Cruise and Beach Destinations
in the Caribbean, Mexico & Beyond
South America

5 Great Cruises to Explore Peru

Lima Peru
Lima Peru; source: Wikimedia Commons

Cruise visitors to Lima will find a photographer’s dream destination - vibrant colors, magnificent structures and a rich cultural heritage.

This is why, every year, many tourists journey to this small South American country.

Instead of going by airplane however, the sophisticated traveller may choose to cruise along the open seas. Below is a list of the top five cruises to Peru that have proven themselves over the past few years.

Before presenting the list, it’s important to realise that most cruises to Peru will arrive at the capital, Lima. Ships visiting Lima dock in Callao, the country’s principal port. Here, antique homes, an 18th-century fortress and a naval museum are among attractions. In fact, exploring Callao is a great way to begin one’s visit to Peru.

While browsing through the ship itineraries sailing to Peru, be sure to compare options and offers, then contact the agents directly for more information or to book.

1. Company: Avalon Waterways

Cruise Liner: M/V Santa Cruz
Cruise: 15 Nights - Discover the Galapagos and Peru

This amazing cruise on the M/V Santa Cruz lasts for 15 Days. The trip starts in Lima, then gets going with stops in Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, Cusco, Quito, Santa Cruz Island, James Island, Rabida and Bartolome Islands and Tower Island. Indeed, experiencing Peru on board the M/V Santa Cruz goes beyond the concept of traditional cruising. It’s in fact an experience of true exploration as the wonders of Peru quickly unfold.

The 43-stateroom M/V Santa Cruz is a luxurious liner that encourages an elegant yet relaxed atmosphere. M/V Santa Cruz has gained worldwide recognition for its excellent standards, including superb service, an expert crew, and knowledgeable multilingual naturalist/guides. The ship features a Jacuzzi and an observation platform for dolphin and whale watching on the top deck. 

The liner is also complete with a luxurious and elegant dining room, lounge, bar and even a well-stocked library/reading room. There are also air-conditioning, private bathrooms, hairdryers, and safety deposit boxes. The M/V Santa Cruz was built to accommodate 90 passengers.

2. Company: Avalon Waterways

Cruise Liner: Isabella II
Cruise: 15 Nights - Discover the Galapagos and Peru

This cruise is similar to the aforementioned in that it is essentially the same itinerary. However, the experience is undoubtedly different as it’s on a different cruise liner, the Isabella II.

The Isabella II is a 21-stateroom ship that, like the Santa Cruz, goes beyond traditional cruising. The Isabella was built to luxurious standards and features an elegant yet relaxed atmosphere, allowing guests to enjoy Peru in a whole new way.

The ship features a Jacuzzi, exercise room, outdoor lounge, and an observation platform.

3. Company: Holland America HAL

Cruise Liner: Prinsendam
Cruise: 25-Night Grand South America and Antartica Voyage

This cruise lasts 10 days longer than the previously mentioned as it explores a wider range of attractions and goes as far as Antarctica. The cruise starts in Callao, Lima with stops in Arica, Coquimbo, Valparaiso, Puerto Montt, Castro, Chilean Fjords, Puerto Chacabuco, Darwin Channel Chilean Fjords, Amalia Glacier, Strait of Magellan, Punta Arenas, Cockburn Channel, Scenic Cruising Glacier Alley, Ushuaia, Cape Horn, Drake Passage, The Palmer Archipelago, The Danco Coast, The Antarctic Sound, Puerto Madryn, Montevideo and Buenos Aires.

The Prinsendam is a mega-cruise liner that compares to the best in the world. Not only is this ship extremely large and sturdy, but it encompasses all the amenities that a luxury liner should feature for extended trips and more.

The ship accommodates 850 passengers and boasts a wide array of luxury features including wonderful rooms, dining areas, living areas, restaurants and clubs-truly anything one’s heart desires.

In the daytime, passengers can enjoy the pools, hot tubs, workshops, culinary arts presentations, games, etc. There are also spas and fitness centres open for massages, weight training, etc. Games include tennis, basketball and shuffleboard.

Nightlife on the Prinsendam is also wonderful. There are intimate, cabaret-style shows staged in the theatre with professional performers as well as music and dancing in the various bars and lounges as well as a casino offering a variety of games. Indeed, the Prinsendam sets itself apart in multiple ways.

4. Company: Oceania Cruises

Cruise Liner: Oceania Regatta
Cruise: 20 Nights - Mystical Andes and Majestic Fjords - Lima/Machu Picchu (Callao) Peru to Buenos Aires Argentina
This is a 20 day cruise that takes passengers from Pisco to Matarani, Lquique, Coquimbo, Valparaiso and Puerto Montt, among other places.

The Oceania Regatta is a ship that features a more intimate type of setting. For example, each stateroom features its own private veranda and ocean view. Indeed, the Oceania Regatta is about unrivalled personal service and private comfort.

5. Company: Regent Seven Seas

Cruise Liner: Seven Seas Mariner
Cruise: 20 Nights - Lima (Callao) Peru to Buenos Aires Argentina on Seven Seas Mariner

This cruise takes passengers on a 20-day itinerary through Callao, Pisco, Arequipa, Iquique, Coquimbo, Valparaiso, Cruise the Pacific Ocean as well as a host of other destinations.

The Seven Seas Mariner is a newly built, 700-guest cruise ship. This liner has the distinction of being the world’s first all-suite, all-balcony ship. The vessel offers worldwide itineraries, accommodating guests in 354 luxurious ocean-view suites, each with its own private balcony.

If passenger reviews are anything to go by, then cruising about Peru can be an awesome experience if the right cruise is chosen in terms of the cruise liner, the stops as well as the time frame.

It is therefore incumbent upon the traveller to choose what they think will best suit their needs. Still, the ships, itineraries and companies mentioned here are some of the best in the world in terms of all time performance and passenger satisfaction.

Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the Americas. He is the author of four books about cruising in the Caribbean, Alaska and Mexican Riviera.
February 17, 2020

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