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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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Seven Seas Mariner
Seven Seas Mariner (Photo: Regent)
Seven Seas Mariner

65 Night
Cruise to Rio de JaneiroDetails

387 Reviews
Leaving:Los Angeles
Cruise Line:Regent Seven Seas Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Seven Seas Navigator
Seven Seas Navigator
Seven Seas Navigator

62 Night
Cruise to Rio de JaneiroDetails

Leaving:Miami
Cruise Line:Regent Seven Seas Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Marina
Marina
Marina

50 Night
Cruise to Rio de JaneiroDetails

Leaving:San Antonio
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Cruise Critic Favorite
Marina
Marina
Marina

21 Night
Cruise to Rio de JaneiroDetails

Leaving:Miami
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Volendam

74 Night
Cruise to Rio de JaneiroDetails

Cruise Line:Holland America Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Seven Seas Navigator

18 Night
Cruise to Rio de JaneiroDetails

Leaving:Miami
Cruise Line:Regent Seven Seas Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Marina

33 Night
Cruise to Rio de JaneiroDetails

Leaving:Buenos Aires
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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MSC Orchestra

8 Night
Cruise to Rio de JaneiroDetails

381 Reviews
Leaving:Buenos Aires
Cruise Line:MSC Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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MSC Preziosa

6 Night
Cruise to Rio de JaneiroDetails

Cruise Line:MSC Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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MSC Seaside

17 Night
Cruise to Rio de JaneiroDetails

Leaving:Barcelona
Cruise Line:MSC Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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MSC Preziosa

15 Night
Cruise to Rio de JaneiroDetails

Leaving:Barcelona
Cruise Line:MSC Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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MSC Splendida

15 Night
Cruise to Rio de JaneiroDetails

Leaving:Barcelona
Cruise Line:MSC Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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MSC Poesia

15 Night
Cruise to Rio de JaneiroDetails

Leaving:Barcelona
Cruise Line:MSC Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Celebrity Infinity

12 Night
Cruise to Rio de JaneiroDetails

Leaving:Lisbon
Cruise Line:Celebrity Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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MSC Poesia

19 Night
Cruise to Rio de JaneiroDetails

Leaving:Barcelona
Cruise Line:MSC Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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MSC Preziosa

19 Night
Cruise to Rio de JaneiroDetails

Cruise Line:MSC Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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MSC Orchestra

8 Night
Cruise to Rio de JaneiroDetails

Leaving:Buenos Aires
Cruise Line:MSC Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Marina

29 Night
Cruise to Rio de JaneiroDetails

Leaving:San Antonio
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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MSC Preziosa

14 Night
Cruise to Rio de JaneiroDetails

Leaving:Barcelona
Cruise Line:MSC Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Norwegian Star

14 Night
Cruise to Rio de JaneiroDetails

Leaving:Lisbon
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Volendam

34 Night
Cruise to Rio de JaneiroDetails

Leaving:Buenos Aires
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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MSC Preziosa

16 Night
Cruise to Rio de JaneiroDetails

Leaving:Genoa
Cruise Line:MSC Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Cruise Critic Favorite
Azamara Quest

22 Night
Cruise to Rio de JaneiroDetails

Leaving:Buenos Aires
Cruise Line:Azamara Voyages
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Viking Jupiter

21 Night
Cruise to Rio de JaneiroDetails

262 Reviews
Leaving:Barcelona
Cruise Line:Viking Ocean Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Marina

21 Night
Cruise to Rio de JaneiroDetails

Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
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
Had a great day is a small van seeing the beaches and parks of Rio.... Read More
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moku
After a night onboard we disembarked to have a few days in Rio. Disembarkation was as smooth as joining the ship. We stayed at the Portobay Hotel on the Copacabana. The hotel was disappointing after the ship and... Read More
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croninkay
We only boarded in Rio so were not in a position to take a ship's excursion. Our time there was spent with family but as we have been before we did not visit the main attractions.... Read More
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davidandjulia
It was raining very bad the whole day but we enjoyed Rio anyway.... Read More
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Beatrizg

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