The Amazon Odyssey
The Essence of the Amazon in a Four Night Cruise
The Amazon Odyssey cruise visits the most essential areas to observe the wildlife and culture of the rainforest. Our journey especially concentrates on remote Amazon forest along the tributary the Rio Negro and also on the Amazon River. During the cruise we walk in towering rainforests, glide along narrow streams deep in the forest, and explore flooded grasslands that stretch from horizon to horizon. Though a Essential cruise, the Amazon Odyssey is able to experience the many different environments of the Amazon, teeming with life.
We embark in Manaus, Brasil and travel on the classic and elegant MOTOR YACHT TUCANO. Though not a luxury vessel, the M/Y TUCANO is comfortable and is designed to enable us to explore small tributaries and hidden channels where wildlife can be found but where larger vessels cannot go.
Our cruise experience is much more authentic than the typical or luxury Amazon tours. All aspects of the cruise are designed to help us enjoy the best that the Amazon has to offer. We have a small group size, highly trained guides, a talented crew, a comfortable boat, and with 24 years of cruise operations, our activities are thoughtful and detailed. Another important advantage is that our cruises appeal to travelers who are looking for a fun but also very genuine experience. All these features combined enable us to discover and enjoy an authentic Amazon that eludes almost all other travelers.
In order to be able to experience the wild Amazon forest, the first days of the cruise are spent on the Rio Negro where there are forests that are hardly changed for millions of years. The last day of the cruise is spent on the Amazon River itself. There are three or four excursions off the vessel every day. Early mornings we usually glide along quiet channels in our launches 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.
The Amazon Odyssey takes us to a variety of environments including dark flooded forests, dense high forest with towering trees and dense undergrowth, and vast open plains of waving grass which are home to some of the most spectacular wildlife of the Amazon. 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 will weave through the narrow winding channels of the Rio Negro as wells as enjoying the magnificent vistas of the mighty Amazon River itself. Most travelers are astonished by the scale and grandeur of this majestic waterway that drains a continent.
On the Amazon Odyssey we not only focus on the rainforest, but also on the culture of the people who live in this vast wilderness. Time and weather permitting, we will visit a 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. Again,time and weather permitting, we should 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. 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.
Accommodations and Staff
The Motor Yacht Tucano is not a luxury vessel, but is comfortable, safe, and very well suited to exploring the Amazon wilderness. The vessel was built in the elegant style of a classic river steamship, but it is actually a modern and fully certified commercial cruise vessel. While we are able to travel in comfort, we are not insulated from the forest. We remain focused on the flora and fauna of this magnificent wilderness. The voyage is quite active and we spend most of every day exploring the forest on foot or in our boat’s launches.
The most successful Amazon cruise vessel is not the most luxurious, but instead the one that enables travelers to experience the wild beauty of the Amazon in the most full and authentic way. This is the guiding principle of both the design and operations of the M/Y Tucano. The vessel is designed specifically to explore the Amazon in the most thoughtful and sustainable way. All of the cabins are outside cabins with air-conditioning and private bathrooms. Some cabins are smaller than others, but they are considered by most travelers to be comfortable.
The staff of the M/Y Tucano are highly trained mariners who bring years of deep forest exploration to our cruises. Our guides are bilingual naturalists who not only help us spot creatures, but also help us make sense of the riot of plant and animal life of the rainforest. Our cooks prepare elaborate meals always from fresh local ingredients and our sailors safely navigate us into some of the most fascinating waterways in the world.
Itinerary: Amazon Odyssey (5D/4N)
Cruise Itinerary Four Nights
Day 1 This afternoon 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 known as the igapó. Along the river bank 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 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 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 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 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 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 “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 5 Early this morning, after a hearty breakfast, all guests disembark from the M/Y Tucano. (B)
Meal Codes: B= Breakfast, L= Lunch, D= Dinner.
Please note that all of our trips are exploratory and we adapt the vessel course to maintain an interesting cruise. We may alter the itinerary due to low river levels. But this does not diminish the cruise, instead it allows us to improvise in seeking interesting places to visit.
Degree of Difficulty: Good health is necessary. Though the trip does not include endurance hiking, participants should be able feel comfortable walking at a leisurely pace for 2 to 3 hours at a time.
Where This Trip Begins and Ends
Embark: Monday, Day 1: Passengers meet our guide at 04:00PM in the reception area of the Hotel Tropical, Manaus, Brasil.
Disembark: Friday, Day 5: Passengers disembark at the Hotel Tropical at 08:00am. It is possible by prearrangement for guests to disembark the previous evening to catch early flights.
2016 Cruise Dates: Jan 04-08, Jan 18-22, Feb 01-05, Feb 15-19, Feb 29-Mar 04, Mar 14-18, Apr 11-15, Apr 25-29, May 09-13, May 23-27, Jun 13-17, Jun 27-Jul 01, Jul 11-15, Jul 25-29, Aug 01-05, Aug 15-19, Sep 19-23, Oct 03-07, Oct 17-21, Oct 31-Nov 04, Nov 14-18, Dec 19-23
2017 Cruise Dates: Jan 16-20, Jan 30-Feb 03, Feb 13-17, Mar 06-10, Mar 20-24, Apr 03-07, May 01-05, May 29-Jun 02, Jun 12-16, Jun 26-30, Jul 10-14, Jul 24-28, Aug 07-11, Aug 21-25, Sep 18-22, Oct 02-06, Oct 16-20, Nov 06-10, Nov 20-24, Dec 04-08
Cruise Cost 2016 and 2017
Green Category Cabins (double occupancy, per person) $1,580
Yellow Category Cabins (double occupancy, per person) $2,370
Blue Category Cabins (Single occupancy, per person) $2,370
Price Includes: The price above is per person, double occupancy. Included are accommodations, guided excursions, and meals as indicated in the itinerary. Bottled water served free of charge on the M/Y TUCANO. On joining the group on Day One, passengers board the vessel on a short walk from the lobby of the Hotel Tropical. Prices and itineraries are subject to change without notice.
Prices Do Not Include: Not included are airfare, departure taxes, visa fees, soft drinks or alcoholic beverages, or items of a personal nature. Airport transfers available at additional cost.
Single Travelers: No single supplement is charged if the passenger is willing to share with another same sex passenger. Guests may request single occupancy with a fare supplement of 50% of the cruise cost. Single accommodations may not always be available. The single cabins are the smaller cabins on the vessel.
Discounts for Children: On regular departures children 12 years and under who share a room with an adult are eligible for a discount of 50% off the Cruise Rate, subject to cabin availability.
Triple Cabins: Some of the cabins on the M/Y TUCANO can accommodate three travelers. This is helpful for families. These are cabins "3" and "4" where a third narrow bed can be placed between the single beds and cabin "0" which has a queen size bed and also a single bed. There is no discount for triple occupancy; passengers pay the double rate.
Why Choose Our Amazon Cruise?
We Spend More Time Exploring
Ours cruises are planned so that we can experience as much of the wildlife and culture of the Amazon as we can. Starting early in the morning, we have many excursions off the boat, often as many as four every day. Our cruises have many more excursions that other cruises, and this is the best way, and really the only way, to successfully experience this exotic locale.
Small Groups Are Essential
On the Amazon Odyssey group size is limited by the nine cabins on the vessel which averages from 16-18 travelers. In a small group it is much easier to stay focused on nature and get the very most out of our journey. Larger groups make it hard to see wildlife. Several times a day we make excursions into the forest in our launches and on forest walks. On these excursions we divide into still smaller groups, each with a naturalist guide. In a small group our guides can satisfy the curiosity that makes travel worthwhile. Our voyage is the opposite of mass tourism; each departure is an extraordinary exploration where we experience the wild nature of the Amazon that is hidden to most visitors.
Highly Skilled Guides
Our naturalist guides are some of the very best in the Amazon. Their knowledge of flora and fauna help us to observe and understand the secrets of the forest. They not only help us find wildlife, but they also share their knowledge of the astonishing habits of these fabulous creatures of the rainforest. One of the great pleasures of visiting the rainforest is not to just observe the creatures, but also to learn their feeding habits, how they reproduce, and how they fit into this magnificent environment. Because our guides grew up in the forest, they have endless stories to tell about life in the greatest wilderness on Earth.