South America is a fascinating and enchanting part of the world, and our amazing cruise itinerary showcases some of the best that the region has to offer. From the seductive heat and vibrant energy of Rio de Janiero to the icy glaciers of the Chilean fjords, this is a holiday you don’t want to miss.
If you aren’t already desperate to visit South America, the itinerary for this wonderful tour, which includes a 14-night cruise on the luxurious MS Zaandam, will convince you that it shouldn’t be missed!
Often overlooked for its more famous South American neighbours, Santiago is a thriving, modern city nestled in the lap of the Andes. Its skyline shows evidence of a changing city, with newly glimmering skyscrapers jostling for attention beside the ornate facades of the historic quarters.
The dramatically beautiful city, set between the ocean and the mountains, is best seen from above, so consider a ride on the funicular to the top of Cerro San Christobal if you’re lucky enough to get a clear day. For a glimpse at the old city, and to discover some amazing local boutique shops, take a stroll around one of the historic quarters, such as Barrio Yungay or Barrio Italia. Santiago also has a flourishing food scene, which showcases indigenous cooking methods and local produce, so be sure to stop off for some food as you explore the city.
Chilean Fjord Cruise
Puerto Montt and Puerto Chacabuco
After you have explored Santiago, your South American cruise will begin in earnest, as you sail off into the sunset. The first two ports of call are Puerto Montt and Puerto Chacabuco, stunning settlements surrounded by unparalleled natural beauty. Both relatively unspoilt, you will find more to do in the touristy Puerto Montt, but Puerto Chacabuco makes for a breathtakingly beautiful visit if you want to enjoy almost untouched nature.
Known as the gateway to Patagonia, Puerto Montt has a great mixture of modern bustle and fascinating history. It is home to the archaeological site of Monte Verde, which shows evidence of people living in the area as much as 15,000 years ago. Puerto Chacabuco is a small settlement, but is located in an area where almost 70% of the land is protected as a national park. Local food and crafts can be found in nearby towns, or you can simply enjoy the majestic wonder of the sloping valleys covered in cascading forest and thundering waterfalls.
Then you will cruise through the stunning vistas of the Chilean Fjords, with miles of snow-capped volcanoes, glittering waterfalls and magnificent mountain ranges on every side. Not something that everyone gets to experience, a cruise through this beautiful area really is a special experience. Although all of your on-board entertainment is included in the price, it’s unlikely that you’ll want to go below deck and miss a single second of these stunning fjords.
Commonly regarded as the southernmost city in the world, this beautiful coastal settlement is picturesquely snuggled between the snow-capped Andes and the glassy waters of the Beagle Channel. Visit the Tierra del Fuego National Park and see the panorama of beauty that surrounds the city, with its glaciers, forests, waterfalls, lakes and mountain peaks. The Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse us also worth a visit, although it is still in operation so you can’t look inside. It’s picturesque red and white conical appearance makes it look more like the cover of a children’s story than a functional lighthouse. If you’re lucky, you might even spot some penguins basking on the stony shores.
Next on your itinerary is Stanley, capital of the Falkland Islands. Built on a north-facing slope so that its brightly painted wooden homes get as much sunlight as possible, the city overlooks the beautiful harbour. British influence can still be seen in the city, which has iconic red phone boxes and several quaint old inns. Explore the city on foot and search out the many military and marine monuments that are dotted about. The Falklands are renowned for their beautiful leather and woollen products, so this is also the perfect place to find souvenir to take home.
The largest city in Uruguay, Montevideo is a fascinating town with a rich heritage. Stroll along La Rambla, a long walkway that separates the city from the sea, and lets you walk right into the Old Town without any interruption. In the old town you can see the stunning Teatro Solis, the second largest theatre in South America, with its imposing stone-pillared façade, as well as the ruins of the originals walls and gate of the town. Whilst you’re there, be sure to try the traditional drink of Uruguay – Yerba Mate Tea. The bitter herbal tea is served in a special container and drunk through a kind of straw.
South America Tour
Once you arrive in Buenos Aires you will have reached the end of your cruise and be ready to start the exciting six-night tour of the highlights of South America. Argentina’s capital has a rich heritage, and has plenty to do, whether you’re looking for iconic attractions or hidden gems. Visit the grave of Evita, Argentina’s most iconic First Lady, at the fascinating Cementerio de la Recoleta. See amazing artwork by iconic Latino artists including Frida Kahlo at Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires. Just wonder around the streets, taking in the beautiful architecture and enjoying the abundance of fabulous street markets in the oldest barrios of Buenos Aires.
A trip to the exquisite Iguazu Falls is likely to be one of the highlights of your trip, as few things can compare to the awesome spectacle of 275 individual waterfalls thundering into the river below. Tourists and locals have been fascinated by these breath-taking falls for centuries, and several myths and legends attempt to explain their origin.
Rio de Janeiro
It’s hard not to fall in love with Rio de Janeiro and the two-day tour of the city that ends your South American adventure is likely to make you do just that. With acres of white beach, a stunning mountain backdrop, and palatial buildings in between, this sultry capital has something for everyone. No trip would be complete without a tour to the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue, who overlooks the city with a serene face carved in pale stone. You will also climb to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain during your time in Rio de Janeiro, giving you a unique vantage point over the city and the iconic statue that sits across the bay.
This amazing South America Cruise and Tour departs on 15 November 2017, with a price tag of $4,999 including everything from cruise entertainment to an exciting tour of the most iconic cities. If you think this cruise holiday is for you, book this cruise online or call our team on 1300 857 345.