Sagas most epic tour yet – All Aboard the Spirit of Discovery!
Want to cross the Antarctic waters the old-fashioned way, by boat? Saga Tours epic new tour sets sail from Southampton and takes you to South Americas most southerly tip. Over the course of a month, youll see sites relatively few before you have ever seen, and have experiences that you never dreamed you would have.
Your accommodation during your trip will be a cabin onboard the newest member of Sagas sailing fleet; The spirit of discovery cruise ship. This ship offers the interior design, meals, comfort and the highly attentive customer service you would expect of the worlds most revered boutique hotels. Youll have a great time!
About Sagas Spirit of Discovery
Although Sagas ships are small in size; allowing them to dock in ports that are simply inaccessible to the super-size cruise liners, they can make big promises. Not only does every cabin have its own balcony, but guests can choose their cuisine from a variety of specialty on-board restaurants and enjoy world-class entertainment.
The Spirit of Discovery is such an exciting new offering that it has managed to attract huge show business names to perform in its cabaret club. The club venues patron is Jools Holland. Youll be able to watch the musical legend do what he does best, whilst enjoying premium cocktails. If you prefer theatre shows over live music gigs, youll love The Playhouse, which is able to showcase some of the very best West End shows.
On Board the Ship
Quieter nights are also possible for when youre feeling less sociable, or a bit more restless. The ships library is fully stocked with the latest bestselling novels, and the games room is where youll find a bridge partner. Educational workshops and craft classes in a range of disciplines, facilitated by guest speakers who are leaders in their individual fields, are available most days. You could leave your holiday having gained knowledge, or having nurtured a blossoming interest in a brand new skill.
The gourmet culinary fare youll sample before your evening entertainment each night could come from a variety of restaurants. The Grand Dining room offers British and international favourite dishes, carefully prepared with the aim of exceeding your taste expectations. While The Club can make you steak, ribs and grilled fish of the day, cooked exactly as you require, to suit your individual tastes.
There is a spa and fitness centre to keep you physically healthy during your voyage and youll also be invited to take part in daily yoga classes. The on-board beauty salon will ensure you keep looking your best throughout your holiday. So now you know all about the state of the art ship that will become your home during your epic South American journey, lets have a look at the destinations youll visit.
Spirit of Discovery Cruise Destinations
Your cruise will begin with 3 days at sea before you arrive in Funchal in Madeira. This time is ideal for finding your sea-legs and getting to grip with all the facilities. Youll be thoroughly entertained, so why not take the time relax and pamper yourself?
Your first destination is a European island in the middle of the Atlantic with an African climate. Its dramatic hills and sprawling, manicured gardens make it an exciting landscape to hike across, and from its high peaks, youll have a great view of the spectacular coastline.
If you dont want to put on your walking boots and trek across the various picturesque hillside waterways (levadas), for which the island is famous, then you could always take the cable car upwards to take in the views. A sky walk across the Cabo Girao cliff edge isnt arduous, but it is thrilling. You can calm yourself down afterwards with a glass of Madeiras famous sweet wine.
Youll stop at So Vicente, the capital of this volcanic archipelago, and spend the day exploring the harbour town of Mindelo. You could choose to visit the park and garden at Pont DAgua, peruse the collections at the Palcio do Povo or check out the cultural centre. Be sure to try Capucha; the national dish. Its a hearty, delicious, bean stew.
After a few more days at sea, youll reach the Amazon. Cruising through the heart of the South American jungle, youll truly feel a long way from home. Astonishingly, the Amazon is home to 30% of all the worlds species and youll be able to watch the exotic birds as they fly overhead, as well as observe the wildlife in the trees. Youll have an option here to join a smaller cruise for a few days to travel into smaller tributaries and tackle a proper safari to gain a better insight into this little-explored pocket of the world.
Next up, youre going to get to know the crafts and folklore of the Amazon in Parintins; a city known for its huge cultural contribution to the county. Even if you dont arrive here during the citys infamous Boi Bumba arts festival, its still worth checking out the vast Bumbdromo Stadium, where its held. Youll get a taste of the event as dancers use it year round to practise their moves.
Manaus is the next stop; a sprawling, cosmopolitan city, widely considered to be the gateway to the Amazon Rainforest. Its well worth checking out the botanical gardens and Sumauma State Park to see the incredible diversity of plants that can be grown here, in the heart of this unique climate. You should also try and see the Amazon Theater Opera House and Palcio Rio Negro; a period mansion which will give you a glimpse into the citys colonial past.
Santarem is a city famously located at the point where the Tapajs River meets the Amazon. The Waterfront Promenade will give you a great view of these 2 stretches of water as they come together. There are 62 miles of natural riverside beach to explore, with monkeys, sloths and bird life featuring heavily on the banks. Traditional Brazilian crafts are produced locally and for sale all over the area, but should you want to delve further into the history of the art of the place. you might want to check out the Centro Cultural Joao Fona or the Museu Dica Frazao.
Then its onwards towards Fortaleza. Known for its beaches, dunes and lagoons, Fortaleza is the 5th largest city in Brazil and has a reputation for having a party vibe. Its also popular among foodies. Must-see attractions here include the Jos de Alencar Theatre, which is known for putting on traditional dance showcases and the Cathedral Metropolitana.
Portuguese colonial architecture gives our penultimate Brazilian city, Salvador, a heavy European flavour, but its tropical coastline and afro cultural influences reminds you that youre further from the Gulf Stream than appearances initially suggest.
Finally, its time for Brazils capital city, Rio de Janeiro. Its your last stop before reaching Argentina and is well known throughout the world for 2 things in particular; hosting Brazils Carnival and its enormous Christ the Redeemer statue, which sits astride Sugarloaf Mountain, looming over the urban centre. Here youll find beaches that inspired songs; Copacabana and Ipanema, as well as a rich and vibrant, thoroughly international-looking urban centre.
We leave Brazil now to enter Argentinas capital, Buenos Aires. Here youll walk down the Plaza de Mayo with its 19th century buildings on either side, its Grand Opera House and the Buenos Aires Art Museum.
Uruguay has been named as one of the must-visit destinations of 2020 and with its charming European-style architecture, healthy wine industry, and a focus on tango dancing, its easy to see why. All the elements of a heady party culture are present and the foods exquisite too!
Port Stanley, Falklands Islands
On your way to traverse the one of the most difficult nautical routes in the world, around the Cape of Good Hope at the most southerly point of South America, youll pop into Port Stanley in the Falklands Islands. It feels just like homealmost!
This is your chance to get another glimpse of Argentina and this time youll enter the country via its South coast, into Ushuaia; a city of breathtaking beauty. The Tierra del Fuego National Park is filled with glaciers and meadows, while the sea below is home seals and walruses.
Gateway to the Antarctic, Punta Arenas is home to an enormous colony of Magellanic penguins, which youll be able to walk through, on your way to the Chilean fjords at Puerto Chacabuco. Its hard to describe the feeling you get when you look up and see the Andes towering above you. While youre here, youll explore the canyons and rivers of the Rio Simpson National Reserve.
Puerto Montt is your next stop and another city with a rich European heritage. Theres a museum here dedicated to explaining the influences of the Germans on the area. After this, youll head to Valparaiso; the second largest city in Chile, known worldwide for its brightly-coloured houses spread across 40 hills.
Youll explore the main port of Peru; Callao, which is the gateway to both the countrys capital, Lima, and the Galpagos Islands, an area of such diverse wildlife, it inspired Darwin to write his seminal books on biology and evolution. The whirlwind tour of Peru youll be given will also include a trip to the iconic Machu Picchu; the famous Incan citadel, which clings at high altitude to the side of an Andean mountain.
In Ecuador, youll stroll through the leafy banana plantations of Machala and discover the port city of Guayaquil, which was originally built on Incan architectural remains and was heavily influenced by the Spanish who developed it.
Nothing can prepare you for the feat that is the Panama Canal. Although its the nautical equivalent of the M25 at rush hour and the worlds busiest shipping lane, until you see it with your own eyes, you wont believe it. Ships and other sailing vessels of all sizes cruise through its waterways, on their way to either the Atlantic or Pacific Ocean, depending on the direction of travel.
Youll stroll around the old town in Cartagena. try Colombian street food and take a trip to the beautiful beaches of Tayrona National Park. Colombia is often overlooked as a destination, while its neighbours seem to enjoy more travel destination focus. But surely that just makes it more special and more worth-while. Youll have experiences here you wont have anywhere else!
Moving further into the Caribbean Sea and away from South America. Youll find yourself on one of the Caribbeans most stunning islands, Antigua. English is the national language here and you can find out about its colonial past in the island museum. Popularly believed to have some of the best beaches in the world, the sand on the coast of Antigua is soft and white. Its the perfect setting for lying under a palm tree and watching the azure coastal waters for signs of turtles swimming past.
Portuguese in nationality, but still 850 miles away from the European mainland, The Azores is an archipelago consisting of a volcanic landscape, blue-green lakes, and cosmopolitan cities. The European architecture will be bathed in the bright sunshine of a Caribbean climate, while rainforest fringes the urban areas. Its a beautiful location; ideal for relaxing and adventure.
The final port before you head back to Southampton is Lisbon. The capital of Portugal, on the west coast of the Iberian peninsula. With strong historical links to the Age of Discoveries, youll find a vast, exciting waterfront area to explore with plenty of statues and sculptures. Also worth a look are the Beln Tower and the citys many bookshops. If you get the chance, you should try both the local seafood dishes and the sweet snack, pasteis de nata; a flaky pastry bun with a an egg-custard style filling.
Are you looking for an epic cruise that takes in several continents and will show you sights you simply wont believe until they appear in front of your eyes? Recently retired and want to spend a month having bucket-list experiences? Then this, without doubt, is the cruise for you. See the world in astonishing luxury and let our friendly, highly knowledgable team here at Aspen Travel sort it all out for you. Well tell you all the things youll need to take, as well as complete the booking process for you. Please get in touch.