Oceangoing lines primarily have itineraries that visit ports along the seacoast of Brazil and also dip into the Amazon River, typically as far inland as Manaus. These itineraries often include stops at Caribbean islands as well.
Ports along the coast include Rio de Janeiro, Santos, Salvador and Fortaleza. The lively Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro provides passengers with tantalizing beaches and bustling markets. For the best views of Rio and its harbor, ride the cable car to the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain.
Seaside Santos boasts miles of beaches and several museums; spend time at the city’s 4-mile-long beach garden or the soccer (or football) museum to learn more about Brazil’s favorite sport. Enjoy panoramic views from nearby Sao Paulo, the country’s largest city, as well as historic sites such as the cathedral and Patio do Colegio where Jesuits founded the city in 1554.
Salvador offers more for history buffs in the old town, where visitors can see the grand houses that once belonged to sugar barons and ornate Baroque churches. Tourists often stop at the Mercado Modelo to pick up unique local crafts. More souvenir shopping is possible in Fortaleza, where embroidered linens, leather goods and wood carvings are popular choices. Gorgeous golden-sand beaches stretch along the coast.
Itineraries and shore excursions along the Amazon River can offer everything from exploring the rain forest with an expert naturalist to attending a barbecue and samba show. Exotic animals are central to Amazon cruises, and travelers often spot rare frogs, monkeys and vibrant birds like macaws, toucans, rare harpy eagles and hummingbirds. For the adventurous, piranha fishing is an option here.
Manaus is the chief port of the Amazon River and was called the Paris of the Jungle in the late 19th century; its ornate pink-and-white opera house is a favorite photo spot.