The Untamed Beauty of South America

Cultural treasures. Outdoor thrills. Pure bliss. This is South America and what better way to experience it than by sea

It’s no coincidence that South America is quickly becoming a leading cruise destination. Its incredible natural wonders, from mist-covered peaks to thundering waterfalls, combined with a vibrant and unique culture, make it an unforgettable experience. Whether you’re a nature lover exploring rainforests, mountains, and glaciers, or a city enthusiast immersing yourself in the lively atmosphere of Rio de Janeiro, Lima, and Buenos Aires, South America has something for everyone.

Visit Peru’s mystical Machu Picchu, Chile’s spectacular fjords, Brazil’s majestic Iguazu Falls, the stunning Andes Mountains or the Amazon rainforest. Watch seals basking on the sandy beaches, and marvel at majestic penguins, whales, and other wildlife. Snorkel in the warm waters lined with vibrant coral reefs off Belize. Wander through the streets of Antigua, Guatemala, with its Spanish colonial-era architecture and picturesque churches. Embark on a Panama Canal cruise, navigating from the Pacific to the Atlantic side (or vice versa) of the South American coast. 

South America is the fourth largest continent on our planet, and it is made up of 12 diverse countries that together present a plethora of cruise options. From the Panama Canal to the beaches and Mayan ruins of Mexico, there are endless paths to adventure in South America.

Caminito in Buenos Aires, Argentina

South America Cruises

South America & Antarctica Holiday

  • 15 Dec ‘24
  • 22 nights
From $6,919 /person pp

South America – East & West from Buenos Aires

  • 09 Jan ‘26
  • 22 nights
Call For Price

Captivating South America – Lima to Rio De Janeiro

  • 21 Dec ‘24
  • 36 nights
From $19,410 /person pp

Panama Canal, Inca & South America Discovery

  • 14 Nov ‘24
  • 31 nights
From $7,804 /person pp

South America & Chilean Fjords from Buenos Aires

  • 15 Jan ‘25
  • 17 nights
Call For Price

South America Discovery From Fort Lauderdale

  • 21 Jan ‘25
  • 52 nights
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Cruise Season

The South America cruise season generally kicks off in November and wraps up in early May. However, it’s important to note that South America’s vast size brings about a wide range of weather patterns, varying from the north to the south. Get ready to adapt to fluctuating climates that can change from hour to hour or day to day. As you venture further south and distance yourself from the equator, you’ll experience less of the summer season. For instance, even in December, the beginning of summer, the mountains of Ushuaia in Argentina showcase stunning snow-capped peaks. With such diverse climates, ranging from humid lowlands to chilly highlands, the perfect timing for your South America cruise relies on your specific itinerary and location.

Popular Cruise Lines

South America is spread over thousands of miles, stretching from the tropics to the sub-Antarctic — and the multitude of experiences it offers are as vast as the destination itself. Mainstream cruise lines such as Holland America, Celebrity, Norwegian Cruise Line and Princess Cruises offer extensive offerings throughout the region. Luxury lines like Oceania and Crystal frequently grace South American ports, while expedition lines like Viking, Scenic, Hapag-Lloyd and Lindblad can take you even further south, beyond what the eye can see. You can also choose to do a river cruise along the mighty Amazon with cruise lines such as Avalon Waterways and Uniworld Boutique River Cruises. As South America is a vast continent with varied regions, the presence of cruise lines may differ depending on your desired cruising destination.

Highlights of South America

An often overlooked highlight of South America – when one thinks of cruising – is the mighty Amazon river. There’s really nowhere else on the planet quite like it, and there’s truly no better way to experience its wonders than on a river cruise. Spanning over 4,000 miles through a region that houses approximately 10 percent of the world’s species, this mighty river teems with vibrant colors and abundant life. Much of the Amazon remains unexplored, however, embarking on a cruise will allow you to venture as far as possible to witness this explosion of natural beauty, from enchanting orchids to majestic macaws. Avalon Waterways and Uniworld Boutique River Cruises each offer distinctive itineraries on the awe-inspiring Amazon River.

A Portion of the Amazon River that Flows Through Brazil

Key Ports to Visit

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Discover the vibrant streets of Buenos Aires, where South American heritage meets European elegance. Immerse yourself in tango rhythms, explore historic landmarks, and indulge in divine cuisine in this captivating capital city. Buenos Aires beckons you to uncover its hidden charms and experience the fusion of cultures that makes it truly extraordinary. 

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Experience the beauty of Rio de Janeiro as you journey to the peaks of Sugarloaf Mountain and gaze upon the Christ the Redeemer statue. Immerse yourself in the vibrant rhythms of samba, and let the melodies of this captivating city sweep you away. Indulge in panoramic vistas and thrilling funicular rides, and consider timing your visit with the legendary Carnival for a truly unforgettable adventure.

Valparaiso, Chile

Discover the vibrant coastal jewel of Valparaiso, Chile, where colorful buildings cling to hills, captivating street art adorns the alleyways, and breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean await. Immerse yourself in the city’s Historic Quarter, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, ride the iconic funicular elevators and explore the city’s hills, indulge in nearby Viña del Mar’s golden sand beaches or embark on a wine tasting adventure in Casablanca Valley.

Lima, Peru

Experience the captivating blend of ancient history, vibrant culture, and mouthwatering cuisine in Lima, Peru’s capital city. From exploring ancient ruins to indulging in world-renowned ceviche, this vibrant metropolis will leave you mesmerised. 

Cape Horn, Chile

Sail to the end of the world and witness the convergence of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans at Cape Horn. Located on the southernmost tip of South America in the Tierra del Fuego archipelago, this legendary destination, once treacherous for sailors, is now a haven for nature enthusiasts. Explore pristine landscapes, colossal glaciers, and encounter awe-inspiring marine mammals like whales and penguins. 

Montevideo, Uruguay

Uncover the hidden gem that is Montevideo on your South America cruise for an off-the-beaten path adventure. With stunning beaches, captivating arts scenes, and remarkable wine country, this cosmopolitan city embraces its contradictions and invites you to indulge in a variety of experiences. 

Panama Canal, Panama

Cruising through the Panama Canal on your South America cruise is like taking a journey through time and nature. This astonishing man-made wonder is a sliver of ingenuity that allows ships to move from ocean to another. You can cruise from the Pacific to the Atlantic or vice versa, all while taking in the topical views and modern design of the canal, which was built in 1914.


In southern South America, encompassing Patagonia, the Falkland Islands, southern Chile, and Argentina, the warmer and drier conditions are typically found from December to February, making these months the peak cruising season with smaller crowds. If you prefer cooler temperatures and want to avoid the masses, the shoulder months of October to November and March to April are ideal.

On the other hand, in northern South America, including Peru, Ecuador, and the Galapagos Islands, the seasons can generally be divided into wet and dry. As you ascend to higher altitudes, the temperature drops. In the coastal region of Peru, it tends to be relatively dry all year round, with the warmest and most humid months occurring between December and March.

Insider Tip

On a South America cruise it pays to be flexible and open-minded when it comes to your itinerary. Many routes have a number of days at sea, and if your itinerary includes scenic cruising, it means even more sea days. But sometimes, cruise ships can’t actually get in to the scheduled ports. This is largely due to wind and sea conditions, with Port Stanley in the Falkland Islands having one of the highest risks. So your itinerary may have to change, and the best thing to do is just roll with it. It’s all part of the adventure.

Perito Moreno Glacier, located in Los Glaciares National Park in southwest Santa Cruz Province, Argentina

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