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South America, 2012

by Harry R. Matthews

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In January 2012, Lorraine and I flew from Tauranga, via Auckland and Santiago, to Lima in Peru. After a night in the Melia, Lima, hotel we boarded the Regent cruise ship Seven Seas Mariner. She was on a 74-day round trip from Miami and we joined her for the 24-day segment from Lima to Buenos Aires via Cape Horn. We stopped at several unusual ports along the South American coast, helped by the relatively modest size of this cruise ship (700 passengers). The most southerly port was Ushuaia, Argentina, at the southern end of Patagonia.

The main features of the cruise for us were the Chilean Fijords, Cape Horn and penguin rookeries and there were many other worth-while shore excursions such as Valparaiso where their annual Arts Festival was just starting. Of course, the ship is a destination in itself and we both enjoyed that, too.

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