A compact charming centre
Rua do Comércio’s vintage flavor
Santos Futebol Clube stadium

Find South America Cruises


The fragrance of sugar and coffee

Santos, one of Portugal’s first New World settlements, was founded in 1535.

Today your MSC ship will be docking in Latin America’s largest port, through which passes a large proportion of the world’s coffee, sugar and oranges.

The city stands partly on São Vicente island, its docking facilities and old town facing landwards, with ships approaching by a narrow, but deep, channel. Its compact centre retains a certain charm that’s massively popular with local tourists, and there is a good deal of historical and maritime interest around the city. On an MSC South America cruise excursion to the city centre you’ll find the ruins of some of Santos’s most distinguished buildings along Rua do Comércio.

Although sometimes only the facades remain, some of the nineteenth-century former merchants’ houses that line the street are gradually being restored, the elaborate tiling and wrought-iron balconies offering a hint of the old town’s lost grandeur. MSC South America cruises also offer excursions to the local Santos Futebol Clube. It’s best known as the club for which the great Pelé played for most of his professional life (from 1956 to 1974); their stadium, the Vila Belmiro, is open to the public when there’s no game on.

In addition to honouring Pelé at the club’s small museum, you can take an hour-long guided tour including the players’ bar and dressing rooms. Santos’s beaches are across town from Centro on the south side of the island. The beaches are huge, stretching around the Atlantic-facing Baía de Santos, and popular in summer. 

Must see places in Santos

  • The beach garden

    The beach garden

  • The coffee museum

    The coffee museum

  • São Paulo, Ipiranga Museum

    São Paulo, Ipiranga Museum

Discover our excursions

1 results found

  • SÃO PAULO TOUR end at the airport
    With lunch

    • Long route by bus

    • Limited seats

    • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

      Difficulty Level

    • Duration
      6 h


    We will leave the port and drive up the mountain to reach the city of São Paulo. The city is located on a plateau and the alpine-like winding road offers some stunning scenery. After reaching the plateau, we will drive through a major industrial area before seeing some of the city's highlights. A stop will be made at the Ipiranga Monument erected in commemoration of Brazil's independence. Enjoy a sightseeing drive through the downtown area for panoramic views and historic sites including the Municipal Theatre (outside), the Metropolitan Cathedral (outside) and the “Patio do Colegio” (outside) where the Jesuits founded the city in 1554. Then enjoy lunch in a typical “Churrascaria” called “Esteio Grill” before continuing the sightseeing tour into the Ibirapuera Park. The excursion will end at São Paulo international airport. Please note: The drive to São Paulo can last up to two hours depending on traffic. The luggage will be taking on the same tour bus. The order of the tour may vary. Available only for guests with flights after 8:00pm. This excursion ends at the Sao Paulo international airport. This excursion is available for pre-booking. Luggage: The maximum limit of luggage is 90kg per person (up to 3 bags).

The excursions in the programme are intended to provide MSC Guests with an idea of the different tours that can be arranged in each port of call; this programme is merely a guide and confirmation of each excursion and its description and prices will be made during your cruise. 
Shore excursions programs and itineraries may vary depending on local conditions and/or any unforeseen events in relation to the timing on the day of the tour.
Some excursions are very popular and therefore availability cannot always be guaranteed, it is advisable to book in advance to avoid disappointment. The guides are guaranteed in English. Only for South America cruises, the guides are guaranteed in Brazilian Portuguese. Narration in other languages depends on the availability of guides. Please note that the final language of the tour will be confirmed on board during the cruise.

Reach the port

Port of Santos

This section contains information on how to reach the port.

Cruise Terminal:

Concais S/A 
Avenida Cândido Gaffreé
Armazém 25 Interno do Porto de Santos
CEP 11013-240 Santos, SP - Brasil - Caixa Postal 15

Reach the port by

  • Plane

    From Sao Paulo Guarulhos International Airport (Cumbica):
    Travelling by car, turn onto the SP-150 Anchieta Highway as you leave the airport and then on to the SP-160 Imigrantes Highway. Taxis and private cars are available to take you from the airport to Santos Cruise Terminal, a journey that takes around 2 hours and 30 minutes, depending on the traffic. There is also a bus service from the airport to Santos Cruise Terminal. The bus journey takes about 3.5 hours.

    From Sao Paulo Congonhas Airport:
    Travelling by car, turn onto the SP–150 Anchieta Highway as you leave the airport, and then on to the SP-160 Imigrantes Highway. Taxis and private cars are available to take you from the airport to Santos Cruise Terminal, a journey that takes about 1 hour, depending on the traffic. There is also a bus service from the airport to Santos Cruise Terminal. The bus journey takes about 1.5 hours.

South Brazil

Past Christ the Redeemer
Past Christ the Redeemer

In Brazil’s south-east, the three largest cities – São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte – form a triangle around which the economy pivots.

All are worth visiting, but the must-sees during your cruise to Brazil are Rio, which really is as beautiful as it seems in the pictures, and the ravishing colonial relic of Paraty which lies between here and booming São Paulo. North of here, the city of Belo Horizonte sits at the heart of Minas Gerais, where the old Portuguese towns of Ouro Preto, Tiradentes and Diamantina drip with colonial history.

The south, encompassing the states of Paraná, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul, boasts the spectacular Iguaçu Falls on the border with Argentina – one of the great natural wonders of South America. From Curitiba the scenic Serra Verde Express snakes down to the coast, where you can chill out on Ilha do Mel or beach-hop around Florianópolis.

Despite its proximity to the city, São Paulo’s 400km coast has sometimes been overlooked in favour of more glamorous Rio. North-east, towards the border with Rio state, the area is developing rapidly, but still offers great contrasts, ranging from long, wide stretches of sand at the edge of a coastal plain to idyllic-looking coves beneath a mountainous backdrop.