I’ve written about this previously but was requested to write about it again for a reader and others who shown interest in this cruise.
In the past, I have put groups together for cruising, whether ocean or river cruising because as a member of a group, you get special amenities, special rates and sometimes both! I’ve done it again and arranged special group perks for this next cruise. We have booked a 14 night cruise on Princess cruise line’s Emerald Princess sailing February 14th, 2018 sailing around the southern coast of South Africa from west to east.. Sounds like an amazing gift for your Valentine. We already have 18 in our group and with a group we got special amenities from this cruise line.
Our cruise departs from Valparaiso, Chile but prior to our cruise Blogger Hubby and I will spend a few days in Santiago and then we will be transported, via a few stops at some Chilean wineries, to Valparaiso along the Pacific coast. We already have some tours set up in both cities that you are welcome to join.
Once on board the ship, we can take full advantage of all that the Emerald Princess offers us like the movie screen over the swimming pool so we could watch movies sitting along the pool deck under the southern stars including the Southern Cross. The next day we will be among a small minority of people in the world that will get to see part of the solar eclipse that will be occurring over Antarctica.
In three ports, Ushuaia, Puerto Montt and the Falkland Island I have worked with several tour operators for small group tours (an additional cost but less expensive than what the cruise line charges). Rounding the Cape of Good Hope we will sail through the famed waters that Magellan sailed through. A stop that I am looking forward to is the Falkland Islands where I have hired Patrick Watts to take us in 4 x 4 vehicles to Volunteer Point to see Magellanic penguins, gentoo penguins and a 150 pairs of breeding Emperor penguins.
Ushuaia, another port that I am looking forward to, is at the end of the world, as the locals say. In Ushuaia you have an opportunity to book seats on a boat to go out into the Beagle Channel to view wildlife or go to their National Park or just walk around the end of the world.
Some of the amazing other ports that we will be going to include Punto Arenas, Puerto Madryn, you will cruise Amalia Glacier, spend a day in Montevideo and have an overnight on the ship in Buenos Aires.
One thing that I learned when researching this cruise was that Chile has more glaciers than all of Scandinavia. I just can’t imagine that.
I’ve been on many different cruises. The Eastern Med cruise transported me back into the ancient history class that I took in high school and I loved seeing all the buildings and structures that I had read about or saw pictures of in books or movies. I’ve done the Panama Canal cruise twice and I am always amazed at the engineering skill it took to build the canal over a hundred years ago as I look over seeing the new canal being built. Our Australia to New Zealand cruise was a wonderful adventure and remains a favorite of ours because it was different – a combination of a few cities but mainly it was scenic and this cruise to South America reminds me of that. The only two large cities that we will be cruising to are Montevideo and Buenos Aires. We will be in smaller cities and cruising along beautiful landscapes like Amalia Glacier.
You can be part of our group as much or as little as you want but being in our group, at least in name, will give you extra perks. This cruise does not include airfare but you can purchase it with your cruise from Princess Cruise Line. If you are involved in the point game like I am, and I assume you are since you are reading this blog, please know that I just booked our flight down using AA points on LATAM airline, the national airline of Chile. It is too soon to book award tickets for the return.
Speaking of the return, we are strongly flying from Buenos Aires to Iguazu, Argentina to see the magnificent waterfalls there that straddle Brazil and Argentina. Iguazu Falls is the largest system in the world. If you go to Brazil, you would need to pay for a visa approximately $160 USD. There is, at this writing, no visa needed for US citizens to go into Argentina, Chile and Uruguay. I’ve read numerous articles on visiting the Falls and the consensus is that you should see if from both sides. One article suggested it was like Niagara Falls – Horseshoe Falls is on the US side but can be viewed best from the Canadian side. Our plan is to spend one night on the Argentinian side and the second night on the Brazilian side. From there we fly home via Lima, Peru. All toll for us, this vacation will be about 3 1/2 weeks long. I’m not sure if we ever get back down to this area of South America again so I want to see as much as I can.
We have come to enjoy traveling with others, whether old friends or newly made ones. It’s nice to walk into a large room, pool deck or even Bingo on board and find a familiar face to sit down next to, someone w can ask questions of, compare daily experiences or sit and have dinner or a drink with.
Consider this cruise and if interested, leave a comment and I’ll get back to you. I’ll give you the name of the travel agent who is in charge of our group block – you must book with our travel agent to be part of our group in order to get the extra amenities and pricing.