This was a trip of a lifetime. We worked well together, came up with an awesome itinerary for 6 weeks to New Zealand and Australia. You name it we were going to do it. This truly was an itinerary with planes, trains & automobiles. Let's not forget to include boats, helicopter, camel and kayak. We had such a variety of things planned including wine tasting in both NZ and Australia. I can't say enough good things about our travel company!!! In the planning stages they even spoke to us about where and when to go as far as seasons and which way to go whether it be Australia first or NZ. As it turned out, the recommendation to go to New Zealand first was perfect. We were saved the experience of Australia for only a few weeks and maybe being stuck there! No stone was left unturned, even when the fires occurred in Australia. Our impact was going to be minimal.We left the US on March 9th for NZ arriving on the 11th. No problems with Covid-19, we continued on with our itinerary. Sailing in the harbor in Auckland, wine tasting on a beautiful little island outside of Auckland. On to Queenstown which is delightful and Milford Sound for an overnight on a ship. Absolutely beautiful. Glad we did this vs a day trip or boat ride. We flew back to Queenstown, which I'd recommend because you have a great overview of the mountains. Breathtaking!! Picked up a rental car and drove to Franz Josef to climb the glacier. We're an older couple, but this was an incredible, first-time experience! My husband still marvels! We took a train to Christchurch which is still suffering the after effects of the 2011 earthquake. Again a train up the Pacific Coast which is beautiful to Nelson. Kayaking, hiking and a catamaran in the Tasman Sea. What scenery!! Up to Rotorua for more fun. Well this is where the wheels starting coming off of our fun. Things got cancelled because of Covid-19 and the ever changing environment of new shut downs and what the government was asking of people and vacationers. Starting on the 15th of March our travel agent was continually in contact with us about Covid-19 and how our itinerary was going to be impacted. She made alternative suggestions, we made the decision to extend in NZ. As our trip went along, things kept changing.... NZ decided to shut down on March 25 midnight. Our new flight home was March 29, then March 27. She worked with us so closely and was so helpful she actually got us a flight home on March 25. While we were having fun and enjoying ourselves, this company was working for us behind the scenes. You can't ask for more than that!! By the way, we came home and quarantined. To date, we're healthy.Show More
Zicasso set me up with the most wonderful company for our Argentina trip! No detail was spared. From the time we connected, the travel planner took note of our budget, goals, and likes/dislikes. He even assisted us in meeting entry requirements! From the time we stepped off the plane to the time we stepped back on the plane, we had the most wonderful trip! The planner arranged private transportation to everything, subject matter expert tour guides, and delicious food and drink. I was so impressed, I have chosen to use Zicasso for my trips to Paris/Switzerland and Australia. While we are in the planning stages, the customer service is top notch!Show More
This was an outstanding trip and it went exceptionally well. Every hotel, transfer, and tour was excellent and on time.. There were no major issues to deal with and, except for the fact COVIS-19 pretty much closed down Santiago by the time we got there our last day, all went just as planned. I am very impressed with the plan, service and support we got from this travel agency and would highly recommend them to others.Show More
Antarctica & Chili Luxury Vacation Review: Patagonia Wildlife, 16-Day Trip
Luxury Antarctica & Chile Trip Review: Puerto Natales, Balmaceda & Serrano Villages, Patagonia
Antarctica, Argentina & Chile Trip Review: Luxury Solo Tour, Wildlife, Hiking, Views of The Andes & Patagonia, Food & Wine
Travel Agent Review: Antarctica Luxury Vacation
Great communication and service.
Travel Review: Tour of Chile, Argentina & Antarctica, Patagonia, Santiago, Easter Island, Atacama Desert, Torres del Paine
We had a marvelous, unforgettable trip overall, including visits to Santiago, the Atacama Desert in northern Chile, Easter Island, Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia, Chile, and finally Antarctica. We experienced a great variety of Chile's vast geography and ecology, from the beautiful central valleys, to the northern desert, to the tropical Polynesian island of Rapa Nui (Easter Island), to the forests and mountains of Patagonia. The lodges and excursions they provided in each destination were well organized, with knowledgeable, English-speaking guides. We visited Antarctica and it was spectacular. The tour operator offers expedition travel for people who want to experience the polar regions firsthand. Our expedition, 14 days that went below the Antarctica Circle, featured expert guides who enjoyed sharing their considerable knowledge of geology, glaciers and ice (!), mammals, birds, and plants, to name just a portion, and excursions twice daily on zodiacs to sail among glaciers and whales and seals and walk among penguins and skuas. It was not a leisure cruise, but an expedition for folks who want to experience and appreciate the Antarctica up close. That said, the ship was extremely comfortable, with a remarkably hospitable staff and delicious, copious food.
Our travel company was excellent in helping us to conceptualize, plan, and organize our trip. They offered many useful suggestions about where to go, how much time to spend in each destination, and which options to consider for hotels/lodges and the Antarctica expedition. We greatly appreciated their advice and assistance in putting together our trip. All of the hotel and transit reservations were made, and that part of the trip went smoothly.
However, there was a persistent problem with our air travel in Chile that was unnecessary, and which caused us needless aggravation. For our internal flights (to/from Calama/Atacama, and to Puerto Natales), our travel company purchased the cheapest LAN tickets that did not include baggage allowance. I discovered this a month before we were set to travel, when I was carefully reviewing the reservations (and about 5 months after they purchased the tickets). When I informed the travel company in early January 2018, I said we of course had baggage (especially cold weather gear for Antarctica) and needed the 23 kg allowance. After I informed them of the problem, they did work to correct the problem, telling us they had purchased baggage allowances for those flights that didn't originally have them. We got a receipt from them for baggage for one of those flights (to Puerto Natales), and were told it was resolved for the Calama flights but LAN couldn't provide a receipt. When we did check in for those flights, the baggage allowance was covered, but our concern before each flight could have been avoided if they had bought the correct tickets.
This problem became more apparent, and more aggravating when we were checking in to fly from Atacama to Santiago, and then on to Easter Island. We were told we could not check our bags all the way through to Easter Island because our tickets for the two flights that day were not on the same record. (This was due to the fact that two different priced tickets had been purchased. The Easter Island tickets were regular, economy tickets.) So we had to check in our bags to Santiago, retrieve them from baggage claim at Santiago Airport, and then return to the Departures area of the airport and check them in for the flight to Easter Island. Santiago Airport is a huge, crowded, messy airport, and this process of literally running around the airport took us 1.5 hours (of what was a 2 hour layover). We arrived at our gate for Easter Island just as people were boarding. This was not what we planned for or expected—and it could and should have been avoided if the travel company had bought the proper air tickets from the start.
Travel Review: Antarctica Tour, Kayaking, Outdoor Adventure
I can't say enough good things about this trip of a lifetime and the wonderful experience we had with this travel company booking it. I worked with our agents for several months planning it -- and everything was booked more than 14 months before we left for the trip. Their attention to detail was AMAZING. We went to Antarctica, a majorly off-the-grid destination, and our travel agency was the perfect partner to pair us with -our agent had been twice and understood all of the considerations that we needed to think through when we chose an expedition company.