South American cruise 2023: Highlights of the trip (Part 1)

In February 2023 near the end of South America’s summer season, Sunset Vacations & Travel Planning will be hosting a group cruise to the end of the world: Santiago, Chile around the southern tip of the continent to Buenos Aires, Argentina. This will take place on board the luxurious mid-sized and spacious ship, Holland America’s Oosterdam. The trip will also feature an optional 2-day pre-cruise adventure in Santiago including a city tour and full-day experience exploring the beautiful and world-famous Chilean wine country. What are some of the highlights of this sure-to-be life changing vacation? Here’s Part 1.

Santiago, Chile & Wine Tasting. Santiago is a vibrant, historic city that sits between the towering Andes and the ocean. You can ski high in the mountains and stroll the beach watching a Pacific sunset all in one day! Founded in the mid-1500s, Santiago offers top-notch restaurants, hotels, museums, art galleries, and more. You’ll be able to get a full perspective of Santiago during our city tour, getting a feel for the area’s vibrancy before the cruise departure.

On day two it’s just a short drive away to some of Chile’s premier wine regions. Chile has been somewhat off the radar for wine but the fact is, they’ve been producing it since the 16th century! You’ll be able to sip on several varieties especially the Merlots, Cabernets, and even Chardonnays that are award-winning, all while overlooking the beautiful Chilean countryside. While you savor this unique experience, the remaining group will be arriving in Santiago for the luxurious cruise ship journey.

The landscape will start to change as the ship make its way south from Santiago, including stops in Puerto Montt and Puerto Chacabuco. The first is a bustling city with where you can take in some of Chile’s best restaurants, or go explore the surrounding area through white water rafting or horseback riding. Tiny Puerto Chacabuco is surrounded by gorgeous countryside and is the gateway to northern Patagonia on this journey. Visit Río Simpson National Reserve for beautiful views, pristine waterfalls, hiking, and fly fishing. You can also kayak, go on a nature viewing tour, or stroll in one of the many parks nearby.

Days at sea are a highlight of this journey. Grab a deck chair and take in the beauty as the ship departs Puerto Chacabuco and makes its way toward the Chilean fjords. You’ll find rugged coastlines, rugged mountains, and glacier-covered valleys. This is also home to several of Chile’s national parks. Linking the Atlantic and Pacific oceans is the Strait of Magellan where wildlife viewing is abundant. Look out for penguins, humpback whales, and dolphins all surrounded by the beauty of the Patagonian landscape.

Heading toward the southern tip of South America, encounter a stop at Punta Arenas, which gives a feel for being at the “edge of the world”. From there you can feel the anticipation building as the ship approaches more glacier and wildlife-filled channels on the way to the famous and historically dreaded Cape Horn – the only way from the Atlantic to Pacific before the Panama Canal cut thousands of miles off the journey.

Check out Part 2, where we describe highlights of the Atlantic portion of the cruise including stops at the Falkland Islands, Uruguay, and Argentina’s famous national parks before ending in cosmopolitan Buenos Aires.

If you’re inspired to book this amazing group vacation with us, contact us soon as space is limited! We are an easy call away at 817-442-5398 or

About Denise

My goal is to simplify travel-planning through an equal exchange process where I acquire your ideas and expectations for your trip relieving you of the worry, hassle, stress and time that accompanies Do-It-Yourself planning.

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