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Live from Jupiter - Buenos Aires to Santiago


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We have been quite busy since we got onto the ship (even on the sea days) so I haven’t had much time to think about posting.  Let me begin by saying these comments are just my opinions.  Others may have a different experience.  
 

Warning to those flying into Buenos Aires, all international flights arrive @ the same time so going through immigration is quite time-consuming.  I had already put my red Viking sticker on my jacket & the immigration folks directed my husband & I to a much shorter line which we were grateful for.  Baggage claim was fine, once we got out of customs, Viking reps were on the spot.  The terminal is big & very crowded but there were plenty of Viking reps to move us throughout the terminal.  Once we got to the spot to queue for the bus to the port, Viking took our luggage (similar to what was done in Auckland).  We had to wait a bit for the bus; our understanding was that it was a 40 minute ride to the port.  We had both a driver & a guide who filled us in about Buenos Aires, a nice touch for the long ride.  Getting dropped off at the port was unreal, the port was packed w/ people from Costa & other ships.  Again we had Viking staff who took us to a totally different check-in & immigration checkpoint ( stamping our passports that we were leaving the next day).  And finally boarded onto Jupiter.  
Even though our staterooms were ready, we headed up to the World Cafe to make specialty reservations since we were in V category.  Learned while booking our dining reservations that we were upgraded to a penthouse verandah!  I hadn’t looked at our envelope of excursion tickets.  Passports were collected upon entry into the ship so we needed to let him know the new stateroom number.

We met our steward & told him of the change, so it took a little longer to get our luggage.

 

So far, Jupiter is a great ship.  Service is pretty good as well.  Heather Clancy, the cruise director, is impressive.  Her daily Viking briefings are very informative & focused.  A couple of differences that I have noticed since being on the Orion (February - March 2019):

Food seems to be better, especially sushi.  I learned from the sushi chef that they broadened and improved the offerings on the Orion after Bali(which is where we disembarked) & before Japan.  He mentioned that Orion, Jupiter, and the Sun all have better sushi offerings.

Viking seems to be offering more specialty selections up on the pool grill/world cafe for both lunch & dinner.  In a little over a week, we had surf & turf, a menu highlighting Uruguay’s cuisine, a cioppino stew, an Italian night, etc.  

Since we have so many sea days, the fitness center offered a package for fitness classes, 18 for $50.  It would be hard to do all 18 but you could fit in 8-10.  The regular pricing is $10 per class.  Classes consist of yoga, Pilates, aerobics, stretching , mediation which seems to be a broader selection.  The instructor is very good & tough.  In the past on other cruise lines I have found the instructors to be too easy.  And on the Orion it was mostly yoga & Pilates.  I think offering a package was a great idea.
One of the Viking vocalists(Maria) has been giving salsa & Latin dancing lessons on almost every sea day.  This is a free activity and has been great way to get in some cardio.

 

Ports

Buenos Aires - we went on the included Panoramic tour.  Had a great tour guide & Plaza de Mayo was the highlight.  Personally I found Buenos Aires to be quite rundown and very large so it wasn’t my favorite port.

Montevideo - short overview of the city, we did not have a good guide here(and though he didn’t hand out evaluations, I went back to guest services & asked for one).  Nevertheless, I thought the city was charming and wished part of the included tour covered a small part of the Old Town.  
Puerto Madryn - despite discouragement from the Viking excursions manager during the port talk, we went on the tour to Punta Tombo and loved it.  Yes, it was a 2.5 hour drive but it was mostly highway w/ a restroom stop that was very clean. Only the last bit when we turned off to the private road to the rookery that the road was gravel but still pretty smooth.  There were Magellanic penguins everywhere.  There is a bit of a walk to get closer to the beach but there is a boardwalk.   The place had a restaurant & clean restrooms.  Each couple shared a bottle of Malbec.  Needless to say, it was a quiet ride back to the ship.  Long day but well worth it.  We also saw Guanacos as well.

Falkland Islands - we went to Bluff Cove Lagoon & it was an easier way to see mostly Gentoo penguins but they also had the King  penguins.

We first rode for 25 minutes in a mini-bus & then transferred to a 4x4 for a 10-15 minute off-road ride.  The short off-road ride was hard enough.  I cannot imagine doing it for 2.5 hours to get to Volunteer Point.  I spoke to someone who did.  He said it was a hard ride to Volunteer Point but he felt it was worth it to see the King penguins.  It was great to see the Gentoo & King penguins in their rookery by the lagoon.  Then we had tea & cakes at Bluff Cove’s cafe.  Also clean restrooms & a very nice gift shop.  We didn’t go the Gypsy Cove, it started to rain & we wanted to do some shopping.  Visitor Center is very nice & there were a lot of gift shops along the  Main Street.  We did bring old sneakers to walk around Bluff Cove & then threw them out.  It wasn’t too bad but it is a working range w/ lots of sheep & cattle.
 

With regards to disembarkation, if you have a late flight out of Santiago, they will take you to Cumbres Hotel Vitacura. Viking is also including a Santiago city tour to those who have flights after 6 PM.

 

I cannot think of anything else right now.  I will have to say that we are so spoiled being in a PV2 instead of a V1.  We had decided to book a PV for Southeast Asia but we also have two Viking River Cruises in April.  It will be tight in those staterooms.
 

Tomorrow we are headed around Cape Horn.  According to the captain we will not have internet or any live TV when we circle the Horn.

Hope you find this information helpful.

 

 

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12 hours ago, SM77 said:

We have been quite busy since we got onto the ship (even on the sea days) so I haven’t had much time to think about posting.  Let me begin by saying these comments are just my opinions.  Others may have a different experience.  
 

Warning to those flying into Buenos Aires, all international flights arrive @ the same time so going through immigration is quite time-consuming.  I had already put my red Viking sticker on my jacket & the immigration folks directed my husband & I to a much shorter line which we were grateful for.  Baggage claim was fine, once we got out of customs, Viking reps were on the spot.  The terminal is big & very crowded but there were plenty of Viking reps to move us throughout the terminal.  Once we got to the spot to queue for the bus to the port, Viking took our luggage (similar to what was done in Auckland).  We had to wait a bit for the bus; our understanding was that it was a 40 minute ride to the port.  We had both a driver & a guide who filled us in about Buenos Aires, a nice touch for the long ride.  Getting dropped off at the port was unreal, the port was packed w/ people from Costa & other ships.  Again we had Viking staff who took us to a totally different check-in & immigration checkpoint ( stamping our passports that we were leaving the next day).  And finally boarded onto Jupiter.  
Even though our staterooms were ready, we headed up to the World Cafe to make specialty reservations since we were in V category.  Learned while booking our dining reservations that we were upgraded to a penthouse verandah!  I hadn’t looked at our envelope of excursion tickets.  Passports were collected upon entry into the ship so we needed to let him know the new stateroom number.

We met our steward & told him of the change, so it took a little longer to get our luggage.

 

So far, Jupiter is a great ship.  Service is pretty good as well.  Heather Clancy, the cruise director, is impressive.  Her daily Viking briefings are very informative & focused.  A couple of differences that I have noticed since being on the Orion (February - March 2019):

Food seems to be better, especially sushi.  I learned from the sushi chef that they broadened and improved the offerings on the Orion after Bali(which is where we disembarked) & before Japan.  He mentioned that Orion, Jupiter, and the Sun all have better sushi offerings.

Viking seems to be offering more specialty selections up on the pool grill/world cafe for both lunch & dinner.  In a little over a week, we had surf & turf, a menu highlighting Uruguay’s cuisine, a cioppino stew, an Italian night, etc.  

Since we have so many sea days, the fitness center offered a package for fitness classes, 18 for $50.  It would be hard to do all 18 but you could fit in 8-10.  The regular pricing is $10 per class.  Classes consist of yoga, Pilates, aerobics, stretching , mediation which seems to be a broader selection.  The instructor is very good & tough.  In the past on other cruise lines I have found the instructors to be too easy.  And on the Orion it was mostly yoga & Pilates.  I think offering a package was a great idea.
One of the Viking vocalists(Maria) has been giving salsa & Latin dancing lessons on almost every sea day.  This is a free activity and has been great way to get in some cardio.

 

Ports

Buenos Aires - we went on the included Panoramic tour.  Had a great tour guide & Plaza de Mayo was the highlight.  Personally I found Buenos Aires to be quite rundown and very large so it wasn’t my favorite port.

Montevideo - short overview of the city, we did not have a good guide here(and though he didn’t hand out evaluations, I went back to guest services & asked for one).  Nevertheless, I thought the city was charming and wished part of the included tour covered a small part of the Old Town.  
Puerto Madryn - despite discouragement from the Viking excursions manager during the port talk, we went on the tour to Punta Tombo and loved it.  Yes, it was a 2.5 hour drive but it was mostly highway w/ a restroom stop that was very clean. Only the last bit when we turned off to the private road to the rookery that the road was gravel but still pretty smooth.  There were Magellanic penguins everywhere.  There is a bit of a walk to get closer to the beach but there is a boardwalk.   The place had a restaurant & clean restrooms.  Each couple shared a bottle of Malbec.  Needless to say, it was a quiet ride back to the ship.  Long day but well worth it.  We also saw Guanacos as well.

Falkland Islands - we went to Bluff Cove Lagoon & it was an easier way to see mostly Gentoo penguins but they also had the King  penguins.

We first rode for 25 minutes in a mini-bus & then transferred to a 4x4 for a 10-15 minute off-road ride.  The short off-road ride was hard enough.  I cannot imagine doing it for 2.5 hours to get to Volunteer Point.  I spoke to someone who did.  He said it was a hard ride to Volunteer Point but he felt it was worth it to see the King penguins.  It was great to see the Gentoo & King penguins in their rookery by the lagoon.  Then we had tea & cakes at Bluff Cove’s cafe.  Also clean restrooms & a very nice gift shop.  We didn’t go the Gypsy Cove, it started to rain & we wanted to do some shopping.  Visitor Center is very nice & there were a lot of gift shops along the  Main Street.  We did bring old sneakers to walk around Bluff Cove & then threw them out.  It wasn’t too bad but it is a working range w/ lots of sheep & cattle.
 

With regards to disembarkation, if you have a late flight out of Santiago, they will take you to Cumbres Hotel Vitacura. Viking is also including a Santiago city tour to those who have flights after 6 PM.

 

I cannot think of anything else right now.  I will have to say that we are so spoiled being in a PV2 instead of a V1.  We had decided to book a PV for Southeast Asia but we also have two Viking River Cruises in April.  It will be tight in those staterooms.
 

Tomorrow we are headed around Cape Horn.  According to the captain we will not have internet or any live TV when we circle the Horn.

Hope you find this information helpful.

 

 

Thank you for taking the time to write your review.  And congrats on your upgrade.  Love the PV.  Do you know if Heather Clancy is staying on board for all the Cape Horn sailings this season?  Is the Jupiter Webcam out?  I haven't seen an updated picture since 12-8 at 23:30.

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1 hour ago, TayanaLorna said:

Thank you for taking the time to write your review.  And congrats on your upgrade.  Love the PV.  Do you know if Heather Clancy is staying on board for all the Cape Horn sailings this season?  Is the Jupiter Webcam out?  I haven't seen an updated picture since 12-8 at 23:30.

I don’t usually follow the webcam so I don’t know if it’s up.  With regards to Heather being on for all sailings around Cape Horn,  I’ll have to check.  We are sailing towards Cape Horn today.  We first sailed to Puerto Williams for the ship to be cleared to sail in Chilean waters and then the ship turned around to head towards Cape Horn.

BTW, we have been tipping guides & drivers using US currency.  Only in the Falklands we have been charging to our credit card for purchases. One person exchanged some dollars for Falkland pounds at the Visitor center but it’s not necessary.  I think Chile will be different so we have Chilean pesos w/ us.   In Argentina & Uruguay, the preference is cash & dollars are fine.

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4 hours ago, harbourside said:

What time did you get to the ship from the airport.  Flight from Auckland arrives 4.00pm, so I am expecting a delay before getting to the ship.  Also, were you in a Gty Cabin to get the upgrade.   Looking forward to more updates.

 

It took 2.5 hours from the time we left the plane before we got to the ship.  Immigration was overwhelming crowded w/ all the international flights arriving at the same time.  If you are coming in @ 4:00 PM, it may not be as bad.  
We were not in a gty cabin. We had picked the stateroom when we booked. 
 

Heather Clancy, the cruise director will only be on until mid-January. Apparently she had a six month contract & has been on the ship for five months already. 

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3 minutes ago, harbourside said:

Is it a full ship?.   Only 750 on our Viking Orion cruise.  Was your flight arrival earlier in the day than our 4.00pm arrival. 

Thanks.

My understanding is that we have about 915 or so passengers. Some cabins may be single occupancy. Our flight came in about 11:00 AM. 

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17 hours ago, SM77 said:

Heather Clancy, the cruise director will only be on until mid-January. Apparently she had a six month contract & has been on the ship for five months already. 

 

Great news for us!  We get on the Jupiter in Valpo 12/21.  Haves heard SO many goo things about Heather!  Sad for others but glad we will get to work with her.

 

2nd day in Santiago .  Overcast dreary and cold!!  Protests started this Saturday at 3 so back at hotel before dinner out.

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Yesterday we circled Cape Horn.  We were fortunate that the rain held off for a while & the seas were calm.  It got too crowded up in the Explorer’s Lounge so we went back to our stateroom since we were on the starboard side.  The captain did do a 180 so passengers on the port side could see Cape Horn from their stateroom.

 

When we got up @ 6:30 AM, we were also in port @ Ushuaia - long dock w/ lots of expedition ships - very busy port.

 

Today we took the excursion to Tierra del Fuego National Park.  Well worth it, went to the very end of route 3, the north south highway though in Ushuaia it’s more like a dirt road.  Made a few scenic stops within the Park.   The visitor’s center is large & has a gift shop(pricey but convenient to get a couple of souvenirs).  We skipped the included tour, being out in the fresh but cold air was enough for us.  Seeing the Andes mountain as a backdrop to Ushuaia is spectacular.

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FYI, after leaving Ushuaia, heading west in the Beagle Channel, we have seen a number of glaciers on the starboard side!  I’ve seen glaciers in Alaska but not as close as these. The scenery is just spectacular.

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We get on Jan 7.  What have you found regarding temps?  How did you pack to accommodate the changes?  Especially when further south and out in the elements?  I am planning layers but a possible 50 degree differential is messing with my head!  I will be doing two hikes in the south and Volunteer Point.  Thanks for your very helpful review!  We are getting excited.  Leave in 2 weeks!  Rio and the Falls and then on to BA where I have a walking tour and Asado Experience booked.

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3 hours ago, PRH said:

We get on Jan 7.  What have you found regarding temps?  How did you pack to accommodate the changes?  Especially when further south and out in the elements?  I am planning layers but a possible 50 degree differential is messing with my head!  I will be doing two hikes in the south and Volunteer Point.  Thanks for your very helpful review!  We are getting excited.  Leave in 2 weeks!  Rio and the Falls and then on to BA where I have a walking tour and Asado Experience booked.

We just came back from our walking tour of Puntas Arenas and though it was suppose to be in the ‘50’s, it was a lot colder w/ the winds blowing very hard!  This has been our coldest port yet.  BA & Montevideo were very comfortable, not as warm as I thought they would be.  Puerto Madryn turned out to be warmer.  I only packed one pair of crop pants & a few lighter tops for the warmer days.  I have a good wind waterproof jacket w/ hood, a couple of vests, and lots of long sleeved tops.  I also brought exercise gear which can be layered as well.  I brought a baseball cap for the sun, but it is so windy, you are better off w/ a hat that has a chin strap.  We were warned @ Punta Tombo that if our hat blew into the nest area of the penguins, we could not go in there & retrieve the hat.   Also to note, in general, the ship is cold.  You can regulate the temperature in your stateroom, but the public rooms tend to be much cooler.  A lot of folks(including my husband) brought a winter jacket.  Remember, even if the air temperature is at a comfortable level, it’s a lot cooler when you are out on the deck of the ship.

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4 hours ago, SM77 said:

We just came back from our walking tour of Puntas Arenas and though it was suppose to be in the ‘50’s, it was a lot colder w/ the winds blowing very hard!  This has been our coldest port yet.  BA & Montevideo were very comfortable, not as warm as I thought they would be.  Puerto Madryn turned out to be warmer.  I only packed one pair of crop pants & a few lighter tops for the warmer days.  I have a good wind waterproof jacket w/ hood, a couple of vests, and lots of long sleeved tops.  I also brought exercise gear which can be layered as well.  I brought a baseball cap for the sun, but it is so windy, you are better off w/ a hat that has a chin strap.  We were warned @ Punta Tombo that if our hat blew into the nest area of the penguins, we could not go in there & retrieve the hat.   Also to note, in general, the ship is cold.  You can regulate the temperature in your stateroom, but the public rooms tend to be much cooler.  A lot of folks(including my husband) brought a winter jacket.  Remember, even if the air temperature is at a comfortable level, it’s a lot cooler when you are out on the deck of the ship.

Thank you for the words of wisdom!

Fortunately, we apparently have packed well for our Dec 21 Jupiter cruise (we will get on when you get off).  This no doubt has to be one of the biggest weather variable cruises that Viking has.  For example, we are in Santiago ahead of time today and it was so hot and 90 degrees.  Wilting !!!    Glad to know we have not packed all that winter gear for nothing!  🙂

We also are veterans of Viking Ocean Cruises and know that the public rooms always seem colder than necessary.  We always bring sweaters and even jackets to the port talks and evening entertainment!

Hoping you have a wonderful finish to your cruise!  So glad you made it to the Falklands.  We'll cross our fingers for our trip Dec 31.  Turn the ship over to us in good shape!  Looking forward to finally getting to see and meet Heather Clancy as well - heard so much about our cruise director.  All fantastic!

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On 12/14/2019 at 10:48 AM, CCWineLover said:

 

Great news for us!  We get on the Jupiter in Valpo 12/21.  Haves heard SO many goo things about Heather!  Sad for others but glad we will get to work with her.

 

2nd day in Santiago .  Overcast dreary and cold!!  Protests started this Saturday at 3 so back at hotel before dinner out.


Heather was on the Trade Routes Cruise we left in Oct.  She gave a show where she sang, she was a professional singer in her other life.  I hope she gives that show again on the 12/21 cruise as she has an excellent voice

.

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15 hours ago, Mich3554 said:


Heather was on the Trade Routes Cruise we left in Oct.  She gave a show where she sang, she was a professional singer in her other life.  I hope she gives that show again on the 12/21 cruise as she has an excellent voice

.

Heather hasn’t had a show yet but she sang the night of the Captain’s welcome promoting the Met Broadcast of Aida.  She did an aria from Bizet’s Carmen and was quite good.  

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3 minutes ago, Etexvrc said:

Thanks for the great posts!

 

We will be boarding 12/21 for the reverse itinerary.

 

Can you tell us anything about the 'enrichment lecturers'?  Would love to research before our cruise.

 

Thanks Again.

Hopes this goes through, Internet was spotty earlier:

 

Lou Thieblemont - resident astronomer

 

Dr. Richard Bates - geoscientist from University of St. Andrews

 

Dr. John Ronnie Short - public policy professor @ University of Maryland

 

Dr. Mark Callaghan - art historian

 

Bruce Pynnonen - Bridge Instructor

 

Not sure how long they are on for.

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