Brazil Cruise Season Begins, Record Season Expected

MSC Cruises and Costa Cruises will have multiple ships homeported in Brazil this winter, breaking records for the country.

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The Brazil cruise season has officially opened with calls from MSC Cruises’ MSC Fantasia, the first of several ships planned to homeport in the country in the next six months. This is the largest expected cruise season for Brazil in 10 years, with 47% more visitors projected than in the 2019-2020 season.

MSC Fantasia Arrives in Brazil

The 137,936-gross-ton MSC Fantasia is just about to conclude an 11-night one-way itinerary from Funchal, Portugal to Santos, Brazil, having left Portugal on October 22, 2022, and arriving in Santos on Wednesday, November 2.

The ship has already called at several Brazilian ports, including Salvador de Bahia, Ilheus, and Rio de Janeiro, a fitting introduction to the Brazil cruise season, which officially begins on November 1 and runs approximately six months.

MSC Fantasia will homeport from Santos for the season, offering shorter 3-7 night cruises exploring different highlights of Brazil and a number of ports, such as Puerto Belo, Buzios, Ilha Grande, and more. Longer sailings reach Uruguay and Argentina as well, visiting Montevideo, Buenos Aires, and Punta del Esta.

Ilha Grande, Brazil
Ilha Grande, Brazil. Photo Credit: Christian Kohler / Shutterstock

Record-Breaking Season

MSC Fantasia is just the first of nine different ships homeporting from Brazil in the next few months. So many vessels will create a record-breaking cruise season for the country, with a combined capacity of as many as 780,000 berths for travelers through the season.

This is an increase of 47% over the last full cruise season, 2019-2020, when there were just 530,000 berths available on homeported ships.

“Cruises are the best way to get to know the world, as they offer accommodation, transportation, entertainment, food, and a different view every day in a single trip. We started this season with responsibility, always putting people, crew, the environment, and compliance first, and delivering the memorable trips that cruise travelers already know,” said Marco Ferraz, president of CLIA Brazil.

In addition to MSC Fantasia, other MSC Cruises ships that will homeport in Brazil include MSC Armonia, MSC Musica, MSC Preziosa, MSC Seaview, and one of the cruise line’s newest vessels, MSC Seashore.

Costa Cruises will also have several vessels homeporting from Brazil: Costa Fortuna, Costa Favolosa, and Costa Firenze, which may be the last time that ship visits South America before transferring to Carnival Cruise Line to become Carnival Firenze in 2024.

Costa Firenze Cruise Ship

All together, these nine ships will offer more than 180 itinerary options with more than 480 port visits. This will have an amazing impact on local economies, expected to bring R$4 billion ($770 billion USD) to Brazil and supporting as many as 44,000 local and regional jobs.

“We see many opportunities for expansion in the sector in Brazil, as the activity grows around the world, with new ships under construction, investments in efficiency, technology and sustainability,” said Ferraz. “We are working continuously so that the Brazilian cruise industry continues to evolve and can contribute even more to the economy and job creation in the country.”

More Cruise Lines Visiting Brazil

The various ships homeporting in Brazil are not the only options for cruise travelers hoping to visit the rich and colorful country.

Many other cruise lines are offering itineraries that visit Brazil and other South American ports of call, though the cruises begin and end in a wide variety of homeports.

Norwegian Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Oceania Cruises, Azamara Cruises, Holland America Line, Silversea Cruises, and other lines all offer sailings that include Brazilian ports of call.

While some cruise lines offer sailings specifically planned just for South America, these exotic ports of call are also included on lengthy World Cruise itineraries as well as Antarctica cruises.

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