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South America Passage - Why not now?

Categories:

  • Cruises
  • South America
  • Chile

Price:

From $3,299

Stay:

14 nights

Travel Dates:

Saturday 22nd of February 2020 until Saturday 7th of March 2020

Description:

South America Passage - Why not now? 14 Nights aboard Zaandam - from $3299* per person.

SPECIAL DEAL

Special is valid to 28 Feb 19.
- 14 night cruise onboard Zaandam 
- Main meals & entertainment onboard 
- Port charges & government fees 

BONUS: 
- FREE upgrade from an Interior stateroom to an Oceanview stateroom* 
- Receive up to 10% off select shore excursions* 
- Pay a reduced deposit of $220pp* 
- PLUS, book a suite & receive US$400 onboard credit per stateroom*

YOUR CRUISE IN DETAIL

14 Night cruise sailing from San Antonio to Buenos Aires onboard Zaandam.

Designed to carry fewer guests while offering greater space, Zaandam is elegant and comfortable. Her décor is inspired by music and features musical instruments including signed guitars from Queen, Iggy Pop, Eric Clapton and the Rolling Stones and a Baroque-style pipe organ. While on-board, enjoy cooking shows and hands-on workshops with America’s Test Kitchen. Rejuvenate at the Greenhouse Spa & Salon. Indulge at any of our fine dining venues.

Highlights of this cruise:

Puerto Montt, Chile
Puerto Montt, the capital of the Los Lagos region of Chile, is often called the gateway to the country’s glacial lakes, volcanic landscapes and surrounding national parks. The port is also home to an over-100-year-old German settlement as well as to indigenous communities of Mapuche people. Adventure travelers often base themselves here and in Puerto Varas when planning treks to Chiloé and Patagonia. Even a short visit, however, provides a fascinating look into Chile’s diverse cultures and offers a taste of the country's stunning scenery. 

From a stroll around Puerto Varas overlooking Lake Llanquihue, one of Chile’s largest lakes, to a meal in the fishing village of Angelmó of the practically still-snapping catch of the day, washed down with a traditional German-style white wine, Puerto Montt is a fascinating introduction to southern Chile and the people who make their home in one of the world's most photogenic landscapes.

Puerto Chacabuco, Chile
The tiny town of Puerto Chacabuco, with just over 1,000 residents, sits at the head of the Aisén Fjord. Even residents will acknowledge that there isn’t much to see in the town itself, which only recently bothered to put up street signs; the largest building is a fish-processing plant. It won’t take much more than a quick stroll to explore the entire municipality. Though this modest port may be lacking in compelling attractions, it is the gateway to some of the most beautiful sights in this part of Chilean Patagonia. 

Many visitors choose to drive to the provincial capital, Coihaique, or Puerto Aisén, a city that straddles the Aisén River and is less than 20 minutes by car from Puerto Chacabuco. In both you can find options to shop for handicrafts and excellent local restaurants. To experience the natural beauty of the region, head to the Río Simpson National Reserve for stunning vistas, pristine waterfalls and crystal-clear canyon rivers—which are especially famous for their fantastic fly fishing and their enormous brown and rainbow trout. It doesn’t take long to get from Puerto Chacabuco to these nearby sights, so avoid the temptation to stay on board your ship and instead put on your walking shoes and go witness some of the wonders of this part of Chile.

Chilean Fjords
Much like the Norwegian coastline, the west coast of Chile is sliced by dramatic inlets, or fjords, lined with rugged mountains and glacier-covered valleys. This spectacular stretch of coastline starts near the Reloncaví Estuary (roughly halfway down the long spine of Chile) and extends south to the very end of the continent, at Tierra del Fuego. It's a distance of some 1,500 kilometers (930 miles), as the crow flies. Travel here, however, is never in a straight line—instead ships follow meandering paths along the many fjords and channels.

The area is known for its desolate beauty and not surprisingly it's home to many of Chile's national parks, including Alerce Andino, Hornopirén and Vicente Pérez Rosales, as well as the Llanquihue National Reserve and the Cochamó Valley. Early Spanish explorers came here in search of the mythical City of the Caesars, whose people were believed to be rich in gold and diamonds. Though the city was never found, the explorers added much to the world's navigational knowledge and at the same time established shipping routes that have been used ever since. Similarly, the riches that travelers to the region today discover are measured not in ounces or carats but in gasps of wonder at the stunning scenery of this windswept, dramatic land and its unusual animal residents.

Canal Sarmiento
One of the main channels in Patagonia, the Sarmiento Channel runs in a north-south direction, starting at the Guía Narrows and finishing at the southern edge of Victoria Pass, where it joins the Smyth Channel. The Kawesqar people have inhabited this region for more than 6,000 years, but the channel was named for a more recent arrival: the Spanish explorer Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa, who first navigated it between 1579 and 1580. The Chilean mainland lies to the east, and the islands of Esperanza, Vancouver and Piazzi flank the channel to the west. As elsewhere in the Chilean fjord region, the ragged coastline is cut with inlets set among snow-covered mountain ranges. In many places, massive glaciers run down to the sea. All kinds of marine animals, including Magellanic penguins, southern elephant seals, dolphins and orcas, can be seen along these shores.

Strait Of Magellan
Before the Panama Canal, there was the Strait of Magellan. This cinematic channel linking the Atlantic and Pacific oceans cuts between the mainland tip of South America and Tierra del Fuego island. It was the passage of choice for seafaring transport between these two oceans until the Panama Canal shortened the distance by thousands of miles in 1914.

The first European to traverse its waters, all 560 kilometers (350 miles) in length and up to 32 kilometers (20 miles) in width of them, was Portuguese sailor Ferdinand Magellan, who did so in 1520 in the name of Spanish exploration. Magellan surely sailed mouth agape at the impressive glacial and mountainous scenery, the undiscovered colonies of Magellanic penguins, pods of humpback whales and schools of Commerson’s and Peale’s dolphins—all surely as equally agog with the presence of man in this Patagonian paradise. With photogenic Punta Arenas as its main port, the Strait of Magellan is a bucket-list voyage for intrepid adventurers the world over.

Punta Arenas, Chile
If Punta Arenas exudes an "edge of the world" air, it's not without reason. This windblown city near Chile's southernmost tip sits on the Strait of Magellan, which itself is positioned squarely between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. The city has played—and continues to play—an important role in geographic, political and economic affairs in South America's so-called Southern Cone, which is formed by Chile and neighboring Argentina. Too many travelers rush through Punta Arenas, treating it as a pit stop on their way to the stunningly beautiful landscapes of Torres del Paine National Park and other attractions in Patagonia, but there's plenty in this city and its environs to experience, too. From penguin spotting on Isla Magdalena and kayaking the Strait of Magellan to visiting area farms and then indulging in surf-and-turf specialties (here meaning fresh seafood and asado, or Chilean barbecue) at local restaurants, Punta Arenas is worth a stopover all its own.

Cockburn Channel
As you near the southern tip of South America, traveling along the Chilean or Pacific coast, you'll know that you're approaching the Cockburn (pronounced "CO-burn") Channel when you see the twin rocks that guard its entrance. The channel flows between the Brecknock Peninsula (the westernmost edge of Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego) and a number of islands, including Clarence Island with its irregular coastline of dramatic sounds that reach deep into its interior. The channel is part of the route that connects the Strait of Magellan to the Beagle Channel, while along both sides of the waterway is one of the crown jewels of Chile’s network of parks: Alberto de Agostini National Park.

The Cockburn Channel shares the same entrance to the Pacific as the Bárbara Channel. Because of its proximity to the open sea, you may experience some ocean swells as your ship navigates its length. The coastline here is rich in fjords and glaciers. The Pia Fjord is especially beautiful, as dozens of waterfalls cascade down the slopes into its waters. If you watch long enough, you may see huge chunks of ice calve off Pia Glacier and fall into the sea.

Beagle Channel
Running through the Tierra del Fuego archipelago, the Beagle Channel is a scenic and wonderfully calm strait that has become a hugely popular cruise destination. Named in 1830 after a charting voyage by the HMS Beagle—the ship that later became famous for carrying English naturalist Charles Darwin on his five-year journey of discovery—the channel is one of a trio of navigable passages around the tip of South America. Some 240 kilometers long (almost 150 miles), the channel extends from Nueva Island in the east to Darwin Sound and Cook Bay in the west. Its western end lies within Chile, and its eastern end forms a segment of the border between Chile and Argentina. By far the largest sight along the channel is the town of Ushuaia in Argentina, which has much to offer the day-tripper or overnight visitor. Other highlights of a cruise include a slew of natural sights, from views of snow-covered glaciers to wildlife spotting at Isla de los Lobos (also called Sea Lion Island) and Isla de los Pájaros (Bird Island).

Daylight Cruising Glacier Alley
As alleys go, this one is mighty long. Glacier Alley—or, as it’s more elegantly known, Avenue of the Glaciers—stretches along a good portion of the celebrated 240-kilometer-long (150-mile-long) Beagle Channel in the vast territory of Tierra del Fuego. Argentina’s Ushuaia and Chile’s Puerto Williams, both common starting points for travelers exploring Glacier Alley, are two of the world’s southernmost towns. As you travel into the Beagle Channel, the vital waterway that allowed ships to avoid the hellish fury of the waters around Cape Horn, you follow the route that the famous HMS Beagle took with a young and then-unknown geologist and naturalist on board, Charles Darwin.

While fighting the harsh elements, and with no creature comforts like the ones enjoyed today, those early sailors were at least treated to one stunning glacier after another, each flowing down from massive mountain ranges and peaks such as the snowcapped one named for Darwin himself. Even if your journey is shrouded in foggy mist, you can’t miss the cracking sound of the blue ice as it tumbles into the channel or the rush of ice-melt waterfalls. Along with all these natural wonders, a visit to Glacier Alley comes with opportunities to see penguin rookeries, humpback whales and seals.

Ushuaia, Argentina
Dramatic, fantastical, otherworldly—this is the end of the world, for real. Positioned at the southernmost tip of Argentina, this memorable port town is cradled between the pristine—and towering—Martial Mountains and accessed by the picturesque Beagle Channel (which was named for Darwin’s famed vessel). Ushuaia is the capital of the Tierra del Fuego region, which is best described as a spectacular collection of superlative natural wonders. It’s a veritable kaleidoscope of glittering glaciers, snowcapped mountains, dense forests, sparkling lakes and windswept plains spread across an archipelago of rugged islands.

The town itself is a maze of streets lined with low-slung buildings that all seem to meet at its heart, the port. Founded in 1884, the far-flung spot welcomed missionaries, gold prospectors and naval officers before becoming known primarily as a penal colony. After its closure under the infamous Argentine leader Juan Perón, the large jail was reconfigured to house one of the city’s most popular museums. Other current in-town attractions include a maritime museum and a museum dedicated to the region’s natural history, as well as restaurants preparing the marquee offering—local king crab.

Stanley/Falkland Is/Islas Malvinas
The world's southernmost capital, Stanley is located in the Falklands archipelago, which consists of two main islands, East and West Falkland, along with smaller islands nearby. Stanley is proud of its British heritage, evidenced everywhere from its red telephone boxes to its pubs. The Falklands were first claimed by the English in 1765; over the centuries the Crown has had to abandon, reclaim and defend these far-flung islands from invading nations—including an Argentine foray in 1982. During the early years of their colonization, the Falklands were used as a base for ships hunting sperm whales for oil, followed by those hunting seals for fur. Today in this remote British territory, fishing and tourism are what drive the economy.

Scenic Cruising Cape Horn
It may be the most notorious ocean passage in the world, and for centuries it evoked dread in the hearts of sailors. But those who survived a trip around Cape Horn, where the Atlantic and Pacific slosh violently into each other, had bragging rights for life. Along this passage, the Tierra del Fuego, or "land of fire," where Chile and Argentina converge at the bottom of the world, got its name from early sailors who saw the fires of the people who lived here burning on shore. For some 8,000 years, until as recently as the end of the 19th century, this was the home of the Yaghan and other indigenous groups. 

Magellan and Drake left their mark and names here, as did Darwin, who sailed through here on the HMS Beagle. The great clipper ships of '49er lore later fought their way through fierce waves carrying gold between California and the East Coast in that era before the Panama Canal. Just as Richard Henry Dana, Jr., described in his masterful Two Years Before the Mast, published in 1840, a journey today around the Cape at the very bottom of the Tierra is shaped by capricious weather, as powerful winds and shallow waters can produce waves that reach as high as 30 meters (100 feet).

Buenos Aires, Argentina
In the early 20th century, Buenos Aires, Argentina, gained immense wealth when it began shipping its pampas-raised beef around the world. It quickly entered the club of great world cities, and a slew of attractions and architectural jewels soon arose. Since that time, the capital has experienced huge swings in economic and political fortune. But Buenos Aires continues to fascinate and entertain sightseeing visitors, both for its chaotic energy and for its sheer urban beauty. Thankfully, the Belle Époque grandeur and enormous tracts of greenery remain. Any list of things to do in Buenos Aires would begin with its many walkable neighborhoods; Palermo especially stands out, thanks to creative residents who have pushed the restaurant scene well beyond beef.

Porteños—as the locals are called—may be of Spanish, Italian, Jewish or Middle Eastern descent; that mix of cultures is reflected in the city's dialect, foods and pastimes. Looking beyond the city's sights, Buenos Aires is known as the birthplace of tango, and while the music and dance never quite went away, today tango is making a resurgence. Fans come here from around the world to take part in or watch the milongas (dance events). Argentines are world leaders in polo as well, and as the sport captures the interest of more and more travelers, hunky players like Nacho are gaining global celebrity.

Montevideo, Uruguay
Uruguay’s capital, Montevideo, often gets overshadowed by her larger, flashier sister across the Río de la Plata, Buenos Aires. While Montevideo may not have quite the bustle of Argentina’s capital, it shares that city’s cosmopolitan atmosphere and, of course, excellent steak houses. Its smaller size is also an advantage: There is a relaxed feel to this more low-key counterpart to BA.

Montevideo has a surprising mix of neighborhoods. The Ciudad Vieja, with its grid of streets on a peninsula separating the Río de la Plata from the harbor, is the colonial heart. Long neglected, it has recently undergone a renaissance—restaurants, bars and clubs are opening in historic buildings that have been meticulously restored. Montevideo’s downtown is a treasure trove of Art Deco buildings, while the newer eastern suburbs may evoke Miami for visitors. Gleaming skyscrapers and open-air cafés overlook beaches that run for miles.

Of all the cities of Latin America, perhaps none are as approachable as Montevideo. Residents appreciate a good steak from cattle raised on the pampas or a stroll along the malecón with an ice cream cone in hand. After a day here, you likely will too.

Conditions: *Offer ends 28 Feb 2019, unless sold out prior. Fares are cruise only, per person in NZD, twin share, based on lead categories, inclusive of all taxes, fees & port expenses (which are subject to change). Gratuities are additional. Subject to availability at time of booking. Offers are per stateroom based on double occupancy, for 1st & 2nd guests sharing a stateroom & valid for new bookings only. Offers are applicable on select 2019 & 2020 departures. STATEROOM UPGRADES: are available in select stateroom categories & are subject to availability of the staterooms in the higher category. REDUCED DEPOSIT: is a reduction off the standard deposit amount with the remainder due on final payment of the booking. Bookings made on voyages requiring immediate final payment are not eligible for a reduced deposit. Final payment is due 75 days prior to departure. SHORE EXCURSION OFFER: applies only to select shore excursions on select sailings, purchased in advance of embarkation, prior to 28 February 2019. If a shore excursion is cancelled once on board, refund will be the amount paid. SUITE OFFER: Onboard spending money is offered in the following amounts: cruises 7-10 days receive US$200 per suite; cruises 11-14 days receive US$400 per suite & cruises 15+ days receive US$600 per suite. Onboard spending money is in USD per stateroom & is non-refundable, non-transferable, not for cash value, expires at the end of that cruise, & may not be used in the medical centre or casino. Travel agent service fees map apply. Further conditions apply. Whilst all information is correct at time of publication, offers are subject to change or withdrawal. Based on the exchange rate as at 13 Dec 2019.

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