Amazon Expedition Cruise
The Amazon expedition cruise on the M/Y Tucano is called Voyage to the Heart of the Amazon and we venture deep into this new reserve. Over 7 days and 6 nights you will explore the narrow rivers and wilderness rainforest looking for wildlife. With naturalist guides and a thoughtful itinerary, the guests observe exotic plants and animals for which the Amazon is famous.
Voyage to the Heart of the Amazon is the most thorough, detailed, and sophisticated trip offered in the entire Amazon. The guides are accomplished naturalists and on the trip guests see creatures almost never seen by other visitors. The trip is an active trip and guests explore the rainforest on foot and in the ship's launches. Actually, the passengers are split into 2 groups for the excursions - 1 group for those who want to be more active and 1 group for those who want to take it easy. The small groups will be led by skilled naturalist guides so that participants will be able to experience the wilderness in the most authentic way possible.
The Amazon is a destination that lives in the world's imagination. There will always be travelers interested in visiting the wildest rainforest the world has ever known. This boat, the M/Y Tucano, goes farther into the forest than another other vessel, deep into the heart of the greatest wilderness on earth. Now with kayaks to give you the option to be more active !
Voyage to the Heart of the Amazon -
This is the most exploratory cruise in the entire Amazon - and is the Amazon’s only true expedition cruise. We venture along hidden uninhabited rivers deep into the wild woods where the magnificent plants and animals of the rainforest reign supreme. Voyages on the M/Y Tucano are 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 scout the small streams that branch off the main river using our electric powered launches or optionally by kayak. 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.
By day and by night we seek out the mysterious life that stirs in this vast wilderness forest. The Motor Yacht Tucano is comfortable and nimble and enables us to voyage far up the least inhabited major river in the Amazon Basin: The Rio Negro. We venture farther than any other visitors into the UNESCO Natural World Heritage site, the Central Amazon Conservation Complex. With our small group, (a maximum of 18 travelers), our skilled naturalist guides, and our expedition itinerary, we observe creatures almost never seen by other visitors. Far off the beaten path, we also visit small villages where the rhythms of life are tuned to the cycles of the wilderness. On the last day of the cruise we visit the Encontro das Aguas, the confluence of the world’s two largest rivers, the Rio Negro and the mighty, magnificent, Amazon River itself. This experience is well beyond any ordinary cruise and way off the grid - the quintessential Amazon expedition cruise.
Day 1 Meet at 6:15 AM, in the lobby of the Hotel Millennium (Av. Djalma Batista, 1661, Chapada, Manaus - AM, 69050-970, Brazil, Phone: +55 92 3655-3131) or the Hotel Villa Amazonia (Villa Amazonia - Rua 10 de Julho, 315, Manaus, (55) (92) 9-3308-8996), Phone: +55 92 3308-8996). Travelers that are not staying at either of these hotels should meet the transfer bus at the reception area of the Hotel Millennium.
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 likely observe pink river dolphins, primates 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 2 Early this morning we divide into small groups and explore the rainforest 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, frogs and howler monkeys. (BLD)
Day 3 This morning there will be an early exploration of the waking forest. We will keep our eyes open for sloths... 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 4 After our 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 5 Today we will voyage to the west side of the Rio Negro and continue to scout in our launches and walk in the forest. Weather and water depth permitting, we will explore areas rarely visited by anyone else. Tonight the M/Y Tucano goes downstream, and will enter an east bank affluent of the Rio Negro and explore on deep into the rainforest on this small river. After our nocturnal exploration of the rainforest in our launches we return to the Motor Yacht Tucano for “Caipirinha Night” and perhaps try a bit of samba on the top deck. (BLD)
Day 6 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. We should arrive late in the day at the “Encontro 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, over a thousand miles from the sea. Tonight we will have a farewell dinner and prepare for an early departure in the morning. (BLD)
Day 7 Disembark at 7:30 AM. Travelers will be transferred to the Manaus city center and will disembark at the Millennium Hotel or the Hotel Villa Amazonia. Passengers will be available for pickup at hotels and further transfer by local agents by 8:30 AM. (B)
Please note that the day to day schedule must be considered approximate. The exact order of the days and specific features may be altered due to navigational considerations.
Cabin Categories: There are 3 cabin categories on the M/Y Tucano:
For new bookings on the Dec 7-13 and Dec 21-27 cruises, 10% of the proceeds will be donated to a small scale project that directly supports the study of the tropical forest environment. The Projeto Escolar Natureza! supports small schools deep in the Amazon in studying the environment and Amazon ecology. Environmental education is one of the most important ways to help preserve the Amazon rainforest - for both travelers and local communities.
Land Cost for 7 day Expedition cruise (per person, double):
2020-2021 departures: Green Category Cabins: $3150. Yellow Category Cabins: $4665. Blue Category Cabins: $4665
Land Cost for 5 day Compact cruise (per person double)
2020-2021 departures: Green Category Cabins: $1750. Yellow Category Cabins: $2600. Blue Category Cabins: $2600
Single supplement: there is no single supplement if you are willing to share a Green cabin
Prices include: accommodations, and meals as indicated in the itinerary. Bottled water and fruit juices are served on the boat. Prices and itineraries are subject to change without notice. On joining the group on Day One, passengers board the vessel on a short walk from the lobby of the Hotel Tropical.
Prices Do Not Include: airport transfers, airfare, departure taxes, visa fees, soft drinks or alcoholic beverages, or items of a personal nature.
Triple Cabins: Some of the cabins on the M/Y TUCANO can accept three travelers. This is helpful for families. In cabins “3” and “4” a third narrow bed can be placed between the single beds. Cabin “0” has a queen size bed and also a single bed. There is no discount for triple occupancy; passengers pay the double rate.
Quadruple Cabin: One of the cabins on the M/Y TUCANO can accommodate four travelers. This is helpful for families. Cabin “0” has a queen size bed, a single bed and another single bed in a small adjoining room with a private interconnecting door. All four travelers share the single small bathroom of Cabin “0”. Each passenger in quad occupancy must pay the double rate.
Deposit: Confirm the reservation with a nonrefundable deposit of $300 USD per passenger.
Reservations can be made for an Amazon journey departing before November 1st, 2020 with no deposit and no cancellation penalty up to 30 days before departure. So travelers can reserve and begin to dream!
Note that airport transfers to and from the Tropical are not included on the cruises. We can add transfers to the cost.
On regular departures, children 12 years and under are eligible for a 50% discount off of the normal price. 8 years is the minimum age.
Group Size: Maximum of 18 passengers, minimum of 8
Availability as of April 21, 2020:
Aug 17-21 (2020) (4N) / 8 Staterooms
Aug 22-28 (2020) (6N) / 7 Staterooms
Aug 29-Sep 05 (2020) (Ship in Port)
Sep 06-13 (2020) Full
Sep 14-18 (2020) (4N) / 6 Staterooms
Sep 19-25 (2020) (6N) / 5 Staterooms
Sep 28-Oct 02 (2020) (4N) / 8 Staterooms
Oct 03-09 (2020) (6N) / 8 Staterooms
Oct 12-16 (2020) (4N) / Full
Oct 17-23 (2020) (6N) / 5 Staterooms
Oct 26-30 (2020) (4N) / 7 Staterooms
Oct 31-Nov 06 (2020) (6N) / 8 Staterooms
Nov 09-13 (2020) (4N) / 8 Staterooms
Nov 14-20 (2020) (6N) / 4 Stateroom
Nov 23-27 (2020) (4N) / 9 Staterooms
Nov 28-Dec 04 (2020) (Ship in Port)
Nov 23-27 (2020) (4N) / 9 Staterooms
Dec 05-11 (2020) (6N) / 7 Staterooms
Dec 14-18 (2020) (4N) / 9 Staterooms
Dec 19-25 (2020) (6N) / 9 Staterooms
Dec 26-31 (2020) Ship in Port
Jan 01-04 (2021) (Ship In Port)
Jan 04-08 (2021) (4N) / 8 Staterooms
Jan 09-15 (2021) (6N) / 9 Staterooms
Jan 18-22 (2021) (4N) / 8 Staterooms
Jan 23-29 (2021) (6N) / 7 Staterooms
Feb 01-05 (2021) (4N) / 9 Staterooms
Feb 06-12 (2021) (6N) / 3 Staterooms
Feb 15-19 (2021) (4N) / 9 Staterooms
Feb 20-26 (2021) (6N) / 5 Staterooms
Mar 01-05 (2021) (4N) / 9 Staterooms
Mar 06-12 (2021) (6N) / 6 Staterooms
Mar 15-19 (2021) (4N) / 8 Staterooms
Mar 20-26 (2021) (Ship In Port)
Mar 27-Apr 02 (2021) (Ship In Port)
Apr 03-09 (2021) (6N) / 7 Staterooms
Apr 12-16 (2021) (4N) / 9 Staterooms
Apr 17-23 (2021) (6N) / 7 Staterooms
Apr 26-30 (2021) (4N) / 9 Staterooms
May 01-07 (2021) (6N) / 9 Staterooms
May 10-14 (2021) (4N) / 8 Staterooms
May 15-21 (2021) (6N) / 9 Staterooms
May 24-28 (2021) (4N) / 9 Staterooms
May 29-Jun 04 2021) (6N) / 6 Staterooms
Jun 07-11 (2021) (4N) / 9 Staterooms
Jun 12-18 (2021) (6N) / 8 Staterooms
Jun 21-25 (2021) (4N) / 9 Staterooms
Jun 26-Jul 02 (2021) (6N) / 8 Staterooms
Jul 05-09 (2021) (4N) / 9 Staterooms
Jul 10-16 (2021) (6N) / 9 Staterooms
Jul 19-23 (2021) (4N) / 9 Staterooms
Jul 24-30 (2021) (6N) / 9 Staterooms
Aug 02-06 (2021) (4N) / 9 Staterooms
Aug 07-13 (2021) (6N) / 9 Staterooms
Aug 16-20 (2021) (4N) / 8 Staterooms
Aug 21-27 (2021) (6N) / 9 Staterooms
Aug 28-Sep 03 (2021) (Ship In Port)
Sep 04-Sep 12 (2021) (Ship In Port)
Sep 13-17 (2021) (4N) / 9 Staterooms
Sep 18-24 (2021) (6N) / 9 Staterooms
Sep 27-Oct 01 (2021) (4N) / 9 Staterooms
Oct 02-08 (2021) (6N) / 9 Staterooms
Oct 11-15 (2021) (4N) / 9 Staterooms
Oct 16-22 (2021) (6N) / 9 Staterooms
Oct 25-29 (2021) (4N) / 9 Staterooms
Oct 30-Nov 05 (2021) (6N) / 9 Staterooms
Nov 08-12 (2021) (4N) / 9 Staterooms
Nov 13-19 (2021) (6N) / 9 Staterooms
Nov 22-26 (2021) (4N) / 9 Staterooms
Nov 27-Dec 03 (2021) (Ship In Port)
Dec 04-10 (2021) (6N) / 9 Staterooms
Dec 13-17 (2021) (4N) / 9 Staterooms
Dec 18-21 (2021) (Ship In Port)
Dec 22-28 (2021) (6N) / 9 Staterooms
Dec 29-31 (2021) (Ship In Port)
Into the Wild Amazon - 5 days
This expedition cruise endeavors to capture the spirit and essence of the Amazon in a relatively short amount of time. We mostly voyage on one of the most magnificent rivers in the Amazon basin, The Rio Negro. Over three and one half days we walk in the forest, explore in our launches, and visit local communities along the edges of this wild and largely uninhabited river.
There are three or four excursions off the vessel every day. Early mornings we divide into small groups and glide along quiet channels in our launches or kayaks among giant rainforest trees draped with vines and orchids. The silence is broken only by the rustling of leaves by Squirrel Monkeys feeding or by the occasional piercing shriek of a Screaming Piha bird. During the day we walk in the forest and sometimes visit a small community. Some nights we search for nocturnal creatures in our launches out in the star-filled darkness. Into the Wild Amazon takes us to a variety of environments including dark flooded forests and high forest with towering trees and dense undergrowth. On lazy afternoons we may fish for the famous Amazon resident, the Piranha, some of whom we may see again on an appetizer plate. During our voyage we are treated to the ever-changing vistas of travel on the mighty Amazon River itself. Most travelers are astonished by the scale and grandeur of this majestic waterway that drains a continent.
On the cruise Into the Wild Amazon, we not only focus on the rainforest, but also on the culture of the people who live in this vast wilderness. We visit small fishing villages perched on the river bank where the traditional life is still guided by the rhythms of the rise and fall of the river. We also visit the homesteads of families who make and grow almost everything they need. For many travelers these visits with local settlers, whose lives are so dramatically different from ours, are some of the most memorable experiences of the cruise. Another fascinating visit is a stop at one of the bustling river trading towns. Here a vibrant river trade continues as it has for centuries. The last evening of the cruise we will coast along one of the greatest ports in the world, the Porto de Manaus. At our farewell dinner we will have the opportunity to reflect on our extraordinary experience and offer a toast to one of the most remarkable places on Earth.
Day 1 Meet at 11:15 AM, in the lobby of the Hotel Millennium (Av. Djalma Batista, 1661, Chapada, Manaus - AM, 69050-970, Brazil, Phone: +55 92 3655-3131) or the Hotel Villa Amazonia (Villa Amazonia - Rua 10 de Julho, 315, Manaus, (55) (92) 9-3308-8996), Phone: +55 92 3308-8996). Travelers that are not staying at either of these hotels should meet the transfer bus at the reception area of the Hotel Millennium.
At about 12pm, we embark on the Motor Yacht Tucano in Manaus, Brasil. We depart on the Rio Negro and as the vessel glides upstream we will have our first talk about Amazon environments.
By late afternoon we enter one of the world’s largest river island systems, the Anavilhanas Archipelago. The boat will weave along a winding channel with rainforest on both sides in a riot of brilliant vegetation. Weather permitting, we will go for a launch excursion in the gnarled and dense flooded forest along the river’s edge. We may see some Squirrel Monkeys and we may hear the other-worldly growls of Howler Monkeys echoing through the primitive rainforest. The Amazon has one of the greatest collection of birds in the world and we are sure to see some of these brightly colored jewels perched in the treetops. We return to the M/Y Tucano for hors d’oeuvres on the observation deck and a toast to the rainforest sunset. Following dinner we will embark in our launches in search of nocturnal creatures such as the Caiman, the Amazon’s crocodilians. We may also see one of the large night birds such as a Great Potoo, with its bulging eyes and large mouth, adapted to swallow the huge Mariposa Moths. (D)
Day 2 Shortly after sunrise this morning we explore the Anavilhanas Archipelago, a reserve that includes the world’s largest system of river islands and also areas of tall dense rainforest. Here we will see the strange environment called the igapó, the black water flooded forest, where dense forests grow right out of the dark water of the Rio Negro. Mid-morning we return to the vessel for a hearty Brasilian breakfast. After some time to relax, weather permitting, we will disembark at mid-morning and dividing into very small groups we will go for a walk in the type of rainforest known as the terra firme. Here we have a good chance to see the markings, if not the animals themselves, of some of the Amazon’s great mammals like peccaries (wild pigs) or even a jaguar.
Around mid-day we return to the vessel for lunch and a siesta. In the afternoon we will excursion in our launches along the edges of the dense forest and listen to the sunset chorus of birds, howler monkeys, and frogs. Weather permitting, tonight we will have an excursion to spot caiman (the Amazon's crocodiles) and other nocturnal creatures. We very often see arboreal porcupines or sloths scrambling high in the limbs. (BLD)
Day 3 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 on deep into the rainforest on this small river. After our nocturnal exploration of the rainforest in our launches we return to the Motor Yacht Tucano for “Caipirinha Night” and perhaps try a bit of samba on the top deck. (BLD)
Day 4 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 “Encontro 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 over a thousand miles from the sea. Tonight we will have a farewell dinner and prepare for an early departure in the morning. (BLD)
Day 5 - Disembark at 7:30 AM. Travelers will be transferred to the Manaus city center and will disembark at the Millennium Hotel or the Hotel Villa Amazonia. Passengers will be available for pickup at hotels and further transfer by local agents by 8:30 AM. (B)
There are some very significant differences between the 5 day and the 7 day cruises. The 7 day goes much farther into the forest, about 230 miles upstream on the Rio Negro, deep into a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This cruise is a full six days long. The 5 day cruise is a good one, but because it begins at 400pm on day one and ends at 0730am on day five, it is really a 3.5 day trip. So, the 7 day cruise is almost twice as long. For travelers really interested in experience wilderness forest, the 7 day cruise is really the better of the two. For travelers who would like to experience the Amazon, but think of the Amazon really as more of a part of a longer trip to Brasil, perhaps the 5 day cruise is the better one for them. It is a question of intensity.
Go Solar! They are trying to make the Tucano the most sustainable boat in the Amazon:
"It was an amazing trip. I really enjoyed it. The accommodations and food were excellent. The guides really knew their stuff - I learned a lot. Saw tons of wildlife, more than I expected actually. I'd do it again with the family. If I do, I'll do the exact same cruise. I guess that sums up how it went! Bert C. Smith
"Absolutely wonderful! Best trip of my life. The entire crew of the Tucano was terrific and did a wonderful job making us feel welcome and assuring we enjoyed the trip. Edgebon, our tour guide has a great personality and he is extremely knowlegeable. It was highly educational and entertaining. I also enjoyed the Hotel Tropical, a very nice hotel. The food there was good, (we ate Brazilian style), and it had a first class staff. " Phil Sutherland
"What an amazing trip! We all LOVED it! We really liked the Tucano boat and their guides and their crew. The boat was a perfect size, homey, well-maintained and was airconditioned. It was clean and didn't smell. The kids all agreed that this was truly a trip of a lifetime and really spectacular. The guides were fantastic. We absolutely loved the glassy water and isolation of the Rio Negro and appreciated the plentiful wildlife of the Amazon. We definitely loved the wilderness and the parts of our trip where we were the only people as far as the eye could see." Lori Evenson
"The trip was fantastic! The crew was exceptional; they thought of everything. The boat and excursions were perfect. Outstanding trip! We have already recommended it to friends. Thanks for your attention to the details." Jerry, Bryan and Nohline
"The trip was wonderful!! The guides and crew are terrific; the other passengers were fun to be with; the Rio Negro environment was fascinating, and the cook, Wilma, must be a magician because she turned out 3 wonderful meals a day from a tiny little cooking place.
All of the excursions were well planned and carefully executed, adapting to the limitations of some of the passengers very well. One of the "mariners", Andre, very sweetly accompanied one of the women who had balance issues everywhere she walked on land and she very much appreciated that. Our guides (Souza and Edevan) were both so very knowledgeable and their styles compliment each other very well. The crew made sure to help every one of us in and out of the skiffs carefully.I loved the early morning kayak trips as an option. Listening to the world wake up while in a kayak on the river will remain most memorable for me." Lesa
"The trip was great. Luckily only six guests on the boat so we were able to do everything together and no need to take turns on kayaks, for example. It would have been a squeeze with a full tour.Weather was great, and the crew very friendly and helpful. Food was tasty and plentiful. We saw a fair amount of wildlife but you had to work at it! Thanks for your advice and help re: booking." Howard
"The cruise was excellent. We had an absolutely wonderful time and can't say enough good things about our guides, Edgy and Souza. We really enjoyed the way the days were laid out, the great food, and the entire experience. We would highly recommend this to other people (and have already told our friends and family about how great the trip was!). Thank you for checking in with us! " Neha
"I thought it a fine trip --- the Amazon is another world; the guides were expert in spotting the birds and other wildlife; the ship, the intimacy of having just 12 and very jovial passengers, and the interaction with the crew added appreciably to the total experience. My fears that we would come back disheartened by burning fires and de-forestation were not realized, although the Amazon downstream is severely threatened. I am super pleased that we went on this trip. thank you for your help and attention to the travel details. " Jim
"I had a fabulous week and thoroughly enjoyed every moment. The ship was great and the crew were amazing.
Thanks for all your help setting it up." Mariana