• Suid-Amerika; van Wynlande tot Gletsers

Mendoza, Santiago de Chile, Australis Bootvaart, Ushuaia & Buenos Aires met opsie om te verleng na Iguazu

21 September – 5 Oktober 2020

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Day 1: 21 September 2020

Johannesburg – Sao Paulo

We depart midday to Sao Paulo from O R Tambo International Airport. Late afternoon we arrive, clear customs and collect our luggage. Our local guide will take us to our hotel where we have the evening at leisure.

Overnight: Marriot Sao Paulo Airport hotel or similar

Meals on-board aircraft

Day 2: 22 September 2020

Sao Paulo – Mendoza                         

Early check out and transfer to the airport for our flight to Mendoza

On arrival we clear customs, collect our luggage and our tour starts!

The city tour introduces us to one of the most beautiful cities of Argentina. We will visit the old city, where Mendoza was born, the downtown, the Civic Centre, General San Martin Park and see Cerro de la Gloria and the Frank Romero Day Greek Theatre, which is the central stage of National Harvest Festival (Vendimia” Festival).

Welcome lunch local restaurant.

The rest of the day is at leisure to explore more of Mendoza on your own.

Overnight: Intercontinental Mendoza Hotel or similar

Breakfast and Lunch

Day 3: 23 September 2020

Mendoza          

After breakfast we start our tour of the most prestigious wineries of Mendoza!

We are met by the oenologist who will accompany you through the tour. Travel through the beautiful Argentine wine country to some of the most prestigious wineries in the Mendoza area. We visit two wineries and learn about Argentina’s rich wine-growing culture and the many varieties of world-class wine produced in the area. Wine is one of Argentina’s most sought-after products. We go straight into the heart of its wine country. Depending on the day, the wineries visited will be different.

At noon we will have lunch in one of the vineyards, where we will enjoy an unforgettable gastronomic experience. After lunch we visit another winery and enjoy a wine tasting.

As the sun sets behind The Andes mountains, we return to the hotel.

Overnight: Intercontinental Mendoza Hotel or similar

Breakfast and Lunch 

Day 4: 24 September 2020

Mendoza – Santiago De Chile

Check out after breakfast and  start to discover ajourney of the best landscape through the world’s longest mountain range, the Andes, with magnificent mountain scenery, desert-like plain, raging rivers, beautiful lake areas, secluded valleys, and the opportunity to witness the world’s second tallest mountain, which is Mount Aconcagua.

If the weather permits it, we will stop and view the famous “Christ the redeemer”.

Late afternoon we arrive in Santiago de Chile.

We check into our hotel and enjoy dinner.

Overnight: Plaza San Francisco Hotel or similar

Breakfast and Dinner 

Day 5: 25 September 2020

Santiago De Chile      

A full day tour of  Valparaiso & Viña del Mar with wine tasting at Casas del Bosque awaits

Located only 120 km from Santiago in a beautiful rocky coast, VIÑA DEL MAR, also known as the “garden city”, it is an important South American summer resort, also home to the famous international song festival held every year in February. VALPARAISO is the most important port in Chile and declared a World Heritage by UNESCO. It is built on hills in the coast of a busy bay. The true attraction of Valparaiso are the hills that divide the city in two levels with its characteristic and colourful buildings hanging from the hills and cliffs in an impressive layout of streets, side streets and alleys.  The use of elevators to join the two levels of the city is a tradition.

Later today we visit Casas del Bosque, with its 235 hectares of vines dedicated exclusively to the production of cold climate varieties: Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Noir and Syrah

Lunch included at Casas del Bosque

Overnight: Plaza San Francisco Hotel or similar

Breakfast and Dinner

Day 6: 26 September 2020

Santiago De Chile – Punta Arenas

We get to know Santiago de Chile this morning.

Visiting points of interest: Lib. Bernardo O’Higgins Avenue, also known as Alameda, the backbone of the city up to Plaza Italia where it turns into Providencia Avenue. Santa Lucia hill, site of the foundation of Santiago in 1541, colonial and historical areas, Moneda Presidential Palace, Santiago City Council (1785-1790), Metropolitan Cathedral (1748), Forestal Park, National Museum of Fine Arts (1880) is located. We tour the new sector of “Sanhattan” (popular name), located at the convergence of the communes of Las Condes, Providencia and Vitacura, east of the city. The area has more than 50 standard premium office towers. Since the early 1990s it has become the main financial centre displacing the downtown area, surrounded by major hotels, designer boutiques, gourmet restaurants and open-air cafes.

After lunch we depart to the airport for our flight to Punta Arenas.

We are transferred to our hotel and enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.

Overnight: Cabo de Hornos Hotel or similar

Breakfast and Dinner

Day 7: 27 September 2020

Punta Arenas – Board Australis Cruise

A leisurely breakfast and then we explore the quant city. It is the capital city of Chile’s southernmost region, Magallanes and Antartica Chilena. The city was officially renamed as Magallanes in 1927, but in 1938 it was changed back to “Punta Arenas”

We check in at the Port between 13:00 and 17:00 and board the M/V Stella at 18:00 after a welcoming toast and introduction of captain and crew, the ship departs for one of the remotest corners of planet Earth. During the night we cross the Strait of Magellan and enter the labyrinth of channels that define the southern extreme of Patagonian. The twinkling lights of Punta Arenas gradually fade into the distance as we enter the Whiteside Canal between Darwin Island and Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego.

Overnight: M/V Stella Australis

Breakfast and dinner             

Day 8: 28 September 2020

Australis Cruise – Ainsworth Bay & Tuckers Islets

By dawn the ship is sailing up Admiralty Sound (Seno Almirantazgo), a spectacular offshoot of the Strait of Magellan that stretches nearly halfway across Tierra del Fuego. The snow-capped peaks of Karukinka Natural Park stretch along the north side of the sound, while the south shore is defined by the deep fjords and broad bays of Alberto de Agostini National Park. We go ashore at Ainsworth Bay, which harbours copious bird life and a colony of southern elephant seals which can sometimes be spotted from the Zodiacs. Two guided excursions are available: one is along the edge of a stream, peat bog and beaver habitat to a waterfall-and-moss-covered rock face tucked deep inside a pristine sub-polar forest; the other is a more strenuous hike along the crest of a glacial moraine. Both afford views of Marinelli Glacier and the Darwin Mountains. Leaving Ainsworth Bay behind, we sail west along the sound to the Tucker Islets. After lunch, we board the Zodiacs again for a close-up view of the Magellan penguins that inhabit the tiny islands. More than 4,000 penguins use Tucker as a place to nest, give birth and nurture their chicks. Many other bird species also frequent the area including king cormorants, oystercatchers, Chilean skuas, kelp geese, dolphin gulls, eagles and even the occasional Andean condor. In September and April — when the penguins live elsewhere — this excursion is replaced by a short walk to a glacier at nearby stunning Brookes Bay.

Overnight: M/V Stella Australis

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner             

Day 9: 29 September 2020

Australis Cruise – Pia Glacier & Glacier Alley

Overnight we sail around the western end of Tierra del Fuego via the very narrow Gabrial Channel, Magdalena Channel and Cockburn Channel. After rounding the remote Brecknock Peninsula, Stella Australis tacks eastward and enters the Beagle Channel again. By morning we are entering Pia Fjord and boarding the Zodiacs for a shore excursion to Pia Glacier. After disembarking we take a short hike to gain a panoramic view of the spectacular glacier, which extends from the mountaintops down to the sea or a longer much more difficult walk up a lateral moraine of the old Pia Glacier.

No one knows for certain how the hulking mass of snow and ice got its feminine moniker, but one theory says it was named for Princess Maria Pia of Savoy (1847-1911), daughter of the Italian king. Back on board the ship, we continue east along the Beagle Channel through an area called Glacier Alley. Living up to its name, the passage features a number of impressive tidewater glaciers flowing down from the Darwin Mountains and Darwin Ice Sheet on the north shore. Most of them named after European countries — Holland, Italy, Germany, Spain and France.

Overnight: M/S Stella Australis

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner 

Day 10: 30 September 2020

Australis Cruise – Wulaia Bay & Cape Horn

During the early morning we navigate the narrow Murray Channel between Navarino and Hoste islands and drop anchor at historic Wulaia Bay, one of the few places in the archipelago where the human history is just as compelling as the natural environment. Originally the site of one of the region’s largest Yámana aboriginal settlements, the bay was described by Charles Darwin and sketched by Captain FitzRoy in the 1830s during their voyages on the HMS Beagle. This area is also renowned for its mesmerizing beauty and dramatic geography. After a visit to the Australis-sponsored museum in the old radio station — which is especially strong on the Yámana people and European missionaries in the area — passengers have a choice of three hikes (of increasing degrees of difficulty) that ascend the heavily wooden mountain behind the bay. On all of these you will be strolling through an enchanted Magellan forest of lengas, coigües, canelos, ferns, and other endemic fauna to reach a panoramic viewpoint overlooking the bay. Before leaving Wulaia Bay, drop something into the wooden mail barrel inside the museum – letters or postcards meant to be hand delivered by future travellers – an ancient mariner tradition revived by Australis. In the afternoon we cruise across Nassau Bay into the remote archipelago that includes Cape Horn National Park. Weather and sea conditions permitting, we shall go ashore on the windswept island that harbours legendary Cape Horn (Cabo de Hornos). Discovered in 1616 by a Dutch maritime expedition — and named after the town of Hoorn in West Friesland — Cape Horn is a sheer 425-meter (1,394-foot) high rocky promontory overlooking the turbulent waters of the Drake Passage. For many years it was the only navigation route between the Pacific and Atlantic, and was often referred to as the “End of the Earth.” The park was declared a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 2005. The Chilean navy maintains a permanent lighthouse on the island, staffed by a light keeper and his family, as well as the tiny Stella Maris Chapel and modern Cape Horn Monument.

Overnight: M/V Stella Australis

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner   

Day 11: 1 Oktober 2020

Australis Cruise – Ushuaia – Buenos Aires

The following morning we sail into Argentine waters and dock in Ushuaia, the world’s southernmost city. Australis is scheduled to arrive at 8:30 or 9:30 AM depending on the date of departure

NOTE: The excursions described in the itineraries can usually be carried out without any problems. Nevertheless, the ship-owner holds the right to alter, change or skip certain portions of the itinerary without prior notice, whether motivated by the passengers’ well-being and safety, by the appropriate protection of the environment, or in case of any extraordinary event, unforeseeable circumstance or force majeure. For this reason, departures or arrival may be subject to change. Furthermore, sighting of birds and other species cannot be guaranteed as their exact location is variable by nature.

Pick up at the pier and we enjoy a half day tour of the National Park. Ushuaia is commonly regarded as the southernmost city in the world. It is located in a wide bay on the southern coast of Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego, bounded on the north by the Martial mountain range and on the south by the Beagle Channel.

Ushuaia was founded in 1884 and was one of the original points of encounter between the native Yamana and Anglican cultures – the first settlers were British missionaries. Its name derives from the Yamana word for ‘penetrating bay’ – a good description. The city is surrounded by the last high peaks of the Andes where the mountains meet the southern ocean in a sharp skid, making way for the city before reaching a sea of lapping currents. Today, it is one of the largest cities on Tierra del Fuego Island, with about 65,000 inhabitants.

If time permits, we will spend some time at leisure in downtown Ushuaia for shopping.

We check in at the airport for our late afternoon flight to Buenos Aires.

On arrival we are met and transferred to our hotel. You can enjoy dinner on your own in one of the many restaurants close to our hotel

Overnight: 725 Continental Hotel or similar

Breakfast

Day 12: 2 Oktober 2020

Buenos Aires

Today we discover the magic of Buenos Aires during a half day tour of the city. We explore the best-known landmarks and get an overview of the city, the outstanding building of the National Congress, the ancient Council, the Metropolitan Cathedral and the Capitol (better known as the ‘Pink Palace’ or Casa Rosada. From its balconies Juan and Eva Perón talked to the nation, and Madonna crooned from here for her movie Evita.)

The tour also includes the magnificent areas of Recoleta and Palermo with their beautiful parks and building as well as many other buildings and palaces of architectural, historical and cultural value like the Colon theatre, one of the five most important opera theatres of the world. It has astounding acoustics, occupies an entire city block and seats 2500 spectators with standing room for 500 more.

We visit the San Telmo area, one of the most antique districts of the city, as well as the Boca district, with its ‘caminito’- a picturesque pedestrian street, where we will see the famous and colourful metal sheet tenements. Finally the tour takes us to the recently recycled district of Puerto Madero, an old area of the Buenos Aires port, where we will have lunch

Dinner on your own or what about a Tango show at optional cost (see pricing on the last page)

Overnight: 725 Continental Hotel or similar

Breakfast and Lunch

Day 13: 3 Oktober 2020

Buenos Aires – Johannesburg

Leisurely breakfast before we check out and transfer to the international airport for out flight home via Sao Paulo.

Overnight: Aircraft

Breakfast

Day 14: 4 Oktober 2020

Johannesburg

Early morning arrival in South Africa after an unforgettable tour.

BON VOYAGE!

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