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Cruises to Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro (Photo:Aleksandar Todorovic/Shutterstock)

About Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro has earned its sexy and scintillating reputation (and its nickname, "Cidade Maravilhosa," or "The Marvelous City") the easy way -- it simply lives up to it everywhere you turn. The dramatic landmarks of Sugarloaf and the Christ statue lording over spectacular stretches of famed urban beaches like Copacabana and Ipanema; delicious food and wine with a Latin flair; the sensual moves of samba dance and rhythms of traditional music on display every day of the year including, of course, the bacchanalian Carnival; and a passionate, cosmopolitan and, most of all, friendly people are only some of the ways that Rio constantly affirms its status as a favorite travel destination. In fact, in almost every conversation or poll about "favorite cities" in the world, Rio is at or near the top. That's probably why the Olympic Committee chose it to host the 2016 Summer Games.

While not the largest city in the 190 million-resident behemoth that is Brazil -- that honor goes to Sao Paulo -- Rio's six million diverse residents (called "Cariocas") are keenly proud of their city's stature. They are the most outspoken, lively and just plain fun people you'll probably ever encounter. The Cariocas' unmistakable joie de vivre and welcoming spirit is infectious, as they'll gladly share their local secrets on where to go to experience the most important architectural treasures, the most cutting-edge art museums, the most action-packed water sports, or the most memorable caipirinha (the national drink that packs a wallop). But this isn't surprising. Who wouldn't have an open outlook on life living in this perpetually sunny, joyful and fascinating melange of Portuguese, African, European and South American cultures?



Another definite advantage to visiting Rio and Brazil as a tourist is that it remains one of the few true travel bargains left today in this age of the declining dollar. Like its more dressed-up cousin to the south, Buenos Aires, Rio offers the opportunity to live grandly for a day or a week on a much smaller budget than in comparable cities like Paris or Rome, with reasonable prices for five-star accommodations, good bargain prices for world-class cuisine and wine, and the ability to shop until you drop when searching out the latest trendy fashion items and jewelry.



While inarguably exciting, visiting Rio is still equated with the word "danger" in some conversations. In reality, there are some safety concerns if you venture far out of the normal tourist quarters. But the overall situation for visitors has improved greatly in the past decade, and pickpocketing and mugging incidents are not common. So kick back and relax as you are drawn into Rio's magnificent orbit.



Note: To enter Brazil, U.S. travelers must have visas, which cost $140 - $160, depending on how application is made. Visas are valid for stays of up to 90 days at a time over a 10-year period. Visit the Brazilian Consulate's Web site for visa information.

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Norwegian Star
Norwegian Star

14 Night
Repo - Transatlantic

2,479 Reviews
Leaving:Lisbon
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
ItineraryShipReviewsFull Details
Nov 27, 2022
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Norwegian Star
Norwegian Star

7 Night
South America - Brazil

2,479 Reviews
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
Dec 11, 2022
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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MSC Seashore
MSC Seashore (Image: MSC Cruises)

20 Night
Grand Voyage Cruise

57 Reviews
Leaving:Miami
Cruise Line:MSC Cruises
Nov 20, 2022
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Virgin Voyages

MSC Fantasia
MSC Fantasia

13 Night
Grand Voyage Cruise

448 Reviews
Leaving:Santos
Cruise Line:MSC Cruises
Apr 3, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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12 Night
Grand Voyage Cruise

448 Reviews
Cruise Line:MSC Cruises
Apr 4, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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14 Night
Ft Lauderdale To Rio De Janeiro

1,576 Reviews
Cruise Line:Celebrity Cruises
Nov 28, 2022
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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9 Night
Argentina, Rio & Sao Paulo

1,576 Reviews
Leaving:Buenos Aires
Cruise Line:Celebrity Cruises
Apr 4, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Cruise Critic Favorite

10 Night
South America Cruise

720 Reviews
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
Jan 8, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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13 Night
13 Nt Canaries & Portugal Transatlantic

1,576 Reviews
Cruise Line:Celebrity Cruises
Apr 13, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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6 Night
South America Cruise

147 Reviews
Cruise Line:MSC Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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128 Night
128 Night World Cruise

484 Reviews
Leaving:Barcelona
Cruise Line:MSC Cruises
Jan 7, 2024
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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9 Night
Argentina, Rio & Sao Paulo

1,576 Reviews
Cruise Line:Celebrity Cruises
Dec 12, 2022
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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127 Night
127 Night Round World Cruise

167 Reviews
Leaving:Trieste
Cruise Line:Costa Cruises
Jan 6, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Cruise Critic Favorite

150 Night
150 Night World Cruise

365 Reviews
Leaving:Miami
Cruise Line:Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Jan 7, 2025
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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168 Night
168 Night World Cruise

365 Reviews
Leaving:Miami
Cruise Line:Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Jan 7, 2025
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Why go to Rio de Janeiro?

Pros:

The port is a short distance from the museums, restaurants and nightlife of the downtown area

Cons:

The port area is not safe for walking around at night and petty crime is common

Bottom Line:

Offers easy access to the city, but it's a distance from the famous Copacabana and Ipanema beaches

Rio de Janeiro Cruise Port Facilities?

There's absolutely no reason to stay around the pier -- it's a working cargo port with no services. Ships may arrange transportation to Copacabana, the Ipanema beaches, and the city center, or you can simply hail a taxi.

Good to Know?

Because Rio has been so famous for its relatively high crime rate -- particularly for pickpocketing -- this is a port of call where organized ship tours can be a good idea. But in recent years, the city government has made an effort to "clean up" the city, and there are abundant tourist police in major areas which has helped deter some crime. Whichever option you choose, absolutely leave anything valuable in your stateroom safe (including items like earrings, wedding rings and expensive cameras). Follow the lead of locals: When Cariocas go to the local beaches, they just carry a towel, sunscreen and some petty cash to buy snacks and drinks from the numerous beach vendors.

Getting Around?

The central part of Rio de Janeiro where the major sights are located is very walkable. Taxis are also readily available. While Rio has an excellent public transportation system (buses and metro), they can be tricky to figure out for first-timers. The metro extends along Copacabana beach and includes Ipanema.

Another option many cruise passengers have is free transportation, courtesy of internationally known jewelers; companies like H. Stern often offer complimentary roundtrip sedan rides to its jewelry store in Rio, which is in Ipanema -- the city's chic-est neighborhood. No purchase is required and passengers who don't buy aren't hassled about it. But if you do accept the free ride (cars go back and forth between the ship and the store all day), be courteous and at least browse the store before heading off to the beach or town.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

The currency is the Brazilian real (pronounced rey-al; plural is reais, pronounced ray-eyes). For currency conversion figures, go to www.oanda.com or www.xe.com. There are plenty of ATM machines and exchange bureaus in town. Bank hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Credit cards are widely accepted.

Language?

Brazilian Portuguese. English is widely understood in hotels and shops. If spoken slowly, Spanish is understood by many residents as well.

Where You're Docked?

Cruise ships dock at the city's commercial port, Pier Maua. The downtown business district is within walking distance of the port.


Rio de Janeiro Cruise Reviews
Craziest place I've ever seen. This place was non-stop partying. Be careful however. (I was there for Carnival!)Read More
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djack77494
We walked throughout the city seeing the sights. It was during Carnivale and it was great to see the people who were celebrating!Read More
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nigro271090
Had a great day is a small van seeing the beaches and parks of Rio.Read More
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moku
Good weather with clear, sunny skies. The trip to the top was easy and not excessively crowded. Well worht doing.Read More
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jjessie

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