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Review of South America Cruise - Part 2


Troy86

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Hi Troy

Great review - we will be doing this same cruise the second half of Jan. - Do you have any money exchange recommendations - Sounds like we can cut back on the cold weather clothing - do you feel some jeans, a sweatshirt, a light wind breaker would be sufficient - What about shoes for the excursions - are sneekers OK.

Thanks

Dave

 

Song of America 1986

Inspiration 1999

Celebration 2000

Ocean Princess 2001

Elation 2001

Destiny 2002

Tahitian Princess 2003

Destiny 2003

NCL Sea 2004 (X2)

NCL Crown 2005

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I am doing the same cruise in January 2005. We will also be on the Infinity and will end up on Buenos Aires. My biggest disappointment is that we will not have time to see the falls. We will only be there for two days, overnight on the ship and flying out the second night at 10:30 P. M. Don't guess there is any way we could have time to do the falls with this schedule. Would love to know other things not to miss in Buenos Aires.

Vicki

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Hi there,

 

here are my comments:

 

Smooth Sailing:

Weather can be very tricky down there! However, I think what you suggest should be fine. Cold weather could be a factor only in Punta Arenas, Ushuaia and the Falklands. The coldest weather we had was actually while cruising the glaciers, but you can always take a blanket with you to the top decks or your balcony. Take clothing that you can layer on you! If you are really unlucky, you can always buy a heavy jacket down there. Tennis shoes will be fine for all excursions (do remember to clean them up after any penguin excursions and before you get back to your cabin - they poop everywhere).

 

Dollars were accepted in 95% of the places we visited. We got some local currency using local ATM's (no problems using them).

 

ACJV

Believe it or not there are people that fly in and out of Iguazu in one day. I do not recommend it, but you could see the falls and do the trails in the Argentinian side in 8 hours. You do need to buy plane tickets way ahead of time, if you decide to do this. There are flights all day long - from very early morning till about 6pm. We paid around $250pp. Please note that this flights are from Aeroparque Newberry (national airport) and not Ezeiza (international airport).

 

Do a city tour your first day. You can do the ship excursion or do a private tour (we used DeFrantur and were extremely happy with the guide they provided. His website is buetours.com). They will hit all the major sites.

 

On Saturday and Sunday there is an open market in front of the Recoleta cemetery - we bought a lot of gifts here. The market at San Telmo was a disappoinment - it truly is a flea market with a lot junk. Other options are a day at an estancia (there are all kinds of estancias and experiences: the tours from the ship will probably have some kind of song/dance show, but cater to large crowds. We opted for a more quiet, relaxed estancia experience - we went to an Estancia named El Ombu de Areco (http://www.estanciaelombu.com) using DeFrantur for $150 (2 adults and one child) including transportation, driver and guide.

Another option is to visit the Tigre Delta - this is an area next to La Plata river with hundreds of islands and canals. Most of the islands have homes which are only accessible by water. It was a very pleasant experience.

Of course, make sure that you make it to a tango show one evening.

 

BTW, all the links that I had included with my review were removed.

 

I hope this helps, and let me know if you have any other questions

 

Noel

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Noel,

 

Thanks for your very informative review. If you don't mind please send any tour links for Puerto Madryn, Ushuaia and Punta Arenas to me at olderpilot at yahoo dot com.

 

We are pretty well set for BA, Santiago, Valparaiso and Puerto Montt.

 

Jerry

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Olderpilot,

 

here they are:

 

Punta Arenas:

http://www.yamana.cl

http://www.whalesound.com (we did not do this, because they could not accomodate our 2-yr old, but sounds great - click on "Special Programs")

 

Ushuaia

http://www.canalfun.com

 

Puerto Madryn:

EcoBikes does not have a website. However, German's e-mail is:

ecobikes@madryn.com

There are pages in travel websites about some of his tours. For example: http://www.patagonia-argentina.com/i/atlantica/puertomadryn/ecobikes.htm

 

He does the Punta Tombo rookery tour.

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Vicki,

 

I used cheaptickets.com. However, I went an took a peek at the airfares and flights and there are significantly less daily flights available, with the earliest at 10:45am and the latest returning from iguazu at 3:20pm - that would leave on about 2 hours for sightseeing - which is not enough.

 

But call Aerolineas Argentinas and ask them about their schedule from Buenos Aires to Iguazu, they might have more flights that are not shown on the cheaptickets website. Their US number is: 1-800-333-0276. Also, check with a travel agent, there might be other airlines flying into Iguazu.

 

Noel

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Troy,

 

Thanks for the excellent review and urls. We don't sail until March of 2006, but are already into planning fixation. Can't wait to go "poop skating".

 

Gil

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Vicki,

 

FYI, we booked our flight and hotel for Iguazu through Cintia at wow argentina.com in Buenos Aires. She was able to book both for less money than we could through the internet (same for our BA hotel).

 

Jerry

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Hi Jennie and Hi Gil

I have noticed you are not going on this cruise until 2006 - I booked this one over a year ago and will be leaving on 1/14/05 - be patient - the time will go by - We did have to do 2 inexpensive cruises on the NCL Sea in the meantime to keep from going crazy waiting for this one - only 5 more months - Thanks Noel for your excellent review and all the useful links - I think I'm almost ready - everything is covered.

Regards to All

Dave & Katie (Smooth Sailing)

 

Song of America 11/86

Inspiration 11/99

Celebration 4/00

Ocean Princess 5/01

Elation 11/01

Destiny 6/02

Tahitian Princess 3/03

Destiny 11/03

NCL Sea 4/04

NCl Sea 9/04

NCL Crown 1/05

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Does anyone have a contact for doing the Iguazu Falls from the Brazilian side as we will be arriving in Rio and our cruise leaves from there. I am interested in air flights etc like Troy and Jerry have organized.

 

Dave,

 

Don't worry we have 3 trips planned before S.A. I would go crazy otherwise. We have our wonderful Black Sea cruise in October, a trip to far north Qld in April and a great Transatlantic - from Boston via Greenland, Iceland, Scotland and Norway - in July. The highlight of this cruise is that we will have a week in New York and it will be our first visit to your wonderful country.

 

I know you will have a wonderful cruise, it is the trip of a lifetime.

 

Jennie

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Troy,

 

In your cruise review you did not mention in which ports you had to tender ashore. Could you elaborate on that and also whether the tendering caused a significant delay in starting your private tours.

 

Thanks for any info.

 

Jerry

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Jerry,

 

We had to tender in Puerto Montt, Punta Arenas & Port Stanley. I communicated to all the local operators that we used when the ship was scheduled to arrived, and that we would leave the ship as soon as it was possible. We had a CC cabin, which included priority tendering - got off the ship very fast and easily. Everyone else (not including suites) had to go to the theater to queue for tendering. If you get to the theater early, you should be off in the first 2 tenders. In all, there were no significant delays because of tendering.

 

In every instance, whether tendering or not, our tour guides were waiting for us when we got off the ship. Make sure that you are clear where exactly the guide will be waiting for you. For example in Puerto Montt, he had to meet us outside the docks (about 100 meters from where the tenders drops you off).

 

Tip: I just remembered the following: do not wear dark color clothing (including jackets or sweaters) in Puerto Montt. There are beatle like bugs that are attracted to dark colors here, and they can sting. You do not see them much in the cities, but there were plenty of them in the countryside.

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Dear Dave & Katie

 

Are you on the Infinity Valparaiso - Buenos Aires Jan 17 - 31??

 

If so we are too!!! And I am certainly excited and counting down the days.

Come on over and chat with us on the roll call boards.

 

Ann

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