Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Navimag News: Aboard the Edén, a Preliminary Report

Within a week, I am facing a deadline to submit the manuscript for the upcoming fourth edition of Moon Handbooks Patagonia, and that will be cutting it close. That means limited time to devote to this blog but, since I finally made it onto Navimag’s new vessel M/N Edén (pictured above), I’ll make a few brief observations on the ship and the voyage.
In one sense, this was the least enjoyable voyage I’ve ever done with Navimag, and that had to do with the weather – I’ve been extraordinarily lucky to enjoy clear skies almost every time, but shortly after we sailed from Puerto Natales it became overcast, and it never really cleared until we were approaching Chiloé and Puerto Montt. Through the most scenic part of Chile’s Pacific fjords, between Natales and the isolated village of Puerto Edén (pictured above), visibility was mostly poor. Still, having seen the area many times before, I was less disappointed than the other passengers.
Some brief words on the ship: Pressed into service for the remainder of this summer, after being acquired from Mexico’s Baja Ferries, the former Monte Cinto is a worn but seaworthy vessel whose freight capacity is greater than its predecessor the Evangelistas. On the down side, its passenger capacity is probably less than half the Evangelistas’ 300 or so, but there's plenty of sightseeing room on the bow when the weather clears.

I personally found the Edén comfortable enough, but I expect the company will spend some time and money making it shipshape this winter. Among other things, ideally, this will include enlarging the cafeteria at the expense of the current audiovisual salon, with reclining seats, that hardly anybody bothered with. At a later date, after my book deadline, I’ll write a more detailed report.

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