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
April 3, 2022
April 2, 2023
April 9, 2023
Price from $ 6,987
$ 6,102
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

This expedition cruise will bring you to a variety of vibrant coastal cities and towns along the Chilean and Peruvian coasts—from UNESCO-listed Valparaíso to La Serena, Iquique, Arica, and lastly, Paracas. Next, fly from Lima to Cusco in the Sacred Valley and explore the many archaeological Incan sites of the area, including magnificent Machu Picchu.

Beaches and brandy

The expedition cruise starts in Chile’s colorful city of Valparaíso and sails to La Serena, which is full of Neo-Colonial architecture and charming churches. From Iquique, you’ll head to the Atacama Desert, the world’s driest—and perhaps even the world’s oldest—desert, to visit the old saltpeter mining town of Humberstone. Arica’s sun-swept beaches are best viewed from the iconic El Morro cliff, while Paracas (in Peru) is the perfect place to try pisco grape brandy, a regional specialty.

Incan Highlights and Machu Picchu

After disembarking in Lima, you’ll fly to Cusco and be transferred to your hotel in the Sacred Valley. The following morning, explore the fortress of Ollantaytambo before boarding the luxury Belmond Hiram Bingham train to mysterious Machu Picchu. Wander the ruins, admire its awe-inducing setting, and imagine how life would have been here 500 years ago. The next day, you’ll visit sites around Cusco, including the imposing Sacsayhuamán fortress, and the Cusco Cathedral and the Dominican Convent of Santo Domingo, which were built upon an Incan 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

    Our hybrid electric–powered expedition ship will be waiting for you in Valparaíso in central Chile. Built on steep hillsides overlooking the ocean, this UNESCO-listed city is a maze of monuments, churches, historical funiculars (cable cars), trendy neighborhoods, cobblestone alleys, colorful houses, and charming plazas. Cerros Alegre and Concepción have arguably the best views, while the historic port district boasts colonial architecture, bustling mercados, and the maritime and modern art museums. Consider arriving 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. You could also join our Pre-Program to the Atacama Desert, the driest desert in the world.

    Once you board the ship, you’ll pick up your complimentary expedition jacket, settle into your cabin, explore the ship, and attend a mandatory safety drill. After the welcome dinner (featuring a toast by the captain), you’ll meet your Expedition Team, who will 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 terraces above the ocean, 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 purposefully crafted Neo-Colonial look and feel to it. Its modern buildings meld with buildings of an older vintage, such as the 30 or so carefully restored stone churches, some of which are 350 years old. These charming churches may look similar to one another, but you can distinguish them by their different styles of belfries.

    Aside from wandering the beaches, promenades, and plazas, you can also stroll through manicured public gardens such as the Japanese-inspired Jardín del Corazón or shop for handicrafts at Recova Market. Admire pre-Colonial artifacts at the archaeological museum or head to Patio Colonial, near Balmaceda, for casual cafés and eateries.

    Day 2
    La Serena, Chile

    Neo-Colonial and classy

  • Day 3
    At Sea

    Kick back on board

    Enjoy the serenity of this day at sea. Relax and admire the scenery from the observation deck or from the lounge.

    Throughout your journey, the Expedition Team will give lectures in the Science Center and share their extensive knowledge of the region. Topics may include periods of pre-Columbian history, the geology of the surrounding mountains and islands, the folklore of the local communities, and much more. Not all of our lectures are indoors, though! If curious seabirds come fly alongside the ship, the Expedition Team might also help you spot and identify them from the deck.

    Day 3
    At Sea

    Kick back on board

  • Day 4
    Iquique, Chile

    Iquique, Chile

    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 buzzing with activity all year around. Shoppers stream to the duty-free Zofri Mall, while ship enthusiasts will love the tour of La Esmeralda, a steam-powered warship used and sunk during the War of the Pacific. You might have the opportunity to visit the nearby abandoned saltpeter mining town of Humberstone in the Atacama Desert. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a slice of history that you can literally walk through.

    Back in Iquique, stroll the La Costenera boardwalk next to Playa Cavancha and admire the city’s skyline on one side and the parasailors and surfers on the other. Baquedano Street showcases 19th-century Georgian architecture and leads to Astoreca Palace. Don’t miss the photo op at the clock tower, located in the town center. You’ll pass an array of chic cafés, where you can indulge in local coffee culture or sip a traditional creamy mango sour. You’ll find Iquique’s Chinatown near the mercado, bringing with it the unique ‘chifa’ cuisine, which marries Peruvian and Chinese flavors. Aside from the wide range of seafood dishes, you’ll definitely want to try chumbeque, a dessert that features a cookie sandwich coated with an anise-flavored syrup.

    Day 4
    Iquique, Chile

    Iquique, Chile

  • Day 5
    Arica, Chile

    ‘City of Everlasting Spring’

    Arica enjoys a constant desert climate, which is atypical for a city by the sea. In fact, it is even 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 describe Arica as being immersed in a never-ending spring. The beaches are popular with sunbathers and surfers alike. The 15-minute hike to the top of the tall, sandy El Morro cliff is well worth it. Once you find the fluttering Chilean flag on top, you’ll also be rewarded with great views.

    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 pedestrian areas filled with eateries and artisan stalls, while the El Agro market and food court is full of sights and scents. At the San Miguel de Azapa Archaeological Museum, peruse artifacts from Chinchorro culture and marvel at mummies who are older than even the ones found in Egypt. Head to the south of the city to trek the more rugged Playa Corazones and explore Cuevas de Anzota (the Caves of Anzota). You also might have the opportunity to go on an optional excursion to see geoglyphs in Lluta Valley and Lauca National Park.

    Day 5
    Arica, Chile

    ‘City of Everlasting Spring’

  • Day 6
    At Sea

    Fresh sea air

    As we sail northward toward Peru, continue to enjoy the Expedition Team’s lecture program. On deck, a healthy salt-tinged breeze and magnificent views will invigorate you, as well as all the facilities the expedition ship has to offer. These waters are part of the Humboldt Current, a cold-water current that cools the climate in the region and causes clear blue skies. It also sustains the region’s highly productive marine ecosystem, causing large quantities of sardines, anchovies, and mackerel.

    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 should be excited too—the ship has a heated infinity pool for you to enjoy. If you get tired of the treadmill, move your stride over to the outdoor running track. The scenery and the sea breeze might just inspire you to stretch your run out for a few more miles.

    Day 6
    At Sea

    Fresh sea air

  • Day 7
    Paracas, Peru

    Birds and brandy

    Nestled on a bay behind a peninsula, the humble and sleepy resort town of Paracas is surrounded by brown-sugar–colored cliffs and beaches. Known to most as ‘El Chaco’, the town’s main shorefront and boulevard features a wide array of restaurants where you can taste jalea, a mix of fried seafood with salsa criolla (Creole) and yuca root. Another specialty is Peruvian silverside fish, known as pejerry, best washed down with a glass of pisco, a grape brandy produced at several of the region’s distilleries. Be careful though, pisco can pack a punch!

    Opposite Paracas harbor is the mysterious local geoglyph of a candelabra, which may date as far back as 200 B.C. It could be related to the famous Nazca Lines, which you can visit in the Pisco Valley. This optional excursion is just a short drive south. The Nazca Lines could be older than the candelabra, but new ones are still being discovered. Could these be extra-terrestrial in origin? You decide.

    You may also have the opportunity to take a boat tour of the nearby Ballestas Islands. The Ballestas support a wide range of wildlife, including Humboldt penguins, turtles, Peruvian boobies, cormorants, pelicans, sea lions, dolphins, Inca terns, and humpback whales. Nearby, you can also find Paracas National Reserve, whose territory includes a rare combination of desert and marine ecosystems. The Martian-like yellow dunes and red-sand beaches hide more than 100 archaeological sites of the Paracas culture. They also host excellent views of birds such as the Andean condor and Chilean flamingo.

    Day 7
    Paracas, Peru

    Birds and brandy

  • Day 8
    Callao/Lima/Cusco/Sacred Valley

    Voyage to the Sacred Valley

    We arrive in Callao at noon, where you’ll bid a fond farewell to the captain and the crew. A packed lunch will be provided for your transfer to the Lima airport and your flight to Cusco. Once we arrive in the former capital of the Incan Empire, perched over 11,000 above sea level, we’ll head to the Tambo del Inka Resort in the Sacred Valley for dinner and a good night’s sleep.

    Day 8
    Callao/Lima/Cusco/Sacred Valley

    Voyage to the Sacred Valley

  • Day 9
    Sacred Valley/Machu Picchu/Scared Valley

    ‘The Lost City of the Incas’

    Eat a good breakfast at the resort, because you’re in for an unforgettable day. We start off in Ollantaytambo, once the royal estate of Pachacuti, the Incan emperor. He conquered the region and built up the town that shares its name, featuring a formidable stone fortress that still towers above the community on a massive cliff. Constructed with rose-colored granite, this huge structure was once a thriving complex of baths, temples, and military barracks. This fortification was the valley’s main defense against their rivals, the Antis people. It was also the site of the Inca’s greatest victory against the Spanish during the Spanish conquest of the Incan Empire, also known as the Conquest of Peru.

    Then we head to the nearby train station and board the deluxe Hiram Bingham train to Machu Picchu. Enjoy a savory brunch while you marvel at the views on the way to this magical and renowned location.

    At last, we arrive at the spectacular Machu Picchu. Built around 1450 and abandoned with Spanish colonization, thick tangles of vines and trees shielded it from the prying eyes of the outside world for centuries. After being ‘found’ by American archeologist Hiram Bingham in 1911, ‘The Lost City of the Incas’ is now widely regarded as one of the ancient wonders of the world.

    Explore the city’s ruins and imagine what life was like here, when priests, craftsmen, and servants roamed these cliffs. Excavations at the site have revealed skeletons, artifacts, and woolen clothing. Now it’s your turn to admire the precise Incan stonework. Even if we have a basic understanding of the site, the Incas left no written records behind about the city’s rise or fall. Thus, Machu Picchu remains one of the most mysterious archeological sites in the world.

    Day 9
    Sacred Valley/Machu Picchu/Scared Valley

    ‘The Lost City of the Incas’

  • Day 10
    Sacred Valley/Cusco/Lima

    Center of the Incan Empire

    After breakfast, we’ll head back to Cusco to visit the Sacsayhuamán fortress. It’s strategically located on a hill overlooking Cusco. Like many other Incan structures, it was constructed without mortar. The enormous stones can weigh up to 200 tons a piece but still fit together so tightly that not even a thin blade of grass can slide between them. This is a lasting testament to the Inca’s sophisticated construction techniques and architectural skills.

    Next, we’ll explore the splendid Baroque-style Cusco Cathedral, built by the Spaniards in the mid-1500s on the foundation of an Incan palace. Many of the stones used to construct it were looted from the nearby Sacsayhuamán fortress. Then we’ll visit Koricancha, where we’ll admire the Dominican Convent of Santo Domingo, built on the foundation of the Temple of the Sun, the most important temple in the Incan Empire. The curved masonry wall at the west end of the church, built without mortar, is considered to be one of the greatest existing examples of Incan stonework.

    At lunchtime, we’ll eat at a local restaurant before our transfer to the airport for the flight to Lima. Upon arrival in Lima, you’ll meet our local guide and transfer to the hotel. Enjoy the evening at your leisure in Peru’s capital after check-in,. We recommend heading to the bars and restaurants of the trendy Barranco neighborhood, or drop by the illuminated ruins of the ceremonial clay pyramids Huaca Pucllana and Huaca Huallamarca.

    Day 10
    Sacred Valley/Cusco/Lima

    Center of the Incan Empire

  • Day 11
    Lima

    ‘The City of Kings’

    Sadly, your expedition officially ends after breakfast at the hotel, where you’ll bid a fond farewell to your fellow explorers. Seeing as you’re already here, we recommend extending your journey a few days to spend extra time in the Peruvian capital, which was known as ‘La Ciudad de los Reyes’ (The City of Kings).

    The historic center, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is full of Colonial-era architecture, such as the Plaza Mayor and San Francisco Monastery. In contrast, the clay ruins of the Huaca Pucllana and Huaca Huallamarca ceremonial pyramids are remnants of the long-lost Incan civilization. There are at least four different museums you can explore for a deeper dive into pre-Columbian archeology. You might enjoy the bright and arty area of Barranco, complete with murals, creative cafés, and two of Lima’s contemporary art museums.

    Many say the ultimate Lima experience revolves around the food. Cuisine from the capital has made a splash the world over. Try it in one of the many internationally recognized and award-winning restaurants found here. One of Peru’s all-time gastronomic greats is ceviche, fresh fish marinated in tangy lime juice and other seasonings. You can savor this staple dish 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.

Available Promotions on This Itinerary:

  • 2022 Season: Save up to $ 885

    Get the whole family together on one of our expedition cruises! Whether you’re gazing at a fleet of frigate birds in the Galápagos; or watching a waddle of penguins… well, waddle, past you on the Antarctic Peninsula, this is one gift that definitely won’t be returned.
    See Special Offer
  • 2023-2024 Season: Save up to 30%

    Don't wait, plan your next adventure with savings up to 30% off select 2023 and 2024 sailings. Life changing experiences start here, discover our new itineraries today!
    See Special Offer
  • Book with confidence

    Our popular Book with Confidence policy is back, giving you the peace of mind you want for your next adventure exploring the world with us.
    The benefits of the policy apply to any new bookings made between 25 November 2021 and 31 March 2022, for expedition cruises departing on or before 30 September 2022.
    See Special Offer
  • New Season

    Life changing experiences start here. Discover our new itineraries for 2023 and 2024.
    See Special Offer

What's Included

Included in Your Expedition

Peru/Machu Picchu land program after the cruise

  • Two nights at Tambo del Inka Resort, including half board
  • One night in Lima, including breakfast
  • 3-course set lunch and dinner on Days 11 and 12, and a packed lunch on Day 10
  • Economy flight from Lima to Cusco, and Cusco to Lima
  • All transfers and train rides as described in the itinerary, including an English-speaking guide
  • Entrance fees according to the itinerary

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
  • Fine-dining À la carte restaurant Lindstrøm is 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 fill at onboard water refill stations
  • English-speaking Expedition Team who organize and guide activities, both on board and ashore
  • Range of included activities

Onboard activities

  • Experts from the Expedition Team present detailed lectures on a variety of topics
  • Use the ship’s Science Center, which features an extensive library and advanced biological and geological microscopes
  • The Citizen Science program allows guests to contribute to current scientific research projects
  • The onboard professional photographer will give tips and tricks for taking the best landscape and wildlife photos
  • The ship has hot tubs, an infinity pool, a sauna, an outdoor and indoor gym, and an outdoor running track
  • Participate in informal gatherings with the crew, such as daily recaps and the next day’s preparations

Landing activities

  • Loan of trekking poles and all equipment needed for the activities
  • Complimentary wind- and water-resistant expedition jacket
  • Expedition photographers will help configure your camera settings before landings

Not Included In Your Expedition

  • International flights
  • Travel protection
  • Baggage 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

Notes

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 374 ft
Beam 66.3 ft
Speed 13 knots

The original Fram was the most famous explorer ship of its time and the achievements of her expeditions are unparalleled. The advanced technology on the MS Fram, in the spirit of the famous original, makes her exceptionally well suited for expedition cruises in polar regions.

Read more about MS Fram

MS Fram in Greenland
Photo: Stian Klo
Check prices and availability Request a quote

Here are a few suggestions: