Montevideo , Uraguay

We were here in 2010

Poetic, worldly, and jam-packed with historical intrigue, Uruguay’s refined capital is a city of culture, creativity and beachfront bliss. Just shy of half of all of Uruguay’s population calls Montevideo home, and the city is enjoying a resurgence, as its reputation as one of South America’s essential destinations burgeons. Glorious colonial architecture has been repurposed to house cultural treasures - while glassy skyscrapers, modernist museums and twisted artworks spring up regularly across this vibrant, energetic city, which stands across the Río de la Plata from Buenos Aires. Recognised as a UNESCO Creative City, there’s rich intellectual history here, not to mention sultry tango - a dance form that the Uruguayan’s claim as their own.

With bright and breezy tree-lined streets, and refreshing salty sea breezes cooling its endless beaches, Montevideo is an incredibly liveable seaside city. La Rambla, the long and wide waterfront path, provides a welcome partition from the city’s buildings and is a wonderful place to wander and relax on benches and sea walls. Having toed and froed between Portuguese and Spanish rule at the height of their colonial powers, the city and country is littered with fortifications and historical relics. Head to the central square Plaza Independencia to see the statue and mausoleum dedicated to José Artigas, who is known as the father of Uruguayan independence, which was achieved in 1825. You’ll also be standing before an iconic Montevideo landmark, the beautiful Palacio Salvo’s impressive tower. Mercado del Puerto is a taste of Uruguayan cuisine, blending mouth-watering influences from Brazil and Argentina – try juicy, fire-seared steaks, and tasty caipirinhas cocktails.

In WW2 the damaged German Pocket Battleship entered harbour at Montevideo, but was foced to leave after 72 hours under neutral port rules. Rather than have all his crew killed, the German Captain scuttled his ship just outside Montevideo harbour - the tale of the Graf Spee

tour 1 Cultural Dance & Music Experience

Depart the pier and drive 45 minutes to "Barrio Sur", the neighborhood where Candombe was born more than 200 years ago acknowledged by UNESCO as "Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity". Along the way your guide will point out notable and historical places that make up the people and culture of Montevideo today. At your first stop, the most award-winning Comparsa (Candombe Group) in Uruguay will welcome you and invite you to their headquarters for a 3 hour Candombe workshop, performance all while sipping on some authentic local wine.

In 1943 the Silva Brothers created the main rhythm of Candombe with the formation of a group called Cuareim 1080. The Silva family is still today the highest referent of Candombe and the one who will open the doors of their house and their "comparsa" to experience Candombe from its deepest roots. More than 40 drums will be available for you try, costumes, hats, exquisite wine, laughter, emotion and power to provide you with the most Uruguayan experience that exists. You will leave this immersive cultural experience dancing to the rhythm of a string of Candombe drum as you make your way back to the port (15 minute drive).

tour 2 Discover Uruguay through Wine & Food

Take a 2 hour drive out to Montevideo win country for a day filled with history, food and of course wine. The Spinoglio winery dates back to 1898 bought by the Spinoglio family in 1961, today the estate is run by the 4th generation of family making wines in Uruguay. Your visit to this winery will provide insight into Uruguyan past ans present with beautiful century-old French casks on display alongside modern wine making technology. After your tour in the winery, sit back and relax for a priate cooking demonstration & lunch with a local chef who will serve up the best Uruguyan meal in the city carefully pairing each dish with a tasty glass of wine. After your immersive lunch experience, board the coach and head back to the pier.

tour 3 Exotic Bird Watching

Start your tour with a 25 minute scenic drive where your will discover the various ecosystems along the West of Montevideo that play host to a wide range of exotic birds. It's a journey that will take you through Uruguay's coastal forest and into the untamed wetlands. You don't need to be an avid bird watcher to appreciate the vibrant species found here, including the White-Faced Ibis, Long-Tailed Reed Finch, American Oyster catcher, Green-Barred Woodpecker, Brown-Hooded Gull and many others. Peer through binoculars at various viewpoints to get a colorful look at these wonders of nature in their natural habitats. After 2 hours of bird watching venture through Santiago Vazquez, explore the terrain surrounding Lecocq National Park and stroll atop the white sands of Penino and Pascual Beaches. Along the way, refresh with mineral water and refuel with bananas, apples and Uruguay's famed pastry - bizcochos. The adventure concludes with a lovely stroll along the sandy shores where breathtaking panoramas and exotic bird watching opportunities are sure to be found before making your way back to the ship.

tour 4 The Architecture of Montevideo

Explore the history Montevideo with this 3 hour walking tour through the old and new city. Uncomver the mysteries and the charm of the old city as you walk through the streets with your expert guide and marvel at the European inspired architecture from the 20th century learning about the unique Art Decor style brought over after the war. Your first 45 minutes of the tour will take you through Old Town towards Plaza Independencia (Independence Square), the most important square in Montevideo connecting the Old city with the new downtown area. As you walk through her get a chance to see man of the city's iconic landmarks such as the Palacio Salvo and the Teatro Solis. Continue the walk towards downtown passing by the Congress building and the Agriculture Market offering an array of locally grown produce and specialty items. The last hour of the tour will take you through the former Carrasco Hotel, Navy square, Engineering and Architecture faculties and the Buceo neighborhood before making your way back to the port.

tour 5 Old Town Walking Tour

Depart the pier for the brief transfer to the Old Town of Montevideo. Upon arrival, you will start a 2.5-hour walking tour through the Old Town's narrow streets. Along the way, you will take in an eclectic blend of architecture and arts dating back to the 19th and 20th centuries. Your walking tour will continue on with a visit to the Plaza Zabala: the only fenced square in the Old Town, a charming late 19th century spot with a Monument dedicated to the city's founder, Bruno Mauricio de Zabala. Walk past the former home of General Fructuoso Rivera, Uruguay's first president and the well-preserved, early-19th- century building the Museum of National History. Stop at the Constitution Square to browse through the stalls of the Flea Market and also find some of the best preserved buildings from the Spanish Colonial period.

Walk by the Cabildo (former Town Hall from 1804), the Cathedral (1790-Spanish Neoclassical). Revel in the Italian influence in architecture from buildings like the Club Uruguay with its fantastic facade (by Luigi Andreoni -1884) and the marble Water Fountain, (a sculpture by Gianni Ferrari- 1871). A close walking distance away is the Solis Theatre (1842) recently restored and the centre of Montevideo's artistic activities. Visit Independence Square, centered by the huge horse mounted statue of General Jose Gervasio Artigas (National Hero) and his Mausoleum. Stop for lunch at the Port market to enjoy some traditional Uruguavan Asado, sausages, cheeses and local desserts. Return to the ship.

On to Buenos Aires

Silver Cloud Dakar to Buenos Aires