Brazil tax on cruisers

By Nancy & Ed Norberg
This item appears on page 14 of the August 2017 issue.
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We decided that Latin America would be our 2017 travel destination, sailing on a 22-day “Amazon Exploration” cruise aboard the 684-passenger Regatta of Oceania Cruises (Miami, FL; 855/335-2723, www.oceania cruises.com).

We left Miami on Feb. 2, sailing for eight days through the Caribbean and nine days on the Amazon River, then along Brazil’s coast, ending with two days in Rio de Janeiro.

We would like to share information about a surcharge, or tax, that Brazil has been imposing on cruise passengers sailing in Brazilian waters.

When preparing for a cruise, we always go to the Roll Call section of the Cruise Critic’s website (www.cruisecritic.com/rollcalls) to see what other “cruisers” are saying about the cruise. One Roll Call participant wrote that Brazil imposes a 25% surcharge on all goods purchased on board while sailing in Brazilian waters. 

Not sure exactly what this meant, we contacted our travel agent, who, in turn, contacted Oceania. However, our agent was not able to learn much about the tax.

It wasn’t until we were about to enter Brazilian waters that the ship’s daily newsletter, Currents, advised that once we entered and while we remained in Brazilian waters, a 25% Brazilian tax would be added to all goods purchased on board. This additional tax was added to purchases in the various shops on board as well as to purchases of bar drinks and wine in the different venues.

The tax was not added to corkage fees or to charges for spa services. We also learned that since we had paid in advance for the beverage package, in which wine and beer were included at meals, our beverages would not be taxed.

We can only speak to our Oceania cruise, but we assume the tax would be imposed on purchases aboard all ships in Brazilian waters.

NANCY & ED NORBERG Charleston, SC

ITN contacted Oceania Cruises through their website for more information but, by press time, had received no formal reply.

In regard to Brazil’s surcharge, the earliest references to it that ITN found were posted online by cruise passengers in 2014.

Please login or subscribe to ITN to read the entire post.

We decided that Latin America would be our 2017 travel destination, sailing on a 22-day “Amazon Exploration” cruise aboard the 684-passenger Regatta of Oceania Cruises (Miami, FL; 855/335-2723, www.oceania cruises.com).

We left Miami on Feb. 2, sailing for eight days through the Caribbean and nine days on the Amazon River, then along Brazil’s coast, ending with two days in Rio de Janeiro.

We would like to share information about a surcharge, or tax, that Brazil has been imposing on cruise passengers sailing in Brazilian waters.

When preparing for a cruise, we always go to the Roll Call section of the Cruise Critic’s website (www.cruisecritic.com/rollcalls) to see what other “cruisers” are saying about the cruise. One Roll Call participant wrote that Brazil imposes a 25% surcharge on all goods purchased on board while sailing in Brazilian waters. 

Not sure exactly what this meant, we contacted our travel agent, who, in turn, contacted Oceania. However, our agent was not able to learn much about the tax.

It wasn’t until we were about to enter Brazilian waters that the ship’s daily newsletter, Currents, advised that once we entered and while we remained in Brazilian waters, a 25% Brazilian tax would be added to all goods purchased on board. This additional tax was added to purchases in the various shops on board as well as to purchases of bar drinks and wine in the different venues.

The tax was not added to corkage fees or to charges for spa services. We also learned that since we had paid in advance for the beverage package, in which wine and beer were included at meals, our beverages would not be taxed.

We can only speak to our Oceania cruise, but we assume the tax would be imposed on purchases aboard all ships in Brazilian waters.

NANCY & ED NORBERG Charleston, SC

ITN contacted Oceania Cruises through their website for more information but, by press time, had received no formal reply.

In regard to Brazil’s surcharge, the earliest references to it that ITN found were posted online by cruise passengers in 2014.