We had very rough seas from Valparisio to the Chilian fjiords, then mostly calm seas the rest of the way. The Straits of Magellan are inland and fairly protected, but you can get a lot of wind. The wild currents and tides there are not a real problem for modern cruise ships (as they were for the old sailing vessels). Cape Horn can be variable. We were lucky and although we had rain and large swells, (and it was COLD) at the horn, the night before was completely clear and cold and perfect for star-gazing (get out to see the Southern Cross and other unfamiliar stars!). The Falklands can also be rough (I guess about 1/2 the time too rough to tender) but we even had a calm and warm day there, perfect of a hike around the penquin sanctuary.
Luck of the draw with the seas and weather on this cruise, but you will have some great scenary and a good trip if you just prepare for everything and take the right clothing.
My wife and I took the trip "round the Horn" a couple of years ago on the Royal Princess.
I posted some thoughts and pictures at www.geocities.com/davidandbella if you're interested.
We actually found the entire trip to be fairly smooth. Our worst day was travelling from the Falklands to The Horn. That cetainly brought to mind the tales of the roughest water in the World. Many of the passengers were "laid-up" but we used "the Patch" (transderm scop) and were just fine (and I've previously had some bad experiences).
I'm uncertain which route the Celebrity cruises take but they're probably the same as the Royal Princess, in which case you don't do too much in the Stait of Magellan itself, more in the Beagle Channel which is closer to Tierra del Fuego, which is nice sailing (but cold .. see other contributors). Punta Arenas is on the Stait and we were there for a day. It was rough, to the point that the shore tenders were suspended for a couple of hours until the ship could be stabilized with a Tug.
It seems to be hit and miss on this itinerary. We made all the ports but some of them are sometines so rough that the ships just sail on by. Some of the ships on the water at the same time that we were, couldn't make some ports, we were just lucky on the days we arrived.
Good luck. It was my most memorable trip yet.
We were on the Infinity this past February and the worst seas were from Valparaiso to Puerto Montt. Other than that, the Strait of Megellan and going around Cape Horn were absolutely calm. Our lecturer said he hadn't seen Cape Horn so calm in the 20 years he's been doing this. All other ports on this cruise were terrific, only bad weather was on the Falkland Islands and a rainy morning in Montevideo. You'll love this cruise! If you need recommendations for private tours in Puerto Montt or Buenos Aires, let me know.
What a great adventure. We were on Royal Princess in Feb/03. From BA to Falklands it was quite calm. From the Falklands to the Cape Horn (24 hour sail) was quite a ride. We hit a Force 9 gale (50+mph winds and 30 ft seas). Ship was very seaworthy, but did rock & roll. Once at the Cape the wind calmed down to 10-15, but it was cold only about 4 or 5F. Also, we had a bit of rough water on the Chilean coast, but nothing too bad.
If you are concerned about motion sickness, my wife found the magic cure. She is very prone to it. Had we not found an antidote, we could not even have contemplated the trip. We found a phamacist who could take the active ingrediant in "the patch" - scopalemine (check spelling) and put it in a cream form. There can be a problem if you have a sensitivity to the patch adhesive (like a band-aid). The cream came in a plastic syringe (no needle) and you just dispensed a small amount on your finger (where a surgical glove - cut off the fingers so you can use one pair 10 times) and apply behing your knee. The skin is thinner there - quicker absorbtion. Don't get it in your eyes - it dilates the pupils for 12 hours! There are no side effects - use every 8 - 10 hours.
Bad weather is part of the romance of the sailing to the Cape. In a very small way, it gives a feeling for what those old mariners faced. Imagine climbing a mast in 30 foot seas, reefing a sail in 50mph wind while wearing canvas clothing, no shoes or gloves. So some people missed a meal or two. I wouldn't have exchanged that trip for anything - a unanimous feeling amongst the cruisers.
Good Luck - contact me if want any information regarding ports, tours, etc on this trip.
Read your comments on South America cruise. Do you have information on shore excursions or port activities for Puerto Montt and Buenos Aires? Did you use any local tour operators in any other ports? Thanks
We went to Cape Horn in Feb/03 on Princess. From Falkland Is to the Cape is a 24 hour sail. During the night we were hit by a Force 9 gale. 35' seas and 50+mph winds. Very exciting. By the time we got to the Cape, wind and seas were minimal. We hit rough water 2 or 3 times - be sure and have sea sickness preventative. "The Patch" or scopolomene (check spelling) work very well with no side effects. Talk to your MD.
Our cruise only sailed the West end of the Straits of Megellan (in and out of Punta Arenas). It was windy in PA, but not particularly rough.
Saw your email on cruisemates. We are doing the Infinite from Valpo to BA Jan 17. Would like any tips on private guides and your evaluation of shore excursions you took.
Bobbie Fost firstname.lastname@example.org