Holland America’s 2009 South America and Antarctica cruises are teeming with ideal opportunities to journey to exotic destinations and explore the ends of the earth. With new itineraries and more sailings than ever before, guests can choose from an impressive 18 cruises on ms Statendam, ms Prisendam or flagship ms Amsterdam.
The diverse itineraries, which range from 13 to 68 days, include spectacular scenic cruising through the fjords and glaciers of Chile, the opportunity to visit some of the most remote sites in the world like Deception Island in Antarctica and Iguazú Falls, and experience two of the New Seven Wonders of the World chosen in a consumer poll in July: Machu Picchu in Peru and Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Overnight stays in several port favorites allow guests plenty of time to become immersed in local culture and traditions.
“Our South America and Antarctica itineraries are extremely popular because more travelers are seeking cruises with an adventurous edge that take them to unique and interesting locations,” said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs, for Holland America Line. “By having three ships in South America in 2009, we are able to offer the most extensive program in the region of any major cruise line.”
Grand South America and Antarctica Voyage offers dramatic scenery, Amazon adventures
Prinsendam departs Jan. 2 on a 68-day Grand South America and Antarctica Voyage round-trip from Fort Lauderdale, Fla. During the cruise, the ship will circumnavigate South America and spend seven days exploring the Amazon River. On the other end of the continent, Prinsendam spends three days cruising in Antarctica, a rare journey for most travelers.
On this Grand Voyage, Prinsendam will visit 32 ports in 14 countries, including 13 different ports in Brazil. Guests will enjoy maiden calls at Itajai, Brazil, as well as several overnight stays.
New itineraries journey to countries throughout the Americas
Holland America Line’s new 18-, 19- and 22-day itineraries aboard Amsterdam treat guests to overnight calls as well as a maiden port. Departing Valparaiso on April 2, Amsterdam explores Chile, Peru, Ecuador and Mexico, where optional excursions to Machu Picchu, Mayan ruins and UNESCO sites await. The 18-day itinerary disembarks in San Diego, Calif., while the 22-day cruise ends in Seattle, Wash.
Those wishing to get way from the winter chill can join Amsterdam’s Dec. 2 sailing from Los Angeles to Valparaiso, where guests enjoy 19 days of warm summer weather in the Southern Hemisphere. The itinerary features a maiden call at Corinto, Nicaragua, which has the largest Cathedral in Central America as well as the Ruins of Leon, one of the oldest Spanish colonial settlements in the Americas.
Uncover the Inca Empire, Machu Picchu and the Panama Canal
Statendam’s exciting new Inca Discovery cruise takes the ship to Central and South America and the Mexican Riviera. Ranging from 13 to 27 days, guests will have the opportunity to explore exciting ports in five Latin American countries: Colombia, Panama, Ecuador, Peru and Costa Rica, as well as visit Half Moon Cay, Holland America Line’s private island. Adventure awaits as the ship departs Fort Lauderdale Jan. 10, and sails to San Diego via a full transit of the Panama Canal.
Along the way, Statendam will spend two days in Callao, Peru, giving guests the opportunity to take an excursion to Machu Picchu, one of the most mysterious archeological sites in the world. An extended stay in Fuerte Amador, Panama, as well as other opportunities to become immersed in the Inca culture, highlights the comprehensive itinerary. Guests looking for a shorter cruise can take a 14-day segment from Fort Lauderdale to Callao, or embark in Callao on Jan. 24 and sail a 13-day segment to San Diego. For those who want the full experience, the two segments can be combined for a 27-day sailing from Fort Lauderdale to San Diego.
Antarctic vistas abound on South America cruise
The 20-day South America Explorer and Antarctic Experience itinerary on Amsterdam sails between Rio de Janeiro and Valparaíso, Chile, and also features three days of scenic cruising in Antarctica where colossal glaciers adorned with penguins welcome the ship. The remote continent’s pristine beauty and diverse sea life is showcased as Amsterdam sails to Deception Island where guests are treated to a once-in-a-lifetime experience when the ship glides into the caldera of the island’s unique horseshoe-shaped volcano.
Amsterdam departs Rio on Jan. 4 and Valparaiso on Jan. 24, and the cruise includes ports in Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil.
Round Cape Horn and follow in Magellan’s footsteps
Amsterdam sails the most extensive South American itinerary in just over two weeks with a 16-day cruise that calls at ports throughout Argentina, Uruguay, Chile and Brazil. Departing from Rio de Janeiro Feb. 13 and Valparaiso March 1 and 17, guests are treated to two full days in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where they can discover the city’s rich heritage or take in a tango show. With the extra time, a trip to spectacular Iguazú Falls also can be arranged.
Additional exciting opportunities include rounding Cape Horn, a visit to view the penguins, an Antarctic flyover and extensive scenic fjord and glacier cruising, including the Strait of Magellan. Guests also may book pre- and post-cruise packages in Valparaiso or Rio de Janeiro.
Explore the Amazon River for eight adventurous days
Adventure seekers ready for a touch of the exotic can sail aboard Prinsendam on a 26-day Amazon Explorer itinerary departing from Fort Lauderdale Nov. 25. After encountering a selection of Caribbean ports, the intimate ship will navigate the Amazon River for eight days of scenic cruising. Highlights include an overnight in Manaus, the farthest navigable point for an ocean-going vessel in the heart of the Amazon jungle; crossing the equator and visiting Devil’s Island, part of the notorious French penal colony in French Guiana. Shorter segments are available.
When in port, guests can choose from a multitude of diverse shore excursions including the exclusive Medallion Collection featuring Overland Adventures; Signature Collection private-car touring; visits to natural, architectural and technical masterpieces from the Wonders of the World Collection; and rare and unusual experiences with the Encore Collection excursions.
Starting fares (per person, double occupancy) for the South America cruises range from $1,999 for the 13-day journey to $13,599 for the full 68-day Grand South American and Antarctica Voyage.