Why A South America Cruise Is A Unique Experience

View of Machu Picchu, an ancient citadel in South America, surrounded by mountains and green landscape.

There are many reasons to take a South America cruise, from ports rich in culture to shore excursions that immerse you into each destination. Many places offer experiences like these though, so what is it about this continent that deserves a top spot on your travel wish list? Here’s why a South America cruise is a unique experience:

Iconic UNESCO World Heritage Sites

When you join us on an unforgettable journey to South America, you open yourself up to visiting breathtaking World Heritage Sites and Biosphere Reserves. Designated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), World Heritage Sites and Biosphere Reserves are part of an esteemed collection representing the best of human heritage and the natural world. These sites and wonders are recognized for having outstanding universal value to humanity, and a South America cruise delights guests with the opportunity to explore 16 of them.

Imagine walking the steps of Machu Picchu (pictured above). You’ll be captivated by this ancient citadel, with its steep terraces, intricate stone construction and natural grandeur. Are you a wanderluster for natural wonders? Picture yourself at Iguazú Falls, with its misty waterfalls, emerald-green rainforests and ever-present rainbows. The enchanting list goes on and on.

View of Iguazu Falls, a waterfall in South America, surrounded by green landscape and blue sky.
Soak up the beauty of Iguazú Falls.

Spectacular Scenery

There are many sights to behold on a Holland America Line cruise to South America. You may find yourself marveling at tumbling blue glaciers. Marine wildlife will likely make you smile as they splash around and play with each other. Prepare to be in awe as you sail along the Chilean Fjords with remote mountains and surrounding ice fields contributing to its natural beauty. If the wanderlust in you craves extra time on board, you’ll want to consider the South America & Antarctica cruise itineraries. This will have you cruising the bays, islands and inlets of the “White Continent,” where you’ll bask in the beauty of towering icebergs and untouched landscapes. Plus, there are the penguins in Antarctica. Let’s say that again: penguins!

Immersive Experiences

A Holland America Line cruise gives you the opportunity to both see the world from your doorstep and immerse yourself in amazing destinations throughout the journey. What does that mean when exploring South America? Swim with sea lions on a shore excursion. Discover the unique sights, sounds and experiences in ports and capitals. Enhance your ultimate vacation with an overland adventure in the Galápagos Islands, journeying to a land lost in time with giant Galápagos tortoises. You could also venture nearly 8,000 feet above sea level and spend extra days in Cusco – the former capital of the Inca Empire and gateway to Machu Picchu – on an overland adventure. Another way you can find delight in destinations is by diving into authentic cultural experiences. Visit an indigenous Emberá tribe. Meet a real Chilean huaso (a.k.a. cowboy). Learn to craft a traditional Panama hat, or enjoy an intimate dinner at an Argentine “closed-door restaurant.”

Penguins resting on icy landscape in Antarctica, surrounded by blue water and sky.
Enjoy the views of penguins as they rest on Antarctica’s icy-blue landscape.

Fresh Regional Cuisine

Your taste buds will delight in the cruise dining experience, where our cuisine goes beyond the plate. With native fresh fish and ingredients sourced directly from those who know them best, our destination dining tells the story of each region through unique flavors. Peruvian ceviche or Patagonian toothfish, anyone? Yum! And if you’re looking for even more authentic tastes of the region, you’ll want to check out some of the shore excursions with delicious culinary tours. Just imagine sampling Peruvian pisco, Argentine asados (roast meats), Uruguayan olive oil and other tasty tidbits.

Award-Winning, Personalized Service

Our perfectly sized ships are your home away from home. We’re dedicated to providing gracious, genuine and warmly attentive onboard service. That means experiencing the grandeur of cruising with the personal care and connection that make anyplace feel like home.

Are you packing yet? Which unique experience has you ready to sail the seas to South America? Check out our YouTube video and share what excites you most in the comments below.


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