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View of Rio from Christ the Redeemer statue during rio city tour

Buenos Aires to Fortaleza

Example 15 Day Cruise aboard Silver Wind
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Enjoy full immersion into South American cultures aboard the Silver Wind on this 15-day voyage exploring Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil. Depart from Buenos Aires, and enjoy private tours, winery visits, and calm waters. Learn about Spanish, German, and Portuguese colonial history and their influence on the vibrant modern cultures of South America. Cruise to the fiery city of Rio de Janeiro: from the famous Christ the Redeemer statue, to a tour of the buzzy urban art scene, this is a city worth discovering. Brilliant sunsets, romantic waterfall hikes, and birding in the lush jungle add color to this tapestry of South American sensations.
Colorful and unique architecture of Buenos Aires, Argentina.Playa Brava Monumento Mano, Punta del EsteA local boat on the beaches of ParatyDunes and the beachBuenos Aires!View of Rio from Christ the Redeemer statue during rio city tour
Highlights
  • Try the dune buggies at the Parque Das Dunas
  • Tour cacao plantations in Ilheus
  • Explore the buzzing city of Rio de Janeiro
  • See Punta del Este's signature artwork "The Hand"
Places Visited
Trip Type:
  • Small Ship
Activity Level: Relaxed
0

Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Buenos Aires, Argentina | Embark

Passionate, and alive with an infectious crackling energy, the Argentine capital is a breathlessly romantic city, which blends old-world colonial architecture with a down-to-earth Latin American clamour. Famed for steamy tango interplays, and expertly seared steak slabs, a visit to Buenos Aires is a fiery fiesta for the senses. Parque Tres de Febrero is a 400-hectare oasis where 18,000 rose bushes bloom, and skyscrapers give way to still lakes and pretty paths of rollerblading locals. Mighty palm trees - that look like exploding fireworks - stand tall in Plaza de Mayo, the heart of this sprawling cosmopolitan capital of 48 barrios. The square has served as the stage for many fundamental events in this country’s history, and the location where the seeds of independence were sewn continues to serve as the city’s gathering point - and is a place for solidarity, rebellion and revolution.

The presidential Casa Rosada’s salmon-hued Palatial Palace borders the plaza, while nearby Museum Nacional de Bellas Artes houses the largest collection of public art in Latin America. Teatro Colón, the opulent 1908 opera house, is one of the world’s finest venues - musical performance here take on an ethereal quality, with the exceptional acoustics transferring every quiver of bow, and tremor of vocal cord, to the audience in spine-tingling clarity. The gargantuan, precipitous terraces of Bombonera Stadium form another of Buenos Aires’s incredible venues, and a wall of noise emanates from it when Boca Juniors take to the field

Day 2: Punta del Este, Uruguay

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The fingertips of a showstopping sculpture, emerging from Punta Del Este’s golden sands, is the perfect example of this chic beach city's creative outlook. Stunning stretches of shining sands line the peninsula’s coast, attracting the great and glamourous from across Uruguay and Argentina. Drawn to the beautiful beaches of this seaside city, the well-heeled visitors are joined by a flotilla of yachts, which park up for summer in the ‘Monaco of the South’ - the continent’s city to see and be seen. One of Punda del Este's main beaches, Playa Mansa, enjoys calms seas and a sun-soaked location - overlooked by a soaring lighthouse, which is orbited by gliding sea birds. The sand is soft and inviting, so lie back to soak up the intense sun, before views of Gorriti Island just offshore. On the other side is Playa Brava, where the city’s signature artwork, ‘The Hand’ - one of many quirky sculptures that litter the streets - grasps at the sky.

Relax your way – whether that’s cracking golf balls along coastal courses, cycling beside washing waves, or swimming in tempting waters. Bustling nightlife, art galleries, and museums give Punta del Este an artsy, eclectic atmosphere. Close to the port, you can discover fancy restaurants, serving up stacks of fresh seafood – and enjoy opulent meals while relishing golden views down over the port, where lavish yachts and modest fishing boats mingle. Head down to the harbour to see fishermen selling freshly caught produce and sea lions gathering to feast on the scraps.

Day 3: Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
A short tidal channel does not sound like it deserves the name of Rio Grande. The ‘river’ joins the estuary waters of the large Laguna dos Patos to the Atlantic Ocean. The city of Rio Grande de Sul is named after the river, so recognises the importance of this aquatic link. Established in 1737 by the Portuguese to support and protect colonisation, the city is a great place for walking to admire historic squares and architecture, including the all-important churches. The outer banks of the lagoon face the sea with the Praia do Cassino Beach, at 240 kilometres (150 miles) the longest in the world. Now, it is a playground for wind powered land boats. Protecting the coast, dunes and wetlands between the lagoon and the sea, an hour south of Rio Grande de Sul, is Taim Ecological Station. This diverse collection of habitats supports many aquatic wetland plants and fauna. Explore the area and you may spot water-loving mammals, such as Capybaras and Coypus, sharing the wetlands with Broad-snouted Caimans, turtles and waterbirds. Spoonbills, ibis and storks tower over smaller birds at the water’s edge.

Ashore, the forests and grasses support their own bird and plant life. The passion of farming, which drove the colonization of the land, still thrives in rural areas beyond the city. Farmers are always keen to demonstrate their agricultural successes, by showing off the farms and presenting the products in culinary feasts. You cannot beat a Brazilian BBQ, which is seldom without music, movement and colour.

Day 4: At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.

Day 5: Porto Belo, Brazil

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Beautiful beaches attract many to Porto Belo, but there are other natural attractions. The Atlantic forest of the Brazil coast has a great variety of plants and birds, including many found nowhere else. It is second only to the Amazon in diversity. But most of the forest has been cleared for agriculture. Trekking in the surviving forest near Port Belo puts you amid the super-rich and rare ecosystem. Azorean culture has become a source of pride to locals in recent years. Between 1747 and 1756, Portugal sent nearly 7500 immigrants from the Azores and Madeira to the state of Santa Catarina. They were enticed with money, land, agricultural tools, seeds, livestock and weapons to populate and secure the Portuguese colonial territory from local indigenous people and rival Europeans. They settled and flourished in settlements such as Porto Belo for ten generations.

You can still find Azorean cultural influences in cuisine, holy ghost festivals, colourful boats and architecture seen at Praça dos Pescadores (Fishermen’s Square) in Porto Belo. German influence is strong in the southern Brazilian state of Santa Catarina. From the early 19th century, Germans emigrated and made up over 50% of immigrants to the state. Adapting to tropical conditions was hard, but many coped with farming and excelled in producing children. Today towns like Blumenau maintain a strong German influence in architecture and festivities, and especially in the essential tradition of locally brewed beer and classic German sausages.

Day 6: Paranaguá, Brazil

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Atlantic rainforest draws us inland from the Paranaguá port, and it is fun exploring it by boat, coach, foot or even up a tower! Much of the rich and diverse forests of Brazil’s Atlantic coast has been cleared but here the largest surviving tracts are preserved in national parks and reserves. The uniqueness and rarity of the forest’s biology led to the declaration of the Atlantic Forests of South Eastern Brazil World Heritage Area. Dramatic rainforest-covered mountains have scenic wonders with names like Devil’s Throat Canyon and Véu da Noiva Waterfall, describing the ruggedness of the landscape. One way to experience the Atlantic forest is by boating along waterways amongst the trees. Local people still live with the forest and they help us understand their traditional links with the flora and fauna. Birds are a feature of the Atlantic forests with many species not found elsewhere.

Private reserves with a focus on environmental education and leisure help visitors appreciate the forest. Walking trails, guides and a viewing tower help us to spot and identify the diverse avifauna and exuberant flora. It is hard to decide whether to try to photograph a hummingbird hovering at a flower or concentrate on the flower, because it doesn’t move. Within the forests of the coastal range are historic towns like Guaraqueçaba and Morretes. Here, we meet the colourful Brazilian culture. Colonial architecture, friendly people and a little relaxation with good local food are added to the day’s mix of experiences.

Day 7: Ilha de Anchieta, Brazil

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Times change. What once was a place of punishment is now a destination for pleasure. Ilha de Anchieta is the site of a former presidio (prison) with a violent history. The ruins of the presidio are now included in the Ilha de Anchieta State Park which also protects the island’s Atlantic forest and unspoilt coastline. Walking tracks access views, beaches and give unmissable contact with the Atlantic forest, adorned with palms, orchids and bromeliads. Walks include the Saco Grande Trail (2.8 km round trip), the Praia do Sul Trail (2.2 km round trip) and the Represa Trail (0.7 km round trip).

The island has a tragic past. In 1926 Bulgarian immigrants were housed here but 100 died from eating untreated cassava. Japanese immigrants were imprisoned at the presidio in the aftermath of World War II. In 1952 the prisoners were criminals and political detainees. They were treated so badly they rioted, resulting in a bloodbath of 118 deaths. The prison closed shortly after. You can wander reflectively around the large prison and the nearby barracks and village where much fighting took place.

The clear waters allow good snorkelling to look for fish, like the Atlantic Goliath Groper. Swimming Green Turtles may even be seen from the trails. The Sao Paulo Zoo introduced several Brazilian animals to the island. Look for capybaras, marmosets and coatis. Of course, birds are a feature in Atlantic forests, with tanagers and hummingbirds bright highlights. Today you don’t need to be a criminal to visit the island.

Day 8: Paraty, Brazil

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Surrounded by dense swathes of rainforest, the gorgeous 18th century architecture of Paraty sits in a spectacular location on Brazil’s verdant Costa Verde. The pedestrianised town is a whitewashed canvas, splashed with bold blocks of primary colours, which shine above cobbled streets. Paraty and four nearby protected natural areas of Brazilian Atlantic Forest are a UNESCO World Heritage Site for their cultural and natural values. Gold is a key theme for Paraty and the region. Gold was stripped from inland mines and brought to Paraty’s port for export. Mules trains transporting the wealth reprovisioned at the 17th century Bananal Farm, with its water driven sugar mill, located 8 kilometres (5 miles) from Paraty. Gold is irresistible. English and French pirates hiding out in the nearby village of Trinidade raided the gold ships leaving Paraty. Now the modern gold is the colour of the beaches, where rainforest cascades from the hills.

There are many ways to experience Serra da Bocaina National Park, whether by foot, hoof or paddle. The sounds of birds in the rainforest will accompany you as you traverse trails to gushing streams or cross the sheltered waters of Paraty Bay to tropical islands. Birds are prolific around Paraty. The Atlantic forest has 120 endemic (not found elsewhere) species of birds in addition to more widespread types. Brilliantly coloured tanagers are highlights, as are hummingbirds, toucans and parrots. When asked ‘what is your favourite bird’? Answer with ‘the next one’.

Day 9: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Lie back on the golden sands to soak up the extraordinary setting - or watch on as muscled cariocas - locals - perform effortless athletic feats, during casual volleyball matches. A trip up to Rio de Janeiro’s iconic art-deco statue of Christ the Redeemer is, of course, a must do - offering an extraordinary view of the city rolling out before your eyes. You’ll also want to take a cable car to swing by the top of Sugarloaf Mountain, which juts sharply into the sky from nowhere. Brazil’s second largest city moves to an infectious samba beat, and the famous thumping Carnival floods colour and floats down its streets each year. Of course, Rio is also a city of sharp cultural contrasts – offering fun in the sun for some, while life goes on very much as it always has for others. Take a guided tour, led by a resident, to see the conditions inside these complex tapestries of colour and chaos first-hand. Tijuca National Park, offers easy-to-access tranquillity, immersing you in dense forestry and whopping birdsong. Later, watch the fiery shades of sunset spread across the sky in the city’s oh so famous evening light show. With so much to offer, you’ll quickly learn how Rio earned its other name ‘Cidade Maravilhosa’ – The Marvellous City.

Day 10: At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.

Day 11: Porto Seguro, Brazil

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Porto Seguro – loosely translated as safe bay – is known as “Brazil’s birth certificate”. The port was the first place that Alavares Cabral and his crew set foot on while on their way to India in 1500. This makes the town the oldest in the country at 500 years. With three churches and around 40 buildings (both private residential houses and public institutions), restored by the state government for the 500th anniversary celebration of Brazilian discovery, Porto Seguro wears its age well.

Day 12: Ilheus, Brazil

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Ilheus is the town at the centre of the Cocoa Coast. The world’s love of chocolate made Bahia state a world leader in growing cocoa. Fortunes were made from the ‘Black Gold’. The cocoa tree is native to the Amazon Basin and thrived in Bahia—until a fungus decimated the cocoa crops of Bahia in the 1990s and shattered dreams. Now a resurgence of cocoa with resistant trees is fuelling a new style of cultivation. The emphasis is on quality with flavour, sustainability and organic growing. Cocoa trees need to grow in the shade of taller trees. Originally this was in natural forest, and then under plantations of shade trees. Some farms are returning to planting in the forest where cocoa has shade, and the forest trees are protected. Cocoa is extracted from large pods growing from the trunks of small trees. The cocoa is processed locally to become the base for a selection of culinary delights.

Splendid baroque and gothic style buildings in Ilheus are evidence of the golden age of cocoa wealth, although money was not shared equally. Cocoa barons battled (sometimes violently) for land and power. Meanwhile the poor worked hard. The lives of poor urban and rural communities were encapsulated by Jorge Amado, the best-known author of Ilheus and Brazil. He wrote over 25 novels, which were translated into 48 languages. Buildings described in the novels were real and still exist. Try reading ‘Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon’ or ‘Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands’ as you munch on a piece of Bahia chocolate.

Day 13: At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.

Day 14: Natal, Brazil

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Local Brazilians flock to the sweeping beaches at Natal. As the capital of Rio Grande do Norte state, Natal has developed quickly to cater for this style of tourism. However, it has history. In 1598 the Portuguese constructed Fortaleza dos Reis Magos. The fort’s strategic location is at the mouth of the Rio Potengi, and near the easternmost and thus closest point of South America to Europe and Africa. Beyond the modern tourism strip is an older Natal with the governor’s palace, mayor's office and André Albuquerque Square. American architectural influences persist from the time the city was a base during World War II. The city encircles a natural park of urban forest and sand dunes.

The 16th century Portuguese Fort Reis Magos contains details of battles among the Portuguese, Dutch, and French. The craft centre demonstrates lace tatting and Capoeira, the Afro-Brazilian martial art developed by slaves in the 16th century. Capoeira combines dance, acrobatics and music, and often involves hands on the ground and inverted kicks. Try it on land, not the ship. Dramatic windswept bare sand dunes lie in and around Natal. The dunes at Genipabú are ever changing as the winds alter direction and speed. Dunes transform and are never in the same place for long. Amongst the dunes are clear lakes and pockets of flora. Dune buggies allow you to explore the dunes in either a ‘unemotional’ sedate style or an ‘emotional’ (read, scary adrenaline rush) style. Pitangui Lagoon allows the survivors to swim or calm down.

Day 15: Fortaleza, Brazil | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Lie back and let it all go in Fortaleza - a bright and breezy Brazillian beachside city of relaxation and rejuvenation. The ‘City of Light' basks in the reliable glow of the bountiful Brazilian sun for 2,800 hours each year, and the locals make the most of it, spreading out across sweeping stretches of pristine golden sand. Nestled on the north-eastern coast of Brazil, reaching towards the equator, the city is as off the beaten track as a vast state capital can be, and it moves to its own infectious forró rhythms. Get energised for a day exploring - or relaxing - with a morning swim. Dip into the sea at Praia do Futuro, or settle on the sand to listen to the soundtrack of the waves. Fresh coconut water served up from barracas - beach bars – will keep you feeling nice and refreshed. Iracema beach is another urban favourite, while Cumbuco Beach is a tempting option outside of Fortaleza, boasting a vast stretch of idyllic white sand that's punctuated only by the occasional leaning palm tree. Raise the pulse by skidding and roll across sand dunes while you're out here. If you've had your fill of sea and sand, explore Fortaleza itself to discover more of Brazil's fifth-largest city.

Ship/Hotel

Silver Wind

Dates & Prices

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Per person starting at
$7,380
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Vista Suite
Twin beds or queen-sized bed. Large picture window providing panoramic ocean views and comfortable sitting area.
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Classic Veranda Suite
Twin beds or queen-sized bed. Teak veranda with patio furniture and floor-to-ceiling glass doors and comfortable sitting area.
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Deluxe Verdana Suite
Twin beds or queen-sized bed. Teak veranda with patio furniture and floor-to-ceiling glass doors and comfortable sitting area.
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Medallion Suite
Twin beds or queen-sized bed. Teak veranda with patio furniture and floor-to-ceiling glass doors and a comfortable sitting area.
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Silver Suite
Twin beds or queen-sized bed. Teak veranda with patio furniture and floor-to-ceiling glass doors and a comfortable sitting area.
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Royal Suite
Twin beds or queen-sized bed; Two-bedroom has additional twin beds or queen-sized bed. Large teak veranda and a separate dining area and bar.
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Grand Suite
Twin beds or queen-sized bed; Two-bedroom has additional twin beds or queen-sized bed. Large teak veranda and a separate dining area and bar.
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Owner's Suite
Twin beds or queen-sized bed; Two-bedroom has additional twin beds or queen-sized bed. Large teak veranda and a separate dining area and bar.

Notes

Included in the cruise fare:
  • Guided Zodiac, land and sea tours, and shoreside activities led by the Expeditions Team
  • Enrichment lectures by a highly qualified Expeditions Team
  • Spacious suites
  • Butler service in every suite
  • Unlimited Free Wifi
  • Personalised service – nearly one crew member for every guest
  • Choice of restaurants, diverse cuisine, open-seating dining
  • Beverages in-suite and throughout the ship, including champagne, select wines and spirits
  • In-suite dining and room service
  • Onboard entertainment
  • Onboard gratuities

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The trip might have been the absolute best of our lifetime (thus far). We particularly want to commend our guide Peter in the Guilin area-he was so incredibly attentive, energetic, enthusiastic-and absolutely dedicated to ensuring that our meals were 100% vegetarian.
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