A Travellerspoint blog

This blog is published chronologically. Go straight to the most recent post.

March 7 - PUNTA DEL ESTE, URUGUAY (Day 2)

sunny 75 °F

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We were anchored overnight and, being early risers, we caught the first tender to shore, passing moored fishing boats on our way to the dock.

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Luxury yachts are plentiful - these are some of the smaller ones!

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We walked along the shore to the beaches on the river side of the peninsula.

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A dip in the cool water, all by myself! Too early in the day for South Americans!

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Near the fishing boats hungry sea lions (or sea wolves, as they are called here) wait for handouts.

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Daddy wants some, too!

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Teasing

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I really want that fish!

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This is a lot of work!

Posted by Swenigale 10:05 Archived in Uruguay

March 9 - SÃO PAULO/SANTOS, BRAZIL

sunny 86 °F
View Serenity 8 on Swenigale's travel map.

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After two nights and a day of travel we have arrived in the first of many ports in Brazil. There will be seven consecutive port days. Since we plan to be ashore everyday (leaving little time to work on the blog) we will believe the old adage, “a picture is worth a thousand words” – trusting that our photos will speak for themselves.

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Posted by Swenigale 12:05 Archived in Brazil

March 10 - PARATY, BRAZIL

sunny 93 °F
View Serenity 8 on Swenigale's travel map.

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We spent hours enjoying this preserved Portuguese colonial town and the fort above it. Hope you enjoy it too!

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Posted by Swenigale 10:45 Archived in Brazil

March 11 - ILHA GRANDE, BRAZIL

sunny 93 °F
View Serenity 8 on Swenigale's travel map.

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Hey, Another beach town! Well, why not? It’s hot and humid, so let’s go find a place to snorkel!

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Our pilot and crew

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Before we set off, a gasoline delivery

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At low tide, this pass cannot be navigated with an engine!

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Our lagoon snorkel spot – crystalline water, colorful fish and coral!

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We were here early in the day, by ourselves – but a short time in this sun, and it’s time to head back.

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The tide’s a bit higher, but throwing the anchor and pulling up the boat is still necessarily.

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Serenity is in view

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This island we are on, “Big Island”, is one of the last protected remnants of the Atlantic Rainforest.

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The small town is Vila do Abraão and the church is São Sebastiano.

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Posted by Swenigale 15:15 Archived in Brazil

March 12 - BUZIOS, BRAZIL

sunny 88 °F
View Serenity 8 on Swenigale's travel map.

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Another day in paradise! We took an early morning water taxi from shore to one of the many beaches on the peninsula.

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The secret to enjoying empty beaches - be early!

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After snorkeling near the coral cliffs, we called it a day as late-risers started to appear.

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Walking back to town and the tender pier

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It's all about the sun and the water!

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Or, maybe what you can find under the water!

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Unique sculpture - Three Fisherman and their Net

Posted by Swenigale 10:05 Archived in Brazil

March 13 - RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL (Day 1)

semi-overcast 83 °F
View Serenity 8 on Swenigale's travel map.

MORNING SAIL INTO RIO

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The classic beauty of Rio is before us.

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A Frigate bird enjoys our updrafts!

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The nearby airport is busy with rush hour flights.

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The Navy has very classy buildings.

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Posted by Swenigale 16:55 Archived in Brazil

March 13 - RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL (Day 1)

semi-overcast 84 °F
View Serenity 8 on Swenigale's travel map.

Part 2

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The cruise terminal was spruced-up for the Olympics with a light rail added.

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Opting for an afternoon excursion today, we took a taxi to the Botanical Gardens.

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Who doesn't love a monkey!!

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Hee, hee

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Stately Royal Palms

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Driving back to the port - a stop with a view of Ipanema

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Driving along Copacabana Beach- I don't think anyone actually swims here!

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Near the port - more Olympic improvements

Posted by Swenigale 17:25 Archived in Brazil

March 14 - RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL (Day 2)

semi-overcast 86 °F
View Serenity 8 on Swenigale's travel map.

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Segment 5, "Amazon Expedition", begins today - our 2nd day in Rio de Janeiro.

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An early start and smooth ride on the new light rail brought us to a lovely square in the old city. The glitzy beaches are all on the other side of the mountains, accessed through tunnels from the old city.

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Scary cats

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A vintage tram line took us into the old Santa Theresa neighborhood.

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Passing the Metropolitan Cathedral

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The tram travels across the top of a 1750 aqueduct.

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Hoping for clear skies to continue we then took a taxi to the first of two cable cars that ascend to the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain.

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Going up - Corcovado Mountain with Christ the Redeemer statue is in the distance.

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The 2nd gondola (always reassuring to ride in cable cars made by Swiss engineers!)

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High above the long curve of Copacabana Beach

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Zooming in on the 130-foot-tall statue as clouds covered and uncovered what is said to be the world's largest art deco statue

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Words fail me.

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Posted by Swenigale 13:35 Archived in Brazil

March 15 - RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL (Day 3)

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A look down at the port from the top of our ship to the colorful pastiche that is Rio de Janeiro.

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Today we sail in the afternoon – so no wandering far, far away. We hopped on the free (for old people like us) train to the city center for a look at some of the old churches from colonial days.

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Neoclassical Candelárea Roman Catholic church.

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Inside the dome

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Baroque interior of Santa Cruz dos Militares church.

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It is built where a Portuguese fort used to stand.

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Red carpet ready to roll

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The façade of Our Lady of Mount Carmo

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Can you find the pulpit?

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Eventually we ended up in Praca XV de Novembro and the Ferry Terminal.

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Noticing a police force assembling for some reason, we decided now was a good time to make our way back “home”!

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Guards all around – something was going to happen – but we would be far away!

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Even so, we had to stop to be amazed by this awesome tree.

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Posted by Swenigale 14:25

CRYSTAL WORLD CRUISE GAMES OPENING CEREMONY

sunny 90 °F
View Serenity 8 on Swenigale's travel map.

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The 2017 World Cruise Games have begun! Over the next few weeks Crystal guests will be competing in events ranging from swimming laps to table tennis!

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Gold Medal Olympian Edwin Moses is onboard and will be presenting medals to the winners. He won gold in the 1976 and 1984 four hundred meter hurdles and set the world record in the event 4 ties. Pretty special, indeed. Later in the cruise he will be joined by Olympians Nadia Comaneci and Bart Connor.

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Curtis Collins and Beverly Durand, the world cruise professional dance team, awed us with their artistry.

LET THE GAMES BEGIN!

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Posted by Swenigale 14:15 Archived in Brazil

March 17-18 SALVADOR DA BAHIA, BRAZIL

semi-overcast 90 °F
View Serenity 8 on Swenigale's travel map.

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A new mural welcomes visitors to the port and to the “lower town” of this city built on two levels. It is a city of 2, 675,000 people, 80% of whom are the descendants of African slaves – this being Brazil’s former center of sugar and slave trade.

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A cheap and easy ascent to the upper, historic colonial center

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Looking out to the bay from the “upper town”

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The church of São Francisco Convento is rich with gold-plated wood carvings and fine Portuguese glazed tiles.

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A jumble of roof tops

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Tourists are well-guarded

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The Pelourinho District

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In the evening the talented cast of the Serenity presented an amazing St. Patrick’s Day show.

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Our cruise director always gets in the spirit of things.

Posted by Swenigale 11:45 Archived in Brazil

March 20 - RECIFE, BRAZIL

90 °F
View Serenity 8 on Swenigale's travel map.

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Recife is a huge city with over a million inhabitants and history dating back to the 1500’s. While there is much to see in the big city, we elected to tour nearby colonial Olinda.

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The town is just 4 miles from Recife on Brazil’s northeast coast, with steep hillsides, cobblestone streets, and 27 churches, convents and monasteries.

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A view to the Atlantic

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So much history, so much to absorb.

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Find Hästa

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Find St. Francis :)

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A precarious perch, and a broom to wash the chapel windows!

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Olinda is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a beautiful outpost of early Brazilian civilization.

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Back in the city – the old prison has been “repurposed” into a unique shopping mall with local artisans.

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Looking down one of the 4 three story wings of the prison – each small cell that had held fifteen prisoners is now filled with lace tablecloths and tee shirts!

Posted by Swenigale 13:25 Archived in Brazil

March 22 - FORTALEZA, BRAZIL

rain 79 °F
View Serenity 8 on Swenigale's travel map.

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As we make our early morning arrival rain clouds are hanging over the sea. The weather on this whole cruise has been practically perfect, so what’s a little rain?

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This is yet another enormous Brazilian city with more than 2 million people, one of northeast Brazil’s major commercial centers.

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Walking in the city – you won’t see this in Massachusetts!

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St. Joseph’s Cathedral, designed by French architect George Maunier, was inaugurated in 1978.

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The Mercado Central, near the cathedral, has more than 500 vendor stalls!

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Teatro José de Alencar

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The cast iron parts were imported from Glasgow, Scotland.

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The theater was officially opened in 1910.

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Silk flowers, beautiful in profusion!

Posted by Swenigale 11:25 Archived in Brazil

March 25 - ALTER DO CHÃO, BRAZIL

semi-overcast 86 °F
View Serenity 8 on Swenigale's travel map.

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Come ashore! We are at our first stop on the Amazon River and we have crossed and re-crossed the Equator and presently we are still south of the Equator.

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It’s the rainy season so we hired a small boat for an hour’s ride through the flooded shores.

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In September this is a beach resort with the water being so much lower that boats cannot pass where we will wander today.

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See the thatched roofs? In September it’s a restaurant!

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The small town of 1300 is on a pretty bay near the confluence of the Amazon and Tapajós rivers.

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We explored a lagoon, Lago Verde

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River people make jewelry from these pods.

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Crystal Serenity is anchored on the other side of Ilha do Amor, Island of Love.

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High water? No problem.

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Hästa didn’t want to get his feet wet.

Posted by Swenigale 12:55 Archived in Brazil

March 26 - PARINTINS, BRAZIL

overcast 90 °F
View Serenity 8 on Swenigale's travel map.

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Welcome to the Amazon, where moths are REALLY big..

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...and travel is by riverboat!

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It's early Sunday morning,

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The birds are awake,

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Church has begun,

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An empty wagon needs to be filled,

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A charming restaurant waits to open,

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Sunday dinner is being purchased,

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The cathedral service is starting

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Elsa's here, too! (a good idea, in hot and humid Parintins)

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Patient horses with no apparent function

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Parintins is most known for a Carnival-like festival that has been held every June for some 80 years. During our visit here in 2013 we attended a short display of the "Boi Bumba" festival. This link will bring you to our blog from that year.

http://serenityfour.travellerspoint.com/79/

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The gathering clouds chased us back to our cool Serenity - over the bridge, through the riverboat and into the tender we go! Back for a late breakfast and preparation for our late afternoon Sunday Service.

Posted by Swenigale 10:55 Archived in Brazil

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