South America Cruises
(Amazon River Cruise)
The Amazon River is arguably the largest river in the world rivaled only by the mighty Nile in Africa. This luxury cruise down Peru's Amazon River will transport you along the waters of three powerful tributaries: the Marañón, the Ucayali, and the Puinahua. At the heart of your voyage will be exploring Pacaya Samiria Reserve, a protected wildlife area deep within the Amazon rainforest and jungle. The highlight of each day’s journey on your luxury cruise down the Amazon will be experiencing by small ship, the pristine wilderness areas teeming with the Amazon’s wildlife and amazing plant life, such as the colossal Victoria Regia water lilies. You will also encounter—and have the chance to interact with—local people living in villages along the Amazon River, as they have for centuries. When the day’s sightseeing is over, the comforts of your luxurious floating hotel await you.
Cruise departures every Friday & Saturday during 2013. Ship & itinerary can differ depending on seasonality & date selection.
Our local representative will meet you for an airport transfer, with private vehicle and professional driver.
With its stylish contemporary design, cutting-edge technology and ideal location, the flagship Casa Andina Private Collection - Miraflores hotel is the top of its class in every aspect. Once the Miraflores César's, Lima’s fondly remembered, original five-star hotel, this modern icon was dramatically transformed in 2008 into the capital’s newest luxury hotel. Its quintessential Limeño flavor reverberates in the exquisite art collection of contemporary local artists and prized colonial-era antiques, in both public spaces and accommodations.
Start your day with a sightseeing tour of Colonial and Modern Lima in the company of your private vehicle, driver and English speaking Guide, passing by outstanding monuments such as the Government Palace, the City Hall and the Cathedral (closed on Sundays) at the Plaza Mayor. Visit the 17th century San Francisco Convent. Take a short tour of the modern districts of San Isidro and Miraflores where you will enjoy a magnificent view of the Pacific Ocean.
After lunch at "La Rosa Nautica" (included in tour) visit the Larco Herrera Museum. Since 1926 this museum holds the world’s largest private collection of pre-Columbian art with a unique assortment of erotic pottery, genuine and rich jewels in gold, silver and semi-precious stones. With more than 45,000 pieces of ceramics plus genuine mummies and marvellous Paracas textiles, this is a great place to visit.
Return to your hotel at day's end.
Fly from Lima to Iquitos. The flight duration is approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes.
Your guides await you, as your flight from Lima glides in for landing at Iquitos International Airport. After you’ve claimed your luggage, you will board an air-conditioned bus for your journey to the river.
Welcome aboard!From the moment you step on board, you will enjoy the atmosphere of low-key luxury. As you settle into your handsomely appointed, over-sized suite, you will feel the vessel begin to move – the beginning of one of the great adventures of your life. Stand on the Upper Deck to take in the view, as your cruise vessel leaves Iquitos behind. Over the next seven days, you will also sail along the two largest tributaries of the Amazon, the Ucayali and the Marañon, as well as the mighty Amazon itself. You are embarking on a spectacular adventure, to a place visited by only a few of even the most experienced world travelers.
The 130-foot-long M/V Aqua is the first true luxury cruise ship on the northern Amazon River in Peru, custom built by Peruvian architect Jordi Puig in 2007 to offer an extraordinary level of comfort for guests. The M/V Aqua can accommodate a maximum of 24 cruise ship guests plus crew. This luxury cruise ship is the perfect size to sail along the Amazon River, providing extremely comfortable lounge, dining and sleeping accommodations and modern navigation technologies and standards for cruise ship travel and safety on the water. The M/V Aqua’s twelve oversized cruise ship suites, including 4 Master suites, feature en suite sitting areas and generous outward-facing picture-windows with panoramic Amazon river views. Each of the handsomely decorated, air-conditioned cruise ship suites measure between 230 to 240 square feet. Four of these suites can be interconnected, to cater to families.
Be up early to catch your first glimpse of the majestic Amazon River, as you watch the sun rise over this green world filled with wonderful wildlife. This initial contact with Amazonia is only a brief sampling of what the rest of your journey will hold.
This morning you will board one of the comfortable excursion skiffs for your first adventure, traveling from the Amazon through the Huaysi short-cut canal to explore the Tahuayo black water river. Life jackets, ponchos, rubber boots, and plenty of cold potable water will always be available for you on board the skiffs. As you float down the Tahuayo, occasional fishermen paddling in their dug-out canoes will give a cheerful greeting. Keep your binoculars ready to spot a vast variety of wildlife: terns, orioles, blackbirds, black collared hawks, monkeys, and sloth share this wonderful environment with us. Upon arrival at Charo Lake, you can bait your hooks to try to catch one of Amazonia’s fearsome piranhas (and other fish as well). As you fish, trained guides will also tell you the story of the lake and its inhabitants.
Locals call the Yacapana Islands the “Iguana Islands,” because of the huge population of these reptiles—like tiny dinosaurs—crawling over the ground and resting in the tree tops. You will pass by in the skiff, giving you a chance to snap good photos. As the sun sets, you will have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see and photograph both gray and pink freshwater dolphins. The people of the Amazon believe that these dolphins turn into humans to steal handsome men or pretty women from their villages during celebrations. Once the sun sets and the jungle is dark, you'll begin the search for caiman, frogs, and different kinds of nightlife.
You have a choice of two excursions for today.Option 1:Travel by skiff from Yanayacu Creek all the way to remote Yarina – Park Ranger Station No. 2. On this excursion, you may see howler and capuchin monkeys, the squirrel-sized monkeys called tamarins, pink and gray river dolphins, and a vast variety of birds. We will also take you deep into the jungle, where you will encounter wildlife and learn first-hand about the important medical value of jungle plants. And we will show you famous Kapok Trees (ceiba pentandra), the tallest trees in the Amazon Basin. Enjoy a generous picnic lunch at the Park Ranger Station No. 2, before you begin the journey back to the vessel.
Option 2:This morning your Park Ranger will tell you all about sustainable resource management projects in Amazonia. You will visit one of the projects, where villagers are planting palms to obtain oil. In the afternoon, you'll set out looking for the two different kinds of freshwater dolphins—including the unusual pink ones—found in the Amazon. Later, keep your eyes directed toward the jungle canopy, where you can spot at least several kinds of primates—among the 13 species of monkeys resident in the National Park. Perhaps you will catch a glimpse of tamarins and howlers, dusky titi monkeys and pigmy marmoset monkeys. Watch for alligators, and keep your binoculars at the ready, as you are likely to see more than 200 species of birds.
This morning, your ship skirts the edges of the vast Pacaya-Samiria Reserve, a flooded forest covering five million acres at the headwaters of the Amazon basin. Rise early and be on your skiffs at 8:00 a.m. to view one of the great spectacles of the Southern Hemisphere: the sun rising over the birthplace of the Amazon River. Here—where the union of two major tributaries, the Ucayali and the Marañon, form the world’s greatest waterway—nature is at its most dramatic. Your dawn excursion will be accompanied by abundant bird song, as you glide in small boats past river banks populated by large-billed terns, laughing falcons, gray tanagers, sandpipers, five kinds of parakeets, the exotic short-tailed parrot, and dozens of other birds.
You'll travel by skiff to Puerto Miguel native village, where you can meet and interact with local villagers from this most remote part of the world, andlearning a bit more about their culture, traditions, and folklore. On the way back to the the ship, a connector canal will be navigated, between the Ucayali and Marañon Rivers, where you will have a chance to see the world’s largest aquatic plant, the giant water lilies or “Victoria Regias.”
Nauta Caño is also part of the Pacaya Samiria Reserve. It is known as the mirrored forest, due to its glistening black water lagoons. You will certainly enjoy observing different species, such as: toucans, parrots, macaws, iguanas, and more. On the way back to the ship you will see a glorious sunset reflected in the waters of the mirrored forest.
This morning you will board the skiffs to explore this amazing black water stream, part of the vast Amazon flooded forest. Your guides will tell you about the rainforest and its dynamic life, as you explore what scientists call a “gallery forest,” because of its narrow vegetation, creating a tunnel of leaves. Floating through this tunnel, it is easy to spot parrots, macaws, and fluffy monk saki monkeys, very close to the skiff.
This afternoon you will take a magical journey through the “Mirrored Forest,” seeing towering trees reflected in the black water river, while spotting dozens of enchanting parrots, blue-yellow macaws, and a great variety of primates and sloths enjoying nature unperturbed by our presence. As you make your way back to the vessel, you will also have the chance to see caimans and frogs and fishing bats.
This morning you will rise early to cruise this beautiful and intricate ox-bow lake. Following its shore, you will almost certainly surprise several kinds of monkeys and many types of birds, including terns, neo-tropic cormorants, egrets, herons, hawks, and your favorite horned screamers. You'll also take the skiff into other black water lakes linked to this huge lake in the flooded forest.
On this walk, your guides will introduce you to native people doing subsistence farming, and will tell you how they learned to cultivate wild plants and trees to earn farm income. Deep in the primary forest, your guides will also show you the wealth of fruit trees and medicinal plants hidden in the jungle.
In the late afternoon, board the skiffs along the Pacaya River, journeying from Ranger Station No. 1 toward Yanayacu Lake, where you can see the abundant life that is hidden in the deep rainforest. This time of day was chosen to give you a chance to see the late afternoon activity of the rainforest animals, including fluffy monk saki monkeys, capuchin monkeys, and the easy-to-spot howler monkeys. As the sun sets, listen for the loud, ferocious-sounding warning signals made by howler monkeys marking their territories. When night falls, you will hear the second movement of the Amazon rainforest symphony, as other nocturnal animals send their shrill calls across the tree tops. As you take the skiffs back to the ship, you'll use special spotlight torches to locate night creatures, including, perhaps, huge caimans.
Back on the river as the sun rises, you will see a treasure trove of wildlife, including parrots, macaws, toucans, and many kinds of monkeys—as well as some “surprise” species that you have never seen before. Enjoy a “bag breakfast” of light sandwiches and fresh juice. Since you will stop near a popular dolphin feeding spot, you will see quite a show as you enjoy your meal.
This afternoon, you will travel to the splendid “hot spot” called Carocurahuayte Lake, where you will be certain to catch some of the more than 3,000 species of tropical fish that live in the Amazon basin. Your key focus will be on piranhas, those small, carnivorous fish with a big reputation for being scary. Your guides will be able to help with technique as well as assist with landing or unhooking your catch,
Weather and time permitting, this will be the last opportunity to see how people live along the Amazon—by visiting the lively riverside community of Belen, in Iquitos, by skiff. Here, where the houses and shops actually float on the river during some months, you will see the bustling food market for the entire Peruvian Amazon. All local inhabitants throughout the region sell and purchase goods here.
You'll disembark from your vessel back in Iquitos today.
Join the group transfer to the Iquitos airport for your flight back to Lima.
Direct flight from Iquitos to Lima. The flight duration is approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes.
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