One of Holland America Line’s most anticipated sailings of 2021 is now open for reservations. The 2021 Grand South America & Antarctica Voyage will depart Ft. Lauderdale on January 4, 2021, and will return 74 days later – after circling the entire continent of South America and cruising along the Antarctic coast for four of those days. Cruise Specialists has also announced its hosted group program for this cruise, meaning clients of Cruise Specialists will enjoy the benefits of a Voyage Host, receive invitations to special onboard events, receive shore tour dollars and more. More details on the hosted aspect of the program are explained further below.
After departing Ft. Lauderdale, the elegant and spacious 1,432-guest Volendam will head south toward the Panama Canal, making port calls in Santa Marta, Colombia, and Panama’s San Blas Islands along the way. The ship will make a daytime transit of the canal so passengers can fully experience this engineering marvel and be on the lookout for the diverse wildlife that lives in the region.
The ship then proceeds to several dazzling ports along the western coast of South America. Ports of call in this portion of the cruise include will include:
- Manta, Ecuador
- Callao, Peru (the port of call for Lima)
- General San Martin (the port of call for Pisco)
- Matarani (Arequipa), Peru
- Iquique, Chile
- Antofagasta, Chile
- Isla Róbinson Crusoe, Chile
- Castro, Isla Chiloé, Chile
- Puerto Chacabuco, Chile
The ship will spend two nights in Callao (Lima) so passengers can opt for a tour of UNESCO-listed Machu Picchu. Isla Róbinson Crusoe is also a highlight due to the caves where a marooned sailor lived and inspired the famous novel. It is also a hiker’s paradise due to its steep trails with magnificent views in every direction.
After the series of port calls down the west side of the continent, Volendam will enter the breathtaking Chilean Fjords for a day of scenic cruising. The ship will spend the next day with a combination of the Amalia or Brujo Glacier, plus the Sarmiento Channel and the Strait of Magellan. On January 30, 2021, Volendam calls at Puntarenas, Chile, while also scenic cruising the Cockburn and Beagle Channels. This region is one of the world’s most priceless areas, filled with natural wonders such as ice-blue glaciers and an array of jaw-dropping waterfalls. Birds and marine wildlife abound, with orcas; blue, grey and humpback whales; dolphins; elephant seals and Magellanic penguins. Guests will be treated to more stunning sights as they pass through legendary Glacier Alley and windswept Cape Horn at the tip of South America before arriving at Ushuaia, Argentina. This serves as the starting point for Holland America Line’s “The Antarctica Experience,” a monumental four-day cruise adventure as the captain navigates around Antarctica’s Palmer Archipelago, Danco Coast and Antarctic Sound. Cruise Specialists guests and hosts have described this stretch of the Grand South America & Antarctica Voyage as powerful and life-changing. During the time at sea, onboard experts provide lectures on the history, ecosystems and wildlife of this majestic part of the globe. Scientists share stories about their work on Antarctica and what it’s like to live in this remote of a place.
The Return North
As Volendam begins her journey northward, she calls on Port Stanley, the Falkland Islands, where guests can encounter more penguins and other unique birds or learn about the more somber wartime history. As weather is sometimes unpredictable in this area, an alternative option for the captain will be to cruise through the scenic Falkland Sound.
The ship then makes calls at the following destinations in Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil:
- Puerto Madryn, Argentina
- Punta del Este, Uruguay
- Montevideo, Uruguay
- Buenos Aires, Argentina – overnight stay
- Santos (São Paulo), Brazil
- Ilhabela (São Sebastião), Brazil
- Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – overnight stay
- Ilhéus, Brazil
- Recife, Brazil
- Fortaleza, Brazil
- Icoaraci (Belém), Brazil
- Santarém, Brazil
- Boca da Valeria, Brazil
- Manaus, Brazil – overnight stay
- Parintins, Brazil
- Alter do Chão, Brazil
The portion of the cruise shortly after Belém is an eight-day period called “The Amazon Experience,” as Volendam crosses the equator then enters the mighty Amazon for a fascinating exploration of one of the world’s great rivers. Visit protected reserves, learn from scientists who are researching this delicate area of the planet and view more unique wildlife such as pink dolphins, spider monkeys and a countless variety of colorful birds. To spend a full week on the Amazon is an exceptional opportunity not afforded by larger ships. Cruise Specialists Cruise Consultants say that due to its remote nature, visiting the Amazon by ship is the easiest and most realistic way to reach this dream destination.
As the ship crosses the equator and enters its final week of the Grand Voyage, guests will have time to relax and visit Devil’s Island, French Guiana; Bridgetown, Barbados and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; along with two full days at sea prior to reaching Ft. Lauderdale to pack their belongings and enjoy more time with friends made on this once-in-a-lifetime trip.
What Else Makes a Grand Voyage Special?
In addition to the incredible collection of ports on this cruise, a Grand Voyage is an indulgent experience. Grand Voyage menus boast an exquisite variety of regional cuisines, local ingredients and fine wines that reflect the ports of call being visited. Many crew members are Grand Voyage veterans, the best in their field. With the length of a Grand Voyage, the crew’s warmly attentive service often creates a special bond with guests. The crew are also eager to share personal insights into the destinations. Enrichment activities are further enhanced on a Grand Voyage. Learn to cook a regional specialty, try a new craft or keep up with your fitness routine in the gym. Attend onboard lectures to deepen your appreciation of the places being visited. Passengers enjoy special pillow gifts, an elegant Captain’s Grand Voyage Dinner and more special treats along the way.
Exclusively for Cruise Specialists Guests
As is tradition for the Holland America Line Grand South America & Antarctica Voyage, Cruise Specialists guests will enjoy the services of a dedicated Voyage Host. Our experienced hosts are extremely well traveled and serve as a wealth of destination knowledge. They will escort private shore excursions for Cruise Specialists (yet to be announced), host private onboard events and be easily accessible for conversation and building a sense of camaraderie that is appreciated by our clients.
Entrust Your Grand Voyage to Cruise Specialists
At Cruise Specialists, we have 30-plus years of history rooted in selling Holland America Line Grand Voyages. Our Cruise Consultants specialize in this niche and can often anticipate the questions you may have about Grand Voyages before you even ask. Our services are complimentary, and you’ll receive the one-on-one attention you deserve when booking a cruise of this magnitude.