This is a true expedition cruise that voyages deep into the Amazon rainforest. With a generous amount of time to explore, we venture far into the Amazon rainforest wilderness and observe flora and fauna hidden to most visitors.
DATES – 2017- Nov 10, Nov 24, Dec 08, Dec 22
2018 – Jan 12, Jan 26, Feb 09, Feb 23, Mar 09, Mar 30, Apr 13, Apr 20, May 04, May 18, Jun 08, Jun 22, Jul 06, Jul 20, Aug 03, Aug 24, Sep 07, Sep 21, Oct 05, Oct 19, Nov 02, Nov 16, Dec 07, Dec 21
DURATION – 8 Days/ 7 Nights
DEPART/RETURN – Manaus, Brazil
SHIP – Tucano
This voyage to the heart of the Amazon is different from all other cruises offered in the Amazon. It is an “expedition cruise”. We go far into the forest and are able to see creatures that are hidden to other visitors.
We explore some of the most untouched rainforest in all of the Amazon. The voyage begins in Manaus, Brasil, and the Motor Yacht Tucano navigates far up the Rio Negro (pronounced NAY-GRO). In the daytime and often at night we seek out the wildlife that still lives in the world’s greatest wilderness. There are very few settlers so the plants and animals are still abundant.
The voyage on the M/Y Tucano is quite active. Together with our naturalist guides we get out into the forest and explore—-not simply watch from the deck of the vessel. There are daily walks in the forest and we frequently scout in our launches the small streams that branch off the main river. Some days we swim off deserted beaches in water as pure and clean as rainwater and we are always treated to vistas of wild rainforest stretching as far as the eye can see. On our excursions into the rainforest we observe magnificent plants of every imaginable shape and size. We listen to the exotic calls of birds and mammals and watch them from a forest trail or while scouting the river’s edge in our launches. In the evenings we have a brief discussion about the creatures that we observed and the extraordinary ways in which the plants and animals have evolved to live in this ancient rainforest. Some nights we explore the river’s edge in our launches and with spotlights we see caiman, close relatives of crocodiles.
Our basic navigation plan is to voyage upstream northwest on the Rio Negro as far as a major river called the Rio Jaueperi, about 200 miles from Manaus, Brasil. Along the way we explore many small tributaries where the forest is wild and undisturbed. Our journey takes us to many different rainforest habitats which allows us to see a great diversity of wildlife.
Our guides are skilled naturalists and we observe creatures almost never seen by other visitors. We visit villages along the small tributaries to learn of the culture of pioneer families. Because of the exploratory nature, the small groups, and the skilled guides, this expedition cruise has become known as the most ambitious and authentic cruise in the entire Amazon.
Day 1 – Friday – Arrive Manaus, Brazil. Meet and transfer to your hotel. Remainder of day free.
Day 2 – Saturday – Early this morning all guests board the vessel the Motor Yacht Tucano and depart upstream on the Rio Negro. Through the morning, we will cruise through the world’s largest river island system, the Anavilhanas Archipelago. From the observation deck we scan the magnificent tangle of vegetation at the water’s edge. By mid-afternoon the vessel has gone beyond the frontier of settlement and entered a wilderness area. Both shores are covered by dense rainforest. Though we cannot predict what we will see, we have a good chance of observing pink river dolphins and a large collection of exotic birds. Most certainly we will be treated to magnificent forest vistas and the spectacular trees themselves. In the late afternoon, we embark in the launches and hunt for wildlife. We may also go for a swim in some of the world’s most clean and refreshing water. (LD)
Day 3 – Sunday – Early this morning we explore the rainforest along the waters edge in our launches or kayaks, each group with a naturalist guide. We should hear and perhaps see howler monkeys and we should hear a morning serenade of toucans. After breakfast, we go for a walk in the forest where we will get a good start on understanding Amazon ecology. Around midday we return for lunch and the vessel will get underway, perhaps stopping at a place to swim. In the late afternoon we will again explore the forest in our launches and listen to the sunset chorus of birds and frogs. (BLD)
Day 4 – Monday – This morning there will be an early exploration of the waking forest. We will keep our eyes open for monkeys… on most trips we see them often. We return for breakfast followed by either a walk in the forest or an excursion in the launches. M/Y Tucano will travel during the middle of the day and we stop in the afternoon for an excursion. Tonight, the vessel may travel a bit more as we marvel at the night sky crowded with stars. (BLD)
Day 5 – Tuesday – After our two morning excursions the M/Y Tucano will navigate along the heavily forested shore, scouting for wildlife. We may stop for a visit at a settler’s home carved out of the forest. In the early afternoon, we will be near an extraordinary river called the Rio Jaueperi. Here we will see a kind of forest known as the varzea. We will scout along the shoreline for some of the extraordinary creatures found only in this unique environment. Weather permitting, we will have a night excursion to observe nocturnal creatures. (BLD)
Day 6 – Wednesday – Today we will voyage to the west side of the Rio Negro and continue to scout in our launches and walk in the forest. We will explore according to the weather and water depth areas rarely visited by anyone else. Tonight, the M/Y Tucano goes downstream and river depth permitting, will enter an east bank affluent of the Rio Negro and explore deep into the rainforest on this small river. After our nocturnal exploration of the rainforest in our launches and we return to the Motor Yacht Tucano for “Caipirinha Night” on and perhaps try a bit of samba on the top deck. (BLD)
Day 7 – Thursday – We begin the day with a dawn excursion hunting for wakening wildlife followed by a full Brasilian breakfast. We will then go one last time into the forest. In the mid-afternoon, we will begin to journey downstream to arrive late in the day at the “Encontra das Aguas” a stark several mile long line where two of the world’s largest rivers, the Amazon and the Rio Negro join in a turbulent maelstrom. Here the dark water of the Negro runs beside the opaque brown water of the Amazon. At sunset, the M/Y Tucano will once again turn her bows upstream on the Rio Negro and journey to our overnight anchorage north of the City of Manaus. As we pass in front of Manaus, we will marvel at the scale of one of the world’s largest and most vibrant port cities, that is over one thousand miles from the sea. Tonight, we will have a farewell dinner and prepare for an early departure in the morning. (BLD)
Day 8 – Friday – Early this morning, after a hearty breakfast, all guests disembark from the M/Y Tucano. Enjoy a tour of Manaus before transfer to the airport for your flight home, or to explore the Pantanal, the world’s largest freshwater wetland. (B)