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around the horn on holland america

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Jan 13th, 2004, 09:44 AM
  #1
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Join Date: Apr 2003
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around the horn on holland america

Has anyone taken this cruise ,Santago Chile to Rio or to buenes aries, on the Amsterdam.
We signed up for this for next November and have taken 4 cruises but never on this Line. Also have been many places but never S.A.
Advice and comments wolld be appreciated
Little Cricket
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Jan 14th, 2004, 01:34 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 39
We have done the cruise around the horn, but on Celebrity. We also have sailed on the Holland America Amsterdam in the Caribbean. Both Holland and Celebrity aim toward luring the mature traveler. You will find very few children on this trip. The Amsterdam is a fine ship and Holland is noted for it's fine service. There will most likely be a naturalist on board to explain some things about the ports. Note that the weather will change drastically while you go south. You will start off in warm balmy temperatures and at one point there will be gigantic ice glaciers outside the ship. If you have a choice, go for the cruise which includes Rio. It is a great city for touring. Also take the time to see Buenos Aires. Again much history. Contact me for more info at [email protected]. Put Fodors in the subject line.
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Jan 17th, 2004, 12:13 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 127
I see you haven't had a lot of response so I will try to add a bit. We did the Ryndam in 2001 on this itinerary but included Antarctica. Well worth doing if an option.
My guess is that this isn't a cruise for everyone, mostly cooler weather for example but we loved it. You might want to take a look at the HAL thread on the cruisecritic website as there are quite a few reports there.
We did Iguazu on our own before the cruise. Again well worth the effort and better not to try to do it as an excursion out of BA as BA is so worthwhile to see.

Hope this helps. I will try to get back this thread so if you have more questions, pls post them.
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Jan 24th, 2004, 10:33 AM
  #4
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Thanks John for your note.
Since I posted ,in this latest Conde Nast issue the Amsterdam was listed by subscribers as one of the best ships for cruises. That being said the itnerary was to our choosing because of the diverse weather and conditions. We sailed the Baltic last June and got "turned on" by the long nights and beautiful late sunsets as we came closer to the Artic circle.
We hope for the same towards Antarctica.
We are most interested in shore trips and which is the most worthwhile as you saw it . Any info there would be appreciated as we have received help from "Siljac" but you can't have too much input.
Little Cricket
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Jan 28th, 2004, 06:02 PM
  #5
 
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We did the SA cruise, Santiago to Rio a fwe years ago on Holland America but on a different ship, Noordam. We loved the experience so much. HA is very good to their cruisers, lots of nice touches and gifts on the pillow some nights, travel journals, binoculars, yerba mate gourds with spoon straws, etc. Be sure to get to the Crows Nest lounge for a good seat as you go through the fiords in Chile. They keep you informed all the way of what's next, have nice lectures on each port. Have a great trip.
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Jan 29th, 2004, 08:51 PM
  #6
 
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Sorry for the delay in replying. We started the cruise in Rio but flew direct to Iguazu. Our approach would not be for everyone but we had one nite on the Brazilian side and two nites at the Sheraton on the Argentinian side. We preferred the latter but seeing both sides was worthwhile. Great place to visit if you could. We then took the overnite bus to Rio. Not what most cruise passengers do!
In Rio we did a city tour including the Corovado, I think through HAL. It was worthwhile. The next day we took the bus to Petropolis which was interesting. Again an inexpensive way to do it but not for everyone. The ship tour was cancelled as there had been problems with slides. Not uncommon.

Montevideo we explored on our own.
BA we did a half day tour (Casa Rosada, La Boca, Recoleta etc). It was a good tour. In the afternoon we walked ourselves and went to Museo des Bellas Artes. We were impressed.
Next day we did the tour to the Estancia. Expensive but we found it nice to get out of the city.
At Port Stanley we took the local shuttle service to Gypsy Cove and visited the museum afterwards. Both were excellent. Birds were very interesting and we are not bird people!
Ushuaia we did the half day trek. Very undemanding but we enjoyed it.
Punta Arenas we did the Otway Penquin tour which we found to be excellent. Lots of Penquins and very close. Afterwards we walked in the city.
Puerto Montt we did the Frutillar tour. We did not see the volcano except in the postcard. The tour was fine but not memorable.
Valparaiso we stayed overnight on our own. Walked a lot. Took the train to Vina del Mar (very inexpensive). Then we took the bus and stayed two nites in Santiago.
Overall we really enjoyed South America and did quite a lot outside of organized tours. Sometimes this was a challenge as we do not speak Spanish or Portuguese and English is certainly not everyone's second language!

Hope this helps. Let me know if you have other questions. Also highly recommend the Crows Nest!
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Feb 2nd, 2004, 07:12 AM
  #7
Mim
 
Join Date: May 2003
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We took this trip in Nov., 2003 on the Amsterdam from Chile to Rio and loved it. We have been all around the world and left South America for last and sorry that we did. The funny thing was that most of the people on the cruise expected maybe two or three cold days but we had at least 8 days where the weather was in the 40's with a wind chill factor. It was very cold rounding the Horn and sightseeing in Chile and the Falkland Islands. Be sure to pack a heavy jacket, hat, gloves, scarve, rain gear, and many layers. We were told that this is the average weather for Nov. and many times the ship doesn't even tender into the Falkland Is. due to the weather.
This was our 7th. cruise, second on the line, and we like the line and the ship. The service was very good, the food good in the dining room, and the stateroom was large enough with good storage space. We found that the chef was better at preparing meat than fish and many complained about the dry fish.
We did not use the tours sold by the line for they were very expensive. We had no trouble when we left the ship finding vans that were for hire for 1/2 the cost of the ship tours. We were always able to find 8 or 10 people on the pier willing to share the costs and we had a great time in each port. The private vans followed the same sightseeing schedule that the ship tours did and we did not have to wait for 44 other people to get on and off the bus. We had English guides that we also spilt the cost for and our highlight was a small restaurant in Ponte Monti where the llamas were eating on the front lawn. In Buenos Aires you will find company booths set up in the pier area who will sell you sightseeing tours, tango shows, and dinners for half the cost of the ship. We used the first booth nearest the ship, Patagonia, who gave up a great tour of the city, a tango show, and dinner for a very reasonable cost. In Rio the jewelry companies use taxis and vans and provide a service to take you to the main parts of the city.
If you have a question, post it and I will try to answer.
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Feb 6th, 2004, 05:22 PM
  #8
mikeim
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We did Rio to Santiago on Holland America a couple of years ago early December, and loved it. Weather was great, could see the Horn crystal clear. We couldn't get to Falkland Island due to the weather, but all in all it was great. I think we were extremely lucky in weather, though. As it's a two-week cruise, Holland America made a point of giving variety in their menu. From Santiage we took one-week trip to Peru, Machu Pichu, through Wilderness Travel. Also highly recommended.
 
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Feb 6th, 2004, 06:09 PM
  #9
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 76
We did Rio to Santiago in Decembor on the Amsterdam. We've been on several cruises, and I'll have to say, that this was among our most favorite. The ports-of-call were wonderful.....from beaches to glaciers - you have it all. And the dollar is very strong in South America now. Enjoy!
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Feb 14th, 2004, 12:05 PM
  #10
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Thanks to all you fellow cruisers and especially Siljac for alerting us to the need for visas to enter Brazil.
We found out that visas are obtainable at a sight on line and good for 3 months or 1 year as you choose.They are not real cheap through this service and we are in the process of contacting the Brazilian Embassy to seeif we can order them direct.
Will keep you informed on this site.
Little Cricket.
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