With many countries, there’s a certain image that comes to mind whenever they are mentioned. In the majority of cases though that’s not all there is to offer. You might picture Italy and think of olive groves, pizzas and peaceful ports but then there’s the fascinating history of Rome or the fashion of Milan. China maybe conjures the thriving metropolis of Beijing but what about the stunning scenery including the world-renowned Three Gorges on the Yangtze River?
Nowhere in the world personifies this diversity quite like Brazil. It’s a truly breath-taking country and, while it is such an overused cliché, it truly does have something for everyone. It’s also becoming more and more popular as a cruise destination, so we thought we’d take a look at some of the different things you can do on a cruise to Brazil, including amazing destinations and events that you could aim for on a South American cruise and stay adventure.
Rio de Janeiro
The go-to port when creating an itinerary with a visit to Brazil, Rio de Janeiro is one of the world’s most famous cities. It has such a strong culture and style that it has become iconic, so strongly is it linked with the image of Brazilian life and history. Whether you’re sunning yourself on Copacabana Beach surrounded by tanned gods and goddesses, or travelling up Corcovado Mountain to see the Christ the Redeemer you’ll be stunned. Travel by aerial tramway up Sugar Loaf Mountain, or visit the Maracanã Stadium.
The city is also the host of the 2016 Olympics, drawing further interest and giving you plenty more reason to visit both in the build-up and during the event itself. In 2014 Brazil hosts the World Cup in football, with Rio hosting a number of games including the final. However the one unique event which takes place every year which is often the foundation of a number of cruise itineraries is the Rio Carnival.
While Rio is an exciting city whenever you decide to go it truly comes alive during Carnival. The samba schools that parade through the streets give a true party atmosphere with a sense of competition between the schools driving the festivities through to the early hours of the morning. It’s a truly amazing sight to be a part of and one that should have you interested in a trip to Brazil on its own.
The Amazon River
For something a world away from the party atmosphere of Rio, an Amazon cruise showcases the other side of Brazil – the stunning rainforests and fascinating wildlife of the more rural parts of the country. One of the main ports that you can head to is Manaus, which is a thousand miles upriver and was once a truly opulent city at the height of the rubber trade.
Now it serves as the focal point for a cruise up the Amazon where you can explore the stunning rainforest, home to one tenth of all known species in the world. The incredible biodiversity makes for an awe-inspiring visit, with the chance to sail on the river itself and see alligators, along with a tour of the rainforest itself including many thousands of plant and animal species.
One other major cultural theme of the region is the Indian history. Visit museums and traditional communities where you can meet local tribes including shaman.
It’s this magnificent variety that makes Brazil such a wonderful place to visit, with many other ports often included on itineraries too. Among the luxury cruise providers that are catering to the more adventurous cruiser are SeaDream Cruises who are offering brand new Amazonian itineraries this year.
By Ian Lewis