It might be on your bucket list – The Rio Carnival

The Rio Carnival has to be one of the worlds most famous events. The Carnival in Rio de Janeiro for 2018 will begin on Friday, 9 February and ends on Wednesday, 14 February. You will find it hard to get a hotel if you want to go, but click here to see alternatives available. Book early! The best hotels and accommodation is said to be in South Rio (the Zona Sul) and they will get booked up early. Click here for a hotel or take a cruise and make it EASY!

However if you are on a cruise ship, your hotel and food are all on board! What a way to see it. It is possibly the best way to see an event that can be so over whelming, because you have friends to go with, advice on hand, port talks and tours and people who will have done it before. This could be the cruise of a life time. If you go, please film it on your phone, everything from the ships in the harbour, and let me know because the biggest carnival in the world is here in Rio. It is held every year before Lent, it will have 2 million people on the streets each day. Festivals in Rio date back as far as 1723. With that many people the floats and revealers the pageant has to have some kind of organisation so it is done in what are known as SAMBA SCHOOLS. The Angolan world semba means a type of ritual music or cry.

African slaves brought the language to Brazil during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. The ritual music, cry and dance is meant to invoke the spirits of the ancestors and the gods of the African Pantheon, a form of preying. Each ‘school’ has to pick a theme, write music and lyrics, normally with a huge walking brass band, then make costumes and floats. They will practice all year around to succeed in the Parade. It is similar to the crop over harvest parades found on most Caribbean Islands, we attended one on Barbados which had the same atmosphere but is obviously a little smaller. This is the biggest. The parade happens in over 300 areas of Rio, each having a main street for their own party. Dates aside parties and parades start in January as the rehearsals begin so that they can compete to be the best.

The event – is mainly marching and parades that late afternoon and go on to the early hours, and they involve the whole family from seniors to small children so don’t be intimidated by the crowds even if they do stop traffic. Wear good shoes and expect to have your feet trodden on accidentally, simple clothes for the heat and no unnecessary bags. Organise a meeting place in case you get separated. You will also hear the term Blocos, sometimes called bandas, which are the free street parties, but much is free though the bands or Samba’s will normally be selling their Tee Shirts and you will no doubt buy one and join in. The most famous areas are

  • Cordão do Bola Preta – one of the most traditional bands parading downtown
  • Banda de Ipanema marches on three separate days in Ipanema, followed by a huge crowd with lots of gay revelers
  • Monobloco in Centro
  • Sovaco do Cristo parades in the Botanic Garden District, right below Christ-the Redeemer statue’s arm.
  • Sargento Pimenta in Aterro do Flamengo
  • Afroreggae in Centro are a Cultural Group has been recognized as one of the foremost pioneering NGOs in the world and working with favelas (Shanty towns and homeless)
  • Bloco do Barbas in Botafogo
  • Carmelitas was supposedly created by nuns but in fact it is just an allegory of the band. It parades in the hills of Santa Teresa.
  • Gigantes de Lira in Laranjeiras is a children’s pageant and takes place during the day, one you might find easier to attend.
  • Rocinha, Rio’s biggest shanty or homeless favela
  • Sambodromo Samba Parade. There are advantages to having a booked seat or box. We suggest you investigate this.

The Carnival can be found on the Balmoral departing Southampton on the 23rd January. Rio Carnival & River Plate Departs Southampton  •  23rd January 2018  •  46 nights Balmoral  •  L1803  •  Prices from £4,399 (cruise only) This is 46 nights for less than £100 per day. It goes out via Madeira, Tenerife and Cape Verde then visits many stops in South America. There is a 3-night stay in Rio for the carnival or enough to discover iconic landmarks such as Christ the Redeemer, Sugarloaf Mountain and Copacabana Beach before coming back via Lanzarote and Lisbon. Check availability and book now.

The Aurora’s South America Circumnavigation goes to Rio before the Carnival period, but there will no doubt be rehearsals going on. It also goes through the Panama Canal. This is a great 65 night cruise taking in 26 ports from Madeira round Cape Horn and back to Antigua. What a cruise! Check availability and book here, link to P&O.

If you are worried how to choose which cruise, which ship and where to go, take a look at our how to choose a cruise blog. Why not have a look at the LATE DEALS over a coffee. Doris Visits allows you to SEE THE CRUISE BEFORE YOU CRUISE THE SEA. We have videos of many of the cruise stops you might make from St Lucia to Barcelona, from Tallinn to St Maarten. Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter and share. Most cruise operators will offer the Baltic as a cruise.

SOLO CRUISER BOOK SERIES. Violet Becket has never cruised. Infact she has been no where in a long time. Too long. And she has never had romance, never ever. As an older woman time is running out and she needs to make a change. This romantic read is based around cruises because once she cruises she loves it. That is her romance, well, there is a little more. Sally Katz used the films on Doris Visits to peg her books on! With permission. Each good read shows off a typical good cruise. But it is not about the places or the ships, you will know them back to front, if not you will get to know them. It is about Violet’s journey. Warning, there are two versions; HER VIRGIN VOYAGE is the lighter version, but VIRGIN VOYAGE is the full fat with full raunchy version like 50 Shades. Her Virgin Voyage has all the story just about 2500 words shorter. It is about a woman discovering life late in life, Violet’s story ranges three books. The second is a Baltic Cruise, again there are two versions, the third in the USA / Caribbean and there is only the lighter romance version as her story concludes for a while. Book four follows another character you have met and liked.  Follow author Sally Katz by clicking her name and then on the author page on Amazon, click follow. Then as she releases a new book your are informed.

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