Friday, January 17/20
The Robert Q shuttle driver had to contend with heavy Friday afternoon Toronto traffic so we arrived at Toronto Pearson 30 minutes later than scheduled.
My group of 24 gathered and met me at 645pm. It took some convincing but I was able to arrange a private Air Canada check-in for us so it was a really quick process. There was no wait at security either we soon were in the Lounge enjoying food and beverages (a “Travel With Bradley” perk). The staff in the premium lounge knew we were coming so they graciously reserved seats for us.
The 777-300 Air Canada aircraft was filled to capacity. Temperatures in Toronto were frigid, ice formed on the wings of the aircraft so the Captain had to have the plane de-iced.
The young flight attendants worked hard. The 2 meals that were served (choice for both dinner and breakfast) were very good.
Most of my passengers had a good rest on the flight to Santiago, Chile.
When I put this tour together many months ago Air Canada was flying direct to Buenos Aires but that didn’t route didn’t last long. The route now stops in Santiago and continues to Buenos Aires. In Santiago we got off the plane and went through security while the plane was cleaned and serviced,
Saturday, January 18/20
When we arrived temperatures in Santiago had already reached 88F and the sun was beaming. The continuation flight to Buenos Aires took 2 hours. We had a beautiful view of the Andes Mountains on take off and lunch was served.
After going through immigration in Buenos Aires, we gathered our luggage and were warmly welcomed by our professional guide, Anna.
We enjoyed a brief city tour on our way to our hotel – 5 star Sofitel. The last group I brought to Antarctica also stayed at a Buenos Aires Sofitel but that mansion location closed and this new Sofitel opened. It’s a stunning hotel in the most prestigious residential area of Buenos Aires. An upscale shopping mall is located across the street from the hotel and a quality handicraft market is a short stroll away.
Dinner was at one of the top steak houses in the city. Our leisurely paced, dinner was superb.
Sunday, January 19/20
After a bountiful breakfast in the elegant Sofitel boutique dining room we continued our city tour.
Lunch was at a top quality buffet restaurant.
We arrived at the port around 2pm. It’s a bit of a process checking in for a cruise in Buenos Aires. We were given a number and were eventually called to go through security. Check in followed. We then boarded coaches and headed to the Celebrity Eclipse – 5 minute drive through industrial port. Once we boarded the Celebrity Eclipse we were presented with a champagne toast. Our staterooms were ready. We attended an innovative safety drill and soon after we started to sail.
I invited my passengers to a “Welcome Dinner” -the Speciality Restaurant “Le Petit Chef 3D Dining Experience” was superb. The 3D “show” was so awesome ALL my passengers asked me to arrange a repeat experience later during the cruise.
It took 3 sailing days to reach Ushuaia – the southern most city in the world. Every day the sea was as smooth as ice but temperatures continued to fall day after day. Surprisingly there were still brave passengers laying outside next to the pool wearing bikinis!
During our sea days there were so many activities to attend, it was impossible to do everything.
My passengers gather daily for lunch in the dining room. As always enjoy mingling with one another.
The nightly entertainment in the theatre has been excellent. We especially enjoyed “Horizon” a entertaining Mo-Town 3 piece group based in Detroit. I think that show would be a wonderful addition to the “Walters Theatre” schedule – I’ll be providing my brother, Darren with their contact information.
Celebrity is well know for its excellent cuisine.
The Celebrity Eclipse was awarded “Best Ship in Fleet” for 2019. Its an honor that its crew wants to continue.
Thursday, January 23/20
We enjoyed our time in Ushuaia – the southern most city in the world. The weather was perfect. In fact during the afternoon temperatures reached 60F. This is the base for Antarctica cruises – a number of exploration ships are in port ready to make their journey through the Drake Passage. The Celebrity Eclipse is by far the largest ship making this journey (just 2 times this year). We hope that the Drake Passage is kind to us and does not provide a “Drake Shake” experience!
Tomorrow we will sail around the tip of South America – Cape Horn.
It will be a few days before I have wifi access once again.
Sorry, I would have attached many more pictures to this blog post but wifi connection is not powerful enough to upload them. I’ve been able to post pictures on Facebook – “Travel With Bradley” and “Bradley Walters”.
We are having an awesome time. You can’t beat a Celebrity Cruise Experience and how lucky we are to be sailing to exotic Antarctica.