Montevideo

The atmospheric Ciudad Vieja
The bustling Mercado del Puerto
The presidential Torre Ejecutiva

Find South America Cruises

Montevideo

A trendy city

As you sail on an MSC cruise to South AmericaMontevideo is the port for you. Founded in 1726 as a fortress against Portuguese encroachment on the northern shore of the Río de la Plata, it had an excellent trading position and, following a turbulent and often violent early history, its growth was rapid.
A shore excursion on your MSC South America cruise can be the opportunity to discover Montevideo. It may appear humble at first, but this is a seriously cool, confident city. If you’ve ever seen a fictionalized version of Havana on TV or film, it’s quite possible it was actually shot in Montevideo’s Ciudad Vieja, so reminiscent are its streets of those in the Cuban capital.

Dotted among the crumbling houses and cobbled streets are endearingly bizarre (and mostly free) museums and galleries, while the highlight is the glorious Mercado del Puerto. A good place to start a walking tour of the Ciudad Vieja is the Puerta de la Ciudadela, dating to 1746, marking the original site of the Citadel of Montevideo on the Plaza Independencia.

This square commemorates the emergence of Uruguay as a sovereign nation, and a 17m-high statue and mausoleum of José Artigas, the man credited with kick-starting Uruguay’s independence campaign against Spain and Portugal, stands aptly in the centre.

The area around the plaza contains eclectic architectural styles from different periods, from the Torre Ejecutiva where the president performs his duties, to the bulbous tower of the Palacio Salvo, built on the reported site of the first ever performance of tango. Tucked behind the plaza’s south-western corner is the celebrated Teatro Solís, the most prestigious theatre in the country, completed in 1856 and remodelled a few times thereafter.

Must see places in Montevideo

Discover our excursions

8 results found

  • DISCOVER MONTEVIDEO Duration: 3½ hours

    CITY TOUR

    MTV09

    Join in a comprehensive overview of Montevideo's monuments, parks and gardens. Highlights include the Old City, Constitution Square, Cathedral and Colonial Town Hall, Solis Theatre, and Independence Square. View the Government House and the Congress Building constructed between 1908 and 1925. Drive through the Prado neighborhood, one of the oldest parks in the city that hosts the famous sculpture La Diligencia, Monument to the last Charruas Indians, and the Rose Garden. Drive through the Battle and Ordonez Park, passing by the Obelisk, La Carreta (Covered Wagon) Monument and the Soccer Stadium. A brief stop will be made at Plaza Virgilio with the monument dedicated to the Fallen Soldiers of the Navy and an impressive view of the city. The return drive to the port will be along the coast and its many beaches. Please note: There will be no time to enter the Centenario stadium, only a photo stop and the entrance ticket to the stadium is not included in the tour. Although this tour is recommended for guests with walking difficulties, buses are not equipped with hydraulic elevators for wheelchairs. Guests must be able to board the bus on their own using 3 to 4 steps.
    • Long route by bus

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

      Difficulty Level
      Easy

    • Duration
      3 h

    • AdultsR669Price per person

    • ChildrenR509Price per person

  • MONTEVIDEO & BOUZA VINEYARDS WITH WINE TASTING Duration:
    5 hours

    NATURAL WONDERS

    MTV02

    Montevideo is a charming, drowsy place, with an aristocrat atmosphere and 19th and early 20th Century buildings, along with beautiful parks and historic monuments. Leaving the pier in a comfortable drive through Montevideo’s quaint old City and waterfront area, where you will learn the saga of the German battleship Graf Spee with your guide adding colorful commentary about what is considered to be the First World War II Battleship. You will continue the drive to Plaza Independencia to visit the Memorial of General Gral Artigas before heading to Battle y Ordoñez Park with its vibrantly realistic ox cart monument, obelisk and Estádio Centenário, considered a world soccer monument as it hosted the first world soccer cup in 1930. You will see the legislative Palace, considered one of the three most beautiful legislative buildings in the world because of its marble ornate structure before visiting the Prado Park, located just northwest of downtown, this lovely park is well known for its historical monuments and attractive gardens before arriving in the Bouza Winery, a family born business and the love to the countryside and its products. Bouza have grown but kept the tradition production stages to maintain the quality of its wines all the way from the vineyard to the glass of wine. The family believes that in this way they will reflect their personality in their wines. After the tasting you will visit the winery and the vineyards to learn all about the production and even enjoy a winetasting of 3 different types of wines served with made home breads, selection of cheese including the grissini cheese, cold meat and toast. You will have a chance to purchase wine at the vineyard store before returning to the pier. Please note: The order of the tour may vary and the visit to the winery may occur before or after the sightseeing portion of the tour. Although this tour is available for all ages, guests must be 18 years or older to drink alcohol and under ages will be served non-alcoholic drinks during the tasting, such as mineral water and soft drinks. This tour includes walking over uneven ground at the vineyards. Limited seats please book in advance to avoid disappointments. This excursion does not include stops for shopping or souvenirs.
    • Long route by bus

    • Tasting included

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

      Difficulty Level
      Easy

    • Duration
      4 h

    • AdultsR1415Price per person

    • ChildrenR989Price per person

  • GRAND TOUR MONTEVIDEO WITH LUNCH & SHOPPING Duration: 6
    ½ hours

    SOMETHING SPECIAL

    MTV10

    This is the best way to see all that Montevideo has to offer plus shopping and lunch in a typical Uruguayan restaurant. This tour will give you a comprehensive overview of Montevideo's monuments, parks and gardens. Highlights include the Old City, Constitution Square, Cathedral and Colonial Town Hall, Solis Theatre, and Independence Square whit stop to see handicrafts. View the Government House and the Congress Building constructed between 1908 and 1925. Drive through the Battle y Ordoñez Park, passing by the Obelisk, La Carreta (Covered Wagon) Monument and the Soccer Stadium. A brief stop will be made at Plaza Virgilio with the monument dedicated to the Fallen Soldiers of the Navy and an impressive view of the city. Lunch includes the famous Uruguayan meat at “La Casa Violeta”. After lunch we will be visiting the “Punta Carretas Shopping mallr” for approximately 2 hours of free time. The building was the former premises of the Penitentiary of Punta Carretas built in 1910. In 1971, during a difficult time for the country fighting against the “Tupamaros guerrillas”, 111 political prisoners escaped from the prison through a tunnel they had dug under the wall (including today´s Uruguay president Mr. Jose Mujica whom was back them a political prisoner). In 1986 after a massive riot the penitentiary was evacuated and remained empty for years. In 1992 begins the refurbishment and in 1994 the shopping center Punta Carretas was opened. The entrance gate is the original penitentiary gates, but the rest was all totally renovated. The mall has over 300 stores and among the many varieties find in the shopping, guests will find, clothing, jewelries, accessories, toys, electronics, photo, sportswear, etc. Please note: Lunch is included in this excursion with a glass of wine or a bottle of water. The free time at the shopping mall will depend on the traffic conditions. Most of the stores at the shopping mall accept the major credit cards. This excursion is not available for calls: MSC Musica December 24th 2016, December 31th 2016, January 06th 2017, January 13th 2017, January 17th 2017, January 27th 2017, February 03rd 2017, February 10th 2017, February 17th 2017, February 24th 2017, March 03rd 2017, March 10th 2017 and March 17th 2017.
    • Long route by bus

    • Lunch or dinner included

    • Shopping

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

      Difficulty Level
      Easy

    • Duration
      6 h

    • AdultsR1829Price per person

    • ChildrenR1305Price per person

  • MONTEVIDEO & JUANICO VINEYARDS with wine tasting
    Duration: 5 hours

    SOMETHING SPECIAL

    MTV12

    This tour is a great combination to see Montevideo and taste its famous wines. You will start your tour in this charming city with a 19th century atmosphere and it’s architectures of the early 20th century, along with beautiful parks and historic monuments. You will enjoy the old city and waterfront area learning about the first Battleship in the II world war, a photo stop at the Plaza Independencia at the General Artigas memorial and the Battle y Ordóñez Park with its vibrantly realistic ox cart monument and obelisk. You will see the Stadium Centenário home of the first world soccer Cup, the legislative Palace, one of the three most beautiful buildings in the world and the Prado Park before arriving in the Juanico Winery located outside the city of Montevideo. The first vineyards in the region were planted in 1835. Today, the best classic varieties are grown using an intelligent canopy management system based on organic agriculture principles. Among white varieties: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Gewurztraminer, Riesling and Sauvignon Gris. Among red varieties: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Marselan, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir and the flagship Uruguayan variety Tannat, which produces a full-bodied red wine that has carved a niche for Uruguayan wines. Presently Uruguayan winemakers have entered its wines into competitive markets where they are receiving international recognition and gold medals at the most prestigious international wine competitions. Juanico is considered one of the best wineries in Uruguay. Please note: The order of the tour may vary and the visit to the winery may occur before or after the sightseeing portion of the tour. Guests must be 18 years or older to drink alcohol and under ages will be served non-alcoholic drinks during the tasting, such as mineral water and soft drinks. Limited seats please book in advance to avoid disappointments.
    • Long route by bus

    • Shopping

    • Tasting included

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

      Difficulty Level
      Easy

    • Duration
      5 h

    • AdultsR1465Price per person

    • ChildrenR1035Price per person

  • MONTEVIDEO & SANTA ROSA WINE TASTING Duration: 5 hours

    SOMETHING SPECIAL

    MTV07

    This tour is a great combination to see Montevideo and taste its famous wines. You will start your tour in this charming city with a 19th century atmosphere and it’s architectures of the early 20th century, along with beautiful parks and historic monuments. You will enjoy the old city and waterfront area learning about the first Battleship in the II world war, a photo stop at the Plaza Independencia at the General Artigas memorial and the Battle y Ordóñez Park with its vibrantly realistic ox cart monument and obelisk. You will the Stadium Centenário home of the first world soccer Cup, the legislative Palace, one of the three most beautiful buildings in the world and the Prado Park before arriving in the Santa Rosa Winery located in the colon residential area, which is a major exporter of Uruguayan wines. The winery was founded in 1898 by Don Juan Bautista Passadore, who is responsible for the development in Uruguay of the aristocratic European wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pino Blanc and Chardonnay with international prizes in world wine competitions for a visit to the caves followed by a wine tasting served with breads, crackers, cheese selection and cold meat. Don’t forget to visit the winery store before departing back to the pier for a real Uruguayan wine. Please note: The order of the tour may vary and the visit to the winery may occur before or after the sightseeing portion of the tour. The Santa Rosa winery does not have vineyards, only production, storage facilities and shop. Although this tour is available for all ages, guests must be 18 years or older to drink alcohol and under ages will be served non-alcoholic drinks during the tasting, such as mineral water and soft drinks. Limited seats please book in advance to avoid disappointments. This excursion does not include stops for shopping or souvenirs.
    • Tasting included

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

      Difficulty Level
      Easy

    • Duration
      5 h

    • AdultsR1465Price per person

    • ChildrenR1035Price per person

  • Van with driver & tour guide (7 seats) Duration: 4 hours

    SOMETHING SPECIAL

    MTV05

    Disembark in the port and have a van with a professional driver waiting for you and your family. Create your own tour and enjoy your day with a vehicle at your disposal. Service is available with a tour guide if requested. Please note: Rates valid within Montevideo limits, it does not include tickets to any touristy attraction or lunch. The advertised price for this service is per vehicle. This service is available only with a Spanish speaking Driver and (if available, an English or Spanish speaking Tour guide).
    • Limited seats

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

      Difficulty Level
      Easy

    • Duration
      4 h

    • AdultsR13182Price per person

    • ChildrenR13182Price per person

  • Van with driver & tour guide (7 seats)Duration: 6 hours

    SOMETHING SPECIAL

    MTV06

    enjoy your day with a vehicle at your disposal. Service is available with a tour guide if requested. Please note: Rates valid within Montevideo limits, it does not include tickets to any touristy attraction or lunch. The advertised price for this service is per vehicle. This service is available only with a Spanish speaking Driver and (if available, an English or Spanish speaking Tour guide). Calls where the length of stay in the port is less than 6 hours but over 4 hours, the service can be available for the length of the call with the 6 hours price. This excursion is not available for calls: MSC Musica December 24th 2016, December 31th 2016, January 06th 2017, January 13th 2017, January 27th 2017, February 03rd 2017, February 10th 2017, February 17th 2017, February 24th 2017, March 03rd 2017, March 10th 2017 and March 17th 2017.
    • Limited seats

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

      Difficulty Level
      Easy

    • Duration
      6 h

    • AdultsR16679Price per person

    • ChildrenR16679Price per person

  • Van with driver only (8 seats) Duration: 6 hours

    SOMETHING SPECIAL

    MTV04

    Disembark in the port and have a van with a professional driver waiting for you and your family. Create your own tour and enjoy your day with a vehicle at your disposal. Service is available with a tour guide if requested. Please note: Rates valid within Montevideo limits, it does not include tickets to any touristy attraction or lunch. The advertised price for this service is per vehicle. This service is available only with a Spanish speaking Driver and (if available, an English or Spanish speaking Tour guide). Calls where the length of stay in the port is less than 6 hours but over 4 hours, the service can be available for the length of the call with the 6 hours price. This excursion is not available for calls: MSC Musica December 24th 2016, December 31th 2016, January 06th 2017, January 13th 2017, January 27th 2017, February 03rd 2017, February 10th 2017, February 17th 2017, February 24th 2017, March 03rd 2017, March 10th 2017 and March 17th 2017.
    • No guide available

    • Limited seats

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

      Difficulty Level
      Easy

    • Duration
      6 h

    • AdultsR14295Price per person

    • ChildrenR14295Price 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.

Uruguay

Surfing and night life
Surfing and night life

It’s no wonder that Uruguay is often referred to as the Switzerland of South America. Through misfortune and good times, the Uruguayans maintain their traditionally laidback and cheerful attitude, and it’s not hard to see why with a cruise to Uruguay.

From the secluded surfing beaches of the Atlantic coast, to the rolling pastoral land of the interior tended by gauchos, or the picturesque streets of Colonia del Sacramento and the buzzing nightlife of Montevideo, theirs is a gem of a nation set between the South American giants of Brazil and Argentina.

“Tranquilo” (peaceful) could be Uruguay’s national motto, and, after witnessing the beauty of the land and the relaxed kindness of its people, you are unlikely to be in any hurry to leave. You are unlikely to walk down a single street in Uruguay without seeing someone carrying the thermos, pots and metal straw (bombilla) required for maté.

In a tradition that goes back to the earliest gauchos, Uruguayans are said to drink even more of the grassy tea than the Argentines, and a whole set of social rituals surrounds it. At the close of a meal, the maté is meticulously prepared before being passed round in a circle.