We're recently back from a 10-day cruise on Ryndam to Mexico's Sea of Cortez. I told you I'd let you know how it went. I've submitted a lengthy review, so look for that soon elsewhere on this website.
The itinerary is very full with 6 port days in a row and the 18hr Copper Canyon train trip in the middle. We didn't do a lot in the other ports; the Copper Canyon was why we took this cruise.
We were very impressed with the exceptional care that HAL took of us on this unusual adventure. They had special meal times for us with our very early 4am departure time and late return at 10 pm. They sent medical and housekeeping staff with us. Buses and train coaches were sanitized for us. The first sea day, there was an extensive informative presentation and we were as prepared as we could be. We were 235 guests and 15 crewmembers.
From the ship we boarded buses for the 2 hr trip to the train. Then the trip is basically a train ride through interesting, picturesque landscapes of farms, grasslands, very rugged mountains, deep river gorges, lakes, a few waterfalls and then forests. There are few villages and only a couple of towns. It's remote. We went through 4 biosystems on our journey and 80+ tunnels and 30+ bridges so it's great for train enthusists.
The destination is the turn-around point, Posada Barrancas, elevation 7000 ft and has the amazing vista of the Copper Canyon where three canyons converge. It is a vista on par with that of the Grand Canyon from either the south or north rim.
You get about an hour to enjoy the view and purchase baskets from the native Tarahumara. Then there's luncheon and a couple of short native demonstrations.
Plenty of food is provided; a couple of bottles of water also, although we brought some extra from the ship rather than purchase it en route.
The train was very comfortable with upolstered reclining seats, restrooms and a good PA system to hear the tour guide's commentary.
We had perfect weather and enjoyed it immensely and are so glad we took this opportunity. We took hundred's of pictures and will enjoy the memories. But we'd probably do a new adventure next time rather than repeat this one.
I'll answer any questions, but be patient, I won't be here every day.
It's true that we would have liked to spend MUCH more time but it's just not practical on a cruise itinerary. Grueling is probably an overstatement but there's no way around it being a tiring day. There were some in their 90s with us and I hope I can do stuff like that at that age! The day was well broken up and there was always something to enjoy, even if it was a nap on the bus!
About the review, I'm having trouble getting it submitted. I hope I can get it accepted in a useful format. I put a lot of time into it and really would like to share it with you and any who might be considering taking this excursion. Keep your fingers crossed and I'll let you know when it gets posted.