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Rickster50

14 day South America Passage - Westerdam

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We are considering doing this cruise in November 2020. I'm just wondering whether any of you folks here have done this cruise, and if so, how was it?

 

Cheers

Rick

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We did a similar cruise (probably with the same name) in 2014 on the Zaandam. In the opposite direction: this was our itinerary, looks like one more port in Chile (Puerto Chacabuco), and different order to Punta Arenas and Ushuaia.

Valparaiso (Santiago), Chile VA 
At Sea 
Puerto Montt, Chile 
Puerto Chacabuco, Chile 
Chilean Fjords CO 
Canal Sarmiento CO 
Strait of Magellan CO 
Punta Arenas, Chile 
Cockburn Channel CO 
Beagle Channel CO 
Glacier Alley CO 
Ushuaia, Argentina 
Scenic Cruising Cape Horn CO 
Stanley/Falkland Is/Islas Malvinas 
At Sea 
At Sea 
Montevideo, Uruguay 
Buenos Aires, Argentina ON 
Buenos Aires, Argentina

 

We enjoyed the cruise very much, at the time is was our longest HAL cruise (with another 2-wk cruise on NCL that was not as enjoyable). We encountered Drake Lake going around the Horn, but I see you are cutting through the Strait of Magellan so missing part of that.

 

ETA: subsequently we have found the Vista class ships to be our favorite. Lucky you!

Edited by crystalspin

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I've done the same itinerary 2 times now, once with Antarctica included, and will be boarding Westerdam in San Antonio in November 2020 (right as you disembark, I believe), like you, for a 3rd time.  The Patagonian area you'll see is unrivaled in beauty, reminding me of NZs South Island only bigger, and Westerdam is an excellent carriage for the ride.  You might want to consider joining us instead to do Antarctica as well as it is a remarkable place to visit, realizing of course that you may have been there before being from Australia.

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It was one of our favourite cruises.  We took time and had 10 days of precruise in Uruguay and BA and a six days of post cruise in Santiago and the wine region south of Santiago.  

 

We waffled on going to Iguazu Falls but were so thankful that we went.  Did it independently.  Three nights, two days.  It was one of the highlights.

 

We were very fortunate.  We had great weather and never missed a port.  It was one of the few cruises that we booked in advance vs inside the final payment window.

Edited by iancal

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I’ve book on the Westerdam in November, and it sounds like I’ve made a good choice.

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Just curious as to anyone that has done this cruise; what excursion did you do in the Falkland Islands?

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10 minutes ago, dr alaok said:

Just curious as to anyone that has done this cruise; what excursion did you do in the Falkland Islands?

Johnnie's Tour!  

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We got off the boat, walked around for a little, then spotted a lady with a 4X4 and no customers.  She gave us a tour of the island.  There were lots of people milling about trying to pick up tourists.    We were not that interested in viewing the penquins..we had seen plenty up close in South Africa.     I forget the her name.  She gave us a very good tour then dropped us off at the shops.  I have to say that the Falklands was by no means our favourite port stop.

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Rickster50, hubby and I are also booked on this cruise.  We have a reservation with Estancia Excursions for seeing the King penguins at Volunteer Point.  It is going to be a beautiful cruise!

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18 hours ago, Taters said:

Rickster50, hubby and I are also booked on this cruise.  We have a reservation with Estancia Excursions for seeing the King penguins at Volunteer Point.  It is going to be a beautiful cruise!

 

Another vote for Estancia Excursions, we had a fabulous visit to the Falklands last year and really enjoyed our excursion with Estancia. Enjoy!

 

To the OP, we did a San Antonio to Buenos Aires cruise, including a visit to Antarctic waters (some call it a "drive by"); we were on the Zandaam just about a year ago for that cruise. Longest cruise ever for us, and probably one of the absolute best cruises. Simply fantastic, especially the time in Antarctic waters. It was hard to pack for, as it was hot and humid in the northern S.America ports, and cold but intensely beautiful down south. We weren't able to tender in Puerto Montt due to swells, but that was our only missed port. Fantastic trip, sure envy you on your upcoming cruise; we'd LOVE to do it again!

 

Best wishes!

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22 hours ago, dr alaok said:

Just curious as to anyone that has done this cruise; what excursion did you do in the Falkland Islands?

 

In November 2016,  we did the Bluff Cove Lagoon excursion at Falkland Islands to see the Gentoo penguins.  There were also some King penguins there.  It was a HAL excursion and we enjoyed our day very much.  Highly recommend.  (Some of the other offerings seemed too strenuous for me, as I tend to get car-sick.)

 

We were on Zaandam and are heading back down there on Westerdam in January 2021 to include Antarctica.  South America is very interesting and we were pleased with our HAL cruise on Zaandam.  I think Westerdam will be even better.  A high point was the excursion to Torres del Paine National Park out of Punta Arenas.

 

Good cruise and fascinating part of the world.

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Well thanks for all those replies. By the way, we have never been to South America but now we will be. I booked the cruise this morning so the countdown begins! Looking forward to someplace different.

 

It seems the Westerdam is pretty much similar to the Oosterdam which we cruised on a few years back to Alaska. We thoroughly enjoyed that ship.

 

Rick

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4 hours ago, Rickster50 said:

Well thanks for all those replies. By the way, we have never been to South America but now we will be. I booked the cruise this morning so the countdown begins! Looking forward to someplace different.

 

It seems the Westerdam is pretty much similar to the Oosterdam which we cruised on a few years back to Alaska. We thoroughly enjoyed that ship.

 

Rick

 

Congratulations! Aside from a port stop in Cartagena on a prior cruise, this past January was also our first trip to South America ("south-er" South America?). You're in for some beautiful sights! The Westerdam is a nice ship, you'll have a great cruise! Best wishes and safe travels.

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We have done it twice on the Zaandam.

Fabulous is a much abused word but we think the south america cruise is just that especially if you are interested in the history, culture and archeaology of countries visited. The scenery around Patagonia is Alaska on steriods and the desert of the northern coastal regions has it's own stark beauty.  We also liked the balance between port and sea days.

 

In the Falklands the penguins are the big attraction, we did the Bluff cove trip on both our visits, it was default the second time as we didn't book until on board ans the other trip to see Rock Hopper Penguins was sold out. Bluff Covex was just as much fun the second time since there were several one year old baby  kIngs still in their fur coat stage.

 

Enjoy

Edited by old mike

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What we noticed was the pricing on this cruise. We were following HAL, Celebrity, and Princess.  As I recall there was a fair amount of fluctuation in pricing and quite substantial differences in pricing between the lines.  Then it seemed to even out a little.

 

We booked Princess because they had a real one day special where CAD was at par.  For us it was a substantial bonus.   At the time we booked HAL and Princess were within 10 percent of each other, Celebrity was the highest at about 25-30 percent more expensive.  Balcony cabin.

 

Keep an eye out for re-faring opportunities.

Edited by iancal

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7 hours ago, Rickster50 said:

Well thanks for all those replies. By the way, we have never been to South America but now we will be. I booked the cruise this morning so the countdown begins! Looking forward to someplace different.

 

It seems the Westerdam is pretty much similar to the Oosterdam which we cruised on a few years back to Alaska. We thoroughly enjoyed that ship.

 

Rick

Excellent!  Please join our roll call if you haven't yet done that. :classic_smile:

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Be prepared for BAD weather. We hit a 24hr storm after leaving the Falkland Island. We loved it but many were cabin bound for the duration of the storm.

 

My one suggestion is to take a ships tour at the Falkland Island. We usually never book ships tours but glad we did here, as the winds forced the ship to move. Also, this port does get missed because of the winds.

 

Despite the weather, it was one of our favorite cruises!

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On 1/20/2020 at 3:38 PM, AncientWanderer said:

 

In November 2016,  we did the Bluff Cove Lagoon excursion at Falkland Islands to see the Gentoo penguins.  There were also some King penguins there.  It was a HAL excursion and we enjoyed our day very much.  Highly recommend.  (Some of the other offerings seemed too strenuous for me, as I tend to get car-sick.)

 

We were on Zaandam and are heading back down there on Westerdam in January 2021 to include Antarctica.  South America is very interesting and we were pleased with our HAL cruise on Zaandam.  I think Westerdam will be even better.  A high point was the excursion to Torres del Paine National Park out of Punta Arenas.

 

Good cruise and fascinating part of the world.

We are also booked for the Westerdam cruise to South America and Antarctica in January 2021. Very excited to take this cruise. The HAL shore excursion to see the penguins on the Falklands is sold out for many of the time slots. We reserved a 10:30 am trip, just to make sure. We usually take privately run cruises from local tour operators, but this one seemed a better bet because of tender issues.

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A few years ago, we went from Buenos Aires to Santiago Chile, but went on a Celebrity ship. We are 4 stars on Holland. We love South America! The Straits of Magellan are nothing like you see in Alaska. Much more dramatic landscape. We have cruised to South America for a total of over 70 days on 3 cruises. I love SA

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Sounds like you love South America willow....that's a pretty good endorsement! We've done Alaska and New Zealand so looking forward to this one.

 

Rick

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I'm now seriously thinking of cancelling the Nov 2020 cruise and opting for a 20 day cruise on Jan 10, 2021 which would include more of Antarctica. We are travelling all that way so may as well get our moneys worth!

 

Rick

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2 hours ago, Rickster50 said:

I'm now seriously thinking of cancelling the Nov 2020 cruise and opting for a 20 day cruise on Jan 10, 2021 which would include more of Antarctica. We are travelling all that way so may as well get our moneys worth!

 

Rick

We are also considering this cruise in 2021, have been to New Zealand twice ( with a 3rd upcoming cruise there, this time on the Maasdam) ; looking to stretch our wings further afield - visiting Antarctica for me is an absolute bucket list dream , even if it's just a drive by so to speak. We are tossing up between this and a cruise in Alaska. 

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5 hours ago, Rickster50 said:

I'm now seriously thinking of cancelling the Nov 2020 cruise and opting for a 20 day cruise on Jan 10, 2021 which would include more of Antarctica. We are travelling all that way so may as well get our moneys worth!

 

Rick

If you can swing it, look at the 27 Nov 2020 sailing of Westerdam out of Santiago (San Antonio) where you'll not only get to see Antarctica but will be treated to both a lunar and solar eclipse while at sea!

 

Either way, it is worth seeing Anarctica... completely other-worldly....

Edited by 0bnxshs

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8 hours ago, Rickster50 said:

I'm now seriously thinking of cancelling the Nov 2020 cruise and opting for a 20 day cruise on Jan 10, 2021 which would include more of Antarctica. We are travelling all that way so may as well get our moneys worth!

 

Rick

Good plan. As Obnxshs said, it is otherworldly. You will never regret taking the additional time to make that little detour to see the 7th continent. 

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