South America Cruises Feature Unique Bandoneon Music

When guests embark on a South America cruise with Holland America Line, “On Location” features extensive programming that brings the culture, history and cuisine of the continent onboard.

This signature enrichment experience offers classes and demonstrations by local artists and professionals that allow guests to familiarize themselves with the destinations they’ll be visiting around the world, and in South America music takes center stage.

While the Tango might be the most famous dance associated with Argentina, no Tango performance would be complete without a bandoneon. You might not have heard the word, but you certainly will recognize the sound of this unique instrument. Similar to an accordion but part of the concertina family, it uses buttons, not keys, to produce the music heard in most Tango ensembles.

As part of the “On Location” program, a Bandoneonist sails onboard to teach guests the art of playing this instrument, as well as offer lectures about the bandoneon and, of course, perform for guests in lounges throughout the ship. During dinner guests might even be treated to a table-side serenade.

Also part of the extensive “On Location” program are unique events such as the Gaucho and Milonga parties, where the Bandoneonist provides musical entertainment.

Meet the Bandoneonists:


Luis started taking bandoneon lessons at the age of 10. This multitalented Argentinian musician graduated as a pianist in “Conservatorio Lopez Bouchardo” and also took composition, harmony and arrangement master classes. He sailed with Royal Caribbean Cruises for six years and performed weekly shows at the theater inside Borges Cultural Center in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

He’s also performed at the Buenos Aires Tango Festival and was the first Bandoneonist at Complejo Tango, a Tango house in Buenos Aires.


Guido is from Argentina and has been playing the bandoneon since he was six years old. He’s been part of “Esquina Sur,” a 12-member Tango orchestra in Argentina that plays throughout the country.

Guido also played as part of a Tango Trio in Madrid, Spain. He is a Tango disc-jockey and Tango dance teacher, giving basic and intermediate dance classes at Milongas. For 10 years he worked as a sound engineer at a recording studio and as a sound technician touring around European and South Africa.

If you want to see a bandoneonist up close, be sure to take a look at the 2014 South America cruises aboard ms Maasdam, ms Prinsendam, ms Statendam and ms Zaandam.

No matter what destination you choose, keep your eyes and ears open for enriching and entertaining experiences onboard that are all part of the “On Location” program.


Join the Discussion


  1. George Schulte December 18, 2013 at 1:55 pm - Reply

    If his music is half as good as the steel drum band we heard on a Panama Canal cruise, I’m in.

  2. Laura Sklar June 8, 2014 at 8:42 pm - Reply

    He’s an extraordinary musician!!!I’d love to see him performing in a cruise.
    Thank you Holland♡♡

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