The 2016 Olympics are set to kick off tonight with athletes from all over the world heading to the South American hotspot of Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, to represent their countries. If you’re watching at home, there’s a good chance you’ll be swept away by Rio’s beautiful scenery, exciting sites, famous monuments and vibrant flare. From gleaming beaches and impressive mountains to an intoxicating culture that will be showcased in the opening ceremony, you’re sure to be left wanting more.
While all eyes will be on Rio for the Olympics, the city is better known for it’s annual Carnival. If you’ve always wanted to experience this eye-popping celebration, Holland America Line is inviting cruisers to join in Rio’s Carnaval festivities with a complimentary four-night hotel stay for guests booked on the 24-day Amazon and Carnaval Explorer cruise.
Guests on this once-in-a-lifetime voyage will not only get to take in enchanting islands in the Caribbean and some of the Amazon’s incredible vistas and wildlife, but also the colors and culture of the largest carnival event in the world.
Carnaval is held in Rio every year before Lent and is a tradition that dates back to 1723. A parade takes over Rio’s Sambadrome featuring floats and dancers from over 200 different Samba schools. Each school performs choreographed and lively dances for spectators in fancy and colorful costumes. Samba is the most popular type of music played during Carnaval and it’s a uniquely Brazilian form of music that originated in Rio.
But the party isn’t limited to the Sambadrome. There are Carnaval celebrations on almost every corner of Rio, including numerous street festivals that the locals attend. These festivals also showcase music and dancing and are open to anyone — all you have to do is jump in!
If you want to cruise to Carnaval, Veendam departs from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Feb. 2 and arrives at Rio de Janeiro on Feb. 26, just in time to catch the main days of the festival. Guests will receive hotel accommodations after the cruise at the Windsor Marapendi from Feb. 26 through March 2, along with transfers from the ship to the hotel and the hotel to the airport, as well as daily breakfast at the hotel.
Guests who book a suite on the sailing also will receive a one-day Carnaval ticket for grand stand Sector 9 and a shuttle transfer to and from the Sambadrome where the parade takes place.
Additional Cruise Highlights:
Guests don’t have to wait for the call at Rio to experience color and culture. Veendam’s 24-day cruise is an incredible overall experience and the fun begins quickly with a call at Holland America Line’s award-winning private island, Half Moon Cay.
The cruise continues with calls at some of the Caribbean’s most idyllic spots, including Willemstad, the capital city of Curacao. Willemstad features neighborhoods that mix Dutch, Spanish and Portuguese influence. The adorable shops and markets and famously colored in tropical pastels. Next up guests can take in the shimmering beaches or scenic Arikok National Park of Orangestad, Aruba, then dance to steelpan and calypso at Port-of-Spain and Scarborough, Trinidad and Tobago. During a call at Bridgetown, Barbados, guests can explore the coastal waters by submarine or grab snorkel gear and swim among friendly sea turtles. Those looking to stay inland can watch for green monkeys while hiking in the tropical rain forest or visit the world’s oldest rum distillery.
Veendam then continues on to Devil’s Island, French Guiana, before crossing the equator en route to a in-depth exploration of Brazil with an astounding seven calls in the country before ultimately arriving at Rio. Veendam will visit Icoaraci (Belem), Recife, Maceio, Salvador a Bahia, Ilheus, Vitoria and Ilhabela (Sao Sebastiao).
Veendam’s 24-day Amazon and Carnaval Explorer cruise is included in Holland America Line’s Explore4 promotion so now is the perfect time to book! The Explore4 promotion for guests booking any category stateroom includes a Signature Beverage Package valued at up to $1,400, dinner in the Pinnacle Grill, reduced cruise fares for friends and kids in the same stateroom and 50 percent reduced deposits. Bookings must be made by Nov. 18, 2016. For details click here.
What would you look forward to most about a Holland America Line cruise to Carnaval? Tell us in the comments below!