Category Archives: South America

Celebrate in the New Year with an Authentic Pisco Sour

A Pisco Sour

A Pisco Sour

Celebrating New Years and looking for a different cocktail to ring in the new year? Look no further than an authentic Pisco Sour, a claimed national drink of both Chile and Peru.

Pisco is a clear, fermented brandy that has been distilled from fresh musts of Muscat grapes in copper alembic stills since the Spanish conquest, and is considered part of Peru’s cultural heritage. This liqueur is also the national spirit of Chile, although each country has a distinct history and uses Pisco for different cocktails.

Here’s a Pisco Sour recipe from International Expedition’s Amazon River tour Expedition Leader, Jorge Salas. The frozen Pisco Sour is a happy hour staple on their Amazon River cruise aboard, La Amatista.
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Where are the small ships on Christmas Day?

Merry Christmas to all who celebrate. And a good movie and chinese food to those who celebrate Hanukkah

We have done some fun research as to where some of my favorite small ships are sailing on Christmas Day. To the best of my knowledge, every one of these ships were sold out, sailing at 100% occupancy. We have Christmas bookings for 2011 and 2011. It is not to early to start planning.

American Glory – Lake George, Ocala National Forest, Florida

American Safari Explorer- Kona Big Island, for Christmas 2011
American Safari Quest – whale watching, Baja

Cruceros Australis – Stella Australis – Punta Arenas – Chile
Cruceros Australis – Via Australis = Cape Horn – Argentina
Cruceros Australis – Mare Australlis – Patagonia – Argentina

I.E. Evolution – Espanola Islands, sea lions, Galapagos

Le Diamant – sailing Vietnam, South East Asia
Le Levant – sailing Trinidad
Le Ponet – sailing Persian Gulf

Lindblad Expeditions Salacia – sailing Egypt

National Geographic Endeavour – Santa Cruz Charles Darwin Station Galapagos
National Geographic Explorer – sailing Antarctica
National Geographic Islander – Seymour Island, Galapagos
National Geographic Sea Bird – day at sea whale watching, Baja
National Geographic Sea Lion – sailing Panama Canal Transit, Costa Rica

Paul Gauguin Cruises m/s Paul Gauguin—Moorea, Society Islands (French Polynesia)

Regent Seven Seas Navigator—sea day; from Cabo San Lucas to Zihuatanejo, Mexico

SeaDream Yacht Club SeaDream I—Jost van Dyke, British Virgin Islands
SeaDream Yacht Club SeaDream II—Coconut Grove, Nevis

Silversea Prince Albert II—South Georgia, Antarctica

Travel Dynamics Clelia damaged by wave in Drake Passage, Antarctica

News on Clelia II owned by Travel Dynamics.

Lets hope she is not more damaged than expected. She is a lovely ship that is finishing her winter season and then will move to another company called Orion Cruises. She is to be called the Orion II and will have a new life in fablulous sailings in Asia starting in spring of 2011.

Clelia 11 Cancels Next Cruise
The ship is now operating at normal speed on its way back to Ushuaia. The next cruise was cancelled to allow for a technical assessment. The ship will resume its normal sailings on December 22. A strong wave in the Drake Passage broke a window on the bridge, damaging electrical circuitry and injuring one crew member. The storm produced waves of six to seven metres with winds up to 45 knots. The damage to the electrical circuitry caused a loss of communications and affected engine performance. The National Geographic Explorer, operated by Lindblad Expeditions, was nearby. It accompanied Clelia II for much of the day and provided assistance in restoring Clelia II’s communications. Late Tuesday, Chilean authorities provided clearance for the National Geographic Explorer to resume speed, and for Clelia II to continue north
to Ushuaia under its own power. Speed was gradually increased during the night. A Lloyd’s surveyor will meet and inspect the ship which is expected tomorrow morning. The current cruise was to have ended today. The ship’s last Antarctica season was cut short for a propeller replacement. On Dec. 26, 2009, a strong current near Petermann Island pushed Clelia II against rocks, damaging the starboard propeller. There were no injuries, and the ship made its way back to Ushuaia under its own power.

Cruise West Spirit of Oceanus/Sea Spirit will sail again

Cruise West Spirit of Oceanus gets new life…Sea Spirit

 Cruise West, Spirit of Oceanus sold to a charter company who re named her Sea Spirit is going to get a new life and sail again.

Quark will charter her to temporarily take the place of their present charter which is in dry dock being repaired.

She will replace the Clipper Adventurer who ran around during her Arctic 2010 season. That incident led to the cancellation of  first three scheduled voyages of the 2010-11 Antarctic season. The repairs to Clipper Adventurer will take longer than previously expected. As a result,  Sea Spirit, formerly known as Spirit of Oceanus, for the Antarctic 2010-2011 season. Sea Spirit will be used instead of Clipper Adventurer, taking over Clipper Adventurer’s scheduled voyages.

Her first voyage as a Quark Expeditions vessel will be the 20-day Explorers’ Quest .  Sea Spirit will carry a maximum of 120 passengers. She is equipped with rigid inflatable boats – RIBs – for shore transfers and cruising. The RIB fleet is comprised of Achilles and Zodiac boats.  

Once the Clipper Adventurer is repaired the Sea Spirit will be sent home for a new company to use her.

Quark’s Quality Adventure Coupled with Unsurpassed Comfort and Style

Sea Spirit guests sail in the most spacious cabins in our fleet and have a choice of one King Size bed or two twin beds. All 57 cabins have private facilities and exterior views. Fifteen of the cabins have private balconies for viewing the extraordinary Antarctic icescape. While enjoying the excitement of Quark’s 20-day Explorers’ Quest, your clients can phone home on the in-room phone with satellite access. Every cabin has individual temperature controls, a sitting area, refrigerator and in-room safe.

Sea Spirit has 7 cabin categories, including triple cabins and the very spacious Owner’s Suite.

State of Galapagos Island travel

Galapagos Islands – There are a huge number of cruise operators in this area of the world. At Sunstone Tours we only work with a handfull of operators that we know and trust, like Lindblad Expeditions and International Expeditions.  It is times like these that our expertise and experience comes into play. Our clients who are now traveling in the Galapagos are taken care of, our agency is kept up to the minute by our suppliers who are on the ground in Ecuador and Galapagos. We can sleep at night knowing our clients are well taken care of.

Without a good travel agent you are on your own !!!

Lan Suspends Flights To Quito Yesterday Lan cancelled flights to Quito and increased security at its installations because of political unrest in Ecuador. Hundreds of angry police,who were incensed after a law was passed to cut their benefits,plunged Ecuador into chaos yesterday, shutting down airports and blocking highways in a nationwide strike. The government declared a state of siege, putting the military in charge of public order, suspending civil liberties and allowing soldiers to carry out searches without a warrant. Colombia closed its border with Ecuador and Peru decided to close its borders as well. LAN, which has domestic passenger operations in Ecuador, said the airport at the country’s business hub Guayaquil was not closed, but passengers were not being checked in for flights. The military is currently in control of the situation in Ecuador as of 1 October 2010, and efforts are underway to clear debris from roadways. However, due to the widespread unrest that occurred on 30 September, a significant amount of debris and still-burning tires continues to hamper ground transportation, and disruptions will continue throughout the day. There have been no reports thus far of any further protest actions or disturbances; the military is also now in control of the police force. Airports, including Quito’s international airport and Guayaquil’s Jose Joaquin de Olmedo International Airport , are currently open and flight operations are scheduled to return to normal on 1 October; however, in light of the number of aircraft on the ground the majority of initial flight operations will be departures until the backlog is cleared sufficiently to begin accepting arriving flights. Travelers should ensure that roads are passable and that they will be able to book travel on scheduled flight services before attempting to reach airports. It is not currently known to what extent local businesses will resume operations on 1 October.

Small ship lines help Cruise West passengers

If you were booked or thinking of booking Cruise West, we need to talk.
By now you should have applied for your refund through your credit card, travel insurance or USTOA.

My other small ship operators are reaching out to accommodate Cruise West passengers. There are a number of options depending on your destination. Some are similar to the Cruise West product, others different. This is where you need a small ship expert like Linda, Sunstone Tours to help you. Give us a call 888-815-5428

American Safari Cruises have offered reduced prices to passengers who were booked on Cruise West sailings that have been cancelled.

Orion Expedition Cruises to offer discounts for passengers booked on Cruise West this year and next.

InnerSea Discoveries, upcoming 2011 Alaska, Mexico’s Sea of Cortes and Columbia River seasons.

Lindblad Expeditions is offering varied discounts to Cruise West passengers.

American Cruise Line will honor the Cruise West price on their remaining Columbia Snake River 2010 sailings.

Our New Site – The Upper Amazon

Click to view website...We recently went live with our new website, The Upper Amazon, featuring a new itinerary offered by Lindblad Expeditions, in partnership with National Geographic.

Explore an intricate network of jungle waterways, spotting hundreds of bird species as well as sloths, tamarins and caimans. Your base for exploration will be the luxurious Delfin II. With hardwood floors, rattan-draped sofas, wooden slat hammocks and a graceful, modern design, it is more than comfortable.

View more information on this special itinerary by visiting

Upper Amazon: Exploring Peru’s Pacaya-Samiria Reserve

Lindblad Expeditions, in partnership with National Geographic, recently announced a new itinerary that explores the upper region of the Amazon, where the Marañon and Ucayali Rivers join.

This new 10 day, 9 night exploration of Peru’s Upper Amazon will take you through wild lands of unsurpassed beauty. You’ll explore the well preserved Pacaya-Samiria Reserve with expert guides. You’ll also meet the people who live along the shores, who maintain their ancestral traditions. Read the rest of this entry

Free International Air on Amazon River Adventure

Sail on International Expedition’s September 18 Amazon Voyage and get free international airfare, up to $900 per person.

Treat yourself to a South American escape in the heart of the rainforest — International Expedition’s Amazon Voyage! If you’re looking for adventure, September’s low-water season features deeper hikes into the rainforest, a greater concentration of pink dolphins and village visits at the height of planting season.

International Expeditions’ 10-day Amazon Voyage grants the deepest access into the Pacaya-Samiria Reserve for the best chance of diverse wildlife sightings, including hundreds of bird species and up to 15 primates. The only people going deeper into the rainforest are scientists! Not only is the Amazon an adventure to remember, it’s also a GREAT value!

International Expeditions’ Amazon Voyage includes:

  • Guided tours & lectures by native naturalists
  • Services of Expedition Leader
  • 8 nights’ accommodation
  • 23 meals
  • Wildlife excursions on land & by skiff
  • Tour of colonial Lima
  • Piranha fishing
  • Pre-dawn birding
  • Local village & school visits
  • Nighttime skiff rides
  • Cooking demonstrations
  • Complimentary laundry aboard La Amatista
  • Live music nightly
  • Rainforest walks
  • Blessing ceremony with a local Shaman
  • Private dayroom until international flight
  • Tips to porters & waiters for included meals

View details on this Amazon Voyage itinerary…

Cruise West Offers Epic Year-Long Global Adventure

Voyages of the Great Explorers

Ground Breaking Journey Will Visit 242 Ports, 59 Countries on 24 Voyages

Marco Polo; Odysseus; Leif Eriksson; Christopher Columbus; James Cook; Ferdinand Magellan — history’s great sea explorers have inspired an epic global voyage destined to become the most memorable cruise of a lifetime.

These legendary adventurers whose travels shaped much of the known and the new world set the theme for Cruise West’s Voyages of the Great Explorers — a 335-day circumnavigation of the world. Departing Singapore on March 6, 2010, Cruise West’s flagship, the 120-guest, all-suite Spirit of Oceanus will sail westward, following the sun, to return to Singapore on February 3, 2011. Read the rest of this entry