fine and beyond all expectations. Two things that we have appreciated especially was the quality of the conference room and accompanying services during the outstanding ... Read More
A cruise aboard a luxury ship is a first. Everything went fine and beyond all expectations. Two things that we have appreciated especially was the quality of the conference room and accompanying services during the outstanding presentations and daily wrap-ups and the room service available for food at night (since we don’t drink alcohol or wine at all, we really appreciate being able to dine quietly at night [butler service being perfect]). The buffet style for breakfast and lunch was also very good. One more thing that was well managed was the mandatory fire and evacuation exercises at the beginning of the cruise. The instructions given to reach the muster station were clear and the training in how to put on our life saving jackets correctly were comprehensive. Altogether, you seem to take our safety seriously. We choosed this cruise because of its expedition features. We made 7 interesting visits in Antarctica despite some harsh weather. The expedition team was beyond dreams for the scientific people that we are. Some employees directly in contact with us were outstanding: Antidya (Butler), Robert Lamond (Head, Dining room), Maria Ladron (Head Receptionist) and above all Luke Kenny (Expedition leader) and all his crew of qualified scientists that made the expeditions and conferences of the highest quality level and way beyond our expectations. Of course, the captain Maggi Ettlin merits all our respect for her countenance and resolute decision making process. However, we must notice that the decision taken to strand the crew at Port Lockroy because of the risk to damage the zodiacs while retrieving them inside the boat (at least, we were told it was the rationale) costed us one day of exploration. Two little flaws: Communication with the passengers while eight members of the expedition team were stranded on Port Lockroy was poor. The captain or someone in charge should have reassured us and explained more clearly what was going on. When we arrived at Buenos Aires airport coming from Ushuaia on the 25th, the transit was not comfortable. We felt rushed by your attendant to cover the distance that we had to walk within the airport while carrying our luggage. Moreover, the bus picking point was quite far. So the ride was not comfortable, especially for our cruise fellow older companions. You can be assured that we really have enjoyed our cruise and we thank you for your constant efforts to make us comfortable during this trip. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We chose this cruise and company because of (1) It's a place we have wanted to visit for many years and (2) we had sailed with Silversea before on Silver Whisper 2016 in the Baltic. Of course there was the problem of the ... Read More
We chose this cruise and company because of (1) It's a place we have wanted to visit for many years and (2) we had sailed with Silversea before on Silver Whisper 2016 in the Baltic. Of course there was the problem of the ship's fuel pump breaking down and the curtailment/cancellation of her first voyage after her USD40m refit. Problems can happen to anyone at anytime. Silver Cloud had steamed all the way from Malta to the South Atlantic before her fuel pump problem - and we understand a few other cabin problems. But that is in the past and having just returned from her other 'first' Antarctic cruise we both felt we had received more than 'just' value for money. Our stateroom (622) was large and comfortable - with the now almost obligatory balcony. Handy for taking some photographs from, but not the ideal place to sit when the average temperature is only between -1C and +1C. Our room attendant (Joshua) kept the room smart, clean and tidy. Only quibble would be that the laundry didn't keep pace with the facecloth supply. Not a major problem as do have our own! We ate mainly in the main Dining Room and mostly had a table with a great view outside. Each time we had the same waiter (Renaldo) who couldn't do enough to keep us happy and well fed. Three nights we ate in La Terrazza - the Italian themed restaurant and the food and service there were second to non. We found all the staff there to be friendly and welcoming (especially Francesco who is from Portugal though and not Italy!). Breakfast was in L Terrazza as was our Lunch option. The self service buffets were excellent in choice and quality. Though sometimes the service got a bit too 'fussy' - I can carry a plate from the buffet to a table some, oh lets say 2mtrs away. Though it became a game for me to see if I could get to the table before being 'interrupted' by one of the many attentive waiters. They mostly won though! Being an all inclusive voyage the bars were comfortable to sit in and have a Cosmo (or four...) watching the sea outside the bar - though we had to keep opening the blinds as the ever attentive Marta kept them closed - no doubt some official reason or other. Shore excursions were by zodiac to beaches to visit Penguins - lots and lots ... and lots of Penguins. Cute and adorable they maybe but the smell... I don't know how David Attenborough stands it. Remember what goes in the Penguin (Krill) also has to come out! If you want an expedition to the Antarctic then Silver Cloud (Expedition) is THE ship to travel on. She is small enough to get into the remotest places and large enough to be a stable platform in bad sea conditions. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
It's not until you stand in front of a elephant seal or surrounded by penguins that you realise how extraordinary is the experience on this ship. Then you return to the ship to superb luxury, warmth and friendly service. The ... Read More
It's not until you stand in front of a elephant seal or surrounded by penguins that you realise how extraordinary is the experience on this ship. Then you return to the ship to superb luxury, warmth and friendly service. The captain literally took the ship to places where no Ponant ship had been before. We stood on an iceflow and drank champagne with the ship's bow above us. We navigated through icebergs and ice flows at night and we steamed past Cape Horn itself. Simply a beautiful ship, superbly run and a real expedition. The theme of the cruise was Antarctic and expedition and we did both. I wonder if the floor show was needed (although they were very good) and if more lectures could be given on the area itself. Onboard activities were well run. The whisky tasting was a hit (well with me anyway). The cuisine was amazing and the portion sizes just right. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
This was a College Charter run by Gohagen & Co. booked through UCLA Alumni. Our ratings: UCLA Alumni Travel: 5/5 Gohagen & Co.: 5/5 Ponant: 5/5 Le Soleal: 5/5 Antarctica: 10/5 The booking process went very ... Read More
This was a College Charter run by Gohagen & Co. booked through UCLA Alumni. Our ratings: UCLA Alumni Travel: 5/5 Gohagen & Co.: 5/5 Ponant: 5/5 Le Soleal: 5/5 Antarctica: 10/5 The booking process went very smoothly as was the follow-up to the numerous questions we had prior to the trip. Documentation was equally easy. We left from Houston IAH where we met the Gohagen staff who escorted us to Buenos Aires for two nights. We then flew to Ushuaia to board Le Soleal. We had read several poor reviews of this ship on CC so we were quite surprised when the Captain himself greeted us by name (without a prompt) as we boarded. We had never experienced anything like this on our previous 40 cruises on various lines. Most of the staff knew ours and everyone else's name by the third day. With very few exceptions, each crew member was gracious, informative and helpful. The ship was comfortable (having a suite is a big plus) and it met most of our needs. Food was good, service superb and selection was fine. The visit to Antarctica was unbelieveable. The on-board naturalists and scientists were very informative, interesting and well trained. Getting on and off the ship via Zodiacs was a challenge for us older folks, but the crew made it work well. When you tour the Polar areas everything depends on the local weather so you don't know from hour to hour what stops you will be making. The Captain did a great job of finding great stops and keeping us informed. You will not believe what you see ashore. It reminded me of my visit to the Grand Canyon: You can't really describe it with words nor can you really photograph it. In summary: A life altering experience. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
I was referred to this cruise/expedition by our dentist! As it turned out, he was exactly right! My daughter had the most enjoyable experience of our lives! When we arrived in Ushuaia, we were taken to a catamaran where we were treated ... Read More
I was referred to this cruise/expedition by our dentist! As it turned out, he was exactly right! My daughter had the most enjoyable experience of our lives! When we arrived in Ushuaia, we were taken to a catamaran where we were treated to a wonderful lunch and saw a little part of scenery Ushuaia. When we arrived at the port which we were to embark, we were greeted by a friendly, smiling crew member who welcomed us aboard the ship. Once on the ship, we were asked if we wanted to register at the time we boarded or if we would like to be taken to our cabin. We chose to be taken to our cabin and, without hesitation, they took us. Once we reached the cabin, they showed us all about the cabin to make our stay more comfortable. The cabin was cozy and comfortable and well appointed. The ship was beautifully appointed and it was rather easy to find our way around once we settled in. After we settled into the cabin, we went to register ourselves into the ship. It was quick and easy with not much waiting. The dining room was equally beautiful and our dining requests were met every step of the way! The staff was friendly, polite and efficient and they tended to our every need! The quality of the food served was top notch and there was no skipping on service! All of the dining room staff went out of their way to meet our needs from our first meal to our last! Each day, our schedule was full of activities and interesting seminars on Antarctica and other topics of interest! There was never a time in the day when there was nothing to do, unless you chose to do nothing but relax or read. It was always interesting and NEVER boring! What we found to be interesting is that this cruise/expedition was made up of mature passengers, but also of young adults who enjoyed the interaction by all! I believe that all of us learned something from everyone! Aside from going on shore and seeing glaciers up close in addition to the wildlife, it was wonderful to be able to go anywhere on the ship including the bridge where we were welcomed with open arms. Not only did the crew allow us to enter the bridge at anytime, they were willing to explain to us what we were seeing and what we could expect as we were traveling along! They pointed out interesting sites and went into detail about what we saw in order to help us understand all that we were seeing! They explained all about what they were doing, as well, which made the trip even more interesting. The naturist were informative and interesting! Needless to say, the service that was provided was the best that I have ever seen. Every detail was thought of and nothing was ever left out! I could not have asked for more as it went beyond my expectations! If I had the chance to go again, and I hope I do, I would do it again in a heartbeat! Furthermore, I would recommend this cruise/expedition to anyone at anytime! The money spent to book this trip was more than worth it! Thank you to the crew, Linblad and National Geographic for the trip of a lifetime! Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
I was on the Stella Australis as part of a tour to South America and specifically Patagonia. The Stella allowed me to make it to Cape Horn and set foot on the southernmost part of the Americas. This ship serves as a research vessel as well ... Read More
I was on the Stella Australis as part of a tour to South America and specifically Patagonia. The Stella allowed me to make it to Cape Horn and set foot on the southernmost part of the Americas. This ship serves as a research vessel as well as a tourist boat, and there are a cadre of young, enthusiastic and knowledgeable expedition leaders who both lectured on the ship and led the shore excursions. We were very lucky with weather on my trip and got to go ashore everywhere planned, but that is not always the case. The crew takes great care with passenger safety. We got up close and personal with penguins on Magdalena Island, saw glaciers and had some wonderful hikes. The accommodations are what I would expect from a mid-range cruise, and the food was good.One note- the little on board gift shop has some outstanding values. I thoroughly enjoyed my cruise and would recommend the Stella without reservation. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
More than a small cruise ship is a big, friendly,family. A 4 day dream…from Ushuaia to Punta Arenas. Crew members are the most competent, caring professionals that I ever met and as a retired flight crewmember have seen a lot of ... Read More
More than a small cruise ship is a big, friendly,family. A 4 day dream…from Ushuaia to Punta Arenas. Crew members are the most competent, caring professionals that I ever met and as a retired flight crewmember have seen a lot of crews around the world. These persons are the very best, from Captain, to Guides, to restaurant stewards. The best Everything was so perfect…we were lucky to have an excellent weather and so, able to disembark all times as planned. Beautiful sites, everything worked like clockwork into the phases of disembarkation. They really are professionals. No one looks at you without a smile… And the food? Table service? Superb. Cabin? Everything was very very very good. English is not my native language so I find difficult to find words good enough to praise this Australis Cruise. Astounding will be short. Most sincere congratulations and thanks for those happy, beautiful days. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We wanted to make our 7th continent and this worked well. The 1 star is off for the excursions in Bueno Aires and Ushuaia could have been improved with voice boxes (a la Viking) and more information so we could hear the guide instead of ... Read More
We wanted to make our 7th continent and this worked well. The 1 star is off for the excursions in Bueno Aires and Ushuaia could have been improved with voice boxes (a la Viking) and more information so we could hear the guide instead of her having to shout. The food on the boat was nothing to write home about, but it was adequate. The food is not why you take this cruise. The catamaran cruise on the lake in Ushuaia would have been improved with commentary about the Tierra del Fuego National park. There was a flash strike by LAN on our day of departure and everyone going home missed their international flight, since we didn't get to EZE until 1 am. Lindblad and the cruise director did an excellent job getting us back in the Sofitel for a night and getting our replacement flights home, plus covering expenses quickly. They must have a rapid response team or something because their response to a crisis was excellent. The parkas that come with the cruise are really very nice. It also comes with an inner lining that is outstanding. On many of the Antarctica excursions on the ice several people would wear just the inner lining. Depending on the weather, the same was true for when the ship was cruising the ice watching for whales, seals, and penguins. I would suggest at the very least, renting their boots, so you dont have to pack your own. They were quite good. We brought our own ski pants, but many others rented. There are hiking sticks available for free (beat up sticks) if you want them, so we didnt need to rent those. This is a very casual cruise so no need to dress up. Some crew were in the lounge during the day in shorts and a T shirt and this did not offend us. Plan on a poor internet experience. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We had not cruised before but it was the only option for the route at that time of year. For us it was quite expensive but it was worth it. The ship was very comfortable - large windows for views. The service and food were great. The ... Read More
We had not cruised before but it was the only option for the route at that time of year. For us it was quite expensive but it was worth it. The ship was very comfortable - large windows for views. The service and food were great. The highlights were the trips ashore - with the very capable crew who went to a lot of trouble to make sure every passenger had a great experience. We were not able to land at Cape Horn due to weather but being able to "round the horn" made up for it. There were informative talks etc so we could get the most out of each excursion and the sights. We learnt a lot about the exploration and history of the area, as well as about the natural history. We are used to independent travel but we enjoyed the company of fellow passengers ( around 180). We were not looking for a lot of "entertainment activities" etc and we will certainly not be rushing to book on a large ship any time soon, but this cruise met our expectations and needs at the time. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
My cruise on the Australis was part of a trip I took to Patagonia with Overseas Adventure Travel. I couldn't believe how spacious the rooms were, how accommodating the staff treated us and how amazing the food and drinks were. Our ... Read More
My cruise on the Australis was part of a trip I took to Patagonia with Overseas Adventure Travel. I couldn't believe how spacious the rooms were, how accommodating the staff treated us and how amazing the food and drinks were. Our safety was the first concern and they were very careful to insure we were all well taken care of as we boarded the zodiacs and access the land tours that they provided. Weather can be pretty tricky in the southern part of South American and especially around Cape Horn. I was a solo traveler on this trip but I felt like I was with family as the number of people on this cruise was less than 200. I enjoyed the activities that were planned during the day and at night we feasted on amazing arrays of dishes unique to the countries we were associated with. There was a laudable selection of wines and the bar tenders kept the libations flowing with their own unique mixtures and concoctions. I highly recommend this trip to any one venturing off the beaten track in Patagonia. You will be pampered and pleased, but you will see country as wild and wonderful as any on this earth. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We, three ladies, booked the cruise with Hurtigruten through our agent in Hong Kong. So, the cost covers one night in Buenos Aires (BA) and the 14 days trip. Before the trip, I read enough review about the Fram. Of course, there are ... Read More
We, three ladies, booked the cruise with Hurtigruten through our agent in Hong Kong. So, the cost covers one night in Buenos Aires (BA) and the 14 days trip. Before the trip, I read enough review about the Fram. Of course, there are always mixed rating and comments of the same thing. So, with a little reservation, we went ahead, no choice, right! We were lucky that we get to stay in Emperor hotel in BA, a nice hotel. The register went well, only that we have to get our other information separately. It would be more efficient if all information can be given at one time and that the free wifi be given to us at the same time. Then, the arrangement for getting on board of the bus to the airport is a little low profile, we were not aware or no noticeable sign on boarding the bus. Together with the other Hurtigruten guests, we board on the plane, flew to Ushuaia, and finally on board of the ship. The guest register was a bit disorganize, may be guests can be lined up instead of a crowd jammed in front of the counter. Two major things being asked for are: to let Fram keeps the passport and how we prefer to pay our bill. I decided to make payment in cash and, thus, have to make a down payment of US$100. Then I was given a cabin access card with my name, photo and my birthday(some privacy data, no?) Ours is a standard four person cabin, though a bit crowded but still OK coz we are relatively smaller size as Asian. We wish Fram has upgraded us to a more spacious cabin especially when we heard that there are others being upgraded at the spot! Anyway, the cabin provides basic amenities. We are satisfied except that the cabin space is at least 15% smaller than expected. There are standard cruise activities that come with the fare as part of the package deal, and there are additional paid activities. We learnt about the paid activities first before getting information on the standard cruise activities. So, we booked some of the paid activities. After we've done the first standard activity, we think we better stick with the standard ones because of our energy level. All the standard activities were great, safe yet adventurous enough. We were right about our decision of just doing the standard ones, we enjoyed all of them but not feeling stressful. There were lecture, adventure stories telling and documentary film sections on the ship, so one will never feel bored. All activities were educational, a good balance of information, knowledge and fun. As we understand that Fram is an expedition ship we did not have high expectation as we do for other luxurious cruise, such as food, services, etc. And because of this, we found that all the meals were good! Lots of choices and above average quality to us as asian whose taste bud have been spoiled in our own city. We have no problem with the supply of water, tea, coffee and chocolate...which were provided in a 24 x 7 pantry or water bar. Of course, one will have to take a few steps. We did not order any alcohol drinks and have been having water only during all our meals until the last third day when all activities were done and the ship was heading back to Ushuaia. We had no worries of our health and energy condition then we started to have wine and beer every meal. Oh, even the boots were free of charge! Anyway, we brought our own. May be because we have a TV crew from Germany, and that the ship company wanted to make sure everyone is happily! But nothing is flawless, we were kept pick on using plastic bags to protect our camera by one of the expedition staff who was rude to us even in front of other guests. OK, we accept that is to protect Antarctica. BUT, we saw European and American guests using much bigger plastic bags to protect their canon like lenses!!! So large that one would not be able to not seeing these plastic bags!!! We felt being treated differently. We used the plastic bags because we read from some of reviews from different sources suggesting us using plastic bags to protect our camera. We thought that should not be a problem and we use the plastic bags in a way that it won't blow away unless together with the camera. Anyway, nothing is perfect. I suggest also put more smiles on ones face would be much better. I only see true smiling faces when we were stepping out of the ship on that last morning! Otherwise, I would definitely rate this cruise an excellent!. Last but not the least, the service crew members from Philippine were all very talented! Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
First let me say it should tell you something that I'm posting this 3 years later. That's how disappointing this cruise was. Second, Antarctica is incredible, this cruise line does get you there, and it's worth going - ... Read More
First let me say it should tell you something that I'm posting this 3 years later. That's how disappointing this cruise was. Second, Antarctica is incredible, this cruise line does get you there, and it's worth going - despite the incredible disappointment of the cruise company to deliver a quality safe experience in my opinion. And it is all about the hospitality in this case. If you want to just go on an expedition cruise and not care about food, towels, coffee, comfort... then sure. This is fine. But for the price and with just a little effort they could do so much better. People save their whole livest to get to Antarctica. Why not make an effort. The basics: The ship is fine. I am more concerned with seaworthy and safety in this case. However, the common area is pathetically sad. It's like a small bad lounge in a drab little Euro-hotel. Bad coffee. Stale cookies. It all feels like an uninviting afterthought. Just one aspect of failed hospitality effort that never really brought the cruise together nor made one feel welcomed. The food was terrible. Which at first I figured we were at the end of the world and supplies were limited. But when we explored Ushuaia we found plenty of fresh produce, good coffee, pastries... at reasonable prices. Clearly Hurtigruten could have sourced better. There were literally fights in the dining area. Over what I can't even imagine. All the food tasted like hospital food. Really sad. There is nothing that says luxury at all. The towels were small, worn, scratchy and scarce. Yes we went to an amazing place and got to go on an incredible adventure. I'll always cherish that. But they could have done so much better with the slightest awareness of hospitality. At one point, wanting to create an experience for myself and friends we made on the trip, I paid our guide to pluck a piece of calved glacier ice from the water. I created a moment in the bar where we chiseled-off a piece of that prehistoric ice that contained compressed air bubbles from millennia ago. When you poured a liquor over it you could hear those bubble effervesce. Simple. Magical. Special. Not vaguely in the awareness of our host. Lastly, be warned that if there's a medical emergency, your cruise is ruined. Too much to explain here, but research it. We were told that the cruise before ours lost 4 days for and emergency evacuation. One is supposed to have a doctor's note to go on this adventure. On several occasions we saw people put into very precarious positions by the crew. (Many of which kind of came off as junior-college level awkward dolts. The geologist was frankly weird and rude). These situations could have easily resulted in a crisis. For just one example: a clearly overweight, out of shape, knee brace person with cane teetering on the edge of a portable aluminum stair case while trying to get out of a heavily rocking raft in rubber boots onto a very slippery rocky shore with crashing waves. We actually did have a medical emergency that could have ruined our journey. A man that had several prior hip / knee surgeries fell on the boat. But thankfully there happened to be an anesthesiologist and a surgeon on board. And we were told his wife, having been through so many surgeries, provided critical assistance. Without all of that good fortune we would have ad to go to South Shetlands (if I recall) and wait for good weather and airlift. The ship is required to sit in port until weather clears enough for the plane to leave. Overall, we're thrilled we got to go. We loved it. It was worth the risk. But we make the most or any experience. The places we got to see were truly once in a lifetime. And the austere beauty of this other worldly place is unrivaled. It's just too bad that this company doesn't interested in making a sincere effort to make it special. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015

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