The Motor Yacht Tucano, which welcomes up to 18 guests in nine staterooms, is an expedition vessel specifically designed for deep exploration of the Brazilian Amazon. Thanks to a relatively small size, agile design, and shallow draft, Tucano Amazon river cruises leave the main tourist paths far behind.
Instead, the Tucano sails in uncharted waters and glides down the small tributaries woven through the rainforest. During your cruise, you may not see other boats or people for days at a time.
Excursions From Your Motor Yacht Tucano Brazil Cruise
The Tucano is the only vessel to explore the deepest parts of the Central Amazon Conservation Complex. The UNESCO World Heritage Site measures in at 15 million acres of uninhabited wilderness. This is one of the most diverse ecosystems globally and the best place to spot many monkey species. During a cruise on Tucano, you may be able to see Howler monkeys, spider monkeys, and tamarins. The itineraries offered on the Tucano are some of the most sophisticated and active.
There are four to five excursions from the boat on most days, supported by a fleet of small exploration crafts. Guests may select which activities they wish to participate in and may stay on the ship when they prefer. A naturist guide leads each excursion and will help you identify the animals and plants around you. On any given day, you may find yourself on a sunrise paddle through narrow streams, hiking on wilderness trails, visiting homesteading families, or taking an after-dark walk to see night-blooming flowers and caimans.
Life Aboard During a Tucano Amazon River Cruise
Despite the small group size, the Motor Yacht Tucano is surprisingly spacious. The crew understands that travelers are keen to see wildlife up close, and there are plenty of spots to do just that. A large salon sits at the bow of the ship. This room is lined with oversized windows, which allow you to appreciate the sights and sounds of the river without braving the sun. Outside, a large observation deck, complete with a canopy, tops the ship and invites you to sit and watch the birds that soar over the river.
On the middle deck, a large balcony makes up the front of the ship. This is an excellent spot to see dolphins as you glide down the river. Wherever you opt to spend your time, you will find elegant décor. The Tucano is decorated in the style of a 19th-century steamship and features artwork showcasing nature and geography. In the dining room, you will dine on fresh, wholesome, locally-sourced meals. The ship’s chefs are happy to create dishes for vegetarian and other special diets.
Responsible, Sustainable Tourism
As the most sustainable boat in the Amazon, the Tucano has a range of innovations to reduce exhaust emissions, limit the use of fossil fuels, and minimize carbon footprint. Rather than continuously relying on diesel generators, a mix of solar-electric and solar-thermal systems power many of the ship’s amenities.
Even the excursion vessels are solar-powered. The Tucano also features a unique water-heating system, which uses the sun to heat water during the bulk of the day. The Tucano team also requests that travelers partner together to reduce energy usage and the impact made on the Amazonian ecosystem.
From leaping off the swim deck into some of the cleanest water in the world to scouting through flooded grasslands, both the five- and seven-day Tucano Amazon river cruises offer unique experiences for active travelers.
Itineraries & Prices
AM: This day we embark on the Motor Yacht Tucano in Manaus, Brasil. We depart on the Rio Negro and as the vessel glides upstream we will have our first talk about Amazon environments. By late afternoon we 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.
PM: Weather permitting, we will go for a launch excursion in the gnarled and dense flooded forest along the river’s edge. We may see some Squirrel Monkeys and we may hear the other-worldly growls of Howler Monkeys echoing through the primitive rainforest. The Amazon has one of the greatest collections of birds in the world and we are sure to see some of these brightly colored jewels perched in the treetops.
We return to the M/Y Tucano for hors d’oeuvres on the observation deck and a toast to the rainforest sunset. Following dinner, we will embark on our launches in search of nocturnal creatures such as the Caiman, the Amazon’s crocodilians. We may also see one of the large night birds such as a Great Potoo, with its bulging eyes and large mouth, adapted to swallow the huge Mariposa Moths.
AM: Shortly after sunrise this morning we explore the Anavilhanas Archipelago, a reserve that includes the world’s largest system of river islands and also areas of tall dense rainforest. Here we will see the strange environment called the igapó, the black water flooded forest, where dense forests grow right out of the dark water of the Rio Negro. Mid-morning we return to the vessel for a hearty Brazilian breakfast. After some time to relax, weather permitting, we will disembark in mid-morning and dividing into very small groups we will go for a walk in the type of rainforest known as the terra firma. Here we have a good chance to see the markings, if not the animals themselves, of some of the Amazon’s great mammals like peccaries (wild pigs) or even a jaguar.
PM: Around mid-day, we return to the vessel for lunch and a siesta. In the afternoon we will excursion in our launches along the edges of the dense forest and listen to the sunset chorus of birds, howler monkeys, and frogs. Weather permitting, tonight we will have an excursion to spot caiman (the Amazon’s crocodiles) and other nocturnal creatures. We very often see arboreal porcupines or sloths scrambling high in the limbs.
AM: Today we will voyage to the west side of the Rio Negro and continue to scout in our launches and walk in the forest. We will explore, according to the weather and water depth, areas rarely visited by anyone else.
PM: 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 our nocturnal exploration of the rainforest in our launches we return to the Tucano for “Caipirinha Night” and perhaps try a bit of samba on the top deck.
Rio Negro & Manaus
AM: We begin the day with a dawn excursion hunting for wakening wildlife followed by a full Brazilian breakfast. We will then go one last time into the forest.
PM: In the mid-afternoon, we will begin to journey downstream to arrive late in the day at the “Encontro das Aguas” - a stark several mile long lines 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 our overnight anchorage north of the City of Manaus. As we pass in front of Manaus, we will marvel at the scale of one of the world’s largest and most vibrant port cities over a thousand miles from the sea. Tonight we will have a farewell dinner and prepare for an early departure in the morning.
AM: Early this morning, after a hearty breakfast, all guests disembark from the M/Y Tucano.
AM: Early this morning all guests board the vessel the Motor Yacht Tucano and depart upstream on the Rio Negro. We will cruise through the world’s largest river island system, the Anavilhanas Archipelago. From the observation deck, we scan the magnificent tangle of vegetation at the water’s edge.
PM: 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 we cannot predict what we will see, we likely observe pink river dolphins, primates, and a large collection of exotic birds. Most certainly we will be treated to magnificent forest vistas and the spectacular trees themselves. In the late afternoon, we embark on the launches and hunt for wildlife. We may also go for a swim in some of the world’s most clean and refreshing water.
Kayaking, Swimming and Wildlife Exploration
AM: Early this morning we divide into small groups and explore the rainforest in our launches or kayaks, each group with a naturalist guide. We should hear and perhaps see howler monkeys and we should hear a morning serenade of toucans. After breakfast, we go for a walk in the forest where we will get a good start on understanding Amazon ecology.
PM: 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 again explore the forest in our launches and listen to the sunset chorus of birds, frogs, and howler monkeys.
AM: This morning there will be an early exploration of the waking forest. We will keep our eyes open for sloths... on most trips we see them often. We return for breakfast followed by either a walk in the forest or an excursion in the launches.
PM: M/Y 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.
Wildlife Exploration & Night Excursion
AM: After our morning excursions The M/Y 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.
PM: In the early afternoon, we will be near an extraordinary river called the Rio Jaueperi. We will scout along the shoreline for some of the extraordinary creatures found only in this unique environment. Weather permitting, we will have a night excursion to observe nocturnal creatures.
AM: Today we will voyage to the west side of the Rio Negro and continue to scout in our launches and walk in the forest. Weather and water depth permitting, we will explore areas rarely visited by anyone else.
PM: Tonight the M/Y Tucano goes downstream and will enter an east bank affluent of the Rio Negro and explore deep into the rainforest on this small river. After our nocturnal exploration of the rainforest in our launches we return to the Tucano for “Caipirinha Night” and perhaps try a bit of samba on the top deck.
Meeting of the Waters
AM: We begin the day with a dawn excursion hunting for wakening wildlife followed by a full Brasilian breakfast. We will then go one last time into the forest.
PM: In the mid-afternoon, we will begin to journey downstream. We should arrive late in the day at the “Encontro das Aguas” (Meeting of the Waters) - 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 our overnight anchorage north of the City of Manaus. As we pass in front of Manaus, we will marvel at the scale of one of the world’s largest and most vibrant port cities, over a thousand miles from the sea. Tonight we will have a farewell dinner and prepare for an early departure in the morning.
AM: Early this morning, after a hearty breakfast, all guests disembark from the M/Y Tucano.
Suites & Cabins
These cabins are air-conditioned, making them comfortable for guests to relax. They also feature large windows that let in ample natural light as well as the cool sea breeze. The private bathrooms come with hot water and basic amenities.
The yellow cabins are air-conditioned with a private bathroom equipped with all the basic amenities from body wash, solid soap to shampoo, and conditioner. Each cabin has a small night table and a portrait window.
These blue cabins are ideal for single travelers, featuring private ensuite facilities equipped with basic amenities. The rooms are also air-conditioned to ensure guests stay comfortable, and provide gorgeous ocean views.