New Year’s Eve is a time for reflection, resolutions, and goal setting. It’s a chance to look back on the past and state your purpose for what’s to come. It’s also one of the best opportunities for unique travel experiences. And next December, we want you to ring in the new year in one of the world’s greatest cities with us! To round out 2020, Azamara guests will wave goodbye to the year in three different cities: Rio, Cape Town, and Sydney. Read on for a journey through tips, cultural insights, and things to do on the best night of the year.
Copacabana Beach, Rio, Brazil
Passengers aboard the Azamara Quest will be joining us in Rio for New Year’s on the world-famous Copacabana Beach. Running 4km, this long stretch of sand is Rio in a nutshell: it’s full of fun-loving people, lines for caipirinhas, and locals showing off their impressive soccer skills. Renowned for both its beauty and vibrancy, this beach is the place to be.
A hot spot any time of year, Copacabana Beach really comes alive for New Year’s Eve — hosting one of the largest parties on the planet. And when we say large, we’re talking huge — like two million people. Revilers dance and sing along the shore as spectacular fireworks are set off over the water. Throughout the night, live bands line the beach, with acts ranging from international DJs to local legends.
Brazilian customs are aplenty on this traditional night. Here’s a quick guide of how to celebrate like a local and ensure you bring good luck into the next year:
Wear white! This age-old New Year’s custom comes from the Afro-Brazilian religion, Candomble. They believe that wearing wearing white on New Year’s Eve will bring peace and prosperity.
After the fireworks, it’s tradition to jump over seven waves while making a wish on each. This custom honors Iemanjá, Goddess of the Ocean.
Some locals will also retreat quietly to the edge of the shore to send an offering of white flowers to Iemanjá, in the hopes that she will then grant their wishes.
Eat the lucky food of lentils — a tradition brought to Brazil by the Italians. And on the other side of this, avoid turkey and crab on New Year’s, as locals say these foods bring bad luck into the coming year!
A city awash in charm and laid-back locals, Sydney has a well-earned reputation for its impressive restaurants, iconic landmarks, and scenic beaches. This year, guests aboard the Azamara Pursuit will spend two nights in this fantastic metropolis, including New Year’s. And in a city renowned for its parties, you can bet that this is an amazing place to ring in 2021.
Sydney is one of the first major cities to ring in the new year, so you can bet it’s a pretty big deal. In fact, New Year’s Eve in Sydney even has its own website. More than just a thrilling fireworks display New Year’s in Sydney is also a time to take in beautiful aerial shows, as well as traditional aboriginal ceremonies that highlight the different ways people celebrate. That said, the fireworks here are truly spectacular. And, luckily, they’re typically displayed twice throughout the night: once at 9 pm and again at midnight. Synchronized to a soundtrack of tunes new and old, these bursts of delight will excite viewers of every age.
Thousands of extra public transit services run on this special evening, helpful for people getting to their next destination before or after the fireworks. Get tickets for a NYE bash, like this famous opera house soirée. We’d also recommend looking into a harbour ferry for amazing views of the spectacle. If dining is more your style, check out the 4-course meal at harbour-side City Extra.
Cape Town, South Africa
Adventurers aboard the Azamara Journey will have the pleasure of cruising into the New Year in magnificent Cape Town, South Africa. Often referred to as the Mother City, cultures and cuisines collide here under the stunning backdrop of Table Mountain National Park. While Cape Town is relaxed by day, at night it’s full of energy. Moving from establishment to establishment, you’ll hear everything from the pulsating rhythms of hip-hop to the sweet notes of jazz. There’s also a diverse smorgasbord of restaurants serving up everything from fish and chips to the ever-popular braai (South African barbecue).
From stage festivals to extravagant parties, you’ll have no shortage of options to choose from on New Year’s. Of course, Cape Town doesn’t skimp on the fireworks either. If you want to be in the center of it all, hit the Victoria and Alfred (V&A) Waterfront. There you’ll find the music and celebrations of all kinds, plus perfect perches from which to soak it all in. For more ideas on what to do while you’re here, check out the city’s tourism site.
In the city centre, you’ll find a street festival on Long Street, complete with live tunes and dancing into the wee hours of the night. Get in on the action or pick a bar with a balcony! If you’re looking for something more lowkey, we suggest making a dinner reservation for you and yours. Try The Stack for fine dining or Kloofstreet House for a vibrant atmosphere. Or head to Sky Bar for great rooftop views of Table Mountain.
Whether you plan to spend this New Year’s Eve on Copacabana Beach in Rio, at a party in Cape Town, or watching the famous Sydney Harbour fireworks, you’re sure to have a night you’ll never forget. The key to this busy evening is planning ahead — and that starts with looking at our upcoming 2020 New Year’s Eve voyages to find the one that’s right for you. Wherever you are on December 31st, we hope you embrace the new year with open arms, champagne, and a grand celebration.
Are you feeling inspired to ring in 2021 with us? Start planning your voyage today.