This trip had always been on my bucket list. We flew to Buenos Aires and explored the city for two days. BA has been called the Paris of the South. It is a beautiful and elegant city. We were impressed by the Norwegian Sun's renovations. The ship looked beautiful, clean and brand new. Our first stop was beautiful Montevideo, Uruguay, a historical lovely city. Our second stop was Punta del Este, Uruguay, a beautiful resort destination. Then, we cruised to Puerto Madryn, Argentina, which was originally settled by the Welsh. We could have taken the Welsh city tour. However, we chose to take the Valdes Wildlife refuge tour instead. We saw amazing animals such as sea lions, elephant seals and Magellanian penguins. Our next stop was Stanley in the Falklands. That was also an amazing center for wildlife viewing. We walked with the penguins on Bertha's Beach which was one of our most amazing lifetime experiences. Stanley itself looks so very British and charming. We only stayed half a day in Stanley and had to leave a bit early due to a bad weather forecast. That's typical for the geographic area. In fact, a cruiser who had taken the same trip 14 times told us that many times, ships can't dock in certain ports in that area due to weather conditions. We were lucky, because we only had one rocky morning. Otherwise, the ship was as smooth as glass. The sail around Cape Horn brought back memories of history lessons at school. I remembered hearing about Magellan sailing around the Cape in the 16th century. I remembered reading James Michener's Hawaii and visualizing the trip around the Horn. Actually Cape Horn is just an island, but it was memorable. Our next stop was Ushuaia, the most Southern city in the world. It reminded me of ports in Alaska and is the gateway to the Beagle Channel. We went to the gorgeous Terra del Fuego National Park. However, with the wind chill factor, it was in the 30s with freezing rain. This was summer no less. We visited Punta Arenas, the most Southern port in Chile. Then, we sailed through the Chilean Fjords and the Straight of Magellan. Imagine being surrounded by snowy mountains and glaciers as you sail through the strait. We saw penguins and sea lions on a small island right in the middle of the Straight. The views were breathtaking. When we arrived in Puerto Montt, we saw Puerto Vayas, a city founded by the Germans. However, there was nothing very German about it. However, we went to the marvelous cowboy dancing and rodeo demonstration followed by a wonderful late lunch of unlimited grilled meat, fruit and vegetables. Sadly, our cruise ended in San Antonio, Chile. It was a wonderful experience.
The ship itself was newly outfitted and gorgeous. The food was for the most part decent. However, we ordered steak in the dining room, and it was tough. The steak at Cagney's Steak House however, was delicious. The 11th floor was almost always crowded, especially on tour days. One maître' D told me that was nothing. "You should see the buffet crowds on the bigger ships," he joked. The one thing I didn't like was the price of the tours, but the tour package was a bargain. Even company tours outside of Norwegian had expensive tours. Prepare to shell out about $150 per person for most tours, onboard ship or off. Some may be less, but they are far and few between for what I could tell. We also heard that not many captains like to take this route, because it is treacherous, but Captain Teo did an amazing job.
We got an upgrade to a balcony cabin from our initial window cabin. We enjoyed our although it was too cold in many ports to sit outside. Everything was clean. The cabin was just the right size for two. The couch and bed were comfortable. We had an excellent view for the gorgeous scenery. Because the Sun was upgraded a few months ago, everything was new. We thought the cabin was excellent.
Punta del Este looks a bit like Miami at first, but it is very different. It has beautiful beaches, shops, and cafes. The beaches were very crowded, and the weather was pleasantly warm. We enjoyed a nice pizza lunch and walked around the area. We took a ship's tour and were very pleased.