Amazon Cruise Aboard the MV Tucano
Though not a luxury vessel, the M/Y Tucano is comfortable and is designed to enable one to explore small tributaries and hidden channels where wildlife can be found, but where larger vessels cannot go. All aspects of the cruise are designed to help enjoy the best that the Amazon has to offer and to appeal to travelers who are looking for a fun, but also genuine experience.
With small group sizes, highly trained guides, a talented crew, a comfortable boat, and with more than 20 years of cruise operations’ experience, the activities are thoughtful and detailed. All these features combined enable guests to discover and enjoy an authentic Amazon.
Amazon Odyssey – 4 night Cruise
Day 1: Sunday. Your flight takes you over the huge green expanse of jungle and you arrive in Manaus, the city at the heart of the Amazon Rainforest. After transferring to your hotel, the rest of the day is free to relax and recover from your journey. You can enjoy your first taste of Amazon Cuisine, which makes use of the fruits and vegetables of the area, and also the abundant fish life in the Amazon River system. In the evening you may even get the opportunity to see a performance at the famous Manaus Opera House, the Teatro Amazonas.
Day 2: Monday. After transferring to the pier, passengers board the Motor Yacht Tucano and embark upstream on the Rio Negro. The morning cruise takes you amongst the islands of the Anavilhanas Archipelago. The observation deck offers magnificent views of the tangle of vegetation bordering the largest freshwater archipelago in the world. By mid-afternoon the vessel enters a dense Amazon wilderness. Although wildlife sightings are never guaranteed, there is a good chance of spotting pink Amazon River dolphins and large numbers of exotic birds. In the late afternoon, you embark in the smaller craft to search for wildlife.
Day 3: Tuesday. After a walk in the rainforest, the MY Tucano crosses to explore the western bank of the Rio Negro. The main stop is at the substantial boat-building village of Novo Airao. A walk through the streets of the village allows you to marvel at the local culture, which appears to have changed little since the 19th Century. In the evening, the vessel continues downstream to arrive at daybreak near the confluence of the Rio Negro with the Rio Solimoes. Only after these two giant tributaries meet is the mighty river known as The Amazon River for the rest of the 1,500km journey to the Mouth of the Amazon and the Atlantic Ocean.
Day 4: The morning brings exploration of the Lago Janauari Ecological Park, with excellent observation of wildlife and the giant Victoria Regina water lillies. Lunch is at the Meeting of the Waters, a natural phenomenon that occurs when two huge tributaries of the Amazon, the dark waters of the Rio Negro and the brown waters of the Rio Solimoes, meet but don’t mix for miles in the centre of the river. Different nutrients mean differences in temperature, density and flow speed. In the afternoon you scout hidden creeks to observe more beautiful and bizarre Amazon creatures before a final excursion looking for nocturnal wildlife.
Day 5: Thursday. The day is spent cruising the Lake Janauaca region upstream on the Rio Solimoes. This river takes its colour from the sediment that comes all the way down from The Andes, beyond Machu Picchu and high up on the Andean Plain, the nominated source of the River Amazon. This area of the river is rich in nutrients and therefore supports a great deal of wildlife. Passengers with early flights on Friday morning or even late Thursday night can disembark in Manaus on the Thursday evening with prior arrangement.
Day 6: Friday. The ship returns to Manaus in the morning where your cruise ends. After arriving you will be taken on a tour of the famous Manaus Theatre, the Adolfo Lisbao Municipal Market, and the Floating Dock. The opulent theater is the symbol of the city, and was built on the back of the rubber boom that made the wealth of Manaus, while the market showcases an incredible array of Amazon produce from rainforest and river. Afterwards you transfer to the airport for your flight home or onwards.
Heart of The Amazon – 7 Night Cruise
SATURDAY – DAY 1
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.
SUNDAY – DAY 2
Early this morning we explore the rainforest along the waters edge in our launches. We should hear and perhaps see howler monkeys along with 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.
MONDAY – DAY 3
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.
TUESDAY – DAY 4
After our two morning excursions 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 Jauaperi. 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 do a night excursion to observe nocturnal creatures.
WEDNESDAY – DAY 5
Today we depart the Rio Jauaperi and head downstream on the Rio Negro exploring a new collection of rainforest habitats. In the daytime we will continue to scout in our launches and walk in the forest, and at night we will continue our hunts for nocturnal wildlife.
THURSDAY – DAY 6
After a walk in the forest we cross to the west side of the Rio Negro, exploring as we go. We will stop at the substantial boat building village of Novo Airão. As we walk through the streets we’ll marvel at how the 19th Century thrives in this remote corner of the globe. Tonight the Motor Yacht Tucano goes downstream to arrive by morning near the confluence with the Amazon River. As we glide through the starry darkness this is a good night to sip the national drink of Brazil, the “Caipirinha” and perhaps try a bit of samba on the top deck.
FRIDAY – DAY 7
This morning we explore the Lago Janauari Ecological Park where seasonally the thick brown water of the Amazon flows swiftly through the forest. This area is usually a very good place to observe wildlife. Around midday the vessel will travel to the “Encontra das Aguas” a stark several mile long line where two of the world’s largest rivers, the Amazon and the Negro, join in a turbulent maelstrom. Here the dark water of the Negro runs beside the opaque brown water of the Amazon. In the afternoon we scout one of the hidden streams in the area to try to see more of the Amazon’s beautiful and bizarre creatures. Tonight there will be one last excursion looking for nocturnal life.
SATURDAY – DAY 8
In the morning, after a hearty breakfast, all guests disembark from the M/Y Tucano.