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Bella0714

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About Bella0714

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    Cool Cruiser
  1. Bella0714

    Magdalena Penguin Reserve question

    I think both GV Tours and Solo Expediciones both go to Magdalena Island for less than $200/pp even on days that ships are in port.
  2. Wangy26: You started this thread three months ago, so I'm assuming that you've already booked your flights. We're planning a similar post-cruise itinerary for January 2020 doing the following: fly from BA to the Argentine side of Iguazu Falls after getting off the ship, then spending a day and a half on the Argentine side, then go to the Brazil side on the second night, stay over, and fly home from the Brazil side on the third night. We're doing it this way because from what we've seen, flights from Brazil (Sao Paulo or Rio) to Miami, where we live, are generally less-expensive than flights from BA to Miami. Anyway, I'm just throwing it out there that once you get to the Falls, you don't have to fly back through B.A.
  3. Bella0714

    Best Penguin Excursion?

    Can anyone comment on the Chiloe Island Penguin Colony near Ancud as a day trip from Castro? Wondering if it’s worthwhile since from what I can tell, penguin viewing is by boat and for a very short viewing period. This would be on a January port day in Castro.
  4. Bella0714

    Ushuaia Argentina

    It’s a long way off, but our shop will be in port from 2 pm to 8 pm in January 2020. Figuring in on-board time, I am thinking that will give us five hours of port time, max. Is that enough time to do anything that involves traveling away from the port? Or will this just be a wasted port day?
  5. Bella0714

    My day in Puerto Madryn and Peninsula Valdes

    Thanks for the report, Valley Girl. Your trip reports have been very interesting and detailed so far. This pretty much confirms that we should do Punta Tombo if we do HAL's South America/Antarctica cruise next year. I'm sorry you were disappointed with the excursion, but it looks like you have a great time otherwise.
  6. Bella0714

    Antarctic "sail by" cruises (not expeditions)

    That HAL ship is in port from 8 am to 5 pm, so it should be fine if we get in line early the day before for tendering tickets. At least I hope so. You're absolutely right about those conflicting port days. It's a bit crazy. Only a very small percentage will get out to Volunteer Point. I mean, here's a place in the middle of nowhere, and it's going to be bombarded by cruise passengers in one day.
  7. Bella0714

    Antarctic "sail by" cruises (not expeditions)

    I just re-read your blog entry about tendering at Stanley. Yipes! Can I start waiting on line now?
  8. Bella0714

    Antarctic "sail by" cruises (not expeditions)

    I also noticed that Celebrity plans for Antarctica the day after Cape Horn while HAL has a day at sea and allows for 60 hours from Ushuaia to Antarctica. I assume they’re playing it safe and allowing for some wiggle room. Sounds good to me.
  9. Bella0714

    Antarctic "sail by" cruises (not expeditions)

    You should see Jan. 25, 2020. HAL, Princess and Azamara will be in Stanley on the same day. On the chance that we might actually follow through on this deposit and take the HAL cruise, I’ve already booked with Estancia for Volunteer Point.
  10. Bella0714

    Midnatsol vs. smaller Holland America ships

    digitl: You've been extremely helpful. Thank you!
  11. Bella0714

    Midnatsol vs. smaller Holland America ships

    Thanks for that, digitl. Have you been to Antarctica in all of the prime months? If so, how would you rank them? Reading online, there seems to be general agreement that November is better than March, although November could result in lots of ice blockage, while it's a tossup as to whether December or January are best of all. I guess it's all relative, and I didn't take that into account: We're on a scale of best to worst in which, in this case, worst is still awesome.
  12. Bella0714

    Midnatsol vs. smaller Holland America ships

    Have a great time, even though it's a long way off. With 10 days in Antarctica, I bet you won't lack for landings. As I've said, right now, we're on Holland America in January 2020 from Santiago to Buenos Aires, stopping in the Falkland Islands, among other places, and four days in Antarctica. We picked this one because it spends more time in Antarctica than Celebrity or Princess, and the cabins are on lower decks, so maybe less suffering if we get Drake Shake. But the deposit is refundable, and Hurtigruten is definitely on our radar, especially through one of the European portals. I'm assuming you enjoyed Princess on Celebrity?
  13. Bella0714

    Better Rates Paying in NOK

    If Google Translator is doing this right, the Swedish cancellation policy is more punishing than the U.S. or Global policies unless you cancel more than 151 days out, in which case it's a little less punishing. Then it escalates to 30% for 91-150 days, and then it's a mixed bag afterwards. I wonder if you can pay the entire cost of the cruise up front and not have to worry about currency conversion shifts (the kronor was much stronger against the dollar in 2014 but it's been pretty level for a few years).
  14. Bella0714

    Better Rates Paying in NOK

    Just for kicks, I priced out a 13-day Midnatsol cruise to Antarctica for this November 6th. Thirteen days, six in Antarctica, cheapest cabin, per person: U.S. website: $6,667 Germany and Global websites: $5,687 Sweden website: $4,825 It's pretty remarkable, although I know that European travelers often experience the reverse when booking with U.S.-based cruise companies.
  15. Bella0714

    Midnatsol vs. smaller Holland America ships

    Yes, that's the HAL cruise, the one that sails from Santiago and spends one day in Stanley. Port time is 8 am to 5 pm. Estancia Excursions says we'll have plenty of time to do Volunteer Point (assuming we land). And, yes, everything costs extra on HAL. I've done more research. March in Antarctica doesn't appeal to me as much as November, December and January. We're big on iceberg and snow scenes, and March seems to be low time for that. I do like the looks of the mid-to-late November sailings on Hurtigruten. The one thing you can say about the HAL cruise is that it's in prime time, January 9-31. On the bad side, a few of the ports don't look particularly appealing (mainly Castro, Chile) and it spends only six hours in Ushuaia, which doesn't sound like much time to do anything. By the way, did you know that Hurtigruten has a December 2019 Christmas cruise that spends 10 days in Antarctica? If only I could convince my wife to skip Christmas with the children and grandchildren (it'll never happen!). That's one cruise I'd bust the budget for.
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