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Amazon & Polar Explorer-Miami to Santiago De Chile

18th December 2022 FOR 51 NIGHTS | Marina

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This fly cruise holiday is financially protected by OCEANIA CRUISES under ATOL 10527

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Combination cruise | Includes Business Class flights, overseas transfers, one-night pre-cruise hotel stay and FREE pre-paid gratuities | FREE Wi-Fi for all bookings | PLUS choose from: 22 FREE shore excursions* | FREE drinks package* | $2,200 FREE to spend on-board*

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1) All guests need to be in possession of a valid UK passport. This is also the case on any British Isles cruises. Please click here to check your passport will still be valid on your dates of travel.

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3) Please check the vaccination and testing requirements from the FCDO, your cruise line and any destination countries here

WHY WE RECOMMEND South America CRUISES

South America offers a spectacular range of sights and experiences on a luxury cruise. You could tour beachfront cities like Rio de Janeiro and get into Brazil’s carnival spirit, or head to secluded tropical ports that act as gateways to the rich jungle wildlife of the Amazon. Learn to tango in Buenos Aires, see the sunset in beautiful Lima, or head far to the south instead, for rugged mountain landscapes as breath-taking as they are remote.

Cruises around South America take place year-round, with itineraries ranging anywhere from 7 nights to 62 or more. Shore excursions here offer a huge variety of sights, from city life in Buenos Aires to historic ruins in Machu Picchu. With so many different landscapes, cultures and colonial influences to see, a luxury cruise around South America offers an incredible choice of adventures that you won’t find anywhere else in the world.

With warm weather year-round, there is no one time to enjoy the best cruises around South America. Itineraries range from 7-night Galapagos voyages to month-long tours along the east and west coasts – or you could even opt for a South American cruise that includes Antarctica, Europe, the Caribbean or the Pacific too.

A cruise around South America offers a range of different ways to see the continent. Along with its mix of modern cities, traditional villages and ancient civilisations, the continent is also home to some of the most spectacular landscapes and wildlife on Earth. A cruise to the jungle city of Manaus can open the doors to the Amazon rainforest, while many alternative cruises set sail from Ecuador for the legendary wildlife of the Galapagos.

You will find plenty of exotic and exciting luxury cruises to South America at SixStarCruises™, offering you the chance to set sail on the holiday of a lifetime with one of the world's most popular luxury cruise lines. Call our Cruise Concierge team today and they will help you find your ideal voyage, so you can start looking forward to your next great adventure.

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itinerary

1

Miami, Florida06:00 - 18:00

Miami is one of the world’s most popular holiday spots. It has so much to offer; from its countless beach areas, to culture and museums, from spa and shopping days out, to endless cuban restaurants and cafes. Miami is a multicultural city that has something to offer to everyone.

18 Dec 2022

2
3

Atlantic Ocean Cruising

19 Dec 2022 - 20 Dec 2022

4

Philipsburg08:00 - 17:00

The capital of Dutch St. Maarten stretches about a mile (1½ km) along an isthmus between Great Bay and the Salt Pond and has five parallel streets. Most of the village's dozens of shops and restaurants are on Front Street, narrow and cobblestone, closest to Great Bay. It's generally congested when cruise ships are in port, because of its many duty-free shops and several casinos. Little lanes called steegjes connect Front Street with Back Street, which has fewer shops and considerably less congestion. Along the beach is a ½-mile-long (1-km-long) boardwalk with restaurants and several Wi-Fi hot spots.Wathey Square (pronounced watty) is in the heart of the village. Directly across from the square are the town hall and the courthouse, in a striking white building with cupola. The structure was built in 1793 and has served as the commander's home, a fire station, a jail, and a post office. The streets surrounding the square are lined with hotels, duty-free shops, restaurants, and cafés. The Captain Hodge Pier, just off the square, is a good spot to view Great Bay and the beach that stretches alongside.

21 Dec 2022

5

Castries08:00 - 17:00

The typical image of a lush tropical paradise comes to life on the friendly island of St Lucia. Despite its small size – just 27 miles long and 14 miles wide – St Lucia is rich in natural splendour with dense emerald rainforest, banana plantations and orchards of coconut, mango and papaya trees. The twin peaks of Les Pitons, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site rise dramatically 2,000 feet into the sky and dominate the island. Look out for unusual birds with brilliant plumage such as the St Lucia parrot, see a surprising diversity of exotic flora and enjoy the warm hospitality of the islanders in the small villages and open-air markets. Please be aware that St Lucia is a small, mountainous island, with steep, winding and bumpy roads. Customers with back and neck problems should take this into consideration when booking an excursion.

22 Dec 2022

6
7

Atlantic Ocean Cruising

23 Dec 2022 - 24 Dec 2022

8

Amazon River Cruising

25 Dec 2022

9

Santarém10:00 - 19:00

See the bustling waterfront, the cathedral, the museum and the famed “Meeting of the Waters” at the confluence of the Tapajos and Amazon rivers. Or see the rivers converge from a boat on the way to Maica Lake, while looking for rare Amazon pink dolphins. Travel into the nearby countryside and take a walk along a fascinating Amazon jungle trail.

26 Dec 2022

10

Parintins07:00 - 17:00

Visit this isolated island town, steeped in Indian culture, in the middle of the Amazon River. Its stadium has become the focus of the Boi Bumba Festival, an annual event similar to Carnival. Witness an exclusive performance of this Amazonian folklore story.

27 Dec 2022

11
12

Manausundefined - 17:00

A hidden metropolis inside of the Amazon Rainforest in Brazil, this city is both modern and exciting, yet untouched by the world beyond the jungle. Visit its historical Rubber Museums or stop by the Park of Mindu and catch glimpse of the endangered Pied Tamarin.

28 Dec 2022 - 29 Dec 2022

13
14

Amazon River Cruising

30 Dec 2022 - 31 Dec 2022

15
16

Atlantic Ocean Cruising

01 Jan 2023 - 02 Jan 2023

17

Recife08:00 - 19:00

This vibrant metropolis has a spirit that's halfway between that of the modern cities of Brazil's South and of the traditional northeastern centers. It offers both insight on the past and a window to the future.It was in Pernambuco State, formerly a captaincy, that the most violent battles between the Dutch and the Portuguese took place. Under the Portuguese, the capital city was the nearby community of Olinda. But beginning in 1637 and during the Dutch turn at the reins (under the powerful count Maurício de Nassau), both Olinda and Recife were greatly developed.The city has beautiful buildings alongside the rivers that remind many visitors of Europe. Unfortunately, huge swathes of 19th-century buildings were razed to make way for modern structures. As a result, the center of the city has pockets of neocolonial splendor surrounded by gap-toothed modern giants. Today Recife is a leader in health care and has benefited from significant government investment in recent years, resulting in a boom in infrastructure and construction industries. It's also Brazil's third-largest gastronomic center—it's almost impossible to get a bad meal here.Recife is built around three rivers and connected by 49 bridges. Its name comes from the recifes (reefs) that line the coast. Because of this unique location, water and light often lend the city interesting textures. In the morning, when the tide recedes from Boa Viagem Beach, the rocks of the reefs slowly reappear. Pools of water are formed, fish flap around beachgoers, and the rock formations dry into odd colors. And if the light is just right on the Rio Capibaribe, the ancient buildings of Recife Antigo (Old Recife) are reflected off the river's surface in a watercolor display.

03 Jan 2023

18

Maceió07:00 - 17:00

Wrapped around a sparkling lagoon that links up with the sea, Maceió is a modern tourist destination with a reverence for its Portuguese colonial past. Spot architectural jewels including the stunning blue-and-white-tiled Bom Jesus dos Martírios church and take in a sweeping panorama of the city from the São Gonçalo Belvedere. For an authentic keepsake, select among a rainbow of rendas, traditional lacework evocative of fish netting that has been dyed in tropical colors. It’s no surprise that in Maceió water activities reign supreme, including a catamaran cruise over the Mundaú Lagoon to a secluded beach for the ultimate respite under the sun.

04 Jan 2023

19

Salvador de Bahia09:00 - 18:00

According to Salvador's adopted son Jorge Amado, "In Salvador, magic becomes part of the every-day." From the shimmering golden light of sunset over the Baía do Todos os Santos, to the rhythmic beats that race along the streets, Salvador, while no longer Brazil's capital, remains one of its most captivating cities. A large dose of its exoticism comes down to its African heritage—at least 70% of its 2,675,000 population is classified as Afro-Brazilian—and how it has blended into Brazil's different strands, from the native Indians to the Christian colonizers. Salvadorans may tell you that you can visit a different church every day of the year, which is almost true—the city has about 300. Churches whose interiors are covered with gold leaf were financed by the riches of the Portuguese colonial era, when slaves masked their traditional religious beliefs under a thin Catholic veneer. And partly thanks to modern-day acceptance of those beliefs, Salvador has become the fount of Candomblé, a religion based on personal dialogue with the orixás, a family of African deities closely linked to nature and the Catholic saints. The influence of Salvador's African heritage on Brazilian music has also turned the city into one of the musical capitals of Brazil, resulting in a myriad of venues to enjoy live music across the city, along with international acclaim for exponents like Gilberto Gil, Caetano Veloso, and Daniela Mercury. Salvador's economy today is focused on telecommunications and tourism. The still-prevalent African culture draws many tourists—this is the best place in Brazil to hear African music, learn or watch African dance, and see capoeira, a martial art developed by slaves. In the district of Pelourinho, many colorful 18th- and 19th-century houses remain, part of the reason why this is the center of the tourist trade. Salvador sprawls across a peninsula surrounded by the Baía de Todos os Santos on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other. The city has about 50 km (31 miles) of coastline. The original city, referred to as the Centro Histórica (Historical Center), is divided into the Cidade Alta (Upper City), also called Pelourinho, and Cidade Baixa (Lower City). The Cidade Baixa is a commercial area—known as Comércio—that runs along the port and is the site of Salvador's indoor market, Mercado Modelo. You can move between the upper and lower cities on foot, via the landmark Elevador Lacerda, behind the market, or on the Plano Inclinado, a funicular lift, which connects Rua Guindaste dos Padres on Comércio with the alley behind Cathedral Basílica. From the Cidade Histórica you can travel north along the bay to the hilltop Igreja de Nosso Senhor do Bonfim. You can also head south to the point, guarded by the Forte Santo Antônio da Barra, where the bay waters meet those of the Atlantic. This area on Salvador's southern tip is home to the trendy neighborhoods of Barra, Ondina, and Rio Vermelho, with many museums, theaters, shops, and restaurants. Beaches along the Atlantic coast and north of Forte Santo Antônio da Barra are among the city's cleanest. Many are illuminated at night and have bars and restaurants that stay open late.

05 Jan 2023

20

Atlantic Ocean Cruising

06 Jan 2023

21
22

Rio de Janeiroundefined - 21:00

Welcome to the Cidade Maravilhosa, or the Marvelous City, as Rio is known in Brazil. Synonymous with the girl from Ipanema, the dramatic views from Christ the Redeemer atop Corcovado mountain, and fabulously flamboyant Carnival celebrations, Rio is a city of stunning architecture, abundant museums, and marvelous food. Rio is also home to 23 beaches, an almost continuous 73-km (45-mile) ribbon of sand.As you leave the airport and head to Rio's beautiful Zona Sul (the touristic South Zone), you'll drive for about 40 minutes on a highway from where you'll begin to get a sense of the dramatic contrast between beautiful landscape and devastating poverty. In this teeming metropolis of 12 million people (6.2 million of whom live in Rio proper), the very rich and the very poor live in uneasy proximity. You'll drive past seemingly endless cinder-block favela, but by the time you reach Copacabana's breezy, sunny Avenida Atlântica—flanked on one side by white beach and azure sea and on the other by condominiums and hotels—your heart will leap with expectation as you begin to recognize the postcard-famous sights. Now you're truly in Rio, where cariocas (Rio residents) and tourists live life to its fullest.Enthusiasm is contagious in Rio. Prepare to have your senses engaged and your inhibitions untied. Rio seduces with a host of images: the joyous bustle of vendors at Sunday's Feira Hippie (Hippie Fair); the tipsy babble at sidewalk cafés as patrons sip their last glass of icy beer under the stars; the blanket of lights beneath the Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf Mountain); the bikers, joggers, strollers, and power walkers who parade along the beach each morning. Borrow the carioca spirit for your stay; you may find yourself reluctant to give it back.

07 Jan 2023 - 08 Jan 2023

23

Buzios08:00 - 18:00

Around two hours from Rio de Janeiro, Búzios is a string of beautiful beaches on an 8-km-long (5-mile-long) peninsula. It was the quintessential sleepy fishing village until the 1960s, when the French actress Brigitte Bardot holidayed here to escape the paparazzi and the place almost instantly transformed into a vacation sensation. Búzios has something for everyone. Some hotels cater specifically to families and provide plenty of activities and around-the-clock child care. Many have spa facilities, and some specialize in weeklong retreats. For outdoor enthusiasts, Búzios offers surfing, windsurfing, kitesurfing, diving, hiking, and mountain biking, as well as leisurely rounds of golf.

09 Jan 2023

24

Ilha Grande08:00 - 19:00

Enjoy exploring this beautiful island, hiking its trails, kayaking, snorkeling, diving to spectacular sites or simply relaxing on its gorgeous beaches. Savor the dense tropical forest with its diversity of birds, flowers, iguanas, monkeys and myriad wildlife found in this protected reserve.

10 Jan 2023

25

Parati07:00 - 18:00

The Costa Verde's main attraction, the coastal village of Parati, is about 180 miles south of Rio de Janeiro. Inhabited since 1660, this small town has remained fundamentally unaltered since its heyday. It was a staging post for 18th-century trade in Brazilian gold from Minas Gerais to Portugal. Raids and pirate attacks necessitated the establishment of a new route linking Minas Gerais directly with Rio de Janeiro. A decline in Parati’s fortunes resulted; being off the beaten track, it remained quietly hidden away. Today, the entire town has been declared a national historic monument by UNESCO as one of the most important examples of colonial architecture. With its newly acclaimed status, Parati has become a popular destination. Its beautifully restored colonial buildings line narrow, cobbled streets which are closed to vehicular traffic. Parati's population of some 15,000 people depends on fishing, farming and tourism for its livelihood. Local artists display their attractive crafts in galleries and souvenir shops. The town, reached via a long pier from the tender landing, must be explored on foot. Among Parati’s attractions is the 1722 Church of Santa Rita de Cassia, a classic example of Brazilian baroque architecture. The surrounding area boasts a scenic backdrop with green-clad mountains and numerous islands are scattered across the bay.

11 Jan 2023

26

Santos07:00 - 18:00

Journey inland to vibrant São Paulo and see its modern skyscrapers and monuments and visit the beautiful art museum. Or explore charming Santos and its extraordinary botanical garden, including an orchidarium with over 100 flower species and an aviary alive with macaws, toucans and parrots. Take a scenic drive to Guaruja and visit the resort town's fascinating aquarium.

12 Jan 2023

27

Itajai08:00 - 18:00

Though founded in the early 18th century, Itajai only started to develop during the mid-19th century when surrounding parts in the Brazilian southern state of Santa Catarina began to see an arrival of European immigrants who generated business for the port. Toward the close of that century, the town itself received a considerable influx of Italian, German and Polish immigrants, whose descendants now make up the bulk of the population. Out in the countryside, neat farms and distinct European architecture are still evidence of these early immigrant settlers. Despite its early beginnings, Itajai looks fairly new, with few buildings dating from before 1950. And while it may be short on “must sees,” the town benefits from nice beaches and its close proximity to Camboriú, one of the most popular tourist destinations in Santa Catarina state. In addition to white sand beaches, Camboriú boasts a busy commercial centre and the only cable car in the world to link two beaches. A day trip away is Blumenau, settled by German and Italian immigrants. Evidence of their heritage can still be seen in the town’s traditional style architecture and memorials. Pier Information The ship will be docked at the Itajai commercial pier, within walking distance to the town center. Taxis are generally available by the pier entrance, but you are advised to establish the fare before setting out. There are few English-speaking drivers. Shopping A variety of shops line the downtown pedestrian street. Most of them carry items of interest to the local population rather than tourists. The currency is the real. Cuisine As a busy port with freighters and tankers calling from around the world, Itajai offers a number of good but basic eateries, offering regional dishes as well as international fare. A bar and eatery, located just across from the pier entrance, is a popular attraction due to its seafaring clientele who have decorated the walls of the establishment over the years with interesting slogans and drawings. Other Sites There are few “must-see” sites in Itajai, but taking a stroll along the pedestrian street or having a look inside the cathedral may offer an interesting look at local lifestyle and activities. Beaches About a 10-15 minute drive away one can find Itajai’s beaches of Atalaia and Geremias, or still a bit farther the Praia Cabecudas. Beaches do not offer any tourist facilities, but are popular with locals. More upscale beach facilities can be found at Camboriú, a 6-mile (10 km) drive from Itajai. Private arrangements for independent sightseeing are limited in this port and subject to the availability of English-speaking guides.

13 Jan 2023

28

Cruising The Atlantic Ocean

14 Jan 2023

29

Punta del Este09:00 - 18:00

Often likened to the Hamptons or St-Tropez, Punta del Este is a flashy destination where parties run nonstop in peak season. But it is also a destination that draws a range of beachgoers to its shores, from summering families to the celebrity jet-set. There's a bustling city on the beach downtown, as well as quiet countryside populated solely with upscale ranches called chacras or estancias, and creative, buzzing hamlets like La Barra and José Ignacio. Though it's pricey and at times a logistical challenge to get around, everyone finds something about Punta to love.The resort takes its name from the "east point" marking the division of the Río de la Plata on the west from the Atlantic Ocean to the east. It also lends its name to the broader region encompassing the nearby communities of Punta Ballena and La Barra de Maldonado. These days even José Ignacio, some 20 miles away, is grouped in. It's usually a given that Argentina’s upper class spends at least part of the summer in Punta, soaking in the ample rays.

15 Jan 2023

30

Montevideo08:00 - 19:00

Uruguay’s capital city hugs the eastern bank of the Río de la Plata. A massive coastal promenade (malecón) that passes fine beaches, restaurants, and numerous parks recalls the sunny sophistications of the Mediterranean and is always dotted with Montevideans strolling, exercising, and lounging along the water. Montevideo has its share of glitzy shopping avenues and modern office buildings, balanced with its historic old city and sumptuous colonial architecture, as well as numerous leafy plazas and parks. It is hard not to draw comparisons to its sister city Buenos Aires across the river, and indeed Montevideo strikes many as a calmer, more manageable incarnation of Argentina's capital.When the weather's good, La Rambla, a 22-km (14-mile) waterfront avenue that links the Old City with the eastern suburbs and changes names about a dozen times, gets packed with fishermen, ice-cream vendors, and joggers. Around sunset, volleyball and soccer games wind down as couples begin to appear for evening strolls. Polls consistently rate Montevideo as having the highest quality of life of any city in Latin America. After one visit here, especially on a lovely summer evening, you probably will agree.

16 Jan 2023

31
32

Buenos Airesundefined - 20:00

Glamorous and gritty, Buenos Aires is two cities in one. What makes Argentina's capital so fascinating is its dual heritage—part European, part Latin American. Plaza de Mayo resembles a grand square in Madrid, and the ornate Teatro Colón would not be out of place in Vienna. But you’ll know you’re in South America by the leather shoes for sale on cobbled streets and impromptu parades of triumphant soccer fans. Limited-production wines, juicy steaks, and ice cream in countless flavors are among the old-world imports the city has perfected.

17 Jan 2023 - 18 Jan 2023

33

Montevideo08:00 - 20:00

Uruguay’s capital city hugs the eastern bank of the Río de la Plata. A massive coastal promenade (malecón) that passes fine beaches, restaurants, and numerous parks recalls the sunny sophistications of the Mediterranean and is always dotted with Montevideans strolling, exercising, and lounging along the water. Montevideo has its share of glitzy shopping avenues and modern office buildings, balanced with its historic old city and sumptuous colonial architecture, as well as numerous leafy plazas and parks. It is hard not to draw comparisons to its sister city Buenos Aires across the river, and indeed Montevideo strikes many as a calmer, more manageable incarnation of Argentina's capital.When the weather's good, La Rambla, a 22-km (14-mile) waterfront avenue that links the Old City with the eastern suburbs and changes names about a dozen times, gets packed with fishermen, ice-cream vendors, and joggers. Around sunset, volleyball and soccer games wind down as couples begin to appear for evening strolls. Polls consistently rate Montevideo as having the highest quality of life of any city in Latin America. After one visit here, especially on a lovely summer evening, you probably will agree.

19 Jan 2023

34

Punta del Este08:00 - 17:00

Often likened to the Hamptons or St-Tropez, Punta del Este is a flashy destination where parties run nonstop in peak season. But it is also a destination that draws a range of beachgoers to its shores, from summering families to the celebrity jet-set. There's a bustling city on the beach downtown, as well as quiet countryside populated solely with upscale ranches called chacras or estancias, and creative, buzzing hamlets like La Barra and José Ignacio. Though it's pricey and at times a logistical challenge to get around, everyone finds something about Punta to love.The resort takes its name from the "east point" marking the division of the Río de la Plata on the west from the Atlantic Ocean to the east. It also lends its name to the broader region encompassing the nearby communities of Punta Ballena and La Barra de Maldonado. These days even José Ignacio, some 20 miles away, is grouped in. It's usually a given that Argentina’s upper class spends at least part of the summer in Punta, soaking in the ample rays.

20 Jan 2023

35

Cruising The Atlantic Ocean

21 Jan 2023

36

Puerto Madryn09:00 - 18:00

Approaching from Ruta 3, it's hard to believe that the horizon line of buildings perched just beyond the windswept dunes and badlands is the most successful of all coastal Patagonia settlements. But once you get past the outskirts of town and onto the wide coastal road known as the Rambla, the picture begins to change. Ranged along the clear and tranquil Golfo Nuevo are restaurants, cafés, dive shops, and hotels, all busy—but not yet overcrowded—with tourists from around the world.Puerto Madryn is more a base for visiting nearby wildlife-watching sites like Península Valdés and Punta Tombo than a destination in its own right. The town's architecture is unremarkable, and beyond a walk along the coast there isn't much to do. Indeed, even the few museums serve mainly to introduce you to the fauna you'll see elsewhere. The exception is the beginning of whale season (May through July), when the huge animals cavort right in the bay before heading north—you can even walk out alongside them on the pier. During these months it's worth the extra expense for a room with a sea view.The many tour agencies and rental-car companies here make excursion planning easy. Aim to spend most of your time here on one- or two-day trips exploring the surroundings. Note that competition is fierce between tourism operators in destinations such as Puerto Madryn and Puerto Pirámides on Península Valdés. Take information that tour operators and even the tourism office give you about these with a grain of salt: they often exaggerate Madryn's virtues and other areas' flaws.

22 Jan 2023

37

Cruising The Atlantic Ocean

23 Jan 2023

38

Port Stanley08:00 - 18:00

Tiny Stanley, capital of the Falklands, seems in many ways like a British village fallen out of the sky. Many homes are painted in bright colours, adding visual appeal to this distant outpost. Not far offshore, the wreck of the Lady Elizabeth, is one of the many vessels remaining as a silent testimonial to the region's frequent harsh weather conditions.The islands, also known by their Spanish name of Islas Malvinas, are home to arguably more tuxedo-clad inhabitants of the penguin variety than human residents. Various species, such as Gentoo, Magellanic and the more elusive King penguins, either live here permanently or use the Falklands as a stopover on their migration route. Darwin found the islands' flora and fauna fascinating - no doubt you will, too.

24 Jan 2023

39

Cruising The Atlantic Ocean

25 Jan 2023

40

Admiralty Bay, Antarctica

26 Jan 2023

41

Cruising By Paradise Bay, Antartica

27 Jan 2023

42

Cruising By Half Moon Island, Antartica

28 Jan 2023

43

Cruising The Drake Passage

29 Jan 2023

44

Ushuaia07:00 - 17:00

At 55 degrees latitude south, Ushuaia (pronounced oo-swy-ah) is closer to the South Pole than to Argentina's northern border with Bolivia. It is the capital and tourism base for Tierra del Fuego, the island at the southernmost tip of Argentina.Although its stark physical beauty is striking, Tierra del Fuego's historical allure is based more on its mythical past than on rugged reality. The island was inhabited for 6,000 years by Yámana, Haush, Selk'nam, and Alakaluf Indians. But in 1902 Argentina, eager to populate Patagonia to bolster its territorial claims, moved to initiate an Ushuaian penal colony, establishing the permanent settlement of its most southern territories and, by implication, everything in between.When the prison closed in 1947, Ushuaia had a population of about 3,000, made up mainly of former inmates and prison staff. Today the Indians of Darwin's "missing link" theory are long gone—wiped out by diseases brought by settlers and by indifference to their plight—and the 60,000 residents of Ushuaia are hitching their star to tourism.The city rightly (if perhaps too loudly) promotes itself as the southernmost city in the world (Puerto Williams, a few miles south on the Chilean side of the Beagle Channel, is a small town). You can make your way to the tourism office to get your clichéd, but oh-so-necessary, "Southernmost City in the World" passport stamp. Ushuaia feels like a frontier boomtown, at heart still a rugged, weather-beaten fishing village, but exhibiting the frayed edges of a city that quadrupled in size in the '70s and '80s and just keeps growing. Unpaved portions of Ruta 3, the last stretch of the Pan-American Highway, which connects Alaska to Tierra del Fuego, are finally being paved. The summer months (December through March) draw more than 120,000 visitors, and dozens of cruise ships. The city is trying to extend those visits with events like March's Marathon at the End of the World and by increasing the gamut of winter activities buoyed by the excellent snow conditions.A terrific trail winds through the town up to the Martial Glacier, where a ski lift can help cut down a steep kilometer of your journey. The chaotic and contradictory urban landscape includes a handful of luxury hotels amid the concrete of public housing projects. Scores of "sled houses" (wooden shacks) sit precariously on upright piers, ready for speedy displacement to a different site. But there are also many small, picturesque homes with tiny, carefully tended gardens. Many of the newer homes are built in a Swiss-chalet style, reinforcing the idea that this is a town into which tourism has breathed new life. At the same time, the weather-worn pastel colors that dominate the town's landscape remind you that Ushuaia was once just a tiny fishing village, snuggled at the end of the Earth.As you stand on the banks of the Canal Beagle (Beagle Channel) near Ushuaia, the spirit of the farthest corner of the world takes hold. What stands out is the light: at sundown the landscape is cast in a subdued, sensual tone; everything feels closer, softer, and more human in dimension despite the vastness of the setting. The snowcapped mountains reflect the setting sun back onto a stream rolling into the channel, as nearby peaks echo their image—on a windless day—in the still waters.Above the city rise the last mountains of the Andean Cordillera, and just south and west of Ushuaia they finally vanish into the often-stormy sea. Snow whitens the peaks well into summer. Nature is the principal attraction here, with trekking, fishing, horseback riding, wildlife spotting, and sailing among the most rewarding activities, especially in the Parque Nacional Tierra del Fuego (Tierra del Fuego National Park).

30 Jan 2023

45

Punta Arenas11:00 - 20:00

Impenetrable forests, impassable mountains, and endless fields of ice define Chilean Patagonia, and meant that the region went largely unexplored until the beginning of the 20th century. Located in the southernmost part of the country, this area is still sparsely inhabited, though you will find a few populated places—like the colorful provincial city of Punta Arenas, which looks like it's about to be swept into the Strait of Magellan. Some unique wildlife, particularly colonies of elephant seals and penguins, call this breathtaking topography home. To the north is Parque Nacional Torres del Paine, the country's most magnificent natural wonder, and whose snow-covered peaks seem to rise vertically from the plains below. The vistas, such as the fantastic Avenue of the Glaciers, are breathtaking; along this stretch of the Beagle Channel, you can pass six tremendous glaciers all within a stone's throw of each other.Cruise SightsPunta Arenas. Founded a little more than 150 years ago, Punta Arenas (Sandy Point) was Chile's first permanent settlement in Patagonia. Plaza Muñoz Gamero, the central square, is surrounded by evidence of that early prosperity: buildings whose then-opulent brick exteriors recall a time when this was one of Chile's wealthiest cities. The newer houses here have colorful tin roofs, best appreciated when seen from a high vantage point such as the Mirador Cerro la Cruz. Although the city as a whole may not be particularly attractive, look for details: the pink-and-white house on a corner, the bay window full of potted plants, parking attendants wearing the regional blue and yellow colors, and schoolchildren in identical naval pea coats that remind you that the city's fate is tied to the sea.The Museo Naval y Marítimo extols Chile's high-seas prowess, particularly concerning Antarctica. Its exhibits are worth a visit for anyone with an interest in ships and sailing, merchant and military alike. Part of the second floor is designed like the interior of a ship, including a map and radio room. Pedro Montt 989. Admission charged.Housed in what was once the mansion of the powerful Braun-Menéndez family, the Museo Regional de Magallanes is an intriguing glimpse into the daily life of a wealthy provincial family at the beginning of the 20th century. Lavish Carrara marble hearths, English bath fixtures, and cordovan leather walls are among the original accoutrements. The museum also has an excellent group of displays depicting Punta Arenas's past, from the first European contact to the town's decline after the opening of the Panama Canal. The museum is half a block north of the main square. Magallanes 949. Admission charged.The resplendent 1895 Palacio Sara Braun is a national landmark and an architectural showpiece of southern Patagonia. Designed by a French architect, the house was built from materials and by craftsmen imported from Europe during the four years of construction. The city's central plaza and surrounding buildings soon followed, ushering in the region's golden era. Noteworthy are the lavish bedrooms, magnificent parquet floors, marble fireplaces, and hand-painted ceilings. Don't miss the portraits of Braun and her husband José Nogueira in the music room. Afterwards, head to the cellar for a drink or snack in the warm public tavern (a good portion of the mansion is leased to a hotel). Plaza Muñoz Gamero 716. Admission charged.Commonly referred to simply as "El Salesiano," the Museo Salesiano de Maggiorino Borgatello is operated by Italian missionaries whose order arrived in Punta Arenas in the 19th century. The Salesians, most of whom spoke no Spanish, proved to be daring explorers. Traveling throughout the region, they collected the artifacts made by indigenous tribes that are currently on display. Av. Bulnes 398. Admission charged.Isla Magdalena. Punta Arenas is the launching point for a boat trip to the Isla Magdalena to see the more than 100,000 Magellanic penguins at the Monumento Natural Los Pingúinos. A single trail, marked off by rope, is accessible to humans. The boat trip to the island, in the middle of the Estrecho de Magallanes, takes about two hours. Make sure to bring along warm clothing, even in summer; the island can be chilly, particularly if a breeze is blowing across the water.Parque Nacional Torres del Paine. Some 12 million years ago, lava flows pushed up through the thick sedimentary crust that covered the southwestern coast of South America, cooling to form a granite mass. Glaciers then swept through the region, grinding away all but the ash-gray spires that rise over the landscape of one of the world's most beautiful natural phenomena, now the Parque Nacional Torres del Paine (established in 1959). Snow formations dazzle along every turn of road, and the sunset views are spectacular.Among the 2,420-square-km (934-square-mi) park's most beautiful attractions are its lakes of turquoise, aquamarine, and emerald green waters. Another draw is its unusual wildlife. Creatures like the guanaco (a woollier version of the llama) and the ñandú (resembling a small ostrich) abound. They are used to visitors and don't seem to be bothered by the proximity of automobile traffic and the snapping of cameras. Predators, like the gray fox, make less frequent appearances. You may also spot the dramatic aerobatics of a falcon and the graceful soaring of the endangered condor. The beautiful puma is especially elusive, but sightings have become more common. Admission charged.Pingúinera de Seno Otway. The road to this penguin sanctuary begins 30 km (18 mi) north of Punta Arenas. Magellanic penguins, which live up to 20 years in the wild, return to their birthplace here every year to mate with the same partner. For about 2,000 penguin couples—no single penguins make the trip—home is this desolate and windswept land off the Otway Sound. In late September, the penguins begin to arrive from the southern coast of Brazil and the Falkland Islands. They mate and lay their eggs in early October, and brood their eggs in November. Offspring hatch between mid-November and early December. If you're lucky, you may catch sight of one of the downy gray chicks that stick their heads out of the burrows when their parents return to feed them. Otherwise you might see scores of the ungainly adult penguins waddling to the ocean from their nesting burrows. They swim for food every eight hours and dive up to 100 feet deep. The penguins depart from the sound in late March. Note that the sanctuary is a 1-km (1/2-mi) walk from the parking lot. It gets chilly, so bring a windbreaker. Admission charged.Reserva Nacional Laguna Parillar. This 47,000-acre reserve lies west of Puerto Hambre, a tranquil fishing village, and is centered around a shimmering lake in a valley flanked by hills. It's a great place for a picnic, and there are a number of well-marked paths that offer sweeping vistas over the Estrecho de Magallanes. About 2 km (1 mi) west of Puerto Hambre is a small white monolith that marks the geographical center of Chile, the midway point between Chile's northern port Arica and the South Pole.Cruise ShoppingWool may no longer be king of the economy, but vast flocks of sheep still yield a high-quality product that is woven into the clothing here. Leather products are also common, but the prices are not necessarily low. About 3 km (2 mi) north of Punta Arenas is the Zona Franca (Av. Bulnes). This duty-free zone is where people from all around the region come for low-priced electronics and other consumer items.

31 Jan 2023

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47

Cruising The Chilien Fjords

Sail through some of the world's narrowest and most scenic waterways. Near the serrated southern tip of Chile, the Southern Andes plunge into icy waters, leaving a region so wild and remote that it has been virtually untouched since the beginning of time. It is here in Chile's fjords that ancient glaciers sliced their way between the mountains, leaving isolated islands and hidden coves upon their retreat.

01 Feb 2023 - 02 Feb 2023

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Laguna San Rafael National Park08:00 - 18:00

Some 150 nautical miles south of Puerto Chacabuco lies Laguna San Rafael National Park. Getting here is in itself a wonderful experience as the ship cruises through waterways, fjords and estuaries that offer stunning scenery. Within the park is the tallest peak in the Southern Andes, Mount San Valentín at 13,310 feet. Fields of ice extend over this mountain and the surrounding hills and from it 19 glaciers are born. However, the most famous attraction is the Mount San Valentín glacier. Here large blocks of ice can be seen calving off the glacier and crashing into the lake with a thunderous roar. Truly an amazing sight!

03 Feb 2023

49

Puerto Chacabuco07:00 - 17:00

The drive from Coyhaique to the town of Puerto Aisén and its port, Chacabuco, is beautiful. The mist hangs low over farmland, adding a dripping somnolence to the scenery. Dozens of waterfalls and rivers wend their way through mountain formations. Yellow poplars surround charming rustic lodges, and sheep and cattle graze on mossy, vibrant fields. The picture of serenity terminates at the sea, where the nondescript town of Puerto Aisén and its port Chacabuco, Coyhaique's link to the ocean, sits, a conduit to further beauty. This harbor ringed by snowcapped mountains is where you board the ferries that transport you north to Puerto Montt in the Lake District and Quellón on Chiloé, as well as boats headed south to the spectacular Laguna San Rafael.

04 Feb 2023

50

Puerto Montt10:00 - 19:00

For most of its history, windy Puerto Montt was the end of the line for just about everyone traveling in the Lake District. Now the Carretera Austral carries on southward, but for all intents and purposes Puerto Montt remains the region's last significant outpost, a provincial city that is the hub of local fishing, textile, and tourist activity.Today the city center is full of malls, condos, and office towers—it's the fastest-growing city in Chile—but away from downtown, Puerto Montt consists mainly of low clapboard houses perched above its bay, the Seno de Reloncaví. If it's a sunny day, head east to Playa Pelluco or one of the city's other beaches. If you're more interested in exploring the countryside, drive along the shore for a good view of the surrounding hills.

05 Feb 2023

51

Cruising The Pacific

06 Feb 2023

52

San Antonio06:00 - 18:00

Nestled between the Andes and the Pacific Ocean, energetic Santiago de Chile offers surprising discoveries with its renovated arts scene, expansive museums and noteworthy restaurants you won’t want to miss. Take in the outstanding views of this cosmopolitan capital by biking or hiking up one of its many gorgeous hills. Visit the Plaza de Armas – Santiago’s Original City Center – where you’ll be able to see a wealth of historical buildings and grand architecture. Or get a glimpse into the private and professional life of the poet and Nobel Prize winner Pablo Neruda by visiting one of his homes, all three of which have been converted into museums.

07 Feb 2023

(This holiday is generally suitable for persons with reduced mobility. For customers with reduced mobility or any medical condition that may require special assistance or arrangements to be made, please notify your Cruise Concierge at the time of your enquiry, so that we can provide specific information as to the suitability of the holiday, as well as make suitable arrangements with the Holiday Provider on your behalf).

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