Blue Water Holidays
Blue Water Holidays - ABTA - ATOL - CLIA
Experts in River and Small Ship Cruising Holidays since 2002
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Blue Water Holidays - ABTA - ATOL - CLIA
01756 706500
+44 1756 706500
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South America Cruises

Discover a continent of dramatic contrasts, from exciting cities to stunning fjords, lush rainforests and abundant wildlife

The continent of South America offers a diverse range of superb cruising areas, with beautiful coastlines, vibrant cities and exotic rainforests to explore.

  • Christ the Redeemer, rio de Janeiro
  • Chilean Fjords
  • Machu Picchu
  • Sugarloaf Mountain, Brazil

About South America Cruises

Take a trip up the Amazon River, through magnificent rainforests teeming with wildlife and discover what makes this region so unique. We offer a range of cruises along the Amazon, on discovery, small expedition ships and luxury ships.

Discover fascinating Chile and Argentina with a trip to Patagonia and discover the Chilean Fjords and Andes, and the stunning beauty of the Tierra del Fuego National Park in Argentina.

Explore the highlights of Brazil including golden beaches and the magnificent cities of Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires, or take a trip to Peru and the spectacular Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu.

Explore the unique Galapagos archipelago with its abundance of rare wildlife and breathtaking scenery, with choice of land tours in Ecuador or Peru.

Macaws, Rainforest

Cruise Collection 2018 / 2019 / 2020 / 2021

South America

All of our South America cruises are shown below. Tick the boxes to filter by date, type and duration.

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  • South America and the Caribbean

    11 Nights - San Juan and Back

    Viking Sea Viking Sea

    Explore the historic cities of Cartagena and Santa Marta in South America and the diverse islands of the Caribbean, including Puerto Rico and Aruba on this fantastic cruise on stylish ship Viking Sea, with return flights from the UK and guided shore excursions 2019 - Feb Save £500pp PLUS free gratuities!

    City Hall, Santo Domingo Fly Cruise Package
    From £2490pp
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  • Radiant Reflections of South America

    12 Nights - Rio de Janeiro to Buenos Aires

    Sirena Sirena

    Join luxury ship Sirena on this exciting cruise from Brazil's atmospheric Rio de Janeiro to the elegant Argentinian capital of Buenos Aires 2019 - Feb Free Internet PLUS a Choice of a Free Beverage Package, 6 Free Shore Excursions or $600 Shipboard Credit!

    Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro Cruise Only
    From £3159pp
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  • Inca Mysteries and Machu Picchu

    13 Nights - San Jose to Lima

    Fram Fram

    Uncover the lost world of the Incas at Machu Picchu, transit the iconic Panama Canal and visit Ecuador's beautiful beaches on this superb expedition voyage. Includes hotel stays in San Jose, Lima and the Sacred Valley and return flights between Lima and Cusco 2019 - Oct Exclusive £100pp discount!

    Machu Picchu Cruise Only
    From £4128pp
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  • Costa Rica and Peru

    12 Nights - Punta Arenas to Lima

    Roald Amundsen Roald Amundsen

    Explore the mysterious Incan ruins of Machu Picchu, and discover the tropical beaches, exotic rainforests and historic cities of Costa Rica and Peru on this unique expedition voyage. Includes post-cruise hotel stays in Lima and the Sacred Valley and return flights between Lima and Cusco 2019 - Oct Exclusive £100pp discount!

    Machu Picchu Cruise Only
    From £4152pp
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  • Chilean Fjords Luxury Expedition

    13 Nights - Valparaiso to Buenos Aires

    LAustral Choice of Ships

    Explore the heart of the Chilean fjords, visit Puerto Natales, the gateway to the breathtaking Torres del Paine National Park and cruise around the infamous Cape Horn on this unique luxury expedition voyage. Includes direct flight from Ushuaia to Buenos Aires 2019 - Mar Save up to 10% PLUS exclusive £50pp Blue Water discount!

    Valparaiso Cruise Only
    From £5730pp
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  • Jewels of Latin America

    13 Nights - Puerto Quetzal to Guayaquil

    Le Soleal Le Soleal

    Join luxury expedition ship Le Soleal for this unique cruise to the highlights of Latin America, including breathtaking Cocos Island, the idyllic Pearl Islands nestled in the Gulf of Panama, and UNESCO-listed Darien National Park with its abundance of flora and fauna. Includes thrilling Zodiac landings accompanied by experienced naturalist guides 2019 - Sep Save up to 25% PLUS exclusive £50pp Blue Water discount!

    San Juan del Sur Cruise Only
    From £4380pp
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  • Inca Highlights and Galapagos Islands

    12 Nights - Quito to Valparaiso

    Fram Fram

    Explore the remarkable Galapagos Islands and sail the west coast of South America to see the mysterious Nazca Lines and discover the historic cities of Quito and Lima on this unique cruise holiday. Includes hotel stays in Quito, Santa Cruz Island and Lima, with two days exploring the Galapagos Islands 2019 - Oct Exclusive £100pp discount!

    Quito Cruise Only
    From £4420pp
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  • Costa Rica and the Galapagos Islands

    14 Nights - Puntarenas to Guayaquil

    Roald Amundsen Roald Amundsen

    This spectacular Hurtigruten cruise expedition begins in lush Costa Rica and journeys along the coast of South America to fascinating Peru and the Galapagos Islands; one of the world’s most remarkable destinations. Including hotel stays in Quito and Santa Cruz with two days touring the Galapagos Islands 2019 - Oct Exclusive £100pp discount!

    Galapagos Islands Cruise Only
    From £4496pp
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  • Galapagos Islands to Peru and Chile

    13 Nights - Quito to Valparaiso

    Roald Amundsen Roald Amundsen

    Discover the unique wildlife of the Galapagos Islands, see the enigmatic Nazca Lines and explore the breathtaking scenery of Chile's Luaca National Park on this superb cruise holiday. Includes hotel stays in Quito, Santa Cruz Island and Lima, with two days exploring the Galapagos Islands 2019 - Oct Exclusive £100pp discount!

    Quito Cruise Only
    From £4835pp
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  • Amazon Explorer

    28 Nights - Fort Lauderdale and Back

    Prinsendam Prinsendam

    This once-in-a-lifetime voyage on board Prinsendam visits the idyllic Caribbean islands of St Maarten, Guadeloupe and Barbados, before heading to the traditional towns and villages dotted along the mighty Amazon river

    Guadeloupe Cruise Only
    From £4849pp
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  • Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands

    15 Nights - San Jose to Guayaquil

    Fram Fram

    An exciting expedition voyage exploring some of South America's most intriguing archaeological sites, uncovering pristine beaches in Costa Rica, transiting the Panama Canal and discovering the Galapagos Islands; one of the most remarkable places on Earth. Includes pre and post-cruise overnight hotel stays in Quito, Santa Cruz Island and San José, with two days exploring the Galapagos Islands 2019 - Oct Exclusive £100pp discount!

    Blue footed Boobies, Galapagos Islands Cruise Only
    From £4937pp
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  • Caribbean and Orinoco

    12 Nights - Fort de France to Cayenne

    Le Champlain Le Champlain

    Set sail on this luxury expedition cruise to enchanting Caribbean beaches and tropical rainforest, with Zodiac trips along the magical Orinoco river allowing up close encounters with endemic wildlife and local tribes 2019 - Mar Exclusive £50pp Blue Water discount!

    Martinique Cruise Only
    From £5226pp
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  • Discover Brazil

    10 Nights - Buenos Aires to Rio de Janeiro

    Seven Seas Mariner Seven Seas Mariner

    Discover the lively cities and beautiful beaches of Brazil and explore the culture of Uruguay on this 10-night all-inclusive cruise from Buenos Aires. Includes return flights from the UK, overseas transfers, up to 27 shore excursions and unlimited beverages. 2019 - Dec

    Buenos Aires, Argentina Fly Cruise Package
    From £5419pp
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  • Sailing the Orinoco

    9 Nights - Cayenne to Fort de France

    Le Champlain Le Champlain

    This luxury expedition cruise explores the legendary Orinoco river, the colonial cities of South America and the paradise islands of the Caribbean at Christmas, with Zodiac trips into the heart of the tropical rainforest for close encounters with unique wildlife. Includes return flights from the UK and overseas transfers 2018 - Dec Exclusive Blue Water Package!

    Toucan Fly-Cruise Package
    From £5495pp
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  • Panama and Colombia Discovery

    11 Nights - Cartagena to Lima

    Scenic Eclipse Scenic Eclipse

    Transit the extraordinary Panama Canal, discover the Darién National Park and witness the unique wildlife of Colombia as you sail along Central and South Americas coastline on this luxury 12-day cruise holiday. Includes shore excursions, hotel stay in Cartagena, return flights from the UK, complimentary drinks and all gratuities. 2019 - Oct FREE private door-to-door transfers and complimentary hotel stay!

    Church of St Peter, Cartagena Fly Cruise Package
    From £5995pp
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  • Natural Wonders of the Amazon

    12 Nights - Cayenne to Manaus

    Le Champlain Le Champlain

    Explore the Amazon river and cross the Equator on this fascinating luxury expedition cruise on new ship La Champlain, with Zodiac trips for close encounters with unique wildlife 2018 - Dec 2019 - Mar

    Amazon river Cruise Only
    From £6078pp
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  • South America and Antarctica

    17 Nights - Valparaiso to Punta Arenas

    Roald Amundsen Roald Amundsen

    See the amazing wildlife of Patagonia, the Chilean Fjords and Antarctica on this expedition cruise, with time ashore for kayaking, hiking and close encounters with penguins, birds and seals 2019 - Oct 2020 - Mar, Oct 2021 - Mar Exclusive savings of up to £1100pp!

    Antarctica Cruise Only
    From £6315pp
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  • White Christmas Adventure

    14 Nights - Santiago de Chile to Punta Arenas

    Roald Amundsen Roald Amundsen

    A Christmas expedition cruise through the natural wonders of the Chilean Fjords to the remarkable Antarctica. Includes a hotel stay in Santiago de Chile, return flights from Santiago de Chile to Punta Arenas 2019 - Dec

    Adelie Penguins, Antarctica Cruise Only
    From £6479pp
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  • Patagonia to Chilean Fjords and Antarctica Southbound

    18 Nights - Valparaiso to Buenos Aires

    Fram Fram

    See the fascinating wildlife of Patagonia, the Chilean Fjords and Antarctica on this expedition cruise along the South American coast with opportunities for hiking, kayaking and visits ashore with the Expedition team. Includes flight from Ushuaia to Buenos Aires 2019 - Oct 2020 - Oct Exclusive savings of up to £850pp!

    Kayaking in Antarctica Cruise Only
    From £6730pp
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  • South America and the Chilean Fjords

    17 Nights - Buenos Aires to Santiago

    Viking Jupiter Viking Jupiter

    Explore some of South America’s most fascinating cities in Argentina, Uruguay and Chile and admire the awe-inspiring scenery of Cape Horn, the Chilean Fjords and the Strait of Magellan on this spectacular 17-night cruise. Including return flights from the UK and guided shore excursions. 2019 - Dec 2020 - Jan, Feb Save up to £500pp!

    Buenos Aires Fly Cruise Package
    From £6890pp
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  • Caribbean Islands Expedition

    15 Nights - Belem to Nassau

    Hanseatic Inspiration Hanseatic Inspiration

    Discover the paradise islands of the Caribbean including colourful Barbados, the idyllic Grenadines and picturesque St Lucia, dominated by the majestic twin pitons, on this luxury cruise on expedition ship Hanseatic Inspiration 2020 - Apr Save 5% PLUS exclusive £100pp discount!

    Barbados Cruise Only
    From £6968pp
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  • Patagonia and the Chilean Fjords

    16 Nights - Valparaiso to Ushuaia

    Silver Explorer Silver Explorer

    Join luxury ship Silver Explorer to discover the spectacular Chilean Fjords and remote Patagonia on this expedition voyage from Valparaiso to Ushuaia with included Zodiac excursions

    Valparaiso, Chile Fly Cruise Package
    From £7200pp
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  • Exotic Panama Canal Crossing

    17 Nights - Miami to San Diego

    Seven Seas Splendor Seven Seas Splendor

    Transit the Panama Canal on this 17-night luxury all-inclusive cruise holiday from Miami to Los Angeles, visiting Cabo San Lucas in Mexico, Puntarenas in Costa Rica and Cartagena in Colombia. Includes return flights from the UK and unlimited shore excursions 2020 - Feb Special offer prices!

    Miami Fly Cruise Package
    From £7369pp
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  • An Incan Mayan Journey Via the Panama Canal

    16 Nights - Lima (Peru) to Miami (Florida)

    Seven Seas Navigator Seven Seas Navigator

    Discover the highlights of South America’s spectacular west coast, transit the iconic Panama Canal and explore some of the Caribbean’s less-visited, idyllic destinations on this 16-night all-inclusive luxury cruise. Includes return flights from the UK and a wide choice of excursions. 2020 - Apr Exclusive £100 per suite Blue Water discount!

    Chan Chan Ruins, Trujillo Fly Cruise Package
    From £7519pp
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  • Buenos Aires to Belem

    17 Nights - Buenos Aires to Belem

    Hanseatic Inspiration Hanseatic Inspiration

    Join luxury Hanseatic Inspiration in Buenos Aires and set sail on a 17-night journey of discovery. Explore the Atlantic rainforest and uncover the highlights of Brazil's colonial coast on this Hapag-Lloyd expedition cruise. 2020 - Mar Save 5%!

    Armacao dos Buzios, Brazil Cruise Only
    From £8427pp
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  • Cuba to Colombia

    21 Nights - Havana to Bogota

    Scenic Eclipse Scenic Eclipse

    Explore Cuba's colonial treasures and fascinating culture, discover the remote San Blas Islands and learn about coffee cultivation in the Colombian hills on this luxury Central America cruise holiday. Includes hotel stays in Havana, Medellin, Pereira and Bogota, return flights from the UK, shore excursions, complimentary drinks, gratuities and the chance to enjoy thrilling submarine and helicopter excursions 2019 - Oct FREE private door-to-door transfers and complimentary hotel stay!

    Havana Fly Cruise Package
    From £8675pp
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  • Chilean Fjords Luxury Expedition Cruise

    18 Nights - Callao to Ushuaia

    Hanseatic Inspiration Hanseatic Inspiration

    Join brand new ship Hanseatic Inspiration for this thrilling luxury expedition voyage showcasing Chile's rugged islands and breathtaking Chilean fjords, with exciting Zodiac landings and charter flight from Ushuaia to Buenos Aires 2019 - Nov Save 5% PLUS exclusive £100pp Blue Water discount!

    Chilean Fjords Cruise Only
    From £9410pp
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  • Magical Amazon

    17 Nights - Iquitos to Belem

    Hanseatic Inspiration Hanseatic Inspiration

    Join brand new ship Hanseatic Inspiration on this unique expedition along the mighty Amazon river, home to a rich diversity of flora and fauna. Includes exciting Zodiac excursions accompanied by experienced guides and a charter flight from Lima to Iquitos 2020 - Apr Save 5% PLUS exclusive £100pp Blue Water discount!

    Amazon zodiac excursion Cruise Only
    From £9476pp
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  • Panama and Colombia Discovery with Colombia Experience

    19 Nights - Bogota to Lima

    Scenic Eclipse Scenic Eclipse

    This luxury holiday combines hotel stays in the Colombian capital of Bogota, picturesque Pereira, historic Medellin and lively Cartagena, with a 9-night voyage on Scenic Eclipse which includes a transit of the famous Panama Canal. Shore excursions, return flights from the UK, complimentary drinks and all gratuities are included. 2019 - Oct FREE private door-to-door transfers and complimentary hotel stay!

    Bogota Fly Cruise Package
    From £9495pp
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  • Panama and Colombia Discovery with Peru Highlights

    20 Nights - Cartagena to Lima

    Scenic Eclipse Scenic Eclipse

    Discover the beautiful landscapes and incredible wildlife of Colombia and Panama and explore the ancient ruins of Peru on this 20-night expedition cruise. Includes return flights from the UK, luxury hotel stays, exciting Zodiac outings and the chance to enjoy thrilling submarine and helicopter excursions 2019 - Oct FREE private door-to-door transfers and complimentary hotel stay!

    Cusco Cathedral Fly Cruise Package
    From £9825pp
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  • Chilean Fjords and Cape Horn

    21 Nights - Lima to Buenos Aires

    Scenic Eclipse Scenic Eclipse

    This unique expedition on brand new ship Scenic Eclipse showcases the remote islands and breathtaking fjords of Chile and Patagonia. Includes hotel stays in Lima and Buenos Aires, exciting shore excursions and Zodiac outings, return flights from the UK, complimentary drinks on board and all gratuities 2019 - Nov FREE private door-to-door transfers and complimentary hotel stay PLUS up to £500 per cabin on-board credit!

    Plaza de Armas, Lima Fly Cruise Package
    From £10795pp
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  • Ultimate Cuba and Central America

    21 Nights - Havana to Lima

    Scenic Eclipse Scenic Eclipse

    Enjoy a transit of the Panama Canal, discover stunning national parks and explore lively cities on this incredible 21-night luxury holiday on board Scenic Eclipse exploring the treasures of Cuba and Central America. Includes hotel stay in Havana, guided shore excursions, complimentary drinks and all gratuities 2019 - Oct FREE private door-to-door transfers and complimentary hotel stay PLUS up to £500 per cabin on-board credit!

    Havana Fly Cruise Package
    From £11495pp
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  • Chilean Fjords and Cape Horn with Taste of Argentina and Brazil

    27 Nights - Lima to Rio de Janeiro

    Scenic Eclipse Scenic Eclipse

    Journey along the dramatic coastlines of Peru and Chile, explore the majestic Chilean fjords and discover Brazil's mighty Iguazú Falls on this 27-night expedition cruise. Includes return flights from the UK, hotel stays, zodiac landings and the chance to enjoy thrilling submarine and helicopter excursions 2019 - Nov FREE private door-to-door transfers and complimentary hotel stay!

    Cape Horn, Chile Fly Cruise Package
    From £12995pp
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  • Antarctica in Depth with Taste of Argentina and Brazil

    21 Nights - Buenos Aires to Rio de Janeiro

    Scenic Eclipse Scenic Eclipse

    Experience close encounters with wildlife and glaciers as you explore the magnificent Antarctic before discovering the highlights on Argentina and Brazil on this 21-night cruise and stay adventure. Includes return flights, hotel stays in Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro and Iguazu Falls and overseas transfers. 2020 - Feb, Mar FREE private door-to-door transfers and complimentary hotel stay PLUS up to £500 per cabin on-board credit!

    Antarctic Penguins Fly Cruise Package
    From £13445pp
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  • Peru to Chilean Fjords and Cape Horn

    29 Nights - Lima to Buenos Aires

    Scenic Eclipse Scenic Eclipse

    Explore Peru's ancient Inca culture with visits to the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu then board brand new luxury expedition ship Scenic Eclipse for an all-inclusive cruise through the majestic Chilean Fjords. Includes hotel stays in Lima, the Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, Cuzco and Buenos Aires, return flights from the UK, exciting Zodiac outings and the chance to enjoy thrilling submarine and helicopter excursions 2019 - Oct FREE private door-to-door transfers and complimentary hotel stay!

    Lima Fly Cruise Package
    From £13495pp
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  • Antarctica in Depth with Highlights of Peru

    22 Nights - Lima to Buenos Aires

    Scenic Eclipse Scenic Eclipse

    Combine a tour of Peru’s Sacred Valley, including a visit to ancient Machu Picchu, with an all-inclusive luxury cruise to Antarctica’s great white wilderness. Includes hotel stays in Lima, the Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, Cuzco, Buenos Aires, return flights from the UK, exciting Zodiac outings and the chance to enjoy thrilling submarine and helicopter excursions 2019 - Nov 2020 - Feb FREE private door-to-door transfers and complimentary hotel stay!

    Lima Fly Cruise Package
    From £14195pp
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  • Antarctica with Patagonian Adventure

    22 Nights - Buenos Aires to Santiago

    Scenic Eclipse Scenic Eclipse

    This luxury expedition combines an unforgettable cruise to the Antarctic Peninsula on board Scenic Eclipse with hotel stays in Buenos Aires, stunning El Calafate, the breathtaking Torres del Paine National Park, and lively city of Santiago. Includes thrilling Zodiac excursions and return flights from the UK 2019 - Nov 2020 - Feb FREE private door-to-door transfers and complimentary hotel stay!

    Emperor Penguins in Antarctica Fly Cruise Package
    From £15645pp
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  • Antarctica in Depth with Ecuador Highlights

    24 Nights - Buenos Aires to Quito

    Scenic Eclipse Scenic Eclipse

    Spend six days exploring the remarkable Antarctic Peninsula, witness some of the greatest wildlife on the planet in the intriguing Galápagos Islands, then discover the wildlife-rich surrounds of Mashpi Reserve on this 24-night expedition cruise from Buenos Aires. Includes return flights from the UK, overnight hotel stays, zodiac landings and the chance to enjoy thrilling submarine and helicopter excursions 2019 - Nov 2020 - Feb FREE private door-to-door transfers and complimentary hotel stay!

    Blue-footed Boobies, Galapagos Islands Fly Cruise Package
    From £16925pp
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  • Ultimate Chilean Fjords and Antarctica

    32 Nights - Lima to Ushuaia

    Scenic Eclipse Scenic Eclipse

    This exciting luxury expedition cruise explores the glaciers of the Chilean Fjords and the amazing wildlife of the Antarctic on board brand new, state-of-the-art Scenic Eclipse, with hotel stays in Lima and Buenos Aires, return flights from the UK, exciting Zodiac outings and the chance to enjoy thrilling submarine and helicopter excursions 2019 - Nov FREE private door-to-door transfers and complimentary hotel stay!

    Patagonia Fly Cruise Package
    From £19495pp
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  • South Georgia with Argentina and Brazil

    28 Nights - Buenos Aires to Rio de Janeiro

    Scenic Eclipse Scenic Eclipse

    This all-inclusive 28-night luxury expedition cruise holiday on board brand new, state-of-the-art Scenic Eclipse uncovers the highlights of extraordinary Antarctica and South America including magnificent Iguazu Falls, the fascinating Falkland Islands and the tiny island of South Georgia. Includes hotel stays in Buenos Aires, the Brazilian National Park and Rio de Janeiro, return flights from the UK, exciting Zodiac outings and the chance to enjoy thrilling submarine and helicopter excursions 2020 - Mar FREE private door-to-door transfers and complimentary hotel stay!

    Antarctica Fly Cruise Package
    From £19645pp
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  • South Georgia with Patagonian Adventure

    29 Nights - Santiago to Buenos Aires

    Scenic Eclipse Scenic Eclipse

    Discover the wide sweeping spaces, vast glaciers and towering mountain peaks of Patagonia, explore the Falkland Islands and South Georgia, and step foot on the Antarctic Peninsula on this epic 29-night cruise holiday. Includes hotel stays in Santiago, Patagonia, Argentina and Buenos Aires, return flights from the UK, exciting Zodiac outings and the chance to enjoy thrilling submarine and helicopter excursions 2020 - Mar FREE private door-to-door transfers and complimentary hotel stay!

    Santiago Fly Cruise Package
    From £21695pp
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  • Peru and Chile Culinary Discovery

    14 Nights - Guayaquil to Valparaiso

    Explore the natural, cultural and culinary wonders of coastal Peru and Chile on this luxury expedition on board Silver Explorer, with included Zodiac excursions

    Sealions on the Ballestas Islands View Full Details

South America Highlights

Arica

Called 'the city of the eternal spring' for its mild climate and fertile land, Arica duty-free port is overlooked by the cliff of Morro de Arica and is a world-famous centre of surfing, known for the famous 'El Gringo' wave. In town is an archaeological museum, and the Pueblo Artesanal market selling handicrafts. Visits may be offered to Chungara Lake, one of the highest in the world, situated in Lauca National Park.

Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires is the capital of Argentina. Shuttle buses take visitors from its busy port to the city centre half a mile away. Near historic Plaza de Mayo, Calle Florida is the main shopping street, a good place to buy cheap leather goods, jewellery and designer clothes. Buenos Aires has many good cafes and tango bars, where you can see the dance being performed. Eva Peron's grave can be found in the picturesque Recoleta Cemetery.

Buenos Aires (Argentina)

Callao

The port of Callao is close to Peru's capital, Lima, and its chief attraction is the beaches of the La Punta area, and the offshore Isla El Fronton and Cavinzas, served by local boats and home to sea lions and sea birds. Above Puerto del Callao is the Fortress of Real Felipe and the restaurants of Malecon Figueredo. Callao is the gateway to Lima and the pre-Incan pyramids of Pachamac.

Callao (Peru)

Caracas

The capital of Venezuela, Caracas, is a bustling city with a skyline of skyscrapers backed by mountains. There are some remnants of its colonial past, including the Pantheon, 17th-century Plaza San Jacinto, and Plaza Bolivar at the heart of the old town where there is one of several memorials to Simon Bolivar. Parque Central houses museums and cinemas, and from the 52nd floor balcony there are panoramic views of the city and the hillside shantytowns.

Fortaleza

Skyscrapers and hi-rise buildings line the long bay of Fortaleza, the fifth-largest city in Brazil.. The city has an large, grey cathedral, built in 1939 and a four-storey market selling local handicrafts and clothing. The older market of Feirinha da Beira-Mar is close to the beach, and along Beura-mar Avenye are kiosks selling seafood, sushi and traditional specialities.

Iles du Salut

One of these small islands was once a penal colony where Dreyfus was held, and famous as the setting for the novel and film, 'Papillon'. The prison was shut down in 1953, and the islands are now a popular tourist destination.

Iles du Salut (French Guiana)

Kingstown

St Vincent is a good place to spot humpback and sperm whales and schools of dolphins. For a dip, Owia Salt Pond on the north-eastern coast is sheltered by volcanic rocks. Places of interest include the Vermont Nature Trail, winding past exotic flora through rainforest. The island has a 1200-meter-high volcano, La Soufriere, and lush botanical gardens in Kingstown which have a descendant of the breadfruit tree planted by Captain Bligh.

La Guaira

La Guaira is Venezuela's main port, with a variety of colonial buildings protected by World Heritage status. These include San Juan de Dios Cathedral, the colonnaded Pasaj Urrutia, and the forts of El Vigia and La Polvora. The area suffered damage by mudslides in 1999 and much of the city is in a poor state of repair.

Manaus

The thriving city of Manaus on the Amazon River is a mixture of high-rise and 19th-century buildings, rising from the jungle. The elegant and colourful Palacio Rio Negro was renovated in the 1980's, and contains works by Brazilian artists and fine furniture. Other buildings of note include the magnificent Teatro Amazonas, and the Mercado Municipal, built in Gothic style with stained-glass windows, and housing a busy food market.

Manaus (Brazil)

Montevideo

Montevideo is the capital of Uruguay, where the port is a mile from the city centre and its mixture of high-rise buildings and Art Deco and colonial architecture. The historic Ciudad Vieja quarter is being restored, with brightly-painted buildings housing cafes, small guest houses and galleries. Montevideo has a strong urban culture of tango bars, theatres, clubs and music. Other highlights include the Palacio Legislatvio and the Museo Del Gauch, tracing the history of Uruguayan gaucho.

Montevideo (Uruguay)

Parintins

Parintins is a small city populated by Amazonian Indians, situated on Tupinambarana Island. The harbour is next to a flea market selling wood carvings, paintings and lace, and a colourful floating market. Close by is Parintins' Cathedral. Visitors are often welcomed by Bumbas Dancers, as seen in the annual June Bois Bumbas Festival. Further west, there are sandy beaches at Alter de Chao, and water buffaloes, herons and iguanos are often seen on the river-bank at Guajara.

Punta Arenas

Puntarenas is the largest city in the Central Pacific and a major cruise ship port, giving access to numerous National Parks and Biosphere Reserves in wildlife-rich Costa Rica. It also has a large fishing fleet and visitors can enjoy local specialities in its seafood restaurants. The city has a Scarlet Macaw Sanctuary, and next to the beach is the tree-lined promenade of Paseo de los Turistas with views across the scenic Nicoya Peninsula.

Punta Arenas (Chile)

Rio de Janeiro

The city's most famous sights face each other across Guanabara Bay, the location of Rio de Janeiro's port. Opposite the pinnacle of Sugarloaf Mountain is the huge Statue of Christ looking down from the top of 2400-foot Corcovado hill. On its slopes is the large urban forest of Tijuca, and down below the famous Ipanema and Copocabana beaches. The city has wonderful beaches, and dance halls, bars, boutiques and pavement cafes.

Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)

Salvador

Salvador was formerly the capital of Brazil and is its oldest city, divided into the picturesque old town area of Pelourinho on top of the cliffs and the beachside region of Cidade Baixa, which are joined by the Lacerda Elevator. Salvador is generally thought to be typical of old Brazil, and has an old fort, brightly-painted colonial buildings, artisan workshops and restaurants. Crafts and souvenirs are on sale in Cidade Baixa at Modelo Market.

Santa Marta

The long sandy beaches of Santa Marta make it a favourite holiday destination for Columbians. The Museo del Oro is housed in the grand colonial mansion of Casa de la Aduana and exhibits include Indian artefacts, pottery and gold. Santa Marta was where the South American hero, Simon Bolivar died, and his home is now a museum. The 18th-century cathedral and San Fernando Fort are other attractions, whilst further afield are nature reserves and small fishing towns.

Santarem

Santarem sits at the confluence of the Amazon and Tapajos rivers and began life as a community of indigenous Tapajos Indians. With only one road connecting it to civilization, today it is the stepping-off point for exploring the Amazon rainforest, where locals have the opportunity to sell their crafts to tourists.

Santos

The very busy container port of Santos handles the majority of Brazilian exports. The town has a Coffee Museum and otherwise is famous for the Santos Football Club where Pele once played. Santos is the gateway to the city of Sao Paulo.

Ushuaia

Situated on the shores of the vast Beagle Channel, Ushuaia is the world's most southerly city, situated in the Argentinian provice of Tierra del Fuego. It is overlooked by Mount Martial to the west and by Mounts Olivia and Cinco Hermanos to the east, and is the departure point for cruises to the Antarctic and the Falkland Islands. There are a number of museums in the town tracing the maritime and military history of the area.

Ushuaia (Argentina)

Valparaiso

Valparaiso is divided into two areas by steep hills which are connected by 30 funiculars. The city has a faded charm, with winding roads, down-at-heel mansions and hillside shantytowns, earning parts of Valparaiso World Heritage Status in 2003. It has some notable buildings and areas, including the Astoreca building, Prat Pier, the Sea Museum Quarter and Plaza La Matriz.

Valparaiso (Chile)
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