Board your overnight flight to South America
Welcome to Santiago, Chile’s capital. This country is more than 10-times longer than wide, with 2,650 miles of beautiful Pacific coastline. Rooms are ready so that you can freshen up and rest before taking a first look at Santiago. This evening, meet your Local Host and traveling companions at a special WELCOME DINNER. (D)
Located in the center of the country and perched between the Pacific Ocean and the Andes, Santiago has evolved as the country’s political, commercial, and cultural capital. Step back into the 16th century as your Local Guide traces the city’s history and heritage. Start at La Moneda, the official Government Palace, and nearby SAN CRISTOBAL HILL with its landmark statue of the Virgin Mary. After visiting the PRE-COLOMBIAN ART MUSEUM, your tour ends at the Plaza de Armas, the main square, with a visit to the 18th-century CATHEDRAL. The afternoon and evening are at your leisure. (B)
This morning, a short drive through the rolling hills of Chile’s Curacavi Valley leads to Viña del Mar, a modern resort renowned for its lovely gardens. The town was founded in 1874 as a weekend retreat and garden residence for the wealthy elite from Santiago. Continue to Valparaiso, a picturesque seaport that has long been an inspiration for poets and artists. Board Holland America’s MS Rotterdam for your cruise around South America. Ship departs at 5 p.m. (B,D)
Time to explore the ship, your home for the next two weeks. During your cruise adventure, you will have the freedom to choose from the many amenities on board. (B,L,D)
Arrive in Puerto Montt in Chilean Patagonia, gateway to the scenic Lake District. Perhaps take an excursion to see the pine forests, icy lakes, Bavarian hamlets, and luminous snowcapped volcanoes. Or walk along a busy waterfront brimming with fishing vessels and seafood stalls. Arrive in Puerto Montt at 7 a.m.; depart at 5 p.m. (B,L,D)
Today, see fjords more spectacular than those in Norway or Alaska! Along the southern coastline of Chile is a 1,000-mile maze of virgin forested islands, glistening glaciers, and more fjords than in all of Scandinavia. (B,L,D)
Sailing the west side of the Sarmiento Canal you’ll see Madre de Dios Island with its towering limestone peaks. Pass the blue and white Amalia Glacier, keeping an eye out for the penguins and seabirds who call the glacier home. (B,L,D)
Today brings you to where the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans converge—the Strait of Magellan, named by Ferdinand Magellan around 1520. Views of Chile from the strait include stunning vistas and landscapes, tiny coves, and picturesque inlets. Arrive at the remote town of Punta Arenas, the perfect starting spot for Patagonian explorations. After reboarding the ship, continue through Cockburn and Beagle Channels, originally charted by Charles Darwin in 1832. Arrive Punta Arenas at 7 a.m.; depart at 8 p.m. (B,L,D)
Arrive at the southernmost town in the world, where dominating peaks loom on three sides and the fourth opens to Beagle Channel, where sea lions bellow and king crabs rule. Perhaps venture into Tierra Del Fuego National Park today. Arrive Ushuaia at 1 p.m.; depart at 9 p.m. (B,L,D)
Cruise around the southern tip of South America that marks the northern boundary of the Drake Passage. For many years it was a major milestone on the clipper route, by which sailing ships carried trade around the world until the Panama Canal opened in 1914
Dock in Britain but under the Southern Cross today. Explore the vast moorlands and sheep ranches, visit the pubs, see the red phone booths, and enjoy a “cuppa tea.” Plus a chance to see penguins of every type: gentoo, Magellanic, king. Arrive Stanley at 9 a.m.; depart at 4 p.m. (B,L,D)
This morning visit magnificent FLOORS CASTLE, the stately home of the Duke and Duchess of Roxburghe. On past the abbey ruins at Jedburgh and the house of Mary, Queen of Scots, into wild Northumberland National Park. Later, inspect a section of Hadrian’s Wall, the Roman coast-to-coast defense against marauding northern tribes. In York, England’s most complete medieval city, stand in awe in front of the great structure of York Minster, then follow your Tour Director through a maze of quaint streets including the narrow Shambles. (FB,D)
Welcome to the “Paris of South America.” You have two days to meander through the city’s beautiful boulevards and past its many outdoor cafés. Maybe explore the colorful La Boca district and site of the city’s first port; or see San Telmo’s famous late-colonial buildings; and don’t miss the ornate Colon Opera House and the Cemetery of the Recoleta, burial site of Eva Peron. Arrive Buenos Aires at 6 a.m. (B,L,D)
Another day to explore the sights of Buenos Aires before departing this evening at 9 p.m. (B,L,D).
Montevideo is a city that was strongly influenced by European culture and still honors many colonial customs like long lunches, siestas, and high tea. In fact, Montevideo has been ranked as the city in Latin America with the highest quality of life. While here, opt to visit nearby Colonia del Sacramento, the oldest city in Uruguay and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Arrive Montevideo at 8 a.m.; depart at 6 p.m. (B,L,D)
Welcome to one of the most exciting cities in the world—Rio de Janeiro! Begin with a visit to the statue of Christ the Redeemer crowning CORCOVADO MOUNTAIN, a rounded peak rising 2,300 feet from the bay below. Take the scenic cog railway ride to its top, where a 360-degree panorama affords sweeping views. From here, proceed to bustling downtown Rio to see the Sambodromo and visit the CATHEDRAL. This evening, it’s off to a churrascaria for a feast of barbecued meats marinated and roasted over charcoal in true Brazilian style. Then, experience a SAMBA SHOW, where the sheer vitality of this country explodes in a colorful extravaganza. Arrive at 7 a.m. (B,D)
A day of leisure to explore on your own or you may wish to enjoy a Guanabara Bay cruise, offering spectacular views of Rio and its beaches. This afternoon is at leisure, or consider an optional trip to historic Petropolis, once the summer palace of emperor Dom Pedro II and now a mountain resort. Tonight, gather for a special FAREWELL DINNER, a festive finale to a great adventure. (B,D)
Enjoy a full free day to catch up on last-minute souvenir shopping. Your homebound flight departs late this evening. (B)
Please Note: Homebound flights may be booked for any time this day; accommodations are not provided this evening.
An early morning arrival is ideal for making homebound connections.