Diverse Cultures of South America with Machu Picchu

Diverse Cultures of South America with Machu Picchu

Diverse Cultures of South America with Machu Picchu

Diverse Cultures of South America with Machu Picchu

Travel information 11 days MS Roald Amundsen, MS Fram
Departures
3 April 2022
2 April 2023
9 April 2023
Price from $ 7159
$ 6666
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included
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On this expedition cruise, you’ll explore a variety of vibrant coastal cities and towns along Chile and Peru’s Pacific Coast, from UNESCO-listed Valparaíso to La Serena, Iquique, Arica and finally Paracas. Next, fly from Lima to Cusco in the Sacred Valley and explore the many archaeological Inca sites of the area, including magnificent Machu Picchu. 

Beaches and brandy 

Your expedition cruise starts in the colourful Chilean city of Valparaíso and sails to La Serena, full of neo-colonial architecture and charming churches. In Iquique, you’ll head into Atacama Desert, driest in the world, to visit the old saltpetre mining town of Humberstone. Arica’s sun-drenched beaches are best viewed from atop its iconic El Morro cliff while Paracas in Peru is the place to try some pisco grape brandy, a speciality of the region.  

Inca Highlights and Machu Picchu 

Leaving the ship in Lima, you’ll fly to Cusco and on to your hotel in the Sacred Valley. The following morning, you’ll explore the fortress of Ollantaytambo before boarding the luxury Belmond Hiram Bingham train to ever-impressive Machu Picchu. Wander the ruins, admire its awe-inducing setting, and imagine what life must have been like here more than 500 years ago. You’ll spend the next day visiting sites around Cusco, such as the imposing Sacsayhuamán fortress, Cusco Cathedral and the Dominican Convent of Santo Domingo which were both built atop an Inca palace and temple.  

Diverse Cultures of South America with Machu Picchu Diverse Cultures of South America with Machu Picchu
  • Day 1
    Valparaíso, Chile

    Vibrant hilltop city

    Estimated time of departure is 4:00 PM

    Your hybrid-powered expedition ship awaits you in Valparaíso in central Chile. Built on steep hillsides overlooking the ocean, the UNESCO-listed city is a maze of monuments, churches, historical funicular lifts, trendy barrios, cobblestone alleys, colourful houses and charming plazas. Cerros Alegre and Concepción have probably the best views while the historic port district boasts colonial architecture, bustling mercados, and the maritime and modern art museums. You also have the option to arrive a few days early to explore more of ‘Valpo’ by adding a night in Santiago de Chile followed by a Valparaiso City Tour and transfer to the ship or to join our Pre-Programme to Atacama Desert, the driest desert in the world.

    Once on board the ship, you’ll be busy picking up your complimentary expedition jacket, settling into your cabin, exploring the ship and attending a mandatory safety drill. After dinner and a welcome toast by the Captain, you’ll meet your Expedition Team who run through important health and safety aspects with you.

    Day 1
    Valparaíso, Chile

    Vibrant hilltop city

  • Day 2
    La Serena, Chile

    Neo-colonial and classy

    Perched on ocean terraces, La Serena is blessed with beautiful sandy beaches all along Avenida del Mar and beyond. You’ll find that Chile’s second-oldest city has a distinct and purposeful neo-colonial look and feel to it. Modern buildings sit interspersed with classic architecture, such as the 30 or so carefully restored stone churches, some of which are 350 years old. If the churches, while charming, start to look the same to you, a helpful hint is to distinguish them by their different styles of belfries.

    Aside from wandering the beaches, promenades and plazas, you can also stroll through manicured public gardens like the Japanese-inspired Jardín del Corazón or shop for arts and crafts at Recova Market. The archaeological museum houses pre-colonial artefacts while the hidden lane of Patio Colonial near Balmaceda is the place to go for chilled-out cafés and eateries.

    Day 2
    La Serena, Chile

    Neo-colonial and classy

  • Day 3
    At Sea

    Relax on board

    Enjoy the serenity of this day at sea, relaxing and admiring the scenery from the observation deck or over in the lounge.

    Throughout your journey, the Expedition Team will be running lectures in the Science Center to share their extensive knowledge of the region with you. Topics could include periods of pre-Columbian history, the geology of the surrounding mountains and islands, folklore of local communities, and so on. But not all lectures are confined to indoors. If the ship attracts seabirds who come to fly alongside us, the Expedition Team might also help you spot and identify these feathered followers out on deck.

    Day 3
    At Sea

    Relax on board

  • Day 4
    Iquique, Chile

    Chile’s Premier Beach Resort

    Welcome to a slice of paradise by the Pacific, complete with palm trees and promenades. As one of Chile’s top seaside cities, Iquique is a hive of activity all year around. Shoppers stream to the duty-free Zofri Mall while maritime enthusiasts will be enthralled by a tour of La Esmeralda corvette that hails from the War of the Pacific. Our main plan here is a visit to the nearby abandoned saltpeter mining town of Humberstone in the Atacama Desert, a UNESCO site and history you can literally walk through.

    Back in Iquique, head along the boardwalk of La Costenera next to the sands of Playa Cavancha and admire the scenery of the city skyline on one side and parasailors and surfers on the other. Baquedano Street showcases 19th century Georgian architecture and leads to Astoreca Palace and a photogenic clock tower at the centre of town. You’ll also find many a chic café where you can indulge in local coffee culture or sip on a traditional creamy mango sour. A Chinatown has sprung up around the mercado, marrying Peruvian and Chinese flavours to invent unique chifa cuisine. Aside from a variety of seafood dishes, you’ll definitely want to try chumbeque, a dessert that blends fried thin dough with fruity caramels.

    Day 4
    Iquique, Chile

    Chile’s Premier Beach Resort

  • Day 5
    Arica, Chile

    ‘City of Everlasting Spring’

    Unusually for a city by the sea, Arica enjoys a constant desert climate and is classed as one of the driest cities in the world. This also means that it is bathed in glorious sunshine almost every day of the year, and residents proudly like to refer to Arica as enjoying a never-ending spring season. The beaches are popular with sunbathers and surfers alike and the views from the tall, sandy El Morro cliff are well worth the 15-minute hike to the fluttering Chilean flag at the top.

    Another hotspot for visitors is San Marcos Cathedral, designed by Gustave Eiffel of Parisian fame and inaugurated in 1876. Calles 21 de Mayo and Bolognesi are lively, pedestrianised areas with plenty of eateries and artesanía stalls while El Agro market and food court is full of sights and scents. Over at the local San Miguel de Azapa Archaeological Museum, you can peruse artefacts from the Chinchorro culture and marvel at mummies which are older than even ones found in Egypt. Head to the south of the city to trek the more rugged Playa Corazones and explore the Caves of Anzota. You’ll also have the opportunity to see geolyphs in Lluta Valley and Lauca National Park on an optional excursion.

    Day 5
    Arica, Chile

    ‘City of Everlasting Spring’

  • Day 6
    At Sea

    Fresh sea air

    As we sail further north toward Peru, continue to enjoy the Expedition Team’s lecture programme, the healthy salt-tinged breeze and views out on deck, and all the facilities the expedition ship has to offer. These waters are also part of the Humboldt Current, a cold-water current that cools the climate in the region and creates clear skies. It also sustains a highly productive marine eco-system in the region, stimulating the growth of sardines, anchovies, and mackerel in huge quantities.

    If you’re someone who likes to keep active, there are well-equipped gyms on board, both indoor and outdoor and each with great views. Swimmers aren’t left out either and the ship has a heated infinity pool for you to enjoy. If you tire of the treadmill, take your trainers on the outdoor running track. The scenery and the sea breeze will spur you on to do a few miles more.

    Day 6
    At Sea

    Fresh sea air

  • Day 7
    Paracas, Peru

    Birds and brandy

    Positioned on a bay behind a peninsula, the small and sleepy resort town of Paracas is surrounded by brown-sugar cliffs and beaches. Known to most as El Chaco, the town has an array of restaurants along the main shorefront and boulevard where you can tuck into jalea, a mishmash of fried seafood with salsa criolla and yuca root. Peruvian silverside fish, known as pejerry, is also a local speciality, best washed down with a glass of pisco – grape brandy which is produced at tourable distilleries in the region. Be careful though, pisco can pack quite the punch!

    Opposite Paracas harbour is a mysterious local geoglyph of a candelabra that possibly dates back to 200 BCE. It could be related to the famous Nazca Lines which you can visit in the Pisco valley a short drive away to the south as part of an optional excursion. The Nazca Lines themselves could be older than the candelabra but new ones are still being discovered, prompting all sorts of theories as to their (extra-terrestrial?) origin.

    You may also take a boat tour of the nearby Ballestas Islands, which are considered to be the lesser Galápagos Islands. The Ballestas support a range of wildlife, including Humboldt penguins, turtles, Peruvian boobies, cormorants, pelicans, sea lions, dolphins, Inca terns and humpback whales. There’s also Paracas National Reserve nearby, covering a rare combination of desert and marine ecosystems in its territory. The Martian-like yellow dunes and red-sand beaches hide more than 100 archaeological sites of the Paracas culture and grant otherworldly views to birds such as the Andean condor and Chilean flamingo.

    Day 7
    Paracas, Peru

    Birds and brandy

  • Day 8
    Callao/Lima/Cusco/Sacred Valley

    On your way to the Sacred Valley

    Around noon, we arrive in Callao and it will be time to say goodbye to the Captain and crew. A packed lunch will be provided for your transfer to Lima airport and your flight to Cusco. Once we arrive in the old capital of the Inca Empire 3,400 metres above sea level, we’ll head to the Tambo del Inka Resort in the Sacred Valley for dinner and to spend the night.

    Day 8
    Callao/Lima/Cusco/Sacred Valley

    On your way to the Sacred Valley

  • Day 9
    Sacred Valley/Machu Picchu/Sacred Valley

    ‘The Lost City of the Incas’

    After breakfast at the resort, you’re in for an unforgettable day. We start off in Ollantaytambo, once the royal estate of Emperor Pachacuti who conquered the region and built the town that shares its name with the formidable stone fortress that clings to a massive cliff above the community. Constructed of rose-coloured granite, this huge structure was once a thriving complex of baths, temples and military barracks, and the fortification was the valley’s main defence against the rival Antis people. It was also the site of the Inca’s greatest victory against the Spanish during the wars of conquest.

    We then head to the nearby train station to board the deluxe Hiram Bingham train to Machu Picchu. Tuck into a savoury brunch while enjoying the views on the way to the renowned location.

    At last, we arrive at spectacular Machu Picchu. Built around 1450 and abandoned at the time of the Spanish conquest, thick tangles of vines and trees shielded it from the outside world for centuries. Since being 'found’ by an American archaeologist in 1911, 'The Lost City of the Incas’ has now taken centre stage as one of the greatest destinations in the world.

    You can explore the city’s ruins, imagining what life must have been like when it was inhabited by priests, craftsmen and servants. Excavations at the site have revealed skeletons, artefacts and woollen clothing, and you can admire the famous precision of Incan stonework on display here. Still, as the Incas left no written records behind about the city’s rise or fall, Machu Picchu remains one of the most archaeologically mysterious sites in the world.

    Day 9
    Sacred Valley/Machu Picchu/Sacred Valley

    ‘The Lost City of the Incas’

  • Day 10
    Sacred Valley/Cusco/Lima

    Centre of the Incan Empire

    After breakfast, we head back to Cusco to visit Sacsayhuamán fortress. It is strategically located on a hill overlooking Cusco and constructed without mortar like many other Inca structures. Even though the enormous stones can weigh up to 200 tons, they fit so tightly together that not even a thin blade of grass can slide between them, a testament to the Inca’s sophisticated construction techniques and architectural skills.

    Next, we proceed to the splendid Baroque-style Cusco Cathedral, built by the Spaniards in the mid-1500s on the foundations of an Incan palace. Many of the stones used in its construction were looted from the nearby Sacsayhuamán fortress. From there, we continue to Koricancha where you can admire the lovely Dominican Convent of Santo Domingo that was built on the foundations of the Temple of the Sun, the most important temple in the Inca Empire. The curved, mortar-less masonry wall at the west end of the church is considered to be one of the greatest existing examples of Inca stonework.

    When it’s time for lunch, we’ll eat at a local restaurant, before we transfer to the airport and fly to Lima. Once there, we meet our local guide and transfer to the hotel. After checking in, you can enjoy the evening in Peru’s capital at your leisure. We recommend heading to the trendy neighbourhood of Barranco for bars and restaurants or dropping by the illuminated ruins of clay ceremonial pyramids Huaca Pucllana and Huaca Hulallamarca.

    Day 10
    Sacred Valley/Cusco/Lima

    Centre of the Incan Empire

  • Day 11
    Lima

    ‘The City of Kings’

    Sadly, this is the last day of your expedition and it officially ends after breakfast at the hotel when you’ll say farewell to your fellow explorers. Seeing as you’re already here, we recommend extending your holiday for a few days to spend more time in the Peruvian capital which was known as La Ciudad de los Reyes, or ‘The City of Kings’. 

    The UNESCO World Heritage historic centre is full of colonial-era architecture like Plaza Mayor and San Francisco Monastery. On the other hand, the clay ruins of ceremonial pyramids Huaca Pucllana and Huaca Huallamarca are reminders of long-lost Inca civilisation. For more pre-Columbian archaeology, there are at least four separate museums to pick from. Arty types among you will also enjoy the bright and Bohemian area of Barranco, complete with murals, creative cafés and two of Lima’s contemporary art museums. 

    But the ultimate Lima experience has got to be the food. Cuisine emanating from the capital has raised the bar the globe over and there is no shortage of internationally recognised and award-winning restaurants for you to delight in. One of Peru’s all-time gastronomic greats is ceviche, fresh fish marinated in tangy lime juice and other seasonings. The staple dish can be savoured in many locations around the city, from up-market diners in Miraflores to salt-of-the-earth cevicherías at the fishing docks over in Chorrillos.

    Day 11
    Lima

    ‘The City of Kings’

Departures

2022

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December
April:
3.

2023

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December
April:
2.
9.

Current offers on this cruise:

  • Black Friday up to 15% OFF!

    For a limited time, receive up to 30% off selected expeditions in 2022 and 2023!
    The price you see online already includes the discount. Offer applies to the cruise portion of the package only.
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  • Book with confidence on all 2022 departures

    We have relaxed our booking conditions to give you confidence, peace of mind and security in this uncertain time due to Covid.
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  • New Season

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What's included

Included in your voyage

Land-Programme Peru/Machu Picchu after the expedition cruise

  • Two nights at Tambo del Inka Resort, including half board
  • One night in Lima, including breakfast
  • 3-course set lunch and dinner on day 11, 12 and packed lunch on day 10
  • Return economy flight Lima-Cusco-Lima
  • All transfers and train rides as described, including English-speaking guide
  • Entrance fees according to programme

Expedition Cruise

  • Expedition cruise in a cabin of your choice
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner including beverages (house beer and wine, sodas, and mineral water) in restaurants Aune and Fredheim (on MS Roald Amundsen)
  • À la carte restaurant Lindstrøm included for suite guests
  • Complimentary tea and coffee
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi on board. Be aware that we sail in remote areas with limited connection. Streaming is not supported
  • Complimentary reusable water bottle to use at water refill stations on board
  • English-speaking Expedition Team who organise and accompany activities on board and ashore
  • Range of included activities

Onboard Activities

  • Experts on the Expedition Team deliver in-depth lectures on a variety of topics
  • Use of the ship’s Science Center which has an extensive library and advanced biological and geological microscopes
  • Citizen Science programme allows guests to assist with live scientific research
  • Professional onboard photographer gives top tips and tricks for the best landscape and wildlife photos
  • Use of the ship’s hot tubs, panoramic sauna and indoor gym. Outdoor gym, outdoor running track and infinity pool on MS Roald Amundsen only
  • Informal gatherings with the crew such as daily recaps and preparation for the day to come

Landing Activities

  • Loan of trekking poles and all equipment for activities
  • Complimentary wind and water-resistant expedition jacket
  • Expedition Photographers help with your camera settings before landings

Not included in your voyage

  • International flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Luggage handling
  • Optional shore excursions with our local partners
  • Optional small-group activities with our Expedition Team
  • Optional treatments in the onboard wellness and spa area (only on MS Roald Amundsen)

Notes

  • All planned activities are subject to weather conditions
  • Excursions and activities are subject to change
  • Please make sure you meet all entry and boarding requirements
  • No gratuities expected

Ships

MS Roald Amundsen

MS Roald Amundsen

Year built 2019
Shipyard Kleven Yards
Passenger capacity 528 (500 in Antarctica)
Gross tonnage 20 889 T
Length 140 m
Beam 23,6 m
Speed 15 knots

In 2019, Hurtigruten added a brand new ship to its fleet: the MS Roald Amundsen. The state of the art vessel features new and environmentally sustainable hybrid technology that will reduce fuel consumption and show the world that hybrid propulsion on large ships is possible.

Read more about MS Roald Amundsen

MS Fram

Year built 2007
Year of refurbishment 2022
Shipyard Fincantieri, Italy
Passenger capacity 250 (200 in Antarctica)
Beds 276
Car capacity 0
Gross tonnage 11 647 T
Length 114 m
Beam 20.2 m
Speed 13 knots

The original Fram was the most famous explorer ship of its time, and the achievements of her expeditions are unparalleled. MS Fram brings on the heritage of the original Fram, using the most advanced technology to make her exceptionally well suited for expedition voyages in Polar Regions.

Read more about MS Fram

MS Fram in Greenland
Photo: Stian Klo
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