Archaeological Mysteries, Cliff Divers and Peerless Coastal Vistas Highlight Queen Mary 2′s 2006 Andes & the Americas Itinerary

Modern-Day Explorers to Experience Legendary Adventures on 2006 Path of Magellan South America Voyages

VALENCIA, Calif., July 19 /PRNewswire/ — Queen Mary 2′s captivating 2006 Path of Magellan Historic Passages delve deeply into South America’s rich cultural traditions in two 36- or 38-day Liner Voyages sailing around the bottom of the world. As the iconic ship makes her maiden foray into the region, segments of the longer journeys will showcase the region’s unique history and magnificent beauty in a shorter amount of time.

The 14-day Andes & the Americas itinerary is the last segment of the westbound South American Odyssey, departing Valparaiso, Chile on February 8, calling on five fascinating ports in Peru, Ecuador, Panama, Costa Rica and Mexico. The reverse eastbound journey with the same calls departs March 8 from Los Angeles.

“Whether their interests lie in archaeological wonders or eco-tourism, history or hiking, “modern-day explorers” aboard Queen Mary 2 will enjoy a legendary adventure on this spell-binding South American voyage,” says Jan Swartz, senior vice president of customer service and sales for Cunard Line.

QM2 begins her journey from Valparaiso, Chile, a picturesque port city in close proximity to Santiago, the country’s capital and largest city. Wine lovers may want to arrive a day or two in advance of departure, as this destination affords the opportunity to sip and shop for some of Chile’s world-renowned wines. Historians will enjoy Santiago’s teeming Plaza de Armas, marked by a magnificent Cathedral, fountains and gardens.

From Chile, QM2 traces a path along the Central Coast, arriving in Callao, Peru, near Lima. Perhaps best known as the gateway to Machu Picchu, the “lost city of the Incas,” this majestic 100-acre stone city is considered one of the world’s most captivating artifacts. Another intriguing excursion is the Nazca Lines, which predate the Incas by centuries. One of the world’s greatest archeological mysteries, the line drawings stretch up to a half-mile across the desert floor and are best seen from the air.

Following a day at sea, the ship docks in Esmeraldes, Ecuador. The equator runs through Ecuador, allowing stargazers to see stars in both hemispheres. Here, the must-see excursion is the capital city of Quito and its Old City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Hailed as the best preserved in South America, colonial mansions, cathedrals and museums line the cobblestone streets of the Old City.

From Ecuador, the ship makes the short trip to Fuerte Amador, Panama, gateway to the Panama Canal. This recently developed port lies in close proximity to Panama City and Casco Antiguo, where old churches, plazas and colonial buildings reveal the city’s rich history.

Following another day at sea, QM2 reaches Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica, on the Pacific Central Coast. The country’s renowned unspoiled natural beauty commands the attention of cruising nature lovers. A short drive from Puerto Caldera brings visitors to a trio of spectacular national parks and nature reserves: the Manuel Antonio National Park, Chirripo National Park and Carara Biological Reserve.

From Costa Rica, QM2 journeys to Acapulco, Mexico, a former fishing village and now one of the world’s most glamorous cities. Here, visitors may enjoy an excursion to La Quebrada, where the renowned cliff divers plunge into the Pacific Ocean.

From there, the ship cruises along the Mexican Rivera and Southern California coastline for two days before making its final stop in Los Angeles on February 22.

Fares for the 14-day Andes & the Americas segment begin at $3,299 per person, double occupancy.

Cunard Line’s 2006 Path of Magellan South American Liner Voyages feature two 38-day (36 days if embarking in Ft. Lauderdale) eastbound and westbound “South American Odysseys,” bringing guests around Cape Horn via the Drake Passage, Beagle Channel and the Straits of Magellan, calling on 15 ports in 12 countries in total. The 38-day westbound voyage departs New York on January 15 and the 36-day voyage departs Ft. Lauderdale on January 17. The eastbound journey reverses the itinerary and concludes in Ft. Lauderdale on April 13 and New York on April 15.

Queen Mary 2 is the largest (151,400 tons), longest (1,132 feet), tallest (236 feet), widest (135 feet) and most expensive ($800 million) passenger vessel ever built. There are 1,310 suites and cabins available in degrees of style and comfort ranging from pampered elegance to almost unimaginable luxury in the ship’s famed Grill-level accommodations. Queen Mary 2 brings together like-minded travellers who relish the Cunard hallmarks of impeccable White Star Service(TM), fine dining, sophisticated adventure and legacy of historic voyages and transatlantic travel.

For more information about Cunard or Queen Mary 2′s South America itineraries, call 1-800-7-CUNARD or go to www.cunard.com.

Cunard Line has operated the most famous ocean liners in the world since 1840. Cunard vessels have a classic British heritage and include the legendary Queen Elizabeth 2 and Queen Mary 2. Queen Victoria joins the fleet in 2007.

Cunard Line is a proud member of World’s Leading Cruise Lines. The exclusive alliance also includes Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Costa Cruises, Windstar Cruises and The Yachts of Seabourn. Sharing a passion to please each guest, and a commitment to quality and value, member lines appeal to a wide range of lifestyles and budgets. Together they offer exciting and enriching cruise vacations to the world’s most desirable destinations.

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