World famous carnivals - enjoy the party

Once in a lifetime experiences

How many people have experienced the sheer spectacle of the Rio Carnival or been among the revellers enjoying the colourful sights and sounds of Mardi Gras? These events are famous the world over for a reason – they really are the celebration of a lifetime – and now you can join in the party on one of our very special departures

Rio Carnival Special Departure

Considered the biggest carnival in the world, the Rio Carnival is held before Lent every year and sees two million people take to the city’s streets each day to join the five days of fun. Rio de Janeiro is known for its samba schools, and this famous event is their chance to compete against each other in order to join the revered Winners’ Parade. Some schools boast 5,000 members, and will have up to 30 floats taking part. They’ll choose a theme, compose a samba song and design a fitting float and costumes. Then it’s time to strut their stuff down the Sambodromo, where they are viewed by up to 60,000 spectators.

Those judged to be the best – factors taken into consideration are music, energy, costumes and dancing – will have the honour of taking part in the spectacular Winners’ Parade, the culmination of the celebrations and the best party in the world, to which you are invited! Take your seat in tier 9 for fantastic views of the winners, for whom this evening is a culmination of a year’s hard work and dedication and a really emotional experience.

Start your South America journey en route to Brazil’s vibrant Rio on 20th February 2017.

Mardi Gras Special Departure 

Music, parades, picnics and floats – Mardi Gras is the last day of the carnival season and one big holiday in New Orleans! Everyone is wearing purple, green and gold, colours which signify justice, faith and power respectively, for this massive street party, and you’ll enjoy a brilliant view of the action from grandstand seating on the parade route.

Also known as ‘Fat Tuesday’, as it’s the final day of revelry before Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins – think Pancake Day but more colourful – the first New Orleans Mardi Gras parade took place in 1837. Floats first appeared in 1857 and the ones you’ll see today will each have a theme, ranging from elaborate and beautiful to funny and satirical. Everyone will be wearing a mask, as this is required by law, the original purpose being to get rid of social constraints.

Krewe members will throw out beads, doubloons, stuffed animals and more, a tradition which began in the 1870s, and experienced revellers bring a bag to hold all their trinkets.

This is a must for music fans, so visit the USA during Mardi Gras and start your journey on 17th February 2017.