Communing with the uniquely fearless wildlife of the Galapagos Islands and setting foot on the planet’s last untouched continent are just two of the many unforgettable experiences awaiting guests aboard Seabourn Odyssey during its 73-day South America circumnavigation in 2011.
The Yachts of Seabourn is offering a menu of more than 120 optional shore excursions during the journey around South America, providing guests with numerous opportunities to see, hear, touch, taste and feel the amazing diversity of environments, historic and modern cultures, and the breathtaking natural scenery of the continent.
“South America is an amazing destination, with so much variety and beauty. From the driest desert in the world to towering glaciers and unmapped forests, and from remote villages to sophisticated, vibrant cities,” said Pamela C. Conover, Seabourn’s President and CEO. “We have created small-group excursions to provide our guests a wealth of authentic, culturally rich experiences in South America that they will always remember and cherish,” she continued.
Seabourn’s new shore excursions in South America include:
- Galapagos in a Day, Guayaquil, Ecuador: There is no other place on earth like the Galapagos Islands. Since their exploration more than 150 years ago, these remarkable islands have not lost their ability to inspire and are home to many unique, indigenous species. Seabourn guests will fly from Guayaquil, Ecuador, to the islands, visiting the Giant Tortoises Reserve, the Twin Pit Craters, and seeing a stunning variety of native plants and foliage. The tour will stop at the world renowned Charles Darwin Research Station, headquarters of scientific research in Galapagos, and guests will learn about the station’s breeding programs for land iguanas and giant tortoises.
- TransAtacama Train Adventure, Iquique, Chile: A historical adventure not to be missed, this unique day trip explores the sources of Chile’s Nitrate boom of the late 1800s, traveling just over 60 miles in two privately chartered, fully restored TransAtacama train cars built in Belgium in 1930. On board, a private guide will enthrall Seabourn guests with fascinating tales about the haunting ghost towns they pass along the route. At El Tambo, guests will enjoy a bountiful luncheon of the region’s excellent gastronomy in the desert, and view a sacred ritual dedicated to Mother Earth. They will continue to the striking geoglyphs on the Cerros Pintados, viewing more than 400 huge figures depicting humans, animals, birds and abstract shapes. Seabourn guests will also visit the perfectly preserved nitrate ghost town of Humberstone, a UNESCO World Heritage Site situated in one of the driest and most hostile areas on earth.
- Antarctic Expedition, Punta Arenas, Chile: From Punta Arenas, Seabourn guests can embark on a once-in-a-lifetime experience amid the soaring beauty and serene isolation of Antarctica. Boarding a chartered airplane, they will fly due south, crossing the Polar Circle, and touch down at Frei Base, maintained by the Chilean Air Force and situated on an ice-free area. Stepping off the plane, guests can explore the base and its surroundings on foot. A mile downhill walk on a dirt road brings them to the base, from where they can board an inflatable boat to visit Ardley Island, a highly protected area occupied by breeding colonies of penguins. Another option is a walk toward a beach usually populated by colonies of huge southern elephant seals and Antarctic fur seals.
- Flight to El Calafate and Perito Moreno Glacier, Punta Arenas, Chile: Perito Moreno Glacier is the most important of the 13 glaciers in Los Glaciares National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This excursion provides a unique opportunity to visit El Calafate and see the Perito Moreno Glacier in one day from Punta Arenas. A chartered flight will carry Seabourn guests to the village, located on the shore of Lake Argentino at the entry to the park. Los Glaciares is part of the largest ice cap outside Antarctica and Greenland and the park is filled with exceptional natural beauty, with rugged, towering mountains and numerous glacial lakes. Perito Moreno creates an unforgettable first impression – its 230-foot wall of ice glowing in a thousand shades of blue. Following signs on the trails and viewpoints, guests can approach the glacier on foot. There they will be immersed in timeless nature, delighting in the primordial silence-- interrupted only by a sudden clamor when the imperceptible movement of the glacier causes immense blocks of ice to shear off and plunge into the Canal de los Témpanos below.
- The Majestic Penguins of Volunteer Point, Port Stanley, Falkland Islands: A new destination for Seabourn, the Falkland Islands is an archipelago comprised of two large islands and about 700 smaller islands spread over approximately 4,700 square miles. A must-see on the islands are its penguin colonies. On this adventurous excursion, guests will drive through the mountains in a 4x4 vehicle, passing sites now associated with the Falklands War of 1982. Arriving at Volunteer Point, guests will view colonies of the three local species of penguins– King, Gentoo and Magellanic. Although Gentoo and Magellanic penguins can be seen at other locations on the island, this is the only place where visitors will encounter a colony of large and impressive King Penguins. Volunteer Point is a bird lover's paradise, and guests will also have the opportunity to view a wide array of sea and shore birds such as oystercatchers, sandpipers, long-tailed meadowlark, as well as the indigenous Falklands thrush, Magellanic snipe, Falkland pipit and dark-faced ground-tyrant.