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 4,575

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 1,715

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

Who was Pablo Escobar?

Posted on Fri, 07 Dec 2018

Yet Netflix’s sensational take on the life-story of Pablo Escobar has once again shone a light on this dark yet fascinating chapter in Colombia’s history. Narcos manages (quite superbly we might add) to capture the decades-long love-hate relationship Colombians had with Pablo Escobar, arguably the most famous and enigmatic Colombian who ever lived. Who was Pablo Escobar? One of the …

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Travelling Responsibly in South America

Posted on Thu, 06 Dec 2018

Many factors make South America a respectable beacon of sustainability and responsibility in the tourism sector although considering the environmental and cultural issues the continent still faces, it’s safe to say there is so much more work to be done. The ground work is firm: collectively, South American countries have ascribed vast swaths of wilderness as protected nature reserves, limited …

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Peru’s Biggest Secret is Out! The Truth about Trujillo

Posted on Wed, 05 Dec 2018

The birthplace of some of the most significant pre-Inca cultures in South America and certainly the cultural capital of Peru, not to mention a stunning colonial maze and basepoint from which to visit some of the most impressive archaeological sites in the world, Trujillo seems more than ready to take to the centre stage, lights blaring. Could Peru’s biggest secret …

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Is it Worth Visiting Machu Picchu in the Wet Season?

Posted on Tue, 04 Dec 2018

Sure, Peru’s revered archaeological site is spellbinding…but is it really worth visiting Machu Picchu in the west season, or are you just wasting your precious time and money? This is one of the most often-asked questions we field here in the Chimu Adventures office and it’s a fair one at that. Whilst some visitors can choose the time of year …

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The Importance of Monitoring Ice Flows in Antarctica

Posted on Sun, 18 Nov 2018

The Antarctic ice flow is among the most pivotal determiners of the health of our planet and scientists monitor it to better understand the behaviour of ocean currents, climatic patterns and the effect of global warming. Read more to discover what ice flows can tell us. What’s the difference between an ice floe…and ice flow? Ice floes are chunks of …

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

Posted on Thu, 15 Nov 2018

High-season hits Latin America like a thunderbolt in December and although you may think this is totally the wrong time of year to travel here, let us tell you: there are quite a few reasons December is so popular among visitors. And nope, it doesn’t all have to do with it coinciding with yearly international vacation times. December is the …

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Why Is It Important to Travel?

Posted on Tue, 13 Nov 2018

On the surface, travel is an excellent way to recharge our batteries and bust out of our routine. When we travel, we finally feel like there’s a reason we work so hard and save so fiercely. Seeing new places, visiting world-renowned attractions and soaking up the spectacle of startling new landscapes can rejuvenate the soul. Yet travel goes far and …

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Latin America – Lonely Planet Names Panama & Belize Top Travel Spots for 2019!

Posted on Thu, 08 Nov 2018

The way we see it, the yearly Best in Travel announcement by Lonely Planet isn’t so much a prediction but more of a synthesised summary of growing trends. At Chimu Adventures, we can certainly attest to both Panama and Belize enjoying a swift rise in Latin American ranks in the last 12 months, as has been the case for the …

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Colombia & The FARC – An Unlikely Environmental Conundrum

Posted on Tue, 30 Oct 2018

The 2016 peace deal between the Colombian Government and the FARC has come at an unexpectedly highly cost – the country’s incredibly biodiverse wilderness is being threatened by encroaching modernism. So what’s being done to protect this unspoiled natural paradise? The much-awaited peace deal between the government and major rebel fraction of Colombia is having an unanticipated side-effect on the …

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Top 10 Destinations in South America for the over-55s

Posted on Fri, 26 Oct 2018

Whether you’re planning your first ever visit to South America or if you’ve left many a footprint on the well-trodden Gringo Trail in years gone by, you’ll find the best destinations for the over-55s a wonderful way to discover the continent anew. The most important historic sites, most revered cultural hubs and most celebrated natural treasures the continent has to …

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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.