Updated: Apr 5
People who plan their blogs, pick a post name well before writing the post. I can't do that. But it always comes to me easily when I sit down to write. This post is the first in a series of four posts about our Long Journey to the bottom of the world and back. It was a beautiful Cruise adventure, full of Mother Nature and new detinations to explore in South America and beyond. It is a pictorial version of a two week Celebrity Cruises itinerary called "14 Night Antarctica" but it was so much more because we sailed away from Buenos Aires Argentina, and we didn't get to Antarctica until Day 7.
We flew on a Thursday afternoon - to be sure not to "miss the boat". Flight delays are so common these days and a "too tight" flight schedule could really ruin your trip. We did see people joining us with their bags at the first port of call Ushuaia on Day 5. We spent $8,454.94 (just under $300 per person, per day) on this fabulous cruise experience which was a Celebrity "All Included" [convenience link] fare booked in a "Distinctive Voyage" group for a price advantage and additional amenities.
As your cruise travel agent, we can do the same for you!
We were greeted in Argentina by a taxi driver who was sent to pick us up at the airport, by our Son in Law's Mother. We were spending the day and one night with Adri pre cruise. She is a lovely hostess who makes the best coffee I've ever had! Thank YOU Adri for your fine hospitality!
Adri took us for a walking tour of her neighborhood, which really felt good after our long flight. We saw beautiful homes along a street with HUGE trees! Throughout our time in Argentina I noticed that they often practice the design principal of repitition by planting all of the same variety of trees along streets and in parks for a very striking appearance once mature. They keep them neatly pruned and healthy - so we can conclude that nice trees are important to Argentina. If one dies they replant the same variety to fill in the void. I love it!
Around Adri's neighborhood we shot the pics above. We enjoyed the rest of our day touring along the Tigre' River. We started at a place where the River was so wide you could not see across it! We drove along the shore, through neighborhoods, and all the way into the area of Yaght Clubs and Marinas. We got out to view up close, a market and of course some more mesmerizing Architecture.
Built as a social club in 1912, the French - Italian Style structure facing the Lujan River looked like every penny it cost! While in need of some repairs the "Museo De Arte de Tigre" was open for business... but it would be closing soon and the weather was HOT HOT HOT so we pressed on with our lovely day in the air conditioned cab.
We returned to Adri's house where we showered and dressed for dinner. I really love the walkability of big cities.. Adri has a car but I don't think she needs it. Everything necessary we found on foot.
We wined and dined than slept like rocks. On Saturday, Adrian the cab driver, returned to transfer us to the ship.
After an efficient boarding process we sailed away on the Long Journey to Antiartica.
Our Journey began with three sea days. The ships crew works hard on these days to keep the guests busy. Here are the highlights.
Sunday the 12th - Of course we began our day being waited on for Breakfast in the main dining room. On this day we ate quickly, than hurried off to hear the ships Naturalist Celia Garland. We had heard that there was standing room only for her sea day talks in the theater. It is Celia's job to teach us all how to see the wildlife, enhanced by tips on how to photograph them as well.
No, we didn't actually get to see ALL of these. Because nature decides what you see and what you don't see. But Celia got us all motivated to stay busy watching! And we did see alot!
This day was peppered with fine dining, a bit of social drinking and disappointment that the weather wasn't nicer. It concluded with a show. Wendy Law and her cello Sabastian played for an energetic 30 minutes or so. See a little piece of her performance on our Instagram Profile. [convenience link]
Monday the 13th - was as you might guess, very similar.. More Celia Garland! She's the best:)
We are traveling virtually the same path with the Whales between their breeding ground and feeding ground. Do you think we saw any personally? Maybe - but not enough to be entirely sure.
Wondering what the weather was like?
We were seranaded by some acrobatic dancers in effort to attract viewers to their upcoming show.
And we did a little bit of "nothing" which is what you are supposed to do while on vacation, right?
Well - there must have been a show that night but I didn't photograph it.
Tuesday February 14th - Valentines Day! We schedule our cruises to be on the ship for Valentine's Day on purpose. Over the years we have learned that if you leave Illinois mid February, and return at the end of February, Spring is in the air! The LONG WINTER is OVER!
On this day Celia talked about Penguins to a standing room only crowd! You have to admit they are pretty cute!
This being the last of three initial Sea Days the holiday was nicely positioned in our trip. Across the Celebrity fleet of ships they celebrate Valentines Day by hosting a mass Vow Renewal Ceremony at Sea.
Sadly there was a "Galley Tour" at the same time so Rob couldn't attend..
See I told you there was plenty to do on the ship! We even had a conflict! Here is what the Vow Renewal Ceremony looked like - it was held at 11:00 am. in the main atrium.
The master of the ceremony, the ship captain, was at the top. The mass ceremony is free if you are on the ship on Valentine's Day. Rob and I did sign up so we got a certificate.
I'm sure we messed around, watched for whales and dolphins, hot tubbed, had three meals in the dining room and these cookies were to die for! But I only saw them offered ONCE! It is super nice to have a beverage package because it also includes the specialty coffees, which is where I found the daily gluten free treats. My girl at the Cafe would see me coming and prepare a double espresso with cream by the time I got to the counter! Crew is AMAZING like that.
This was the first "fancy night" in our two week cruise, so we got all dolled up for dinner.
Here is the menu to satisfy your curiosity.
A Tribute to Michael Buble' in the Theater.
This night it was time for bed as we would awaken to LAND in the morning!
We awakened in time to enjoy navigation of the Beagle Channel, which leads to the southern most city in the Americas.
We thought maybe we finally were seeing sea mammals... but a zoom yeilds a false alarm, just ROCKS.
All day the scenery just kept getting better and better.
We had booked a tour on our own (not through the ship).
So hung out on our balcony while the ship docked.
A good reason to book a balcony on these super scenic itineraries.
The process is that we wait onboard until the ship is cleared to disembark
Or maybe look out the other side of the ship while we wait some more.
Finally we are allowed to set foot on land (four days after our long journey began). We found our guide and were escorted to a van where we waited for guests of an Oceania Ship that was also in port, that were sharing our tour. Their ship did not have a spot at the dock - so they were tendering to shore one life boat load of people at a time. So we waited again, but out of the weather - in the van.
Here's the deal - we took four separate hikes in #TierraDelFuego #UNESCO site National Park - also known as #PATAGONIA I will try to organize them by hike - but I don't expect it will be easy. So just enjoy the beautiful, unique scenery. It rained on and off all day - so by the end we were soggy. But apparently well dressed because we weren't cold or wet. What a fabulous day!
Hike 1 - Along the shore of the Beagle Channel - included a bathroom break and the southern most Post Office!
Apparently Che was there..... I think all Argentinian men are good looking! Even if they weren't very nice. Che was a killer with a cause.. Google him to learn more. I decided he was really good looking back when we did an art show after traveling to Cuba...
I love how the plant mixture is different.
Since everything was wet it really enhanced the colors, didn't it?
They must get some brutal weather along the coast.
This is looking in to the forest standing on the coast of the Beagle Channel
That post office in the distance on the far right - for perspective.
My cute guy - standing in the rain!
Beautiful pallet of natural colors! I'm saving this for a design project!
Hike 2 - we almost missed the best view because it was behind us!
I'm glad I looked back!
We came to a vine forest.
Rain was on and off all day.
Just appreciating the foliage.
Fungus or Berries? Hmmm....
A family of Upland Geese. They really didn't seem to care much about us.
This signage marks the end of the Panamerican Highway. The longest highway in the world!
This shrub reminded me of a Barberry Bush minus the thornes.
This is a photo of "peace".
The ground was "mushy"
In fact I would say we walked through a swamp.
I think Hike 4 was a photo op stop! With good reason.... We were all tired by then anyway.
WOW just wow!
We enjoyed an un eventful ride back to the pier listening to the expertise of our guide.
I hope you enjoyed the first 5 days of our Cruise! Stay tuned for Parts 2 & 3! Antarctica, Falkland Islands, more Argentina and a day in Montevideo Uruguay.
Now is the perfect time to book something like this for yourself, next year - or even two years out. Cruising is for people who plan ahead. You don't have to plan much but you do have to pick something and go with it. I can never find a great deal for last minute shoppers! But if you made a $500 deposit on something like this today, then lets say you paid $400 a month for 20 months - it would be time to pack for your paid in full, all inclusive, 14 night Cruise Vacation! Just saying... Give us a call for more info - Where do you want to go? If there is water there, you can cruise to there.
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