In the last five years , 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 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. 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. In the Beagle Channel, there is even the chance to view majestic glaciers before moving on to the Chilean fjords. At Puerto Madryn, in Argentina, it is possible to see sea lions, elephant seals and penguins. Island Cruises provides itineraries which explore the coast of Brazil, calling at Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Salvador and Recife. Costa Cruises provides Italian style cruising on nine night options from Santos in Brazil with an overnight stay in the Argentinean capital Buenos Aires. Also from Santos, there are seven night itineraries which include Salvador da Bahia and the tiny island of Ilhabela. 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.