79 Night Cruise sailing from Southampton roundtrip aboard Bolette.
As you visit a string of incredible and iconic destinations, you can fully immerse yourself in Latin America’s intoxicating blend of rich history, unique culture and breathtaking beauty with unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime highlights awaiting discovery throughout your epic, in-depth exploration.
Time in Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile and more offers opportunities for authentic and inspirational experiences galore. There’s an overnight stay in Rio de Janeiro, where you can shake your hips to unmistakable samba beats, marvel at Sugar Loaf Mountain, and not only see the mighty Christ the Redeemer, but have a private mass with a local priest at this world-famous wonder too. Sample ranch life on an Estancia on tour from Montevideo; feel the beat and move your feet to the rhythm of traditional Tango dance in Buenos Aires, or perhaps tour to the spectacular Iguazu Falls;
and delight in the art and architecture of Puerto Madryn. Ushuaia is sure to astound you; situated amongst the astonishing scenes of snow-capped peaks and atmospheric waterways, it is a haven for marine fauna including penguins, sea lions, seals and sea birds.
Cruising the legendary waters by Cape Horn and capturing the Chilean Fjords’ awe-inspiring panoramas of mountains and glaciers will make everlasting memories, while you’ll also take in charming Punta Arenas; Puerto Chacabuco, gateway to spellbinding Lower Patagonia and the Andes; vivacious Valparaiso; and Arica, for stunning sun-kissed beaches. You could take an overland tour from Paracas to Machu Picchu in Peru, to explore the ancient ruins of one of the New Seven Wonders of the World; and be engrossed in history of Cartagena de Indias, Colombia. Remarkable ancient sites await in Mexico and Belize; Cozumel is home to legendary Mayan ruins, while Belize City is the gateway to an abundance of archaeological wonders. Don’t miss the chance to embrace nature amongst coral reefs and rainforests within reach on tour from Cozumel, Belize City and the Costa Rican city of Puerto Limon too. In between all that, you’ll even get to experience a transit of the magnificent Panama Canal, one of the great cruise adventures.
Highlights of this cruise:
Stretched across its seven trademark hills overlooking the River Tagus estuary, Portugal’s hilly, coastal capital city of Lisbon, is a cinematic collection of cobbled alleyways, pastel-coloured buildings, ancient ruins and white-domed cathedrals. The city was decimated by an earthquake in 1755, and modern Lisbon has been shaped by that eventful day. The Pombaline architecture that now defines the city represents some of the first seismically-protected buildings in Europe.
The city’s bridges include the Ponte 25 de Abril – similar to the Golden Gate in San Francisco – and the Ponte Vasco da Gama, which includes over 11km of viaducts. Lisbon’s many fascinating museums, include the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, the National Museum of Contemporary Art, the National Coach Museum and the Carmo Archaeological Museum.
Lisbon is also a shopper’s paradise, with the Centro Commercial Colombo – the biggest shopping mall on the Iberian peninsula – and the elegant Avenidas Novas, full of upmarket shops. Alternatively, there bargains to be had in the local flea market, Campo de Santa Clara. Don't miss the chance to sample iconic egg tarts at Pasteis de Belém too.
The festival city of Salvador has an energy and an austere beauty that rivals any Latin city. Originally the capital of Portugal's New World colony, Brazil’s ‘Capital of Happiness’ is a living museum of 17th and 18th century architecture and gold-laden churches.
Salvador’s Afro-Brazilian culture comes alive in the endless carnivals, parties and celebrations that make any visit a joy to behold. This vibrant atmosphere takes over the city regularly and visitors are encouraged to join in and soak up the immersive sights and sounds. Alternatively, the city's beautiful beaches like Porto de Barra, are the perfect place to relax, soak up the sunshine and get away from it all.
Clinging to the hills above a sparkling island-dotted bay, the city’s Portuguese colonial architecture is on full show in the Pelourinho neighbourhood. This historic heart with cobblestone alleys opening onto large squares and baroque churches, is home to the lavishly-decorated São Francisco Church and Convent.
Divided into an upper and lower section, the city is easy to navigate and the imposing public buildings in the cliff top Cidade Alta (Upper City) – monuments to the wealth generated by sugar-cane and tobacco, demand discovery. Elsewhere in the UNESCO-listed historic centre, the multi-coloured homes with red-tiled roofs, great market, and some 300 churches make this photogenic city irresistible.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Planted between lush, forest-covered mountains and breath-taking beaches, Rio de Janeiro – the Cidade Maravilhosa (Marvellous City) – has many charms at her disposal, and is a rich melting pot of cultures.
Famed for its Carnival and Copacabana and Ipanema beaches, the samba-fuelled nightlife and raucous football matches of this huge, iconic Brazilian seaside city more than delivers on its romantic promise.
Home to the glorious 38-metre Christ the Redeemer statue atop Mount Corcovado and the stunning Sugarloaf Mountain, a remarkable granite peak with cable cars to its summit, truly make Rio a place like no other. Music is the city’s heartbeat; a soundtrack that blends rock, bossa nova, funk and, of course, samba – the African influenced beat that’s synonymous with Rio.
Carnival means parade floats, flamboyant costumes and samba dancers, and Rio’s festival is considered the world’s largest. Other occasions for partying around town include funk parties in the favelas (shanty towns) and boat parties on the bay. Food is a treasured part of local life, with its dishes roots deep in African and European traditions. Cuisine options vary from meaty churrascarias, tasty feijoadas, vibrant street food and gourmet restaurant selections.
Rio is far more than just a frantic seaside resort, and the area offers access to some outstanding outdoor adventures: hiking in the Tijuca rainforest, cycling alongside the lake and beaches and sailing across Baía de Guanabara.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Stretched out along the Rio de la Plata, the nation’s capital, Buenos Aires, is a rich mix of European splendour and Latino passion. Its centre, Plaza de Mayo, is lined with impressive 19th century buildings including Casa Rosada, the iconic, balconied presidential palace. It’s also the location of the Pirámide de Mayo, built to celebrate Argentina's independence in 1810.
French and Italian-style palaces grace the Avenida de Mayo, while other attractions include the Teatro Colón opera house, and the modern MALBA museum, which exhibits Latin American art. The city’s complexity is exemplified by the diverse architecture, unique urban landscape and boulevards lined with cafes, shops and galleries.
The food scene is increasingly dynamic, and satisfying the craving for one of the region's famously-juicy steaks is easy given Parrillas (steakhouses) sit on virtually every corner. A late-night cone of the local caramel ice-cream is a popular favourite, and an evening in this energetic city can be finished off with music and dancing in one of the many jazz clubs and tango bars.
Famed for being the world’s southernmost city, Ushuaia is located at the tip of Tierra del Fuego, between the snow-capped Andean mountains and the Beagle Channel. The city is a great base for exploring some of the region’s remarkable sites, and a starting point for heading south towards Antarctica.
Ushuaia’s ‘end of the world’ status is popular for adventure-seekers, particularly Tierra del Fuego National Park which lies 11km west of the city. This expansive park is incredibly diverse, with glaciers, forests, beaches and mountains, providing endless opportunities for exploration.
One of the park’s top attractions is its wide range of flora and fauna, thanks to the varied landscapes, including Fuegian foxes, southern river otters, guanacos (closely related to the llama), black-browed albatrosses, woodpeckers and oystercatchers. The park can be reached via car or the ‘End of the World’ Train, an old railway line originally built to transport materials to a nearby prison which reopened as a tourist attraction in 1994. The train passes by the Pico Valley and Macarena Waterfall en route to the park.
Puerto Chacabuco, Chile
Surrounded by ice-clad mountains, Puerto Chacabuco is a busy port, but it was only built in the 1990s when the natural harbour at Puerto Aisen, further up the coast, became unusable. There are local tours available of lower Patagonia and the Andes Mountains, as well as through the Rio Simpson National Reserve. The Aikén del Sur Park is privately owned but can be visited: it is a haven for wildlife, especially of wetland birds.
Arica serves as a vital trade link between Chile, Peru and neighbouring Bolivia. However, this pretty city is much more than just a commercial centre. Away from the busy docks you’ll discover mile-upon-mile of dark-brown beaches ideal for making the most of the year-round warmth. Looking out across the Pacific Ocean, you’re sure to see thrill-seeking surfers challenging themselves against the tide, even as the sun begins to set.
Venturing even further from the coast and into the city itself is just as rewarding, with an abundance of highlights and attractions to discover. The Museo de Sitio Colón 10 is a must-visit to see 32 incredibly well-preserved Chinchorro mummies in situ; while the Gothic-style Catedral de San Marcos is one of Arica’s most iconic structures. Designed by Parisian engineer Alexandre Gustave Eiffel – before he designed the world-famous Eiffel Tower – and built in his Paris shop in the 1870’s, the cathedral was shipped around the world and assembled where it stands today.
Don’t miss the spectacular views on offer from El Morro, an imposing 110-metre-high rock which overlooks the city and the busy port, too. Here you’ll also find the fascinating Museo Histórico y de Armas, which tells the story of a battle between the Chilean and Peruvian armies that took place atop El Morro in 1880.
Callao is the Peruvian capital's once-grand port area, which has been brought back to life with culture, cuisine and rich history. An important commercial centre since the colonial era, the city retains many fine colonial mansions and elaborate examples of architecture. The Real Felipe fortress is an impressive building built to defend the city from pirates and was central to Peru’s war of independence.
La Punta, the area around the port, was once home to Lima’s aristocracy. It has many stately houses and a wonderful seafront promenade lined with delightful cafés. The Military Museum has many fascinating artefacts, including old weaponry, while the Navy Museum is devoted to the country’s naval heritage.
Visitors can take easy transport links from Callao to explore the Peruvian capital, Lima, and learn about the country's dramatic history, from the Inca Empire to the Spanish conquistadors.
Cozumel, is famed for its Mayan history, coral reefs and scuba diving. Lying off the Yucatan coast, the island has over 40 shrines to Ixchel, the Mayan goddess of the moon, the sea and fertility. Many are carved from coral – the island is part of the Great Maya Barrier Reef – and archaeologists regularly find the small clay dolls, which were offerings to the goddess.
The eco-park, Chankanaab, is the number one attraction in Cozumel; a lagoon with underwater caverns, and home to dolphins, manatees, iguanas and sea turtles. The relaxing haven of the National Marine Park boasts stunning beaches and beautiful botanical gardens. The popular diving spot around a section of the Mesoamerican Reef is the location of the amazing submerged sculptures of Museo Subacuático de Arte.
Museo de la Isla de Cozumel, in the small town of San Miguel, has interesting exhibits about the island, its flora and fauna, and the formation of the coral reef. There are also Mayan artefacts and various items from its time as a Spanish colony, including cannons, swords and armour.
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