WARNING: This post has many photos of Cape Horn and cruising the fjords of Chile.
When I began researching the trip I had read somewhere that there are more glaciers in Chile than all of Scandinavia. I haven’t been to Glacier National Park yet to see those glaciers but have been on an Alaskan cruise and saw my first glacier there. Here was an opportunity to see glaciers again – while there are still some on this planet of ours.
As like other important “must see” events on cruises, this occurred before breakfast with the sun barely risen over the Andes Mountains. We dressed warmly and headed outside to view the glaciers. Hats and mittens kept us warm with mugs of steaming coffee or tea. On my Alaskan cruise we were met outside with Irish coffee but that was not the case on this ship. Although you could see the glaciers from your balcony, you just didn’t experience the sense of seeing them all around you – just the forward view and a little to the side. We HAD to go outside to experience them. The local lecturer, Julio, was on the speaker though it was a little difficult to hear as the speakers, in my opinion, were not strong enough to carry along the top open air decks. Additionally he spoke in English and then also in Spanish. I didn’t know when to make sure I was listening to him. In my opinion, it would have been better to have two speakers with distinctive voices so you knew who and which language you were listening to.
With the sun not quite out and the tall, grey stone mountains blocking them made it difficult to get good pictures. Eventually it cleared but for the most part we were past the glaciers.
Some people missed the opportunity to see Amalia Glacier and the other glaciers because they didn’t read the Princess Patter (the daily calendar of activities) and know what time we would be passing by. Make sure you read your daily activities newsletter!
CAPE HORN – To begin with, we never cruised around the island which was a disappointment for me. Supposedly it was rough on the other side though the waters we were in, in my opinion, was not very rough. I have been in rougher waters – the west side of New Zealand as winds came whipping up from Antarctica. I also took a cruise in the fall where we going up to New England and hit the remnants of Hurricane Jose on the way up and the remnants of Hurricane Maria on the way back. I had heard that only one cruise went around the island and that is when this captain was not on the ship.
During one of the onboard lectures were we shown photographs of Cape Horn with the military building on it and the well known sculpture of an albatross which is a memorial to all sailors who were lost at sea in the Cape Horn area. If you bring your binoculars like we did or have a strong zoom lens on your camera you will be able to see it. On Cape Horn is the lighthouse warning ships about the rocky islands as well as a station of the Chilean Navy. Living in the lighthouse is lonesome and if I remember correctly they rotate about every 6 months with new lighthouse keepers. Some small expedition ships will launch zodiacs and get you to Cape Horn, climbing up the many, many steps to the top and down the boardwalk to the albatross memorial. Not sure if I would want to do that though obviously they wouldn’t go in bad weather.
Many of the Cape Horn photos are courtesy of Lea Ann Sugg