Off to South America travel blog

Telescope in the Explorers' Lounge

Animated copy with English subtitles of the Bayeux Tapestry

Tracking our ship

Living room area

Music in the living room

Early morning on the deck

Much early morning deck swabbing

More deck swabbing

Very cool art work in the world cafe; yarn and sequins #1

2nd in display




A talk on Alfred Hitchcock

Reading space in Wintergarden

Pool on deck7

4 o'clock tea in Wintergarden

Music during tea

Pool with roof open


Sunrise at sea


From the stern

Bayeux section on the stairs

Books everywhere

Bayeux staircase

Explorers' Lounge at night shows the constellations

Lounge 2

Lounge 3

Lounge 4

Ship tracker

Lounge 5

Lounge 6

Ship at dock

Lounge 7

Lounge 8

We left Manaus and sailed down the river; then we headed south on the Atlantic once more. The original itinerary took us to Recife, Brazil, but unfortunately the water level in the river is very low right now at the end of the dry season, so it took us much longer to make our way back down the river than anticipated. So we skipped our stop at Recife and added an extra day on the water.

Sea days are not tough to take. On board there are many activities, and travelers can choose to be busy or not. It is easy to slip into favorite routines. I like to get up early and walk on deck 2; it is not so hot then, and there are not too many people about. Of course the crew is out doing massive swabbing of decks; most of the morning crew I have talked to are Filipino.

Breakfast in the World Cafe starts at 7 on sea days; choices range from oatmeal and cereal, fresh fruit and yogurt to heavy duty waffles, pancakes, eggs cooked to order. After breakfast starting around 10 there are lectures; there is a knitters' group, a bridge learning group, a veterans' group, and so on. The workout facilities are nice, and there are a few small pools. Roger and I have loved the on board lectures. We have a former state department diplomat, an ornithologist, a professional photographer, and a couple of history professors. There are usually two or three opportunities a day to learn; we have had great information on South American history and birds. Yesterday our diplomat talked about tricks of the trade in diplomacy.

Our Viking Sun has a living room and many nooks around the ship well stocked with books; new crossword puzzles and Sudoku are at the Guest Services counter every day. It is not unusual to look around the living room and see everyone reading during the day. Technology abounds; we have a TV in our stateroom that allows us to pull up the ship tracker map at any time; we also have our personalized calendar of special dining reservations, times for booked excursions, and the itinerary. Wifi has been pretty good except for times in the middle of the day when speed is hampered by everyone trying to be on at once. There are books and art everywhere and interesting entertainment in the evening; we have chamber music in the Wintergarden at tea time and in the living room in the evening. On board the last couple of weeks we have had several shows with music from different eras (Abba, the 60s, a fantastic guitarist); there has been comedy, a magician, and movies. I keep expecting Carson and Mrs. Hughes to stroll by any minute, but we have our own versions of them; we don't have to dress formally for dinner, however. The food is fantastic, and there is a choice for venue. On the TV there is a range of programming options if we get tired and need down time. Our stateroom gets "turned down" at night, and room service is available 24/7. As they say on TV, Viking is indeed "exploring the world in comfort." It is great fun to interact with the crew and learn about where they are from and how their lives run. The crew are well trained and I have yet to see one member be cranky. It is indeed an amazing experience.

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