During this late June cruise, Edson Arantes Do Nascimento (aka Pele), other famous soccer stars and the presidents of top soccer clubs will be onboard to host conferences and interact with guests. An onboard exhibition will display collectors' items affiliated with Pele and never-before-seen video clips of his life and career.
The ship itself will be transformed into a miniature version of Brazil with culinary events inspired by Brazilian cuisine; theme parties, such as “Brasil en Alta Mar” (Brazil on the High Seas); and musical performances by Brazilian artists Alexandre Pires, Toquinho and the Grupo Sereno. Passengers will have the opportunity to sip caipirinas as they samba the night away.
But if it's the real Brazil you're yearning to see, you're out of luck on this cruise. Costa Serena will depart Venice on June 28 and call in Bari, Katakolon (for Olympia), Izmir (for Ephesus), Istanbul and Dubrovnik. The Eastern Mediterranean may be far from South America, but at least it's no stranger to soccer. Perhaps you'll be able to join a pick-up game onshore.
Fares for the seven-night theme cruise start at $1,199 per person for North American residents; a Costa representative was not able to provide U.K. pricing at press time. For reservations or more information, contact a travel agent, call 800-GO-COSTA or visit www.pelecruise.com.
--by Erica Silverstein, Senior Editor