Rio de Janeiro
A city of a thousand faces
As you’ll be able to appreciate when you cruise the Atlantic Ocean with MSC Cruises, in its position on the southern shore of the magnificent Guanabara Bay, Rio de Janeiro has, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the most stunning settings in the world.
Extending for 20km along an alluvial strip, between an azure sea and forest-clad mountains, the city’s streets and buildings have been moulded around the foothills of the mountain range that provides its backdrop, while out in the bay there are many rocky islands fringed with white sand.
The aerial views over Rio are breathtaking, and even the concrete skyscrapers that dominate the city’s skyline add to the attraction. As the former capital of Brazil and now its second-largest city, Rio has a remarkable architectural heritage, some of the country’s best museums and galleries, superb restaurants and a vibrant nightlife – in addition to its legendary beaches. A shore excursion on your MSC South America cruise can be the opportunity to visit the Pão de Açúcar.
The Sugar Loaf Mountain rises where Guanabara Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean. Its name may simply reflect a resemblance to the moulded loaves in which sugar was once commonly sold. Alternatively, it may be a corruption of the indigenous Tamoya word Pau-nh-Açuquá, meaning “high, pointed or isolated hill”. On the top of Corcoavado Mountain instead the Art Deco statue of Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer), arms outstretched in welcome, stands 30m high and weighs over 1000 tonnes. It was supposed to be completed for Brazil’s centenary independence celebrations in 1922, but wasn’t actually finished until 1931.
In clear weather, fear no anticlimax: climbing to the statue is a stunning experience, with the whole of Rio and Guanabara Bay laid out before you.
Excursions & Activities
Reach the Port
From Antonio Carlos Jobim (Galeão) International Airport
Travelling by car, leave the airport and turn left onto Avenida Vinte de Janeiro. Then turn left again onto Saída Aeroporto and take a sharp left onto Avenida Vinte de Janeiro. Keep on the right to stay on Avenida Vinte de Janeiro and then take a gentle right onto Estrada do Galeão. Continue onto Ponte do Galeão and take the ramp signposted L. Vermelha/Centro. Turn left onto Via Expressa Presidente João Goulart and subsequently take the exit on the left signposted Centro/Copacabana. The road will merge with Viaduto do Gasômetro. Take the exit signposted Tijuca/Tn. Rebouças. Take a gentle left onto Via Binário do Porto and continue onto Avenida Venezuela, followed by Rua Sacadura Cabral and Praça Mauá. Turn left onto Avenida Rio Branco and then right to stay on Avenida Rio Branco. Pier Mauá will be on your left. The port is about 23 km from the airport, but leave ample time for your journey since road maintenance works can cause delays. Taxis, private cars and a bus service are available to take you from the airport to Pier Mauá. The journey takes about 40 minutes, depending on the traffic.
From Santos Dumont Airport
Travelling by car, from the airport precinct go in direction of the Praça Senador Salgado Filho. Turn left to stay on Praça Senador Salgado Filho and then take a gentle right toward Avenida Marechal Câmara, followed by a gentle left onto Avenida Marechal Câmara itself. Turn left onto Avenida Franklin Roosevelt and continue onto Avenida Presidente Wilson. Then turn right onto Avenida Rio Branco and right again to stay on Avenida Rio Branco. Pier Mauá will be on your left. The port is only around 5 km from the airport, but leave ample time for your journey since road maintenance works can cause delays. Taxis, private cars and a bus service are available to take you from the airport to Pier Mauá. The journey takes about 10 minutes, depending on the traffic. Transfers are not provided unless booked in advance with MSC Cruises.