Tailor-Made Holiday

Expeditionary Amazon Cruise & Brazilian Mansion

Cruise atop the Amazon in a romantic riverboat, relax in a historic mansion in Manaus and visit Rio

11 days

from $3,375pp (excluding flights)
  • Join the most in-depth expeditionary voyage operating on the Amazon River
  • Explore the rainforest and tributaries and visit local communities with experienced guides
  • Spot monkeys, pink river dolphins and a wide variety of exotic Amazonian birdlife
  • Stay in a mansion in Manaus before the cruise, and explore bustling Rio de Janeiro afterwards

Embark on an in-depth, off-the-beaten track river journey into the heart of the Brazilian Amazon on board the comfortable MY Tucano riverboat. This explorative eight-day Amazon voyage ventures deeper into this vast tropical wilderness than any other comparative boat.

Why cruise?

The Tucano voyage aims to spotlight the local residents and their long-lasting cultures, with visits to small fishing villages on the banks of the river as well as lively river trading towns. Explore pristine areas of the Rio Negro and the mighty Amazon both on and off the boat, discovering the forest on foot or by small boat in the company of expert naturalist guides. Travelling in a small group limited to just 18 passengers, voyagers will garner a very intimate and authentic Amazon experience. Ideally suited to those with a strong interest in wildlife and nature, the sailing provides a wonderful introduction to this world-renowned iconic destination.

Pre and Post-Cruise

Before the cruise, spend some time in a historic mansion in the heart of Manaus, harking back to the architecture of the golden rubber age, just moments away from the Amazon Theatre. Featuring a lush indoor garden and natural stone pool overhung with greenery, as well as a bar with special caipirinhas and a bistro that blends contemporary cuisine with exotic Amazonian ingredients, Villa Amazonia is a charming spot to relax before an adventure-filled river expedition.

After the sailing, travel to the sprawling seaside city of Rio de Janeiro to experience the plethora of activities on offer that include visits to Copacabana and Ipanema beaches, trips to view the Christ the Redeemer statue atop Mount Corcovado, explorations of the colonial historical quarter and cable cars to the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain.

Unique Experiences

This Amazon adventure takes place within true wilderness, and travellers will have the opportunity to witness a diversity of exotic landscapes, habitats and environments that include dark flooded forests, dense jungle, towering trees, thick undergrowth and vast open plains of waving grass. Visiting some locations that are not visited by any other vessel, and traversing extremely lightly trodden trails, the Tucano continually adjusts its landing sites so as to minimise wildlife disturbance and, in turn, encourage more sightings.

These places are home to some of the most spectacular wildlife of the Amazon, including squirrel monkeys, howler monkeys, peccaries, jaguars, sloths and a multitude of impressive and colourful birds. In the river itself, caiman, pink river dolphins and grey dolphins can be spotted.

What is given back?

With a robust interest in proactive conservation, the Tucano has a dramatic impact on the local communities. All of its crew are regular employees, not freelancers, and most of them hail from the small communities of the Amazon’s interior. The benefit of consistent wages is hugely impactful for these populations, given that there are no other methods of deriving non-extractive revenue from the rainforest.

The communities that are visited during land excursions are treated carefully so as to prevent exploitation, and outright support is given to these small communities in the form of diesel for use in their lighting and generators. Understanding that the real long-lasting impacts come from the steady income, health benefits, vacation time and support for professional growth that dependable employment can provide, the Tucano is truly committed to their crew (many have been employed for more than 20 years!)

Sustainability

The Tucano aims for a high-level of sustainability, achieved through a comprehensive seven-pronged approach that focuses on traveller engagement, consumables, solar energy equipment, ship design, procedures and staff commitment, responsible tour conduct and social responsibility. Believing that sustainability comes as a result of a collective effort, the crew encourage travellers to work with them as an expedition team.

By making efforts to eliminate single use plastic containers, reducing solid waste, incorporating equipment intended to reduce the carbon footprint and installing two entirely independent water systems, the Tucano aims to prove that sustainability is the future of expeditionary travel.

Guides

All cruises are accompanied by two accomplished bilingual guides, who are native to the remote communities of the interior of the Amazon. Raised by these renowned river waters, Tucano guides learned to walk in the rainforest and discovered its vital ecological importance at an impressionable age. Effortlessly distinguishing the signs, sounds and sights of the flora and fauna of the river and jungle, each guide brings their own personal interests that infuse their guiding style.

Steppes’ Value Adds

Those travelling with Steppes on the Tucano benefit from a personalised private city tour of Manaus prior to the river cruise.

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Price Excluding Flights $Flight cost from 
$ 4556.25 $ 1350
  Click here to see what is included/excluded

what is included

  • Accommodation on the boat on a full board basis
  • Accommodation in Manaus on a bed and breakfast basis
  • Internal flights
  • International flights as detailed
  • Sightseeing in small groups during the cruise
  • Transfers as detailed

what is excluded

  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visas

PLEASE NOTE THE COST SHOWN INCLUDES INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS DEPARTING FROM THE UK, BASED ON AN APPROXIMATE AIR FARE. PLEASE ASK YOUR TRAVEL EXPERT FOR AN ACCURATE INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT QUOTE. INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS DEPARTING FROM THE UK ARE ATOL PROTECTED.

Itinerary at a glance

Collapse all
Day 1

Day at leisure in Manaus


Located in the heart of the jungle, 1600km up the Amazon river, the history of Manaus is as exotic as its location. Founded in 1669, Manaus has a colonial history which peaked during the late 19th century rubber boom. The fabulous wealth of this period led to the construction of the legendary opera house, where the most famous singers of the era performed.

The municipal market, designed after Les Halles in Paris, was built during the rubber boom, as was the custom house, designed and manufactured in Liverpool. However Manaus's main attraction, the rainforest, lies just outside the city, and boasts a wealth of exotic flora and fauna.


You will be staying at Villa Amazonia, bed and breakfast

Day 2

You will be staying at Villa Amazonia, bed and breakfast

Day 3

Day 1
Early this morning all guests board the vessel the Motor Yacht Tucano and depart upstream on the Rio Negro. Through the morning cruise through the world's largest river island system, the Anavilhanas Archipelago. From the observation deck, 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 it cannot be predicted as to what you will see, it will be a good chance to observe the pink river dolphins and large collection of exotic birds. Most certainly you will be treated to magnificent forest vistas and the spectacular trees themselves. In the late afternoon embark in the launches and hunt for wildlife.


You will be staying at Tucano, full board

Day 4

Day 2
Early this morning explore the rainforest along the waters edge. Hear and perhaps see howler monkeys and a morning serenade of toucans. After breakfast go for a walk in the forest where you will get a good start on understanding Amazon ecology. Around midday return for lunch and the vessel will get underway, perhaps stopping at a place to swim. In the late afternoon, there will be another chance to explore the forest and listen to the sunset chorus of birds and frogs.


You will be staying at Tucano, full board

Day 5

Day 3
This morning there will be an early exploration of the waking forest. Keep your eyes open for monkeys. 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 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.


You will be staying at Tucano, full board

Day 6

Day 4
After the two morning excursions The M/Y Tucano will navigate along the heavily forested shore, scouting for wildlife. There may be a stop for a visit at a settler's home carved out of the forest. In the early afternoon travel to an extraordinary river called the Rio Jaueperi. Here you will see a forest known as the varzea. Spend time scouting along the shoreline for some of the interesting creatures found only in this unique environment. Weather permitting you may have a night excursion to observe nocturnal creatures.


You will be staying at Tucano, full board

Day 7

Day 5
Today voyage to the west side of the Rio Negro and continue to scout and walk in the forest. Weather dependent, explore 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 you 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.


You will be staying at Tucano, full board

Day 8

Day 6
This morning 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, scout one of the hidden streams in the area to try to see more of the Amazon's beautiful and bizarre creatures. Tonight you will have a farewell dinner and prepare for an early departure in the morning.


You will be staying at Tucano, full board

Day 9

Day 7
Early this morning, after a hearty breakfast, all guests disembark from the M/Y Tucano.

Fly Manaus to Rio de Janeiro


As the Brazilians say, 'God made the world in six days, the seventh he devoted to Rio'. This vibrant and lively city is a fun place to spend some time, and offers something for everyone.

Nestled between the mountains and the sea, Rio's natural beauty is unsurpassable. Its magnificent shoreline, with its charming bays and beautiful beaches, is an important part of Rio social life and offers numerous outdoor activities from biking to surfing.

In the mountains above Rio, you will find the Tijuca national forest, the largest natural urban park in the world. The city's eight million inhabitants, known as 'Cariocas', are friendly, carefree people who always seem to find time for the pleasures of good living.


You will be staying at Miramar by Windsor, bed and breakfast

Day 10

Days at Leisure with Suggested Sightseeing
Find below a selection of activities and excursions you may wish to investigate on your free day:

" Learn how to Samba at a dance school

" People-watch on Copacabana Beach

" Watch a football match at Maracana Stadium

" Listen to live Bossa Nova in a restaurant in Ipanema

" Visit the botanical gardens and the avenue of imperial palms

" Admire the view from Corcovado below the statue of Christ

" Visit Petropolis, the Summer Residence of the Imperial family of Brazil

" Board a cable car to the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain

" Hire bicycles and explore the beaches

" Visit Santa Teresa, the bohemian quarter

" Explore the colonial historical quarter

" Relax on the beach and enjoy the day to day life of the Cariocas


You will be staying at Miramar by Windsor, bed and breakfast

Day 11

Day at leisure in Rio de Janeiro

Accommodation

Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.

Tucano

Tucano

The 24 metre Tucano is a charming and comfortable boat, built along traditional Amazon riverboat lines and ideally suited to the Rio Negro, a smaller and more interesting tributary of the Amazon....

View Accommodation

Villa Amazonia

Villa Amazonia

Villa Amazonia is a restored historic mansion dating back to the golden age of rubber extraction in Brazil....

View Accommodation

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Destination Experts

Our experts have unrivalled firsthand knowledge of Amazon

James Armitage, Travel Expert

"The help and great knowledge James offered really made the holiday special"

"James listened and managed our expectations and therefore made sure we were prepared for all eventualities when going on our holiday to Brazil"

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John Faithfull, Travel Expert

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"The expertise that John has really gave us faith in where we were going, the regions, the hotels, the trips. John knew about it all, he described them in detail, and when we asked for different regions he was straight in there with suggestions and ideas. The way the whole trip was planned and presented to us, never any pressure to book or any problem to change plans /ideas."

"John Faithful was wonderfully helpful and conscientious in arranging the itinerary and was always ready to suggest alternatives or rearrange matters without any hesitation; this and his detailed knowledge gave one great confidence."

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Paul Bird, Travel Expert

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Roxy Dukes, Travel Expert

"Roxy filled us with enthusiasm and came up with some great ideas for a trip. We liked the idea of a slightly 'off the beaten track experience' and some private bespoke activities and that's exactly what we've had. Thank you!"

"Roxy created a wonderfully interesting route which was the basis for a super trip. She also chose lovely places for us to stay and interesting activities for us to participate in, introducing us to the idea of private guided experiences which we thoroughly enjoyed."

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Sue Grimwood, Travel Expert

"It was tremendously helpful to be able to speak to someone who had been to Antarctica before - Sue had been on the ship we had booked, so was able to give us some very useful information. We felt that at every stage of the booking process that we were in safe hands. "

""I was uncharacteristically worried about this trip - neurotic some might say - and I was given 110% support and help with everything. I had been disappointed by not being able to get a space on the 2014 trip and so Sue was stuck with me for 2 years - a testament to her patience and professionalism. I was confident in Sue - she knows Antarctica and speaks from experience, that is worth a huge amount. Emails, which I would send were responded to almost immediately.""

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For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

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