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Viking Expeditions Cruises – NEW! The Americas & Antarctic Explorer (8 Countries) 42 Days

0
  • 42 Days
  • River Cruise
  • 8 Countries

Map of NEW! The Americas & Antarctic Explorer itinerary

Ancient lands to icy peninsulas

Set sail on a grand journey to discover the secrets of Central America’s ancient cultures. Immerse yourself in the Yucatán Peninsula’s natural beauty and explore Chile and its majestic fjords. Enjoy the exclusive use of your ship’s expedition equipment as you experience up-close wildlife encounters. Revel in the opportunity to participate in valuable scientific studies while admiring the striking landscape of Antarctica as you uncover a world of wonder.

Grey Glacier in Patagonia

Departure & Return Location

Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, United States / Ushuaia, Argentina

Departure Dates/Times

2023 Sailings on October

* Please check with us for dates & pricing

Rates

Cruise fare from $38,995.0 per person

* Please check with us for dates & pricing

What's Included

Itinerary

Day 1Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, United States

Embark your ship and settle into your stateroom. A beloved leisure destination for Floridians and visitors alike, the Ft. Lauderdale area exudes the carefree attitude of South Florida’s coast. In Miami, a thriving Cuban culture infuses Old Havana and gleaming high-rises overlook Biscayne Bay. On the outlying barrier islands, South Beach is an intoxicating blend of seaside glamour and art deco pastel brilliance. Farther north, the seven-mile-long Ft. Lauderdale Beach provides a more leisurely ambience. Along Las Olas Boulevard, cafés and boutiques invite lingering and endless browsing.

Day 2Sail the Gulf of Mexico

The Gulf of Mexico has been a witness to much of the history of North and Central America. In 1497, Amerigo Vespucci was purportedly the first European to sail into the gulf’s basin, charting its coast and changing the world map. Renew your body, mind and spirit in our Scandinavian-inspired spa, a Nordic sanctuary of holistic wellness, today while at sea. Whether you unwind in the Sauna, refresh in the Snow Grotto or take a dip in the Thermal Pool, you will feel recharged and revitalized.

Day 3Cozumel, Mexico

The island of Cozumel holds the keys to many of the most intriguing secrets of Mexico’s ancient civilizations. At San Gervasio, pre-Columbian women made offerings to Ix Chel, goddess of the moon and fertility. More recently, the Spanish left marks of their early presence in the colorful colonial architecture and lively traditions of San Miguel and at the scenic lighthouse at Punta Sur. Today, this island off Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula attracts as many snorkelers as it does history buffs; the Cozumel Reefs National Marine Park is the world’s second-largest coral reef system.

Day 4Sail the Caribbean Sea

Sail through turquoise waters where legends of marauding pirates, swashbucklers and tales of hidden treasures were born. As you sail today, relax in the Explorers’ Lounge, inspired by epic journeys of discovery. Marvel at the views through the two-story panoramic windows as you share a cocktail with friends, or settle down to read a book.

Day 5Colón, Panama

Colón lies near the Panama Canal’s Atlantic entrance. During the California gold rush, prospectors from the eastern United States sailed here, trekked across the narrow isthmus of Panama, then sailed up the Pacific coast, believing the journey easier than traversing the entire United States. Indigenous tribes maintain a strong presence in this northern corner of Panama. In the city’s rural reaches—the Emberá people—descended from ancient tribes, live in thatched-roof huts, travel by dugout canoe and weave traditional baskets.

Day 6Scenic Sailing: Panama Canal

The Panama Canal connects the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, crossing the narrowest stretch of the isthmus of Panama. A full transit through the 48-mile-long canal takes around eight to ten hours and passes through the Gatun Lake and the Culebra Cut, an artificial valley that runs through the Continental Divide. An engineering marvel of the 20th century, the crossing passes through a series of locks that lift and lower ships 85 feet from sea level, guided by electric locomotives known as mulas. The Panama Canal transit is a rite of passage and a truly memorable experience.

Day 7Sail the Pacific Ocean

Sail Mar Pacífico, meaning “peaceful sea,” dubbed by Ferdinand Magellan when he crossed these waters almost 500 years ago. Admire the views as you sail today and enjoy an al fresco dining experience. The Aquavit Terrace serves a range of International fare and casual dining favorites, as well as a range of superb cocktails inspired by our destinations.

Day 8Manta, Ecuador

Manta has long been closely linked to the rhythms of the sea. The city boasts the largest seaport in Ecuador and a bustling fish market brimming with sea bass, tuna and countless other delicacies. Local Manabita fare is a celebrated gastronomic tradition and considered by Ecuadorians to be one of their country’s finest cuisines. Founded as a pre-Columbian trading post known as Jocay, the city is also recognized for its heritage with craft exhibits. But the craft scene really thrives in nearby Montecristi, renowned for its intricate wickerwork and original Panama hats.

Day 9Sail the Pacific Ocean

Traverse the world’s largest ocean, which covers almost 64 million square miles. At twice the size of the Atlantic, the Pacific is an ocean of extremes. Soak up the views from the Finse Terrace, a unique outdoor lounge area named after a famous mountain plateau in south-central Norway. Relax amid your surroundings in comfort, with heated couches and lava rock “firepits,” allowing you to enjoy the outdoors no matter the temperature, as you admire the dramatic scenery or expansive ocean vistas.

Day 10Lima (Callao), Peru

Lima was founded in 1535 by Francisco Pizzaro as La Ciudad de los Reyes, or “City of Kings.” It soon grew into the capital of Spain’s Viceroyalty of Peru and established the oldest university in the Americas, the National University of San Marcos. One of the most cosmopolitan cities in South America, Lima’s extravagant collection of architecture spans the centuries: early colonial, Spanish baroque, neoclassical and Art Nouveau buildings all adorn the cityscape. The historic center, graced with hundreds of balconies built during the viceroyalty era, is a UNESCO Site.

Day 11Sail the Pacific Ocean

Sail the Pacific Ocean, its vast expanse of waters covers more than 30 percent of the Earth’s surface and touches the continents of Asia, Australia, North and South America. Linger on the deck of your veranda for vistas of azure and turquoise as you sail through some of the world’s most beautiful waters. Perhaps you will take a dip in the Infinity Pool or stroll the Promenade Deck.

Day 12Iquique, Chile

Iquique enjoys a scenic locale between the Pacific Ocean and the Pampa del Tamarugal, a vast plateau within the Atacama Desert. This bustling city was once part of Peru and grew prosperous from saltpeter mining. It was ceded to Chile in 1883 after the War of the Pacific. Today, Iquique boasts many architectural treasures around its central Arturo Prat Square, from the stately Municipal Theater and the elegant Casino Español to a Gothic and Moorish-style Clock Tower. The city’s well-preserved Georgian-style homes are a picturesque legacy from the 19th-century mining boom.

Day 13Sail the Pacific Ocean

Cross the Pacific Ocean and learn about its fascinating geology, with more than 75,000 volcanoes—many still active—reaching up from its depths. Spend a relaxing day at sea to unwind and admire the vistas from your stateroom veranda.

Day 14Santiago (Valparaíso), Chile

Chile’s modern capital of Santiago is one of the largest cities in the Americas. Its impressive neoclassical, neo-Gothic, art deco and other architecture spans several centuries. Santiago’s gateway, Valparaíso, is often compared to San Francisco for its many cerros, or hills. The city prospered as a major port until the opening of the Panama Canal rendered it unnecessary. Quaint Victorian-era architecture recalling its 19th-century affluence and steeply sloped barrios are linked by ascensores, or funiculars, and winding byways. From Los Cerros, the views are spectacular.

Day 15Sail the Pacific Ocean

The Pacific Ocean may have been officially discovered in 1521, yet early civilizations have been traversing these waters since 3000 BC. Enjoy the amenities of your ship as you sail. Perhaps take a breath of fresh air on a brisk walk around the Promenade Deck or begin your day with a workout in the well-equipped Fitness Center.

Day 16Scenic Sailing: Chilean Fjords

A pristine paradise of soaring peaks, countless lush islands teeming with wildlife and a tapestry of glaciers and rivers spilling into shimmering waters, the fjords of Chile are heralded as one of the most rugged and untamed places on earth. The crystal waters are a breathtaking sight as they journey through vast ice fields, towering mountainsides and serene fishing villages that hug tranquil shores against backdrops of dramatic forested hills.

Day 17Castro, Chile

Castro is the capital of the Chiloé Archipelago, located on an inlet on Chiloé Island’s western shores. Founded in 1537, it was rebuilt after being destroyed by an earthquake in 1837. The city is renowned for its palafitos, traditional houses built on stilts along the waterfront. Historically the residences of fishermen, these brightly painted wooden structures are a unique architectural characteristic of Chiloé. The island is also home to 16 churches designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites for being outstanding examples of ecclesiastical wooden architecture.

Day 18Puerto Chacabuco, Chile

Puerto Chacabuco is a tiny Patagonian enclave and gateway into the spellbinding beauty of the rugged wilderness. The port was named for the 1817 Battle of Chacabuco, a pivotal moment during the Chilean War of Independence, in which national hero José de San Martín of the Army of the Andes defeated the royalist forces. Jagged rocky peaks with deep-cut gorges, icy-blue glaciers spilling into the sea and pine-green forests clinging to steep slopes dominate this untouched region, one of the most inspiring and breathtaking corners of the globe.

Day 19Scenic Sailing: Chilean Fjords

The fjords and channels of Chile were first inhabited by indigenous people who used the wood of the endemic Pilgerodendron uviferum, a conifer tree, to build their canoes and homes. Spanish conquistadors began exploring the region during the mid-16th century, navigating the fjord’s internal passageways to avoid the heavy seas and bad weather of the Pacific Ocean. The harsh climate and declining local populations limited colonial expansion, leaving the fjords sparsely populated—a situation that continues to this day.

Day 20Explore Chilean Glaciers

The gigantic Patagonian Ice Sheet covered southern Chile in a thick blanket of ice and snow during the last Ice Age. Around 12,000 years ago, rising temperatures caused it to begin melting, carving out the Patagonian landscape as it receded. Today, two vast sections, northern and southern, remain of this ancient ice sheet. Together, they cover more than 5,400 square miles and form the third largest frozen landmass on Earth. At their edges are towering glaciers of blue-tinged ice, whose ever-changing faces create the large icebergs that float in the fjords and channels.

Day 21Scenic Sailing: Chilean Fjords

The picturesque Chilean Fjords stretch nearly 1,000 miles from Cape Horn at the South American continent’s southern tip to the Reloncaví Estuary just below the city of Puerto Montt. Carved out by receding glaciers starting more than 2.5 million years ago, the fjords are composed of several hundred channels and passages that wind their way past walls of blue ice, dense forests and steep mountain ranges. Its rugged coastline is home to colonies of Magellanic penguins and lazing elephant seals, while its waters welcome dolphins, migrating humpback whales and orcas on the hunt.

Day 22Punta Arenas, Chile

Punta Arenas was founded as a penal colony by Chile in 1848. Nestled amid spectacular mountain vistas on the eastern shores of the Brunswick Peninsula, it played host to mariners crossing the continent by ship. Europeans followed, searching for newly discovered gold and establishing vast swaths of sheep farms locally and throughout the surrounding region. Over time, Punta Arenas became one of Chile’s most important ports as, before the opening of the Panama Canal, it laid on the northernmost transcontinental shipping route.

Day 23Explore Chilean Glaciers

Spanning the border of Chile and Argentina, the Southern Patagonian Ice Field stretches along the spine of the Andes Mountains for more than 200 miles. Chile itself is home to almost 80% of South America’s glaciers, covering an estimated 7,700 square miles. These glaciers act as enormous freshwater reserves for the mountain habitats across Patagonia, helping to sustain the region’s diverse plants and wildlife.

Day 24Garibaldi Fjord

The pristine waters of the Garibaldi Fjord weave their way through the Alberto de Agostini National Park in Chile, where the Andes mountain range meets the ocean. The region is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and its majestic natural wonders are home to an array of wildlife. Its valley walls are covered with ice and floating icebergs drift along with the bobbing heads of seals and sea lions. The Garibaldi Glacier feeds the waters of the fjord, and this retreating 12 square mile spectacle dwarfs any vessel that passes by.

Day 25Scenic Sailing: Cape Horn

Rising above the point where the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans converge, Cape Horn, named for the Dutch city of Hoorn in The Netherlands, is part of the Hermite Islands archipelago. This remote, stark and treeless place is often considered the continent’s southernmost point. Soaring from Hornos Island is an enormous prehistoric-looking massif of Jurassic volcanic rock. Atop, stands its historic lighthouse near the water’s edge. A beacon of assurance and safety for countless sailors since 1991, it is the world’s southernmost traditional-style lighthouse.

Day 26Ushuaia, Argentina

Ushuaia is the southernmost city in the world. Its splendid setting, tucked between the Beagle Channel and the southernmost slopes of the Andes, lends it an outpost atmosphere, as do the Antarctic explorers readying for the expeditions that depart from here. Ushuaia is the capital of and gateway to the celebrated Tierra del Fuego, the “Land of Fire,” named by Spaniards upon seeing the constant flames burned by the indigenous Yámana to keep warm. This largely unspoiled region comprises the large island of Tierra del Fuego and countless Chilean and Argentinean islands.

Day 27Sail Drake Passage

Named for 16th-century English privateer Sir Francis Drake, the frigid waters of the Drake Passage stretch for some 600 miles between Cape Horn and Livingston Island in the South Shetland archipelago. As you sail today, savor a range of international cuisine on board. Choose from a variety of international flavors at the World Café, enjoy al fresco dining on the Aquavit Terrace, or regional specialties in The Restaurant.

Day 28Explore Antarctica

At once ethereal and majestic, Antarctica has inspired explorers and adventurers for centuries. In this icy wilderness, marvel at icebergs glimmering in serene bays and mountains cloaked in white rising from the mainland basalt cliffs. These stunning landscapes evoke both utter tranquility as fur seals lounge on a floating sheet of ice, and breathtaking drama as glaciers thunderously calve into the sea. In these cold and nutrient-rich waters, humpback, fin and giant blue whales have been known to greet expedition ships that venture into their habitat.

Day 29Sail Drake Passage

The Drake Passage has a notorious reputation for being the roughest seas on Earth. Traversing it required braving massive waves, hurricane-force winds and icy conditions that tested the mettle of both sailor and ship. Soak up the views from the Finse Terrace, a unique outdoor lounge area named after a famous mountain plateau in south-central Norway. Relax amid your surroundings in comfort, with heated couches and lava rock “firepits,” allowing you to enjoy the outdoors no matter the temperature, as you admire the dramatic scenery or expansive ocean vistas.

Day 30Scenic Sailing: Cape Horn

Called Cabo de Hornos in Spanish, Cape Horn is a steep rocky headland located off the southern tip of mainland South America on Hornos Island in the Tierra del Fuego archipelago. It marks the northern boundary of the Drake Passage and where the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans meet. The cape was first rounded in 1616 by Dutch navigator Willem Schouten and Belgian Jacob Le Maire. Navigating the waters around the cape are a challenge because of the area’s treacherous winds, large waves and fierce currents, as well as many icebergs.

Day 31Ushuaia, Argentina

The “city at the end of the world” is one of the planet’s most breathtaking destinations; Andean peaks, pristine lakes and boreal forests create a dramatic backdrop, surrounding this captivating coastal town. Although Ushuaia lies more than 600 miles north of Antarctica, the city’s port is still the closest to the “Last Continent” and the starting point for its exploration. The majesty of Antarctica’s landscape attracts visitors seeking adventure, with its packed ice plains, rugged mountains and abundance of wildlife, such as whales, seals and various species of penguin. Disembark your ship and transfer to the airport for your charter flight. Bid farewell to your fellow travelers and journey home from Buenos Aires.

Additional Info

* One shore excursion included per port; all others available at an extra charge.

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