South America Draws Travelers in Search of the Exotic and Adventurous
Extending from the equatorial tropics to the outskirts of Antarctica, South America is exotic, sexy, historic and modern – all at the same time. This continent of 15 countries is a land of superlatives, with the world’s highest waterfall, Angel Falls; its largest river and rainforest, the Amazon; longest mountain range, the Andes; driest desert, Atacama; and southernmost city, Ushuaia.
“South America’s abundance of many attractions is best enjoyed via a cruise vacation,” said Terry L. Dale, president and CEO of the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the chief marketing organization for 19 premier cruise lines and nearly 17,000 North American travel agencies. “CLIA-member lines visit a portfolio of diverse South American ports of call, and optional shore excursions range from the sublime to the adventuresome.”
South America’s seasons are the opposite of North America’s, meaning the region’s summer weather occurs from December through March – wintertime in North America. Because South America encompasses an area of nearly 7 million square miles, it is difficult for land travelers to explore the continent’s many attractions in one vacation. But cruise passengers can experience South America’s vibrant coastal cities and culturally rich inland attractions all in one voyage.
Several CLIA-member lines offer South America sailings departing from Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro, Chile’s Valparaiso, and Argentina’s Buenos Aires, while others depart from North American homeports. Journeys range from three to 72 days and are operated from October through April. In addition to visiting traditional ports of call on and around the continent, some South America itineraries call at the Falkland Islands and Antarctica, while others are offered as segments of world cruise itineraries.
Optional cruise line tours available in South America range from “flightseeing” excursions to Antarctica to view penguins, sea lions and marine birds, to Amazon River exploration via native canoe. Cruise guests can also explore Ushuaia, Argentina, the southernmost city in the world, where they can journey through Tierra del Fuego on horseback. Other land excursions visit majestic cities including Rio de Janeiro, home to Copacabana and Ipanema beaches, Sugarloaf Mountain and Botafogo Bay, all located within the city’s dazzling downtown district.
Following is a listing of South America itineraries available aboard CLIA member lines in 2006 and 2007:
Celebrity Cruises’ Infinity features five South America itineraries in 2007. The 14-night cruises include three that sail between Buenos Aires and Valparaiso, one from Valparaiso to Fort Lauderdale, and another roundtrip from Buenos Aires with two nights in Rio de Janeiro during Carnaval.
Costa Cruises Costa Fortuna sails on three- to eight-night itineraries to Brazil from Dec. 23 through March 2. Sister Costa Romantica features three- to 22-night itineraries to Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Chile’s Tierra del Fuego from Dec. 8 to March 8.
Crystal Cruises visits South America during the Crystal Serenity’s world cruise in January, including a 15-day Miami to Valparaiso itinerary, and an 18-day Valparaiso-Buenos Aires itinerary. Highlights include cruising past Chilean Fjords, Cape Horn, and Antarctica’s Palmer Station and Elephant Island.
Cunard Line’s Queen Mary 2 calls the ports of Rio de Janeiro; Montevideo, Uruguay; and Valparaiso (Santiago), Chile, during a 26-day segment of her maiden world cruise, “Westward Around the Horn,” which travels from Fort Lauderdale to San Francisco, departing Jan. 10.
HOLLAND AMERICA LINE
Holland America Line broadens its South America cruise program this year and next with new voyages that enhance accessibility and link sights on multiple continents. Pri nsendam, Rotterdam, Ryndam and Veendam offer itineraries from 1 6 to 66 days, visiting 60 ports on 26 sailings.
MSC Cruises’ four- to 10-night itineraries feature beautiful locales. MSC Sinfonia’s nine- and 10-night itineraries from Rio de Janeiro visit Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay. MSC Armonia’s four-, five-, six-, seven- and eight-night Rio roundtrips call at several exciting Brazilian cities.
NORWEGIAN COASTAL VOYAGES
Norwegian Coastal Voyages’ ice-class rated Nordkapp and Nordnorge sail on 19-day “Antarctica & Chilean Fjord” itineraries between Santiago and Buenos Aires from November through February. 21-day “Falkland Islands, South Georgia & Antarctica” voyages are available in October and February.
NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE
From January through March, Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Crown sails on 14-day Chilean Fjords itineraries between Buenos Aires and Santiago, calling at ports in Argentina, Chile, the Falkland Islands and Uruguay. Scenic cruising includes the Patagonic Channels, Beagle Channel and Cape Horn.
From December through March, Oceania Cruises’ Insignia sails South American waters with three 10-day cruises from Rio to Buenos Aires calling at ports in Brazil and Uruguay, and four 16-day Buenos Aires-Valparaiso itineraries that cruise the Chilean Fjords and Cape Horn.
From late November through February, Orient Lines’ Marco Polo offers South America itineraries of nine to 28 days. Routings include Cape Town to Rio, Cape Town to Buenos Aires, Ushuaia to Valparaiso, Valparaiso to Buenos Aires, Valparaiso to Rio,` and Buenos Aires to Rio.
From January to March Princess Cruises’ Golden Princess sails on “Cape Horn & Straits of Magellan,” “Andes & South America,” “Brazilian Adventure,” and a “Connoisseur Antarctica & South America” voyage. Regal Princess sails the Amazon River and on Andes cruises.
REGENT SEVEN SEAS CRUISES
Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ Seven Seas Mariner offers a 59-night “Grand Circle South America” voyage in January, offered in 11- to 19-night segments. Seven Seas Voyager calls at South American ports on a 25-night world cruise segment, from Fort Lauderdale to Cape Town.
ROYAL CARIBBEAN INTERNATIONAL
Royal Caribbean International’s Splendour of the Seas sails to South America from Dec. 20 through mid-February 2008 on alternating six- and eight-night itineraries calling at Buenos Aires, Uruguay’s Punta del Este and Brazil’s Rio, Buzios, Cabo Frio, Angra Dos Reis and Ilhabela.
SEABOURN CRUISE LINE
Seabourn Cruise Line’s Seabourn Pride circumnavigates South America on a 72-day voyage starting in January. Seven- to 18-day segments include Fort Lauderdale to Valparaiso, Valparaiso to Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires to Rio, Rio to Manaus, and Manaus to Fort Lauderdale.
Silversea Cruises’ Silver Wind sails a 16-day Valparaiso to Buenos Aires itinerary in January to the Chilean Fjords and Falkland Islands. Ports include Puerto Montt, Puerto Chacabuco, Laguna San Rafael and Punta Arenas, Chile; Puerto Madryn, Argentina; and Punta del Este and Montevideo, Uruguay.
The best way to learn more about these exciting South America itineraries is to seek the professional counsel of a CLIA travel agent.
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