Friday 30 April 2010




South America is one of the world's most extraordinary and aspirational holiday destinations. It is also one of the fastest-growing tourism markets, as travellers discover the enormous range of attractions and experiences dotted throughout this vast continent.

Now Voyages of Discovery has announced an amazing new itinerary – the 78-day Grand South American Discovery cruise, which sails around the continent, and parts of the southern Caribbean, from 03 January to 21 March, 2011.

The Grand Voyage aboard the 650-passenger M V Discovery – which visits 17 countries or autonomous island territories - combines five shorter cruise itineraries, each of which is available individually or combined with others.

The 78-day journey begins and ends in the Caribbean island nation of Barbados, continuing to iconic South American cities including Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Buenos Aires (Argentina), Valparaiso (Chile) and Guayaquil (Ecuador).

Every voyage of Discovery includes presentations by expert guest speakers, who narrate and explain to passengers a variety of subjects relating to each destination, including geography, culture, history and wildlife.

On the Grand Voyage, Discovery ventures into South America's longest river, the world renowned Amazon, visits the Falkland Islands, theatre of the early 1980s war between Britain and Argentina, explores the spectacular Chilean fjords and transits the vital Panama Canal before returning to Bridgetown, Barbados.

The voyage starts with visits to Trinidad and the Orinoco River in Venezuela then stops for a day at eerily-named Devil's Island, French Guiana, before entering Brazil with an Amazon day cruise.

After spending much of January cruising the Brazilian coast, with stops in ports including Fortaleza, Natal, Recife and Rio, Discovery continues to Uruguay, Argentina and the Falklands, then back to the Argentine port city of Ushuaia, the gateway to Antarctica.

From there, Discovery rounds Cape Horn and enters the spectacular Chilean fjords before continuing north along the Pacific coast to Chilean locations including the ancient port city and former capital of Valparaiso, from where passengers can visit the current national capital, Santiago.

Discovery then sails north to the Peruvian port of Callao, enabling passengers to venture to the renowned ancient Inca ruins of Machu Picchu, before the voyage resumes and continues to Ecuador, Panama, Colombia and the north coast of Venezuela.

The final week of the journey features laid-back Caribbean destinations including Aruba, Curacao, Grenada and Mayreau Island, part of St Vincent and The Grenadines, prior to arrival back in Bridgetown.

"This is one of the most amazing cruise itineraries currently available, and one of the most comprehensive holiday programmes on offer to South America," said Craig Bowen, Managing Director of specialist wholesaler Cruise Traveller, which promotes Voyages of Discovery in Australia.

"Not only does this itinerary showcase some of the best South America has to offer. It also taps into the growing popularity of small ship cruising, at some of the most competitive cruise prices in the market today. And it delivers a taste of the Caribbean"

The Grand South American Discovery tour is priced from AUD $14,880.00 per person – or AUD $190 per day – which is less than the price of a night in a good CBD hotel in Australia. Air fares are additional, depending upon the passenger's choice of airline, route and dates of travel.

The $14,880 rate includes all meals, from breakfast to late night snacks, plus Captain's cocktail parties and gala dinners and 24 hour tea and coffee; a comprehensive programme of talks by port lecturers and guest speakers; artistic workshops on many cruises; entertainment, port charges, all gratuities and on-board service charges (competing cruise lines add up to 18 per cent to bills for drinks, spa treatments and other on board purchases). There are no fuel or currency surcharges.

Subject to availability on the Grand Cruise, passengers can book an outside cabin (with views) for the price of an inside cabin. And unlike land-based journeys, or combined fly-coach journeys, passengers on cruises need only unpack their luggage once.

The five shorter cruise itineraries which combine to create the Grand South American Discovery tour are:

Natural Wonders of South America: Bridgetown, Barbados to Recife, Brazil, 03-19 January, 2011, 17 days from AUD $3,095.00

Discovery Coast Voyager: Recife, Brazil, to Buenos Aires, Argentina, 19 January – 01 February, 2011, 14 days from AUD $2,705.00.

In The Wake of the Beagle: Buenos Aires, Argentina to Falkland Islands and round Cape Horn to Valparaiso, Chile, 01-19 February, 2011, 19 days from AUD $3,560.00

Darwin's Stepping Stones, Valparaiso, Chile to Manta, Ecuador, 19 February – 06 March, 2011, 16 days from AUD $3,415.00, with optional extension to Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

In The Footsteps of the Conquistadors: Manta, Ecuador to Bridgetown, Barbados, 04-21 March, 2011, 18 days from $3,570.00, with optional pre-cruise visit to Galapagos Islands, Ecuador.

The 20,186 tonne MV Discovery has eight passenger decks and accommodates 650 passengers. Facilities include two restaurants plus on-deck dining, three lounges, five bars, a lecture theatre and cinema, a library, bridge club, card room, shops, photo gallery, internet centre, two pools (one with retractable roof), two Jacuzzis, a gymnasium and health centre, a beauty salon, medical centre, and telephone, fax and satellite internet and television.

For more information about Voyages of Discovery visit :          or contact Craig Bowen, Cruise Traveller, on or 0412 664 533.
To book, please contact or call 07 5575 8094.

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