Rio de Janeiro to Welcome 37 Cruises this Season

Over three dozen cruise liners with more than 96,000 passengers onboard will anchor in Rio de Janeiro in this years high-peak season ending March 4. In line with current estimates, deluxe liners will bring in some 11,592 vacationers for the upcoming Rio Carnival, with Queen Mary II the worlds largest cruise today- carrying 2,620 passengers on its maiden voyage alone.

To welcome the ships, the citys Seaport Management Company (DOCAS is the acronym in Portuguese) will add extra light fixtures around the terminal and will beef up security by putting more municipal cops, military police officers and bilingual agents on the beat.

Visitors will also get a welcome card autographed by Rio Mayor Cesar Maia, a DVD entitled Só o rio é assim (Only Rio Is Like This) and an eight-minute, five-language promotional video of the city produced by the Tourism Municipal Department.

In the meantime, as many as 21 cruise liners will sail into Rio next Saturday on time for the Carnival. The tally accounts for a 20 percent increase from the 2003 celebrations.

None of them, however, is generating so much anticipation as the Queen Mary II, a 21st-century version of the Titanic that will be welcomed by the citys samba schools.

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