Katz & Dawgs Unlimited

Our Cruise to Patagonia
(January 25 to February 7, 1998)

 Our Penguin Trip!
(For lots more penguins, see Magellanic penguins.)
 Map of the Patagonian region of South America
For a more detailed map of South America, download this PDF file (Requires Adobe Acrobat. Warning: this is a huge file, 984KB).

After two weeks of cruising aboard the M.V. Royal Princess from Montevideo, Uruguay, to Valparaiso, Chile via Cape Horn, we’re putting a travelogue of our trip on-line. The following is the day-by-day itinerary of the trip:  pictures are available at the italicized areas.

  1. January 23: Leave from Kansas City for Buenos Aires, Argentina, by Delta Air Lines. Things go perfectly till we get to Atlanta, and find that our Delta flight from Atlanta to Miami will be delayed so long that we will miss our Aerolineas Argentinas flight to Buenos Aires. After a very frustrating 24 hours in Miami, we finally get onto the January 24 Aerolineas overnight flight from Miami at 11 PM, arriving in Buenos Aires on the next morning.

  2. January 25: Arrive in South America at Buenos Aires, and transfer to the flight to Montevideo, and then get to haul our baggage at the Montevideo airport from the baggage claims to Customs, where they want to inspect every bag! Then onto Princess Cruise's bus, then our own private tour of Montevideo (from the airport to the port) to the Royal Princess: she's a beautiful boat.

    We finally get on board the Royal Princess one hour before she sailed from Montevideo in mid-afternoon. We've written a detailed letter to both Delta and Princess about the problems we encountered. Wonder if they'll do anything besides send us a polite reply: "Thank you for your..."?

    That evening, we got to watch the Super Bowl (Denver won, in case you weren't aware).

  3. January 26: At sea. Captain's Welcome Aboard Party (delayed one night due to the Super Bowl taking priority in some people's minds).

  4. January 27: Puerto Madryn, Argentina. Disembark, take tour bus to see sea lions, then on to tea at a Welsh town (at least that's what the tour brochure said; all the signs we saw were in Spanish).

  5. January 28: At sea. Saw "The Lost World" at the on-board movie theater.

  6. January 29: Falkland Islands. Walked about Port Stanley (which doesn't take long). Snowed, rained, and sunny: all in the space of a few hours: we were told this is typical.

  7. January 30: At sea.

    Quoting the Log of the Cruise: "Throughout the night, and during the day reductions in speed were necessary due to the inclement weather. SW'ly winds of gale force 8-9, were the norm, with winds gusting to storm force 10 (50 knots), giving rise to very rough sea conditions. The skies remained overcast, with an air temperature of 7c/45f." British understatement; here, here!

    Despite the weather, the show must go on: there were production numbers, or comedians, or other entertainment, every night at the International Lounge on the Royal Princess.

  8. January 31: Ushuaia, Argentina: (Pronounced either USH-eee-why-ah or ush-eee-WHY-ah; nobody seems to know which). The furthest-south city in the world. Rode the furthest-south railroad in the world, the Fueguan Railway (it's a tourist train in a National Park).

    Saw (and photographed) a rainbow.

  9. February 1: Cape Horn. We went east out the Beagle Channel then south and westerly to see Cape Horn, into the Pacific Ocean, then circled back east past the Cape again, then north then east into the Beagle Channel again, past Ushuaia, then north up the Magellan Strait to Punta Arenas, Chile.

  10. February 2: Punta Arenas. Took the Penguin tour. Saw thousands of Magellanic penguins, lots of rheas, a few grey foxes, and zillions of sheep. Then a tour of the city.

  11. February 3: At sea: actually, in the Chilean fiords, as the Captain took us up the inner passage to avoid more swells from the recent storms. Sunny skies, and no wind. Fantastic views of the glaciers, Chilean fiords, and not much else.

    Saw the on-board movie, "Air Force One," complete with movement of the boat that more-or-less matched the yawing and pitching of the airplane in the movie: it's an interesting effect, but I wouldn't recommend it for people with sensitive stomachs.

  12. February 4: Chacabuco, Chile. Two hundred people, and more gorgeous scenery. Side trip to Aisen.

  13. February 5: Puerto Montt, Chile. Not much to see, although there are a lot of wood chips piled up at the pier area for exporting.

  14. February 6: At sea. Packing our bags, and relaxing on the first warm sunny day in a long while.

  15. February 7: Leave the Royal Princess at Valparaiso, Chile; take the bus to Santiago, and spend the day touring Santiago. Didn't realize how much smog there was in Santiago: difficult to find a view of the city skyline that wasn't totally hazy.

    Then, in late evening, to the airport for our flight home.

  16. February 8: Fly home from Santiago. Collapse.
(For those of you with access to Princess Cruises brochures, our trip is listed on pages 16 and 17 of the 1997-98 "Exotic Adventures" brochure: It's called the "Route of the Ancient Mariners" (Cape Horn/Strait of Magellan) cruise. We traveled on Delta Air Lines to get to Miami, Aerolineas Argentinas to Uruguay, and American Airlines from Santiago Chile, to home. Many of the tours we took off the boat were at additional cost. Everything on the boat was at no additional charge, except drinks, the casino, and the on-board shops.

And if you're wondering where Patagonia is: it's the term used to describe the southern part of South America.)

Return to Page One of 
pawprint Katz & Dawgs Unlimited

. . . as of February 8, 1998.
New map added December 26, 2000.