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If all the elements of Un-Cruise’s 2016 South American cruises are put together, guests will have an astonishingly rich South American experience, from the unique animals of the Galapagos to the strange peace of the Amazon. With the wonderful craftsmen of Urubamba, Peru; the heart of the Incas in Cusco; the echoes of the past in Machu Picchu; and the phenomenal Indiana Jones-like train ride to get there, you can put a line through a whole page of bucket list experiences.
The Galapagos Islands and the historic city of Quito both are UNESCO World Heritage sites, and those who add the two additional options will string together more and more of the unique historic destinations on a four-night Amazon basin rainforest cruise and/or a six-night excursion to Peru, which includes a visit to Machu Picchu.
Tim Jacox, principal and executive vice president of Un-Cruise Adventures, said the program is expected to attract a wider audience for the company. Jacox also expects to see more past guests returning for a second, third or even fourth trip.
The nine-night Unequaled Ecuador! Colonial Quito & Galapagos Islands adventure begins with a two-night stay at Casa Gangotena, a 31-room boutique hotel in Quito’s historic center, with guided walking tours. In the islands, guests can kayak, stroll, hike, snorkel and visit Charles Darwin Research Station. Departure dates in 2016 include Feb. 17; March 16 and 30; May 25; July 6; Aug. 3; Sept. 14; and Nov. 9.
A four-night, pre-cruise tour onboard the 36-guest Anakonda explores the Amazon River basin with a very different mix of exotic wildlife — pink and grey river dolphins, manatees, white caimans, squirrel monkeys and piranhas. A day is also spent exploring inside Yasuni National Park, a UNESCO Biological Reserve that is home to two indigenous tribes.
The Machu Picchu add-on starts with a train ride is as memorable as the 15th century Inca center itself, although it’s the overnight stay at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel that allows guests to really experience the site when most other visitors have already left. Two nights in Cusco, with guided walking tours, is an introduction to this beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site. A final tour in Lima adds time in downtown and the historic center (yet another UNESCO site).