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I would not recommend this excursion. We were suppose to set sail on a 4 hour trip to Magdalena Island to see the penguins, instead we spent 6 hours in a very uncomfortable boat sloshing around due to low tide. This novice captain knew the conditions were unfavorable and should have NEVER taken us passengers away from the pier. But instead, we were subjected to half the boat vomiting. We could not dock at the pier due to low tide and had to wait another 2.5 hours to be rescued. Wasted an entire day on that boat. Very disappointed with the way things were handled. We were promised to go to Magdalena Island to see penguins and were suppose to be given a snack. We got nothing. I would not recommend this tour.
The experience in visiting the Magellan penguin colony was quite good. The early tour was fully booked and boat a little cramped but not uncomfortable. The crew were diligent in passenger and penguin safety and the close proximity to the Penguins was particularly good for those who had not seen them before. Cruising by Marta island sea lion colony was very special and sufficient time given for pics. The interactive pirate entertainment passed the return journey happily. The biscuit and coffee snack offering was a little merger but the Captain did his best ! Thankyou
This tour began at 10:30 am and was to return at approximately 2:30 pm. We were to visit penguins for approximately 1 hour - thus the name, Magellan Penguins Natural Reserve in Magdalena Island from Punta Arenas. Instead, we were subjected to 6 hours at sea in waters that were so rocky that more than 15 people were vomiting continuously. Aside from providing large garbage bags and mopping up the vomit, there was little the crew could do. Because the waters were so rough, windows and doors were shut, leaving us all with no recourse other than to sit in a room filled with the stench and sound of vomit.
It should be noted that there were approximately 70 people on this tour. Approximately 50 were on our boat which had the experience I will describe here. The other 20 people had the full good experience. They left on time, experienced the full itinerary and returned relatively on time.
The tour promised a visit to the Penguin Natural Reserve and a side trip to see some seals from the boat. When we could not dock to see the penguins, we were taken to see the seals and for that reason the tour company has said they will give us a 50 refund. NOBODY signed up for this tour to see the seals and NOBODY would have signed up to take a six hour boat tour that should have been approximately 2.5 hours with a 45 minute transfer each way that involved nothing more than listening to people vomit or, if you were less lucky, vomiting throughout the trip.
The minute the captain became aware of what the sailing conditions would be he should have turned back. Instead, he said he subjected us to a boat trip that was beyond unpleasant. Furthermore, he maneuvered the boat into waves in such a way as to CAUSE further seasickness. This is a novice captain error which only caused more people to be sick.
Our trip was so delayed by unsafe water conditions that we nearly missed our connection back to our cruise ship. This was billed as a shore excursion that would begin at 10:30 and conclude at approximately 2:30. We were still on board the ship at 5 pm, so I had to call our ship from my cell phone to inform them that I had no idea when we would be back. We sat approximately 200 feet from the return pier for more than two hours with no communication about when we would be able to land. . We did not arrive back to our ship until 6 pm -- 3.5 hours late. and 30 minutes prior to our cruise ship's sailing.
- The trip did not deliver as promised -- We never visited the Magellan Penguin Natural Reserve
- No snack was provided, as indicated in the Itinerary
- No accommodations were provided to the more than 20 people who were vomiting other than providing large garbage bags and mops no water for rinsing mouths no seasick medicine
- Passenger safety was at risk the minute the captain determined the sea conditions, we should have returned to shore
- We nearly missed our cruise ship. Instead of returning at approximately 2:30, we returned at 6 pm an unacceptable level of lateness for a shore excursion
Terrific tour. A little disorganized at first but wound up in small group in van that took us to pier where a very good guide, driver and speedboat were waiting. Lucky the weather was good and ride to island a little choppy but really not bad. Seeing and interacting with 1000 penguins - UNBELIEVABLE!
The experience of walking amongst so many penguins on Magdalena Island was very special and a highlight of the trip and highly recommended for this reason.
The boats are a little crammed - we chose the early departure as we read the later tour is full from the cruise ships however, the early tour was completely full and the 2nd tour was practically empty so it must depend on the day. We were on the smaller of the two boats and it did have to keep stopping 6 times the trip to untangle seaweed from the motor we also had to wait quite a while for the 2nd boat to return so we could start the journey back.
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