Copacabana

Atlantic beaches as city parks
Iconic mosaic pavements and beach culture
The Sugar Loaf Mountain

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Copacabana

Fun at the feet of the Sugarloaf Mountain

Copacabana is dominated to the east by Sugar Loaf Mountain and circled by a line of hills that stretch out into the bay as you’ll see when you’re cruising the Atlantic Ocean with MSC Cruises.
The town’s expansion as a residential area has been restricted by the Morro de São João, which separates it from Botafogo, and the Morro dos Cabritos, a natural barrier to the west. Consequently, Copacabana is one of the world’s most densely populated areas as well as a frenzy of sensual activity.

Of course, Copacabana hasn’t always been as it is today, and traces remain of the former fishing community that dominated the area until the first decades of the twentieth century. Each morning before dawn, the boats of the colônia de pescadores (the descendants of the fishermen) set sail from the Forte de Copacabana, returning to the beach by 8am to sell their fish from stalls at the southern end of the beach. Rio’s sophisticated beach culture is entirely a product of the twentieth century.

The 1930s saw the city’s international reputation emerge and “flying down to Rio” became an enduring cliché, celebrated in music, film and literature. Nonetheless, Rio’s beaches are first and foremost the preserve of cariocas: rich or poor, young or old, everybody descends on the beaches throughout the week, treating them as city parks. Copacabana is amazing, the over-the-top atmosphere apparent even in the mosaic pavements, designed by Burle Marx to represent images of rolling waves.

The seafront is backed by a line of prestigious, high-rise hotels and luxury apartments that have sprung up since the 1940s. Some fine examples of Art Deco architecture are scattered around the bairro.

Must see places in Copacabana

Discover our excursions

13 results found

  • BEACH TRANSFER COPACABANA & IPANEMA

    CITY TOUR

    RIO04T

    BEACH TRANSFER COPACABANA & IPANEMA
    • Long route by bus

    • No guide available

    • Possibility of swimming

    • Limited seats

    • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Easy

    • Duration
      6 h

    • AdultsR509Price per person

    • ChildrenR399Price per person

  • CORCOVADO

    CITY TOUR

    RIO01T

    CORCOVADO
    • Long route by bus

    • Limited seats

    • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Easy

    • Duration
      4 h

    • AdultsR1305Price per person

    • ChildrenR939Price per person

  • GRAND TOUR CORCOVADO & SUGAR LOAF Duration: 7.5 hours

    CITY TOUR

    RIO06T

    This is an amazing combination of the best that the city of Rio de Janeiro has to offer. Departing from the port towards the Tijuca National Park where we will board the famous tourist train to take you to the famous “Christ the redeemer statue”, considered the largest Art Deco statue in the world. The statue is 39.6 meters (130 ft.) tall, including its 9.5 meter (31 feet) pedestal, and 30 meters (98 ft.) wide. It weighs 635 tons (700 short tons), and is located at the peak of the 700 meters (2,300 ft.) Corcovado mountain in the Tijuca Forest National Park overlooking the city, It is one of the tallest of its kind in the world. A symbol of Christianity, the statue has become an icon of Rio and Brazil. It is made of reinforced concrete and soapstone, and was constructed between 1922 and 1931. Once we reach the top of the hill you will enjoy a wonderful view over the city. After the Christ, we will have a panoramic tour of the most beautiful beaches in the world like “Ipanema” and “Copacabana”. Then you will continue the excursion with a visit of Sugar Loaf. With the cable car to reach the top of the hill we will visit the two mountains with also another great view of the Guanabara Bay and Niteroi. Without doubt this is the best excursion in Brazil. Please note: This excursion will not be cancelled due to weather conditions (rain). The itinerary and venues visited in this excursion may be altered in calls during the Brazilian Carnival period. The tickets are included in the value of the excursion. There will be a possibility of long queues at the train and cable car station during summer both to go up to Corcovado and Sugar Loaf and to return. The queues and traffic may affect the time available to stay in Corcovado and Sugar Loaf but there will be a minimum of 30 minutes stay in each destination. Itinerary, length of stops, passing by the beaches and duration of the tour may be affected due to the long queues and traffic. A lunch box will be offered and delivered on board the ship to all guests in this excursion. For all calls where the length of stay in port is less than 8 hours, the tour will have duration of 6 hours without the lunch box. MSC Poesia Carnival call - March 03rd: we do not recommend this excursion to those guests wishing to go to “Sambódromo” parade in the evening as there will not be enough time. Excursion available only for guests in transit.
    • Long route by bus

    • Snack included

    • Limited seats

    • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Easy

    • Duration
      7 h

    • AdultsR2259Price per person

    • ChildrenR1622Price per person

  • GRAND TOUR CORCOVADO & SUGAR LOAF with lunch Duration: 8
    hours

    CITY TOUR

    RIO06LT

    This is a combined excursion to get the most of Rio de Janeiro. You will departure from the port by bus to Tijuca National Park to board the famous tourist train to take you to Corcovado. Once you reach the top of the hill, you will visit the fantastic statue of “Cristo Redentor” and enjoy a wonderful view over the city. From the Christ, we will follow to a delightful lunch in a typical barbecue restaurant. Enjoy the famous Brazilian barbecue along with an international buffet. After lunch, you will have a panoramic tour of the most beautiful beaches in the world like “Ipanema” and “Copacabana”. Then you will continue the excursion with a visit of Sugar Loaf; with the cable car to reach the top of the hill, one of the most famous symbols of Rio. From there you will enjoy the beautiful view of this wonderful city. Please note:The itinerary can be changed according to traffic conditions and operational issues. This excursion will not be cancelled due to weather conditions (rain). Expect long lines at the attractions. The Corcovado train and Sugar Loaf cable car tickets are included in the value of the excursion. The excursion will start and end at the port. The itinerary and venues visited in this excursion may be altered in all calls during the Brazilian Carnival, please consult the Shore Excursion office once onboard. Excursion available only for guests in transit.
    • Long route by bus

    • Lunch or dinner included

    • Limited seats

    • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Easy

    • Duration
      8 h

    • AdultsR3532Price per person

    • ChildrenR2465Price per person

  • JEEP TOUR TO CORCOVADO

    CITY TOUR

    RIO07T

    JEEP TOUR TO CORCOVADO
    • Limited seats

    • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Easy

    • Duration
      4 h

    • AdultsR2052Price per person

    • ChildrenR1465Price per person

  • RIO, CIDADE MARAVILHOSA (MARVELOUS CITY)

    CITY TOUR

    RIO20T

    RIO, CIDADE MARAVILHOSA (MARVELOUS CITY)
    • Limited seats

    • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Easy

    • Duration
      4 h

    • AdultsR559Price per person

    • ChildrenR399Price per person

  • SUGAR LOAF Duration: 4 hours

    CITY TOUR

    RIO02T

    Before the visit of Sugar Loaf, you will have a panoramic tour of the historical center of Rio, with the stop at San Sebastian Cathedral. The excursion includes a photo stop in front of the biggest stadium in the world “Maracanã'” and at the famous “Sambodromo”, the temple of the Carnival Samba. With the cable car you will reach the top of the Sugar Loaf hill, one of the most famous symbols of Rio. From the top amazing views of Guanabara Bay, Niteroi and even the famous statue of the Christ. Please note: This excursion will visit a catholic church, therefore knees and shoulders must be covered to enter the church. Itinerary order may change due to lines in the Sugar Loaf. This excursion will not be cancelled due to weather conditions (rain). This excursion will not be cancelled due to weather conditions (rain). The itinerary and venues visited in this excursion may be altered in calls during the Brazilian Carnival period. The passing by of the beaches in Rio de Janeiro are subject to local parades during the year where avenues by the ocean may be blocked for traffic. The Sambodromo complex is under construction and photo stops at the Sambodromo is subject to traffic conditions. This excursion is only available for guests in transit. Excursion available only for guests in transit.
    • Long route by bus

    • Limited seats

    • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Easy

    • Duration
      4 h

    • AdultsR1259Price per person

    • ChildrenR939Price per person

  • Sedan with driver only (4 seats)

    SOMETHING SPECIAL

    RIO15T

    Sedan with driver only (4 seats)
    • No guide available

    • Limited seats

    • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Easy

    • Duration
      4 h

    • AdultsR4169Price per person

    • ChildrenR4169Price per person

  • Sedan with driver only (4 seats)

    SOMETHING SPECIAL

    RIO16T

    Sedan with driver only (4 seats)
    • No guide available

    • Limited seats

    • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Easy

    • Duration
      8 h

    • AdultsR7555Price per person

    • ChildrenR7555Price per person

  • Van with driver & tour guide (9 seats)

    SOMETHING SPECIAL

    RIO13T

    Van with driver & tour guide (9 seats)
    • Limited seats

    • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Easy

    • Duration
      4 h

    • AdultsR7872Price per person

    • ChildrenR7872Price per person

  • Van with driver & tour guide (9 seats)

    SOMETHING SPECIAL

    RIO14T

    Van with driver & tour guide (9 seats)
    • Limited seats

    • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Easy

    • Duration
      8 h

    • AdultsR12069Price per person

    • ChildrenR12069Price per person

  • Van with driver only (10 seats) Duration: 4 hours

    SOMETHING SPECIAL

    RIO11T

    Disembark in the port and have a vehicle with a professional driver waiting for you, your family and friends. Create your own tour and enjoy your day with a vehicle at your disposal. Please note: Vehicle, driver and gasoline included up to 150kms, it does not include tickets to any touristy attraction or lunch. The advertised price for this service is per vehicle, not per passenger. This service is available with or without a tour guide, depending on availability. The driver speaks only Portuguese and the tour guide (if requested) speaks English or Portuguese. The departure of service can be requested for any time during the time call. The excursion time is approximate and is subject to change. Service not available to finish at the airport and not available to cross Rio/Niteroi bridge. Service without tour guide is not available for Grand Voyages. Calls where the length of stay in the port is less than 8 hours but over 4 hours, the service can be available for the length of the call with the 8 hours price. Guests planning to use the private vehicles to visit the Corcovado by road must be aware that private vehicles are only allowed up to the entrance of the state park where guests must use a paid local shuttle van to reach the top of the Corcovado (compulsory). The cost of this shuttle van and train is around – R$ 40/60 per person, by appointment. There is a limitation of private vehicles entering the road that leads to the shuttle van (State park entrance). Therefore, we cannot guarantee that your private vehicle will be able to reach the State Park entrance, where the shuttle vans to Corcovado are located. None of these extra costs are included in the price of the private vehicles and must be paid in cash at the state park. Only Brazilian currency (reais) is accepted at the park. 4 hours private service may not be enough to visit the Corcovado due the long lines and waiting time. Guests wishing to visit the Corcovado are strongly recommended to order the 8 hours private service. Furthermore, guests ordering private vehicles and planning to visit the Corcovado statue by road or by train using the private service, must inform the shore excursion desk to verify availability 48 hours in advance and/or during the reservation of the service. The ticket to the Corcovado mountain by or train or in the state park is not included in the cost of the private vehicle and must be paid at sight upon arrival in Brazilian currency. It is not guaranteed that the tickets will be available and are subject to availability. Excursion available only for guests in transit.
    • No guide available

    • Limited seats

    • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Easy

    • Duration
      4 h

    • AdultsR5072Price per person

    • ChildrenR5072Price per person

  • Van with driver only (10 seats) Duration: 8 hours

    SOMETHING SPECIAL

    RIO12T

    Disembark in the port and have a vehicle with a professional driver waiting for you, your family and friends. Create your own tour and enjoy your day with a vehicle at your disposal. Please note: Vehicle, driver and gasoline included up to 150kms, it does not include tickets to any touristy attraction or lunch. The advertised price for this service is per vehicle, not per passenger. This service is available with or without a tour guide, depending on availability. The driver speaks only Portuguese and the tour guide (if requested) speaks English or Portuguese. The departure of service can be requested for any time during the time call. Calls where the length of stay in the port is less than 8 hours but over 4 hours, the service can be available for the length of the call with the 8 hours price. Service not available to finish at the airport and not available to cross Rio/Niteroi bridge. Service without tour guide is not available for Grand Voyages. Guests planning to use the private vehicles to visit the Corcovado by road must be aware that private vehicles are only allowed up to the entrance of the state park where guests must use a paid local shuttle van to reach the top of the Corcovado (compulsory). The cost of this shuttle van is around – R$ 30 per person. During weekends and holidays there is a limitation of private vehicles entering the road that leads to the shuttle van (State park entrance). Therefore, we cannot guarantee that your private vehicle will be able to reach the State Park entrance, where the shuttle vans to Corcovado are located. None of these extra costs are included in the price of the private vehicles and must be paid in cash at the state park. Only Brazilian currency (reais) is accepted at the park. Excursion available only for guests in transit.
    • No guide available

    • Limited seats

    • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Easy

    • Duration
      8 h

    • AdultsR6712Price per person

    • ChildrenR6712Price per person

The excursions in the programme above are intended to provide MSC Guests with an idea of the different tours that can be arranged in each port of call; this programme is merely a guide and confirmation of each excursion and its description and prices will be made during your cruise. 
Shore excursions programs and itineraries may vary depending on local conditions and/or any unforeseen events in relation to the timing on the day of the tour.
 
Some excursions are very popular and therefore availability cannot always be guaranteed, it is advisable to book in advance to avoid disappointment. The guides are guaranteed in English. Only for South America cruises, the guides are guaranteed in Brazilian Portuguese. Narration in other languages depends on the availability of guides. Please note that the final language of the tour will be confirmed on board during the cruise.

South Brazil

Past Christ the Redeemer
Past Christ the Redeemer

In Brazil’s south-east, the three largest cities – São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte – form a triangle around which the economy pivots.

All are worth visiting, but the must-sees during your cruise to Brazil are Rio, which really is as beautiful as it seems in the pictures, and the ravishing colonial relic of Paraty which lies between here and booming São Paulo. North of here, the city of Belo Horizonte sits at the heart of Minas Gerais, where the old Portuguese towns of Ouro Preto, Tiradentes and Diamantina drip with colonial history.

The south, encompassing the states of Paraná, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul, boasts the spectacular Iguaçu Falls on the border with Argentina – one of the great natural wonders of South America. From Curitiba the scenic Serra Verde Express snakes down to the coast, where you can chill out on Ilha do Mel or beach-hop around Florianópolis.

Despite its proximity to the city, São Paulo’s 400km coast has sometimes been overlooked in favour of more glamorous Rio. North-east, towards the border with Rio state, the area is developing rapidly, but still offers great contrasts, ranging from long, wide stretches of sand at the edge of a coastal plain to idyllic-looking coves beneath a mountainous backdrop.