The Amazon River Cruise
A luxury cruise on the Amazon offers you the comfort and elegance of a custom-designed ship and the high levels of service possible with a 1.3 guest staff ratio.
On naturalist guided jungle treks and excursions by tender, guests venture deep into the Amazon rainforest among its extraordinary array of mammals and birds. Our Amazon adventures explore within the five million pristine acres of Pacaya Samiria Reserve, a protected wildlife area teeming with lifelong mating pairs of blue-and-yellow macaw, flocks of snowy egrets, laughing falcons and Amazon kingfishers in the air, squirrel monkeys frolicking in the trees and pink dolphins poking their dorsal fins above the river water while colossal Victoria Regia water lilies float along the surface.
Canoeing amidst this natural paradise, only around 30,000 people live along the Amazon River in Pacaya Samiria Reserve. We create meaningful opportunities for our guests to interact with local people in their villages, living largely as they have for centuries. The highlight of each day's journey 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.
The benefits and memories of these interactions resonate for all. When each day’s adventure comes to an end, the comforts of the floating five star boutique hotel await.
An impression of our Amazon River Cruises:
What our guests say
My wife was very reluctant to undertake this trip, consenting only after seeing the photos of the boat and being assured that she could remain on the boat and watch the scenery go by. It turns out she did all but one excursion, and upon our return she described the trip to friends as "fabulous" and "one of the best we've ever taken.Tom M. - March 2015
The Amazon River Cruises depart from the port city of Iquitos, Peru. Iquitos is served by numerous daily flights from Lima, Peru’s capital. The flights take one hour and twenty-five minutes.
We recommend the seven-night Amazon Expedition Cruise where you will enjoy our complete Amazon River journey and experience the Amazon’s three powerful tributaries: the Marañón, the Ucayali, and the Puinahua as well as several hidden black water lakes.
If your time is short you can also board for a 4- night and 3- night cruises which do a part of the 7- night cruise.
High Water Season December - May
Low Water Season June - November
Contact us for furter details on the differences in season and best travel time.
Note: Please note the following itinerary is a sample only during High Water Season; actual routes and activities are subject to prevailing conditions.
7 Night Amazon Expedition
Day 1 Saturday: Iquitos - Amazon River
From the moment you step on board, enjoy the low-key luxury. As you settle into your handsomely appointed, generously proportioned suite, you will feel the vessel begin to move –the beginning of one of your life’s great adventures. We suggest you stand on the Upper Deck to take in the view, as the vessel leaves Iquitos behind.
Over the next seven days, you will also sail along the two largest tributaries of the Peruvian Amazon, the Ucayali and the Marañon, as well as on the mighty Amazon itself. You are embarking on a spectacular journey to a place visited by only a very few of even the most experienced world travelers.
Sit down, relax, sip fine South American wine, toast the beginning of a beautiful journey and enjoy the innovative Amazonian cuisine, created by executive top chefs. The imaginative use of local products – fruit, fish, spices – makes every meal a delightful adventure. (The menu always offers choices, including a vegetarian option.)
Perhaps sip a nightcap on the Upper Deck, under the stars, before retiring.nk dolphins, unique to the Amazon, at play. As you journey continues learn from our experienced, English speaking naturalist guides about the diverse Amazon wildlife and birds of the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve.
Day 2 Sunday: Amazon river - Yarapa River - Pacaya Samiria National Reserve
Wake up early to watch the sunrise for the first time on the Amazon River, a first, dramatic glimpse of your upcoming adventures.
This morning you will board our comfortable skiff to sail from the Amazon River to the Yarapa River. Life jackets, ponchos, rubber boots, and fresh water are always available in our private boats. As you float down the Yarapa, past the occasional fishermen paddling in their canoes, keep your binoculars ready to spot wildlife: terns, tropical songbirds, black collared hawks and sloth share this wonderful world with us. Upon our arrival at Lake Moringo, use your hooks to try to catch some of the ferocious piranhas and other fish species.
Cold towels await you back aboard and as the ship continues down the Amazon River, you have free time to rest or take a nap before lunch.
Afternoon excursion to Nauta Caño, part of the Pacaya Samiria Reserve, also known as the Forest of Mirrors due to its dark lagoons, which reflect the scenery. In this area we will observe toucans, macaws, and iguanas, among many other species. As we head back to the vessel, you will enjoy one of the most incredible sunsets reflected in the black water of the flooded forest. Before dinner, sip a pisco sour on the upper deck at dusk
Day 3 Monday: Maranon River - Yanayacu - Pucate River (Pacaya Samiria National Reserve)
This morning, we visit the Yanayacu - Pucate River in Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. On the black water river you can observe the vibrant flora and fauna while looking for macaws and several species of primates like the capuchins and squirrel monkeys as well as the famous Amazon River dolphins, either pink or gray. Amazonian people hold the belief that these dolphins possess the magical power to turn into men and women of great beauty. We will enjoy a light breakfast on board, consisting of homemade baked goods, hot coffee and fresh juice.
In the afternoon we sail along the Marañon River, watching the different species of flora and fauna as we approach the Casual community where we will hike on land. Here you will see a plethora of wildlife, so keep your binoculars ready to observe tanagers and orioles as well as various reptiles and amphibians. Keep an eye out for the beautiful and eye-catching but poisonous frogs along this fascinating trail, as well as trees and medicinal plants.
Enjoy your dinner while we continue our journey upstream, toward the headwaters of the Amazon River, where the Ucayali and Marañon Rivers merge.
Day 4 Tuesday: Birthplace of the Amazon - Village visit - Nauta City
This morning, the vessel skirts the edge of the vast Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, a flooded forest covering five million acres at the headwaters of the Amazon basin. Get up early to see one of the great spectacles of the Southern Hemisphere: the sun rising over the origin of the Amazon River. Here, the junction of two major tributaries, the Ucayali and the Marañon, form one of the greatest waterfalls in the world – certainly this is nature at its most captivating. Your morning excursion will be accompanied by abundant bird song, as you glide in our small boats past large-billed terns, laughing falcons, exotic short-tailed parrot, and dozens of other vibrantly hued birds.
We will travel by boat to a community located along the Marañon River, where you will meet and interact with local villagers in this remote part of the world and learn about their traditions and folklore.
In the afternoon, we will visit the town of Nauta, founded in 1930. Nauta is the main point where villagers from around Amazonia come to sell the products they harvest in their rural communities. We'll walk around Nauta to gain insights into the life of these coastal peoples. We will also visit the local fresh market, with your guides on hand to point out the different fish caught by the fishermen of Amazonia, and all types of indigenous fruits. Later, you may explore the Lupunillo or Marayali Creek, a tributary of the Marañon River.
At dinner you meet new passengers who have signed on for the four-night trip, and enjoy your gourmet meal as we start our journey along the Marañon River.
Day 5 Wednesday: Ucayali - Yanallpa - Dorado River - Pacaya Samiria National Reserve
This morning, we board the skiffs to explore a fascinating black water stream, part of the vast Amazon flooded forest within the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. Your guides will tell you about the jungle as we explore what scientists call a "gallery forest," because of its dense vegetation that creates a tunnel of leaves. As we explore this type of riparian vegetation, watch above for parrots, macaws, and fluffy monk saki monkeys.
11:30 a.m. Return to the vessel for lunch
3:30 p.m. Lecture in the lounge by our naturalist guides.
4:00 p.m. Dorado River Exploration and Night Excursion
This afternoon we take a magical journey through the "Jungle of the Mirrors," where towering trees are reflected in the dark river. We move on to the Dorado River where you may observe enchanting parrots, macaws and a variety of primates, unperturbed by our presence. As we make our way back to the the vessel, you may see alligators, frogs and fishing bats.
7:30 p.m. Return to the vessel for an aperative and dinner.
Day 6 Thursday: Puinahua River - Pacaya River - Pacaya Samiria National Reserve
This morning we will undertake a full-day excursion along the Pacaya River, observing and exploring the flooded forest of this vast region of the Peruvian Amazon. You will sail among a wide variety of wildlife, birds including large parrots, macaws, herons and storks and many species of primates like the capuchin, howler and squirrel monkeys, who can be very funny. We will have the opportunity to visit some of the most beautiful lakes in the protected reserve and to meet some of the friendly local people who take care of the reserve’s natural resources. We will eat a picnic lunch en route and on our return, we can see the famous Ceiba tree, the highest in the Amazon.
We may also explore the Pacaya and Puhinahua for a Dolphin expedition. Life jackets, ponchos, rubber boots, and fresh water are always available in our boats. As we sail, the occasional fisherman will paddle past in their homemade canoes. Keep your binoculars ready to spot terns, tropical songbirds, black hawks, monkeys and sloths necks that share this enchanted place with us. After our arrival at a particular point, you may use your hooks to try to catch some of the ferocious piranhas of the Amazon. We return to the vessel for lunch.
In the afternoon we will be keeping our eyes out for two different kinds of freshwater dolphins but especially the unusual pink dolphins found in the Amazon River. We’ll also spot arboreal lizards, iguanas and look up to catch a glimpse of some of the area’s 200 bird species.
Day 7 Friday: Ucayali River - Clavero Lake - Amazonas River
We sail on to Lake Clavero where villagers paddle in their traditional dugout canoes. You may wish to swim in the lake’s calm waters and visit the community to interact with our Amazonia neighbors who will be pleased to welcome you.
Before lunch optional cooking lessons are offered followed by a lecture programme after lunch by our naturalist guides.
In the afternoon we sail along the great Amazon River, observing the flora and fauna, then stop at a riverside community that actively conserves the forest’s natural resources and their own ancestral customs.
As soon as we are back on board again, the ship will continue its journey down stream, sailing toward Iquitos through the night.
Before dinner we meet in the lounge with our naturalist guides for the Crew Presentation followed by dinner
Day 8 Saturday: Check out - Disembark at the main wharf - City Tour and Transfer to the airport
Depending on the weather, we will tour the flood zone that borders the city of Iquitos and observe the houses and shops that actually float on the Itaya River for several months of the year. Then we will visit the traditional market of Bellavista Nanay, bordering the Nanay River, to see products from the Peruvian Amazon including exotic snacks like the Amazon Caterpillar. Called "Suri," these caterpillars live in the palm trees and are considered a very appetizing snack for Amazonia people, even in the city.
11:00 a.m. Return to the vessel where it's sadly, time to finish packing. Please leave your packed suitcases in your suite for pickup before going to lunch.
This afternoon, we will take you on a tour of Iquitos, glorious city in the days of the rubber boom. Visit the Manatee Rescue Center, a kind of animal orphanage for Amazonian manatees to rescue, rehabilitate and release them back into the wild. Later, we stop at the Amazonian Indian Market San Juan, where, you may wish to shop for local crafts before leaving.
Guides will help with check in at the airport and stay with you until you have boarded your flight back to Lima.
3 Night Amazon Discovery Cruise
A 3-night introduction to the Amazon with piranah fishing at Charo Lake, an exploration of the Yacapana Islands, dolphin sightings,wildlife night safari, guided tour of Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, visits to local villages and the Manatee Rescue Center.
Day 1PM: Iquitos - Amazon River, Arrival in Iquitos, transfer to Dock and Check in
Day 2AM: Amazon River, River exploration and Fishing
PM: Amazon River Headwaters, Explore the Source of the Amazon River
Day 3AM:Maranon River / Pacaya Samiria Reserve, Full day Excursion and Picnic lunch
PM: Pacaya Samiria Reserve, Monkey and Dolphin Expedition
Day 4AM: Maranon River / Amazon River, Village visit
PM: 3-nighters departure, 4- nighters arrive
4 Night Expedition (also second part of 7 Night Expedition)
Our 4-night Amazon Explorer Cruise also starts in Iquitos, but we will take you by land transportation to Nauta where you will board the vessel and then you will explore the Ucayali River and the Amazon River and tributaries.
Day 1 (or Day 4)PM: Amazon River / Ucayali River, Excursion to view Victoria Regias
Day 2 (or Day 5)AM: Pacaya Samiria Reserve / Yanallpa River, Ucayali River Exploration
PM: Pacaya Samiria Reserve, Night trip to see Caimans
Day 3 (or Day 6)AM: Puinahua River / Pacaya River, Jungle walk and Village visit
PM: Pacaya Damiria Reserve / Pacaya River, Pacaya River Exploration plus night trip
Day 4 (or Day 7)AM: Ucayali River, Pacaya Exploration and breakfast on skiffs
PM: Ucayali River / Amazon River, Fishing trip
Day 5 (or Day 8)AM: Amazon River / Iquitos, Iquitos City Tour
3 and 7 nighters departure
Amazon Cruises 2016 departures:
Aria Amazon (Peru)- every Friday (7 nights)
Delfin I (Peru) - 3 night program runs from Mondays to Thursdays. 4 night program runs from Thursdays to Mondays.
Delfin II (Peru) - 3 night program runs from Sundays to Wednesdays. 4 night program runs from Wednesdays to Sundays.
Manatee Amazon Explorer (Ecuador) - Every other Monday and Friday (3, 4 or 7 Nights)