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. The voyage is quite active; you spend most of every day exploring the forest on foot or in our boat’s launches. 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. Guides and Crew The staff of the M/Y Tucano are highly trained mariners who bring years of deep forest exploration to our cruises. 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. 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.
The 'Voyage to the Heart of the Amazon' is a voyage that explores some of the most untouched rainforest in all of the Amazon. On the Motor Yacht Tucano you venture far up the Rio Negro visiting several different kinds of rainforest along the way. Near the end of the trip you enter the Amazon River itself. You will see amazingly colorful birds, magnificent trees draped with vines and covered with orchids and occasional monkeys chattering and cavorting in the branches.
The 'Amazon Odyssey' cruise visits some of the most essential areas to observe the wildlife and culture of the rainforest. This journey explores both the Rio Negro and the Amazon River. You 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.
The two M/Y Tucano Amazon River cruises explore the wilds of the Amazon rainforest in different ways. Amazon Expedition Cruises are for travelers that wish to go deep into the wilderness rainforest to explore the heart of wild nature. Essential Amazon Cruises are for travelers that will visit many other destinations in Brasil and only have time for a shorter, but still intensive cruise. Both cruises are extraordinary experiences and are superior to virtually all other cruises offered in the Amazon.
You will visit three kinds of forest including the strange and beautiful flooded forest known by Amazon Indians as the Igapó [ee-gah-poh]. In the Igapó, the dark water seasonally floods into the forest, at times for several miles. Orchids and bromeliads cling to the limbs of overhanging trees, which are home also to many fishing birds and iguanas. You will also explore the other two kinds of rainforest of the Amazon: the tall terre firme forest and the fantastically rich varzea forest. You will see amazingly colorful birds, magnificent rainforest trees draped with vines and carpeted with orchids, and occasional monkeys chattering and cavorting in the tree branches.
There are three or four excursions off the vessel every day. Early mornings are spent gliding along quiet channels in launches among giant rainforest trees draped with vines and orchids. The silence is broken only by the rustling of Squirrel Monkeys feeding or by the occasional piercing shriek of a Screaming Piha bird. During the day you walk in the forest and sometimes visit a small community. Some nights you search for nocturnal creatures in launches out in the star filled darkness. On lazy afternoons you may fish for the famous Amazon resident, the Piranha, some of whom you may see again on an appetizer plate. During the voyage the boat will weave through the narrow winding channels of the Rio Negro. Another important feature of the program will be visits to the homes of deep forest settlers. You will visit with them and learn what their lives are like, living on the edge of this vast trackless forest. All deep forest settlers collect plants for medicines and you will talk with them about which plants they collect and their uses. On the last full day of the cruise you will sail through the ‘Encontra das Aguas’, the ‘Meeting of the Waters’ of the Amazon and the Negro Rivers. You will explore the beautiful and fabulously rich environment at the confluence of these two rivers and visit the Lago Janauari Ecological Park which lies in a wedge-shaped delta that divides the Amazon from the Negro.
6 Night Expedition Cruise - 'Voyage to the Heart of the Amazon'
Voyage to the Heart of the Amazon is a seven day trip that travels by riverboat far up the Rio Negro to an area very rarely visited, exploring the mysterious life of the wilderness that stirs in the forest and in the heart of wild nature. You visit quite remote forest that has very few settles so the flora and fauna is very little disturbed. This voyage explores some of the most untouched rainforest in all of the Amazon. On the Motor Yacht Tucano we venture far up the Rio Negro visiting several different kinds of rainforest along the way. Near the end of the trip you enter the Amazon River itself. You see amazingly colorful birds, magnificent trees draped with vines and covered with orchids and occasional monkeys chattering and cavorting in the branches.
On the first morning you will board the Motor Yacht Tucano and depart upstream on the Rio Negro. Through the morning you will cruise through the world’s largest river island system, the Anavilhanas Archipelago. From the observation deck you 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 you cannot predict what you will see, you have a good chance of observing pink river dolphins and a large collection of exotic birds. Most certainly you will be treated to magnificent forest vistas and the spectacular trees themselves. In the late afternoon you embark in the launches and hunt for wildlife. You may also go for a swim in some of the world’s most clean and refreshing water.
Early this morning you explore the rainforest along the waters edge in our launches or kayaks, each group with a naturalist guide. You should hear and perhaps see howler monkeys and you should hear a morning serenade of toucans. After breakfast you go for a walk in the forest where you will get a good start on understanding Amazon ecology. Around midday you return for lunch and the vessel will get underway, perhaps stopping at a place to swim. In the late afternoon you will again explore the forest in our launches and listen to the sunset chorus of birds and frogs.
This morning there will be an early exploration of the waking forest. You will keep our eyes open for monkeys... on most trips you see them often. You 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 you stop in the afternoon for an excursion. Tonight the vessel may travel a bit more as you marvel at the night sky crowded with stars.
After the two morning excursions Tucano will navigate along the heavily forested shore, scouting for wildlife. You may stop for a visit at a settler’s home carved out of the forest. In the early afternoon you will be near an extraordinary river called the Rio Jaueperi. Here you will see a kind of forest known as the varzea. You will scout along the shoreline for some of the extraordinary creatures found only in this unique environment. Weather permitting you will do a night excursion to observe nocturnal creatures.
Today you will voyage to the west side of the Rio Negro and continue to scout in our launches and walk in the forest. You 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 a nocturnal exploration of the rainforest in the launches you return to the Motor Yacht Tucano for “Caipirinha Night” and perhaps try a bit of samba on the top deck.
You begin the day with a dawn excursion hunting for wakening wildlife followed by a full Brasilian breakfast. You will then go one last time into the forest. In the mid-afternoon you 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 an overnight anchorage north of the city of Manaus. As you pass in front of Manaus, you 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 there will be a farewell dinner.
In the early morning, after a hearty breakfast, disembark from the M/Y Tucano.
4 Night Essential Amazon Cruise - 'The Amazon Odyssey'
The Amazon Odyssey cruise visits some of the most essential areas to observe the wildlife and culture of the rainforest. The journey explores both the Rio Negro and the Amazon River. You 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.
On the first afternoon you embark on the Motor Yacht Tucano in Manaus, Brasil. You depart on the Rio Negro and as the vessel glides upstream you will have our first talk about Amazon environments. By late afternoon you 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, you will go for an excursion in the gnarled and dense flooded forest known as the Igapó. Along the river bank you may see some Squirrel Monkeys and you 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 you are sure to see some of these brightly colored jewels perched in the treetops. You return to the M/Y Tucano for hors d’oeuvres on the observation deck and a toast to the rainforest sunset. Following dinner you will embark in our launches in search of nocturnal creatures such as the Caiman, the Amazon’s crocodilians. You 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.
Shortly after sunrise this morning you explore the strange environment called the Igapó, the black water flooded forest. At mid-morning you should go for a walk in type of high Amazon forest known as the Terra Firme. Today you will also have a late afternoon excursion weather permitting you will have a night excursion in our ship’s launches. Later this evening the vessel will weigh anchor and you will voyage downstream through the night to the Xiborena Peninsula that divides the two of the world’s most storied rivers: the Rio Negro and the Amazon River.
Rising early, you will excursion in the Lago Janauari Ecological Park, a dense forest that is flooded with the coffee colored water of the Amazon River. You explore a labyrinth of small channels overhung with gargantuan trees and vines. Listening to the chatter of creatures in the undergrowth you also keep our eyes open for monkeys, Three Toed Sloths, and the occasional Collared Anteater. By mid morning you return to the M/Y Tucano for a hearty breakfast and some time to relax. By late morning you foray off the vessel again to explore this environment rich in life. Near midday, following lunch, you navigate downstream to the “Encontra das Aguas”, the several mile long joining of two of the world’s greatest rivers, the Rio Negro and The Amazon. The dark and light waters run side by side for several miles without mixing. Often Pink River Dolphins and also Grey River Dolphins leap and cavort along this stark line of contrasting currents. You then will begin to navigate upstream on the Amazon River until the late afternoon. On Brasilian maps this river is given the name Rio Solimões - but it is the same vast, turbulent, mighty river that you know of as the Amazon. At this point in its course it has truly become the most magnificent river on the planet and carries fully 20% of all the fresh water on Earth. You will travel upstream on the Amazon River into the late afternoon destined for a channel on the south bank of the Amazon where, conditions permitting, you can access a large lake called Lago Janauacá. Here you encounter a new and fascinating environment known as the Varzea. In the launches you glide down narrow channels where you expect to see creatures found only on the south side of the Amazon River. Tonight you will foray out in our launches to hunt for nocturnal life. In the beam of our powerful spotlights you should see the glowing eyes of Caiman, the Amazon’s crocodiles.
This morning you will scout for more of the bizarre creatures of the Amazon. On the mid-morning excursion you visit a local homesteaders and walk through their gardens and learn how traditions help families survive in the remote interior. Time permitting you will also visit one of the river towns where trade still thrives in goods that have been grown, caught, or collected in this vast rainforest. During lunch the M/Y Tucano turns downstream on the Amazon River and navigates east with the swift current. Through the afternoon you weave in and out of islands that dot the North bank of the river and you will enjoy vistas of forest and homesteads along the river banks. In the late afternoon you should be near the Rio Negro and you will venture out for one more excursion along a narrow channel called Parana Xiborena or you will return to Lago Janauari Ecological Park. At sunset we slowly ascend the Rio Negro, cruising along but not stopping at the Porto de Manaus, one of the world’s great ports. More than a thousand miles from the sea, Manaus is the major port for much of the entire Amazon. You will see boats of every imaginable shape and purpose that serve this continent sized forest. Tonight you will sample the national drink of Brasil, the Caipirinha and have a farewell dinner.
Early this morning you will disembark the vessel at the riverside dock of the Hotel Tropical.
All of the 9 passenger cabins on the M/Y Tucano are comfortable and all have private baths. Cabin sizes range from 80 to 114 square feet. Four of these cabins have side-by-side single beds, one cabin has a queen-size bed beside a single bed, and the remaining four cabins have single size bunk beds.
All of the cabins have large windows all of which open. You can lie on your bed and watch the rainforest from your window while reading a novel of exploration, one of the great and unexpected pleasures of the Tucano experience. The cabins are cleaned and scrubbed daily.
Each of the cabins has its own air-conditioning controls so if you would like it cool as New England, turn down the thermostat as cool as you wish.
The balcony around the front of the boat is a wonderful place to pull up a chair and observe the forest close up. The salon is airy and has windows all the way around. All of the walls are paneled in lovely hardwood. Two cabins on this deck have two single beds with night stand. Two other cabins have a bunk bed with a twin size mattress above and below. All of the cabins have private showers and sinks. The Mid-deck balcony has connecting doors to the Salon. It is a wonderful place to relax with a good book, sip a glass of wine, a soft drink or a beer, or simply to marvel at the splendor of the last great wilderness on Earth.
Two cabins on this deck have single beds separated by a nightstand. By inserting a third narrow bed in the middle, these cabins can also accommodate three persons. Two other cabins number have a bunk bed with a twin size mattress above and below. All of the cabins have private showers and sinks. There is a full galley and a swim deck at the stern.
The top deck runs the length of the entire upper deck on the M/Y Tucano. Guests can go forward and watch the crew navigate the vessel, sit comfortably under the canopy and scan the canopy for monkeys and birds, or simply swing in a hammock in lazy comfort. This deck is open and an exceptional place to observe wildlife. The forward balcony allows views to the front and into the treetops. From beneath the sun canopy we see the world's greatest collection of birds and the occasional monkey cavorting in the branches. From the top deck there is wilderness as far as the eye can see.The top deck is a wonderful place to lounge around as we cruise along the wilderness river.