Brazil: Heart of Amazonia

Explore the Amazon river basin on the Rio Negro aboard this riverboat cruise ship.

Brazil: Heart of  Amazonia


Sail deep into the Amazon Basin rainforest on an 85' riverboat designed for natural history cruises and staffed with two naturalist guides who call this region home. Join us aboard the riverboat Tucano and travel far up the Rio Negro, the world's second largest river. Daily excursions of this Brazil Riverboat cruise include dawn trips in quiet wooden skiffs, morning walks in the forest, and sunset cruising along the banks.

A comfortable ship with air-conditioned cabins, the Tucano was built by an American using traditional designs and modern techniques. She's small enough to ease into backwater channels, but roomy enough for comfort. Read our Amazon riverboat cruise reviews to see more about this Brazil wildlife trip.

This small-ship wildlife trip is limited to 18 people.



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)


Early this morning we explore the rainforest along the waters edge in our launches. 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)


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)


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 Jaueperi. Here we will see the varzea forest that floods seasonally. The water may still be high enough for us to enter it in our launches. Weather permitting we will do a night excursion to observe nocturnal creatures. (BLD)


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 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 Brasil, the “Caipirinha” and perhaps try a bit of samba on the top deck. (BLD)


This morning we explore the Lago Janauari Ecological Park where 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 we will have a farewell dinner and prepare for an early departure in the morning. (BLD)


Early this morning, after a hearty breakfast, all guests disembark from the M/Y Tucano. Transfer to Manaus International Airport for the return flight. (B)

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.


Activities on the Amazon

This is an excellent trip for those interested in a “hands-on” Amazon experience. Each day you will be able to intimately observe the magnificent flaura and fauna of the Amazon through three of four excursions off the vessel.

Walks in the forest where the guides will introduce you to the Amazon Basin’s ecology usually happen in the mornings. These walks are what set this trip apart from Amazon cruises on larger boats. You are able to get out on land every day. The guides know this region extremely well and have locations where they can introduce you to a variety of forest subtypes.

Kayaking is now available, and you will be able choose a morning launch excursion or paddle with a skilled guide; all paddling is done in still water. Sometimes swimming is available depending on the boat’s location. You are also able to explore the rainforest via the ship’s launches.

At any time, you are free to remain on the Tucano and enjoy a hammock on the observation deck.


Cruise Ship, Observation Deck

A moving viewing platform with a sunshade sits high above the water for good views.

Amazon river cruise ship accomodations

Cruise Ship, Upper Deck

There are four cabins with outside windows on this deck, plus the dining room surrounded by a balcony. Cabins 5 & 6 have two lower twin beds. 7 & 8 have a bunk bed with a twin size mattress above and below. All of the cabins have private bathrooms with showers.

Amazon river cruise ship accomodations

Cruise Ship, Main Deck

There are four cabins with outside windows forward on this deck. 3 & 4 have two lower twin beds. 1 & 2 have bunk beds. All have private bathrooms with showers

Cruise the Amazon River Basin aboard the MV Tucano

Pricing & Dates

Pricing & Dates for Brazil: Heart of Amazonia

2016 Prices are per person, based on double occupancy
Cruise $3,795
Manaus Hotel nights $150
Single supplements (add the supplement to the prices above)
Cruise (limited to two cabins) $1,897.50
Manaus Hotel nights $150
2016 Amazon Riverboat Cruise Dates
January 9 – 15 July 2 - 8
January 23 - 29 July 16-22
February 6 - 12 August 6-12
February 20 - 26 August 20-26
March 5 – 11 September 10-16
March 19 - 25 September 24-30
April 2 - 8 October 8-14
April 16 - 22 October 22-28
April 30 - May 6 November 5 - 11
May 14 – 20 November 19 - 25
May 28 – June 3 December 10 – 16
June 18 - 24 December 24-30


6 night/7-day cruise

  • Accommodations in air-conditioned cabins with private baths and outside windows
  • All meals from lunch on the first day to breakfast on the last day
  • Daily guided excursions
  • Bottled water

Manaus hotel nights include: (note – the hotel stay in Manaus is not included in the basic cruise cost.)

  • Accommodations at the Hotel Tropical, a resort hotel on the banks of the Rio Negro
  • Buffet breakfast

Not included:

  • Airfare
  • Airport transfers ($112.50 per couple, $90 for single traveler)
  • Departure taxes
  • Meals not listed above
  • Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages
  • Optional city tour in Manaus ($90) - 3-hour morning tour with entrance fees, guides, and transport included.
    The last day following the cruise there’s an optional tour of Manaus that takes you through this deepwater port over 1,000 miles from the sea, where you can visit the colorful municipal market. This is the busiest port and cultural center for the entire region, and it’s fascinating to observe the brightly colored riverboats strung with hammocks and laden with bananas and fish. There will be time to do some shopping in the Mercado Adolfo Lisboa, the old city market modeled after Paris’ "Les Halles and walk through the Opera House built by the rubber barons in the 19th century.
  • Visa fees (approximately $130)
  • Gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Cabin assignments (if you would prefer a cabin without bunk beds, you will be charged a cabin reservation fee of $890. Please note your cabin preferences on the reservation form).

Airline Tickets

You are free to make your own airline reservations, or Orvis Travel’s air desk will be glad to coordinate them for you. Call 888 287-1014. Our airline tickets are handled by Milne Travel.


Brazil requires a visa that you must obtain in advance. It cannot be issued on arrival. Orvis Travel will send you documentation and instructions to obtain a visa to all trip members.


Contact the expert at Orvis Travel:
Abby Liell
Brazil: Heart of Amazonia
Mon-Fri, 9am - 5pm (ET)
Orvis International Travel

800-547-4322 | 802-362-8790

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