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Spirit of Brazil

Fortaleza to Buenos Aires - Example 17 Day Cruise aboard SH Vega
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Wave-lapped shores beckon alongside Afro-Brazilian rhythms and buzzing cosmopolitan cities as we voyage along the Brazilian coast from Fortaleza, taking in Brazil’s biggest cities - Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, and Salvador de Bahia. Explore famous landmarks as well as lesser-known gems on this 16-night Brazilian Depth cruise. Imagine breathtaking islands and coastal landscapes with white-sand beaches, colorful reefs, and mangroves where wildlife such as turtles, dolphins, humpback whales, and plenty of seabirds ply the shores. Alongside, unwind on beaches, or take in the urban vibes of cities that have woven in their colonial past to become the buzzing metropolises of today. Feel the cultural rhythms come alive in the colorful old towns with the beat of samba and carnival, and take time to enjoy caipirinhas or pastels in one of the many bars, restaurants, or street food stalls. Travel on this boutique expedition ship along the Brazilian coastline and discover the many wonders of this dynamic country.
Highlights
  • Observe the size of the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro
  • Watch for humpback whales in the Abrolhos Archipelago
  • Wander the Portuguese-influenced streets of Paraty, a former Gold Rush town
  • Learn about the colorful history of this vibrant country from on-board experts
Places Visited
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: Fortaleza

Arrive in Fortaleza, relax, and spend the overnight in Hotel Gran Marquise Fortaleza or similar.

Day 2: Fortaleza | Embark

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Dinner
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).

Day 3: At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
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 4: Recife

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Disembark today in exciting Recife in the state of Pernambuco, Brazil’s fourth-largest city and home to more than four million inhabitants. Sprawled over several islands, it’s located at the confluence of the Beberibe and Capibaribe rivers and has been called (a little fancifully) the ‘Venice of Brazil’. The city is named for the reefs just offshore that make this city’s waters so calm and appealing here, so expect smooth seas as you glide into the port in Recife Antigo, the old town, located on its own island. Explore Old Recife’s sweet streets and colorful colonial architecture – built by merchants made wealthy by sugarcane – with coconut water in hand. Elsewhere in the city, you could shop at the artisanal Casa de Cultura or the massive RioMar Recife shopping center; explore the Instituto Ricardo Brennand and its swords and suits armor; visit the Oficina Cerâmica Francisco Brennand; or enjoy Boa Viagem beach. On Recife’s northern edge, just six kilometers from the city center lies the UNESCO World Heritage-listed 18th-century town of Olinda with its charming harmony of buildings, chapels, gardens, Baroque churches, convents, chapels

Day 5: At sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
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 6: Salvador da Bahia

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The capital of the state of Bahia. This multi-ethnic city is imbued with a youthful energy that’s hard to resist. More than anywhere else in Brazil, this is where Africa meets South America, and from capoeira to Candomblé, the culture reflects a deep and rich Afro-Brazilian heritage. Be sure to make time to explore the city before boarding your home-from-home for the next two weeks. A visit to Pelourinho, the historic center with its coil of cobblestone streets and brightly painted colonial buildings, is unmissable. Salvador was Brazil’s first capital from 1549 to 1763, and its old town is UNESCO-listed. Elsewhere there are myriad places to explore. Still, lovers of the literary works by Jorge Amado, one of the city’s favorite sons, shouldn’t miss out on exploring his former house, now a museum, A Casa do Rio Vermelho.

Day 7: Ilheus

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Ilhéus is a major city located in the southern coastal region of Bahia, Brazil, 211 km south of Salvador, the state's capital. The city was founded in 1534 as Vila de São Jorge dos Ilhéus and is known as one of the most important tourism centers of the northeast of Brazil.

Day 8: Porto Seguro

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The resort town of Porto Seguro – your port of call – is one of southern Bahia’s most popular destinations for homegrown travelers who visit to relax on the area’s superb beaches. This heavyweight tourist town is also a big-hitter historically: this is where a European first ‘discovered’ Brazil. Portuguese nobleman Pedro Álvares Cabral and his fleet, on its way to India, landed on what he called ‘True Cross Island’ in April 1500. The Discovery Memorial (Memorial da Epopéia do Descobrimento) makes this momentous event. The town’s historic core – Cidade Alta – with its numerous churches has been protected by the National Historic and Artistic Heritage Institute (IPHAN) since 1973, and it’s worth a visit. Having explored Porto Seguro, you might opt to turn your attention to nearby Arraial d’Ajuda, a deliciously languid former fishing village turned boho holiday hotspot. Sitting atop a bluff overlooking a picturesque stretch of the Discovery Coast, Arraial d’Ajuda came to light in the 1970s, and it’s been enticing stylish travelers with its considerable charm and quirky shops ever since.

Day 9: Abrolhos Archipelago

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Observing marine life in its natural habitat is high on the wish lists of many wildlife enthusiasts, and today you will have that opportunity as you explore the Abrolhos Archipelago. This archipelago is made up of five islands that sit within the Abrolhos Marine National Park, located off the coast of Bahia state. Considered to be the most biodiverse area in the South Atlantic, this reserve contains one of the world’s most extensive coral reefs. It’s home to at least 28 different species of mammals, birds, reptiles and fish that are threatened with extinction. It’s a breeding site for humpback whales and is home to colonies of leatherback and loggerhead sea turtles. Enjoy diving and snorkeling today in this unique environment that Charles Darwin once explored. Only one of the islands – Siriba – can be visited and as you walk here, you might see masked and brown boobies, frigatebirds, red-billed tropicbirds, sooty terns and brown noddies, all of which nest here.

Day 10-11: Rio de Janeiro

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil’s second most populated city, is coastal cool brought to life. Located along a stretch of famous Atlantic coastline, around Guanabara Bay, and surrounded by tropical forest-covered peaks, ridges and hills, the city was originally founded in 1565 by the Portuguese. It was the colonial capital from 1763, the capital of the independent country from 1822 until 1960 when it moved to the brand-new city of Brasília. Still, it continued to symbolise Brazil to the rest of the world and remained the country’s cultural capital. From museums to markets, beaches to churches, favelas to festivals, you’ll spend the next two days getting to know the Cidade maravilhosa. Where to even start? You can’t visit Rio without gaping at the scenery. After all, as the local’s say, on the eighth day, God created Rio. Head to the Sugarloaf Mountain or the art-deco statue of Christ the Redeemer on Corcovado Mountain in the Tijuca Forest national park for the world-famous views. Enjoy digging deeper into Rio today at some of the city’s cultural hotspots. The Santiago Calatrava-designed Museum of Tomorrow’s exterior is impressive, so take time to stroll around the reflection pool that gives visitors the impression the museum is floating. The dynamic Museu de Arte do Rio (MAR) is just across the plaza. Take the elevator to the sixth floor for the views and start from the top down. UNESCO-listed Valongo Wharf, Rio’s ‘slave harbor’ was the most significant arrival point for slaves in Brazil. Nearly a million slaves from West and Central Africa landed here. Only rediscovered due to preparations for the 2016 Olympics, this unique memorial is the “most important physical trace” of the devastating trade on the American continent, according to UNESCO. You can’t visit Rio without seeing some of starchitect Oscar Niemeyer’s work. Located in nearby Niterói, the Niterói Contemporary Art Museum opened in 1996 and is considered one of the last great buildings by the Brazilian Modernist. End your stay in Rio with a visit to famous Copacabana. It might seem cliched, but it’s still a must. Copacabana is arguably the best urban beach in the world. Soak up the good-time vibes with a caipirinha in hand bought from a beachside quiosque (kiosk).

Day 12: Paraty

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Hidden behind a curtain of rainforest – the lush Mata Atlântica – the tiny coastal town of Paraty is a joy to explore. Arrive at the pink and red harbor and disembark to explore the charming village, which was the center of a gold rush in the 18th century. Stroll around the cobblestoned streets of the historical center, recognized as a National Historic Site by IPHAN since 1966. It’s dotted with artisanal shops and independent galleries and lined with white-washed buildings made distinctive by their brightly colored doors, jambs and latticework. The mustard-yellow, 17th-century Our Lady of the Remedies church, is located in Paraty’s main square and is purported to have been financed by pirate treasure. If you wish to venture beyond the town, the Serra da Bocaina National Park is chock full of tumbling waterfalls and a ‘Gold Trail’; or the Saco do Mamanguá fjord is a picturesque snorkel-friendly paradise.

Day 13: Ancheta Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
As you approach this paradisiacal nature reserve, it may come as a surprise that it was once host to one of the biggest prison riots in the world. The Ancheta Island Correctional Institute was constructed in 1902 and primarily housed political prisoners until the infamous breakout occurred in 1952 when hundreds of inmates rebelled. The incident left many prisoners and guards dead and wounded, with the unsuccessful escapees transferred to other prisons. Subsequently abandoned by the authorities, the haunting prison ruins still stand today.

Day 14: Porto Belo

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The seafront town of Porto Belo lies at the base of a peninsula dotted with beaches, bays, and coves, and it has a great reputation among Argentine and Paraguayan tourists for its natural beauty, and water sports. The Praia Bombas and Praia Bombalinhas are the most popular, but word is that Mariscal may be less crowded and quieter. The town is set of a peninsula cradling an emerald-green bay, which gives the region its nickname of the Emerald Coast.

Day 15-16: At sea

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Today as you sail, you’ll bask in the endless comforts of your ship. From the deck, marvel at the dramatic sea views. Relax with a nurturing facial treatment or massage in the spa or delve into the ship’s learning resources. Or, simply take refuge in your cabin and enjoy the opportunity to rest.

Day 17: Buenos Aires | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Disembark in Buenos Aires, the capital and largest city of Argentina. This gracefully elegant and attractive city is wedged between the Río de la Plata and fabled Pampas. Known as ‘the Paris of the South’, it’s known for its belle époque grandeur rooted in European influences, and contemporary cosmopolitan verve fueled by passionately creative Portenos, as residents are called. Delve straight into the city’s history at the famous Recoleta Cemetery, where presidents, generals, poets and captains of industry rest in some 6,400 above-ground mausoleums. The Duarte Family crypt is Eva Perón’s final resting place. Observe as locals lay flowers for Evita. Near the necropolis, you’ll find one of the city’s oldest cafes, La Biela. Pop in for a drink to toast to your 14-day cruise; you’ll be in good company. Afterwards, be sure to visit a parrilla (steakhouse) leaving room for dulce de leche and time to watch some tango. Today is the final day of your exploration of South America’s coastline. Having overnighted aboard the SH Vega, say ‘hasta luego’ to your chic ship and its excellent crew. If time allows before you begin your journey home, continue your Buenos Aires experience in Plaza de Mayo, which is lined with the Casa Rosada, the Cabildo and the main cathedral and centered around the Piramid de Mayo, a white obelisk built to commemorate the first anniversary of Argentina’s independence from Spain. If you didn’t delve into the city’s irresistibly vivacious cultural scene yesterday, today is the day. Explore the National Museum of Decorative Arts – it’s a testimony to the lives of Argentinian high society at the start of the 20th century. From there, visit the sleek and modern Latin American Art Museum of Buenos Aires (Malba), which makes a big statement. Hit a high cultural note, at the city’s famed opera house, Teatro Colón, where a tour will reveal its grandeur.

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
  • 16 Breakfasts, 14 Lunches, 15 Dinners
  • 16 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)
  • Buenos Aires Hotel tax (up to $2 per person/night) - paid at checkout
  • 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

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Feb
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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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The trip was terrific with great planning on your part. Most of the adventures were not mainstream and somewhat off the beaten path which made it especially enjoyable!! We felt taken care of and you all were readily available to respond to questions and issues. I would highly recommend your company and friends have already expressed interest based on our pictures and excitement.
Gale Cantor

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