updated 10/31/2008 11:46:50 AM ET 2008-10-31T15:46:50

Book by: ASAP
Travel by: Select sailings through Dec. 7

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The deal
Cruising South America often comes with a hefty price tag, but many travelers are still willing to pay a pretty penny for these incredible exotic voyages. After factoring in transportation costs to departure ports in South America, average rates can cost anywhere from $2000 to $4,000 (or more!). Happily, our editors have rounded up some great deals on cruises that leave from US ports for a fraction of the cost. Starting from just $394, you can make that coveted trip through the Panama Canal or explore the ancient city of the Incas. Plus, if you’re in need of a little pampering along the way, we've also found a luxury sailing at rates of up 84 percent off.

19-day Norwegian voyage from San Francisco to Chile from $394
Clear your calendar for November because this 19-day last-minute voyage on offer from Cruise.com clocks in at an unheard of low price of $394 for interior rooms, or $569 for oceanview. That's just $21 per night, for a savings of up to 80 percent off!  Plus, enjoy extras like up to $500 in onboard spending. Cast your presidential vote early — the Norwegian Sun sets sail from San Francisco on Election Day, and makes a quick stop in Los Angeles.  After that, head to Acapulco before making your way down to El Quetzal, Guatemala. The cruise also visits Puntarenas, Costa Rica, the port of Manta in Ecuador, and Callao, Peru. The last leg of the journey comprises three ports of call in Chile, with its final disembarkation there, in Valparaiso.

Celebrity cruise through Panama Canal from $499
This 14-night voyage on offer from Orbitz.com will have you back home in time for the holidays. The elegant Celebrity Infinity sets off December 7 from Fort Lauderdale making its way to the first port of call in Cartagena, Colombia, a tropical "Emerald City" famous for its fine gems and blue lagoons. From there, sail through the storied Panama Canal, followed by a visit to Manta, Ecuador; Lima, Peru; and Arica, La Serena, and Valparaiso, Chile. Interior cabin prices start at $499, with oceanview staterooms from just $699.

84 percent off Princess Latin American cruise from San Francisco
If you’re looking to spring for a bit of luxury, you won’t need to empty your bank account to do so, courtesy of this elegant journey onboard the Star Princess with a jaw-dropping price tag of just $675, as offered from VacationsToGo.com. That's an incredible 84 percent off rack rates!  Relax in one of four pools, have a smoke in the cigar bar, or unwind in the Lotus spa. The voyage begins November 20 in San Francisco, with stops at Cabo San Lucas and Acapulco. Then, it's off to see the natural wonders of Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, and Ecuador. The ship then visits Lima, Peru’s bustling capital city where you can visit museums, enjoy Peruvian cuisine or dance the night away. This 18-day sailing concludes with two final ports of call in Coquimbo and Santiago, in Chile.

13-night Holland America voyage from Fort Lauderdale from $899
If you tend to shy away from larger ships like the Star Princess, then this 13-night sailing on Holland America's mid-sized Statendam may be more your style. The reduced rate of $899 is a whopping 76 percent of the brochure price, and will get you a ticket to sail from Fort Lauderdale to the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos islands, before setting sail through the Panama Canal. Then, explore Santa Marta, Colombia and the San Blas Islands in Panam, before traversing the Panama Canal. Stops in Panama City and Manta, Ecuador round out the itinerary before the ship disembarks in Peru at Callao (Lima), from where you can opt to take a tour to Machu Picchu, the mysterious lost city of the Incas. The Statendam sets sail November 10.

The dollars
All quotes are per person and based on double occupancy. Rates cover accommodations, meals and entertainment on the ship. Fees and taxes, as well as shore excursions, personal expenses, alcoholic beverages and tips are additional.

The catch
While you don’t have to worry about transportation to South America, at some point you have to come home — one-way fares between the Americas can be pricey.

ShermansTravel is a guide to top travel deals and destinations. Sign up for Sherman's Top 25 e-newsletter which features the best editor-screened deals from hundreds of travel providers and is delivered to over 4 million subscribers, free, each week. ShermansTravel also publishes trip ideas and travel features to inspire, guide, and go.

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