From Beaches to Bergs: Two Extremes on a Cruise to South America and Antarctica

From Beaches to Bergs: Two Extremes on a Cruise to South America and Antarctica

Lively and tropical, yet also remote and ice-capped, South America is all about contrast. From fall 2016 through Spring 2017, Holland America Line will offer a comprehensive South America deployment, featuring four of our premium ships sailing itineraries from 14- to 48-days. We will be the only major line to cruise this region in the fall, and with a variety of sailing lengths and itineraries, we’re the best one to show you the beautiful extremes of this gorgeous part of the world.

Zaandam, Maasdam and Veendam will cruise a combined 20 voyages with departures from Fort Lauderdale, Florida; San Diego, California; Vancouver, British Columbia; and ports in South America; while the “elegant explorer” Prinsendam will cruise an in-depth Amazon exploration.

If you’re looking for a cruise that has scenic beauty, history, culture, and calls at some truly unique ports, check out these must-do itineraries down south.

14-Day South America
Seven two-week itineraries cruise between two iconic South American ports: Valparaiso (Santiago), Chile, and Buenos Aires, Argentina. At Valparaiso, guests can enjoy its UNESCO World Heritage Site Old Quarter, bright and colorful residences and charming church steeples. At Buenos Aires, cruisers can immerse themselves in the capital of tango and visit the massive Iguazu Falls. These cruises feature an overnight Buenos Aires, but the excellent cuisine, delicious wine and vibrant culture certainly make this city one to consider for a longer pre- or post-cruise stay.

Top: Buenos Aires. Bottom: Iguazu Falls, Falkland Islands and Patagonia.

Counter-clockwise from top: Buenos Aires, Iguazu Falls, Falkland Islands and Patagonia.

The 14-day South America itineraries feature one highlight after another, including multiple days cruising Chile’s fjords and national parks. A call at Stanley, Falkland Islands, gets guest up close to it’s most popular residents … thousands of adorable penguins. This itinerary also features an overnight call at Manaus, Brazil, at the end of the Amazon River where the iconic opera house awaits. The itinerary also features the turquoise lakes and ice-capped mountains of Patagonia.

At Punta Arenas, Chile, guests can visit Torres del Paine National Park, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve that offers incredible vistas, including Lago Sarmiento and the famous jagged spires.

Zaandam will cruise this 14-day itinerary from Buenos Aires Nov. 8 and Dec. 6, 2016, and Feb. 21 and March 21, 2017. Guests can take the reverse itinerary from Valpariso Oct. 25 and Nov. 22, 2016, and March 7, 2017.

Torres del Paine National Park 's Cordillera Paine

Torres del Paine National Park’s Cordillera Paine

21-Day South America and Antarctica Explorer
Cruisers can delight in the penguins and amazing formations of the Danco Coast on Zaandam’s 21-day South America and Antarctica Explorer voyages that sail between Buenos Aires and Valparaiso. The cruise begins with calls at Montevideo, Uruguay; Puerto Madryn, Argentina; and Port Stanley, followed by plenty of scenic cruising, including the Antarctic Sound and Danco Coast. A call at Ushuaia, Argentina, the southernmost town in the world, is a highlight of the voyage. Afterward, the ship will cruise Beagle Channel, call at Punta Arenas, and cruise the Strait of Magellan, Canal Sarmiento, Amalia or Brujo Glacier and Chilean Fjords … so have your camera ready!

Cruise the Beagle Channel on Zaandam's 21-day itineraries.

Cruise the Beagle Channel on Zaandam’s 21-day itineraries.

The itinerary ends or begins (depending on which direction you chose), with three calls in Chile: Puerto Chacabuco, Castro and Puerto Montt. Zaandam departs Buenos Aires to Valpariso, Jan. 10, 2017. A special holiday cruise also is available departing Dec. 20, 2016, and will cruise the Chilean Fjords on Christmas Day, the Palmer Archipelago on New Year’s Eve and Danco Coast on New Year’s Day.

30-Day Incan Empires
Holland America Line’s 30-day Incan Empires cruise is the perfect way to discover multiple South American countries on one itinerary. The highlight of this voyage is a three-day, two-night stay at Lima, allowing for a visit to Machu Picchu — a UNESCO World Heritage Site located high in the Andes and known as the Lost City of the Incas.

Corinto, Nicaragua, and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Corinto, Nicaragua, and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

But there is more to the itinerary than just Incan ruins. Sailing roundtrip from San Diego, this cruise includes 13 calls in seven different countries: Mexico, Panama, Ecuador, Peru, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Guatemala.

Maasdam will cruise on the 30-day adventure Feb. 22, 2017. Shorter segments are available.

48‐Day Amazon & Carnaval Explorer
Guests who want to experience the excitement of Rio’s Carnaval and the natural beauty of the Amazon River can embark Veendam for a 48‐day “Amazon & Carnaval Voyage,” conveniently sailing roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale. The cruise will call at 25 ports, beginning with our private island and guest-favorite Half Moon Cay, Bahamas. The itinerary also includes 14 calls in Brazil, all three ABC Islands (Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao), crossing the equator three times and cruising deep into the heart of the Amazon.

Venture into the Amazon

Sights of the Amazon.

Two nights at Rio de Janeiro will let guests experience a bucket list-worthy event: Carnaval. Enjoy the lively festival’s colorful costumes, Samba music and dance, and intoxicating atmosphere. Veendam will depart Fort Lauderdale Feb 2, 2017. Shorter segments are available.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

29-Day Amazon Explorer on the Elegant Explorer
Prinsendam will cruise a 29-day itinerary roundtrip Fort Lauderdale that has everything a traveler could want: Thanksgiving in the Caribbean, eight days cruising the legendary Amazon River and rare calls at Scarborough, Tabago and Alter do Chao, Brazil, all with roundtrip convenience.

Enjoy a mix of beachy destinations like Scarborough, Tobago, and colorful cities in Brazil like Fortaleza.

Enjoy a mix of beachy destinations like Scarborough, Tobago, and colorful cities in Brazil like Fortaleza.

The cruise kicks off with several calls in the Caribbean, including Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas; Nevis, St.Kitts & Nevis; Castries, St. Lucia; Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago; and Bridgetown, Barbados. From there the ship will move on to explore the Amazon River. After eight days of calls throughout Brazil, the ship will call at Scarborough; Kingstown, St. Vincent & the Grenadines; and the three ABC islands. Prinsendam departs Nov. 19, 2016.

18- and 24-Day Repositioning Cruises
The beginning and end of the South America and Antarctica season give guests the unique opportunity to enjoy a repositioning cruise, when a ship move from one region to another for the new season. There are plenty of benefits to booking one of these itineraries, including less flying, exotic itineraries, plenty of sea days to relax and a wider offering of onboard enrichment programs.

Positioning cruises and Collectors' Voyages let guests discover Antarctica's beauty with only one international flight.

Repositioning cruises let guests discover Antarctica’s beauty with only one international flight.

Collectors’ Voyages:
Ranging from 32‐ to 37 days, Collectors’ Voyages are perfect for true explorers who seek an even greater in‐depth South America experience, visiting multiple regions at an exceptional value. These voyages offer the best per-day value that rewards guests for cruising longer.

Guests can discover Macchu Picchu with two nights at Lima.

Guests can discover Machu Picchu with two nights at Lima.

Shore Excursions and Overland Tours
Holland America Line doesn’t just take you to these exciting cities, countries and continents, it also provides experiences that ensure you get the most out of your time there. Guests can visit some of the most iconic and famous South American attractions and destinations by taking an award‐winning shore excursion or in‐depth overland tour, many of which visit UNESCO World Heritage sites. Some notable excursions include a trip to dramatic Iguazu Falls; an overland journey to Cuzco and Machu Picchu; a tour to see thousands of Magellan penguins near their caves and nesting areas; and a drive to Tierra del Fuego National Park that includes a stop at Lapataia Bay, the southernmost place that can be reached by road.

Will you be cruising to South America and Antarctica with us? Which calls are you looking forward to most? Tell us in the comments below.


Join the Discussion


  1. Susan Wolfraad April 5, 2016 at 4:46 am - Reply

    Hi there I am looking for a Holland America Cruise that will go from Valparaiso -BUT before I get on the cruise I want to do Machu Pichu-so Machu Pichu Valparaiso Cruising around down to Antartica and around to Buenos Aires and then I want to go to Iguazu Falls and then fly to Rio for 3 days—-the cruising will be 21 days with the “add on” side trips to Machu Pichu, Iguazu and Rio. Then I finish and fly back to Australia. I would like to do this trip in August/September 2017
    Any joy here?
    Susan Wolfraad

Leave A Comment

Related Articles