Winter months offer best sailing around Cape Horn

Q&A

November 25, 2007|By San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News

Can you suggest the best time to take a South American cruise around Cape Horn, including the smoothest month for sailing?

The best times to travel are December, January and February, when you'll likely encounter average daytime highs in the 80s in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Santiago, Chile, and lows in the 50s and 60s. But it's only temporary.

As your ship makes it way toward the southern tip of South America, be prepared to bundle up. In Ushuaia, the capital of Tierra del Fuego province in Argentina, the daytime temperature ranges from 42 to 57 degrees.

As for sailing conditions, remember that rough seas are common, especially around Cape Horn -- although you'll be dazzled by scenery. We found this warning on cruisecritic.com: "Even in the height of summer, sea conditions can be dicey, so captains may have to cancel a call at a particular port at the last minute. For instance, it's a good idea not to get your heart too set on Port Stanley, in the Falklands; one cruise captain told us he can only get the ship in about half the time."

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