Cape Horn Ohoy! – South American Trip 2020.

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Tula Salmela

Our exciting trip started at Pointe Overlook on February 5, 2020. Our group, led by Seppo, headed to the Miami International Airport for an overnight flight to Santiago, Chile.   From Santiago, we traveled to the cruise port in San Antonio, Chile, and boarded the Coral Princess for our cruise around Cape Horn.

February 7th was a day at sea and the first formal evening. Seppo hosted a lovely cocktail party for our group.  The ship arrived in Puerto Montt, Chile, early the next morning.  A trip to Puerto Varas, a village settled by German immigrants in the 1800 hundreds, Petrohue River and waterfalls, and Osorno Volcano were few of the things to see and do.  The next day was spent at sea and early the following morning, February 10, we viewed Amalia Glacier.

kap2-10On February 11, we arrived at Punta Arenas, Chile, a city in the Strait of Magellan. A few of the sights in Punta Arenas include the Punta Arenas Cemetery, known as Cementerio Municipal Sara Braun, the replica of Magellan’s ship, and many monuments.

After Punta Arenas, the ship cruised along the Beagle Channel, through aka. Glacier Alley, where we saw several  glaciers.  Later in the morning, we arrived in Ushuaia, Argentina.  A drive through Tierra del Fuego National Park takes you to the end of the Pan American Highway, and the southernmost railway in the world.

On February 13, the ship cruised around Cape Horn and brought us to the Atlantic Ocean.  From there, we were on our way to Stanley, in the Falkland Islands.  We arrived in Stanley on Valentine’s Day, but because of bad weather conditions, we couldn’t go ashore.  We spent the next day, February 15, at sea.

Puerto Madryn, a nice small city in Argentina was our next port.  Some members of our group went to see penquins and some of us just did a city tour.  The following day was a relaxing day at sea.

kap4-3On February 18, Montevideo, Uruguay was our next stop .It was a much larger city than any of the others we visited.  It was easy to explore the old town on pedestrian-only walkways where there were many café’s, markets and street vendors.

Buenos Aires was our last port of call.  We arrived in the morning, on February 19, and disembarked the ship early the next morning. We did a city tour and visited Eva Peron’s mausoleum at the Recoleta Cemetery, saw Casa Rosada presidential mansion at the Plaza de Mayo, stopped at La Boca District, a historic neighborhood, and had some Argentinian food in a local restaurant.  The next stop was the airport and a flight back to Miami.

It was an awesome trip and well worth it with so much to see, experience and learn.   Thank you, Seppo for organizing such an exciting and adventurous trip.

Click here for so many photos…

Tula Salmela

COCKTAILS – and – SURPRISES…. in the Caribbean 2019

This year’s “Caribbean Escape” was a jump to the unknown: Ultra modern new European ship, Italian logistics, international crew – and list of new procedures.

Tuula Kangas, one of the 45, kindly offers us a short travel diary with some photos. Click the ship – and you are with us!  Cruise  arrangements by MSC Cruises/Custom World Travel/Seppo Palokas.

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ITINERARY

Our cruise trip starts from Overlook Clubhouse on 30th November. We had 45 happy cruisers in our Finnish group. Our bus departed on time, but we had a little traffic jam on the way to Miami. No worry, we had a plenty of time to reach the ship.

 

 

Day 1 : ALL  ABOARD –  Exciting cruise will begin

Moon over Miami Shine as we begun; So we can stroll beside the roll of the rolling sea” -Ray Charles
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We said goodbye to MIAMI, and the cruise begins.

We enjoyed the dinner together on Seashore-restaurant (DECK5).

The night show was in Metropolitan theater- Timeless.

Day 2: Sea day

“ When anxious, uneasy and bad thoughts come, I go to the sea, and the sea drowns them out with its great wide sounds.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

We had a plenty of time to explore MSC SEASIDE. It has 20 floors – and about 5000 travelers. It is a big ship and it is easy to get lost.

There are 17 bars, 2 buffets (on 8 and 16 floors), 4 specialty dining places, many pools, youth area for children, Casino play area and gym and spa areas. There is also an Art  and Photo galleria, hairdresser, medical center and different kind of activities.

Suggested evening dress code: ELEGANT

Theater show: The Wizard

Day 3: Puerto Rico – San Juan

“My Puerto Rico, I’m singing to you. Because you are beautiful, my land.” – Gilberto Santa Rosa

We arrived in San Juan Bay at 5PM and departed at 1AM. This excursion to the city was a little different from  the other shores, because it was evening and dark outside. The old town was near the harbor and restaurants and shopping places were open. The old San Juan was beautiful with several colorful Spanish colonial buildings.

Metropolitan theater: My life in music

 

Day 4: St Thomas – Charlotte Amalie


“The voice of the sea speaks to the soul. The touch of the sea is sensual and engulfs the body in its gentle, tight embrace.” -Kate Chopin

We arrived in Charlotte Amalie at 7.00 am. It is a city and cruise ship port on the Caribbean island of St. Thomas. It is the capital of the U.S. Virgin Islands. The City is known for its Danish colonial architecture, building structure and history. There were many activities, excursions and shopping places. Departure time was at 5PM.

Metropolitan theater: Fly

 

Day 5:  Sea day

“The sea is only the embodiment of a supernatural and wonderful existence” -cit. Jules Verne

Now we turned around; towards the Bahama islands.We had our private Cocktail party in Garage Club (the area is dedicated to teenagers! )   😉
Custom World hosted this event.
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Metropolitan theater: Peter Punk
Suggested evening dress code: ELEGANT

Day 5: Nassau – the Bahamas

 

Nassau, the nation’s capital, has abundant beaches and resorts. Nassau’s colonial heritage remains in a number of old forts, pastel-colored buildings.Near the harbor was plenty of shopping places and opportunities to participate in bus and taxi tours and horse cart ride. (And many excursions)Arrival time was at noon and departure time 7PMIt was little chilly but beautiful day, slightly raining in the later afternoon.

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Metropolitan theater: Star Walker (Michael Jackson “The Experience”
His music will live forever. This was amazing show! And it was different from other performances, which were great shows too.

Day 6: Ocean Cay – MSC Marine reserve

“You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore.” -William Faulkner

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We arrived to this island in the morning and it was a different day compared to others. This little island was a beach paradise! Ocean Cay is an artificial island in the Bahamas, it has been renovated as a private island for MSC Cruises.

We were amongst the very first guests to visit the island!

We ate lunch on the island and in the night there were dancing party and amazing Lighthouse show.

Metropolitan theater: The Dream

Day 7: Back to Miami

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In the morning we arrived in Miami and had a great disembarkation info.It worked as it is supposed to work!

The bus was waiting for us, and  after we get all aboard
we drove back to the Pointe Overlook Clubhouse in Lantana.
End of cruise tour 2019.

This was a great cruise, the ship was quite modern with countless mirrors and silver walls.

The European design did not appeal to everybody, it was modern, but the structure was not logical.But – Thanks to CUSTOM WORLD TRAVEL – and Seppo for a great guidance!

 

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Tuula Kangas  –  Photography & travel reporter

 

AND NOW – AS THEY SAY – A PICTURE TELLS US MORE THAN 1000 WORDS……..