Cruise around the beautiful continent of South America on one of these 5 best South America cruises itineraries. Choose from a tropical getaway to the Galapagos Islands, an exotic adventure along the mighty Amazon River, or a spectacular journey through Patagonia and Antarctica. We offer a variety of excellent value South America cruises itineraries that will make you fall in love with South America.
Peru Amazon Cruises
Although Brazil’s Manaus region is much more popular and more extensive than Peru’s Iquitos region, there is a great Amazon River cruise available from Iquitos. Located in the northeastern region of Peru, Iquitos is great for wildlife spotting. Aboard the Aqua Expedition cruise, for example, you can get deep into the Pacayak Samiri National Reserve and see an abundance of wildlife – Cock of the Rock birds, monkeys, butterflies, and more.
Brazil Amazon Cruises
If you want to see the Amazon Rainforest, one of the best ways to do so is to hop aboard a cruise boat in Manaus, Brazil, and meander down the Rio Negro or the Rio Solimoes. One of the best South America cruises itineraries in the Brazil Amazon region is the Tucano River Boat, a motor yacht that is smaller than many other cruise ships, which makes it easier for exploring the nooks and crannies and smaller tributaries off the main river.
Ecuador is a major destination for some of the best South America cruises itineraries because it boasts the Galapagos Islands, which are a volcanic clustering of islands off the coast of Ecuador and are known for their abundant wildlife. A cruise ship is the best way to explore the islands, and a 4 day cruise is the recommended minimum – the more nights the better, because you’ll be able to see more wildlife and explore more of the islands. Many luxury Galapagos Islands cruise options are available, with air-conditioned suites, jacuzzis, and delicious tropical meals.
Patagonia cruises, best during the summer season from November to March, offer a great way to see Patagonia’s unparalleled natural beauty from the comfort of a ship. Aboard a Skorpios cruise, you can see Chile’s ice fjords, or on a cruise from Santiago to Punta Arenas, you can see glaciers, whales, and stop at penguin-filled islands. It’s also possible to take a Patagonia cruise from Santiago “Around the Horn,” to Buenos Aires (or in the opposite direction). At many ports of call, such as Puerto Madryn, Ushuaia, and Punta Arenas, you will have the opportunity to get out and explore the landscape, see wildlife, and hike through national parks like Torres del Paine in Chile and Tierra del Fuego in Argentina.
Antarctica has many nicknames: “The 7th Continent,” “The White Continent,” and more. See for yourself what this continent ruled by penguins and whales is really like. On Antarctica cruises, you typically embark from Ushuaia, cruise through the Drake Passage, visit the mainland, and see the South Shetland Islands as well. There are ample opportunities for penguin and whale spotting, plus albatross, terns, seals, orcas, and more.
About the Author:
Kaitlin McMichael writes for SouthAmerica.travel, a tour operator based in Seattle, WA, with offices in Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, and Lima. They offer 4* & 5* custom South America tours to Peru, Brazil, Ecuador, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Colombia.
Boat in sunset = Photo courtesy Tucano Cruise
Antartica Paradise Bay = Photo courtesy Willem Tims
Red boat next to Glacier = Photo courtesy Skorpios Cruises