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Beautiful red bird, Scarlet Ibis, Eudocimus ruber in its typical environment

Rainforests and Riches of the Caribbean & Brazil

Philipsburg to Fortaleza - Example 13 Day Cruise aboard SH Vega
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Set sail on an adventure that will introduce you to a superlative-defying part of the world. This 12-night Caribbean & Brazilian Coasts takes you from volcanic islands in the Caribbean Sea, along the northeastern coast of Brazil. Starting from Sint Maarten in the Lesser Antilles, you travel to Iles des Saintes in Guadeloupe, Soufriere in St Lucia, Trinidad & Tobago, Iles du Salut in French Guiana, and onwards to Brazil, starting at the mouth of the Amazon and crossing the equator. From here, the ship journeys into the southern hemisphere before ending in Fortaleza. From Dutch, French, and British colonial influences to Portuguese, your cruise on board a boutique expedition ship takes you to destinations off the beaten path of many visitors to discover historic buildings and stunning natural heritage on a beguiling journey of the Caribbean and scenic Brazilian coasts.
Relax on the beaches of St. MaartenSunset over PhilipsburgPanorama of Les SaintesSoufrière Bay, Saint LuciaBeautiful red bird, Scarlet Ibis, Eudocimus ruber in its typical environment
Highlights
  • Walk up to Fort Napoléon in Guadeloupe for views across the Les Saintes bay
  • Watch colorful exotic birds flit about the lush rainforest in Tobago
  • Visit the Iles du Salut and discover the Devil’s Island
  • See the spectacular sand dune landscape of Lencois Maranhenses
Activity Level: Relaxed
Involves minimal physical effort and is typically associated with leisurely activities. Activities are low-intensity or last less than a few hours each day.
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Philipsburg

Arrive in Philipsburg, relax, and spend the overnight in Oyster Bay Beach Resort or similar.

Day 2: Philipsburg | Embark

Your sweep of the Caribbean, the Guianas and the Amazon begins today in Sint Maarten, the Dutch side of the island of St Maarten/St Martin. This portion of the nearly 10,000-hectare landmass is livelier than the French side, and the cruise-ship terminal is located about 1.5 kilometers from the center of the capital, Philipsburg. If time allows before you board your elegant ship, Philipsburg has everything you might want: there’s a soft-sand beach – Great Bay Beach – and the shopping is some of the best in the Caribbean. For a touch of culture, take in the cupola-topped courthouse, considered one of the most famous buildings on the island, or the small but enlightening Sint Maarten Museum, with exhibits that covers everything from salt and shipwrecks to slavery.

Day 3: Iles des Saintes

The bijou volcanic archipelago, Îles des Saintes – which also goes by just Les Saintes – is located within the island group of Guadeloupe, an overseas department of France. Les Saintes is the answer to all your Caribbean prayers. Made up of just seven islands, only two of which are inhabited, they are easily one Guadeloupe’s most beautiful region and offer a real glimpse into an old French-tinged Caribbean. Only accessible to smaller cruise ships, arrive in Terre-de-Haut with its gin-clear waters, sugar-sand beaches and swaying palms. Breton-style fishing boats line the bay, which is excellent for snorkeling, and there are red-roofed Creole houses and croissant-serving cafes in the town. Be sure to explore the superb art galleries and antique boutiques.

Day 4: Soufriere | St Lucia

Day 3: SOUFRIERE, ST LUCIA The towering twin volcanic spires of the iconic Pitons dominate the scenery as you sail into spectacular Soufriere Bay. Below the peaks, the town itself - the original capital of St Lucia - is charming, with colorful wooden houses and a relaxed vibe. Nearby highlights include the 18th-century Morne Coubaril cocoa plantation. Further afield, explore a collapsed crater and soak in mineral-rich mud baths at Sulphur Springs or enjoy an exhilarating glide above the verdant rainforest canopy by open-air cable car.

Day 5: Scarborough

Explore the port city of Scarborough, the capital of Tobago and a cultural center of Trinidad and Tobago. Land on this laid-back, largely unspoiled island, which is known for its clear, blue seas, untamed rainforest, and exceptional bird-watching opportunities. With more than 220 species identified, Tobago is top of many twitchers’ must-visit lists. The island’s proximity to South America means several of its birds are not found on other Caribbean islands, including neighboring Trinidad. But before you set out in search of the six species of hummingbirds that flit about the rainforests here or to dive in Buccoo Bay – one of Jacques Cousteau’s favorite places; be sure to explore the town of Scarborough. Head straight to Fort King George, a restored defensive post that has cannons, an informative little museum located in what was the officers’ quarters, and jaw-dropping views. The city’s botanical gardens pack horticultural heat with plenty of orchids and bromeliads blooming.

Day 6-7: At sea

You can spend your day at sea enjoying the many facilities available. Head to the sauna, get in a workout in the state-of-the-art gym or relax in the jacuzzi whilst taking in incredible views along the way. If you prefer to learn a little more about your surroundings, listen to an informative talk or have a chat with one of the knowledgeable on-board experts.

Day 8: Iles du Salut

The three tiny islands that make up Îles du Salut are known in English as the Salvation Islands. The irony of this moniker has been well noted over the years. Located 15 kilometers north of Kourou (home of the European Space Agency’s spaceport), this small part of French Guiana was once an infamous penal colony that began as an exile for political prisoners after the French Revolution. Separated by choppy waters and shark-infested seas from each other and the mainland, Saint-Joseph, Devil’s Island, the only one aptly named, and Île Royale, detained prisoners such as Alfred Dreyfus, a Jewish army officer convicted in 1894 on false charges. The last prisoners were released as recently as the 1950s, and in the 1970s, the islands came to worldwide attention when ex-inmate Henri Charrière’s autobiographical novel, Papillon, was published. The subsequent film starred acting powerhouses, Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman. Explore this former place of confinement freely today.

Day 9: At sea

Sea days are rarely dull. Take the time to sit back and let the world go by. The ship’s observation decks provide stunning views of the passing ocean. A day at sea gives you the opportunity to mingle with other passengers and share your experiences of this incredible trip or head to the library which is stocked full of reference books. Get an expert’s view in one of the on-board lectures or perhaps perfect your photography skills with invaluable advice from the onboard professional photographers.

Day 10: Belem

Once one of the most prosperous cities in South America thanks to the 19th-century rubber boom, today Belém remains a thriving river port. The opulence of Belém’s golden era can still be experienced at the neoclassical-style 1874 Theatro da Paz on the Praça de Repúplica. The building is a charming remanent of a glamorous bygone era when the city was known as ‘the tropical Paris’. These days it's known as the gateway to the Amazon. Pretty green spaces are shaded by mango trees, and the historical centre has plenty of wonderful museums to enjoy. The bustling Ver-o-Paso market is the city’s star attraction and is the largest open-air market in Latin America.

Day 11-12: At sea

Days at sea are the perfect chance to relax, unwind and do whatever takes your fancy. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, trying to spot a whale from the deck, reading a chapter or two, or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to the green days spent exploring on land.

Day 13: Fortaleza | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Cruise into the harbor city of Fortaleza, the capital of Ceará. Located as it is in the remote and relatively unpopulated coastline of northeastern Brazil, you might be surprised by Fortaleza’s size and sprawl – it’s Brazil’s fifth-largest city. Appealing in part because of its history, this buzzing beachside metropolis started out in 1654 as the Dutch outpost of Shoonenbroch. Still, it was soon retaken by the Portuguese who renamed it Fortaleza (fortress). Before you hit the beach, you might want to tour the imposing Romano-Gothic cathedral, the jammed-packed Central Market (near the church), the Art Nouveau-styled José de Alencar Theatre, and the Dragão do Mar Centre of Art & Culture. Instagrammers won’t want to miss the photogenic Ponte dos Ingleses (English Bridge).

Ship/Hotel

SH Vega

SH Vega
SH Vega Club Lounge
SH Vega Club Lounge

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
SH Vega Suite OceanViewOceanview
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Oceanview D4
19 m2, Oceanview staterooms features 2 single beds, bedroom and living room and a luxurious ensuite bathroom.
SH Vega Suite OceanViewOceanview
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Oceanview M4
19 m2, Oceanview staterooms features 2 single beds, bedroom and living room and a luxurious ensuite bathroom.
Balcony
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Balcony D5
28 m2, Located at the forward and aft of the ship, these balcony staterooms feature 2 single beds or double bed bedrooms with a living room area, a luxurious bathroom and your own private 6m2 balcony
Balcony
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Balcony M5
28 m2, Located at the center of the ship, these balcony staterooms feature 2 single beds or double bed bedrooms with a living room area, a luxurious bathroom and your own private 6m2 balcony
Balcony
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Balcony D6
28 m2, Located on deck six, these balcony staterooms feature 2 single beds or double bed bedroom with living room area, a luxurious bathroom and your own private 6m2 balcony
SH Vega SuitePremium suitePremium Suite
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Suite
44 m2, Our Suites features a super king bed and separate living room with and a soothing flame-effect fireplace a luxurious ensuite bathroom, and a 12 sq.m. private balcony.
SH Vega Suite PremiumSH Vega Suite PremiumPremium suitePremium Suite
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Premium Suite
49 m2, Our grandest suites feature a super king bed and separate living room with and a soothing flame-effect fireplace a luxurious ensuite bathroom, a spacious walk-in wardrobe, and a 12 sq.m private balcony.
Included
  • 12 Breakfasts, 10 Lunches, 11 Dinners
  • 12 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Room Service 
  • Wifi
  • Coffee, tea, soft drinks and selected alcoholic beverages available 24-hours per day
  • Lecture programs by our experienced expedition team and guest speakers
  • Onboard gratuities & port taxes
  • Branded Swan Hellenic expedition parka and use of rubber boots in Polar Regions.
  • Group return transfers from the airport to the cruise port (via our included accommodation where applicable)
  • One night pre-cruise accommodation with breakfast in a 4/5-star hotel or onboard
  • One selected shore excursion/expedition activities per port of call (Kayak not included, bookable for a fee on board)
Excluded
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Passport and Applicable Visa Expenses
  • We recommend every traveler to take out a travel cancellation insurance, travel interruption insurance and a travel health insurance policy with an assumption of the return transport costs of repatriation

Map

When to Go

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.

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