SOUTH AMERICA PASSAGE CRUISE & TOUR
See exotic and vibrant wildlife that will captivate you on this South American Passage cruise. Begin in Santiago, Chile and explore vineyards and the countryside of the famous wine region, Valparaiso.
Board Holland America’s MS. Zaandam, and commence your cruise calling upon Puerto Montt, Puerto Chacabuco, Canal Sarmiento, Punta Arenas, Ushuaia, Cape Horn, Port Stanley, Montevideo, and Buenos Aires! End your adventure in Buenos Aires, the country’s beautiful capital, where the famous Tango dance was born. This cruise and tour offers the perfect introduction to South America with a blend of culture, history, indulgence and natural beauty. Holland America’s MS. Zaandam is designed to carry fewer guests while offering guests entertainment in elegant and comfortable, space.
Santiago – Vina del Mar – Puerto Montt – Puerto Chacabuco – Chilean Fjords – Canal Sarmiento – Strait of Magellan – Punta Arenas – Cockburn Channel – Beagle Channel – Glacier Alley – Ushuaia – Cape Horn – Port Stanley – Montevideo – Buenos Aires
* Roundtrip airfare
• Plaza Premium airport lounge pass
• Santiago: two nights 4-star hotel accommodation with breakfast
• Full-day excursion including: Santiago, Valparaiso and Vina del Mar with lunch and welcome dinner
• Holland America cruise: 14 nights sailing onboard MS. Zaandam with meals (onboard the cruise only)
• Merit Travel tour host**
• All transfers, taxes and gratuities***
Level of support:
Merit Travel Hosted
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Group size: 30 maximum
16 night cruise & tour onboard MS Zaandam
Departs: Feb. 19, 2020
Toronto - $5,995* p.p.
Vancouver - $6,595* p.p.
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DAY 1 | Feb. 19, 2020 | Toronto/Vancouver - Santiago
Board your overnight flight to Santiago, Chile.
DAY 2 | Feb. 20, 2020 | Santiago (D)
Upon arrival, transfer to the hotel. Tonight, enjoy a welcome dinner with entertainment at restaurant Bali Hai.
Accommodation at Plaza San Francisco Hotel (2 nights)
DAY 3 | Feb. 21, 2020 | Santiago - Vina del Mar (B, L)
After breakfast, start your full-day sightseeing tour of Santiago, Valparaiso and Vina del Mar. Some of the sights include the Parque Forestal (Forest Park), Museo de Bellas Artes (Museum of Fine Arts), Plaza de Armas (Main Square) and Catedral Metropolitana (Metropolitan Cathedral).
From there you will pass by the famous Paseo Ahumada and the Presidential Palace La Moneda, which is the current seat of government. Heading towards the coast, you will pass vineyards, fruit plantations and forest reserves, to reach the beautiful city of Viña del Mar, also known as Ciudad Jardín (Garden City). Once there you will visit the picturesque Reloj de Flores (a traditional clock made of flowers). Travel along Peru Avenue next to the traditional Casino (founded in 1930) with its elegant Hotel del Mar. Enjoy a delicious lunch at a local restaurant in Viña del Mar.
After lunch, continue the drive towards the neighbouring town, Puerto Valparaiso. Puerto Valparaiso, is known as La Joya del Pacífico, (The Jewel of the Pacific), and has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city has one of the most charming, historic and picturesque ports of South America with architecture dating from the 16th century and beautiful views of the bay.
Return to your hotel in Santiago.
DAY 4 | Feb. 22, 2020 | Santiago (B)
Transfer to the cruise pier and board your Holland America cruise. Cruise departs at 5:00 p.m.
Accommodation onboard Zaandam (14 nights)
Below is information on your cruise itinerary and ports of call you will be visiting. Shore excursions are not included. Meals (B, L, D) and prepaid gratuities are included onboard the cruise.
DAY 5 | Feb. 23, 2020 | At sea (B, L, D)
Enjoy the amenities onboard your cruise ship as you cruise at sea.
DAY 6 | Feb. 24, 2020 | Puerto Montt (B, L, D)
Arrive 8:00 a.m. Depart 5:00 p.m.
Evocative of Switzerland, Chile's lake district is noted for its pristine, almost Alpine scenery and bracing climate. Visit Lake Llanquihue (pronounced "Yankee-way"), and explore the rugged coastline leading to Ensenada.
Marvel at a Fuji-like volcano, Mount Osorno, which rises to a height of 8,500 feet. View the rushing falls and turbulent rapids of Petrohue and cruise the blue-green waters of placid Lake Todos Los Santos. Taste Chilean specialties and enjoy folklore entertainment at a rustic hosteria.
DAY 7 | Feb. 25, 2020 | Puerto Chacabuco (B, L, D)
Arrive 11:00 a.m. Depart 7:00 p.m.
With sculptured icebergs, soaring fjords and Andean peaks, Chilean Patagonia is spectacular. The bird species include black-necked swans and the nearly extinct giant condor. From the fishing village of Puerto Chacabuco, you can visit the area capital, Coihaique, and beautiful Reserva Nacional Rio Simpson.
DAY 8 | Feb. 26, 2020 | Chilean Fjords (B, L, D)
The Chilean Fjords offer some of the most awe-inspiring sights of your journey. Simply look to the sky to see graceful Andean condors floating on the wind. Bring a camera to capture sights of incredible jagged walls of glacier ice rising up from the sea. And for pure enjoyment, watch the antics of the flightless, tuxedoed Magellanic penguins.
DAY 9 | Feb. 27, 2020 | Canal Sarmiento (B, L, D)
The west side of the Sarmiento Canal is flanked by Madre de Dios Island, with towering limestone peaks that fall precipitously into the channel.
The east side is interspersed with islands and eventually meets the Chilean mainland. Stunning Amaila Glacier is a marvelous splash of blue and white in a country that ancient explorers described as, "where the soil is swampy, cold, and unfit for cultivation, and whose climate is thoroughly cheerless."
DAY 10 | Feb. 28, 2020 | Strait of Magellan - Punta Arenas - (B, L, D)
The Strait of Magellan is the passage immediately south of mainland South America. Located between the continent and Tierra del Fuego and Cape Horn to the south, the strait is the biggest and most important natural passage between the Pacific and the Atlantic Ocean.
Arrive in Punta Arenas at 6:00 a.m. Depart at 6:00 p.m.
Punta Arenas is the southernmost city on Earth, overlooking the Straits of Magellan. Situated astride one of the world's historic trade routes, its prosperity has risen and fallen with that trade. Punta Arenas enjoyed its first great boom during the California Gold Rush, when it served as a haven for great clipper ships. Although the port's importance diminished after the opening of the Panama Canal, the city reached even greater prosperity early in this century as the centre of Chile's international wool trade.
Today, Punta Arenas reflects a great mix of cultures, from English sheep ranchers to Portuguese sailors, and it remains an utterly fascinating testament to Chile's history. Punta Arenas is also the starting point for excursions to some of the most spectacular scenery in the world.
Cattle stations and small frontier towns are the only signs of human habitation on the remote Beagle and Cockburn Channels. The waters however, are alive with fish and fauna, including sealions and comical Magellan and Humboldt penguins. Beagle Channel flows to the south of Tierra del Fuego, South America and is named after the ship of Charles Darwin’s voyage.
DAY 11 | Feb. 29, 2020 | Glacier Alley - Ushuaia (B, L, D)
Arrive 12:00 p.m. Depart 8:00 p.m.
The world's southernmost city, Ushuaia overlooks Beagle Channel.
Founded just over one hundred years ago, this rustic town is situated amidst incredible snow-capped mountains, dramatic waterfalls, massive glaciers, and a forest known for its red foliage. Tierra del Fuego, the Land of Fire, twelve miles to the west of Ushuaia, is known for its glacial landscape and its national park; a bird-watcher's paradise.
DAY 12 | Mar. 1, 2020 | Cape Horn (B, L, D)
Rounding the extreme southern tip of South America, you'll be awestruck by the rugged beauty and imposing vision of Cape Horn, a craggy, massive rocky point that was the bane of early explorers.
DAY 13 | Mar. 2, 2020 | Port Stanley (B, L, D)
Arrive 8:00 a.m. Depart 6:00 p.m.
Port Stanley is the only town on the Falkland Islands, and though it has little more than 1,200 residents, it contains half of the islands' population. There are 700,000 sheep, and a wonderful assortment of sea birds and elephant seals.
DAY 14-15 | Mar. 3 to 4, 2020 | At sea (B, L, D)
Enjoy the amenities onboard your cruise ship as you cruise at sea.
DAY 16 | Mar. 5, 2020 | Montevideo (B, L, D)
Arrive 8:00 a.m. Depart 6:00 p.m.
Slightly threadbare and charmingly out of date, Montevideo harks back to pre-war days when it was the ‘Switzerland of South America’. Art deco and art nouveau façades reflect this flourishing past, while the impressive Plaza Independencia, with its colonnades and openair cafés, is a perfect place to savour the present.
DAY 17 | Mar. 6, 2020 | Buenos Aires (B, L, D)
Arrive 8:00 a.m.
Dynamic and bustling, a city which seems never to sleep, Buenos Aires is one of the most exciting cities in Latin America. Tango was born here, restaurants serve all manner of world cuisine, bars play the latest music, cafés spill on to the streets and nightclubs allow dancing throughout the night.
Buenos Aires is famous throughout South America for its theatres, museums and galleries.
DAY 18 | Mar. 7, 2020 | Buenos Aires - Toronto/Vancouver (B)
After breakfast, disembark your cruise and transfer to the airport for your flight home.
*CDN$ p.p. dbl. occ. Taxes and port fees included. Based on an Interior stateroom cat. L or similar. Single Supplement: $2,200. Upgrade to ocean view stateroom cat. EE or similar: $400. Upgrade to a large ocean view stateroom cat. D or similar: $530. Upgrade to a balcony stateroom cat. BB or similar: $3,400. Airfare available from most Canadian airports, please enquire. **Minimum 16 passengers required for a Merit Travel tour host. ***Gratuities are included onboard the cruise. Shore excursions not included.
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