Duration: 3 1/2 hours
Tour Code: for-001
Explore the historic beauty and sites of scenic Fortaleza during an orientation tour highlighting its beaches, resort areas, and commercial and residential districts.
Depart the pier for the drive towards the Mucuripe Lighthouse, where the popular eastern beaches begin. Your route will take you through the residential section, then on to the center of town. Along the way, your guide will point out the Memorial to President Castelo Branco. This modern mausoleum is the last resting-place of the state's best-known son, the military president of Brazil from 1964 to 1966.
Next, you will continue on to the Praça de Alencar, the city's largest square in the heart of the commercial district. Here, you will visit the Teatro José de Alencar. Located in the center of Praça de Alencar, this theater is named for the great 19th-century novelist and poet who was a native of the city. After crossing the central downtown commercial district, a brief stop will be made to see the new Gothic-style Se Cathedral, constructed of concrete and featuring beautiful stained-glass windows. Leaving the church, you will pass by the Assunção Fortress, originally built by the Dutch and still in use today as a military installation.
You will then proceed for a visit to the Emcetur Tourist Center. One of the best places for local handicrafts, it is located in the old prison complex. Here, hundreds of stalls display a wide selection of embroidered textiles, woodcarvings, basketware, clay figurines, and lace, a craft for which Fortaleza is renowned. Some time will be made available for browsing the merchandise; your guide will be standing by to address any questions you may have.
Following your visit, you will re-board your coach for the return drive to the ship. En route, a photo stop will be made at the famous Metallic Bridge, also known as the English Bridge. You will then re-board your coach for the ride along the seafront and past Iracema Beach, a popular beach lined with 5-star hotels, before arriving back at the pier.
Please note: This tour involves approximately 1 hour of walking. The tour is available to wheelchair guests who have a collapsible wheelchair, are able to make their own way on and off the coach and have an able-bodied companion to assist them. Those guests with mobility concerns are cautioned only to participate to the extent of their personal stamina and ability and may make arrangements with the guide to not participate in some of the walking portions of the tour. Weather appropriate clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended.