Last Friday just as I was getting ready to leave work, the draw for the groups of the 2014 World Cup began. I toyed with the idea of sticking around but decided to head off, checking the results on my phone as I travelled (walking, not driving – don’t worry).
So England has drawn Uruguay, Italy and Costa Rica. I let out a little laugh of disbelief as I walked home, realising how tough it was going to be. I passed a few people with their own phones out, shaking their heads in shock. But that’s what we have to deal with.
A lot has been said about Manaus in the meantime, about how it’s going to be a nightmare to get to and how it’s going to be way too hot and humid and how England’s players have absolutely no chance of winning there because they won’t be acclimatised.
It’s made it out to be a bit of a horror destination but it really isn’t. Otherwise why would Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas, Cruise & Maritime, Holland America Line, Seabourn Cruises, Swan Hellenic, Fred. Olsen, Oceania Cruises and Silversea Cruises all have cruises to Brazil that include Manaus as a port in 2014?
Manaus isn’t some remote shanty town in the middle of the jungle. It’s a big city, once the wealthiest in the world during the early days of rubber plantations. It might not be as glorious as it once was, with palatial homes and golden monuments, but it’s a striking metropolis.
And of course it acts as the gateway to the wonders of the Amazon rainforest, which is what so many people book cruises to Brazil for in the first place. Excursions are available that let you explore the dense jungle, spotting an incredibly diverse range of wildlife on land and in the air.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that yes, it will be warm and a bit humid during England’s match against Italy. And the WAGs might not have all the boutiques they’re used to in other parts of the world to spend their man’s money. But it’s not some horrific part of the world that the media are painting it as. It’s just not quite ideal for a football match.
But if you’re interested in cruises to Brazil, it’s a charming port and one that’s well worth exploring. Give our Cruise Concierge a call if you want to know more.