In March we're landing in GIG (in JJ Business) from Europe at 5:00am local time, before joining a cruise, which we can't board until around 12:00 noon.
Does anyone have any ideas for what we could do or where we could go for a few hours before heading for the cruise terminal.
As JJ business passengers, is there anything like an arrivals lounge, etc? Or what about an airport hotel in which we might be able to get a dayroom?
Any ideas welcome.
Feb 13, 11, 9:55 am
There is no GIG arrivals lounge. The cruise ships depart from Central Rio de Janeiro where there are few hotel options, but you will have time to go to Copacabana to a hotel for a time. A taxi from Copacabana to the cruise ship departure will cost less than GBP20.
There may be dayrooms available at some hotels but I know of none.
What day will you arrive? The last day of Carnival is March 8, so availability will be good a week or so after, but not before.
Feb 13, 11, 9:57 am
GIG is not a convenient place to wait for your cruise. There is a hotel at Terminal I (you will arrive at Terminal II), but it is not recommended. I think the consensus here at FT is to get away from GIG ASAP . . .
You will probably board your ship at the pier at Praša Mauß, near Downtown. There is a good hotel (business oriented, nothing fancy, but professionally run) at the corner of Avenues Presidente Vargas and Rio Branco (the two main venues of downtown Rio, very near the pier at Praša Mauß). They have a very good breakfast buffet. I don't know if they have a day rate, but they are not too expensive and, if would like, you could stroll around the area (the Candelaria Church is right in front of the Hotel).
You have not said when you are arriving, but even if on an weekend, there will be some people on the streets, they will not be deserted, as they are very central.
The hotel is the Guanabara Palace:
Feb 13, 11, 10:53 am
Thanks for the speedy responses and suggestions.
We're arriving on Thursday March 3, so just before carnival (?).
Guanabara seems like a good idea. We possibly could even go for just for breakfast if they don't do dayrooms. I'll check.
Feb 13, 11, 1:16 pm
On further checking it looks like we'll now have just approx 4 hours to kill.
We land at 05:00, clear customs and immigration and leave airport by say 06:00 and get downtown for say 07:00. As we can embark on the cruise ship from 11:00, that leaves just 4 hours or so.
The best bet seems to be to go for breakfast somewhere like the Guanabara, unless anyone has a better idea? :confused:
Feb 13, 11, 2:21 pm
Corpt, my suggestion was based on the free time you will have before boarding the cruise ship, which is not much. Another variable is how much energy you would have after your flight (I, personally, would like to shower and lie down in bed for an hour or two: to me, it pays off, as I "renew" myself after a good shower but, to each one its own!).
Please keep in mind that at the time of your arrival, not many places would be open for business/visiting.
Neither the area around GIG nor that around Praša Mauß (where you're boarding your ship) are very atractive. Praša Mauß at least is at the outskirts of Downtown (easily reached on foot) but, again, there is not much to see/do before your boarding time.
If this is your first time in Rio and you would like to put some activity, one option would be to arrange a short tour with a taxi driver: instead of going directly from GIG to downtown, which is a direct hop through an unremarkable route, you could ask/negotiate a sightseeing tour GIG -> Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas -> Praia de Ipanema -> Praia de Copacabana -> Aterro do Flamengo -> Downtown/Praša Mauß. This would take, at the time you're doing it, a little more than another hour above your original GIG to Downtown time (total time: ▒ 1:30m to 2:00h at most).
Rio is a very beautiful city, if you're lucky and arrive on a sunny day, it will be memorable. The only drawback I can think of, is that you could become addicted to Rio!
Check with your cruise line if you could drop your baggage with them (at Praša Mauß) at ▒8:00/8:30AM; if so, after that you could go on foot (or taxi) along Av. Rio Branco and have your breakfast at the previously mentioned hotel or one of the several fresh juice joints that exist there (easily recognizable as they are open to the sidewalk and put piles and piles of fruits on display).
Feb 13, 11, 8:12 pm
NPF's idea for a short tour with the taxi is really good.
If you'd like to go to a hotel afterwards, Novotel or Ibis at SDU are good alternatives. They are located only 3 km from the cruise terminal.
This speculation is all based, of course, on an on-time arrival. Plus a relatively quick passing through Immigration and Customs. You can kill some time in the duty free shop just before Customs. You'd be heading to the port, which will be before the main "Centro," during rush hour, so delays also possible then. Getting a taxi drive to take you on a tour? Hope you know enough Portuguese to tell him where you want to go. And not cheap. For example, if you decided to go all the way to Copacabana and then to the port, I would anticipate a fare of maybe R$80 Reais.
I don't personally find the area around Praša Maua, or in the centro in general, very scenic or interesting, but if you can leave your bags there and then walk around (do be careful with purses, etc.), that may be the most realistic option. There isn't, in fact, much to do inside GIG, but you could grab a bite to eat there. There is a museum (old treasury building) near the port, and it has tours, but you'd have to ask others about walking there. If you can check in for the ship and then take a taxi there, and this is your only tie in Rio (which would be too bad), then a taxi to the beach areas of Copacabana and Ipanema (e.g., late breakfast or lunch at the Copacabana Palace Hotel-- I saw Pierce Brosnan in the front entrance there several years ago), or somewhere closer like Flamengo (e.g., the small Carmen Miranda museum) might be practical, depending on when you have to be back at the ship.
Rio's traffic can be heavy, so allow for extra time no matter when or where you travel around.
Feb 16, 11, 2:47 pm
Thanks for all the good advice. Whilst we're boarding the ship on our first day in Rio, the ship remains in port for 24 hours and on the second day we'll do our full tour of the city. We're therefore not desperate to do a tour immediately on arrival.
On reflection therefore, after a 12 hour flight, I think we'll just take a cab to the Guanabara and chill and possibly have breakfast there before boarding the ship at 11:00.