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first visit to South American and want to see it all

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Jun 11th, 2009, 07:16 AM
  #1
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first visit to South American and want to see it all

Thanks for helping--my husband and I want to do a South American cruise, but not sure which is more important- The cruise line or itinerary. We want to go in Feb or Mar and there are 2 ships that do S.M. Holland American and Celebrity. Holland has the reputation of being a lot of old people but good service and clelbrity is great food. Holland does Rio, Celebrilty doesn't . How important is Rio? Is Feb a good time weather wise? Are the ports far from the cities? Did an European cruise and all the ports were at least 1 hour away.
Any help would be appreciated! Thanks again.
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Jun 11th, 2009, 10:12 AM
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I know you said February or March, but Regent's S. American cruise actually departs January 24 from Lima and disembarks in Rio on February 23rd, including several days cruising around Antarctica. Don't know about your budget, but this all-inclusive 30-day cruise includes air and unlimited shore excursions. In fact, our TA is escorting this as a group cruise with an additional discount. We're pretty excited. By the way, Oceania also has cruises around S. American in your time frame.
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Jun 11th, 2009, 05:31 PM
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February is summer time in South America, and a little warm..though not unbearable. March is the beginning of fall and not quite so hot.

Ports vary..The port is at least an hour from Santiago, Chile...Montevideo and Buenos Aires are both port cities....Rio is on the Atlantic coast...Quito is in the mountains several hours from the port.....
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Jun 11th, 2009, 07:06 PM
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What is the itinerary? Ports like Ushuaia and Puerto Montt are right in the city. Both were my favourites and I can recommend some tours if you do stop in those ports. Also Puenta Arenas is close to the city and there are tours to see the penguins from there. I would choose the HAL itinerary because Rio does have a lot to see. Don't expect everyone is going to be ancient on HAL - there is always a good cross section of ages.
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Jun 16th, 2009, 06:59 PM
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Another consideration is finding out the school schedule in South America. We did one of these cruises a few years ago and we were on the last or next to last trip of the season. We were told that on the earlier trips that were during summer vacations for schools were loaded with vacationing families. There was little supervision of the children and not much for them to do. There were problems in that the teenagers needed to find places to hangout and chose the staircases. So consider the school vacation schedule for South America.
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Jun 17th, 2009, 01:14 PM
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Always always the itinerary is more important. The ship is just a floating hotel.
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Jun 18th, 2009, 08:25 AM
  #7
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Thank you everyone for some valuable information. After my post, I found an excellent deal on Princess Star for 3/2/2010. the itinerary is:

Santiago (Valparaiso), Chile


At Sea

At Sea

At Sea

Punta Arenas, Chile

Ushuaia (Tierra del Fuego), Argentina

Cape Horn (Scenic Cruising)

Falkland Islands (Stanley)


At Sea
1
At Sea
1
Montevideo, Uruguay


Buenos Aires, Argentina

At Sea

At Sea

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

I would also love to have you recommendation on tours. Thank you, again
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Jun 18th, 2009, 04:50 PM
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Punta Arenas - Museum, city tour
Ushuaia - Narrow guage railway, wildlife, Mountains
Falkland - Penguin, 1982 battlefield, Sheep farming
Montevideo - winery tour
Buenos Aires - Tigre Delta, City Tour, Evita, Tango
Rio - Redeemer, beaches, city tour, Samba

The question is how much? There should be deals. Early this year, the price had came down so much that they almosts give it away (2 for 1 air etc)
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Jun 22nd, 2009, 11:26 AM
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I did a similar tour via HollandAmerica in January. Time of year is essential - waters are much rougher in March, and you may not get into some of your ports (especially Stanley, based on what I've heard). Good luck with that. Also, don't forget the dramamine for the Cape passage.

If you can book some extra time in Rio, it's worth it. City tour with the Redeemer and Sugar Loaf definitely, also a package churrascuria/samba show. You can do the Botanical Garden on your own.

Basically agree with Eschew on tours, though the Magellenic Penguin tour at Punta Arenas is also great (we did something similar with the Rockhopper penguins at Falkland). If you have time for nothing else in Buenos Aires, take a tour that includes a Tango Show.
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Jun 23rd, 2009, 03:24 PM
  #10
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All-

thank you so much. this helps a lot!!!
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Jul 3rd, 2009, 05:01 PM
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We didn't do the Magellenic Penguin tour at Punta Arenas. How does that compare to the Penguin tour at Falkland? We didn't want to do Penguin at 2 stops. We went at March and it was okay. Maybe just got lucky with the weather? Most people I talked to thinks I am nuts recommending the Tango and Samba. You gotta see it to beleive it.
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Jul 6th, 2009, 10:08 AM
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Absolutely agree with the dance shows! The two penguin tours are similar, the advantage being that they both take you far from town so you can see what the countryside looks like. As a bonus, my travel partner saw all kinds of additional and unexpected wildlife (guanacos, for example) that made the penguin tour pretty unique. Because my Punta Arenas hike down the ski trail was cancelled due to the winds (full refund, no arguments), they took us downtown and left us to explore PA on our own. It was better than the tour we'd scheduled and, by the way, the market set up in the town square had the best prices we'd seen on the entire trip.
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Jul 6th, 2009, 11:49 AM
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I would book the penguin tour in Punta Arenas just in case your Stanley port is cancelled as it often is. Everyone rushes to book the Punta Arenas tour if they missed Stanley so it can be hard to get if you don't do it ahead. Just be prepared for the wind!!! It was worse than when we were in Antarctica so bundle up.
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Jul 7th, 2009, 05:08 PM
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I am not sure if we were at the same market, I thought the price is okay but the items are amazing. Plan to return in 2011 or 2012.
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Feb 8th, 2010, 07:25 PM
  #15
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Just how cold does it get? will I be able to wear dresses and capris on ship, or should I only bring pants, sweats and a heavy winter coat? Thank you all once again.
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Feb 11th, 2010, 03:29 PM
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It's not cold, just windy. Inside the ship, you can wear anything you want as it is temperature controled. Outside on the open decks, you will need a wind breaker.
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Jul 26th, 2011, 07:00 PM
  #17
 
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bookmarking thanks
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