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Rickster50

HAL - South America & Antarctica

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Hi All,

 

I am thinking of doing the 22 day South America & Antarctica cruise with HAL within the next 12 months. Just wondering whether anybody here has done that cruise, and if so, how was the overall experience.

Thanks in anticipation.

 

Paul

 

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We did that cruise in December of last year.  A trip of a lifetime.  The Antarctic peninsula cruise part was phenomenal. The first two days were blue skies, and the last two days were not as good, but what an experience. We did Santiago the Buenos Aires. The speakers on board were worth going to also. We actually had scientists from Palmer Station brought on board to speak. I highly recommend this trip.

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Can't see any downside to doing it unless you wish to actually stand on Antarctica, then you'll have to try the excursion that flies you down from Punta Arenas for a couple of hours for that or spring for an expedition cruise. I'm here in Punta Arenas now on Zaandam; it is lovely, Patagonia beckons and things couldn't be better. Done Antarctica once and have booked January 2020 on Zaanie to do it again.

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We did this in 2015.  What a cruise!  We couldn't get off in the Falklands b/c of heavy seas.  Crossing the Drake was rough.  Antartica was spectacular.  There's nothing like it!  As was mentioned above, a cruise of a lifetime.

 

One suggestion:  Start from Santiago.  You will appreciate the Chilean fjords and glaciers much more starting out from there then seeing them after your visit to Antarctica.

 

Charles

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Best. Itinerary. Ever. I liked it so much I did it again. Then again!
The flights are killers, but so worth it. There is no place on this earth that is like Antarctica. See it! Do it!

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Another vote says do it.   This cruise was my absolute favorite and I will do it again.  

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Did Rio to Santiago including Antarctica on the Amsterdam in '04/'05. It was the best of my 19 cruises so far. I agree with ChaCr - book one that goes west to east (start in Santiago). While the Chilean fjords and Beagle Channel are spectacular, seeing them after Antarctica is... kind of anticlimactic. 

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This was the best cruise itinerary we have ever taken!  We sailed from Rio to Santiago (Valparaiso) Holiday 21 day cruise on the Zaandam in a verandah....the verandah was a plus.  Perfect weather in Antarctica was unbelievable....30 degrees and sunny, we were so lucky!  I do think the Chilean Fjords were a downer after Antarctica....reminded me of Alaska.  The Falklands was an amazing experience as was Magdalena Island at Punta Arenas....penguins everywhere! 

 

What I also loved was the large international international mix of passengers.  Lots of children onboard, but all well behaved...what a great way for them to spend Christmas vacation!

 

We would go back again!

 

Karen

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I sailed on the Zaandam's 2017 Christmas/New Year's Cruise on this itinerary.  The ports in Chile and Argentina were interesting to visit, sailing through historic waterways was significant for me, and Antarctica was awesome.  We had a day and a half of sunny, clear skies, calm seas.  An officer said that it was the best weather he had ever seen sailing off the Antarctic coast.  The remainder of our days in the area were rainy, snowy, windy, colder, but not unpleasant.  A severe storm was crossing the Drake Passage just when we were to be sailing through it.  Our Captain put the Zaandam in the shelter of some islands North of Cape Horn until the storm passed.  Once we started South sailing by Cape Horn, for awhile, the seas were rough.  I found it difficult to remain standing in the Crow's Nest as we passed Cape Horn.  But, that did not last long.

 

This itinerary is a magnificent cruise experience, in my opinion.

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We cruised Antarctica last January.  Left from San Antonio, Chile to BA.  Would do it again in a heartbeat.  Weather was awesome. Saw so much wildlife  from the ship.  Didn't feel the need to actually step on the continent. Was magical to view it as a pristine area with no one disturbing the environment from the ship.  Go for it.  You won't be disappointed. 

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I would like to thank you all for your encouraging comments. Much appreciated. Sounds like a pretty good trip.

 

Cheers

Paul

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We were on the PRINSENDAM Jan Feb 2018 from FLL, down the Pacific coast of S America to Antarctica, then the Falklands, Montevideo and disembarkation in B Aires, from where we flew home. The ship continued northward along the Atlantic coast of S America back to FLL. Such a cruise to that part of the world is very highly recommended.

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