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Fly overnight to Peru
Your Peruvian discoveries begin as you depart on an overnight flight from the U.S., headed for Lima, then on to Cusco.
Arrive in the Sacred Valley of the Incas
Upon arrival, you’ll transfer to your hotel in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. This evening, kick off your South America travel itinerary with a Welcome Dinner at the hotel.
Explore mystic Sacred Valley
A plethora of cultural discoveries in the Sacred Valley await today! Our first stop is in the town of Chinchero, where we’ll pay a visit to the local church, school, and enjoy a farmer’s lunch with the indigenous Chinchero Weavers Community, our Vantage Cares site in South America.Vantage Cares: While here, you'll participate in a weaving demonstration on the traditional backstrap loom and shop from a colorful array of beautiful blankets, garments, rugs, and other community-made goods. We journey next to explore the massive ruins of Ollantaytambo, a fascinating look at Inca city planning, where we'll take a look inside a typical Incan residence.
Cultural Discovery: Our final stop will be to a chicheria, or family-run café, for some local flavor. Typically marked by a red flag or bag hanging from the door, a chicheria is the perfect spot to sample chicha, Peruvian homegrown maize beer, and share stories with the town’s indigenous residents. We depart this evening my train, arriving at our hotel in time to enjoy dinner on our own and the balance of an evening of leisure.
Machu Picchu walking tour and a guided tour of Incan ruins
Board a luxury Vistadome train this morning for a scenic journey to the town of Aguas Calientes. This afternoon, we’ll arrive at Machu Picchu, the famous archaeological site of the New World and a true highlight of South America travel, where we'll enjoy a guided walking tour of the mysterious Inca ruins after the majority of the crowds have departed. This evening, we’ll return to our hotel in Sacred Valley for dinner on our own.
The treasures of Cusco
Your South America adventure continues in Cusco, the city that was the first capital of the Inca Empire, then, after the arrival of the conquistadores, became a stronghold of the Spanish-colonial empire. You’ll spot the highlights of the city during a panoramic a tour, including a visit to the Koricancha Temple of the Sun, the Main Square, the markets, and the cathedral. We'll enjoy an included lunch before taking an afternoon at leisure to further explore. Alternately, you can join an artisan jewelry factory and shop tour, with an opportunity to shop for unique jewelry! This evening, bid farewell to this magical slice of Peru with dinner at the hotel.
Fly to Lima
Arrive in Lima and transfer to your hotel. Enjoy the rest of the afternoon at leisure, with dinner on your own. Tomorrow, your explorations of Lima begin.
Panoramic Lima — and a regional delicacy
Get to know Lima today when you embark on a panoramic tour, checking out the city’s oceanfront and the Park of Love, where you can’t miss El Beso (The Kiss), a passionate statue depicting sculptor Victor Delfín and his wife locked in a passionate smooch. Unforgettable Moment: We’ll make our way to Lima’s historic center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and view the Plaza Mayor, site of the Archbishop’s Palace, Lima Cathedral, and Government Palace.
Cultural Discovery: We’ll have lunch in downtown Lima, where we’ll try a regional specialty — lucuma ice cream. Often likened to sweet potato or butterscotch, the lucuma fruit is indigenous to Peru and used in a wide variety of desserts. Tonight, we’ll enjoy a Captain’s Cocktail Reception and dinner aboard ship as we set sail toward Pisco.
Leisure in Lima
Acclimate to Lima with a day at leisure. Enjoy the ocean views from the city’s tidy lanes, discover its emerging arts scene, and find something delicious for lunch in this culinary dynamo. Here’s a helpful hint: Lima is renowned for ceviche, fresh seafood “cooked” in citrus juice, and is home to more than 16,000 cevicherias. Afterward, why not meander through the Barranco neighborhood, where art galleries, boutiques, a boardwalk, and the colonial homes of Lima’s elite epitomize this city that just keeps getting better. If it’s history you’re after, you may want to explore the ancient Catholic catacombs beneath the San Francisco de Lima Basilica and Convent or peruse the renowned Larco Museum’s more than 50,000 pieces of ceramic art.
Embarking the ms Roald Amundsen
Take a tour of the city this morning as you transfer to the port where you’ll embark the ms Roald Amundsen — a state-of-the-art vessel equipped with sustainable hybrid technology and luxurious amenities.
Tonight, enjoy a Captain’s Cocktail Reception and dinner aboard ship as you set sail toward Pisco.
Ballestas safari speedboat exploration, then savoring pisco
This morning, we’ll transfer from Pisco to the seaside town of Paracas where we’ll board safari speedboats bound for the Ballestas Islands, a rugged salt desert and wildlife sanctuary home to diving Guanay cormorants, curious Humboldt penguins, languishing fur seals and sea lions, as well as the stunning rock formations that comprise this archipelago. Unforgettable Moment: Often dubbed the Galapagos in miniature, the Ballestas are known for an extensive bird population, including Peruvian pelicans and boobies, red-legged cormorants, Inca terns, and more. Dolphins are also frequent visitors, so keep your cameras ready and be on the lookout!
Afterward, we’ll head to a local vineyard for a tour and tasting of pisco, beloved regional liquor and Peru’s national drink. Cultural Discovery: An indigenous word meaning “bird” — a nod to the longstanding wildlife in this region — pisco is a popular grape brandy and the star ingredient of the pisco sour, comprised of egg white, lime juice, simple syrup, and bitters.
Reap the spoils of the luxurious ms Roald Amundsen with a day at sea
We’ll spend a day at sea as we sail toward Arica. Take this time to relax aboard your state-of-the-art Hurtigruten vessel, built by Rolls-Royce and outfitted with luxurious amenities including a wellness center, sleek sun deck, hot tubs, and large outdoor infinity pool perfect for taking in some sun while simultaneously taking in the unforgettable South American views.
The ms Roald Amundsen is also a floating university, and in addition to the high-tech activity center and special equipment on board, vessel staffers are handpicked experts in biology, history, photography, and geology, and will offer onboard lectures and activities pertinent to your South American ports of call and area wildlife.
Trekking the Atacama coastline
We’ll wake up today in the northern Chilean town of Arica. Once devastated by an 1868 earthquake that triggered a subsequent tsunami, Arica today is a haven for surf lovers and home of the Arica Cathedral, designed by Gustave Eiffel (of Eiffel Tower fame).
From Arica, we’ll take a meandering drive toward the coastal resort towns of El Laucho and La Lisera, disembarking to enjoy the panoramic views found at El Morro de Arica, once a strategic location for the Chilean military during the War of the Pacific (1879-1883). Unforgettable Moment: Then we’ll walk south along the coastal road to Corazones/Anzata. While most of the walk takes place on coastal paths and sandy hills, we’ll also pass through caves and caverns, eventually arriving at Puntilla, where we’ll watch for sea lions and birds before beginning the trek back.
Cultural Discovery: After our walk, we’ll visit a local handicrafts market, where you can purchase everything from ceramics to instruments. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure back in Arica.
Sailing south along the Chilean coastline
The spectacular Chilean coastline is on full view as we sail southward toward Coquimbo, providing more opportunities for onboard relaxation, learning, and enjoyment. Whatever your whim, you’ll find it aboard the ms Roald Amundsen, furnished with elegant lounges, cabins, and recreation and viewing areas. Your onboard team will offer scintillating lectures to contextualize your experiences in South America and deepen your knowledge of this fascinating continent.
You’ll also appreciate creative and delicious food in three onboard restaurants that blend Norwegian tradition with international gastronomy. Savor this experience on the ms Roald Amundsen, the world’s most advanced expedition vessel!
Coquimbo’s beaches, archaeological wonders, shopping La Recova
Awakening in the resort town of Coquimbo, we’ll head out on a morning drive to La Herradura, a popular beach destination situated on scenic Guayacán Bay, where we’ll stop to take photographs. Lore has it that famed English sailor Sir Frances Drake was the first European to find the area — dropping his jewels and treasures along the coastline here, too. Passing through the fishing town of Peñuelas, we’ll next venture toward Chile’s second-oldest city, La Serena. Here, we’ll visit the town’s Archaeological Museum filled with artifacts from the Diaguita and Molle cultures, as well as an original moai statue hailing from Easter Island.
Cultural Discovery: Shop the renowned La Recova market. Featuring more than 100 stalls of handicrafts including goods made from lapis lazuli and combarbalita, pottery, and Andean wool clothing and crafts, the market also hosts local food and fish vendors.
Enjoy the fantastic landscapes along the Pan-American Highway as we return to Coquimbo. Then, savor an afternoon at leisure in this lively city, perhaps spending a few hours at the beach or setting off on your own explorations.
Discovering the “crazy port” of Valparaíso
In an ode to his one-time home, the famed Chilean poet Pablo Neruda called Valparaíso a “crazy port,” writing: “What a head of disheveled hills, that you never finish combing.” We’ll see what he means today as we set off on a panoramic tour of UNESCO-designated Valparaíso.
Leisure time aboard your luxury expedition vessel
As we sail towards Chiloé Island, two tranquil days at sea provide you with more opportunity to relax onboard, attend lectures, and enjoy yourself through the Amundsen’s comfortable amenities and atmospheric Scandinavian décor. Foodies can appreciate the creative and delicious food served in three onboard restaurants that merge Norwegian tradition with international gastronomy.
Highlights of Castro and the church of Iglesia de San Francisco
Located on Isla Grande de Chiloé, the city of Castro is set among windswept hills and green vegetation. This small but energetic metropolis is known for its colorful palafitos, wooden houses mounted on stilts perched along the water's edge. We’ll have some time to go ashore and enjoy the city’s local character, mixed with a dash of modern development. Your Adventure Leader will take you into town and point you towards such highlights as the Iglesia de San Francisco. Named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000, the church is a visual delight. We’ll take time to admire the juxtaposition of its cheerful yellow and lavender-trimmed exterior to its stunning varnished-wood interior, illuminated by rows of stained-glass windows. Other sites include Plazuela del Tren, a small plaza right by the waterfront with an odd collection of old trains; the ornate tombs of the Cementerio Parroquial; and the bustling Feria Campesina Yumbel marketplace. Shoppers can head to the Artesanal Lillo to peruse hand-knit woolen goods and other handicrafts; foodies can wander along the cafés of Calle Blanco and sample the area’s renowned meat, potato, and seafood stew known as curanto; and nature lovers will find wide beaches and rugged coastline filled with dozens of seabird species, penguins, and sea lions in Chiloé National Park, just outside the city.
Leisure time at sea
Our expedition continues as we venture south through the fabled waters of Patagonia toward one of the world’s most undisturbed and beautiful places: the southern province of Ultima Esperanza (Last Hope). As we sail through these iconic Andean seascapes, you’ll have plenty of time to admire the magnificent natural expanse from the comfort of the Amundsen's top deck.
Experience local culture in Puerto Edén
After an unforgettable cruise through the Patagonian waters, we arrive in the enchanting village of Puerto Edén. A tiny settlement in Bernardo O’Higgins National Park situated at the end of a deep fjord, this treasured port is often passed over by larger ships. Of Puerto Edén’s already small population of 176, 15 are the remaining members of the Kawéskar people. There are no roads here, only wooden walkways, and electricity is only available for a few hours each day. As such, Puerto Edén is a fantastic place to experience the traditional indigenous culture of the Patagonian tribes. The villagers make their living selling fish, mussels, and shellfish, which are taken weekly to markets by boat, or by selling traditional Kawéskar crafts such as wicker baskets and boats made from sea lion skins and tree bark.
Enjoy some time exploring on your own this afternoon. Consider joining your Expedition Team for a hike around the area; keep your eyes peeled for Magellan hummingbirds as you explore!
Walk through colorful Puerto Natales
Today finds us in Puerto Natales, a colorful fishing port known as the gateway to world-renowned Torres del Paine National Park. One of the most awe-inspiring nature sanctuaries in the world, its main feature is the 'towers' themselves: three impressive rock formations called "Torres del Paine” (Towers of Paine) that soar thousands of feet above the ground. We’ll embark on a walking tour of downtown Puerto Natales upon arrival; the rest of the day is at leisure.
Explore the natural wonders of Torres del Paine on your own
Enjoy a day at leisure to explore on your own. Nature lovers can speak to their Adventure Leader about embarking on a hike through the incredible surroundings of Torres del Paine National Park. You’ll find a stunning variety of landscapes to explore here, from vast emerald forests and azure lakes to rugged mountain terrains and one massive, radiant glacier. The diversity of environments here has allowed a wide variety of a fauna and flora to flourish, making this an incredible area for hiking. Keep your eyes peeled for llamas, pumas, and chilla foxes, as well as more than 100 species of birds, such as the Andean condor and black-chested buzzard eagle.
Cruising the Chilean Fjords
We awake to the scenic splendor of the Chilean fjords this morning, a magnificent labyrinth of waterways that slices through the southern reaches of South America, connecting the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Spend some time on deck today: In addition to vistas of soaring mountains and beautiful forests, you'll have the opportunity to spot dolphins, whales, seals, and a variety of other wildlife.
Scenic splendor as we sail the Beagle Channel to the “end of the world”
We sail through the Beagle Channel this morning, a waterway named after the ship that carried Charles Darwin on his voyage of discovery. We continue into open waters and, if conditions allow, make landfall on Cape Horn — the southernmost tip of South America. The southernmost point of the six major continents, this region holds great historical significance due to its location. If we are able to anchor off Cape Horn, we’ll go ashore and explore this isolated yet romantic piece of land known as “the end of the world.” It is truly a travel milestone to make landfall here.
Soak in the scenery with a day at sea
Today we continue through the Drake Passage, connecting the southern Atlantic and Pacific oceans, on our way to Antarctica. This sea passage was notorious among the early polar explorers and is a unique voyage that few have the chance to experience. Here, the warm water from the north meets the cold, less salty water from the south. This makes the ocean particularly rich in nutrients and forms the foundational basis of the unique marine life found here.
Arrival in Antarctica
Today you’ll final experience what it feels like to step onto the last great wilderness left on Earth. Antarctica is home to no permanent human inhabitants (just millions of lovable penguins!) and currently serves as a scientific research base. Welcome to absolutely nowhere — it’s fabulous here.
Unforgettable Moment: Over the next few days, we’ll cruise the channels and passageways bordered by the Antarctic Peninsula’s rugged, glacier-covered islands and craggy landmasses. Despite the stark and inhospitable environs, legendary travelers were drawn here — Roald Amundsen and Robert Scott famously raced to the South Pole in 1911 (Amundsen’s expedition beat Scott’s by 33 days). But perhaps the most famous explorer is Ernest Shackleton, leader of a crew that set off to cross the White Continent in 1914. Shackleton’s ship, the aptly named Endurance, was crushed in the ice. Unbelievably, the explorer still delivered his entire crew to safety and civilization (albeit a year and a half later). Needless to say, stepping ashore mainland Antarctica is a once-in-a-lifetime travel experience. Our onboard lectures will enhance on explorations on land.
Spend three days immersed in Antarctica’s matchless beauty
We’ll keep our cameras ready over the next three days as we explore our Antarctic environment. Ice, wind, and weather dictate life in Antarctica, just as they dictate our route and landings, and we’ll determine our landings as our adventure progresses.
Unforgettable Moment: Where conditions allow, we’ll venture ashore on naturalist-led wildlife expeditions by versatile Zodiac boats to explore sites including Cuverville Island, almost fully covered in a permanent ice cap and a home to delightful Gentoo penguins; Half Moon Island, a refuge for chinstrap penguins and a variety of seals; Neko Harbor, a haven for minke and humpback whales with great glacier views; and Deception Island, a former whaling outpost with an active caldera. Our Expedition Team will aid our discoveries every step of the way, contextualizing our knowledge of this stark landscape, its history and its wildlife.
Cruising the Drake Passage
Our final days at sea are spent cruising through the Drake Passage back to Punta Arenas. In addition to wrapping up our onboard lecture series, we'll share our favorite experiences in Chile and Antarctica. Be sure to spend some time on deck watching for wildlife.
A flight to Santiago de Chile, then a flight home
After a final breakfast on board, we’ll disembark in Punta Arenas and head to the airport for a transfer flight to Santiago de Chile.
Important Notice: The above day-by-day itineraries are preliminary and therefore subject to change. If changes occur while on tour, you will be notified by your Vantage Adventure Leader or regional expert.
Please Note: The hotels listed are preliminary and subject to change. Although we contract our hotels a year in advance, unforeseen situations do occasionally occur. Should it be necessary to change a hotel, one of equal quality and value will be substituted. You will receive verified hotel information with your final itinerary. That hotel ratings are based on the hotel and a leading travel industry authority on hotels throughout the world.