Silver Cloud Expedition 26/10/18-11/11/18
Excursie programma inbegrepen in de prijs:
Day 1 — Callao, Peru
Embark the Silver Cloud and depart on your exciting culinary Silversea Expedition — “Sights, Sounds and Tastes of South America”. During a special sail away party you will be introduced to our guest Chef, who will lead your culinary team up to Arica, and learn about the aspects of the first part of our unique epicurean voyage of discovery.
Later you will be introduced to your Expedition Team and this evening you can enjoy the delights of a specially prepared menu in one of the dining venues.
Day 2 — Paracas and Ballestas Islands, Peru
Optional Nazca Lines Overflight
During our stay in Paracas you will have the opportunity to see the famous Nazca Lines from the air in an optional excursion. The Nazca Desert will reveal a series of famous geoglyphs stretching for miles along the Pacific coast. Dating back to an era between 200BC and 700AD, these mysterious figures and geometric patterns are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The lines show an understanding of sophisticated mathematics and surveying techniques.
Please be aware that seats on this flight are limited and enquire with Reservations beforehand.
One of the choices in Paracas is to explore the Ballestas Islands on a local boat. The islands are one of this region’s most beautiful natural attractions. Sea lions, cormorants, Blue-footed Boobies, terns, pelicans and Humboldt Penguins can all be expected around the Ballestas Islands. Because of Peruvian regulations this excursion can only be done in local boats and landings are not allowed.
If you are interested in history, take a guided excursion to see Tambo Colorado, once a regional centre of the Incan empire. The complex includes three palaces, residential buildings and a central plaza. Built primarily out of adobe, the structures have been remarkably preserved, including the wall paintings
If you are interested in how Pisco is produced, visit the Hacienda La Caravedo which has the oldest functioning distillery. Tour the distillery and taste the many varieties of Pisco the hacienda produces. At the hacienda you will also be able to team up with local expert ceramists to create your own piece of pottery.
This evening, your Peruvian culinary expert will present his selection of tempting Peruvian specialties on our voyage of culinary discovery.
Day 3 — At Sea
Gather in the Lecture Theatre to get an introduction to Chile and to learn about the region’s wildlife and remarkable nature.
Due to the presence of the very nutrient-rich Humboldt Current, the waters along the Peruvian coast are incredibly rich in fish life. Today our chefs will introduce you to the world of “ceviche” in all its forms.
This evening we will have a special Peruvian-themed dinner.
Day 4 — Arica, Chile
Today you have multiple choices for half day or full day excursions:
An early morning departure is necessary for a journey to explore the region’s unique Altiplano scenery. We will see important archaeological sites along the way before the landscape suddenly opens up and the wide valley of Putre can be seen beneath massive, snow-capped peaks. Upon our arrival in Putre, we will enjoy lunch in a local restaurant. Later we will stroll through town together, visiting the church and watching a performance of Andean folklore in the main plaza.
Alternatively, enjoy a visit to the Lauca National Park. This is a challenging excursion, taking you to an altitude of 4,500 metres. From the pier we drive to Copaquilla, where a pre-Incan defensive settlement known as a Pukara can be seen. Driving past Putre, we will reach Chungará Lake to admire the mountains reflected in the lake. During one hour at the lake we will look for the many local bird species, among them the Chilean Flamingo. During the stay at the lake a box lunch will be served. On the return we will stop at the abandoned pre-Hispanic village of Parinacota, a National Monument.
The half day excursions will permit you to either visit the Archaeological Museum and to see the main highlights of the downtown area and having a view from the iconic promontory El Morro or to visit the local market, choosing fresh produce with the help of a local chef, visit a farm and learn about the famous Azapa olives and taste the special appetizers prepared by the local chef with the products you selected at the market.
Other half day tours will feature local foods selected by you at the market and prepared by local chefs while visiting some emblematic natural highlights in the vicinity of Arica.
After these excursions take your time to join the bar team for a Pisco evening. Learn more about this iconic drink and whether this is an original Peruvian or Chilean drink.
Day 5 — At Sea
Silversea’s Head Sommelier who will be joined by a Chilean sommelier will introduce you to the delights of Chilean wine.
Attend a wine seminar and relax next to the pool or in one of the lounges with that book you’ve been meaning to read and meet up with new friends for cocktails. Before turning in for the night, take a stroll on deck to take in the solitude of the vast sea and sky.
Day 6 — Antofagasta, Chile
Visit the Atacama Desert — one of the driest places on earth. Depart early for the seven-hour ride to the charming adobe village of San Pedro de Atacama. We will visit the small village, having a look at the delightful adobe church (declared a National Monument), and walk the narrow, picturesque streets. At a local restaurant we will have a welcome cocktail, while local artisans present their handicrafts, and a delicious lunch will follow. Finally we will be heading to Valle de la Luna. In this unique lunar landscape we will see numerous rock formations jutting out of the sand, eroded by wind into incredible shapes. At a lookout, we will enjoy a special cocktail party while observing an indigenous ritual to Mother Earth.
Alternatively, a half-day city tour is available. Antofagasta is a refined blend of traditional Chilean town and British colonial city. We will see the Huanchaca Ruins and during a walking tour will visit the Plaza Colón and the Regional Museum with its overview of the saltpetre industry and how it affected the region. We will then walk to the fishing wharf where a local chef will prepare some of the freshly caught seafood for you to taste. The final destination will be Antofagasta’s landmark La Portada, an enormous rock caressed by the sea and sand until a giant arch formed.
Day 7 — Isla Pan de Azucar, Chile
This morning our culinary team will focus on shellfish and other seafood and the various ways to prepare these in a workshop. From raw to steamed –find your preferred dish accompanied with the perfect Chilean wine.
This afternoon we explore the rugged shores of Isla Pan de Azucar (or Sugarloaf Island) by Zodiac. The island is home to thousands of Humboldt Penguins. During our Zodiac cruise along the perimeter of Isla Pan de Azucar, we also hope to encounter Kelp Gulls, Turkey Vultures, Blackish Oystercatchers, and Peruvian Boobies, pelicans, sea lions and the reclusive South American marine otter.
Day 8 — Coquimbo, Chile
Today you have several choices: a half day visit to the Elqui Valley, a visit to the Tabalí Vineyard, the nearby town of La Serena or a longer visit to the Limarí Valley.
For the excursion into the Elqui Valley we follow the coast going north. The Elqui Valley is an important agricultural area for papayas, olives, pears and custard apples. This is also where muscatel grapes are turned into Pisco, Chile’s national spirit.
We will visit the small and picturesque artist village of Diaguitas and explore its arid and attractive streets. At a local workshop you will have the opportunity to buy handmade crafts featuring the stunning and beautiful Diaguita designs and iconography. Afterwards we will drive to Vicuña. Famous for its many Pisco producers it was also home to Chilean’s Nobel Prize winner in literature, Gabriela Mistral. We will visit the Plaza and the Bauer Tower and will have time to explore independently before returning back to Coquimbo and Silver Cloud.
Another half day visit will be made to the seaside resort of La Serena with its open air museum of statues and the historical centre where three different architectural periods can be seen.
The full day excursion will take us into the Limarí Valley, slightly further south. Known for its pictographs and petroglyphs of the El Molle culture, we will visit the Enchanted Valley in the vicinity of the town of Ovalle. The Elqui and Limarí Valleys are rich and fertile transversal valleys running across the coastal mountains, leading to their importance as agricultural areas. Grapes are grown in impressive vineyards for export and for wine and we will visit the Tabalí winery. This vineyard is well known for its unique coupages and blends of wine stocks such as Viognier, Sangiovese and Carmenere. A guided tour of the winery will be given, followed by a tasting of its most representative wines.
We will then continue to a local restaurant for a typical Chilean lunch of empanadas and an asado (a BBQ), before returning to the pier.
This excursion can also be done as a half day tour without the typical Chilean lunch.
Day 9 — At Sea
A leisurely day at sea is yours to enjoy. Participate in discussions and onboard activities led by the Expedition Team and join our chefs for a ceviche workshop, preparing your own ceviche for lunch –our chefs will assist you in creating your
Day 10 — Niebla, Chile
During the morning Silver Cloud will head further south, giving our lecturers time to introduce you to the natural and historical highlights of Valdivia and Chile’s Lake District. Niebla is a small village on the banks of the Rio Valdivia where Chile’s Corral Bay meets the Pacific Ocean. Today Niebla is a beach resort, but in 1671 it was a defensive fortress built by Spanish conquerors to prevent attacks from pirates and corsairs.
This afternoon you can either drive to the charming river port city of Valdivia, where we will find an interesting blend of influences from the native Mapuche, Spanish settlers, and German immigrants, or take a catamaran on the river. In both cases you will have time to see the town of Valdivia. The first German colonists arrived here in 1849 and worked hard to develop Valdivia into one of southern Chile’s most productive areas and their influence can be felt in every corner of this city. The town was affected by the 1960 earthquake –the worst ever recorded and the strongest in the last 110 years- but rebuilt with a strong German imprint. On our way to Valdivia we can see tracts of land that are still under water as a result of the quake. We will visit the river market and have a look at downtown Valdivia with its mix of old and modern buildings. You will have to choose whether you would like to visit the Fort at Niebla or enjoy fresh fish and crabs in Valdivia.
Day 11 — Puerto Montt, Chile
Puerto Montt is the starting point for our excursions to the Lake District and specifically Lago Llanquihue.
We will drive along the southern shore of Chile’s second- largest lake and head for the Petrohué waterfalls. These falls ‘connect’ Lago Esmeralda with Lago Llanquihue and we will walk over to the viewing platforms of Chile’s best-known falls. Here we will have an opportunity to see some of the local plants and endemic trees. Later you will have the choice to either visit a typical Chilean farm to learn about the traditions of southern Chile’s food music, tools and the national sport of rodeo –which is quite different from the North American version- or to have lunch at a local restaurant and to explore the town of Puerto Varas. If you choose the Fundo Olguita, you will have lunch including empanadas, a tasty barbeque und traditional German desserts –this area was first colonized by Germans in the mid-19th century. You will also have the chance to learn the Chilean national dance, the Cueca.
If you choose Puerto Varas, you will have time to explore the “City of Roses” –as Puerto Varas is known- and to browse the small handicraft village and see some of the wooden buildings for which the town was declared a “Heritage Zone”.
Day 12 —Puerto Chacabuco, Chile
During the morning, Silver Cloud will pass the Las Huichas Islands to enter the Aisén Fjord. Halfway up the fjord, we pass the National Monument Cinco Hermanas (Five Sisters), which despite the name consists of six islands. Marine otters and South American sea lions can often be seen nearby. At the end of fjord Puerto Chacabuco is the main port for the Aisén Region. Upon arrival we will drive to the private park Aiken del Sur. At the park we will be divided into small groups. You can choose to walk a difficult 2km trail, ascending to 2,030m through swamp and severe gradients on a narrow trail. Or decide on an easier 4km walk through the temperate rain forest. Local guides will escort us, explaining the trees, plants, flowers, mosses and ferns surrounding us. Plants of note are the arrayan (one of the most common trees here, living up to 400 years), quila bamboo, Chilean fire bush, and Chilean rhubarb as well as Calafate flowers. Birders will be interested to hear and see along the trail the Chucao Tapaculo, with its beautiful red breast, or the Black-throated Huet-huet. Soaring Andean Condors are often seen, too.
The groups will also visit a Quincho, where they will be rewarded with a choice of drinks (Pisco sour being first and foremost, as always in Chile) and delicious snacks, both savory and sweet. A local music group will entertain with typical songs and dancing.
Day 13 —Tortel, Chile
Silver Cloud will sail through the Golfo de Penas –an area well-known for whales and rough seas- to reach Caleta Tortel, one of the southernmost and until 2003 least connected settlements in Chile’s Aisén Region (in Patagonia). The abundant cypress led to the founding of the village and most houses are built on stilts along the shoreline of this hilly terrain. There are no conventional streets; instead the houses are connected by wooden walkways. We will explore the village –where a folkloric presentation awaits us at the main plaza- and will take our Zodiacs cruise through the channels and the Baker River to visit “La Isla de los Muertos”, a small island used as a cemetery in 1906. Both the village and the island have been declared National Monuments.
Day 14 —Cruise English Narrows and Pio XI Glacier, Chile
Early this morning, be out on deck to watch as we head towards the English Narrows. Our Captain and the local Chilean Pilots expertly manoeuvre Silver Cloud through the slalom course of islands and channel markers. At the narrowest part it has a width of 80 metres, permitting the passage of only one vessel at a time. During this cruise, we may spot Magellanic Diving Petrels and Steamer Ducks, and if we are very lucky, we may spot the endemic Chilean dolphin. Shy of ships, this small dolphin enjoys spending its time in narrow channels with heavy tidal rips.
We should pass the English Narrows before breakfast time –although you can see the Narrows from the comfort of your suite, you really should be out on deck.
Once we have passed the English Narrows you will have time for a leisurely breakfast and to attend lectures about the Fjords’ natural history or perhaps a seminar. The whole region of the fjords is so inhospitable that only one single settlement exists south of the English Narrows –Puerto Eden. Birders will want to see what species want to live in this area. The further south we head the better the chance to see Andean Condors majestically soaring above the hills and mountains.
In the afternoon we will visit the Pio XI Glacier. This tidewater glacier sprawled out in front of us is 4.5 km wide and a remarkable shade of brilliant blue. An outlet glacier of the South Patagonian Ice Field, the Pio XI had once extended out into the fjords whose waters we ply today. Conditions permitting, we will board our Zodiacs and dodge brash ice and bergy bits as we approach the glacier at a safe distance. Alert for signs of calving, we may see chunks of ice falling from the glacier front.
Day 15 —Cruise the Chilean Fjords
Our course will take us through the vast expense of the Chilean Fjords. We will sail through Chile’s largest national park, Bernardo O’Higgins, before we head for another famous narrow channel, the western portion of the Strait of Magellan. Mountains loom on both sides of Silver Explorer and one can only marvel at the hardy flora trying to cling to the barren rocks. Occasionally seals and dolphins can be seen. Silver Cloud will head for the Strait of Magellan and the Francisco Coloane Marine Park, an area humpback whales are known to frequent.
Day 16 —Alberto de Agostini National Park and Ainsworth Bay, Tierra del Fuego, Chile
Today we will navigate past Dawson Island –quite infamous in Chile’s modern-day history as a penal settlement for political prisoners- into Almirantazgo Sound, to arrive at Ainsworth Bay. The bay is within Alberto De Agostini National Park, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Depending on conditions, we intend to offer a Zodiac cruise to see the Marinelli Glacier descending from Darwin Mountain Range. This area will give a good appreciation how the land returns to life after glacial retreat. We also intend to take a walk in the stunning sub-polar Magellanic forest teeming with evergreens and deciduous trees. The bay promises a good chance of sighting Southern elephant seals, while nearby Tucker Island is known to have Magellanic Penguins.
During the night Silver Cloud will again head into the Strait of Magellan, sailing for Punta Arenas.
Day 17 —Punta Arenas, Chile
After breakfast disembark Silver Cloud.
Expedition highlights and wildlife listed here are possible experiences only and cannot be guaranteed. Your Expedition Leader and Captain will work together to ensure opportunities for adventure and exploration are the best possible, taking into account the prevailing weather and wildlife activity. Expedition Team members scheduled for this voyage are subject to change or cancellation.