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Setting sail from 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!
The busy port of Coquimbo is the gateway to the charming colonial city of La Serena, one of the oldest in Chile, where you’ll find attractive architecture and a fine stretch of beach. Other nearby sights include the fertile Elqui and Limarí Valleys, home to excellent wineries and ancient petroglyphs.
Arica sits at the northern tip of Chile, known as ‘the land of the eternal spring’ thanks to its temperate year-round climate. Sightseeing options include the War of the Pacific battlefield at El Morro and the breathtaking altiplano scenery of Lauca National Park, a stunning high-altitude landscape of snow-dusted volcanoes and shimmering lakes.
Peru: Lima (Callao)
Peru’s underrated capital enjoys a fine setting on the Pacific coast, and the handsome colonial-era buildings surrounding the Plaza de Armas give clues to Lima’s distinguished history; for three centuries this was the capital of the Spanish Americas, when the city grew rich on the back of plundered Inca gold.
The Ecuadorian port of Manta is known as the “tuna capital of the world”, and you’ll see plenty of fishing boats as you arrive. The beach is a popular destination for local tourists, but you may find that the nearby town of Montecristi, home of the Panama hat, makes for a more interesting excursion.
Jamaica: Montego Bay
Montego Bay is Jamaica’s tourism capital, and is the second largest city on the island after Kingston. The beach bars along the ‘Hip Strip’ offer a taste of the Jamaican way of life, with the ubiquitous Bob Marley providing the soundtrack; alternatively you may prefer an excursion to nearby sights such as Dunn’s River Falls or Seven Mile Beach.
Belize: Belize City
Belize’s capital does not enjoy the best reputation, and we wouldn’t recommend spending too much time here; use it instead as a jumping-off point to explore the fascinating Mayan ruins of Xunantunich, Lamanai and Altun Ha, or take a snorkelling trip to the beautiful Barrier Reef, including the famous Blue Hole.
Mexico: Costa Maya
The port at Costa Maya is a purpose-built facility for cruise passengers, with amenities including swimming pools, restaurants and bars. The neighbouring village of Mahahual will give you a slightly more authentic taste of the Yucatán, and the ruined Mayan city of Chacchoben is an hour’s drive away.
United States: Fort Lauderdale
These days Fort Lauderdale is a sophisticated place awash with upmarket hotels and excellent restaurants. The glorious weather and swathes of golden beach are still a huge draw, but there are also plenty of cultural attractions, such as the Museum of Art and the Museum of Discovery and Science.
United States: Port Canaveral
United States: Charleston
A visit to Charleston is like travelling back in time, so perfectly preserved is the town’s 19th century ambience, and you’ll often hear the clip-clop of a horse-drawn carriage ferrying tourists along the cobbled streets.
Portugal: Praia di Vitoria (Azores)
Arriving in Southampton
Southampton is the UK's leading port. Bustling modern cruise terminals, as well as wharfs and commercial harbours, line the waterfront, whilst the city itself is a fascinating mix of ancient and modern, with a picturesque old town, the original city walls still standing, and super-modern shopping centres and office complexes. On all corners you will see tributes to the city's rich history and maritime heritage. Henry V marched his troops through the Westgate on his way to the battle of Agincourt, The Mayflower sailed from here with a cargo of settlers to the New World, and the Titanic started her fateful voyage here.
Just a short drive from Southampton is the magical New Forest with its quaint hamlets, historic towns and seaside villages. Look out for the ponies too.
Your home from home
Elegant and graceful, Cunard’s Queen Victoria has an ambience evocative of the great liners of the past.
What we love
Modern features combined with traditional and elegant décor are reminiscent of the golden age of cruising. We particularly like the excellent Queens Grill accommodation which offers additional space and access to the exclusive Queens Grill and Princess Grill restaurants, along with dedicated lounges and deck areas.
|Crew||981 International Staff|
|Style||Traditionally formal cruising with the evening attire always expected to be refined even on 'informal' evenings.|
Tailor-make your trip
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.
Overnight in Southampton
Stay at the Pig in the Wall, stylish with great food. Very small so book early.
Day trips from Southampton
Visit historic Winchester, home to King Arthur’s Round Table, the Great Hall and Winchester Cathedral.