Excursions in Argentina for cruise passengers: local experts advice

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If you are looking for shore excursions in Argentina for cruise passengers we have some local experts advice. If you decided that South America will be your next cruise destination, you will most likely do the classic route that includes Uruguay, Brazil, Chile and Argentina or a more extensive trip that includes Colombia. Regardless of the final itinerary, if the land of tango and asado is on your list of countries to discover on your next cruise, this is the information you will need to know to ensure a great travel experience with the best tours and activities in Argentina.

Cruise travel has many advantages: an all-inclusive service (accommodation, meals and transfers), an itinerary with several destinations and luxury service. Now, traveling on a cruise through South America implies other great benefits such as the weather that is opposite of the northern hemisphere, the undisputed charm of its cities and the perception of safety that travelers have of the cities of this American continent.

The cruise ports in Argentina known for excellence are the Port of Buenos Aires, the Piedra Buena Pier in Puerto Madryn and the Port of Ushuaia. Once your cruise arrives at any of these cities, you can’t miss the opportunity to visit the most important tourist sites and enjoy the classic excursions planned by the tourist agencies so that you can abide by the strict schedules of arrival and departure of the cruise ships and enjoy the best available excursions in Argentina for cruise passengers.

Excursions in Buenos Aires for cruise passengers

Photo credit: La Nación

The Hop-On Hop-Off Bus is the ideal sightseeing tour to see the most important attractions of Buenos Aires. It includes a general view of the most important neighborhoods such as San Telmo, Palermo, La Boca, Recoleta, among others, as well as the chance to observe the landmarks of the city such as the Obelisk, the Cathedral or the Planetarium.

Then, take advantage of the nightlife in Buenos Aires with a traditional tango show, whose spectacles perfectly combine the sound and sensuality of yesterday together with modern performances that dazzle the audience. Also live an authentic gaucho experience by visiting Santa Susana Ranch and do not miss for anything in the world a professional wine tasting that will allow you to discover the secrets of the Argentine Malbec.

Travel Tip: Keep in mind that to book these tours on a regular basis you must confirm with the travel agency that you select the availability. Once the time of arrival and departure of the cruise is scheduled, it is only necessary to define the meeting point to start the routes you have chosen. However, you can opt for private tours that simplify the logistics.

Excursions in Puerto Madryn for cruise passengers

Photo Credit: Patagonia.net

Upon disembarking in the Patagonian city of Puerto Madryn you will have at least three options of tours to choose from that you cannot miss in your itinerary: the Peninsula Valdes Tour, the Punta Tombo Tour with Penguins and the Punta Loma Tour with Sealions. In all cases you will be able to admire the splendor of this unique landscape in South America, as well as the most interesting aspects of its biodiversity.

The Valdes Peninsula was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and during the tour that will take you to see it, you will observe how the wide variety of local animals that include whales, sea lions and penguins live.

The Punta Tombo Tour with Penguins, on the other hand, includes a more intimate experience with these peculiar animals that many of us could only see in Happy Feet. In addition to appreciating the more than 500,000 Magellanic penguins that live here, you can enjoy the spectacle offered by other species such as seagulls and armadillos.

The third option that combines the Tour to Punta Loma and the Welsh Villages is ideal for those who want to appreciate the wildlife of Puerto Madryn and, in turn, learn a little about the culture and history of the city. Prepare your camera to closely portray the charming sea lions that rest on the shores of the Patagonian beaches and finish the day participating in the traditional Tea ritual in this city built by Welsh settlers.

See: Shore excursions in Puerto Madryn

Excursions in Ushuaia for cruise passengers

Photo Credit: Ser Industria

When you arrive to the southernmost city in the world, do not waste time and take a tour that will take you directly to the Tierra del Fuego National Park. There are 68,909 hectares of preserved Patagonian forests to safeguard the species that inhabit it and offer tourists an unforgettable experience.

The first attraction that you should visit is the End of the World Train, where you will travel the last 7 kilometers of the prisoner’s train who lived in the Ushuaia prison. During the outing you will learn about the history of the place, visit the Pipo River and you will enter one of the areas where you can not access the park by foot because of environmental restrictions. It is a fascinating journey in time aboard a luxurious steam locomotive in the middle of a majestic landscape.

The experience of this excursion in Ushuaia also includes a short walk along the trails of the national park until you reach the Redonda and Estorbo Islands. Immediately you will be transferred to the Lapataia Bay where you will explore with a local guide the Magellanic forests and you will learn about the history of the Yámanas, ancient indigenous settlers of the area.

The last section of the tour corresponds to Roca Lake, of glacial origin, and you will return your cruise on time after having visited the main attractions of the beautiful city of Ushuaia.

Travel Tip: In case you are only interested in taking the End of the World Train, you can get to the train station on your own or purchase a private car through a travel agency. The rest of the excursions, both in Ushuaia and in Puerto Madryn, are only reserved privately to comply with the schedules of the cruises.

See: Shore excursions in Ushuaia

Expedition cruise through Antarctica

If your idea of a cruise is more inclined towards a researcher experience and you want to visit inhospitable places in South America out of the ordinary and beyond tourism, you must reserve your spot on an expedition cruise through Antarctica. The excursions are made on smaller boats and you will always be accompanied by an expert who will reveal to you the secrets of this cold, dry and unexplored continent, unparalleled on the planet.

In addition to witnessing how colonies of seals, penguins, whales, orcas and more live in their natural habitat, you can admire the imposing icebergs that stand out through the crystalline waters and the length of the beautiful Andes Mountain Range.

Those who will most enjoy this trip will undoubtedly be scientists and photographers. The first for all the information that this place offers about the origin of the planet and global warming; and the second for the spectacle of the light offered by Antarctica where the sunset lasts for hours instead of minutes during the austral summer.

Useful Information for cruise passengers

  • The tours and activities that are booked through tourist agencies usually have much lower prices than those offered by the cruise lines.
  • Private excursions always include transfers of passengers to and from the port.
    Tours are conducted with bilingual English-Spanish guides. Requesting a guide in another language, usually involves an extra cost.
  • Cruise excursions include the port fee in case you take the tour leaving from the port.
    The operators of the services are coordinated with the schedules of boarding and departure of the cruises to guarantee the return to be on time so as to not miss the ship.
  • In the case of excursions in Ushuaia and Puerto Madryn, only regular tours can be taken as long as the ship arrives at 7:00 am or earlier and has a departure time of 6:00 pm, otherwise, the services must be taken in private.

Although the regions that lead tourism in cruises are the Caribbean, Mediterranean Europe, Alaska, Northern Europe and Asian-Pacific, South America continues to consolidate as a holiday destination for cruise passengers and those who choose this region will be guaranteed a experience that is worthy of being categorized as once in a lifetime.

See and quote all Shore Excursions in Argentina for Cruise Liners. If you are planning to take a cruise to other destinations in South America Contact usand get a quote for available shore excursions in Uruguay, Rio de Janeiro or Colombia,.

By: Keilma Rojas
Venezuelan journalist, specialized in travel, culture and current affairs. Translated to English by: Anna Englund