The city of Santos, often visited by cruise ships, is located in the south of Brazil on the Atlantic coast. More than 430.000 inhabitants (year 2019) live in Santos. More than 1.400 people live on every square kilometer of the city. Despite the concentration of people in a tight space and despite the large port area, Santos benefits from the status of a spa.
The area around the city is extraordinarily fertile. It attracted settlers from the start of the occupation and development of Brazil. One of the best types of coffee in the world is produced in the area around Santos. This is one of the reasons why most of Brazil's coffee exports are routed through Santos Port.
Santos - In the background the Serra do Mar mountains
Just behind Santos, the Serra do Mar mountain range rises sharply. In the Serra do Mar highlands, about 70 kilometers away, is São Paulo, the largest city in Brazil. It is easy for travelers to get to Santos via São Paulo International Airport.
The most important port in Latin America
The guests arriving by cruise ship or those who board ships in Santos first perceive the high-rise backdrop of the city and the seemingly "endless" wide harbor area.
Santos - port with cargo and cruise ships
Car freighter in the port of Santos
The port of Santos is the most important port in Latin America. Around 300 cruise ships dock in the port during the season. The real importance of the port, however, lies in the handling of containers and bulk goods. The port's statistics report a volume of bulk cargo in the order of 2010 million tons in 96, including sugar, soy, maize and fertilizer. More recent figures are available for container handling; in 2013 almost 1,172 million containers were handled.
Santos as a cruise destination
Cruise ship passengers are less interested in the handling of goods than in the location and equipment of the cruise terminal and the nature of the ship's berths.
Santos - cruise terminal
Santos - the cruise terminal
The functional terminal building is located around four kilometers from the city center. It offers currency exchange, ATMs, tour operators, a souvenir shop and a bar. Buses and taxi drivers wait for passengers in front of the terminal. The ship berths are scattered across the harbor. Some are at the terminal, others at a considerable distance from the terminal. The ship's guests are brought to the remote docks by shuttle buses.
Santos - Buses waiting at the cruise terminal
Football fans fondly remember the city's name. They connect Santos with FC Santos, the two-time soccer world cup winner and soccer legend Pelé. He was loyal to FC Santos for 17 years and won a total of 26 titles with him.
You should know all this when you get on or off a cruise ship in Santos.
Update April 2021