Sailing from Buenos Aries Dec.23rd. on Royale. Any tips for Montevideo, Ushuais, Puerto Madryn, Port Stanley, Punta Arenas , Puert Montt, ?
A day in Valparaiso or spend it in Santago as the last stop
Is warm clothing needed for this time of yesr (Dec.-Jan.) ?
One of the most dynamite shore excursions ever is in this part of the world if you're willing to pay the very expensive (over $1000) price for it. I believe it leaves from Ushaia. It's flightseeing over Antarctica! I would take both warm weather and cold weather clothes. Although it's summer in the Southern hemisphere, you will be passing many glaciers and whenever you're in the ice you need warm clothes. You will love this cruise. I was supposed to be going over the holidays but my cruise companion died. The scenery is supposed to be some of the most beautiful in the world. Puerto Montt was settled by Bavarians and is very German in it's looks. Also it is a beautiful resort. From Valparaiso, why not go to Vina del Mar, Chile's main resort and not at all far from either Santiago or Valparaiso. Royal Princess ( is this your ship?) is a gem, at 40,000 she's just the right size. All cabins are outside with full bath facilities. She was the first ship to feature large amounts of verandah cabins. I sailed her second cruise, a Mexican Riviera Christmas cruise in 1985. She was radical for her time and she still is amazing.
Yes, take the warmest clothing you own!!! Gortex, waterproof, gloves, hat - everything! Santiago and Buenos Aries can be hot - I wore shorts both places. Also my husband and I are in our 30s and were the youngest on board - people tend to dress quite nice for the formal nights. It is more formal than the other Princess ships that are in the Caribbean etc. Even though you are out in the middle of nowhere you can still hire a taxi to take you to see penguins and have personalized tours. Also if you do the hike in Ushuais take tons of mosquito lotion I swear I have never hiked through such giant black clouds of mosquitos in my life!! Almost our whole group returned to the bus because the bugs were sooooo bad - we had to keep our heads down and our hands moving in front of our face so we didn't see much although we paid a lot for the hike and finished it. People went back to there rooms and took off their jackets and out flew more mosquitos. I own a cruise agency and have sailed a lot on Princess but I have never been this cold in my life. We spent a lot of time going through icebergs and viewing glaciers. Everyone stands at the front and you could only be out a couple minutes at a time to take a picture then retreat behind the glass walls. We sailed around Cape Horn and it was windy and rainy then clear 10 minutes later. It is very very rough even on a good day like we had - if you get seasick at all take precautions. I bought sea bands on the ship but take them with you. The ship before us had waves crash through the glass doors and flood the gift shop etc. and they had to turn back. Santiago is much nicer than Valparaiso - spend your time in Santiago. It's a great city while Valparaiso is kind of a dumpy port town. We took the pre cruise package for 3 nights in Santiago and a few nights in Buenos Aires - expensive but worth it as these were the most interesting cities. Except for the Falklands there is not much out in these places except penguins. Make sure you are in good shape for hiking to the penguins - a man DIED on our shore tour and it was out in the middle of nowhere - he had a heart attack and it took 3 hours for an ambulance to come get him. The guides did not even have radios so we had to run and relay messages. We hired a taxi the next day and they took us right up to the penguins with no hiking required at all. Also the Antarctica flight is nice but you have to pay the big bucks in advance and there is NO guarantee that you will fly over Antarctica. You will stress out until the day you go because of the wild weather conditions and there are no refunds - if you really want to see Antarctica you can take a whole cruise there for about the same price as the Princess shore tour. If the weather is bad they will fly you around somewhere else. It will be an experience for you - it was one of my most memorable cruises!
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