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Setting sail from 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 the central Plaza de Mayo has played host to countless revolutions and rallies over the years. Food is an important part of life here, and carnivores shouldn't pass up the opportunity to try the world's finest beef at one of the many steakhouses, known as parrillas. Other attractions include the beautiful Recoleta cemetery, the grand Teatro Colón and the colourful, arty district of La Boca.
An evening dinner and tango show, a must-see in the home of this passionate dance.
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.
Argentina: Puerto Madryn
Founded by Welsh settlers in 1886, bustling Puerto Madryn owes its popularity as a tourist destination to the incredible wildlife of the Península Valdés. From June to December the bay is filled with migrating right whales, and at the beginning of the season the whales come so close to the shore that you can view them from the pier.
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.
Antarctica is the world’s last great wilderness, an alien landscape of snow-covered mountains, steaming pools and jagged icebergs. Visitors will never forget the extraordinary wildlife they encounter here: the seething mass of penguins, the sealions and the fur seals, all making the most of the all-too-short summer months.
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, Puerto Chacabuco
Chile: Castro (Chiloé Island)
Rugged and unspoilt Chiloé, situated at the southern end of Chile’s Lake District, is a unique and culturally distinct island that stands apart from the rest of the country. The main town, Castro, is notable for its colourful waterfront homes on stilts (known as palafitos), and is the gateway to the dense forests and rolling hills of the island interior.
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
Where to stay in Buenos Aires
Just steps away from the elegant Santa Fe Avenue and famous Florida Street, we love the Alvear Art Hotel.
Explore Buenos Aires
Take a private city tour to see all the highlights including the Metropolitan Cathedral and the Cabildo, colourful La Boca, the Colon Theatre and the Recoleta cemetery, resting place of Evita.
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.