All the way to ‘glorious’ Antarctica

Mar 2nd, 2020 | By | Category: Adventures

What a way to start off the decade!

A small group of seniors made the trek to Antarctica in January. I was unable to travel with them, but I would like to share their stories with you. I have spoken with each and found out some of the things they discovered. But, let’s start at the beginning, and I will try to show it to you through their eyes.

It was a long flight out of Seattle to Santiago, but a private transfer was arranged to the beautiful Sheraton Hotel. Not many took advantage of touring the city, but all mentioned how great the food and the service were.

After getting a most needed night’s sleep, they were ready to take their private transfer to the Coral Princess docked in San Antonio. Passengers and bags were loaded into the bus and the driver/guide was introduced. The only problem was that he didn’t speak English. As luck would have it, Cheri Wilson spoke Portuguese and was able to make sense of what was being said and became the group “tour guide.” A delightful stop was made at a beautiful winery en route and they arrived in San Antonio to find out that the ship could not sail that night due to impending weather. The ship was beautiful and everyone was comfortable.

The first port of call was to be Punta Areanas, but once again the weather got in the way and the ship sailed on to Puerto Montt. This port is the gateway to the Andes Mountains and the Patagorian fjords. I remember it, from my previous cruise to this area, for the wonderful city square with an early 19th century cathedral.

Ushusia, Argentina is as far south as you can go and the very end of what we know as I-5. This is a great little town for walking around at the End of the World. Dick and Sharon Wolfe were even able to fulfill their quest for seeing every Hard Rock Cafe, as there was one in Ushusia. The winds came up in the afternoon, giving thought to the trip the next day around Cape  Horn.  Thoughts of pirate ships and massive seas gave way to calm waters as they went around the horn at Tierra del Fuego.

And then on to Antarctica for a couple of days of amazing slow cruising. Penguins were lazing on ice flows or darting about the ship. Whales were in evidence. Everywhere they looked were gigantic icebergs floating along and miles of glacial ice. The seas were calm and, though cold, many hours were spent on deck watching this glorious part of our world.

In the Falkland Islands, some signed up for the penguin lagoon tour. The 4x4s that took them there gave quite a ride, but they were able to see many Kings and Gentoo penguins and allowed to walk right up next to them.

Montevideo, Uruguay seems to have been a real highlight of the trip. The weather was beautiful and the city was easy to walk in. Several went to the La Rabida Estancia, where they experienced gaucho life on a 2,470-acre ranch. A barbecue was shared and guides transported them via a caravan of horse-drawn carriages, tractor and trucks with trailers and bales of straw for seating around the ranch. There was gaucho music and dancing. They even had an opportunity to try a hand at milking the cows.

Too soon, the ship was docking in Buenos Aires and everyone was transferred to the Sofitel Hotel. Again, the weather was very warm, so not a lot of walking took place (the Hard Rock was found).  Several, however, did take part in an evening tour which included dinner and the famous tango dancers.

Now it is your turn to make plans for this decade. We have some space with Viking River Cruises sailing out of Amsterdam on June 19 on a Grand European Tour for 15 days, ending in Budapest. In July, we have a seven-day Alaska cruise round-trip out of Seattle, so no need for flying. There is a lady looking for a roommate if you need someone to share with. The British Isles are also calling in July with a 12-night cruise out of Southampton. 

Early planning is required for the Mediterranean and Holy Lands Cruise Nov. 8-22, 2021. We have a nice group developing already and would love to have you join us. Cruise out of Rome to Katakalon, Athens, Kuadasi, Jerusalem, Galilee, Limassol, Rhodes, Mykonos and Valetta. Book now and hold space to dream about.

For further information and reservations, contact Linda Finch at 253-927-8207 or linda.finch@gmail.com.

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