Day One: Begin your cruise from Bristol
Join Marco Polo in Bristol, settle into your cabin and enjoy your first evening on board.
Days Two to Three: At sea
Two days at sea provide a chance to acquaint yourself with Marco Polo’s many on-board amenities.
Day Four: Lisbon, Portugal
The Portuguese capital, Lisbon, is the our first port of call. See the contrasts between historic architecture and striking modern buildings in this city, from which adventurers set out, in search of the New World, during the great Age of Exploration.
Day Five: At sea
Enjoy another leisurely day at sea.
Day Six: Funchal, Madeira
Madeira is one of the world’s most beautiful islands - a sun-blessed, lush, sub-tropical paradise, home to one of the most vibrant and profound collections of exotic, colourful flora on Earth. The verdant island capital, Funchal, is a relaxing and captivating port of call, famous for its beautiful Botanical Gardens.
Day Seven: Las Palmas, Gran Canaria
Today Marco Polo ties up in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria’s principal port. Step ashore to explore the bustling metropolis of modern Puerto de la Luz, or head to the palm-fringed squares of the old town, Vegueta, and perhaps take a shore excursion inland for some superb views.
Days Eight to Nine: At sea
Marco Polo spends two days cruising south, under hopefully sunny skies.
Day 10: Mindelo, Island of Sao Vicente, Cape Verde
Reaching the beautiful Cape Verde islands, Marco Polo calls at Sao Vicente, with its pretty capital Mindelo. Spend the day exploring this colonial outpost, or perhaps take a trip inland.
Day 11: Praia, Island of Santiago, Cape Verde
Our second visit to Cape Verde is to Santiago, the largest of the islands. East African influences are seen everywhere in the capital city, Praia, where ‘best buys’ include carved coconut shells, pottery, lacework and basketry.
Days 12-14: At sea
Relax and enjoy three leisurely days at sea, as Marco Polo cruises towards the coast of South America.
Day 15: Natal, Brazil
The pretty resort city of Natal is the capital of the state of Rio Grande do Norte. It’s a charming mix of colonial architecture and colourful craft markets. Outside the city are some truly stunning beaches, while for the energetic and adventurous there’s the attraction of a thrilling buggy-ride over some of the world’s largest sand dunes.
Day 16: Recife, Brazil
Marco Polo’s second Brazilian landfall is the great city of Recife, recognised for its maze of waterways and bridges. Regain your land legs as you explore the old town of Recife Antigo.
Days 17-18: At sea
Two more lazy days at sea.
Days 19-20: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Rio de Janeiro is perhaps one of the world’s most captivating ports. Nestled between the ocean and lush tropical mountains, Rio is known as the ’Marvellous City’, and its famous landmarks include the 30-metre statue of Christ the Redeemer and majestic Sugar Loaf Mountain. Take the time to stroll the golden sands of the famous Copacabana and Ipanema beaches.
Days 21-23: At sea
Relax on board as Marco Polo sails south to Argentina.
Days 24-25: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Enjoy two full days in gloriously European Buenos Aires. The ‘Paris of the Americas’ exudes history, elegance and Spanish charm. Walk in the footsteps of Eva Peron, enjoy some of the Americas’ best food, and perhaps ‘shop ‘til you drop’ at bargain prices. Escorted shore excursions will introduce the city and its Peronist connections.
Days 26-27: Montevideo, Uruguay
The picturesque, compact Uruguayan capital, Montevideo, on the eastern bank of the Rio del Plata, welcomes Marco Polo. You'll have two days to explore this friendly, welcoming city, with its colonial old town (or Ciudad Vieja) and its beach-front Rambla.
Days 28-29: At sea
Two more days at sea.
Day 30: Port Stanley, Falkland Islands
This morning Marco Polo anchors off Port Stanley, capital of the Falkland Isles. This seaside town of brightly painted metal-clad buildings and traditional pubs boasts a cathedral and a fascinating museum chronicling island life and the infamous 1982 conflict. Explore the peat-covered, mossy green hinterland - known as ‘camp’ - or enjoy an optional excursion.
Day 31: West Point, Falkland Islands
In the Falklands’ northwest corner, West Point Island is home to colonies of albatrosses, incalculable numbers of penguins - five different species inhabit the Falklands - and rare birds of prey. This is a nature-lovers’ paradise, and with every chance of getting a glimpse of emerging penguin chicks or a newborn seal pup, your day here is sure to be fascinating.
Day 32: At sea
Enjoy a leisurely day on board.
Day 33: Punta Arenas, Chile
The remote Chilean settlement of Punta Arenas, at the foot of Southern Patagonia, is a mixture of the rugged and windswept with the modern and opulent. Explore this remarkable township - reliant on the fishing, sheep-farming and, more recently, the petro-chemical industries - and perhaps pay a visit to a local penguin colony.
Day 34: Ushuaia, Argentina
Discover the world’s southernmost settlement, a thriving city, and a must-see for avid travellers from around the globe. Set against the spectacular backdrop of the Fuegan Andes, Ushuaia is part tourist town, part gateway to some of the most spectacular scenery on the planet, and radiates an air of excitement.
Day 35: Alberto de Agostini National Park, Chile
Look forward to a scenic day on board, as Marco Polo sails past the Cape Horn headland, and begins cruising the Alberto de Agostini National Park coastline.
Day 36: At sea
Marco Polo completes her passage through the Alberto de Agostini National Park.
Days 37-38: At sea
Enjoy the scenery as the ship travels along Chile's English Narrows Passage, the Darwin Canal and Moraleda Canal.
Day 39: Puerto Montt, Chile
Spend the day in the port city of Puero Montt, framed by the soaring peaks of the Andes. The city is renowned as one of the world's largest salmon producers and is considered the gateway to the spectacular Chilean Fjords.
Day 40: At sea
A lazy day on board.
Days 41-42: Valparasio, Chile
Marco Polo spends two days in Valparaiso, from where you'll have the chance to visit Chile's capital city, Santiago. See the Plaza de Armas, grand neo-classical architecture, the bars and cafes of the triangular Barrio Centro, the leafy parks, the colourful markets, the Bohemian quarters crammed with galleries and crafts shops and the quieter, residential quarters.
Days 43-44: At sea
Marco Polo spends two days travelling north up Chile's coast.
Day 45: Arica, Chile
This morning Marco Polo arrives in the northern Chilean port of Arica, on the border with Peru. Dominated by the imposing headland of El Morro, Arica is the gateway to the famed Parque Nacional Lauca, an area teeming with wildlife and birdlife, and home to the indigenous Aymara people, as well as the setting for the great twin volcanoes of Parincota and Pomerape.
Day 46: At sea
Marco Polo spends the day at sea, travelling towards Peru.
Day 47: Callao, for Lima (and overland option to Cuzco/Machu Picchu), Peru
Callao, port of the Peruvian capital Lima, greets Marco Polo this morning. Wander the city’s great Spanish-style squares - the Plaza Major and Plaza de Armas - and see the presidential Palace, imposing cathedral and the churches of Santo Domingo and San Francisco.
Return to the ship this evening, or chose to set off on an unforgettable three-night optional shore excursion to the remarkable Inca city of Cuzco and to breathtaking, jungle-bound Machu Picchu. You will return to Marco Polo on Day 50 in Guayaquil, Ecuador.
Days 48-49: At sea
For those staying on board, Marco Polo cruises north, under hopefully sunny skies.
Days 50-51: Guayaquil (and overland option to Quito), Ecuador
Bustling Guayaquil, Ecuador’s largest city, is our next port of call. A stopping-off point for many visitors to the Galapagos Islands, Guayquil boasts a glittering waterfront promenade, the Malecon 2000, which stretches for over two kilometres along the Rio Guayas.
Relax, or join our optional overnight excursion to explore the exquisitely preserved and UNESCO-listed colonial centre of stunning Quito, the world’s highest capital city, high in an Andean Valley that enjoys a year-round spring-like climate despite being all but on the Equator.
Day 52: Manta, Ecuador
The historic fishing port and welcoming resort city of Manta is our final Pacific coast landfall. Step ashore and take in the atmosphere of a place where wooden fishing boats are still built by hand on the city beach, and where the colourful markets brim with regionally produced crafts - including the inappropriately named Panama hats - which are in fact made mainly in Ecuador!
Day 53: At sea
Relax and enjoy a leisurely day at sea as Marco Polo sails over the Equator.
Day 54: Panama Canal Passage
An unusual highlight is today’s passage through the fascinating Panama Canal, the 82-kilometre ’short cut’ between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.
Day 55: Cartagena, Colombia
Packed with brightly coloured buildings and magnificent churches, the Old City of the Spanish port of Cartagena is a fascinating place in which to wander. Soak up the atmosphere of a town that radiates Spanish style and custom.
Days 56-57: At sea
Sail through balmy Caribbean waters as you relax and enjoy the lazier pleasures of life on board.
Day 58: St Vincent and the Grenadines
St Vincent - with its still-active volcano La Soufriere and charming capital Kingstown - and idyllic Bequia are two blissful Caribbean ports of call today.
Day 59: Mayreau, Grenadines
Tropical Mayreau, with truly stunning beaches, is the picture of paradise. Spend a relaxing day snorkelling or lazing in the turquoise water, and enjoy a beach barbecue courtesy of the ship’s chefs.
Day 60: Bridgetown, Barbados
Spend a day exploring Barbados, the most British of the Caribbean isles, home to the headquarters of West Indian cricket, bustling, colourful Bridgetown, and some exquisite beaches (with matching exquisite hotels).
Days 61-66: At sea
Spend a week on board as Marco Polo crosses the Atlantic and makes her way home.
Day 67: Ponta Delgada, Azores
A call is made at Ponta Delgada, principal port city of Sao Miguel, the largest of the Azores islands. There’ll be an opportunity to go ashore to explore a place that has been a favoured stopping off point of transatlantic adventurers for centuries.
Days 68-70: At sea
Spend a final two days at sea, reflecting on an unforgettable journey.
Day 71: Arrive in Bristol
Arrive back in Bristol, where your South American odyssey comes to an end.