The glitter of Las Vegas gives way to a cruise on Ruby Princess through the Caribbean and around South America – with a stop in Rio de Janeiro timed to catch the climax of the city’s thrilling Mardi Gras carnival.
That’s ‘Carnivale, Casinos and Cape Horn’, the latest fly-cruise from Worldwide Cruise Centres (worldwidecruisecentres.com.au).
This exuberant holiday lasts over five weeks – 38 days to be precise – and costs from A$8899 per person twin share, valid for sale at that rate until 30 June 2014. That includes flights from Sydney, Brisbane or Melbourne to Fort Lauderdale (via Las Vegas) and back to Australia from Santiago in Chile, plus a month of cruising (32 nights) aboard Ruby Princess and three nights accommodation at the New York New York hotel in fabulous Las Vegas.
‘Carnivale, Casinos and Cape Horn’ starts on 27 January 2015 with a flight from Australia to Las Vegas. Your home for the next three nights is the New York New York hotel, a true over-the-top Vegas experience. The hotel evokes the New York City skyline, with towers configured to resemble the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building. A lake represents New York Harbour, complete with a 46-metre replica of the Statue of Liberty. The main casino area is named after Central Park and the shops are modelled after Greenwich Village. Only in Las Vegas!
After that, jet down to Fort Lauderdale for a night in a three-star hotel and a transfer to the port to board the magnificent Ruby Princess.
Ruby Princess is a holiday destination in its own right, featuring a dramatic piazza-style atrium, complete with boutique eateries and performing street entertainers. Dining venues include the signature Sabatini’s Italian restaurant and the Crown Grill steak and seafood restaurant, plus a relaxing oasis called The Sanctuary. Also popular: the ship’s Movies Under the Stars; multiple entertainment options; Personal Choice Dining featuring traditional or ‘anytime seating’ and Lotus Spa with fitness centre. All shipboard main meals (excluding specialty restaurants) and most entertainment aboard are included.
The 32-night itinerary heads south through the Caribbean, down the west coast of South America, around Cape Horn and up the east coast. First port of call is Antigua, largest of the British Leeward Islands, known for its 366 beaches. Next, St Lucia, where the pastel-coloured colonial buildings of the island’s capital, Castries, nestle below 800-metre twin peaks. Visit Bridgetown, Barbados, infused with English/African Bajan culture, and Trinidad, birthplace of steel pan and calypso music.
Next: Brazil, which you’ll explore in some depth, first at Recife, sun-drenched city of rivers and bridges, hailed as the “Venice of Brazil”. Next, a full day in Salvador de Bahia, a birthplaces of Brazilian culture with an old town precinct that’s World Heritage listed.
Santos, the port of Sao Paulo, biggest city in Latin America, comes next, followed by a true highlight – Carnival in Rio.
Ruby Princess spends two days in Rio at the height of the carnival action – the final two days of the festivities. Time to do you own thing, catch a parade, dance to the Samba beat, thrill to the metropolis nicknamed Cidade Maravilhosa (‘The Marvellous City’). Stroll Copacabana beach, catch the sights, sample a caipirinha cocktail.
Now the Argentine capital of Buenos Aires, birthplace of the tango, with it wide boulevards and grand European architecture. Then Uruguay’s capital Montevideo, on the River Plate, and the British outpost of Port Stanley in the Falkland Islands. To remote and picturesque Ushuaia now, where most inhabitants are descendants of seafarers, explorers, gaucho cowboys and local Indians.
Rounding Cape Horn, you’ll visit Chile’s Punta Arenas, looking out over the Strait of Magellan, then Valparaiso, gateway to Santiago, the Chilean capital, with the Andes Mountains glimmering in the distance.
After a wonderful holiday, perhaps toast South America with a glass of crisp white Chilean wine before jetting back home to Australia.
To find your local Worldwide Cruise Centres agent go to: www.worldwidecruisecentres.
SOURCE Worldwide Cruise Centres