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  • Writer's pictureUrsula

Rio to Florida 11.02.-15.3.24

In Rio de Janeiro, we move into an apartment in the historic Lapa district for three nights. First we head to the lively Copacabana, where we also pick up our reserved tickets for Carnival.

We sit at the very front of the Sambadrome and enjoy the carnival parade up close. 6 samba schools, each with 4-5 multi-storey wonderful floats and dancers of all ages with elaborate, gorgeous costumes, parade past us. The show is grandiose, colorful, artistic and fantastic and lasts until the early hours of the morning.

We check in on Silversea's 'Silver Nova' and look forward to the upcoming cruise to Fort Lauderdale.

Before the ship departs, we visit historic Rio in partly pouring rain, where we visit the São Bento Monastery .

... and visit the impressive modern cathedral ...

...and take a look at the modern museum in the harbor.

As we set sail, we enjoy the mystical Rio with the Sugar Loaf Mountain and the Corcovado from a new perspective.

After a day at sea, we arrive in Salvador de Bahia, the first capital of Brazil.

We go on a guided walk through the beautiful, colorful old town with its Portuguese architecture and 365 churches.

After two more days at sea, we make a stop in the university city of Fortaleza, where we visit the carefully restored Alencar Theater on a city tour ...

... and take a walk through the cultural center.

Two more days at sea pass with some sport, good food and lots of entertainment on board, where we can use our new wardrobe for the first time, ...

... until we reach the mouth of the Amazon where we head inland towards Manaus.

In Santarém we take a boat trip where we experience the meeting of the Rio Tapajos (black water) and the Amazon (brown water) and sail into a small side arm where we try to fish for piranhas.

We say goodbye to Santarém as the sun sets beautifully.

In today's industrial city of Manaus, which had its golden years during the rubber boom, we visit the famous opera house and enjoy a concert in the beautiful building.

The city also has some other beautiful squares and buildings to offer....

... but unfortunately there are also many magnificent buildings that have completely fallen into disrepair.

In Manaus we also visit the confluence of the Amazon, this time with the Rio Negro, and take small boats into a side arm where we can enjoy the flora and fauna at close quarters.

After three nights in Manaus, we return to Parintins where we attend a rather elaborate folklore show.

We leave the Amazon Delta behind us and visit the Ile Royale in French Guiana, where the brutal French prison known from "Papillon" was located on the neighboring Devil's Island.

We continue to the Caribbean where we visit eight islands over eight days. On Barbados, we make an excursion to the limestone caves 'Harison's Cave' and to the Flower Forest, which is well worth seeing.

On Bequia we enjoy a sailing trip with rum punch, which is part of the standard program on every Caribbean island.

In Roseau, on the island of Dominica, we take small 4x4 buses into the mountains where we swim through a narrow gorge to a small waterfall.

In Castries, on the island of Saint Lucia, we also take a 4x4 excursion into the mountains and marvel at the special mountain railroad that takes passengers ziplining.

In Saint John's on Antigua and Barbuda, we have breakfast brought to our room because the kayak excursion to the mangroves is scheduled for early in the morning.

In St. Kitts, we opt for a leisurely and relaxed train ride in a convertible car on the old tracks where sugar cane used to be transported.

In Spanish Town we go on a boat trip with a stop for snorkeling.

The city tour in San Juan on Puerto Rico is a highlight. We really enjoy discovering the lively city with Fort San Cristobal and the magnificent colonial houses with a knowledgeable guide.

Finally, there are two days at sea to Fort Lauderdale, sometimes with considerable swell.

We are now heading for Houston in a rental car, where our car should arrive in a month's time on the container ship from Montevideo.

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