South America Cruises: Where to Go
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South America Cruises: Where to Go

6 min read

Jul 25, 2019


By Jaclyn Hill

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Last updated on October 16th, 2020 at 01:22 pm

South America is full of beautiful natural sites, rich history, and vibrant cultures. From the Galápagos Islands in Ecuador to the charming Cartagena in Colombia to the ancient history of Cusco, Peru – there’s a lot to see and do. For particular destinations in South America, we recommend touring by cruise, rather than exploring every region by land. Avoid adding multiple land transfers to your trip, and have an expert set you up with a full-package cruise tour. Booking a custom South America cruise with an expert will make sorting through your travel options a whole lot easier.  When you go this route, the entire trip is customized and planned for you. You will be able to catch sight of some of the country’s best offerings, all from the comfort of the ship. Read more about the various cruise offerings to determine which is right for you. 

Amazon Rainforest Cruises

Amazon Rainforest Cruises travel along the Amazon River, surrounded by the luscious Amazon Jungle. Travelers can choose from many Amazon Cruise options. There are various types of vessels, depending on the kind of experience you are looking to obtain. Also, cruise routes vary in terms of which part of the Amazon you are looking to see. There are separate cruises that you can schedule to take you through the tributaries that branch off of the Amazon River. These cruises allow visitors to feel fully immersed in the rainforest as they sail down exclusive paths. These routes may be less traveled, but they still offer several must-see sites worthy of exploration. These are recommended to travelers seeking to gain an off-the-grid experience.   The Tucano River Cruise sails through the river, with lush trees surrounding   The most popular Amazon cruise offered is the Tucano Amazon Cruise, a feature in the National Geographic Traveler Magazine. The Tucano is unique due to its size. While all cruises and lodges provide an incredible experience, the Tucano, with only 13 cabins, provides a more intimate and therefore, more authentic experience. The crew and guides take passengers via launches and canoes to some of the lesser-known tributaries along the river, exploring deep into the Amazon. Visitors get the opportunity to witness unique sights such as the Meeting of the Waters and the Anavilhanas Archipelago – an island system part of a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site. This once-in-a-lifetime cruise runs for 5-days / 4-nights, perfect for gaining an authentic experience within the Amazon.

Galápagos Island Cruises

The Galápagos Islands are one of the last unspoiled places on Earth. Where animals can roam free, and vegetation spreads rampantly without the interference of humankind. In fact, of the 120 islands that make up the Galápagos, only four have human inhabitants. The Galápagos Islands are home to one of the most diverse wildlife populations on earth. Such communities include penguins, tortoises, sea lions and exotic birds, all calling this island paradise home.    Galapagos Island Cruise Family Onboard   The Galápagos Islands Legend Cruise takes you directly to this virtually untouched corner of the planet. The ship itself is one of the most comfortable and luxurious available. Complete with modern amenities, balcony suites, and an elegant dining hall. As the ship sails, keep your eyes peeled for the variety of seabirds and sea life that flock to and surround the island. When you disembark, enjoy a substantial period during which you are free to explore the islands at your leisure. 

Antarctica Cruises 

When most people think of South America cruises, they think of cruises that will take them through the lush rainforests of the Amazon, along tributaries lined with sand or through ancient ruins. However, while tropical settings and historical sites undoubtedly characterize South America, it is not too far from Antarctica, affectionately known as the land of ice.    The cruise ship cruises through the icy water of Antarctica   An example of an Antarctica cruise begins on King George Island,  which is a two-hour flight from Punta Arenas. Once you arrive on King George Island, be greeted by a cruise representative, and begin your eight-day glacier-filled adventure. Because the weather is so unpredictable in the arctic, every cruise itinerary looks different. However, looking at these itineraries will give you a greater understanding of the type of adventure you as a traveler would experience on an Antarctica cruise. These itineraries are quite different than what one might get on an Amazon River cruise. During your Antarctica cruise, visit one or several of the South Shetland Islands, which include Paradise Bay, Lemaire Channel, Port Lockroy, Paulet Island, and Petermann Island, to name a few. If you’re lucky when you disembark you’ll be greeted by a Gentoo, Emperor, Adelie, Chinstrap, or Macaroni penguin colony. While there is a no-touch policy, if you stay still, they may come up to you to take a picture!  Charismatic sea elephants are also abundant in this region and are very recognizable because of their trunk-like inflatable snouts.

Patagonia Cruises

Some of the most popular cruises in South America are Patagonia cruises. These cruises take you to the “uttermost end of the earth.” Where you will be privy to some of the most spectacular sites on this planet. If you elect for the Ushuaia – Punta Arenas route, you will travel through the Strait of Magellan and Beagle Channel. The stops made are at preserved sites such as Cape Horn National Park, Pia Glacier, De Agostini Sound, and Magdalena Island. Each stop offers a unique experience that you will be hard-pressed to find elsewhere.    A cruise ship sails through the water with gorgeous mountains in the background   For instance, when you stop at Wulaia Bay on the Cap, you will walk in the same footsteps as Charles Darwin. As well as have the opportunity to explore the home of the region’s largest aboriginal settlements. At Pia Glacier, a team of experienced hikers will lead you to Garibaldi Fjord. Where a frozen waterfall waits to wow you, at Magdalena Island, come prepared to be greeted by a large colony of Magellan Penguins. Who will follow you to the island’s famous lighthouse?

Contact a South America Cruise Expert 

South America has so much to offer, and sometimes the best way to explore a region is by cruise. Book your custom South America cruise to explore all the region has to offer. 

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Last updated on October 16th, 2020 at 01:22 pm

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