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If you can handle it cost wise, do not miss doing the Iguazu Falls extension. Although everything on our cruise was stunning, the falls were the most phenomenal thing I have ever seen. And don't try to do it in a 13 hour time frame.  Just not long enough. 

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On 4/27/2019 at 6:43 AM, TayanaLorna said:

The Viking pre or post excursion to Iguazu Falls and Rio de Janeiro four nights is $3,599 per person.

 

Which South America cruise are you taking?  We are on the January 24, 2020 Santiago to Buenas Aires one.

 

Already booked Patrick Watts Volunteer Point excursion because the Viking Sun World Cruise one sold out really early.

 

For those looking into Iguazu Falls . . .   I spoke with Viking today and have some new information.  In addition to the 13 hour Iguazu Tour, they are also offering an overnight tour to just Iguazu Falls (not the 4 day combination with Rio), but it is only available on the Santiago to Buenos Aires direction.  "Iguazu Falls Overnight - 48 hours"  .

It sounded promising, but there is a big catch.  The Santiago-Buenos Aires cruises (Dec 21-which we are on, Jan 24, and Feb 27) get into Buenos Aires in the morning, and spend a full day there and also that night, before passengers have to disembark the following day.   The catch is that this Iguazu Falls excursion is requiring passengers to disembark immediately when the ship arrives in Buenos Aires and miss the last day and night there.  Iguazu tour people will not ever be back to the ship and have to pack up a day early. That's like paying twice for that day and night.  The agent was also surprised.  So keep that in mind!

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I had the Viking Rep send me the detailed Itinerary for the Iguazu Falls 48 hour Overnight Excursion.  It pretty much lays out in detail the schedule - for those that might be interested in this.   She wouldn't give me a price, saying we wouldn't know that until about September.   I hope this information helps those that might need it to decide.

Iguazu Falls 48 Hours-Viking Tour.pdf

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5 hours ago, CCWineLover said:

 

For those looking into Iguazu Falls . . .   I spoke with Viking today and have some new information.  In addition to the 13 hour Iguazu Tour, they are also offering an overnight tour to just Iguazu Falls (not the 4 day combination with Rio), but it is only available on the Santiago to Buenos Aires direction.  "Iguazu Falls Overnight - 48 hours"  .

It sounded promising, but there is a big catch.  The Santiago-Buenos Aires cruises (Dec 21-which we are on, Jan 24, and Feb 27) get into Buenos Aires in the morning, and spend a full day there and also that night, before passengers have to disembark the following day.   The catch is that this Iguazu Falls excursion is requiring passengers to disembark immediately when the ship arrives in Buenos Aires and miss the last day and night there.  Iguazu tour people will not ever be back to the ship and have to pack up a day early. That's like paying twice for that day and night.  The agent was also surprised.  So keep that in mind!

 

Viking is offering this as a shore excursion and thus it has to be within the stated dates of the cruise. For those who want to do it after the cruise, it is being offered as part of a post-cruise package. Maybe if enough people write to them asking for a post cruise package to just Iguazu, they will consider making changes. (tellus@vikingcruises.com).

 

In any case, a post cruise DIY overnight to Iguazu is not hard to do. The domestic airport is five minutes from the port. There are taxis at the airport that will take you to your hotel in Iguazu (personally I suggest staying at the hotel in the park) and then back to the airport.  It is a very popular tourist destination for locals and they are tourist ready, no matter what language you speak.

 

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Are you on the Jan 7 trip out of Buenos Aries? I am on this one with my daughter.  Looking forward to it.

 

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On 5/17/2019 at 8:52 PM, Peregrina651 said:

 

Viking is offering this as a shore excursion and thus it has to be within the stated dates of the cruise. For those who want to do it after the cruise, it is being offered as part of a post-cruise package. Maybe if enough people write to them asking for a post cruise package to just Iguazu, they will consider making changes. (tellus@vikingcruises.com).

 

In any case, a post cruise DIY overnight to Iguazu is not hard to do. The domestic airport is five minutes from the port. There are taxis at the airport that will take you to your hotel in Iguazu (personally I suggest staying at the hotel in the park) and then back to the airport.  It is a very popular tourist destination for locals and they are tourist ready, no matter what language you speak.

 

 

Thank you Peregrina651 - for your pictures and comments on Iguazu Falls.  You have given us the inspiration and confidence to put together a Do-It-Yourself trip to Igauzu Falls from Buenos Aires after our Viking cruise in January 2020 - and we'll take your advice on staying at the hotel in the Park.  After all, you only go around once in this life!

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, CCWineLover said:

 

Thank you Peregrina651 - for your pictures and comments on Iguazu Falls.  You have given us the inspiration and confidence to put together a Do-It-Yourself trip to Igauzu Falls from Buenos Aires after our Viking cruise in January 2020 - and we'll take your advice on staying at the hotel in the Park.  After all, you only go around once in this life!

 

That is exactly what I said to my husband.

 

BTW, at the park, do the river ride under the waterfalls (and be prepared to get wet to the skin--they provide waterproof bags to keep your stuff dry) but don't do the combine tour with the jungle ride because you won't see any animals (it is a waste of time and money).

.

Edited by Peregrina651

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3 hours ago, Zdiva said:

Are you on the Jan 7 trip out of Buenos Aries? I am on this one with my daughter.  Looking forward to it.

 

 

Jupiter Sailing Jan 7 2020.

The best place to find fellow passengers is on the roll call for your sailing.  It was started last June, 2018.  It has not been very active but that should change as it gets closer to the sail date.

 

 

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On 5/29/2019 at 12:56 PM, Peregrina651 said:

 

That is exactly what I said to my husband.

 

BTW, at the park, do the river ride under the waterfalls (and be prepared to get wet to the skin--they provide waterproof bags to keep your stuff dry) but don't do the combine tour with the jungle ride because you won't see any animals (it is a waste of time and money).

.

 

So - I went ahead and booked our air flights and hotels today!  We are going to visit Mendoza first for 3 nights and then Iguazu Falls for 2 nights, staying in the Gran Melia Iguazu (formerly the Sheraton), leaving from Buenos Aires after our Viking Cruise disembarks Jan 7th.  So looking forward to it!  We'll likely also take some wineries visits/tours in Mendoza. 

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Did you have any problems being on the first tender at Stanley for the Volunteer Point excursion with Patrick? I heard that he doesn't wait for passengers.  I'm worried that the ship line's crew will only let those on Viking excursion off first before other since it is a tender port.  Please advise as I'm debating on what to do.

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54 minutes ago, tango223 said:

Did you have any problems being on the first tender at Stanley for the Volunteer Point excursion with Patrick? I heard that he doesn't wait for passengers.  I'm worried that the ship line's crew will only let those on Viking excursion off first before other since it is a tender port.  Please advise as I'm debating on what to do.

Since this itinerary is new to Viking and begins in December, 2019, the tender situation in the Falklands is an unknown.  The Viking Sun on their world cruise earlier this year had a segment from BA to Valparaiso with some slightly different ports.  I followed the CC threads and some bloggers for the cruise and no one wrote about Volunteer Point with or without Viking.  The Sun was supposed to be in Stanley for two days but cut it short by a day due to incoming weather.  People did say they missed the second days tours.

 

I have not heard that Patrick Watts doesn't wait for people.  However since we do not pay a deposit and could be a no show, I wouldn't blame him for filling his available vehicles if he could.  Hmm...that is a dilemma that I think I will ask him about closer to our tour date.

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I had read that he doesn’t wait but you are correct in checking it out with him on that question...what happens if you aren’t on the early tenders. Please post if what I had read wasn’t correct.

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On 6/12/2019 at 4:23 PM, tango223 said:

Did you have any problems being on the first tender at Stanley for the Volunteer Point excursion with Patrick? I heard that he doesn't wait for passengers.  I'm worried that the ship line's crew will only let those on Viking excursion off first before other since it is a tender port.  Please advise as I'm debating on what to do.

We’re signed up for Patrick’s tour on January 14.  His emails emphasize trying to get on the first tender if possible.   And if everyone in your group is on Viking, presumably everyone would get there at the same time.  If he’s got folks from multiple ships, then he has to factor in port departure times for different ships and it sounds like it is truly an All-day tour.  What I really liked about him is that he doesn’t require a deposit and readily acknowledges that ships often have to cancel the port due to bad weather.  If you miss the port, or if you don’t arrive in time for the tour, at least you don’t lose any money.  It would certainly be disappointing to miss the tour, but at least you wouldn’t forfeit a deposit.  Another thing to note — he only accepts cash (dollars, Euros or pounds sterling) and there are no ATMs on the island. 

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I believe he encourages folks to get on the first one so that they don't have to wait for others to fill the vehicles. If you are concerned, do email him about it. He was very responsive to any of my inquiries.  Regarding the tour, the only negative was that we weren't overly impressed with the lunch - but we understood and understand that there are differences in tastes and it was food.  My recollection was that it was chopped egg on bread akin to wonder bread.  Again, I'm not dissing what we had, just don't want you to expect a gourmet lunch and be disappointed when it isn't. The tour was a great tour and I would do it again and recommend it to anyone going there.

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Posted (edited)

Still on the fence about going to Volunteer Point. I love penguins but hate off roading.  It seems there may be other opportunities to see penguins both in Falklands and other ports. I am curious as to what makes Volunteer Point so special and should I consider going since I hate off roading (and chopped eggs...but I could get a boxed lunch on the ship to avoid the dreaded chopped egg 🙂 )

 

Also Zdiva my husband and I will be on the Jan 7th trip with you.

 

Edited by Pat FT

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1 hour ago, Pat FT said:

Still on the fence about going to Volunteer Point. I love penguins but hate off roading.  It seems there may be other opportunities to see penguins both in Falklands and other ports. I am curious as to what makes Volunteer Point so special and should I consider going since I hate off roading (and chopped eggs...but I could get a boxed lunch on the ship to avoid the dreaded chopped egg 🙂 )

 

Also Zdiva my husband and I will be on the Jan 7th trip with you.

 

Supposedly the included excursion in Puerto Madryn is to Punta Trombo.  At least according to the potential tours on the Viking website.  It would be a bus ride of about  2 hours each way.  Lots of penguins but only one kind.  Walking is along a wooden boardwalk type of path.  Opportunity to see other animals too.  I do find it surprising that this would be an Included excursion as they usually are only two hours in total.  We will see.

 

Can also see penguins in Punta Arenas.  There is a boat trip to see Magellanic penguins (I think).   Some say the boat trip could be rough depending on weather.

 

People say the Volunteer Point trip is special because of the sheer number of birds and colonies of three kinds of penguins.  Also the off road trip is an experience in itself.  This trip would probably be the most rugged due to the vehicle, terrain, uneven ground for walking and potential weather.

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1 hour ago, TayanaLorna said:

Supposedly the included excursion in Puerto Madryn is to Punta Trombo.  At least according to the potential tours on the Viking website.  It would be a bus ride of about  2 hours each way.

 

If that is the included tour, that would be fantastic! We paid a private guide to take us tto Punta Tombo and we loved every minute of it. If you can get there for free even better --but read the description of the tour and use Google maps to figure out how long the drive is and how much time you are actually going to have there. Another thing to note is timing because the penguins don't live there year round and once the babies are full grown and seaworthy, they take off. We were there in January and this is what we saw; the nestlings were just starting to shed their softy puffy baby feather in favor of the adult waterproof variety.:

 

image.png.e69479cdc209efe3d0a70b2ea40a57ad.pngimage.png.d191b28e612a439926bd024160e543e7.pngimage.png.45e80d913ef744b9bc0b3499ffc16865.png

 

 

1 hour ago, TayanaLorna said:

People say the Volunteer Point trip is special because of the sheer number of birds and colonies of three kinds of penguins.  Also the off road trip is an experience in itself.  This trip would probably be the most rugged due to the vehicle, terrain, uneven ground for walking and potential weather.

 

Yes, the trip was rugged, across the bogs but AMAZING. No difficulty walking once we got to Volunteer point --and that is the only place you get to walk. It is not paved and it is not policed, so you need to watch where you are walking.  And no, sharing my pictures will not take away any of the thrill of this trip --but it may help to convince you that THIS is the must see of the Falkland Islands.

 

image.png.b0482f8513c5430825e5f1c61d378839.pngimage.png.37048c88ba0d2dabcc7fb05a2fe0de02.png

 

image.png.9eb90bad604f3f374904104b1ffa7a77.png

 

No, he is not chasing the penguins, it just seems that way in the picture. I was already in position when they started to coming in my direction and since they are such fast walkers I had time to move out of their path.

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Thank you Peregrina.  Re Punta Trombo, I just looked at the potential tours for Puerta Madryn again and the Punta Trombo excursion no longer says included.  It is 8 hours and includes lunch.  In fact there is no Included listed for that port.   Will probably be the usual panoramic with an opportunity to stay in town and a shuttle back.

 

As for Volunteer Point, Patrick says it is under new ownership and there are restrictions on the number of visitors.  Also there are now wardens on site to ensure that visitors do not encroach into breeding area.  These are probably good things.

 

We will be there early February so expect chicks will still be around.

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2 hours ago, TayanaLorna said:

It is 8 hours and includes lunch.

 

I just checked out Punta Tombo on the map and it is a 3 hour drive. So an 8 hour tour is 6 hours on the bus, 1 hour for lunch and 1 hour for penquins.

 

IMHO, if you are going to do it, hire a guide and take box lunches. If you use a private guide, you can at least plan an additional stop in the little Welsh settlement whose name I can't remember and if the guide can arrange it, have tea --or at least have some time to drive around the village. We actually ate our box lunches there, sitting on the river bank. The advantage to doing it independently is that you can beat the cruise ship crowd, if you time it right.

 

2 hours ago, TayanaLorna said:

there are restrictions on the number of visitors.  Also there are now wardens on site to ensure that visitors do not encroach into breeding area.  These are probably good things.

 

Agreed. A good thing.

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On 7/28/2019 at 8:32 AM, Peregrina651 said:

 

I just checked out Punta Tombo on the map and it is a 3 hour drive. So an 8 hour tour is 6 hours on the bus, 1 hour for lunch and 1 hour for penquins.

 

IMHO, if you are going to do it, hire a guide and take box lunches. If you use a private guide, you can at least plan an additional stop in the little Welsh settlement whose name I can't remember and if the guide can arrange it, have tea --or at least have some time to drive around the village. We actually ate our box lunches there, sitting on the river bank. The advantage to doing it independently is that you can beat the cruise ship crowd, if you time it right.

 

 

Agreed. A good thing.

 

Thank you for again, your excellent advice Peregrina!   We will be on the Dec-Jan cruise.  Will now think of hiring a guide for Punta Tombo - and taking a box lunch!!

We have also signed up with Patrick Watts - and will report to others what we experience (We'll be in Falklands, weather permitting of course, on New Year's Eve!  Hoping to have stories to tell that evening as we celebrate the new year).

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I did this cruise last year..while the Punto Tomba are amazing..one is on  boardwalk.. in Stanley..the penquins are walking around you.. unbelievable experience..one NOT to be missed.. in my limited experience..they did wait for you. But it is not the difficult to be one the first tender.. people line  at early but the tender portal.. the advantage of being early is first one to the penquins..plus easier to drive on the Pete moss..

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19 minutes ago, geffric said:

while the Punto Tomba are amazing..one is on  boardwalk

 

I was there 10 years ago, and there was some boardwalk but only for a short distance. After that, we were on a path that took us out among the burrows. I guess things have changed in 10 years; maybe to protect the birds and their habitat.

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2 hours ago, geffric said:

I did this cruise last year..while the Punto Tomba are amazing..one is on  boardwalk.. in Stanley..the penquins are walking around you.. unbelievable experience..one NOT to be missed.. in my limited experience..they did wait for you. But it is not the difficult to be one the first tender.. people line  at early but the tender portal.. the advantage of being early is first one to the penquins..plus easier to drive on the Pete moss..

 

Thank you Geffric.  Were you on Viking when you found it easy to be one the first tender?  or another ship?

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, CCWineLover said:

 

Thank you Geffric.  Were you on Viking when you found it easy to be one the first tender?  or another ship?

I was on another ship, but I have  been on Viking Sea and Orion and had early private tours and it worked just fine.. meet on 1st floor and as soon as the ship has been given the all clear, one can get off. I was very nervous about this and spoke to the cruise director and this is what I was told.. worked well for me..

Also, if you are seeing penquins in Stanley wear closed toed shoes.. lots of stuff on the ground.. I wore my hiking boots.. and rain pants, gloves and hat..

Edited by geffric

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