Rio's annual pre-Lent extravaganza, Carnaval is the highlight of Rio's – and the party world's – calendar. It runs every year in the 5 days leading up to Ash Wednesday, culminating on Mardi Gras. But not everyone can make it to the throbbing excitement of Carnaval in that short window.
If you missed what many consider the sexiest party on the planet, not to worry.
BestTrip.TV can give you an insider's view of Carnaval. Join us for a rare, behind-the-scenes experience with our fellow guests on this Silversea Grand Voyage exclusive shore excursion to one of Rio's top Samba Schools.
For Silversea's Grand Voyage guests, a one-of-a-kind Carnaval experience immerses us in all the elements of Rio's renowned celebrations:
Floats are the centerpieces of Carnaval. Samba Schools build their floats in total secrecy – even from other members of their own Samba School. That makes the access we and our fellow guests have to the float-in-the-making extraordinary. The competition between Rio's Samba Schools is so extreme, not a whisper of each Samba School's new theme can leak out. Each year, the Samba School parade entry tells a different story, and the installations, mechanisms and very glittery art - provide the framework for the story. The countless sequins, glitter, feathers and sparkly paint make the floats surreal.
Costumes outshine even the floats, if that's possible. Parade floats are escorted through Rio's Sambadrome by hundreds and even thousands of costumed dancers, musicians and other performers. Perhaps it's the extraordinary contradiction of so much glitter and shine… and so much skin at the same time. Rio's Carnaval costumes differ from other Mardi Gras celebrations around the world (like Venice or New Orleans) in one key way: they are notoriously sexy. This is the birthplace of the thong and dental floss bikini after all. Not every costume is skimpy on fabric – they are wondrous, hand-made creations, and we and our fellow guests get to play dress up with genuine Carnaval costumes.
Cocktails make everything more fun, and the Carnaval experience is no exception. Cachaca (pronounced ka-CHA-sa) is Brazil's local sugarcane spirit, this country's answer to rum. Caipirinhas are the mojito of Brazil and help make this experience into a party.
Samba may be the most uniquely Brazilian aspect of Rio's Carnaval. The local music and dance, with roots in the country's African slaves, shaped by poor urban neighborhoods of more recent years, is a great symbol of the diversity, unity and democracy of the country today. Not to mention being one of the most throbbing, sensual, irresistible rhythms in the world. To the beat of the drums, cowbells, and whistles of musicians, we get into the spirit of Samba. Spoiler alert: you may need to be born dancing samba to do the incredible music justice.
Parade time is the culmination of a year of Carnaval preparations. Rio has even built its incredible Sambadrome parade ground, lined by stands and VIP booths. They don't prevent anyone from dancing along with the Samba School entries though. And naturally, our own Silversea Carnaval experience culminates in a 'mock' Carnaval parade.
It's an overnight in Rio we'll never forget.
Plus, the Carnaval Experience supports the Youth Samba School that educates thousands of kids in the community. Join us in celebrating Brazil's famous five-day party!
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