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.


Day 1 | Manaus, Brazil - Board the M.V. Tucano

Board the Tucano in the early morning and set sail on the Amazon's Rio Negro, cruising through the world’s largest river archipelago, the Anavilhanas islands north of Manaus. By mid-afternoon the vessel has gone beyond the frontier of settlement and entered a wilderness of dense rainforest and tropical nature. In the late afternoon you embark in the launches and look for wildlife in the smaller side streams and channels as the sun sets. Flocks of toucans, parrots and macaws are commonly seen noisily flying to evening roosts this time of day. We may also go for a swim in the Rio Negro.(LD>

Day 2 | Toucans - Amazon Rainforest Walk

Set out at sunrise in the wooden skiffs in the calm waters to search for wildlife. Nothing compares to exploring the forest edge by boat in the cool morning air, and you’ll hear the calls of tropical birds at sunrise and see them stirring for the day. This is an excellent time for birding and the rainforest guides have terrific eyes. We return to the boat for a full breakfast and to pick up anyone who decided to sleep in. After breakfast we walk in the forest where the guides will introduce you to the Amazon Basin’s ecology. These walks are what set this trip apart from Amazon cruises on larger boats. The guides know this region extremely well and have locations where they can introduce you to a variety of forest subtypes. You should be able to penetrate the forest by boats in some places, and may get quite far in before setting foot on “terra firma”, the dry uplands the seasonal floods don’t reach. 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 explore the forest in our launches and listen to the sunset chorus of birds and frogs. (BLD)

Day 3 | Cruising on the Rio Negro in Brazil

Heading further north upstream, we may encounter a few fishing boats heading downstream to Manaus with their catch of peacock bass and some of the other 1,000+ species found in Amazonian waters. We explore a new part of the forest this morning and may see toucans, sloths and monkeys, which are quite common away from settlements. We return for breakfast followed by either a walk in the forest or an excursion in the launches. 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 | Rio Jaueperi

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)

Day 5 | Rio Negro

Today we depart the Rio Jaueperi and for the next two days proceed downstream on the Rio Negro exploring a new collection of rainforest habitats. In the daytime we will continue to scout in our launches, walk in the forest, and at night hunt for nocturnal wildlife. (BLD)

Day 6 | Novo Airao

After a walk in the forest we cross to the west bank of the Rio Negro, exploring as we go, and dock at Novo Airão, and traditional boat building village where you can walk around and get the flavor of local life and see where the Tucano was built. Tonight TUCANO goes downstream to arrive at daybreak near the confluence with the Amazon River. (BLD)

Day 7 | Lago Janauari Park

This morning we explore the Lago Janauari Ecological Park where you can see the difference between the cappuccino colored water of the main Amazon and the Rio Negro and observe wildlife. Around midday the vessel will travel to the "Encontra das Aguas" a stark several mile long line where the world's two largest rivers, the Amazon and the Negro, join in a turbulent maelstrom and dolphins frequent feed along the margins. In the afternoon and evening we go on two more excursions exploring the area. (BLD)

Day 8 | Manaus - Depart

We transfer to Manaus International Airport for the return flight. Lunch and dinner not included on this day.


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 four types of excursions.

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

2014 Prices are per person, based on double occupancy
Cruise $3,450
Manaus Hotel nights $140
Single supplements (add the supplement to the prices above)
Cruise (limited to two cabins) $1,725
Manaus Hotel nights $140
2014 Amazon Riverboat Cruise Dates
January 4 - 11 July 12 - 19
January 18 - 25 July 26 - August 2
February 1 - 8 August 9 - 16
February 22 - March 1 August 23 - 30
March 8 - March 15 September 13 - 20
March 22 - March 29 September 27 - October 4
April 5 - 12 October 11 - 18
April 19 - 26 October 25 - November 1
May 3 - 10 November 8 - 15
May 17 - 24 November 22 - 29
June 14 - 21 December 6 - 13
June 28 - July 5 December 20 - 27
2015 Prices are per person, based on double occupancy
Cruise $3,700
Manaus Hotel nights $140
Single supplements (add the supplement to the prices above)
Cruise (limited to two cabins) $1,725
Manaus Hotel nights $140
2015 Amazon Riverboat Cruise Dates
January 10 - 17 July 18 - 25
January 24 - 31 August 8 - 15
February 21 - 28 August 22 - 29
March 7 - 14 September 12 - 19
March 21 - 28 September 13 - 20
April 11 - 18 September 26 - October 3
April 25 - May 2 September 27 - October 4
May 9 - 16 October 10 - 17
May 23 - 30 October 24 - 31
June 6 - 13 November 7 - 14
June 20 - 27 November 21 - 28
July 4 - 11 December 19 - 26


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)
  • Meals not listed above
  • 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)
  • Tips
  • Cabin assignments (if you would prefer a cabin without bunk beds, you will be charged a cabin reservation fee of $800 (2014) or $840 (2015). 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 Airtreks.


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.


Overall: Show Rating Distribution 5.0 / 5 based on 1 reviews


1 of 1 reviewers would recommend this product to a friend.

  • 5/5

    A River Adventure Unlike Any Other! - 1/14/2013
    By: from Forest Hills, Queens, NY, USA

    I didn't expect a wild fantastic adventure, but the whole experience was better than I could ever have asked for. The ship accomodations were snug but comfortable, the food was delicious, every activity was filled with interesting things to see and do, the crew handled things perfectly, and our two guides Edi and Souza were absolutely fantastic!

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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