This cruise pushes beyond the limits of typical tours and beyond the boundaries of human settlement. Over four nights venture into the dense forests and small tributaries within the UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site, The Central Amazon Conservation Complex. With our small group of adventurers, very experienced naturalist guides, and our deeply capable exploration crew, we venture into one of the richest areas of the planet. We also visit isolated villages to see what life is like living on the edge of the greatest wilderness on Earth.
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
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
wilderness. We visit small fishing villages perched on the river bank
where the traditional life is still guided by the rhythms of the rise
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
ours, are some of the most memorable experiences of the cruise.
Another fascinating visit is a stop at one of the bustling river
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 - Manaus
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 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
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 - Anavilhanas Archipelago
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
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 - Anavilhanas Archipelago
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
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 - Meeting of the Waters
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
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.
Day 5 - Manaus
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 the day-to-day schedule is approximate. The
exact order of the days and specific features may be altered due to
navigational and other scheduling considerations. Degree of
Difficulty: Good health is necessary. Guests can have a quite
enjoyable trip by simply staying on board the M/Y Tucano and
participating in launch excursions. Participants in our walks in the
forest must be able to comfortably walk for two or more hours at a