To British clients, the South Atlantic and the coast of South America is a little known cruise region. Now more operators are offering itineraries to the area and there has been a significant increase in the number of cruises along the coast of South America. Favourable weather during the European winter months and an increase in the number of direct flights from London has helped develop this growing market.
The history and culture of South America is a tremendous selling point. with the region offering an exciting combination of sightseeing, culture and opportunities for relaxation.
Regular itineraries are provided along the coast of Brazil, with Rio de Janeiro being one of the most exciting ports of call. The carnival in Rio de Janeiro, every February, draws hundreds of thousands of visitors, many of whom arrive by cruise ship. This vibrant and colourful part of the world never fails to impress and most of those who book a cruise choose to add a few land based days after the end of their travels at sea. Most of these holidays may be organised as part of a Cruise and Stay option for those wanting a beach based break in Salvador de Bahia
Many itineraries involve a journey around Cape Horn at the foot of South America, whilst others venture to the Antarctic. Passing from the Atlantic Ocean, round the coast of Argentina and through the Straits of Magellan to the Pacific Ocean is a memorable experience. Port Stanley, in the Falkland Islands, often appears on South American cruise schedules but it is usually necessary for passengers to go ashore by tender. Many of these voyages continue to the Antarctic where shore excursions are arranged on zodiacs to view the wildlife and impressive glacial formations.
Travelling further north along the Western Coast of South America you reach Peru and Ecuador and of course cross the Equator. Here you find yourself involved in the age old ritual of crossing the point of 0 degrees, but yu will also able to see some of the world's most fascinating and biodiverse regions. The Galapagos Islands, 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador, are a nature lover's paradise with 58 islands and home to the highest proportion of endemic species in the world, including enormous land tortoises, marine iguanas and blue footed boobies. Cruise line access to the Galapagos is extremely limited but there are options, so this is worth exploring if you are interested in this unique destination.
There is a wide range in temperatures between Brazil and the southern extremities of the continent where the lifestyle and scenery change accordingly. Throughout the cruise season, the northern area of the region enjoys a tropical climate with high humidity and regular, heavy rain showers.
The majority of those visiting South America will have enjoyed many cruise holidays in the past and will be eager to add to their list of visited destinations, however for anyone it is a fantastic and unique destination to visit.