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cruise to brazil

Cruise to Brazil: what to see and do

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Set sail on an exciting journey along Brazil’s beautiful coastline, where the Atlantic Ocean kisses miles of diverse landscapes. This cruise is not just a journey; it’s an odyssey that weaves through the very heart of Brazil’s soul, offering a kaleidoscope of experiences. From Rio’s beaches’ pulsating rhythm to Salvador’s streets’ historical echoes, a cruise to Brazil promises an exciting exploration of the country’s most mesmerizing sights and sounds.

With P&O Cruises, you’ll traverse this extraordinary land in luxury, immersing yourself in a world where adventure intertwines with indulgence, and every stop along the Brazilian coast reveals another layer of this vibrant country’s rich tapestry.

What places to see

Exploring Brazil during a cruise offers a journey through a tapestry of vibrant cultures, breathtaking landscapes, and historical treasures.

1. Rio de Janeiro

rio de janeiro

The city is crowned by the iconic Sugarloaf Mountain and the awe-inspiring Christ the Redeemer statue, each providing panoramic views of the urban sprawl and azure waters. Rio’s heartbeats are on its beaches. Ipanema and Copacabana are not just stretches of sand but epicenters of culture and activity. The nearby Tijuca National Park offers a verdant escape, while the samba clubs in Lapa and the charming streets of Santa Teresa pulsate with the rhythms of Brazilian life. Ilha Grande, a former prison and leper colony, now beckons with its idyllic beaches and car-free serenity for those seeking a tranquil retreat.

2. São Paulo

A melting pot of global cultures contrasts dramatically with Rio. Here, the skyline soars above a city that never sleeps, and the Costa Verde offers stunning coastal vistas. The mountainous Serra da Mantiqueira beckons hikers, while Parque Estadual do Alto do Ribeira is a spelunker’s paradise. São Paulo’s nightlife in districts like Itaim Bibi and Jardins showcases the city’s eclectic and vibrant spirit.

3. Salvador

The Afro-Brazilian heart of Bahia hums with an energy rooted in its rich history. The city’s heritage as a central landing point for African slaves is reflected in its cuisine, dance, and religious practices. The Museu Afro-Brasileiro and the colonial architecture of Pelourinho, a UNESCO World Heritage site, provide profound insights into this cultural melding. The Igreja NS do Bonfim and Mercado São Joaquim offer more layers of this multifaceted city.

4. Ouro Preto

Ouro Preto

Stepping into Ouro Preto is like traveling back in time. The town, devoid of modern architecture, was once the epicenter of Brazil’s gold mining and independence movements. Its historic squares and parishes, such as Praça Tiradentes, Pilar, Antônio Dias, and Santa Efigênia, are rich with museums and churches, each narrating a part of Brazil’s storied past.

5. Recife and Olinda

Steeped in history and bursting with energy, it offers a unique blend of old and new. Recife is a city of contrasts with its mix of modern skyscrapers and colonial churches. The historic Recife Antigo district and the Marco Zero marker tell tales of Portuguese colonialism. Nearby, Olinda’s tree-covered streets, adorned with colorful houses and churches, offer a picturesque respite. The region’s shared heritage is extravagantly celebrated during Carnaval, showcasing a vibrant cultural legacy.

6. Lençóis Maranhenses

Lençóis Maranhenses National Park presents a starkly different but equally breathtaking aspect of Brazil. Its vast dunes, resembling bedsheets, and seasonal lagoons form an otherworldly landscape, offering visitors a tranquil yet adventurous retreat.

Culture & Historical Heritage

The history of Brazil is woven into the fabric of its coastal cities. Paratay is a beautifully preserved colonial town with cobbled streets and whitewashed buildings that make you feel like you have returned in time. Olinda is a UNESCO-listed city that has striking baroque architecture and a lively arts scene to check out. You can also learn about Brazil’s colonial past with a trip to the historic district of Pelourinho in Salvador, which has colorful buildings and historic churches.


Food is integral to any travel experience, and you are in for a treat in Brazil. With a diverse tapestry of influences from indigenous, Portuguese, and African cuisines, there are all kinds of tantalising dishes and flavors to enjoy on your cruise. You will want to try savor feijoada, a hearty black bean stew with pork, and acarajé, deep-fried black-eyed pea fritters filled with shrimp. Porto Alegre is a great place to try traditional churrasco (Brazilian barbecue), while Florianópolis boasts perhaps the best fresh seafood.


Of course, there are many fun activities to try along the Brazilian coast. Hiking in Ilha Grande allows you to discover pristine beaches and hidden waterfalls, while Copacabana is known for its lively nightlife. Maceió is the place to visit if you want to try your hand at watersports, or you could take a boat tour in Arraial do Cabo to see the breathtaking cliffs. 

As you can see, a cruise along the Brazilian coast will give you an incredible opportunity to discover Brazil’s history, culture, and natural beauty. You will benefit from a real sense of adventure, learning the many highlights along the way with the ability to travel in complete luxury.

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