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About Montevideo

Unsung jewel of the South Atlantic, Montevideo, on the northern shore of the mighty River Plate, teems with an intoxicating mix of European tradition and colourful South American culture. With its shady downtown plazas to historic camps, forts, farms and missions that speak so eloquently of the dramas, hardships and battles of pioneering days, Uruguay's capital completely captivates the spirit.

 

Shore excursions in Montevideo

Please note: The shore excursions listed are typical for this port. The full programme of shore excursions available for your cruise will be displayed on Cruise Personaliser at least 12 weeks prior to departure.

A Day in the Countryside

Activity mediumMeal included

Duration: 6½ hours

Experience the lifestyle of a Uruguayan gaucho on this visit to the Estancia La Rábida; a day of relaxation and enjoyment.

A scenic drive introduces you to the sights of Montevideo city, including a stop at Independence Square and the Congress Building.

Afterwards, travel to Estancia La Rábida, where a traditional Uruguayan family exclusively welcomes you into their home. This authentic working ranch is the home to 650 milking cows producing 12,000 litres of milk daily assisted by state of the art technology and productivity systems.

You’ll be amazed at the perfect blend between rustic simplicity and cultural refinement which is characteristic of La Rábida. The ranch is a chosen location of the Uruguayan Government officials to entertain distinguished guests and offers an authentic glimpse of Uruguayan life.

Marvel at the scenery surrounding the ranch, with fields stretching onto high cliffs overlooking the striking beach coast of Rio de la Plata. Your delicious buffet style lunch is a traditional asado (barbeque) accompanied with wine and soft drinks.

As you relax at the ranch, capture the sights of the country and the unusual birdlife. You’ll also learn about some of the daily chores of gaucho life, such as milking a cow.

One thing that is for sure is that the friendliness of the owners and staff at this peaceful place of beauty will leave you feeling that the ranch is a home away from home.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. This tour involves moderate walking over some muddy surfaces, as well as a steep walk down to the beach over uneven ground. Passengers must be able to climb in and out of a dray truck or carriage on their own. Comfortable clothing and sturdy shoes are recommended. Seating at lunch will be on straw bales.

Birding the Santa Lucía Wetlands with Nigel Marven

Activity high

Duration: 6 hours

Explore a variety of Birding habitats, in a unique environment in the Uruguayan wetlands with Nigel Marven.

Along with an experienced Nature guide and Nigel Marven, your journey starts at the Montevideo pier where your English speaking guide will meet you for the 1 hour drive to the Santa Lucía wetlands. The drive will take you to the town of Santiago Vazquez where your specialised park ranger and guide will meet you.

The Santa Lucía Wetlands form an ecosystem that expands for 49,000 acres across 3 different provinces in Uruguay.

This area features very unique weather and soil conditions due to its proximity to the Santa Lucía river as well as the Rio de la Plata. Your first stop will be the Covisanvaz lagoon searching for water birds and herons and ducks.

After an hour at the lagoon, you’ll move on to the area known as the “race track” where you can observe birds of prey such as hawks, Southern Caracara, Chimango Caracara and some smaller birds that live in the brackish wetland.

Your final stop will be the Melilla track for visual and acoustic recognition of species in the only relict of native forest in the Montevideo province.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by minivan and on foot. There is approximately 3 hours total walking on this tour. Toilet facilities are limited. Smoking and flash photography is not permitted. Please wear a hat and sunscreen. Bring insect repellent and bottled water as well as a light snack or fruit. Lunch is not included. Do not forget your binoculars and camera. Wildlife Sightings are not guaranteed.

Colonia del Sacramento

Activity mediumMeal includedShopping

Duration: 8½ hours

Visit Colonia del Sacramento; the oldest city in Uruguay and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Uruguay’s oldest city, Colonia del Sacramento was founded by the Portuguese in 1680. A dispute between the Spanish and Portuguese followed, lasting for a century before it was finally lost to Spain, and today the influence of both remains in the city’s beautiful architecture. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995, Colonia is renowned for its Barrío Histórico (Historic Quarter), a cluster of narrow cobblestoned streets, boasting fine architecture and occupying a small peninsular protruding into the river, a natural setting that complements the town’s colonial style perfectly.

After a scenic journey of around 2½ hours, you’ll arrive at the picturesque town of Colonia del Sacramento.

At the Historic Quarter, step back in time as your knowledgeable guide brings to life the town’s colonial past. During a leisurely walking tour, you’ll pause to visit Uruguay’s oldest church dating from 1695, before enjoying exterior views of El Faro Lighthouse.

Continue by coach to the imposing bullring, Real de San Carlos (exterior view). Opened in 1910, the bullring could entertain up to 10,000 spectators, eager to watch some of the most famous bullfighters of that time. It was closed in 1912 after the sport was abolished.

A delicious lunch will be served at a local restaurant, and if time permits you'll have some free time to explore independently before the return drive to Montevideo.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. There is around 1 hour of walking, mainly over cobble stoned streets. The journey to Colonia del Sacramento is approximately 2½ hours each way.

Complete Montevideo

Activity mediumMeal included

Duration: 6½ hours

Take in the highlights of Montevideo, before experiencing a taste of Uruguay during lunch and entertainment at Spinoglio winery.

An orientation drive will introduce you to some of the main highlights of the city of Montevideo including the Batlle and Ordoñez Park, Obelisk and the football stadium. Photograph stops will be made at La Carreta and the Congress Building, before your tour continues to the Jacksonville district and the Spinoglio winery.

Founded in 1898, the Spinoglio family acquired the winery in 1960. Since then, three generations of the family have been working tirelessly to produce high quality wines. The Spinoglio family is originally from the Piedmont region in Italy.

Afterwards, a delicious local Uruguayan BBQ luncheon will be served, accompanied by a glass of red wine produced at Bodega Spinoglio. As you indulge in your delicious cuisine you’ll be entertained by a wonderful show of Tango and Milonga dancing.

At the end of your visit there will be the opportunity to purchase some of the different wines produced here, which are only available to visitors and are not for sale outside of the winery.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. There is approximately 45 minutes of walking on this tour as well as 10 steps to negotiate. Water and soft drinks will be available as an alternative to the red wine served with lunch.

Dinner and Show at Santa Rosa Winery

Activity mediumMeal included

Duration: 3½ hours

Experience a taste of Uruguay during dinner and a show at the Santa Rosa Winery.

Uruguay is the 4th largest wine producer in South America, attracting winemakers over a century ago with its soils and climate which are perfect for producing wine. Amongst them was Don Juan Bautista Passadore who founded the Santa Rosa Winery in 1898 and is responsible for locally developing grape varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pino Blanc and Chardonnay. Today Santa Rosa is a major exporter of Uruguayan wines and is best known for its exquisite Fond de Cave champagne.

Upon arrival, you’ll be greeted with a warm welcome from the owner, who’ll then lead you on a brief tour of the cellars, during which you’ll enjoy a glass of their famous champagne.

Afterwards, make your way to the ‘winery cave’, which will be your dining room for the evening. Indulge in a delicious 3-course dinner, accompanied by some of the different, local wines produced at Santa Rosa. Sit back, relax and savour delicious, local Uruguayan barbeque cuisine as you enjoy live tango and folklore or candombe entertainment in this unique setting.

At the end of your evening of entertainment, there will be the opportunity to purchase authentic Uruguayan wines from the winery store before the return journey to the ship.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot and involves approximately 30 minutes of walking, as well as a few steps to enter the ‘winery cave’, where dinner is served. Santa Rosa Winery produces, stores and sells wine; the vineyards are located far from the winery and therefore will not be viewed during your visit. There is limited space on this tour, therefore booking early is recommended.

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