Let the games begin! And indeed 2014 FIFA World Cup will kick off on June 12 at the new 65,000-seat stadium in Sao Paulo. All 12 cities will host at least four of the 64 matches, with the final competition on July 13 at the Macarana stadium in Rio de Janeiro.
In preparation for the World Cup events, LAN and TAM will add more than 30 new international flights, while TAM will increase its domestic network with an additional 750 new domestic flights, operating approximately 22,000 flights within Brazil during the soccer competition. This substantial uptick in flight services—an investment of more than $21 million for the LATAM Airlines Group—will be in effect in June and July.
“Our operation will be highly focused on the logistical challenge of crisscrossing a continent-size country day and night, operating flights that are synchronized with the World Cup match schedule,” says Claudia Sender, CEO of TAM Airlines. “We will offer connectivity and transport to a large share of the fans from around the world.”
According to Sender, during the championship, 81 percent of TAM’s domestic flights will be operated from airports in the 12 host cities, with an average of 43 domestic flights departing from host game cities every day; for June and July, the company’s passenger capacity all over Brazil will be seven million. Here’s a rough look at the daily flight frequencies TAM has scheduled to the host cities on days they expect to experience heavier passenger traffic.
- Brasilia: 83 to 92
- Cuiaba: 6 to 12
- Curitiba: 29 to 32
- Fortaleza: 28 to 33
- Manaus: 13 to 15
- Natal: 9 to 14
- Porto Alegre: 26 to 31
- Recife: 24 to 26
- Rio de Janeiro (Galeao & Santos Dumont sirports): 94 to 108
- Sao Paulo (Congonhas, Guarulhos and Viracopos airports): 211 to 225
- Salvador: 27 to 33
Among the many World Cup tours in the marketplace is the interesting invitation from Rainforest Cruises to experience the World Cup and Brazil’s Amazon on its special 5-day World Cup excursion. “Our goal is to offer an alternative form of accommodation that brings travelers face-to-face with the fascinating culture, customs and awe-inspiring wildlife of the Amazon as part of what promises to be one of the most exciting sporting events in recent times,” says Jeremy Clubb, co-owner of Rainforest Cruises. “Cruise itineraries have been especially designed, combining the stunning scenery, flora and fauna with the excitement, passion and flair on the pitch, as the riverboat will be moored on game days at the port in the bustling city. “
Manaus, the only FIFA World Cup host city in the Amazon rainforest, will host its four games in the new 42,618-seat stadium: Arenas Amazonia. Rainforest Cruises will place guests right in the middle of World Cup action where passengers will experience the matches between England and Italy (June 14) and the USA versus Portugal (June 22). When not docked for game time, the vessels will venture up river, allowing passengers to explore the region through activities such as piranha fishing, jungle walks and nocturnal caiman safaris. Passengers will also experience the remarkable spectacle of nature—the Meeting of the Waters—where the black waters of the Rio Negro meet the brown waters of the Rio Solimoes and then flow side-by-side without mixing for almost eight miles.
Each Rainforest Cruises vessel carries 24 passengers in 12 fully air-conditioned twin bunk cabins, private bathrooms, and spacious and comfortable public areas, including a bar with a flat-screen satellite TV.
A 5-day World Cup Manaus package is priced at $1,999 pp dbl; book before March 31 to receive 15 percent off for double occupancy of a cabin, or pay no single supplement for single occupancy.
Cruise dates are June 11, June 19 and June 24. For more information, call (727) 498-0234 or visit rainforestcruises.com.