The add on of Antarctica is what makes this cruise worthwhile

Zaandam Cruise Review to South America

Cruises: 4-6 cruises
Reviews: 2
Helpful Votes: 52

Overall rating:

2.6 out of 5

22 Night South America & Antarctica Holiday (Santiago To Buenos Aires)

Sail date: December 17, 2018

Ship: Zaandam

Cabin type: Oceanview

Traveled as: Singles/Friends

Reviewed: 3 years ago

Review summary

Fun, exciting cruise to Antarctica. Even in summer, south america can have rain, snow, sun all in a few hours. Mostly good weather though. Some disappointments in the ship with crew, food, drinks, a mixed international crowd, but I guess a bargain overall with the number of days on board plus the chance to see Antarctica and the Wildlife.


3 out of 5
Fast boarding but sort of impersonal since service people had limited english

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

2 out of 5
Lido Buffet was inedible. Dining Room a big step above that. Specialty spotty food. Very few drink specials and all over $10 usually. Cappucino extra charge

Lido Restaurant

1 out of 5

Easily the worst part of the ship. Sushi was a mush of rice with tough fish sometimes since they stir the rice till it is a mush (uncaringly). Pizza was a dried, thawed mess. Coffee got worse tasting each day. Asian section not even close to representing the countries being served. Seemed all mushy versions of Indonesian with different sauces. Service was friendly by only a few that stood out. Lines were not formed since this was an international passenger crowd without courtesy sometimes.

Onboard Activities

2 out of 5
Smaller ship so not much to do on board. Tennis, pickleball and basketball courts in windy areas rather than protected, so worthless courts. Pool too small for laps. Gym adequate. No power jetted jacuzzis.


3 out of 5
Ship's crew above average, Singing off on some days. Outside entertainment good and bad.

Children's Programs

1 out of 5
Some unsupervised kids were screaming in the library game room area and I noticed most adults just vacated the room because of the takeover of that room.

Service and Staff

2 out of 5
Service from the indonesian and filipino crew less desirable than my cruises in the past. Some rude answers from wait and food staff occasionally. Food in Lido horrible. Bad chef in charge.

Ship Quality

2 out of 5
Some parts on Zaandam, beautiful if they are remodeled. Otherwise the cabins and bathrooms really outdated (pink tile from the 60s) and bad sports deck layout (feels like you might get blown over when walking).

Cabin / Stateroom

3 out of 5
1881 was next to the gangplank so the last night in Buenos Aires had trouble sleeping. Otherwise mid ship seemed to be a good location for a cabin here. Previous was in a cabin below the kitchen. A big mistake with noise.

Ship tip

December was a coughing (cold) ship. Everyone was coughing everywhere and some not covering their mouths.

Ports of call

San Antonio, Chile

2 out of 5

Puerto Montt, Chile

5 out of 5

Castro, Isla Chiloe, Chile

1 out of 5

Puerto Chacabuco, Chile

4 out of 5

Cruise Chilean Fjords

3 out of 5

Cruise Amalia Glacier

3 out of 5

Cruise Canal Sarmiento

3 out of 5

Punta Arenas, Chile

1 out of 5

Cruise Strait Of Magellan

3 out of 5

Cruise Cockburn Channel

3 out of 5

Cruise Beagle Channel

3 out of 5

Ushuaia, Tierra Del Fuego, Argentina

1 out of 5
Didn't arrive due to high winds and no tow boats

Cruise Glacier Alley

3 out of 5

Cruise Cape Horn & Drake Passage

3 out of 5

Antarctic Experience

5 out of 5
Was sunny on occasion which made the photos pop. Penguins too far away with this ship

Port Stanley, Falkland Islands

5 out of 5
This is where you first see penguins up close unless you saw them in Puntas Arenas

Puerto Madryn, Argentina

3 out of 5
sleepy beach city. Not much architecture

Montevideo, Uruguay

2 out of 5
maybe the overcast clouds made the city drab

Buenos Aires, Argentina

5 out of 5
Beautiful downtown city. Good food.


5 out of 5
Took the boat's excursion of the city and to the airport. Seamless transition.
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