Cruise to Latin America - Cruise International

Cruise to Latin America

By Katie McGonagle | 20 Feb 2022

Explore Latin America by cruise ship with some of the region’s cruise holiday highlights for 2022

The sheer scale of South and Central America – spanning everything from the tropical rainforests of Costa Rica to the furthest reaches of the continent at Cape Horn, via verdant banks along the Amazon and one-of-a-kind wildlife in the Galapagos Islands – means there’s no end of experiences on offer both by land and water.

A cruise through Latin America is a great way to cover vast distances without the hassle of overland travel, plus there’s no better opportunity to compare the climates and cultures of this huge, diverse region than by pitching up in a new port of call each day, ready to explore.

That’s why it was chosen by the newly relaunched Swan Hellenic brand as one of the first spots for its ‘cultural expedition cruises’, operating a range of 10 to 15-day itineraries between February and April on Minerva with a reprise to follow from October alongside new ship Vega.

Choose from drifting through the icy expanse of the Chilean fjords, spotting Magellanic penguins and more marine life along the way, exploring the Nazca lines etched into the deserts of southern Peru or taking guided tours to remote ruins left behind by the Zapotec people of southern Mexico.

The choice extends beyond the destination at hand to the style of cruising you favour, with larger ships as well as boutique vessels on hand across the coasts, rivers and open ocean around Latin America.

Scenic will bring its recently updated ‘discovery yacht’, Scenic Eclipse, to the Mexican Riviera, the wildlife-filled national parks of Costa Rica, the vibrant cities of Lima and Valparaiso and the glacier-carved fjords of Tierra del Fuego from September, returning early in 2023 after a season in Antarctica.

Yet the big bucket-list items don’t end there, and for many the pristine ecosystem of the Galapagos Islands is the big draw. This archipelago inspired Charles Darwin’s theories in On the Origin of Species and has gone on to inspire several cruise lines to create boutique vessels specifically to sail here, including Silversea Cruises’ Silver Origin and Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Flora.

Adventure cruise line Aqua Expeditions will also be sending its newest vessel, the superyacht-style Aqua Mare, which holds just 16 guests, to explore the islands’ eastern and western reaches on seven and 14-night journeys starting from May 6. With two naturalists on board and excursions capped at eight guests per group, everyone will get a good vantage point to spot giant tortoises, iguanas, fur seals, frigatebirds, blue-footed boobies and more, on this truly spectacular sailing.

Picture: Gudkov Andrey/Shutterstock

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