Arrive in Valparaiso. Embark your ship, Le Boreal, between 5 and 6 this evening and settle into your luxurious accommodations in preparation for your upcoming South American adventure.
Spend your first day on board familiarizing yourself with the ship. Take a stroll on the deck as you observe the open ocean, keeping your eyes out for sealife and birds; relax in preparation for your first ports of call; or indulge in one of your ship's many luxurious amenities.
Located between the sea and the desert, the town of Iquique takes pride in its outstanding historic center. It is a legacy of the wealthy “White Gold Rush” in the days when the much sought-after sodium nitrate (saltpetre) was mined in the 18th century. Former residences with their finely wrought facades and colorful buildings bear witness to this opulent period. Choose from a number of optional excursions to explore this fascinating area.
Known as the City of Eternal Spring, Arica is much admired for its rich golden sandy beaches and historic sites. From here you will have the opportunity to explore the Lauca National Park, a renowned UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. A choice of optional excursions take you to explore natural and cultural wonders of the region.
The small fishing port of Matarani (Peru) is cut off between desert and mountain and offers an optional excursion by coach to Arequipa, Peru's second largest town. Known locally as the "White City" for its 17th and 18th-century buildings made from soft, bright white volcanic rock, Arequipa was founded in 1540 and is dominated by no less than three volcanoes. The Santa Catalina Convent is well worth visiting. Home to a community of Carmelites for over 400 years, it is now open to the public.
Your visit today brings you face to face with the two ancient civilizations of Paracas and Nazca. Both are known for their geometrical designs, gigantic figures, and lines etched into the desert near the modern town of Nazca. Also fascinating are the aqueducts, polychromic ceramics with animal designs, and mummies buried in bolts of fabric up to 20 meters long. Your optional excursion today takes you to the Pre-Inca Cemetery of Chauchilla, the only archeological site in Peru where you can see the mummies in their original setting. Some are over 1,000 years old. The sand and desert climate here have preserved the ancient tombs and ceramic fragments in this eerily atmospheric place.
An exciting modern metropolis, Lima also offers some of the finest examples of colonial architecture and many museums including the famous Gold Museum. From here you have the opportunity of a lifetime to visit the Inca city of Machu Picchu, Cuzco and the Sacred Valley. Over your two days here, take advantage of optional excursions to explore Colonial Lima, the Gold Museum, or the Pachacamac Ruins - an important Pre-Colombian sanctuary.
From the Salaverry port, choose from two optional excursions. Visit the Huaca Dragon Temple and the citadel of Chan Chan. An ancient capital of the Chimu Empire from the 13th century, Chan Chan is the largest adobe city yet to be discovered, and the largest pre-Columbian city in the Americas. Alternatively, visit downtown Trujillo and the Temples of the Sun and Moon. Built during the Mochica Era (1-650 AD), these Huacas (or temples) are a series of terraces and slopes build from adobe bricks.
As your ship sails the open ocean, enjoy a fresh sea air as you reflect on your journey and discoveries. Share memories with new friends, and prepare for the final leg of your trip.
Continue to sail the open water today as your capable crew navigates the Rio Guayas on the way to Ecuador. The particular excursions in Guayaquil are still being finalized.
Disembark in Guayaquil and transfer to the airport for your independent return flight home.