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Rio de Janeiro - Hotel Stay
Fly to Brazil’s samba-fuelled capital and be transferred to your hotel. During your three-night stay you’ll have plenty of time to take in the city’s extraordinary contrasts, from the golden beaches and tangled forests, to the high-rise skyscrapers and colourful favelas. Soar to the top of Corcovado for jaw-dropping views of the seafront and cityscape and gaze up at the outstretched arms of Christ the Redeemer, who presides over the city with his watchful, enigmatic gaze. From samba to surfing, you’ll be caught up in the rhythms of Rio.
Santiago - Hotel Stay
You will fly to Santiago, the fun-loving capital of Chile. On arrival, head to your hotel to relax before you board the ship the following day. The city is cradled by snow-capped mountains, made up of a number of varied neighbourhoods – each with their own character – and home to a surprising culinary scene. Head out to one of the famous restaurants to experience Chilean cuisine for yourself.
San Antonio (Santiago) - Embark ms Zaandam
You will be transferred from your hotel to the port in San Antonio, where you will board ms Zaandam ahead of your 14-night cruise around South America. With its sleek European styling and huge array of on board features, you’ll find plenty to discover as the ship leaves port, bound for your first destination.
A day at sea is the perfect opportunity to make the most of the variety of facilities available on board your luxury cruise liner. ms Zaandam is beautifully light and spacious, filled with musical instruments signed by famous bands such as Queen and the Rolling Stones which you can spot as you stroll around your ship. Enrol in a cooking class in the Test Kitchen, book a treatment in the Greenhouse Spa & Salon, or indulge your taste buds in the fine dining restaurants on board.
This port city is the gateway to Chile’s picturesque Lake District, with its volcanic landscape marked by lofty peaks and sparkling waters. Take a short trip to nearby Puerto Varas – often the starting point to treks in Patagonian or Chiloé – and stroll around the town with a view over Lake Llanquihue, Chile’s second-largest lake, and the snow-capped volcanoes of Osorno and Calbuco.
Tiny, charming Puerto Chacabuco is so remote that it only recently put up street signs, but it still serves as a key entry point to Chilean Patagonia. Put on your walking shoes and strike out on an adventure through the Río Simpson National Reserve, where you’ll find beautiful views of waterfalls and tumbling rivers. This unspoilt region of Chile is a joy to explore.
Chilean Fjords (scenic cruising)
With the best views from the water, you’ll be in prime position for witnessing the magnificent scenery of the Chilean Fjords. This dramatic, windswept destination on the west coast is laced with deep fjords, with the ship following a twisting route through the channels and offering up breath-taking scenery. Many of Chile’s national parks can be found here, and the area has a surprising historical edge with early Spanish explorers flocking here in search of reported diamonds and gold.
Wear your warmest coat to stay out on deck as the ship traverses the Sarmiento Channel, slicing between the Chilean mainland and a trio of islands to the west. As with the fjords, the channel is characterised by its impressive scenery with a ragged coastline, snow-covered mountains and glaciers running down to the sea. Keep your eyes open for the wildlife: you may spot penguins, elephant seals, dolphins and orcas.
Sailing through the Strait of Magellan you’ll arrive in Punta Arenas, a colourful city with an end-of-the-world feel on the country’s southernmost tip. Set between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, the city packs a surprising geographic, political and geographic punch which contradicts its relatively small size. Pay a visit to the Torres del Paine National Park to experience the wild beauty of Patagonia, spot penguins at Isla Magdalena or try kayaking in the icy Strait of Magellan.
You’ll sail now to the southernmost tip of Argentina, and the otherworldly city of Ushuaia. The capital of the Tierra del Fuego region is home to glaciers, mountains, forests and sparkling lakes, interspersed by windswept, wide plains where wild animals roam free. All the streets in the town lead down to the port, which is where expedition vessels leave from, bound for Antarctica and the tiny islands en route.
Cape Horn (scenic cruising)
Sailing around Cape Horn is a rite of passage in the sailing world, crossing the point where the Atlantic and Pacific oceans meet in a slosh of powerful winds and surging waves that reach as high as 30 metres high. Before the Panama Canal, this was the only route between the east and west coasts of South America and travelling through it is an experience you will always remember.
Red telephone boxes, cosy pubs, and curious British heritage. The Falkland Islands are a remote collection of lands first claimed by the English in 1765, and long fought-over by Argentina and the Crown. Stanley is the southernmost capital city – if you can call it that – in the world, once known for its whaling and seal hunting, but now famous for fishing, tourism and its curious political history.
Two days at sea gives you time to relax after your incredible adventure. Learn more about the animals you may have spotted on route at BBC Earth Experiences and Explore the Natural World, or simply immerse yourself in the various dining options, world-class entertainment and illuminating activities.
This fun-loving, flashy city is often overlooked in favour of big-hitting Buenos Aires across the Río de la Plata waterway, but the Uruguayan capital of Montevideo has much to offer visitors. Spend a day here sampling the delicious cuisine of the city’s famous steakhouses, relax on the beaches and enjoy a spot of people watching or head into the colonial centre, Ciudad Vieja, where you can stroll the network of streets and restored Art Deco buildings.
The ‘Paris of the South’, Buenos Aires is the elegant capital of Argentina which bears more than a little resemblance to the ‘City of Light’. Its grand boulevards are lined with chic Belle Epoque buildings, leafy parks and creative neighbourhoods like Palermo, where you’ll find a clutch of innovative restaurants.
Buenos Aires - Disembark ms Zaandam and Hotel Stay
Spend a night in port on board the ship before disembarking for a night in a hotel in the city. Spend a night relaxing (and eating the city’s excellent steak, if you choose) before boarding your flight the following day.
Other regional airports may be available*