Salvador cruises

As the host of the world’s largest carnival, Salvador is sometimes referred to as the Brazilian capital of happiness. A cruise to Salvador gives you a taste of the country’s rich cultural history, beautiful architecture, candy-hued buildings and unusual cuisine.

Originally the capital of Brazil until 1763 when Rio de Janeiro was given the title, it is now the third most populous city in the country.

Salvador’s cultural heritage

Founded in 1549 by Portuguese settlers, Salvador soon became an important sea port, especially for the trade of sugar and slaves.

The African slaves who were brought to Salvador became an important part of the cultural fabric of this city, influencing food, music, dance and even the religion. In 1985, Salvador’s historic centre Pelourinho was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Gastronomy in Salvador is heavily influenced by African ingredients, flavours and techniques, with seafood featuring in many dishes. Azeite-de-dendê, a type of palm oil, is one of the most commonly-used ingredients and was introduced to Brazil by West African slaves.

Some dishes you have to try during your cruise include acarajé, a regional speciality that was once associated with religious Candomblé rituals, and the accompanying dish of vatapá, a bread and coconut stew. Moqueca Baiana is a popular fish casserole made with local ingredients like palm oil and coconut milk.

Discover Salvador

Salvador is comprised of an Upper Town, where the cathedral and other important buildings were built for safety, and the Lower Town some 90 yards below. Brazil’s first elevator, Elevador Lacerda, connects the two parts of town so visitors can easily travel between them.

Over 50 miles of beaches line the city of Salvador, with a range to please surfers, families and sun-seekers alike. Praia Porto da Barra, overlooked by a whitewashed colonial church, has often been named as one of the best beaches in the world.

Strolling around the cobblestoned streets of Salvador will reveal beautiful examples of 17th and 18th century colonial and Baroque architecture. Some of the buildings are brightly painted, giving the impression of a string of jewels lining the city’s streets. Venturing into the new town is like stepping forward in time, with unusual modern buildings towering overhead. Murals and sculptures are also found throughout the city, adding character and colour to walls and public spaces.

Salvador holds the world record for the biggest party on earth. Each year, the Carnival of Salvador da Bahia sees almost four million people take to the street to take part in the festival, which features street parades, dancing and live music for a full week.

For a different kind of dancing, look out for public capoeira performances. This part-dance, part-martial arts combination is unique to Afro-Brazilian communities and was said to have started in Salvador, although it is now found all over the world. Visitors to the city can sign up for classes to learn this unique art form.

Salvador is not all hustle and bustle. With four protected parks it is easy to find a quiet place to sit and reflect, or to go for a stroll through the lush green spaces. 

Excursions

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.

  • Snapshot of Salvador

    Take in the sights of this historic city from the comfort of your coach.

    Snapshot of Salvador

    Salvador is known as the ‘happy city’ and is considered the cultural capital of Brazil. Your city drive passes by Carlos Gomes Avenue, Campo Grande Square and Sete de Setembro Avenue to arrive at Municipal Square. Here, your knowledgeable guide will provide insights about the Historical Centre, buildings and Lacerda's Elevator.

    Continue via Chile Street, Corredor da Vitória and Ladeira da Barra, to reach the Farol da Barra (Lighthouse). Continue along the coast, passing by the most important districts and beaches of Salvador, such as Ondina, Rio Vermelho and Pituba.

    Proceed back through the modern part of the city, passing by the Iguatemi District, Garibaldi Avenue and Dique do Tororó, where you will be able to view the ‘Orixás’ sculptures by the Bahian artist Tati Moreno.


    This excursion will operate by coach. To avoid disappointment please note, this tour does not include photo stops or walking as all the highlights will be seen from the comfort of your coach.

    Tour code

    SSA_001

    Features

    • Activity low

      Activity Level: Low

    Duration

    2 hours

  • Historical Highlights

    Discover the many faces of Salvador da Bahia and take a glimpse at the city’s intriguing cultural mix of African and European.

    Historical Highlights

    Transfer directly to Municipal Square, where you’ll see the Lacerda's Elevator that links the upper and lower city and enjoy an overview of Baía de Todos os Santos (All Saints Bay). From there, walk through the Historical Centre, arriving at ‘Terreiro de Jesus Square’, home of two of Salvador's important churches, Rosârio doe Pretos and The Church of Sâo Francisco.

    The Pelourinho District is one of the oldest areas in town, stroll through its narrow cobbled streets lined with old buildings which now house art galleries, jewellery and souvenir shops. The Largo do Pelourinho is a colonial square and pillory, where slaves and prisoners were punished in full view of the approving gentry.

    Re-board your coach, passing by the Dique do Tororó, where you’ll view the ‘Orixás Sculptures’, by the Bahian artist Tati Moreno. Continue onto the Barra district where you’ll see the Farol da Barra (lighthouse) which is situated at the fortress of San Antonio, built to protect the Portuguese colonists from Dutch invaders.


    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. There is approximately two hours of walking on this tour over some cobble-stoned streets. Due to Mass at the Churches on Sunday’s exterior visits only will be possible.

    Tour code

    SSA_006

    Features

    • Activity high

      Activity Level: High

    Duration

    4 hours

  • Salvador and Pinto Museum

    Explore the main sights of Salvador da Bahia and visit the Pinto Museum.

    Salvador and Pinto Museum

    Journey to Municipal Square to enjoy scenic views of ‘Baía de Todos os Santos’ (All Saints Bay) and to see Lacerda’s Elevator, which links the upper and lower city.

    Your guided walking tour of Salvador begins with a stroll through the historical centre to reach the recently-renovated Terreiro de Jesus Square where you’ll view two of Salvador’s most important churches; the Baroque Cathedral and the Church of São Francisco.

    Continue through the Pelourinho District, one of the oldest areas in town. Enjoy a stroll through the narrow cobbled streets lined with old buildings housing art galleries, jewellery and souvenir shops. Along the way, you’ll see the Largo do Pelourinho, a Colonial square and pillory where slaves and prisoners were once punished in full view of the public.

    Back onboard the coach you’ll drive to the Costa Pinto Museum, passing by the ‘Dique do Tororó’ to see the ‘Orixás’ sculptures by Bahian artist Tati Moreno, the San Antonio Fortress and ‘Farol da Barra’ Lighthouse.


    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. This tour involves an extensive amount of walking, over cobblestone surfaces. This tour is not suitable for passengers with limited mobility or wheelchair users. Lightweight clothing and a sun hat is recommended, as the climate is usually hot and humid.

    Tour code

    SSA_003

    Features

    • Activity high

      Activity Level: High

    • Shopping

      Shopping

    Duration

    4½ hours