In 2021, the 74-Day Grand South America & Antarctica Voyage sets a course to circumnavigate the continent, exploring the juxtaposed cultures and climates along the way. From the golden beaches of Brazil to the glaciers of Antarctica, the journey is full of memorable destinations, breathtaking scenery and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Come along and take a look at our Grand Voyage as we explore by the numbers.
The Grand South America & Antarctica Voyage makes calls at 34 ports, ranging from popular must-do cities that bustle with life to hidden jewels and quaint towns that leave a lasting impressing.
No voyage around South America would be complete without calls at Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Lima, Montevideo and Manaus. But what about those smaller calls that are off-the-beaten-path, true must-see places that beckon a return visit. Matarani, Peru; Iquique and Isla Robinson Crusoe, Chile; Ushuaia, Argentina, at the end of the world; Punta del Este, Uruguay; and Ilheus, Brazil, are just a few of the unique locales.
Make that nine countries, two continents and three Caribbean Islands. Volendam makes calls in Columbia, Panama, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Falkland Islands, Uruguay and Brazil. In addition to South America and Antarctica, the ship visits the Caribbean islands of French Guiana, Barbados and the Dominican Republic.
Four Overnight Ports
With overland experiences and a vibrant nightlife, four ports along the way require extra time to see the sites, become immersed in the culture and witness the cities come to life when the sun goes down. Guests on the Grand South America & Antarctica Voyage will have extra time ashore in Buenos Aires to take in an evening tango show or go overland to Iguazu, falls; Rio de Janeiro, another gateway to Iguazu and the home of many sites, including Corcovado, Sugarloaf and Cococabana Beach; and Manaus, at the heart of the Amazon River, to view alligators by night or take in a performance at the famed Opera House. The call at the port of Callo for Lima, Peru, is a double overnight, with overland excursions to Macchu Pichu or the Galapagos Islands.
12 Ports in Brazil
Brazil is the largest country in South America, so it’s no wonder that the Grand Voyage makes 12 calls! In addition to Rio and Manaus, the ports include Santos (Sao Paulo), Ilhabela (Sao Sebastiao), Ilheus, Recife, Fortaleza, Icoaraci (Belem), Santarem, Boca da Valeria, Parintins and Alter Do Chao. Guests will certainly get an in-depth exploration of Brazil with all of these calls.
Three Equator Crossings
The equator is an essential component of our planet’s geography — even though it’s just an imaginary line drawn on a map. In addition to being the widest spot on the planet — a full 43 kilometers (27 miles) wider than at the poles — this is also the planetary dividing line for the Coriolis effect, which explains why cyclones rotate clockwise north of the equator and counterclockwise south of it.
For a bit of light-hearted fun, if you’re onboard our ships where any of the crew are crossing this imaginary line for the first time, you’ll likely witness a King Neptune (or Crossing the Line) ceremony. This ancient naval tradition puts newbies, or “Pollywogs,” through a series of pranks and tests to prove themselves worthy of being a son or daughter of Neptune, the Roman god of the sea.
Four Days in Antarctica
A highlight of the 2021 Grand South America and Antarctica Voyage is the four days exploring the White Continent. The time is spent sailing through the bays and islands of the Palmer Archipelago, off the northern tip of the long Antarctic Peninsula; passing dark, rocky Cuverville Island, where you’ll see some of the 6,500 pairs of gentoo penguins that make their home there, the largest known colony in the world; and Paradise Harbor, home to gentoo and chinstrap penguins, as well as humans — both Argentina and Chile have manned research stations here.
Infinite Scenic Cruising
On a journey with such juxtaposed landscapes and climates, it’s only natural that the scenic cruising is spectacular — from lush jungle canopies to snow-covered glaciers. Starting with the Panama Canal down to Cape Horn, guests are in for some of the world’s most postcard-perfect sites along the way. Get your cameras ready for the Chilean Fjords, Amalia or Brujo Glacier, Canal Sarmiento, Strait of Magellan, Cockburn and Beagle channels, Glacier Alley and days of lazily cruising along the Amazon River.