South American Zaandam Cruise

Zaandam Cruise Review to South America

Cruises: 7+ cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 26

Overall rating:

5 out of 5
Verified Review

14 Night South America Passage (Buenos Aires To Santiago)

Sail date: December 06, 2016

Ship: Zaandam

Cabin type: Inside

Cabin number: 3343

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 4 years ago

Review summary

Holland America continues its excellent service, from room stewards to dining room staff to the wine steward. Ship is well decorated, but some of the bathrooms in the staterooms need a little more attention based on old tile and grout. We departed from Buenos Aires, visited Falkland Islands, rounded Cape Horn, and ended up in Valpairaso, Chile. Ports were great. However, both the embarkation and debarkation processes were somewhat chaotic. Once we met the HAL rep after getting our baggage in Buenos Aires, the process from then on to get luggage loaded and on the transfer bus had no plan - we finally figured out what to do ourselves. On debarkation, we had an independent tour, and there were no staff to help us figure out where to meet those reps.


We took 2 Delta Skymile shore excursions instead of HAL ones - Buenos Aires tour was disappointing in that they had no intention of returning us to the ship but never told us in the advertisement - caused a HUGE problem in getting back because there was a subway strike and traffic jams. We walked about a mile on unfamiliar streets trying to find port. The other tour, in Valparaiso, was wonderful. Took us from ship to old part of town (but tour description never said we were going to walk 3 miles up and down hills - that needs to be added because we had some elderly, disabled folks on the tour), to Vino del Mar for a nice lunch, and to a winery - and then delivery to airport - great guide.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

5 out of 5

Onboard Activities

3 out of 5
had 6 days at sea and really no interesting activities to get involved in.


3 out of 5
not the high quality shows we're used to on HAL

Service and Staff

5 out of 5

Ship Quality

5 out of 5

Cabin / Stateroom

3 out of 5
Cabin OK - inside smaller cabin - but old bathroom tiles and missing grout that need attention.

Ship tip

Be careful with independent tours - sometimes they don't meet at the terminal that ship comes in on (Puerto Arenas) and sometimes they don't take you back to ship (Buenos Aires). So plan carefully what you want to do with HAL and what you don't - HAL shore excursions may be late in posting availabil

Ports of call

Montevideo, Uruguay

5 out of 5
don't need tour - just wander thru old town at dock - they have city maps and people standing there to direct you, along with a marked trail on pavement to follow

Port Stanley, Falkland Islands

5 out of 5
use HAL shore excursions and see the penguins!

Punta Arenas, Chile

5 out of 5
This is a tender stop - use HAL for shore excursion - others often meet at Dock 1, miles from where we docked at Dock 2

Ushuaia, Tierra Del Fuego, Argentina

5 out of 5
independent tours with smaller buses more valuable here - we used Soloexpeditiones and they were wonderful

Puerto Montt, Chile

5 out of 5
This is also a tender stop - many of the HAL tours are just so so - try to do a winery and not just a tour of city

Valparaiso (Santiago), Chile

5 out of 5
old town is a UNESCO heritage site - definitely worth a walking tour, but not for the walking challenged
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