Taking in both the Antarctic and the Amazon, few regions can boast of being able to show you more of the world’s most spectacular landscapes than South America. For those more interested in the human geography of the region, there are few more cosmopolitan cities in the world than the capitals of some of these nations. Meanwhile, other areas preserve remnants of some of the world’s oldest cultures – the Mayans, the Incas and the Aztec amongst them.
[styledbox type=”general shaded” align=”center”]The main reason for coming to South America on a cruise is that you want a far more authentic, natural experience than a Caribbean island cruise generally offers. You will not find as many up-scale resorts in this region but you will get far more opportunities to glimpse unspoilt landscapes and meet people who live in isolated regions of the planet. [/styledbox]
The Two Major South American Itineraries for Cruise Ships
1. The Amazon
For cruises that tour the Amazon region of South America most will depart from a port called Manaus, the most populous city of the Amazonas. To get there, your cruise company will generally fly you out from Miami or Ft. Lauderdale. Alternatively, if you chose to book a cruise that took in both the Caribbean and the Amazon then you will avoid flights altogether. Most cruises will end at either Rio or Buneos Aires calling at smaller ports in Brazil, Argentina and occasionally Uruguay along the way.
The main draw of the Amazon itineraries are the jungle excursions put on by the various operators. Options will sometimes include mountain hiking, canoeing or wildlife safaris. Rio de Janeiro is also an immensely popular port of call for its vibrant big city atmosphere.
2. Around Cape Horn
This popular cruise travels from Buenos Aires, Argentina to Valparaiso, Chile. On these cruises there are occasionally stops in the Antarctic and even if not there are plenty of opportunities to meet penguins and killer whales. Common ports of call include Puerto Madryn, a town founded by Welsh settlers in a region where (reportedly) a few Welsh speakers still remain. This region is Patagonia and you will notice it from your boat as a vast stretch of desert on Argentina’s coast. Some cruises also choose to stop at Port Stanley, capital of the Falkland Islands. This itinerary is great if you’d like the opportunity to see an array of different geographies as well as a broad range of temperatures, from the sub-tropical to the sub-Antarctic!