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Punta Arenas/Ushuaia

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Punta Arenas/Ushuaia

We have had a busy week so have not had much time to sit down and prepare an entry for our curious followers.
We boarded the Star Princess on Tuesday December 8th and had three days at sea. We had loads of fun checking out the daily entertainment – trivia, wine sampling, comedy acts, gym and the lotus spa. We have really enjoyed the luxury of the spa – sauna, aromatherapy steam baths, hot stone beds and whirlpools. But most of all our balconies have been fabulous to watch the seas. The weather has been great considering it could be high winds and rough seas.
December 12 we arrived at Punta Arenas and had scheduled the Magellan Island excursion. This is a two hour ferry ride to an island that houses 150,000 Magellan penguins. We were SO excited to have a great morning and saw thousands of penguins. This is by far the best excursion to take at Punta Arenas. Otway Sound is another excursion but there are only 300 penguins, so the viewing isn’t as good. Check out the photos to see our penguins. We will try and upload some video because that is the best coverage. We walked along a roped walkway, but it was in the middle of their route to the ocean to shower. When we arrived, it was their “shower time” so penguins were trying to cross the road. However, alot of passengers did NOT GET it and tried to rush the penguins as they got close. Darwin and I had a riot watching them.
The town of Punta Arenas is quaint but nothing over the top. Shopping was minimal.
The next day December 13 we arrived in Ushuaia ( pronounced Ooo-sway-a). This is the southern most city in the world. We went to a post office at the end of the world. This is a BEAUTIFUL City and well worth visiting. We could easily spend three days here. What was interesting is the weather does not fluctuate much – temperatures range from 1-19 degrees. They do not get the severe cold that we see in Canada. On average, Ushuaia gets 20 days over 15 degrees and we had one of them. What a spectacular afternoon. We were dressed for cold, windy weather but had a sunny spectacular day. Our excursion was a train to the end of the world (beside the Pan America Highway) and then a visit to the Ensenada Bay (little bay). This excursion was $120 but not worth it. When we arrived back at the port, we talked to a taxi driver and were informed we could have taken a taxi for $30 and done the same tour (minus the train ride which was only 7 km long). So lesson learned. We bought some great penguins here and enjoyed cocktails in the town. This was a great day.
Today (December 14) we are at sea. We rounded Cape Horn at 8:50 this morning and are now heading north to Falkland Islands. The Cape was a great experience. Our suites are on the port side of the ship (thanks to Kim) so the four of us watched the cape from our rooms. As we passed the Albatross monument at the cape, we had cocktails this morning and made a toast to Neptune, all sailors who have passed away attempting to circle the Cape and to the Albatross. Legend has it that sailors souls live in the albatross, so it’s unlucky to kill an albatross. As new mariners, Darwin and I definitely enjoyed this morning. We have spent the rest of the day relaxing as tomorrow we have two excursions to see Rockhopper and King Penguins (if we make it to the Falklands. 60% of ships do not get into port due to the weather).
I think that’s it for now. It’s 5:30, so off to cocktail hour.

We have had a busy week so have not had much time to sit down and prepare an entry for our curious followers.
We boarded the Star Princess on Tuesday December 8th and had three days at sea. We had loads of fun checking out the daily entertainment – trivia, wine sampling, comedy acts, gym and the lotus spa. We have really enjoyed the luxury of the spa – sauna, aromatherapy steam baths, hot stone beds and whirlpools. But most of all our balconies have been fabulous to watch the seas. The weather has been great considering it could be high winds and rough seas.
December 12 we arrived at Punta Arenas and had scheduled the Magellan Island excursion. This is a two hour ferry ride to an island that houses 150,000 Magellan penguins. We were SO excited to have a great morning and saw thousands of penguins. This is by far the best excursion to take at Punta Arenas. Otway Sound is another excursion but there are only 300 penguins, so the viewing isn’t as good. Check out the photos to see our penguins. We will try and upload some video because that is the best coverage. We walked along a roped walkway, but it was in the middle of their route to the ocean to shower. When we arrived, it was their “shower time” so penguins were trying to cross the road. However, alot of passengers did NOT GET it and tried to rush the penguins as they got close. Darwin and I had a riot watching them.
The town of Punta Arenas is quaint but nothing over the top. Shopping was minimal.
The next day December 13 we arrived in Ushuaia ( pronounced Ooo-sway-a). This is the southern most city in the world. We went to a post office at the end of the world. This is a BEAUTIFUL City and well worth visiting. We could easily spend three days here. What was interesting is the weather does not fluctuate much – temperatures range from 1-19 degrees. They do not get the severe cold that we see in Canada. On average, Ushuaia gets 20 days over 15 degrees and we had one of them. What a spectacular afternoon. We were dressed for cold, windy weather but had a sunny spectacular day. Our excursion was a train to the end of the world (beside the Pan America Highway) and then a visit to the Ensenada Bay (little bay). This excursion was $120 but not worth it. When we arrived back at the port, we talked to a taxi driver and were informed we could have taken a taxi for $30 and done the same tour (minus the train ride which was only 7 km long). So lesson learned. We bought some great penguins here and enjoyed cocktails in the town. This was a great day.
Today (December 14) we are at sea. We rounded Cape Horn at 8:50 this morning and are now heading north to Falkland Islands. The Cape was a great experience. Our suites are on the port side of the ship (thanks to Kim) so the four of us watched the cape from our rooms. As we passed the Albatross monument at the cape, we had cocktails this morning and made a toast to Neptune, all sailors who have passed away attempting to circle the Cape and to the Albatross. Legend has it that sailors souls live in the albatross, so it’s unlucky to kill an albatross. As new mariners, Darwin and I definitely enjoyed this morning. We have spent the rest of the day relaxing as tomorrow we have two excursions to see Rockhopper and King Penguins (if we make it to the Falklands. 60% of ships do not get into port due to the weather).
I think that’s it for now. It’s 5:30, so off to cocktail hour.

Posted by winmouse 12:33 Archived in Argentina

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Comments

Beautiful! Love the photos!

by Monica

You bought penguins? I can understand how they'll enjoy living in Calgary at this time of year but what are you going to do with them in the summer? :)

...Dale

Have you ever heard of bar-b-que. Down here it is calledof Penguin Fritas -yumyum. Kevin will get this joke. We bought a colony of mineral penguins these are the inert ones made of the local rocks on the area.

by Dale Dietrich

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