Friday, December 13, 2013

Our Trip On The High Seas To The End Of The World and Back

We boarded Holland America's MS Zaandam on a very hot Argentine day in Buenos Aires.  We knew that the good weather wouldn't last long as our 13 night cruise would take us past Cape Horn into Ushuaia and just a hop, skip and a jump away from Antarctica.  The expected sights and highlights of this voyage were Montevideo, Uruguay; Puerto Madryn, Argentina; the straits of Magellan; Punta Arenas, Chile; Cockburn Channel; Beagle Channel; Glacier Alley; Chilean Fjords; Puerto Montt, Chile and Valparaiso, Chile.  Aside from these ports we were also expecting multiple days at sea, and looking forward to some pampering, delicious meals and nightly entertainment.

Before this cruise Amy and I had gone on a few other cruises, but never really considered ourselves to be the cruising type.  Now, after having experienced the Holland American warm hospitality, excellent service and delicious dining we cannot wait for our next one.   Although the ports of call were not the best/most exciting we thoroughly enjoyed the cruise line and the top notch experience they provided us.

Our room, view 2
Our room, view 1
Bienvenidos to our first port of call Montevideo, Uruguay
Amy on the streets of Montevideo
Saying goodbye to Montevideo
Our first of many great shows onboard; Argentine tango show
Took a cooking class onboard where we learned how to make lobster cakes, chocolate guacamole and seafood ceviche
Waiting to taste our creations.  Like our complementary apron?
Puerto Madryn, Argentina and the ship in the distance.
Playing bath robe bingo.  Mike won $98 the first round and $28 another game.  We were happy because it paid for our drink tab.
Our day at sea.  There finally was a chill in the air as we ventured further south.
Our first formal night.  While walking to dinner, right outside this window we saw black and white, patagonian dolphins playing in the wake of the ship.  
Pancho and girlfriend after a dip in the Atlantic running away from the crazy tourists drawing nearer.
The wind was howling and the temperature was dipping.
Just hanging out
Punta Arenas, Chile reminded us of Alaska
Downtown Punta Arenas with the trees all in blum.  It was a nice cold summer's day.
We had two days at sea while cruising the Beagle Channel and the Straits of Magellan.
Enjoying the awesome surrounding landscape.
Sunset from the lido deck.
Amy insisted on hanging out on the deck in the cold while enjoying the glaciers passing by.
One of many glaciers we saw along the way.
I cannot remember where we were here, but shows just how beautiful the sights were.
Another glacier with a waterfall.
At the end of the world now.  Pulling into Ushuaia, Argentina.
Tierra Del Fuego National Park
Our welcoming committee was a pack of fox cubs.
Selfie from Tierra Del Fuego
Our wind blown faces from the other day with the penguins.  One of the Argentines commented on Amy's nose and how appropriate the red was for the holiday season.  
We spent the day hiking around the park and taking in the views.
Curious looking birds with long beaks
Amy had four layers on and was happy to be shedding one after heating up from our hike.
Came 5 feet away from this little guy.
Bye bye Tierra Del Fuego
Some more curious looking chickens (maybe geese)
Ushuaia, Argentina was our favorite port
A view of Cape Horn from our room.  Rough waters and very cold.
The southernmost town with the jaw-like mountain range behind it.
Sunken ship.  One of many we saw along the straits.
Amy and one of the glaciers in glacier alley in Chile.
Sam, my Indonesian language teacher and our wonderful room steward.
Eating lunch after getting off the ship at our last port in Valparaiso, Chile.
Downtown Valparaiso, Chile
On the balcony of our bed and breakfast.
Right next to our bed and breakfast was a funicular.  Unfortunately, the workers have been on a two year long strike.