My Exclusive Journeys, the new tour operator that prides itself on a very high level of customer service, is offering a variety of journeys featuring small ship cruises in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador and Peru, with pre/post extensions in various cities. The ships, which range from seven to 64 cabins, also vary in accommodation and amenity levels. Some are small and casual, just right for a family charter, while others are larger and much more luxurious—one even has a helicopter on board.
In Argentina and Chile, the 5-deck, 64-cabin twin ships Mare and Via Australis, which were purposely built for cruises to Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego, sail from Ushuaia around Cape Horn to Punta Arenas on 3-night voyages. On the Beyond the End of the World journey, they are combined with Buenos Aires, Santiago and the Santa Cruz Wine Region (from $2,529). Longer journeys from Buenos Aires to Santiago and vice versa include Bariloche or Iguazu Falls (from $3,933).
In Brazil, the 4-deck, 15-cabin riverboat Premium has spacious cabins and public spaces, but is shallow enough to navigate remote tributaries. It makes 2-, 3- and 5-night cruises on the Amazon from Manaus, including Rio and Salvador de Bahia (from $2,941). The larger, very upscale Gran Amazon (which has two pools, a fitness room and Internet access) cruises along the Negro and Solimoes rivers, as well as the Amazon.
Nomads of the Seas’ Atmosphere carries 28 passengers on 7-night “Posh Patagonia” cruises deep into the wilds of Chilean Patagonia in great luxury, complete with spa, thalassotherapy pools, a gourmet restaurant and—yes—a helicopter (from $10,928).
There’s a huge choice of small motor yachts, catamarans and expedition vessels plying Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands. The star of the show, however, is the stylish and elegant motor sailer, Alta, which makes 7-night voyages through the Galapagos, often under sail. They can be combined with a pre/post extension to Quito (from $6,995).
And finally, in Peru, cruising the northern Amazon from Iquitos, there are two beautiful cruise ships that look rather like large houseboats. The M/V Aqua, custom-designed in 2007 to the highest standards, has 12 cabins with panoramic windows, excellent Peruvian cuisine and all the comforts of home. The M/V Delfin, a 19th-century-style Amazon riverboat, has seven cabins with private bath and air conditioning. Both offer 3-, 4- and 7-night cruises plus visits to Cuzco and Machu Picchu (from $4,822).
All prices quoted are per person, double occupancy, subject to availability and do not include flights, departure taxes, hotel taxes, Galapagos Park fees or gratuities. Cruise only rates are available upon request. For additional information, visit www.myexclusivejourneys.com or call 1-888-334-6905.