Antarctica and South America are a must see, but not on Holland America

Zaandam Cruise Review to South America

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

Overall rating:

3.5 out of 5
Verified Review

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

Sail date: January 30, 2019

Ship: Zaandam

Cabin type: Balcony

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 2 years ago

Review summary

I've said it. Great itinerary. Old, boring ship with very little interesting to do on board. But if you are 80 or above, it is probably your speed


5 out of 5
Easy enough. We were a little early, but the ship was ready for us

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

2 out of 5
While we have enjoyed the food on HAL on previous cruises--this time it just felt tired. The beef, even at the upscale restaurants was tasteless. The Lido was downright inedible a couple nights and the dining room was only fair. Overall, the food was boring.

Onboard Activities

1 out of 5
The Zaandam, and HAL in general are just boring ships. The entertainment has not changed in years--we've seen the same shows at least 4 times. Even the America's Test kitchen were all repeats. We are in late 60's but this ship was way too old for us.


1 out of 5
The talent that they hire give it 100%. But the shows, music etc. are a real snore. We won't travel on HAL again until we are sure they have at least changed the shows. We saw the very same acts over a year ago. The movies are old. The in room TV"s are old. The library books are old. Enough said

Service and Staff

4 out of 5
The people on HAL always give it their best. Everyone tries hard. And while new passengers come and go, the staff tries to make everyone feel like they are special

Ship Quality

2 out of 5
This is an old ship,built in 2000. It does not have much to offer in amenities. It is clean and while electric went out occasionally, it feels maintained. However, too little attention is paid to communicable diseases. No hand sanitizers were available. And the hand washers were not used. A bad cold/flu circulated around the ship and at the end of 22 days, almost everyone had gotten it. I really am concerned about traveling with HAL again for this issue alone

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
If you go to Antarctica, pick a room on the port side. It usually doesn't matter on most itineraries, but the travel guides position themselves on the port side and everything they point out (whales, seals, ice bergs etc. ) is on the port side of the ship. It's a real bummer after a couple days. A balcony was very useful, especially on really cold days--we could sit inside and watch the scenery go by

Ship tip

They have great itineraries on HAL's smaller ships. But the food and entertainment target an older (late 70s' and 80's aged) market

Ports of call

Puerto Montt, Chile Did not visit port

High winds prevented the ship from docking. We sailed on to Castro that day

Castro, Isla Chiloe, Chile

4 out of 5
Good warm up for the rest of the voyage. I'm very glad we sailed in this direction. It would have been anticlimactic in the reverse direction

Puerto Chacabuco, Chile

4 out of 5
We had fun visiting a ranch

Cruise Chilean Fjords

5 out of 5
Awesome, but Antarctica overshadows it later in the trip


4 out of 5

Cruise Canal Sarmiento

4 out of 5

Cruise Strait Of Magellan

4 out of 5

Puntarenas, Costa Rica

4 out of 5

Cruise Cockburn Channel

4 out of 5

Cruise Beagle Channel

4 out of 5

Cruise Glacier Alley

4 out of 5

Ushuaia, Tierra Del Fuego, Argentina

5 out of 5

Cruise Cape Horn & Drake Passage

4 out of 5

Antarctic Experience

5 out of 5
A bucket list place to see. No picture will do it justice.

Stanley, Falkland Islands

5 out of 5

Puerto Madryn, Argentina

5 out of 5
More penguins!!

Montevideo, Uruguay

4 out of 5
Very European

Buenos Aires, Argentina

5 out of 5
Maybe the best city in the world. Could just as easily be in Spain or Italy


5 out of 5
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