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Live from Jupiter - Buenos Aires to Santiago


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SM77-

i hope you are still answering questions re your recent cruise.  We are sailing on the Jupiter from B.A. to Santiago in early February.   The day the the shore excursions opened for reservations, we were on another cruise with our kids and grandkids celebrating our 50th anniversary.  TBH booking the excursions was the last thing on my mind and unfortunately I missed two things I really wanted to do.  The Punta Tombo and the Tierra del Fuego excursions.  Do you think there will be any extra spaces once we board.  I check every few days to see if there are any openings but so far none have showed up.  Thank you for any help you can give.

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1 minute ago, workstocruise said:

SM77-

i hope you are still answering questions re your recent cruise.  We are sailing on the Jupiter from B.A. to Santiago in early February.   The day the the shore excursions opened for reservations, we were on another cruise with our kids and grandkids celebrating our 50th anniversary.  TBH booking the excursions was the last thing on my mind and unfortunately I missed two things I really wanted to do.  The Punta Tombo and the Tierra del Fuego excursions.  Do you think there will be any extra spaces once we board.  I check every few days to see if there are any openings but so far none have showed up.  Thank you for any help you can give.

I kept checking My Viking Journey for openings for the Tierra del Fuego National Park bus tour.  You can try emailing tellus@viking.com, tell them your booking number and see if they can do anything.  Otherwise keep checking w/ Guest Services as soon as you board the ship.   I would think you could get on the Tierra del Fuego National Park tour or Viking would add a bus if there is enough interest.  Regarding Punta Tombo, maybe you can try an outside company if you cannot get on the Viking excursion.  Both tours are well worth it.  We were very pleased with both. And of course, Bluff Cove Lagoon on the Falklands.  I hope you get to do those excursions.  Make sure you are at the World Cafe or Explorer Lounge once the ship departs Ushuaia, traveling through the Beagle Channel is stunning w/ all the glaciers.  You will have a wonderful time!

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Consider the El Pedral Tour in Puerto Madryn as you will see a penguin colony right up close and enjoy a delicious roast lamb Asado meal.  Wonderful day and shorter.

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Edited by PRH
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  • 2 weeks later...

We just returned from this trip and since I found all the posts here to be helpful in planning our trip I thought I would add a few reviews of my own.  

 

First we did the Patagonia Pre-extension.  Great extension!  We had a fantastic guide, Andrea, and we saw so many beautiful sights.  I highly recommend!

 

Buenos Aires:  We did the bike tour.  I think it should go without saying that if you choose this tour you should be able to ride a bike...apparently some on our trip didn't get that message, but that aside it was a great way to see the city.  We road on bike trails and bike lanes and some sidewalks.  

 

Montevideo:  We did the included tour first which was a typical Viking included city tour.  We did have a very good guide who when he wasn't giving tours was a history teacher, so he was very knowledgeable.  We then did the winery tour.  Our guide started with a repeat tour of the city (to the point that I wondered if we were on the right tour) and then to the winery.  It was a very nice winery with good wines and also included a delicious spread of nibbles.  One change I would make on the day is not to book two tours.  Town is close enough to walk in and explore on your own and I would have loved the opportunity to do that.

 

Puerto Madryn:  We did the Punto Tombo tour.  Great tour as we saw lots and lots and lots (think thousands) of Magellanic Penguins.  Following the visit to the penguins we had a big lunch with included wine.. Yes the bus ride was long but it was so worth it.

 

Our ship didn't land in the Falklands due to high winds

 

Ushuaia: Since we skipped Falklands we got into Ushuaia in the evening and spent the night docked at the port.  We were able to stroll into town that evening and sample the local beer.  Lots of shops and even a Hard Rock Cafe for those that collect those shirts.  The next day I went horseback riding.  The trail was more challenging than ones I have been on in the States. Luckily the horse knew where to walk and we did fine.  My husband did the hike.  They gave them rubber boots for the hike as they walked though a marsh area.  He thought the hike was beautiful.  We had planned to go back into town that afternoon but the weather turned and we had extremely strong winds and rain.  We tried to go out but only made it to the end of the pier.

 

Punta Arenas: We did the hike where we took the ski lift up and hiked down.  It is very windy there so it was a windy ride up an old ski lift.  Very nice hike after somewhat scary ride up.  It is pretty steep, so not recommended for people with knee problems.  Afterwards we walked into town on our own.  There had been riots in town the night before and much damage had been done.  Town was not very exciting.  

 

Puerto Montt:  Puerto Montt is a pretty poor town and it didn't look like much to see in that town.  We did the emerald lake cruise and we had an absolutely beautiful day for the cruise.  The lake was incredible.  The only complaint I had was we had 8 buses of people on the tour and it made the boat and especially the walk to the falls very crowded.  We did split up for lunch in Puerto Vargas and only had two buses per restaurant.  We had lunch at a very nice restaurant with a beautiful lake front view.

 

Valparaiso:  We did a private tour by Patatours.  Best tour of the whole trip!  Cristian took us all over town, using public transportation.  We started at the fish market where we were welcomed by all the fishermen and people working in the stalls, then we went to the fruit market where we ended up helping one of the restaurants shell beans for the day.  They gave us small bowls of their fish soup in exchange.  After lunch at a local non touristy restaurant we did a walking tour of the upper part of the city.  Cristian was raised in that part of the town and it was great to have a tour from someone who knew the people and area so well. 

 

Post Excursion: Galapagos.  I loved the islands and the time we spent there but I would not recommend doing this excursion.  We traveled to both Guayaquil and Quito but never saw either one.  We arrived at both late at night and left early in the morning.  It was a lot of travel for no return.  Also the hotel was wonderful but being in a hotel meant a lot of travel each day to get to another island to see a different set of animals.  If I were to do the Galapagos again I would defiantly do it by cruise.

 

Hope this helps others with your planning.  We loved the trip and found South America to be very unique and interesting.

 

Pat

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Thanks Pat,

 

Glad to hear that what I posted was helpful and it was great to get your impressions & reviews as well.  It is a great trip and nice to hear that you had a great time as well!

 

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we are seriously considering this trip for next year so thanks for the review.

Do you feel that 8 sea days were too many?  How was cruising the fjords? 

 

If we go we are considering extending either on our own or through Viking and go to Rio and to Iguaza Falls ....anyone have any thoughts about doing that.

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The sea days question is tough to answer.  I like sea days.  I found plenty to do on board between lectures, trivia, spa, dome, food and etc.  A couple we traveled with didn't like the sea days and as a result found the trip pretty boring.  So it is all in what you like.  The fjords were very pretty.  One issue that came up for us was one of the days that was listed as scenic fjord cruising found us out to sea a lot of the day.  This was because there is an area in the fjords where there is no way to get through and the ship has to leave the fjords, go around a point and re-enter the fjords.  Lots of people grumbled about not being in fjords at that point...I will say once we re-entered the fjords it was some of the most beautiful cruising I have ever done.  

 

IMG_0302.thumb.jpeg.50a8ea7c2e700291650197d23b1956c7.jpeg

 

This is a view from when we re-entered the fjords

 

Pat

 

 

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27 minutes ago, deec said:

we are seriously considering this trip for next year so thanks for the review.

Do you feel that 8 sea days were too many?  How was cruising the fjords? 

 

If we go we are considering extending either on our own or through Viking and go to Rio and to Iguaza Falls ....anyone have any thoughts about doing that.

Actually 8 sea days were fine, it was spaced out.  Unfortunately for us we had rainy weather the day we sailed the Chilean fjords so we didn't see anything.  Had good weather to see the Amalia Glacier & leaving Ushuaia was outstanding going through the Beagle Channel(direction, BA to Santiago).  It was a more relaxing cruise than the Homelands,(which was being in port almost every day).  

 

We didn't do any extensions so I cannot speak about going to Iguazu Falls.  Regarding Rio, I actually went to Rio for business in 2001 - I had no interest in seeing it again on this trip.  Crime has gotten worse and the waters off the beaches are very polluted.  Rio is a major city and for me, Buenos Aires & Santiago were not my favorite stops  because they are major cities.  It's going to the smaller cities in South America and seeing all the beauty of the landscape.

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I LOVE sea days....we are going to do our first Transatlantic in March but this is an expensive cruise for only 8 ports and included excursions!

How was your sea state...rocky going around the horn?  Too bad about the Falklands but it is a cruise and always a gamble!

Have you been to Norway or Alaska?  how do they compare as far as beauty?  Any wildlife?

How was the temperature?

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9 minutes ago, deec said:

 

How was your sea state...rocky going around the horn?  Too bad about the Falklands but it is a cruise and always a gamble!

Have you been to Norway or Alaska?  how do they compare as far as beauty?  Any wildlife?

How was the temperature?

Actually it was not bad at all going around Cape Horn.  Yes, it's too bad that on Pat's cruise she misses the Falkland Islands, we really enjoyed our day there.  I have been to both Norway and Alaska.  Alaska is simply stunning(inside passage) but I thought the glaciers on this trip were really close & amazing.  We did not have good Chilean fjord sailing so it's hard to compare to Norway.  The main attraction for us were the penguins, we also saw sea lions and guanacos. It can be cold, traveling through Ushuaia and around Cape Horn, you are the furthest south before Antartica.  And very windy, especially in Punta Arenas.

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20 minutes ago, deec said:

Was most of the trip warm enough to use the pools (open roof)?  Thinking of this trip mostly to escape Northern Winter!!

it was warm enough in Buenos Aires, Montevideo, maybe Puerto Madryn, Valparaiso.  Definitely too cold once you head to the Falkland Islands & around Cape Horn.  This cruise is not an escape from cold weather, you are further south in their summer so it's like going to northern Canada.

 

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2 hours ago, deec said:

Was most of the trip warm enough to use the pools (open roof)?  Thinking of this trip mostly to escape Northern Winter!!

 

We did the Dec 21 Valpo to BA cruise. 

It was often quite windy and cool out and the roof was open just some of the time - but still pleasant.

We were fortunate to visit every port, including the Falklands.  We only had one really "difficult" sea day and that was when we went outside the fjords for a bit into the open Pacific Ocean (it is the only way to get south from Puerto Montt).  We were rewarded with spectacular fjords cruising.  Unlike the Jan 7th cruise (where the poster above said people complained they weren't seeing fjords), we had no one upset at all.  The captain told us what we were going to do and everyone's expectations were just fine.  The Amalia Glacier and the Beagle Channel were worth the trip alone! As was the Falkland Islands.

We went to Iguazu Falls after arriving in Buenos Aires - and albeit expensive, was every bit as impressive as we'd read about!  So glad we made the effort to see them!

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3 hours ago, deec said:

we are seriously considering this trip for next year so thanks for the review.

Do you feel that 8 sea days were too many?  How was cruising the fjords? 

 

If we go we are considering extending either on our own or through Viking and go to Rio and to Iguaza Falls ....anyone have any thoughts about doing that.

 

In 2000, I traveled on my own for six weeks through Chile, Argentine, and Brazil.  I visited both Rio and Iguazu Falls on that trip.

 

IMO, the view from Corcovado in Rio (Christ the Redeemer), looking out over Copacabana and Ipanema beaches and Sugarloaf mountain, is one of the most spectacular urban vistas in the world.  On the other hand, the Iguazu Falls can't be matched for the sheer spectacle of nature at its most powerful.

 

You can't lose with either place.  But I'd pick Iguazu if you can only visit one.

 

 

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On our cruise we had one rough sea day, the day we went between the Falklands and Cape Horn.  We had "ideal" conditions going around Cape Horn.  The crew claimed it was the best weather they had seen going around the Horn.  It was windy and cloudy with some light rain and rainbows at times, but the sea were too bad.  The day before had been much rougher.  We could see the lighthouse and monument at the southern part of the Cape. 

 

As far as seeing animals, we saw many more animals on our Patagonia pre-extension and our Galapagos post extension.  While on the cruise we did see penguins, condors and guanacos  in Punta Tombo.  We saw lots of different sea birds, one pod of dolphins, and one otter while on the ship.  We also saw sea lions in Valparaiso.

 

I have been to both Alaska and Norway and this cruise while in the fjords and around Ushuaia is very similar in scenery to both of those.  The lakes district in Chile (Puerto Montt area) is very similar to Oregon and Washington with all the volcanos.  The Argentine side around Punta Madryn is a huge desert and not very scenic, but that is where a lot of the animals we saw are located. As far as the cost with so many sea days goes... I liked learning about all the culture and history of the area and seeing what that area of the world was like for myself.  

 

Hope this helps you make your decision about whether to book this cruise or not.  

 

Pat

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1 hour ago, Pat FT said:

On our cruise we had one rough sea day, the day we went between the Falklands and Cape Horn.  We had "ideal" conditions going around Cape Horn.  The crew claimed it was the best weather they had seen going around the Horn.  It was windy and cloudy with some light rain and rainbows at times, but the sea were too bad.  The day before had been much rougher.  We could see the lighthouse and monument at the southern part of the Cape. 

 

As far as seeing animals, we saw many more animals on our Patagonia pre-extension and our Galapagos post extension.  While on the cruise we did see penguins, condors and guanacos  in Punta Tombo.  We saw lots of different sea birds, one pod of dolphins, and one otter while on the ship.  We also saw sea lions in Valparaiso.

 

I have been to both Alaska and Norway and this cruise while in the fjords and around Ushuaia is very similar in scenery to both of those.  The lakes district in Chile (Puerto Montt area) is very similar to Oregon and Washington with all the volcanos.  The Argentine side around Punta Madryn is a huge desert and not very scenic, but that is where a lot of the animals we saw are located. As far as the cost with so many sea days goes... I liked learning about all the culture and history of the area and seeing what that area of the world was like for myself.  

 

Hope this helps you make your decision about whether to book this cruise or not.  

 

Pat

Pat -

We were on the Dec 21 Valpo-BA cruise.  We also had a rough cruise day going from Puerto Montt south when we went out to the open Pacific, but doing the Fjords and Beagle Channel were much better.  Cape Horn was a bit rough but the trip to the Falklands and back was relatively calm!  Guess we were lucky. 

We did the Peninsula Vales tour in Puerto Madryn.  You are right - it was very desolate, but we did see quite a bit of wildlife, and then of course the sea lions and penguins.

The beauty of this cruise was seeing sights, culture, and people that are so different from that in Europe (such a common desitination) or what we have back at home.  It is why we travel!

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Thank you all so much for the information.  I think we may book this!!!  CC Wine Lover...definitely will have more questions over a glass of wine while watching the Norwegian Fjords with you!!!! 

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Thanks for all the information as we just booked this cruise for 2/22! Taking advantage of the low down payment and don't pay final balanc till six months before cruise.  We are interested in the Rio/falls pre trip but they don't have it yet for 2022. Do any of you know how far in advance they post the pre/ post trips as it's on the website just not booking yet for 2022, agent says keep trying? 

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1 minute ago, Respbj said:

Thanks for all the information as we just booked this cruise for 2/22! Taking advantage of the low down payment and don't pay final balanc till six months before cruise.  We are interested in the Rio/falls pre trip but they don't have it yet for 2022. Do any of you know how far in advance they post the pre/ post trips as it's on the website just not booking yet for 2022, agent says keep trying? 

Good for you - you will certainly enjoy the cruise.   I would send a message to Tellus@viking.com - I'm surprised that the agent cannot go ahead and book you for the pre-trip if they are already offering the cruise for '22.  Give Tellus your booking number so they can look up your reservation.  

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On 2/2/2020 at 2:22 PM, SM77 said:

Good for you - you will certainly enjoy the cruise.   I would send a message to Tellus@viking.com - I'm surprised that the agent cannot go ahead and book you for the pre-trip if they are already offering the cruise for '22.  Give Tellus your booking number so they can look up your reservation.  

At the time of bookingagent said they probably have not contracted for the pre tour that far out.

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We did a Rio and the Falls on our own.  Much cheaper!  Let me know if you want hotels and guide suggestions.  We were in Rio for New Year’s—amazing.  Flew to Iguazu and saw both sides and did the folk dance evening.  Then flew to Buenos Aires for four days before getting on the ship.  Let me know if you like food as there are some fantastic tours.

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please!!!  how easy to get to the airports on your own?  we would be ending out trip with a flight from BA to Rio and then to the falls.  thank you!

 

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11 hours ago, deec said:

please!!!  how easy to get to the airports on your own?  we would be ending out trip with a flight from BA to Rio and then to the falls.  thank you!

 


From BA, getting to both the domestic airport and EZE is very easy.  EZE (for us) was a 2000 peso cab ride from our hotel downtown (about a 45 min ride, depending on traffic).  Getting to the domestic airport, it was about 300 pesos (maybe 10 min?).  It is very easy to get a cab in BA, and they are very reasonably priced.  

 

We took the domestic airport to Iguazu on the Argentina side.  I can’t tell you the cab situation in Iguazu as we were met by our driver for our tour.  It was about a 30-45 min ride from Iguazu airport to our hotel, which was on the edge of town.  We did pass Iguazu Falls park entrance on the ride to our hotel.

Edited by Mich3554
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  • 2 weeks later...

We go on this cruise February of 2021 and your information has been so very helpful.  We were on the Orion May 2019 from Tokyo thru Alaska to Vancouver and loved it, so we are looking forward to our South American tour next year.  Thank you again for all the detailed info it will really help us plan. Safe travels to all.

Edited by annxstitch
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