Small Ship Cruises Tours

Expedition Cruising is not your typical ‘amusement park on water’ style of travel. On all of our chosen cruises extra shore time is encouraged, whilst using the convenience of the ship to transport you and put you up for the night. You won’t get trapped on board, literally watching the world go by - you will get up close and personal to that world.
 
Whether on an expedition to Antarctica visiting the icy mainland in your zodiacs each day, in South America cruising the Amazon on an eight berth cruiser (equipped with personal spa and crew) or visiting private islands off the coast of Brazil, you’re spoilt for experience choices. You could also be photographing the enigmatic wildlife of the Galapagos or heading further south to cruise through Patagonia and the Chilean Fjords en-route to the ‘end of the world’ in Ushuaia.
 
No bus terminals, no different hotel room every night, simply board the ship, unpack your bags and wake up every day with something new to explore. Whatever your choice, water is definitely a great way to get around!
 
See below our suggested itineraries designed by our specialist team. Choose one of these or design your own journey.
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Featured Small Ship Cruises Trips & Deals

LUXURY  From 3,830

Explore one of the world’s most intriguing environments on board the luxury Delfin Amazon Cruise! 

SAVE 20%  2017 Departures

Cruise the Amazon aboard the luxury Zafiro which can swiftly slide through the mysteries of the jungle. Choose from a range of inspiring itineraries departing in 2017 and save 20%.

POPULAR  DESTINATION

Cruise the Arctic, one of the world’s most extraordinary regions famous for its dramatic landscapes and fascinating wildlife.

SAVE UP TO 25%  May - June 2017

'Grace' is the ideal yacht for travellers who seek a true adventure. Special on 2017 Departure dates include: May 6 - 13, May 20 - 27, May 27 - June 3, June 3 - 10 

SAVE UP TO US$1000*  Twin Share From US$6,990

Take advantage of early booking discounts, the best value trip to Antarctica you will find this year! An exclusive Chimu Adventures departure. 

Small Ship Cruises Tours

3 NIGHTS From 1,500

This 4 day tour cruises down Amazon river learning about and gazing at the magnificent wildlife that can be found no where else on earth!

10 NIGHTS From 7,599

Antarctica cruise aboard the M/S Expedition. A great value option for touring and travelling around Antarctica.

20 NIGHTS From 18,095

See the amazing wildlife on South Georgia and Antarctica. Cruise to the Falkland Islands.

2 NIGHTS From 1,145

Embark on this 3-day voyage to Patagonia and gaze upon the awe-inspiring mountains and a number of intimidating glaciers.

3 NIGHTS From 1,960

Gaze at the unique wildlife and breathtaking scenery on some of Galapagos' most impressive islands during your 4-day cruise.

3 NIGHTS From 4,350

The new mega-catamaran Ocean Spray offers the best performance and comfort in Galapagos cruising. 

Articles On Small Ship Cruises

Best Things To Do in South and Central America – AUGUST Guide

Posted on Sun, 15 Jul 2018

August marks the height of the northern hemisphere summer season, attracting more visitors to Latin America than at any other time of year. As this coincides with the dry season in the Andes Mountains, it turns the best highlights of Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Chile into absolute hives of tourist activity. Yes, the crowds in big-name attractions here are huge …

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The Arctic Travel Guide – PLANNING ADVICE

Posted on Mon, 09 Jul 2018

With its magnificent landscapes, captivating wildlife and fascinating indigenous tribes, not to mention its startling dancing lights, the Arctic is one of the most coveted travel destinations on earth. Vastly different to its southern counterpart, Antarctica, in almost every aspect, the Arctic is equally spellbinding and alluring. Easier to reach and offering an absolute kaleidoscope of experiences both on land …

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Best Latin American Food Bloggers to Follow Right NOW 

Posted on Wed, 04 Jul 2018

In our recent Best Foodie Tours in South America guide, we mentioned that we’ve noticed a marked increase in guests’ awareness of the exceptional culinary experiences awaiting them on their travels. Surprises and new discoveries notwithstanding (a daily occurrence, let us tell you) many first-time visitors are totally on the ball when it comes to South American cuisine. Varied, exciting, …

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5 Awesome Reasons to Cruise to Antarctica in November

Posted on Fri, 29 Jun 2018

When you’re planning a trip to Antarctica, nine times out of ten it’s ‘how much will this trip cost?’ be the first question that will come to mind. Yet the time of year you visit can also change when you decide to go.  The Antarctic season runs from the end of October to the beginning of March, with each month …

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Top 5 – Most Common Environmental Changes People Adopt After Visiting Antarctica

Posted on Thu, 28 Jun 2018

Expedition cruises to Antarctica are very dedicated and distinct trips, with every tour including lectures and presentations aimed at educating guests on all the environmental issues the continent – and in turn our whole planet – is currently facing. Guests learn the importance of protecting fragile wilderness (by sterilising their shoes after each on-shore excursion and vacuuming their clothes, for …

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Press release: Chimu reveals its favourite restaurants in Latin America

Posted on Wed, 27 Jun 2018

Sydney, Wednesday 27th June 2018 Latin America again proved its culinary prowess in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants this year. Last week, the 2018 winners were unveiled in Bilbao, Spain, and highlighted seven Latin American restaurants in the top 50. Lima, Peru, remains the indisputable gastronomy capital of Latin America with Central and Maido sitting comfortably within the top 10, …

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Best Things To Do in South and Central America – JULY Guide

Posted on Fri, 15 Jun 2018

As peak tourist season reaches an all-time high in South America, the best-known and most visited sites are inundated with waves of excited visitors. And why not? July, in reality, is a glorious month to travel extensively through most of the continent, with the dry climate facilitating hiking, extensive sightseeing and, of course, flight and road transfers in between fabulous …

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Press release: Celebrate the oceans of the polar regions on a Chimu Exclusive Cruise

Posted on Fri, 08 Jun 2018

Sydney, Friday 8th June 2018 To coincide with World Oceans Day today when the planet will celebrate the entity that connects all, Australia’s largest polar experts, Chimu Adventures, have launched their most recent Chimu Exclusive Cruise to Antarctica. This is their ninth departure between late 2018 and early 2020. In Shackleton’s Wake, aboard the small and newly refurbished Ocean Atlantic, …

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Researchers Uncover World’ Largest Human Sacrifice Site, Peru

Posted on Mon, 04 Jun 2018

In what has been hailed ‘one of the most pivotal archaeological discoveries in modern times’, archaeologists in Peru reveal they have uncovered possibly the world’s largest human sacrifice site. Human Sacrifice Site Perhaps it was an exceptionally bad year for their much-needed crops. Maybe, experts say, a catastrophic series of ravaging floods destroyed the coastal areas of northern Peru. Whatever …

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Discover the Galapagos – Your Island by Island Guide

Posted on Wed, 30 May 2018

One destination, 13 Islands, one unforgettable experience: Your Island by Island Guide to the Galapagos takes you on a whirlwind journey of astonishing sights and captivating wildlife. A trip to the Galapagos Islands is unlike any adventure you’ll ever have and that’s because this magnificent place is unlike any other you’ll ever visit. The world’s most famous wildlife-watching destination – …

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Frequently Asked Questions

Where are the best places in Latin America for small ship cruising?

The best places are the Galapagos, Amazon and Patagonia and the Chilean Fjords. We also offer a Panama Canal Cruise and a Sailing Cuba tour.

Do you offer both luxury and standard small ship cruising options ?

Yes we offer a range of cruising options aboard a variety of vessels from standard to luxury. Even cruises to the Antarctic can be aboard expedition ships through to mega-yachts.

What's the biggest benefit for going on a cruise with less than 100 passengers ?

On an Antarctic cruise, the main benefit is that all passengers can be taken on shore landings at the same time as numbers are restricted to a maximum of 100 per shore landing. Obviously smaller ships also have access to more places than larger vessels and provide you with a more intimate and more personalised experience.

Are there usually educational lectures on board ?

Generally there are briefings on board the Amazon and Galapagos cruises, whereas Antarctic and Arctic cruises offer educational lectures, especially on sailing days when there are no shore landings.

I've had sea sickness before, are there ways to minimize this ?

There are a variety of ways to minimise or prevent sea sickness. If you are prone to sea sickness you can ask your doctor to prescribe medication for you. There are also some over-the-counter remedies that your pharmacist can advise you on. Whilst on board you can reduce the risks by sitting facing in the direction of travel, avoiding reading, excessive alcohol and rich foods and staying near a source of fresh air if you are not out on deck.

What is the minimum age on a small ship cruise in South America?

There is no minimum age for Patagonia cruises. The minimum age on Antarctic cruises depends on the ship but children are accepted on many vessels. For Galapagos cruises the minimum age is generally 6 and on Amazon cruises it is usually 8 but sometimes children as young as 5 or 6 are accepted depending on the cruise. 

What should my fitness level be if I want to take a cruise to Antarctica or the Arctic ?

A high level of fitness is not necessary for Antarctica or Arctic cruises, but you need to be in good health as although there is generally a doctor on board the ships, you are often a long way from any other medical assistance. The majority of activities are focused around shore excursions and zodiac cruising and so you need to be agile and able-bodied enough to climb into and out of the inflatable zodiacs from both the ship and the shore. On shore landings you may need to negotiate uneven and slippery ground. Shore excursions generally involve some walking.