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Setting sail from Rio de Janeiro
The carnival capital of the world, Rio de Janeiro needs little introduction. We can think of few cities in the world that are able to compete when it comes to location: hugging the beautiful sandy shore and surrounded by jungle-clad islands and mountains, including the iconic Corcovado, the setting for Brazil's most vibrant city is simply breathtaking. Strut your stuff on Copacabana beach, shimmy to the rhythms of samba and bossa nova, or just drink in the view from the feet of Christ the Redeemer - Rio is truly a destination to be savoured.
A visit to Christ the Redeemer for the unbeatable views over the city.
Uruguay: Punta del Este
The upmarket Uruguayan beach resort of Punta del Este is where the A-listers come to party, with a reputation as the Saint Tropez of South America. The town also has an arty side, typified by intriguing sculptures such as the giant concrete fingers emerging from the beach at Playa Brava.
Argentina: Buenos Aires
The streets of Buenos Aires are redolent of a grand old European capital, lined with elegant architecture that wouldn’t look out of place in Madrid or Paris. There is also plenty of Latin passion on display: Argentina is the home of tango, that most electrifying of dances, and has played host to countless revolutions over the years.
Located just across the Río de la Plata from Buenos Aires, Uruguay’s underrated capital is a cosmopolitan and eclectic mix of colourful colonial architecture and high rise modernity. The 14-mile waterfront promenade, La Rambla, is a popular and pleasant place to be on a summer’s evening.
Falkland Islands: Stanley
The rugged and windswept Falkland Islands make for a fascinating stop on the way to or from Antarctica. Over 80% of the population lives in the capital, Stanley, though humans are far outnumbered by other creatures, including penguins, sea lions and albatrosses.
Chile: Cape Horn
Surrounded by notoriously treacherous waters and battered by gale force winds known as the Furious Fifties, Cape Horn is the dramatic southernmost headland of the Tierra del Fuego archipelago. This is the point where the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans meet, watched over by a lonely lighthouse.
Perched on the ragged southern edge of Argentina, where the snow-capped Andes fall away into the churning sea, Ushuaia has a frontier town feel to it, and serves as the base for expeditions into the icy waters of Antarctica.
Chile: Glacier Alley
Glacier Alley runs along a beautiful stretch of the Beagle Channel in Tierra del Fuego, where glaciers originating in the ice fields of Patagonia crumble into the sea. Make sure you have your camera at the ready to capture the views as you sail through this stunning region.
Chile: Punta Arenas
The weather-beaten city of Punta Arenas is a laid back and welcoming place, in spite of its inhospitable location on the shores of the Strait of Magellan. Nearby attractions include penguin colonies and the dramatic scenery of Torres del Paine National Park, while beyond the horizon lie the frozen wastes of Antarctica.
Chile: Chilean Fjords
Chile: Puerto Montt
Puerto Montt is the capital of the Chilean Lake District, spread out around a wide bay against a backdrop of snow-capped volcanoes. This wild region offers a host of outdoor activities, including mountain hikes, kayaking, white water rafting, fishing, zip lining and cycling.
Arriving in Valparaíso
Characterful, colourful and a little chaotic, the port city of Valparaíso enjoys a somewhat awkward setting, scattered across 45 vertiginous hills. Thanks to this difficult topography the city streets are punctuated by steep staircases and funicular elevators, and energetic explorers will be rewarded with wonderful views of the pastel hued buildings that hug the slopes. Valparaíso's most famous former resident was the great Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, and you can visit one of his former residences, La Sebastiana, which now houses a small museum.
Amble through the city, taking the really cheap cable cars when you can to help you up and down the hills!
Your home from home
The lovely sisters Volendam and Zaandam, carrying just over 1,400 guests each, are the perfect size to combine intimacy with extensive facilities, and a great onboard experience with a comfortable ride.
What we love
The Holland America hallmark décor is distinctive and memorable, with a huge collection of art and sculptures as a backdrop to the stylish public areas. Volendam and Veendam have distinctive themes in play - a floral garden focus for Volendam, and great world music through the ages on Veendam.
|Crew||615 International Staff|
These intimate ships are perfect for meeting new people, so the atmosphere is elegant but friendly, with lots to do and plenty of choice.
|Year Built||1996 (Volendam) / 2000 (Zaandam)|
|Last Refurbished||2014 (Volendam) / 2013 (Zaandam)|
|Tonnage||61,214 grt (Volendam) / 61,396 (Zaandam)|
|Cruising Speed||23 knots|
Tailor-make your trip
Our favourite hotel in Rio
We like the Belmond Copacabana Palace – go for the upper floor suites for great views over the ocean.
The extraordinary thing is that right by the city is the Tijuca Forest, great for a four wheel drive tour in acres of lush mountainous national park.
Where to stay in Valparaíso
The 23 room Palacio Astoreca comprises two buildings, including a completely restored national monument.
For contrast, visit clean and orderly Viña del Mar just up the coast.