In 2019, Holland America Line’s elegant ms Prinsendam sails roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale for a complete circumnavigation of South America and the ethereal ice world of Antarctica.
Here’s a peak at the phenomenal sites you’ll see during this 80-day voyage thanks to our cruise hosts Steve and Wendy, including overland tours to jaw-dropping destinations, such as Machu Picchu, Galápagos Islands, and an Antarctica Landing.
Some fun snippets from previous Grand South America Voyage Reports:
At 5:15AM, it’s still dark, but that’s the time we are scheduled for our approach to the Panama Canal. A small but mighty group is already out on deck to catch every minute of the experience.
We made it out around 6:30AM, just in time for our entrance into the first lock.And of course, the Panama rolls, those tasty sweet pastries filled with apricots, were available for an early snack. A speaker provided by the Canal Authority is giving commentary on the outside decks. He was full of all sorts of interesting facts.
One of our favorites is that it costs about 600 million dollars annually to run the canal while they take in 3.4 billion in revenue! Wouldn’t you like a share of that!
It will be impossible to adequately describe our experiences of three days in Antarctica. This is the highlight of the Voyage for many of us and we can definitely say it exceeded expectations. Temperatures in the low 30’s; no fog; a short snow shower that delighted; sun and reasonable winds – we couldn’t ask for more.
Let’s get the adjectives out of the way up front: spectacular, awe-inspiring, humbling, stunning, jaw-dropping, serene, exciting, overwhelming, beautiful, grand, majestic.
This is the land of ice, in massive quantities, but it’s so much more.
It’s a large and bustling city with many places for visitors to enjoy.
- Some guests took the two-hour ride to explore Chile’s capital, Santiago.
- Others headed to the Casablanca Valley, the popular wine growing region for a day of tastings.
- And many rode to Viña del Mar, the fashionable beach and resort town for a day of shopping and people watching.
If you stayed in the city, there are dozens of funiculars that take you up and down the steep hills, the brightly colored houses that line the hillsides, and the many historic plazas and monuments. But our day in Valparaiso was really an adventure!
The excursion of choice here for many guests was again the King Penguins, but there’s also lots of history here, especially to those interested in the 1982 war with Argentina, won by Great Britain, which preserved these Islands as part of the UK. The cathedral, the Cemetery, the War Memorial are all good places to visit right in town, as well as the traditional pubs, tea rooms, and cafes that are close to the pier.
A very short tender ride brings us to a primitive spot that is home to probably less than 100 people. But when the ships come in, locals from the villages all up and down the river come by boat to greet the passengers and make some money.
Dozens of children bring their pet monkeys, parrots, sloths, toucans, and lizards and collect a dollar for every picture taken. Some are dressed in native costumes, some just want to escort you around the village and collect several dollars for their time. Guests are invited into the houses and the school or they can purchase primitive crafts and jewelry items available for sale. Boat rides are offered for $5.00 per 30 minutes.
See the complete 2019 Grand South America Itinerary >>
Talk with Cruise Specialists Sharon Whiting to start planning (and yes the fill up early!) >>