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About Recife

Sometimes called the 'Venice of Brazil' because of its numerous waterways and many bridges, Recife was named after the coral reefs that line its coast. The waterfront area, Boa Viagem, has the city's finest beach and from Gracas you can explore the old city.

Recife's deep cultural roots are notable and it is one of Brazil's richest places to explore folk art and craft. Its traditional handicrafts can be found at the Casa da Cultura de Recife, originally a 19th century prison, and at the many markets and festivals dotted around the city. Don't miss the charming narrow alleyways of nearby Olinda, a colonial city founded in 1534 and now a UNESCO world historical monument.

 

Shore excursions in Recife

Please note: The shore excursions listed are typical for this port. The full programme of shore excursions available for your cruise will be displayed on Cruise Personaliser at least 12 weeks prior to departure.

Boa Viagem Beach Break

Activity lowShopping

Duration: 4 hours

A chance to relax on the beach and soak up some sunshine.

This simple transfer takes you to Boa Viagem Beach, where you can spend around 2¾ hours at your leisure, relaxing in the sun.

Boa Viagem is one of the most famous beaches in Recife, and is renowned for its wide sands, stretching for almost 8 kilometres. Meaning ‘Have a good trip’, Boa Viagem is the perfect place to enjoy sun, sea and sand.

Perhaps take a stroll along the beach, purchase refreshments at one of the local café bars and restaurants or indulge in a spot of shopping at the nearby stores.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. Passengers are reminded to wear swimwear, take a towel and sunscreen. Beach chairs and umbrellas are not included but may be available for hire, payable locally, please note however that these are limited. Please refrain from drinking alcoholic beverages prior to swimming. There may be independent suppliers on the beach that offer watersports. These are provided by parties unconnected to P&O Cruises. The beach is public and therefore may become busy.

Boa Viagem Beach Break

Olinda on Your Own

Activity mediumShopping

Duration: 4 hours

Explore the historic city of Olinda at your leisure.

Founded by the Portuguese in 1535, the city of Olinda is one of the best-preserved colonial cities in Brazil. Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1982 due to its historic importance, Olinda is a delight to visit.

Upon arrival, disembark your coach and transfer to a non-air-conditioned minivan for the short transfer up the steep, narrow lanes to the town centre.

You’ll have approximately 3 hours to explore this charming city independently. Perhaps visit some of the outstanding churches, take in the views from Alto Sé or simply stroll along the narrow streets and marvel at the wonderful, colonial architecture. Or you may just choose to relax with refreshments at one of the local bars or restaurants and watch the world go by.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. The tour is unguided and excludes refreshments or meals. The amount of walking is at the passenger’s discretion.

Porto de Galinhas

Activity medium

Duration: 8 hours

Visit the seaside resort of Porto de Galinhas for free time to relax and explore independently.

Last century it was a disembarkation port for slaves, but today Porto de Galinhas is considered one of the best beaches in Brazil. With crystal clear waters, palm trees and seawater swimming pools, this well appointed area will ensure an enjoyable day.

A scenic drive takes you south of Recife, passing large sugar cane plantations, palm trees, small rural communities and fishermen’s boats, before reaching the seaside resort of Porto de Galinhas. You’ll have around 5 hours of free time to relax on the beach, enjoy a swim in the sea, or take a pleasant stroll and capture photos.

Lunch has not been included to provide maximum flexibility and to allow you to take advantage of the numerous seaside restaurants and bars serving food.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot.The drive to Porto is 1½ hours each way. There is a walk of around 700 metres from the coach drop off point to the beach. Please remember to wear swimwear and take sunscreen and a towel. Beach chairs and umbrellas are not included but may be available for hire, payable locally, these may however be limited. Please refrain from drinking alcoholic beverages prior to swimming. There may be independent suppliers on the beach that offer watersports. These are provided by parties unconnected to P&O Cruises. The beach is public and therefore may become busy.

Recife and Golden Chapel

Activity mediumShopping

Duration: 3½ hours

Discover some of the main sites of Recife, including the beautiful Golden Chapel.

Your city tour of Recife begins with a photo stop at Marco Zero, a waterside monument that marks the very spot of the founding of the city in 1537. From here, you’ll walk to the Jewish street, Rua Bom Jesus, to photograph the former Synagogue.

Back onboard your coach a panoramic drive through Recife, will take you past the neighbourhoods of Santo Antonio and Boa Vista and across the Mauricio de Nassau Bridge. A stop will be made at Praça da República to capture photos of the Government Palace, Santa Isabel Theatre and the Justice Palace.

A highlight of your tour will be a visit to the Golden Chapel, aptly named due to the vast amount of gold covering the elaborately sculpted walls, ceilings and altars. This 17th century chapel is a fine example of Portuguese colonial architecture and is one of the most beautiful baroque style churches in Brazil.

Round off your tour at Casa da Cultura. The cells of this former 19th century prison now house a selection of craft and souvenior stores providing a perfect place to shop for that all important memento of your visit to Recife.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot and involves approximately 1 hour of walking, mainly over paved surfaces. Photography is not permitted inside the Golden Chapel.

Recife and Golden Chapel

Recife and Olinda

Activity mediumShopping

Duration: 4½ hours

Combine old with new during visits to the modern resort of Recife and the old capital of Olinda.

Embark on a sightseeing tour of Recife, pausing at Praça da República, to photograph the Governor’s Palace, Santa Isabel Theatre and the Justice Palace. Afterwards, indulge in a spot of shopping at Casa da Cultura. This former prison was transformed into a handicraft market, and offers the opportunity to shop for souvenirs, whilst soaking up the local atmosphere.

Your tour continues to the historic city of Olinda, where you’ll transfer from your coach to a non-air-conditioned minivan for the drive up the steep and narrow lanes. Olinda is the historical centre of the old capital, and is considered the Natural and Cultural patrimony of Humanity by UNESCO with grand houses and colonial churches. During your visit of this charming city, take in the Alto da Sé, Sé Church and Misericordia Church, (exterior views) and capture wonderful views of Olinda and Recife. Complete your visit to Olinda with a stop at the São Bento Monastery to view its stunning baroque altar.

Upon your return to Recife, pause for photos at the sophisticated residential neighbourhood of Boa Viagem, the home of many hotels, restaurants and modern buildings as well as the most visited beach in north eastern Brazil.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot and involves approximately 1½ hours of walking, some of which is over cobblestoned streets. While most shops accept US dollars, we recommend that you bring along some Brazilian currency for small purchases and refreshments. Flash photography is not permitted in the monastery.

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