My husband and I are now counting the days when we leave for our Mercury Valparaiso to Buenos Aires cruise on 1/20. Anyone else there who will be on this ship? I posted this once more than a month ago and got a couple of responses. Surely there are more of you. We would like to find someone possibly with whom we can share tour costs instead of using Celebrity's expensive ones. Also, can someone tell me which port is the best to see the penguins? Celebrity tour or otherwise? Thanks!
I am going on that same cruise with a girl friend (we may have 'talked' already). I have an offer from a recommended excursion director in Puerto Montt called Eureka Tourismo. The following is his EMail to me, although it is now almost 3 weeks old, and we haven't yet acted on it, because he wants a commitment of 5-10 people, and we are just two. If we can get enough people together, and it is not too late, we could use this agency (a HAL passenger who just did a similar itinerary recommended this company).
Here is the text of his EMail to me:
We only can help you here in Puerto Montt area.
I can arrange a car or a van with driver for this day.
The problem here in Puerto Montt is, that when arrive a big ship with about
pax., we do not have enough English speaking guide with car for attend them.
The excursion you can do is to PETROHUE RIVER FALLS.
We start in the morning visiting Puerto Montt ( have a little city tour ),
and keep driving 12 more miles, to Puerto Varas ( city of the roses ).
After we stop in this beautifull city we will take you along the shores of
Llanquihue lake to Ensenada. On the way you can have a beautiful view of
volcanos Osorno and Calbuco. We continue to the waterfall of the Petrohué
river. At this point you´ll walk for a while to visit the waterfalls and get
the best views of the tour with the volcano Osorno at the background.
Pier Petrohué is just 10 minutes away from here, located on Todos los Santos
From Petrohué we come back to Ensenada for, if you want, have lunch time.
From Ensenada we return to Puerto Varas and go to visit the beautifull city
of Frutillar, one of the first places of the German colonization.
Finnaly we return to Puerto Montt in the afternoon.
You will recognize my English speaking guide in the harbor because he will
have the sign with your name.
The price of this excursion ( without lunch ), in a van for 10 people with
guide is u$s 500.- ( It is the same price for 5 ´till 10 people ).
The same excursion in a car, for 3 - 4 pax, is u$s 400.-
I can book this excursion by a payment of the 50% of this service.
You can do it with your Credit Card .
If you understand this is OK, I will send an Authorization for Payment with
Credit Card, you full and signe it, and send to me again by fax at the Nº
56 - 65 - 255 146 with a photocopy of your passport.
l suggest you to book this excursion as soon as be possible because the
guides and the transport companys are already booking services for the all
I also can offer you a tour to visit the Magellanic Penguin of the Chiloé
( But may be this tour cut be to much for your recoverning situation )
Here I give you the description of this tour;
The English speaking guide will wait and pick up you ( at 08.00 hs AM ) in
the main entrance of the harbor when you arrive, and will have a sign with
From Puerto Montt we go to the 5 route to the Chiloe Island and cross the
channel from Pargua to Chacao.
We will drive through the chilote farms, in the way to the west coast. Here
is located the only place in the world where live together the Magallanic
and Humboldt penguins. We will do a soft hiking in one of the most beautiful
beach of the area; Mar Brava. This long beach is known for it´s soft waves,
many birds and lonely ness.
The tour includes City tour of Ancud, lunch and visit to Pinguinera and
Ostras Caulín, with an English speaking guide
We will take the rigth time to return and be at about 04.00 hs PM again in
the harbor of Puerto Montt
The price of this tour is u$s 400 for 4 people ( this tour is for a minimun
of 4 pax )
From Jeannie, again:
Also, we have contacted someone for Ushuaia, but have not yet received her proposal. She stated, however, (and I have heard from others on this board) that Puerto Madryn is THE place to see the penguins, although is is possible to see them on the Falklands, too, but there is a scarcity of tour companies available there. I think we will reserve the Puerto Madryn penguin tour through the ship, as it is a long drive from the port.
Hope this helps. Look forward to your future posts....
Hi -- do you all speak spanish? Have you done these excursions before? Because we don't speak the language, we're reluctant to go on our own, having never been to these countries. But if you feel comfortable wi/ it, we're game. We're supposed to book these excursions 10 days prior. We're arriving Jan 17 - Santiago, then Villa del Mar before cruise. Happy New Year!
Jeannie and Bob/Sharon: If all 6 of us would sign on, maybe we could do the Peurto Montt Petrohue Falls tour in the van for $500. That's less than $100/person and would be better than being in a bus tour group all day. What do you think? Jeannie, you have contacted the local tour group? Carol
I will EMail them tonight, and let them know that we will likely have 6 people interested. They will ultimately require a credit card confirmation, so it would be helpful if you would each EMail me or post here to confirm your interest.
OK, I just EMail them, and should hear back from them tomorrow. Hopefully, they still have availablity with an English speaking tour guide. Again, I have never done business with Eureka Turismo, but they were recommended on a cruise message board from a recent HAL passenger.
If we can find one or two other couples on the ship who are also interested, it would bring our per person cost down accordingly. So, again, if you are interested in this tour, please EMail me or post a reply on this message board. I will lock this in with a credit card as soon as we have at least 6 of us going. By the way, the cost for a similar trip with the cruise line is almost $100 per person, and, as I am not a "big bus" fan, a smaller group certainly appeals to me!
Hope to hear from you soon, and I'll let you know as soon as I hear back from Eureka Turismo.
Jeannie, sounds like a plan. I have some info from KLD so if you will send me your e-mail address, I'll forward it to you. Your post came to my email but I couldn't reply that way to you. They got a sedan thru Eureka for $360 for 3-4 people in Puerto Montt. I e-mailed "bob and sharon" but haven't heard from them yet. Let me know when you hear. You can e-mail me directly if desire. My e-mail shows on the board. Carol Are you with a friend or hubby?
I haven't received any confirmations from anyone but you, so that makes 4 of us, but we should have at least 6 for the van. Eureka Turismo did get back with me this morning, and we can still have a van holding 5-10 people with an English speaking guide for $500. So now I am just waiting for at least two more to contact me, either through this forum or via my EMail. (By the way, I'm never sure when I reply to a post whether I'm replying to an EMail address, or to the actual message board).
I will be with a girlfriend...our husbands are staying home to work!