A South American cruise is one of the most diverse cruise experiences available to travellers.
From short expeditions to the Galapagos Islands to much longer cruises along the South American coast, South America luxury cruises offer people a huge range of sights, sounds, tastes and experiences to enjoy.
Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro were once the unrivalled jewels of a South American cruise, closely followed by the ancient Inca ruins of Peru. But today it's equally common for cruise passengers in these waters to head for Chile's vast fjords.
When to go:
October to April is the best time to cruise around South America. Temperatures are naturally cooler in the south, but rise the further north you go.
South America's beauty is matched only by its diversity. If approaching from Panama, popular stops on a South America cruise include Ecuador's Galapagos Islands; Lima and Peru's Inca ruins; Arica in northern Chile, from which you can visit the Atacama Desert; and UNESCO-listed Valparaiso.
South of Santiago lies a very different world: the stark granite peaks of Patagonia, the Beagle Channel and the Strait of Magellan, and the windswept island of Tierra del Fuego, the launching point for Antarctica cruises.
On the Atlantic coast, many ships travel from Buenos Aires to Rio, stopping en route at Montevideo. Others drop by the Falklands or venture further up the coast of Brazil, to colourful Salvador, colonial Fortaleza and historic Recife.