- Walk the cobblestone streets in the colourful, historic centre of Salvador da Bahia
- Watch for humpback whales in the Abrolhos Archipelago
- Take in the enormity of the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro
- Wander the Portuguese-influenced streets of Paraty, a former Gold Rush town
- Learn about the colourful history of this vibrant country from our on-board experts
DATES / RATES
Rates are listed per person
|Start Date||End Date||From EUR||From USD|
|Oct 22, 2023||Nov 07, 2023||6,554
Rates are listed per person
|Start Date||End Date||From EUR||From USD|
|Oct 22, 2023||Nov 07, 2023||6,554
Cruise into the harbour 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).
Today’s trip to Natal, the capital of Rio Grande do Norte, is a chance to enjoy the sand and sea along this stunning stretch of coastline. Founded by the Portuguese at the mouth of the Rio Potengi on Christmas Day 1599, Natal itself is a clean and modern city, if a little nondescript – but that won’t bother you as you lounge, snorkel, dune buggy, sandboard or whatever other beach-based activity you chose to enjoy.
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 colourful 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 centre; explore the Instituto Ricardo Brennand and its swords and suits armour; visit the Oficina Cerâmica Francisco Brennand; or enjoy Boa Viagem beach. On Recife’s northern edge, just six kilometres from the city centre lies the UNESCO World Heritage-listed 18th-century town of Olinda with its charming harmony of buildings, chapels, gardens, Baroque churches, convents, chapels
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 our library which is stocked full of reference books. Get an expert’s view in one of our on-board lectures or perhaps perfect your photography skills with invaluable advice from our onboard professional photographers.
SALVADOR DA BAHIA
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 centre 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 favourite sons, shouldn’t miss out on exploring his former house, now a museum, A Casa do Rio Vermelho.
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.
The resort town of Porto Seguro – your port of call – is one of southern Bahia’s most popular destinations for homegrown travellers 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 travellers with its considerable charm and quirky shops ever since.
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 snorkelling 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.
RIO DE JANEIRO
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 harbour’ 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).
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 harbour and disembark to explore the charming village, which was the centre of a gold rush in the 18th century. Stroll around the cobblestoned streets of the historical centre, recognised 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 coloured 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.
This protected nature reserve was once home to a notorious penal colony and prison, which laid claim to hosting one of the biggest prison riots in the world when hundreds of inmates rebelled and escaped in 1952. Today Anchieta Island is a popular stop for tourists visiting Sao Paulo. The lush nature that covers the island is the main attraction. The island offers rare glimpses of fish and birds undisturbed in their natural habitats
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.
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.
We might just have saved the best until last. 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 fuelled 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 centred 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.
SH Vega (Luxury Expedition, 152-guests)
Making her maiden voyage in April 2022, our 5 star elegant Scandi-design boutique ship offers you an intimate setting from which you will be fully immersed in all the sights and scenery of your voyage.
Our brand new ship has been designed to journey to off the beaten path destinations and remote polar regions in style and comfort. The ship incorporates a PC5 ice-strengthened hull combined with extra-large stabilisers to make your journey as smooth as possible.
(Click image to view Ship details)
- 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
- All meals onboard
- Onboard accommodation in a stateroom selected category
- 24-hour room service
- Coffee, tea, soft drinks and selected alcoholic beverages available 24-hours per day
- Lecture programmes by our experienced expedition team and guest speakers
- One selected shore excursion/expedition activities per port of call
- Branded Swan Hellenic expedition parka and use of rubber boots in Polar Regions
- Standard WiFi
- Onboard gratuities & port taxes