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Culinary cruise along the Humboldt Current - 23 Oct 2017

18 days from £5,771pp

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Culinary cruise along the Humboldt Current - 23 Oct 2017


Private Journey


Day 1

Arrive Quito, Ecuador, transfer to hotel.
Arrive in Quito and transfer to your first class hotel, Casa Gangotena, an exquisite restored mansion in the historic quarter.


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Day 2

Private guided city tour with Equator visit.

Take a guided tour of colonial Quito, an attractive neighbourhood of spruced up, heavily-tiled blue and white buildings, markets and Spanish baroque churches. You’ll see the cathedral and Government Palace among other grandiose buildings.

Later you are driven north of Quito to the Equatorial Monument where you can place a foot simultaneously in the northern and southern hemispheres. 

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Quito, Ecuador

Day 3

Fly to the port Guayaquil and embark expedition ship Silver Explorer.

Take a short flight to tropical Guayaquil, the country’s second city and major Pacific port, where the population is more exuberant than their more reserved Andean counterparts.

Embark your cruise vessel, luxury expedition ship Silver Explorer. After she weighs anchor and during a special sail-away party you are introduced to gourmet chef Antonio Perez, who will lead the culinary team down to Callao.

Later meet the Expedition Team and your fellow travellers, and enjoy your first special meal from a menu of specialities from the voyage’s destinations.

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Day 4

At sea, cross into Peruvian waters.

At sea. During your journey there are presentations to prepare you for the upcoming ports-of-call and the many experiences which lie ahead.

Since bananas and plantains are very important in Ecuador’s cuisine, Chef Antonio presents their various culinary uses.  A special Ecuadorian-themed Captain’s dinner is served this evening.

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Silversea Explorer

Day 5

Explore Isla Lobos de Tierra, Peru.

Lobos De Tierra and Lobos de Afuera are steep, rocky islands which offer a splendid opportunity to explore with Zodiacs. Sea lions and hundreds of blue-footed boobies can be viewed ashore, whilst Peruvian pelicans fly overhead. A landing on the island may be attempted if conditions are right.

During the afternoon, Chef Antonio introduces you to the world of cocoa with a mouth-watering tasting of various chocolate specialties.

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Bluee footed boobie

Day 6

Arrive Salaverry, Peru. Visit Moche archaeological site and Isla Guañape.

Dock close to Trujillo, one of Lima’s best preserved colonial cities, and take a guided whistle-stop tour for a flavour of a typical traditional Peruvian town.

Continue to the religious centre of the pre-Columbian Mochica culture. The archaeological complex includes the Temple of the Sun - one of the largest adobe structures in the world - and the Temple of the Moon, decorated with intricate Moche designs.

Next you visit a private hacienda where, over a glass of champagne, you watch a demonstration of the graceful skills of Peruvian Paso horses and a marinera dance show, an opportunity to immerse yourself in authentic Peruvian culture.

The ship arrives at Isla Guañape, a wildlife Mecca.  Join a Zodiac cruise to see hundreds of thousands of seabirds, including Peruvian pelicans, Inca terns and blue-footed boobies. A staggering sight. Humboldt Penguins and large colonies of South American sea lions can also be spotted. 

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Paso Horse

Day 7

Dock at Callao. Visit Larco Herrera museum in Lima.

Dock at Callao, the port serving Peru’s capital, Lima. Heading onshore towards the vast metropolis, you’ll stop to visit Larco Herrera, one of the country’s best museums.

It holds an extensive private collection of pre-Incan ceramics providing an overview of 3,000 years of Peruvian pre-Columbian history. Apart from the finest gold and silver collections of ancient Peru, it also houses a famous collection of erotic artefacts.

Stay on shore for dinner at the Huaca Pucllana restaurant which occupies an archaeological site with its own pyramid.  The food served here is sophisticated cuisine reflecting Lima’s current status as one the world’s top gastronomic destinations.

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larco museum

Day 8

Arrive Paracas. Visit Tambo Colorado and the Ballestas Islands.

The coast south of Lima consists of harsh, arid desert with small fishing villages on small oases dotted with date palms. It has always been inhabited: the desert reveals a series of famous geoglyphs carved by pre-Columbian peoples.

There’s a complimentary light-aircraft flight over the famous Nazca Lines, inland from the coast. These mysterious figures and geometric patterns are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The lines show an understanding of sophisticated mathematics and surveying techniques and can only be really appreciated from the air.

If you don’t fancy the flight, you can take a boat trip out to one of  this region’s most extraordinary natural attractions and wildlife refuges: the Ballestas Islands, where the haunting cries of thousands of seabirds and sea-lions, all huddled together on  guano-smothered rocks, creates an abiding memory.

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nazca lines

Day 9

At sea.

Gather in the Theatre to hear fascinating tales of adventure and to learn about the region’s wildlife and natural history.

Due to the presence of the very nutrient-rich Humboldt Current, the waters along the Peruvian coast teem with fish. Today the chefs introduce you to ‘ceviche’, the basis of which is marinated fish but which has a large variety of incarnations. This evening you are served a special Peruvian-themed dinner.

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Dinner onboard Silversea cruise

Day 10

Drop anchor at Matarani and visit Arequipa with city tour.

Having docked at the small port of Matarani, take to the road inland through the desert to Arequipa, Peru’s second city, set in an oasis and dwarfed by three volcanoes.

Your guided walk through the historical centre is followed by a viewing of the ice-preserved mummies of two young Inca girls, discovered on a mountain top and probably a religious sacrifice.

The Moorish-influenced Santa Catalina Monastery is one of the most important religious monuments in Peru. The vast rabbit-warren complex is like a village within the city, with cobbled patios, fountains and the former cells of the Dominican nuns (only a handful still live there). The refectory is reserved for your lunch accompanied by live Andean music.

Back on board, your dinner prepared by the Peruvian chefs features regional fare, including of course potatoes of which the country has more than 1,000 varieties. 

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San Catalina Convent Peru

Day 11

Arica, Chile. Excursion into the Andean Atacama desert.

Sailing further south the ship crosses the border and docks at Arica, a pleasant palm-fringed port and beach resort in the north of Chile. You’re still in the Atacama desert here and there’s an excursion inland, climbing up towards the Andes. The landscape suddenly opens up to a broad valley below massive, ice-bound peaks. Stop for lunch in the little town of Putre which has an historic church.

If you’re feeling adventurous you could travel to Lauca National Park which lies at 4,500m. It’s a long trip and the air is increasingly rarified by you are rewarded with views of extraordinary desert landscape: canyons, gorges and cactus-freckled slopes.

Take lunch at the lake Changara, which reflects the snow-tipped volcanoes on the shoreline and is home to rose-hued Chilean flamingoes. Visit an abandoned pre-Hispanic village, Parinacota, a national monument.

Back on board relax in the bar for a pisco evening to learn more about the famous grape-brandy cocktail.

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Atacama Desert

Day 12

At sea.

At sea.  There are discussions and onboard activities led by the Expedition Team. Join the chefs for a ceviche workshop, preparing your own for lunch.

Relax in one of the lounges over a book or meet up with new friends for cocktails. Before turning in, you might take a stroll on deck to appreciate the solitude of the vast sea and sky.

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Dinner onboard Silversea cruise

Day 13

Arrive Antofagasta. Full day excursion to San Pedro de Atacama and Valley of the Moon.

Arrive at Antofagasta, a vast and very busy Pacific port. Travel inland for a 7hr drive into the heart of the rain-starved Atacama desert, visiting the adobe town San Pedro, now a popular centre for visitors. Continue to the Atacama salt flats, shimmering in perpetual sunshine, and arrive at Valle de la Luna where the lunar landscape is composed of numerous wind-sculptured rocks.

If you prefer you can stay in the port and take a city tour of Antofagasta, which is a modern industrial town but with many vestiges of a cosmopolitan history: you can spot many British as well as Spanish colonial influences in its architecture.

For those not on the full day excursion an evening cocktail in the desert ghost town Chacabuco will be offered. Once a nitrate mining town, Chacabuco was declared a National Monument in 1971 and has been restored. 

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Atacama desert

Day 14

Zodiac tour of Pan de Azucar island.

Silversea’s Culinary Director Rudi Scholdis  joins the ship for the rest of the voyage. Before lunch, Rudi and the Chilean sommelier introduce you to Chilean wine and seafood.

Later, explore the rugged shores of Isla Pan de Azucar (Sugarloaf Island) by Zodiac. The island is home to thousands of Humboldt penguins and you may also encounter a variety of marine birds, sea lions and the reclusive South American marine otter.

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Dinner onboard Silversea cruise

Day 15

Explore Chañaral island, breeding ground for Humboldt penguins.

This morning the culinary team focuses on shellfish and other seafood and shows you how to prepare them.

During the afternoon, explore the islands of the Humboldt Penguin National Reserve by Zodiac. The islands are an important breeding site for Humboldt penguins. Once again you have the chance of watching groups of sea-lions resting on the rocky cliff ledges, South American marine otters sliding in and out of the water and bottlenose dolphins frisking in the sea. 

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Humboldt penguin

Day 16

Coquimbo, Chile. Head inland to Elqui valley, where pisco is produced.

Leaving the severity of the pure desert behind, the ship drops anchor at the bustling port Coquimbo. Drive inland to the Elqui Valley, finding at last a pea-green carpet of fertile soils supporting papayas, olives, pears and custard apples. This is also an important wine-producing region and where muscatel grapes are processed into pisco.

There are visits to traditional villages and a barbecue lunch before you drop in at a winery to learn about the local cultivation Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah and Pinot Noir grapes and the wine production process.

The alternative excursion will take you into the Limarí Valley, slightly further south, known for its pictographs and petroglyphs from the El Molle culture. The Elqui and Limarí Valleys are rich and fertile valleys running across the coastal mountains, enhancing their importance as agricultural areas. Grapes are grown vineyards for export and for wine. Visit the award-winning Tabalí winery.  Continue to a local restaurant for a typical Chilean lunch of empanadas and an asado (a BBQ), before returning to the pier.

Your last night aboard: the chefs prepare a menu with cuisine from each region you have travelled through.

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la serena

Day 17

Arrive in the port of Valparaiso. Transfer inland to Santiago.

Silver Explorer arrives in Valparaiso in the morning. Following breakfast, disembark and transfer to Chile’s capital, Santiago, a 2hr drive inland.  Transfer to the smart new  Hotel Singular for the night.

Alternatively, and if you really have got the cruising bug, why not stay on board for the next section of the ship's epic cruise, from Valparaiso to Ushuaia in Argentine Patagonia, jumping off point for cruises to Antarctica? In 2016, this cruise includes the Antarctic Peninsula too. 

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Day 18

Transfer to airport for international flight.

Transfer to the airport for your international flight, UK clients arriving the following morning...

...or think again: it's worth staying for a few days in Santiago, or  visit one of the vineyards in one of the country's premium wine-producing regions..

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