From fall 2013 through spring 2014, four of Holland America Line’s premium ships will sail to South America on a series of cruises that will explore more than 40 ports of call that span from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., around Cape Horn up to Vancouver, British Columbia. With vibrant cultures, breathtaking scenic cruising and once-in-a-lifetime adventures, guests can choose from a variety of itineraries on ms Zaandam, ms Maasdam, ms Statendam and ms Prinsendam.
The voyages range from 13 to 49 days and include Zaandam’s full season of cruising and a popular 49-day port-intensive “Amazon & Carnaval Explorer” voyage aboard Maasdam in early 2014. A 26-day “Amazon Explorer” cruise in November 2013 on Prinsendam is another highlight of the line’s 2013-14 South America schedule.
“South America is very popular with our guests because it’s exotic, mysterious and adventurous with a wide diversity of cultures and scenery,” said Richard Meadows, Holland America Line’s executive vice president of sales, marketing and guest programs. “Guests can experience incredible ‘must-do’ moments with us, from seeing penguins in Antarctica and visiting the ruins of Machu Picchu to exploring the Amazon River and witnessing Carnaval from a seat in the Sambadrome.”
To start the South America cruising season, Zaandam departs Fort Lauderdale Oct. 18, 2013, on a 17-day “Inca Discovery” voyage to Valparaiso (Santiago), Chile. The itinerary includes a full transit of the Panama Canal in addition to an extended port call at Manta, Ecuador, and an overnight at Callao (Lima), Peru.
From November 2013 to April 2014, Zaandam will sail a series of six 13-day itineraries between Valparaiso and Buenos Aires, Argentina, and one 18-day cruise departing Nov. 30, 2013, from Valparaiso to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The sailings include multiple days cruising the scenic fjords and national parks of Chile, calls at exotic locations such as Ushuaia (the southernmost town in the world), sailing around Cape Horn and a visit to the Magellan Strait — gateway to Antarctica. A call at Puerto Madryn, Argentina, affords guests an opportunity to encounter Magellan penguins, sea elephants, sea lions and seals up close in their natural habitat.
Guests looking to spend the holidays exploring Antarctica can take Zaandam’s 21-Day South America and Antarctica Holiday cruise that sails from Rio de Janeiro to Valparaiso. This special sailing features overnight calls at Rio and Buenos Aires, and three days of scenic cruising through the Antarctic Sound to the Palmer Archipelago on the northwestern coast of the Antarctic Peninsula. Guests also will enjoy rounding Cape Horn and scenic cruising through Drake Passage, Glacier Alley, the Beagle Channel, Strait of Magellan, Canal Sarmiento and the Chilean fjords. Additional calls include Montevideo, Uruguay; Puerto Madryn, Ushuaia, and Puerto Montt, Chile.
Two 21-day “South America & Antarctica Explorer” sailings on Zaandam between Valparaiso and Buenos Aires depart Jan. 8 and 29. Those extended voyages also sail farther south past Ushuaia for scenic cruising through the Antarctic Sound to the Palmer Archipelago, with calls in Chile, Argentina and Uruguay along the way.
Zaandam then sets out March 30 on a new 33-day “South America Passage Inca Discovery” repositioning voyage that takes the ship from Buenos Aires to Vancouver. Guests looking to disembark in the United States can take the 29-day segment that ends at San Diego, Calif. The month-long journey takes guests to 11 countries and an extreme variety of climates, from the scenic blue ice of Glacier Alley to the tropical landscapes of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. A 16-day segment from Valparaiso to San Diego also is available.
Statendam Sails Two Inca Empire Collectors’ Voyages
In November 2013 and March 2014, Statendam sails two cruise itineraries that can be combined to form a longer Inca Empires Collectors’ Voyage. A 16-day itinerary departs San Diego Nov. 3, 2013, and a 15-day option departs March 16, 2014, and heads south to Callao (Lima). Guests on this segment will enjoy two overnight calls at Huatulco, Mexico, and Callao, as well as calls at Cabo San Lucas; Puerto Chiapas, Mexico; Fuerte Amador, Panama; and Salaverry (Trujillo), Peru. The Nov. 3 cruise adds an overnight at Fuerte Amador, Panama.
The 15-day Inca Empires segment departs Callao Nov. 19 and March 31 after an overnight call and sails back to San Diego. Statendam calls at ports in seven countries on this itinerary, with stops at Manta, Ecuador; Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica; Corinto, Nicaragua; Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala, and Manzanillo and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
Explore the Amazon, Experience Carnaval on Maasdam
Aboard Maasdam, guests will sail a 49-day “Amazon & Carnaval Explorer” conveniently sailing roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale Feb. 7, 2014.
The cruise will call at 25 ports, including all three of the “ABC Islands” — Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao — Barbados, 11 ports in Brazil, the Cayman Islands, Dominica, French Guiana, St. Maarten, Trinidad and Tobago. The ship will cross the equator three times during the voyage and venture deep into the heart of the Amazon River. Another highlight of the itinerary is Carnaval, a festive celebration often referred to as the world’s largest party that coincides with an extended call at Rio from March 2-4. Extended calls at three ports — Oranjestad, Aruba; Willemstad, Curaçao, and Salvador de Bahia, Brazil — as well as overnights at Rio and Manaus, Brazil, allow extra time ashore to enjoy historical and cultural attractions.
Shorter segments of Maasdam’s “Amazon & Carnaval Explorer” are available for guests with less time. The 23-day segment departs Fort Lauderdale for Rio de Janeiro Feb. 7, and the 26-day segment departs Rio de Janeiro for Fort Lauderdale March 2, and includes the Amazon River cruising and two-night call at Rio de Janeiro during Carnaval.
Prinsendam’s 26-day Amazon Explorer
Departing Nov. 26, 2013, Prinsendam sails south once again on a 26-day Amazon Explorer voyage roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale. During the cruise the ship will sail throughout the Caribbean and spend nine full days on the Amazon River, with an overnight call at Manaus.
Shore Excursions, Overland Tours in South America
Holland America Line guests can experience some of the most iconic and world-famous South American attractions and destinations by taking an award-winning shore excursion or in-depth overland tour, many of which visit UNESCO World Heritage sites.
A selection of featured tours includes:
Iguazu Falls: Natural Wonder of the World — This unforgettable tour enables guests to see the awe-inspiring Iguazu Falls, located at the border of Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay. Guests will ride a train to Devil’s Throat (a cliff at Iguazu Falls) and take a guided walk to view the falls. The spectacular display is made up of 250 giant cascades twice the height of Niagara Falls.
Cuzco & Machu Picchu Overland Adventure — This fascinating excursion includes a sightseeing drive through colonial Cuzco to see the main square and cathedral, followed by a Vistadome train ride along the Urubamba River and a coach ride to Machu Picchu — the Lost City of the Incas — at an elevation of 7,874 feet.
Patagonian Experience: Otway Sound & Penguin Reserve — During this adventure, guests will take a motor coach ride across mostly unpaved roads and farms bordering Otway Bay for magnificent views of the Pinto Range. The tour also enables guests to see thousands of Magellan penguins near their caves and nesting areas.
Drive to Tierra del Fuego National Park — Tierra del Fuego encompasses the city of Ushuaia, Cape Horn, the Magellan Strait and is a gateway to Antarctica. This national park was created to protect the southern portion of the sub-Antarctic forest. Today it provides visitors an opportunity to enjoy the Andes and the region’s forests, rivers and lakes, and is home to a wide variety of birds. A short stop at Lapataia Bay, the southernmost place that can be reached by road, also is included on this tour.
Experiencing More of South America through “On Location”
Through the line’s “On Location” enrichment program, local traditions, culinary tastes and cultural experiences come to life both onboard and ashore to deepen guests’ appreciation of the destinations they are exploring. In South America, this might mean learning to cook Gaucho Steak with Chimichurri Sauce in the Culinary Arts Center, Tango lessons from a professional South American dance expert, a Gaucho-themed barbecue on deck with traditional South American food and Spanish lessons.
Cruise fares begin at $2,499 per person, double occupancy, for the 31-day cruise, $999 for the 16-day segment and $1,599 for the 15-day segment.
Cruise fares for South America departures range from $999 per person, double occupancy, for a 16 -day Inca Empires sailing to $5,999 per person for the 49-day “Amazon & Carnaval Explorer.”