South America, with its rich diversity of landscapes, wildlife, and history, is a colorful and exciting region for experienced and novice travelers alike. This incredible, 15-night voyage along the Pacific coastline of Chile and Peru is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. With nine included features and UNESCO-listed sites, this is a chance to get up close and personal with exotic wildlife and ancient civilizations. Discover the colorful artists’ paradise of Valparaíso, spend time in historic Lima, walk through caverns and along the scenic coast of Atacama; take in the panoramic views from atop El Morro de Arica, and tour historic Antofagasta and intriguing Iquique.
Throughout your journey, you’ll be able to indulge in the luxurious amenities found aboard the 5-star Ocean Explorer. Along with sumptuous staterooms, solo-exclusive accommodations, enticing cuisine, a luxury spa, soothing hot tubs, and a well-stocked library, you’ll enjoy Vantage Deluxe World Travel’s unsurpassed signature service. Watch the horizon fade from the two-story observation deck, relax your muscles in the sauna, and let the onboard Destination Manager procure tickets to your desired onshore excursion or help organize a special dinner for you and your travel companions. This remarkable vessel has all the amenities you could wish for while at sea.
You won’t want to miss a second of this deep dive into the cultures and natural wonders of Chile and Peru!
Depart home and fly overnight to Santiago, Chile
Today, you will board your overnight flight to Santiago, Chile. Or, depart earlier for your optional pre-trip extension in Easter Island.
Explore Santiago at your leisure
Welcome to Chile! If you purchased your airfare from Vantage, upon arrival a Vantage representative will meet you and arrange transfer to your hotel.
Enjoy a tour of lively Santiago today
Your day begins with breakfast at your hotel this morning, followed by a panoramic tour of Santiago. This energetic city is known for its cobblestoned plazas and wine-growing region. You’ll have the remainder of the day at your leisure to explore the city’s sights on your own. Lunch and dinner today are on your own.
View Valparaíso’s artistry and board the Ocean Explorer
Following breakfast today, you’ll transfer to Valparaíso, where you will board the luxurious Ocean Explorer. Along the way, you’ll tour the coastal port town of Valparaíso. Founded by Spanish conquistador Juan de Saavedra in 1536, a picturesque bay beckons you into this charming, destination filled with pastel-hued buildings, winding alleyways, and funicular elevators. In an effort to preserve its unique urban landscape and its funicular system, the historic quarter of the city was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003.
In addition to its exquisite beaches and sprawling vineyards, this culturally significant destination is known for its colorfully muraled walls and eclectic street art. The many exhibition spaces and lively theaters make this a true artist’s paradise. You’ll be able to view many of the city’s painted walls and alleyways on today’s included tour.
After checking in to your stateroom, head to the lounge and grab a drink with your fellow travelers as you toast to the new experiences that await you on your journey. The Ocean Explorer’s luxury amenities, elegant design, and attentive service ensure an unparalleled experience as you set sail on your expedition cruise today.
Enjoy a restful day at sea to indulge in all the amenities found aboard your luxurious vessel. Treat yourself to a pampering massage at the spa, get in a workout at the onboard gym, visit the well-stocked library, or pop up to the sundeck and take in the spectacular, panoramic views.
Discover the sights of Coquimbo and La Serena
Originally settled by Indigenous peoples as a fishing village, the enchanting small city of Coquimbo gained importance during the mid-19th century due to the boom in the gold and copper industry.
Today, you'll pass through the city's historic downtown area as you make your way to Playa La Herradura. You'll have time to photograph the powder-white sand and azure-hued waters of this gorgeous beach, located on the shores of La Bahía de La Herradura de Guayacán. Your tour will continue through the fishing village of Peñuelas, and on to the culturally and historically significant city of La Serena.
Not just a beach destination, La Serena is considered the cultural heart of Chile. Here we'll visit the Archaeological Museum, founded by researcher Francisco Cornely Bachman in 1943. This museum contains an outstanding collection of regional artefacts dating from the region's pre-Colombian Diaguita-Inka period to the present day. As part of the museum's permanent collection, guests will also get an up-close view of an authentic Easter Island Mo'ai, one of the imposing human-like figures carved by the island's Rapa Nui people between the 13th and 16th centuries.
Following your museum visit, you'll take a short stroll to La Recova market. This bustling handicraft market is the perfect place to find unique artisanal products made from papaya, Alpaca wool, and semi-precious stones, as well as handcrafted pottery and ceramics.
On the return ride to the pier, you will be rewarded with sensational views of the Pan-American Highway's scenic landscapes.
Unwind on board with another relaxing day at sea. The Ocean Explorer’s luxury amenities, elegant design, and attentive service ensure an unparalleled experience as you sail on to your next destination.
Tour Antofagasta’s highlights
Today you’ll explore the northern Chilean port city of Antofagasta on a half-day tour of the city’s highlights. With the Atacama Desert to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west, Chile’s second largest city is prominent for its maritime trade and copper mining. Among the city’s pastiche of one-way streets and modern urban shopping, you’ll also find historical Victorian and Georgian structures, a neo-Gothic cathedral, and a patchwork of water fountains, fragrant flowers, and swaying palms.
Following your tour, you’ll have time to further explore on your own, or return to the ship and take a break until tonight’s dinner on board.
Indulge in your ship’s 5-star amenities today. Pick up a bestseller at the onboard library, work up a sweat at the onboard gym, take a relaxing soak in the hot tub, or visit the stylish salon for a fresh look. The day is yours to spend as you wish.
Explore intriguing Iquique today
From surfers seeking year-round waves to high rollers seeking big payouts, Iquique has long attracted an enigmatic mix of visitors to its golden coastline. However, the picture-perfect beaches and ritzy casino are not the only draw of this coastal destination. The city’s storied history and bohemian vibe set the stage for its centuries-old architecture and fine-dining establishments. You’ll have the opportunity to learn more about this interesting destination during an included half-day tour of the city’s highlights.
Take in the Chilean shoreside in Arica
With its warm weather, year-round sunshine, and sensational surfing, Arica is a prime destination for sun-seekers. But there’s more to this delightful city than just its beaches. There is a lot of history to be found here, with archaeological findings dating back nearly 10,000 years to Arica’s first native inhabitants.
Today, you’ll have the opportunity to explore this fascinating destination for yourself with a coastal walk in Atacama. You day will begin with a drive through El Laucho and La Lisera, popular beach resorts known for their unparalleled scenery. You’ll arrive at El Morro de Arica viewpoint, a 456-ft. tall hill that functioned as the last bastion of defense for Peruvian troops during the War of the Pacific in the late 19th-century. You’ll ascend to the top of the hill, from where you’ll enjoy panoramic views of the city and ocean, all the way to the port. From here you’ll head to Corazones and Anzata, where you will be able to walk along the sandy hillside and through the caverns of Las Cuevas de Anzota, on a path that leads to the sunny shores of La Puntilla. Here you’ll find spectacular views, frolicking sea lions, and indigenous birdlife.
Enjoy another peaceful day at sea to treat yourself to a relaxing massage in the spa, a soothing soak in the hot tub, a workout in the gym, or nothing at all. The day is yours to do as you wish.
Uncover the pleasures of Pisco
Tonight, you’ll arrive in Pisco, a medium-sized Peruvian city with plenty to offer adventurous visitors. From striking nature reserves to craft distilleries, this region has got many sights and activities which simply can’t be ignored. Whether its people-watching at the celebrated Plaza de Armas, sipping on pisco at a local vineyard, paying a visit to the ancient ruins of Tambo Colorado, there is something to delight every type of traveler. Today’s arrival will be further enhanced by our onboard entertainment today.
Paracas Peninsula and Ballestas Islands
You’ll have an opportunity to explore the Paracas Peninsula today with an excursion to Paracas National Reserve. Spanning the entire peninsula, this natural reserve serves as a sanctuary to an abundance of endangered and exotic species of marine and wildlife. You’ll appreciate the heavenly views of this unique meeting point between Peru’s southern desert and the sea.
You’ll also have a chance to see the Ballestas Islands, one of the major attractions for visitors to the region. These rocky islands sit just off the coast of Peru, and are famous for their bountiful wildlife and astonishing natural beauty. Eroded by wind into a series of beautiful arches and other formations, these islands provide shelter for dozens of bird species and marine wildlife.
Disembark the Ocean Explorer and head to Lima, Peru
The cruise portion of your journey ends today when you bid farewell to the Ocean Explorer in Callao, Peru. From here you’ll transfer to your hotel in Lima, enjoying lunch and a tour of the city’s highlights along the way.
After checking into your comfortable, centrally-located hotel, you’ll have time to explore more of Lima on your own.
Lima at your leisure
Because one night in Lima is simply not enough time to get acquainted with this extraordinary city, you’ll have all of today to explore at your leisure. Lima’s historic city center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, filled with colonial-period riches. Watch the changing of the guard at the Government Palace, take a stroll along Jiron de la Union, or visit the many churches filled with priceless works of art.
This charming city is considered the culinary capital of Peru with delicious dining options to be found on almost every corner. Boasting a fusion of pre-Hispanic, Colonial-era, Asian, and European cuisine, each dish is a delight for the senses. Lunch on your own means you’ll be able to savor delectable local delicacies for yourself.
Fly home today
Your South American journey comes to a close today. Following breakfast at the hotel, you’ll head to the airport for your return trip home. Or, continue your discoveries with an optional Sacred Valley extension.
Please Note: Ocean cruising is not the same experience as river cruising; as such, you may experience fluctuating tides and weather patterns that may involve some rocking of your vessel. Itineraries will include all activities as planned except in extreme cases that can’t be controlled by your shipboard crew. Day-by-day itineraries are preliminary and therefore subject to change. If changes occur while on tour, you will be notified by your Cruise Director or regional expert.