All About the Ponant Smithsonian Journeys Cruises (as of August 2022)

By AussieBoyTX , August 8, 2022 in Ponant

Recommended Posts

Cool Cruiser

AussieBoyTX

Now that we’ve completed our first Ponant Smithsonian Journeys cruise, we can share our thoughts on the Smithsonian Journeys experience:

The tl;dr is that the experience is very good and probably worth the premium price if you are excited about the speakers, like to be around Americans, or want some hand-holding for your first Ponant cruise. Otherwise, Ponant usually offers a similar cruise without the Smithsonian experience for a lower price.

The Ponant Smithsonian Journeys cruises are a partnership (not a charter like e.g. Tauck, A&K, Backroads, et al ) that offers cruises targeted towards an English-speaking audience and differentiating itself through experiences that provide a deeper understanding of the places explored . As of now, those differentiated experiences are mostly through the Smithsonian Journeys speakers. The excursions offered on this Smithsonian cruise appear to be the same as those offered on regular Ponant cruises on a similar itinerary.

Our Reaction to the Differences in the Smithsonian Journeys Experience:

  • Transfers to / from ship — because of the missed / cancelled flight risk, we never arrive on the day of the cruise and will not use this benefit.  
  • All Excursions Included — I suppose they are worth $100-150 each ($600-$900 per week). We took an excursion each day more-or-less because we felt they were paid for. Generally, we would take one or two of the excursions offered by the ship and would organize something on our own for the other days. This remains our preference and on the Smithsonian Journeys cruise we did, we would have purchased only one, maybe two of the six days. As on a regular Ponant cruise, the excursions would benefit from a more detailed presentation with some intelligence on why or why not one would want to select any specific excursion.  
  • The Smithsonian Journeys speakers — the speakers are renowned, have experience in the area visited and are very interesting. You also have the possibility of joining each of them at a small table over dinner, or at pre-dinner cocktails. If you’re a particular fan of one of the speakers, this is an opportunity to get tremendous access. To be honest, we were very pleased with the expedition leader and naturalists on the one Expedition cruise we’ve done and don’t need better / more speakers on Expedition cruises. On regular Ponant cruises, where the speakers are great in French, but “also speak English,” we’d enjoy an upgrade but don’t require the full Smithsonian experience.  
  • The Tour Director — our Tour Director described herself as a “fixer” and offered to serve as liaison between passengers and crew in the event of any need. She did quite a bit more than that, was very visible, very helpful and appeared to have resolved some passenger issues. She was a native English speaker and likely was more approachable for someone uncomfortable dealing directly with the French crew. We’ve never had an issue that the Cruise Director or Hotel Manager couldn’t resolve for us, but we certainly agree that the Tour Director added value.  
  • The Ponant Experience — at least as far as dining, shipboard activities and entertainment go, the Smithsonian experience was very similar to the regular Ponant experience (we were concerned these would be modified and were very pleased they were not). All announcements and presentations are in English and almost all passengers are Americans, changing the shipboard community part of the experience substantially. Aside from the Americans on our cruise, there were two or three German couples, a Spanish family with a cute 14 month-old and inexplicably a French couple.

As far as pricing goes, from a brief survey, as of August 2022, the Smithsonian cruises appear to have a slight price premium over regular cruises:

Here are two on Le Lyrial with 12 days & 10 nights including transfers from Buenos Aires:

  • Regular cruise w/ 15% Ponant Discount starts at $11,910 (un-discounted is $13,610)
  • Smithsonian cruise w/ 10% Ponant Discount starts at $13,270

And here’s another Caribbean cruise on Le Dumont-d’Urville with 8 nights in Feb/Mar 2023 (both cruises are also offering No Single Supplement):

  • Regular cruise w/ 25% Ponant Discount  starts at $3,840
  • Smithsonian cruise w/ 20% Ponant Discount starts at $5,160 (excursions are offered on six days and are included)

In summary, this is a low-risk way for English-speakers to experience Ponant, in the company of other (mostly) Americans, and with the Tour Director to ensure things go smoothly. As for us, it’s not that we won’t go on another Smithsonian Journeys cruise — and it’s not about the money — but we aren’t ones that get really excited about the celebrity speakers and included excursions. And, you know, we miss the French guests.

Like

Link to comment

Share on other sites, schnapperin.

Feels like it’s an American market offering compared to the NatGeo cruises only marketed outside of the US

have you looked into booking one of those via an European or Australian agent? 

  • 2 weeks later...

highplanesdrifters

highplanesdrifters

Thanks so much. Very helpful!

  • 5 months later...

Jim_Iain

Thanks for directing me to your Smithsonian  review.   Very informative as usual. 

Since we intentionally chose not to take the Smithsonian to get a more authentic introduction to Ponant I think we made the right decision.   We often prefer doing things on our own.

One thing I'm not yet clear on is how you arrange things on your own with the limited information Ponant has supplied so far.   Most of the time they only say we will arrive in the Morning or afternoon without any times.    Do you plan a side trip on your own in advance or do you wait until you are in port?

On the Great Lake cruise some of the ports are so small we will probably do the ships tours -  at this time they only say will be over $250 pp. 

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in

  • Welcome to Cruise Critic
  • ANNOUNCEMENT: Set Sail on Sun Princess®
  • Hurricane Zone 2024
  • Cruise Insurance Q&A w/ Steve Dasseos of Tripinsurancestore.com June 2024
  • New Cruisers
  • Cruise Lines “A – O”
  • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
  • River Cruising
  • Cruise Critic News & Features
  • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
  • Special Interest Cruising
  • Cruise Discussion Topics
  • UK Cruising
  • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
  • Canadian Cruisers
  • North American Homeports
  • Ports of Call
  • Cruise Conversations

Announcements

  • New to Cruise Critic? Join our Community!

Write Your Own Amazing Review !

WAR_icy_SUPERstar777.jpg

Click this gorgeous photo by member SUPERstar777 to share your review!

Features & News

LauraS

LauraS · Started 8 hours ago

LauraS · Started Friday at 08:13 PM

LauraS · Started Thursday at 09:33 PM

LauraS · Started Thursday at 04:47 PM

LauraS · Started Thursday at 02:09 PM

20240604_050826.jpg

  • Existing user? Sign in OR Create an Account
  • Find Your Roll Call
  • Meet & Mingle
  • Community Help Center
  • All Activity
  • Member Photo Albums
  • Meet & Mingle Photos
  • Favorite Cruise Memories
  • Cruise Food Photos
  • Cruise Ship Photos
  • Ports of Call Photos
  • Towel Animal Photos
  • Amazing, Funny & Totally Awesome Cruise Photos
  • Write a Review
  • Live Cruise Reports
  • Member Cruise Reviews
  • Create New...

Rainforest Cruises

  • Amazon River
  • Galápagos Islands
  • Indonesian Archipelago
  • Mekong River
  • Irrawaddy River
  • India Cruises
  • Pacific Coast
  • Patagonia Cruises
  • Machu Picchu
  • Iguazu Falls
  • Expedition Cruises

Amazon River Cruises

smithsonian amazon river cruise

Why Cruise the Amazon?

Amazon River cruises take adventurous explorers on one of the world’s most rewarding wildlife expeditions. Journey deep into the heart of the largest rainforest on Earth on a boat trip down the Amazon, a mystical realm of boundless biodiversity where physical and spiritual worlds entwine, a primeval domain still ruled by the jaguar , home to giant snakes , towering trees and uncontacted tribes hiding in plain sight.

The best Amazon cruises explore the remote reaches of this fairytale forest. Witness the playful pink river dolphins in the headwaters of the Amazon in Peru ‘s Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve aboard some of the most luxurious Amazon cruises available, or see the kaleidoscopic colors of the clay licks in the Ecuadorian Oriente . Why not try boating the Amazon River’s lesser-traveled backwaters in Bolivia and explore three kinds of tropical forest, or maybe catch a rare glimpse of the Amazonian manatee in the Anavilhanas National Park of the Brazilian Amazon . What will you discover on your Amazon River tour?

Amazon Cruises

Our hand-picked portfolio of traditional Amazon River boats and small Amazon river cruise ships has been carefully chosen to include remarkable vessels operated by only the most trusted of partners, preeminent pioneers of the region who offer exceptional itineraries, unrivaled knowledge and utmost levels of service.

Zafiro cruising the Amazon

Aria Amazon

smithsonian amazon river cruise

Manatee Amazon Explorer

Ship moored

Acqua Amazon

Amazon destinations.

smithsonian amazon river cruise

Peru Amazon Cruises

Canoe in the Amazon during sunset

Ecuador Amazon Cruises

smithsonian amazon river cruise

Brazil Amazon Cruises

smithsonian amazon river cruise

Bolivia Amazon Cruises

Amazon experiences.

smithsonian amazon river cruise

Luxury Cruises

smithsonian amazon river cruise

Family Cruises

Adventure cruises.

smithsonian amazon river cruise

Honeymoon Cruises

smithsonian amazon river cruise

Charter Cruises

Solo traveler on a boat on the Amazon

Solo Cruises

Private charters.

For those seeking the ultimate exclusivity traveling as a group or with family, an Amazon riverboat charter provides a private escape to explore the Amazon Rainforest, with an entire crew to cater to your every need, and allows for activities to be more tailored to your party’s desires.

Cruise Packages

Our custom Amazon Rainforest tours seamlessly combine Amazon cruises with bespoke land tours featuring private expert-led excursions and curated accommodations. Browse our best-selling Amazon vacations below and begin an unforgettable journey tailored uniquely to you.

Girl Enjoying Canopy Walkway Brazil Pantanal

Rio, Iguazu Falls & Machu Picchu

16-day tour from $7,425 usd.

Iguazu Falls South America

Buenos Aires, Iguazu, Rio & Manaus

13-day tour from $4,450 usd.

Old woman walking shore lake titicaca

Best of Peru

14-day tour from $4,850 usd.

smithsonian amazon river cruise

Galapagos & Amazon

14-day tour from $8,675 usd.

smithsonian amazon river cruise

Rio, Iguazu Falls & Amazon

14-day tour from $4,625 usd.

smithsonian amazon river cruise

Amazon Rainforest & Machu Picchu

10-day tour from $5,925 usd.

Indigenous Walking Down Path

Rio & Amazon Tour

10-day tour from $4,200 usd.

Light shining through door hacienda

Quito To Amazon

8-day tour from $6,250 usd.

toucan perched on branch

Peru Amazon Adventure

7-day tour from $5,350 usd.

smithsonian amazon river cruise

Brazil Amazon Adventure

6-day tour from $1,925 usd, travel guide.

Want to know more about cruising the Amazon River? Our destination specialists have compiled the definitive Amazon Rainforest travel guide to help you plan your cruise. Find out when and where to go, what to see and do, where to eat and sleep, and more below.

Landscape,Aerial,View,Of,Colorful,Amazon,Rivers,,Forest,With,Trees,

15 Astonishing Facts About The Amazon River

Aerial View Of A Meandering Amazon Tributary River, Amazonian Rainforest

Where Is The Amazon River & Where Does Is Start And End?

Manaus,,Br,-,Circa,August,2011,-,Cruise,Boat

Amazon River Cruise or Lodge Stay?

Amazon,Rainforest,In,Brazil

Exploration Of The Amazon Rainforest: A Brief History

The,Meeting,Of,Black-,And,Whitewater,Amazonian,Water

Amazonian River Types: Blackwater, Whitewater & Clearwater

Aerial,View,Of,Mist,,Cloud,And,Fog,Hanging,Over

Amazon Rainforest Weather: Seasons & Best Time To Visit

What our customers are saying.

Happy Couple On Skiff In The Amazon

What Is One Thing I Shouldn’t Miss In The Amazon?

Of all the amazing sights in the Amazon, the Meeting of Waters in Brazil shouldn’t be missed. At the confluence between the black waters of the Rio Negro and the sandy whitewater of the Solimões River the two rivers’ waters run side by side without much mixing for over 6 kilometers (3.7 miles).

When Is The Best Time Of Year To Go To The Amazon?

The best time of year to visit the Amazon is during the shoulder season between the wet and dry seasons (varies by country). At this time of year river levels remain high, allowing Amazon river cruises to still navigate deep into the rainforest, and the fine weather draws out much of the wildlife.

If seeing the Amazon rainforest at its lushest and getting up close to lots of birds and mammals (and enjoying slightly cooler temperatures) sounds most attractive, then the wet season with its higher river levels might be your best choice.

If jungle hikes, fishing for piranha and other Amazon River fish species , or spotting exotic migratory birds appeals most to you, while still having the chance to see capuchin monkeys , kinkajou, and other mammals, you might be happier choosing the warmer, dry season when water levels are lower.

Our guests are awed by the Amazon at whatever time of year they visit. If you can’t decide, perhaps the best solution is to choose one season this year and the other in the future!

Is The Amazon A Good Family Destination?

An Amazon vacation is a great option for adventurous families with adaptable kids – after all, where better to inspire and educate them about the natural world! Bear in mind younger children may be affected by the humidity levels, and noisy little ones may reduce the chances of spotting wildlife.

Many of our Amazon guides have children themselves and are skilled in keeping young ones entertained, and are naturally experts in spotting any potential natural dangers you may encounter. It should be noted many Amazon river cruises have minimum age requirements of 7 and above, but jungle lodges and private charters are often more flexible.

Can You Swim In The Amazon River?

Swimming in the main channels of the Amazon river is generally not advised due to strong currents and boat traffic. Swimming in smaller tributaries and lakes is safer (especially the Amazon’s blackwater rivers ), but always follow the safety advice of your guide.

What Activities Can People Do In The Amazon Rainforest?

Most people head to the Amazon to spot wildlife, and this can be done on daytime jungle walks, from canopy walkways and lookout towers, or on nighttime boat safaris. Other common Amazon Rainforest activities include piranha fishing and local community visits.

As previously mentioned, more adventurous travelers may swim in the Amazon (sometimes with pink river dolphins!) or go kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, or even tree climbing. In certain parts of the Amazon, float plane flights can also be arranged to get a real bird’s-eye view of the rainforest.

How Much Does An Amazon Cruise Cost?

The cost of an Amazon cruise typically depends on itinerary length, boat comfort level and cabin category, although seasonal and single supplements may also apply. Short cruises of 4 days cost between $900 – $4,400 pp, and longer cruises of 7+ days from $1,800 – $9,600 pp based on double occupancy.

Some other Amazon river cruise cost factors to consider:

  • If you wish to privately charter an Amazon river boat , costs can be significantly more, but can actually work out cheaper per person if your group fills the boat.
  • There are also additional costs involved in accessing the remote parts of the Amazon when cruises depart from, namely the domestic flights to Iquitos (Peru), Coca (Ecuador), Trinidad (Bolivia), Manaus or Santarém (Brazil).
  • Port fees and entrances to the national parks are typically included in your cruise cost.
  • For those considering a luxury Amazon cruise, Rainforest Cruises are proud to offer a best-rate guarantee thanks to our unique relationships with operators.
  • To get your cruise cheaper, keep apprised of the latest Amazon river cruise deals .
  • I'd like to be contacted via WhatsApp.
  • I'd prefer not to be contacted by phone or SMS.

smithsonian amazon river cruise

DEAL FLASH: Get Free Flights On The Nov 27 Thanksgiving Amazon Cruise Aboard Zafiro

smithsonian amazon river cruise

  • Call a River Cruise Artist today to customize your dream vacation! 1.800.259.7612

Smithsonian Journeys

Book Smithsonian Journeys river cruise adventures with River Cruise Your Way

Smithsonian Journeys brings the world’s cultures and natural sciences alive in experiential travel to their guests. The company was inspired by the Smithsonian mission, the “increase and diffusion of knowledge” and Smithsonian Journeys brings forth that idea through travel. If you are a curious traveler Smithsonian Journeys caters to you with memorable, immersive and transformative global itineraries. Plus, your participation benefits the work of the Smithsonian, helping to make the world a better place by celebrating and preserving the beauty, history and cultures of the world.

Smithsonian journeys offers more than 350 annual departures on all seven continents of the world. with more than 50 years of exceptional service, special access, and personalized touch, smithsonian journeys experts and travel directors find the ideal ships and most distinctive hotels for their trips that fully reflect the culture of the destination. there is a unique educational emphasis on a smithsonian journey experience to engage the traveler in learning, enrichment and expert perspectives of the destination and culture you are exploring., with smithsonian journeys you can cruise the rivers of the world including the yangtze river of china, the amazon river of peru, the waterways of holland and belgium, the rhone & saone rivers of provence, france, the elbe river through eastern germany and the czech republic, the mississippi, columbia, snake and hudson rivers and great lakes of north america, the rhine, main and danube through the heart of europe, and the wine region of the douro river valley in portugal. with so many choices in river cruising by smithsonian journeys, it is the perfect opportunity to combine the knowledge seeker in yourself with the pleasure and comfort of a river cruise., your smithsonian journeys river cruise awaits, are you ready to start planning your smithsonian journeys river cruise vacation your way a river cruise artist at river cruise your way is ready to be your vacation concierge. contact us today at 1-800-259-7612 or use the form below and let us know when it is most convenient to call you, we will confirm via e-mail, and then reach out at the agreed upon time and date..

The Aqua Nera cruise ship seen from an aerial shot among a winding Amazon River with bright green trees and bushes along the riverbank

Aqua Nera Amazon River Cruise

smithsonian amazon river cruise

  • 8-Day High Water
  • 8-Day Low Water
  • 5-Day High Water
  • 4-Day High Water
  • Rates & Dates

Accommodations

  • Testimonials
  • Extend your trip
  • Travel Guides

Setting a new standard of luxury river cruising in the Amazon, each Aqua Nera small ship cruise is inspired by the Peruvian Amazon’s mystical blackwater lagoons and convey a sense of Amazon tranquility, refined elegance and a touch of drama. Aboard Aqua Nera, explore winding jungle tributaries; stop at remote villages to meet locals; stargaze from the peaceful deck; and search for wildlife life caimans, tree frogs, pink river dolphins, hundreds of bird species and breathtaking flora.

Cruise along three powerful Amazon tributaries: the Marañón, Ucayali and Pacaya Rivers as well as several hidden black water lakes in both high-water and low-water seasons. Stretch your legs with exciting jungle walks, test your skills fishing for piranhas, and take skiff rides into the depths of the mysterious Amazon jungle.

Two main seasons influence the Peruvian Amazon River: a high-water season (November through May) and a low-water season (June through October). Traveling to Peru in either season offers rich rewards, fabulous sites and amazing opportunities to view plant and animal life, but note that only high-water routes cruise along the Amazon River. The Aqua Nera sails year-round and every voyage is uniquely appealing, based on the changing seasons. During the high-water season the river and estuaries grow, allowing launch boats to venture deeper into the flooded forest. During the low-water season the river recedes and beautiful sandy river beaches form. 

Cruise aboard the modern Aqua Nera , a classy Amazon riverboat. Enjoy her crew’s attentive care and her comfortable spaces. This vessel is an AdventureSmith favorite for private  charter cruises  due to her mix of jungle decor and modern feel, plus her intimate size.

The Aqua Nera Amazon River cruise operates an 8-day, 5-day and 4-day cruise, departing Saturdays and Tuesdays, to provide the Amazon experience that is best for you. Note that itineraries are subject to changes to accommodate the variable water levels for the different seasons.

Read on for details about this trip, or view all of AdventureSmith’s  Amazon cruises and Amazon trips .

8-Day High-Water Itinerary

The 8-day High-Water Aqua Nera itinerary operates Saturday to Saturday, round-trip from Iquitos, Peru, during the general high-water season of November through May. Cruise deep into the Amazon River to the Samiria River and along the Ucayali River as far as the El Dorado River.

Route map for 8-day High Water Aqua Nera Peru Amazon River Cruise Itinerary

Arrive on a Noon flight (separate arrangements can be made for morning arrivals), receive a warm welcome at Iquitos International Airport by your crew and enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before boarding Aqua Nera.

Settle into your generously sized suite as you begin one of life’s greatest adventures. Following an introduction to your naturalist guides and a routine safety drill, gather at the restaurant for the first of many Amazonian cuisine experiences created by Aqua Nera’s renowned consulting chef, Pedro Miguel Schiaffino.

Board comfortable skiffs and set sail from the Amazon River to the Yanayacu Yacapana River. Ready your binoculars to spot tropical songbirds, black collared hawks and sloths. Line-fish for Amazon’s notoriously ferocious piranhas while your naturalist guides share knowledge of the Amazonia. In the afternoon, sail to Yarapa River, a black water tributary of the Ucayali River. Here, embark on a stargazing session and an excursion in search of nocturnal wildlife.

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Get an early start to the day to explore Clavero Lake aboard comfortable skiffs. Here, villagers rely on traditional dugout canoes to get around. You’ll have the opportunity to swim in the lake’s calm waters or visit native residents of Amazonia who will welcome you to their community with open arms. In the afternoon, explore the majestic Marañon River in search of different kinds of wildlife.

In the morning, take a guided visit to the local market and marvel at the regional produce of the Peruvian Amazon, sampling exotic snacks if you wish. For those interested, there’ll also be an opportunity to visit an experienced beekeeper in the community of San Francisco. In the afternoon, witness one of the great spectacles of the Southern Hemisphere: the birthplace of the Amazon River. At nightfall, meet the new passengers boarding Aqua Nera for the next 4 nights.

Rise with the sun for an early morning birdwatching session along the Marañon River and enjoy breakfast in the middle of the jungle. Next, visit an Amazonian village where you’ll be able to interact with native riberenos and witness an Aguaje palm harvesting demonstration. Later, go swimming, kayaking, or canoeing in the Yanayacu-Pucate River and keep an eye out for the legendary pink river dolphins. Finally, board the skiffs again to cruise along Yanaquillo River for a dusk excursion in search of nocturnal animals.

The rewards for an early start today are plentiful: a full day excursion including a picnic lunch orchestrated to the tune of the jungle symphony, fishing along the black waters of the Samiria River, and an option to go canoeing, kayaking, swimming, or on a jungle walk inside the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. On the way back to the Marañon River after lunch, venture out by skiff, keeping an eye out for pink river dolphins.

As the day begins, embark on a morning wildlife excursion on the extraordinary blackwater of the Nauta Caño River. If you wish, embark on a bike ride from Puerto Prado Village to Santa Cruz Village along the riverbank. In the afternoon, take a jungle walk while looking for flora and fauna that may include medicinal trees, insects and poison dart frogs. Learn more about the different rainforest strata and ecosystems. Before dinner, meet the incredible crew who’ve been working behind the scenes to ensure your exceptional experience aboard Aqua Nera.

In the morning, take a guided visit to the local market and marvel at the regional produce of the Peruvian Amazon, sampling exotic snacks if you wish. Return to the Aqua Nera for breakfast before disembarkation. En route to the airport, visit the Manatee Rescue Center, where orphaned Amazonian manatees rehabilitate before they are released back into the wild.

Overnight accommodations aboard the Aqua Nera; all meals while cruising; all excursions; beverages, including non-alcoholic, selected wines and national beer; group transfers to/from vessel when arriving and departing on recommended flights; Pacaya Samiria National Reserve entrance fee; laundry; complimentary access to high-speed Starlink WiFi.

Airfare; guide and crew gratuities; boutique purchases; private transfers to/from vessel; spa services; visas; insurance of any kind; and items of a personal nature.

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of $1,000 is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms may apply. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure: Up to 121 days – full refund except for $500 service charge 120 to 91 days – 100% of deposit 90 to 0 days – 100% of total trip cost

Terms & Conditions

This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations  Terms and Conditions . Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.

Arrival & Departure

The Aqua Nera Amazon River Cruise begins and ends in Iquitos, Peru (IQT), with the vessel embarking in either Nauta or Iquitos depending on the trip length and low/high water season. Group transfers to/from the vessel are provided when arriving and departing on recommended flights. Plan to arrive on recommended midday flights into Iquitos on Day 1 in order to participate in a city tour and lunch prior to transferring to the ship for a 5:30pm embarkation. We highly recommend arriving one day prior to your trip start date in case of any flight delay, cancellation or lost luggage issues. Disembarkation is at 9:00am on the final day; recommended afternoon flights out of Iquitos will be provided upon booking. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our  Booking Flights  resource page.

Whether it’s in a skiff, kayak or on foot, the Aqua Nera offers active ways to explore life along the amazing Amazon River. Adventure activities may include skiff rides, kayaking, hikes/walks, wildlife viewing from the ship, swimming, fishing and visiting local communities. The ship’s crew can tailor most excursions to suit your skill level.

Skiff Rides

Two or three daily excursions in customized aluminum motorized launch boats, or skiffs, which carry up to ten passengers each, showcase the unique wildlife, birds and plantlife of Amazonia. Search for armored catfish, red bellied piranhas and the beady-eyed heads of spectacled caimans in the enigmatic black waters. Above water, see yellow spotted Amazon River turtles, sapphire blue beaked Amazon kingfishers streak past and antediluvian prehistoric hoatzin birds alight on high branches near dusky Titi monkeys playing in the tree canopy.

Kayaking, Swimming & Fishing

Kayak the calm waters of the Amazon River while keeping an eye out for Amazon wildlife. Highly-trained guides lead skiffs to one of the most beautiful natural swimming pools on the earth, cosseted by lush tropical rain forest. In the black waters of the Pacaya River, try fishing for vibrant red-bellied piranhas, a fun activity for new and passionate anglers.

Room Configuration

Single travelers wishing to book a double-occupancy cabin may do so at a 25% supplement of the per-person listed rate in select cabins upon availability. Third person sleeping on sofa bed will receive a 20% discount; contact AdventureSmith for details.

Families & Children

Kids 5 years and older are welcomed aboard all departure dates. Children under 12 years old will receive a 20% discount. Children under 12 years old sleeping on sofa bed as the third guest sharing with two full-fare adults pays $500 per night (2024), $550 per night (2025), $570 per night (2026).

Travel Insurance

Protect your travel investment with insurance. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. Coverage for a pre-existing medical condition is also available if you purchase the Travel Select plan within 15 days of the initial trip payment; refer to plan details.  Learn more about travel insurance  or  get a free quote .

Itinerary Notes

Use the itinerary as a guide only. Itineraries may be altered due to weather, season, wildlife, national park regulation or at the captain’s discretion. Itineraries in the Amazon vary based on the high-water season of November through May and low-water season of June through October. The itinerary may occasionally be altered slightly for safety or to take advantage of weather, wildlife and unplanned discoveries. The ability to be flexible makes this style of small ship cruising unique.

8-Day Low-Water Itinerary

The 8-day Low-Water Aqua Nera itinerary operates Saturday to Saturday, sailing round-trip from Nauta, Peru, during the general low water season of June through October. Explore the Peruvian Amazon by cruising parts of the Tahuayo River, the Samiria River and the Ucayali River.

Route map for 8-day Low Water Aqua Nera Peru Amazon River Cruise Itinerary

Arrive on a Noon flight (separate arrangements can be made for morning arrivals), receive a warm welcome at Iquitos International Airport. Enjoy a panoramic city tour of downtown Iquitos, followed by a welcome lunch and a transfer to Nauta port for embarkation.

Head out at sunrise for a birdwatching session along the Amazonas River. After breakfast, embark on a skiff excursion from the Amazon River to one of its tributaries, Tahuayo. Learn about the region from your expert naturalist guides and go fishing for Amazonia’s notorious piranhas. As the sun sets, head out for an evening excursion in search of wildlife, capped off by a stargazing session.

Discover the magnificent blackwaters of Clavero Lake and pay a visit to the communities which live on its banks. Go kayaking, canoeing, or swimming before returning on board for a sumptuous lunch. In the afternoon, head out for a short jungle walk in San Josede Paranapura forest, where you’ll be able to see the famous giant water lilies.

Rise with the sun for an early morning birdwatching session along the Marañon River. After breakfast, head out for a morning wildlife excursion with the possibility to see sloths, great egrets, parrots and Taricaya turtles. Later, explore the Yanayacu Pucate River and go fishing for Amazonia’s notorious piranhas. End the day with a dusk excursion in search of nocturnal wildlife.

The rewards for your early start today are plentiful: a full day excursion including a picnic lunch orchestrated to the tune of the jungle symphony; fishing along the black waters of the Samiria River; and an option to go canoeing, kayaking, swimming, or on a jungle walk inside the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. On the way back to the Marañon River after lunch, venture out by skiff, keeping an eye out for pink river dolphins.

As the day begins, embark on a morning wildlife excursion on the Pahuachiro River. After breakfast, visit Puerto Prado Village where there’ll be an opportunity to ride a bike all the way to Santa Cruz Village along the riverbank. You could also visit an experienced beekeeper in the community of San Francisco. In the afternoon, head out for a boat ride to the majestic Amazon River. Before dinner, meet the incredible crew who’ve been working behind the scenes to ensure your exceptional experience aboard Aqua Nera.

In the morning, take a guided visit to the local market. Marvel at the regional produce of the Peruvian Amazon and sample exotic snacks if you wish. Return to Aqua Nera for breakfast and to pack up. Before saying goodbye, visit the Manatee Rescue Center, a sanctuary for orphaned Amazonian manatees to rehabilitate before their release back into the wild.

Two or three daily excursions in customized aluminum motorized launch boats, or skiffs, which carry up to ten passengers each, showcase the unique wildlife, birds and plantlife of Amazonia. Search for fascinating wildlife living in the water, below the surface, as well as high above in the forest canopy.

Kayak the calm waters of the Amazon River while keeping an eye out for Amazon wildlife. Highly trained guides lead skiffs to one of the most beautiful natural swimming pools on the earth, cosseted by lush tropical rain forest.

5-Day High-Water Itinerary

The 5-day High-Water Aqua Nera itinerary operates Tuesday to Saturday, sailing from Nauta to Iquitos, Peru, during the general high-water season of November through May. Cruise along the Maranon River to the Samiria River. The 5-day High Water Itinerary follows days 4-8 of the 8-day High Water Itinerary.

Route map for 5-day High Water Aqua Nera Peru Amazon River Cruise Itinerary

Arrive on a Noon flight (separate arrangements can be made for morning arrivals) and receive a warm welcome at Iquitos International Airport. Enjoy a panoramic city tour of downtown Iquitos, followed by a welcome lunch and a transfer to Nauta port for embarkation.

As the day begins, embark on a morning wildlife excursion on the extraordinary blackwater Nauta Caño River. If you wish, embark on a bike ride from Puerto Prado Village to Santa Cruz Village along the riverbank. In the afternoon, take a jungle walk while looking for flora and fauna that may include medicinal trees, insects and poison dart frogs. Learn more about the different rainforest strata and ecosystems. Before dinner, meet the incredible crew who’ve been working behind the scenes to ensure your exceptional experience aboard Aqua Nera.

4-Day High-Water Itinerary

The 4-day High-Water Aqua Nera itinerary operates Saturday to Tuesday, beginning in Iquitos, Peru, and ending in Nauta, Peru, during the general high-water season of November through May. Cruise along the Ucayali River to the El Dorado River. The 4-day High Water Itinerary follows days 1-4 of the 8-day High Water Itinerary.

Route map for 4-day High Water Aqua Nera Peru Amazon River Cruise Itinerary

Get an early start to the day to explore Clavero Lake aboard comfortable skiffs. Here, villagers rely on traditional dugout canoes to get around. You’ll have the opportunity to swim in the lake’s calm waters or visit native residents of Amazonia who will welcome you to their community with open arms. In the afternoon, explore the majestic Marañon River in search of different kinds of wildlife. In the evening, meet some of the crew members who have been working behind the scenes to ensure your exceptional experience aboard Aqua Nera.

In the morning, take a guided visit to the local market and marvel at the regional produce of the Peruvian Amazon, sampling exotic snacks if you wish. For those interested, there’ll also be the opportunity to visit an experienced beekeeper in the community of San Francisco. Return to the Aqua Nera for breakfast before disembarkation. En route to the airport, visit the Manatee Rescue Center, where orphaned Amazonian manatees rehabilitate before they are released back into the wild.

Cruise Rates & Dates

High-water season is November to May and allows for more extensive exploration and access via water. Low-water season is June through October and may allow for more trail walks. Itineraries span varying days of the week, depending on trip length: 4-Day Saturday-Tuesday, 5-Day Tuesday-Saturday, 8-Day Saturday-Saturday.

2024-26 Season Dates: 2024 Chef-Hosted Departures: September 17-21, 2024 – Pedro Miguel Schiaffino 2025 High Season: Starting Dec 20, 2025 – click into rates for more details 2026 High Season:  Starting Dec 19, 2026 – click into rates for more details

This ship is an AdventureSmith favorite for private charter. Contact us for charter pricing and details.

Learn About the Small Ship on Your Itinerary

The Aqua Nera 40-guest Amazon luxury riverboat is setting a new standard of luxury for river cruising in the Peruvian Amazon.

Current Deals on This Trip

Book your Amazon cruise aboard Aria or Aqua Nera now to save up to 20% per person.

Solo travelers! Book your select 2024 or 2025 Aqua Nera Amazon River Cruise and the single supplement fee will be waived.

Hear It from Travelers Who Have Explored with Us

After traveling where I was changing hotels every day or so, I wanted a relaxing close to my trip. Aqua Nera was perfect.

The Amazon has always been a bucket list item for me. This trip was the most comfortable and extensive way to experience all the spectacle and grandeur of this piece of our planet. Strolling and bicycling through quiet riverside villages, walking along paths deep in the forest with both cruise guides and local guides, or traveling deep into the flooded tributaries of the main rivers was deeply satisfying to me as a lover of nature.

We have traveled extensively and enjoyed many cruises but this cruise on the Aqua Nera was by far the most attentive and delightful cruise we have experienced.

The Aqua Nera crew made the trip. They were attentive, food was delicious and looked for ways to delight the guests. Many lovely touches along the way like little gifts left in the stateroom. After traveling where I was changing hotels every day or so, I wanted a relaxing close to my trip. Aqua Nera was perfect.

Itinerary Review

Seeing the wildlife was the highlight of the trip. Would have liked to walk more.

AdventureSmith Explorations Review

Lauren Pilholski was very helpful with clarifying flights and setting expectations. I was appreciative of her diligent follow up.

Featured in this Traveler Review

  • Lauren Pilholski

The Amazon has always been a bucket list trip for me. This trip was the most comfortable and extensive way to experience all the spectacle and grandeur of this piece of our planet. Strolling and bicycling through quiet riverside villages, walking along paths deep in the forest with both cruise guides and local guides, or traveling deep into the flooded tributaries of the main rivers was deeply satisfying to me as a lover of nature.

Accommodations Review

I did a lot of research about what boat to use for this trip. The Aqua Nera was the most costly but I am SO glad I chose to travel on her. The onboard details were exquisite and the cabin large and very comfortable. It met my expectations in every way, and then some. The public areas on the boat were sumptuous and quiet. The dining area was open and flooded with light.

Meals Review

I really loved the food onboard. The breakfast buffets were varied and I loved the fact that they featured numerous indigenous Peruvian dishes. The chef and kitchen team were friendly and loved me asking questions about their cuisine and its preparation. The lunch and supper menus were exciting and delicious. I enjoyed finding out what was next as the servers presented each course.

Traveling on all three of the rivers was wonderful (Amazon, Ucayali, and Maranon). Each was different. The excursions by foot, speed boat, and canoe were well-planned and spectacular. I loved visiting the schools and small villages, as well as the city tour of Iquitos. I enjoyed wandering the port city of Iquitos. The whole destination...well, it was the Amazon. That's all I really have to say. Magical. 

Crew & Guides Review

The two guides, Julio and Eddie, were extremely knowledgeable regarding the biodiversity of the area. Juliana the director was always available.  However the entire crew, both in front and behind the scenes were courteous and kind. I loved the quiet moments one-on-one with a deck hand or driver or kitchen staff as I practiced my Spanish with them.

Fellow Passengers Review

Aqua Expeditions offers three itineraries - a three day, a four day, or a seven day combo of the other two so guests changed half way through the cruise. Taking the longer of the cruises, I got to meet and get to know everyone. All were seasoned travelers and appreciated what a special place it was that we were seeing.

Leslie...you're the BEST!

Traveler Advice

Prepare yourself to be wowed. The three river system is glorious and the Aqua Nera is a wonderful way to see it.

  • Leslie Camacho

The cabins were spacious and very comfortable. The ship's crew was excellent. The service was attentive and the food and drinks were all perfectly prepared, interesting menus and simply wonderful.

The quality and the selection as well as the innovative preparation was excellent.

The Peruvian Amazon is an amazing place. Pristine, unspoiled by large industry and logging which allows the small villages and the waterways to flourish in their traditional lifestyles. I was concerned about going because I don't like bugs, was afraid of the mosquito issues and I also don't enjoy the heat but we were prepared with long sleeves and pant legs, bug nets for our jungle walks and did not experience any problems at all.

Galia was the tour director and the two guides Alex and Julio were beyond reproach. We loved them and felt a genuine appreciation for their knowledge as well as their concern for us as guests.

We were delighted with the other guests.

Leslie responded immediately whenever I had any questions or special concerns. All was perfectly in order so that we had noting to worry about.

Be prepared with long shirts, pants and hats and pre-treat your clothing with insect repellent prior to the trip. We strongly recommend Aqua Expeditions for cruises in the future.

  • Aqua Expeditions

100+ combined years of experience, 7 continents explored, decades of expedition cruising around the world & here to help you find & book your dream trip.

Additional Travel Options Before or After Your Amazon Cruise

Travel to Peru's most spectacular archaeological monument in South America: the ancient Inca site of Machu Picchu. This 5- or 6-day Machu Picchu Explorer adventure includes Cusco, the Urubamba Valley and upscale accommodations.

On this 11-day Peru Highlights tour, visit Lima, Arequipa, Lake Titicaca, Cusco, the Sacred Valley of Urubamba, Machu Picchu and more. Stay in upscale hotels, meet the people and traditions, delight your palate, embrace nature and discover Peru.

This 5- or 7-day private-lodge-based adventure in the remote region of Lares culminates in Machu Picchu and offers daily options to choose custom adventures: hikes, cultural activities and meeting locals.

Planning Your Trip to the Amazon

There are more Amazon cruises than ever, and if you are confused by all the options we are here to help. Compare Amazon trips throughout Ecuador, Peru and Brazil using this Amazon guide.

The world's best birding trips are found on the water. AdventureSmith Explorations recommends 5 small ship cruises and 2 lodge-based adventures for amateur ornithologists.

The family travel experts at AdventureSmith have compiled these top 8 tips for travel in the rainforest with kids.

Trips You Might Also Like

Explore the Amazon aboard the 32-guest luxury Aria while cruising three of Peru's powerful tributaries: Marañón, Ucayali and Pacaya. Fish for piranha, swim with pink dolphins, stargaze and experience Amazonia culture. The vibrant rainforest awaits!

Board the 28-guest Amatista and spend 9 days cruising to the heart of the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve in the Peruvian Amazon. Visit a local community and shaman and explore by foot and skiff, searching for wildlife beside expert naturalist guides.

Voyage to the heart of the Brazilian Amazon aboard the 18-guest Tucano to the remote wilderness and uninhabited sections of the Rio Negro. Cruise within the Central Amazon Conservation Complex on this exploratory and authentic Amazon small ship cruise.

Request Booking Form - Aqua Nera Amazon River Cruise

Great choice! Now, let’s get you there. Note that this is a booking request only & does not guarantee confirmation. Please complete as many fields as possible & an Adventure Specialist will reply promptly.

" * " indicates required fields

Ask An Expert - Aqua Nera Amazon River Cruise

What would you like to know? Our travel experts are here to provide quick & accurate answers.

Contact Us - Aqua Nera Amazon River Cruise

Travel is best planned one-on-one, and we’re here to help you with your specific needs.

  • First Name *
  • Last Name *
  • Phone (required because some email replies get blocked) *
  • Country of residence (required in order to comply with privacy laws) * United States of America - US Afghanistan - AF Aland Islands - AX Albania - AL Algeria - DZ American Samoa - AS Andorra - AD Angola - AO Anguilla - AI Antarctica - AQ Antigua and Barbuda - AG Argentina - AR Armenia - AM Aruba - AW Australia - AU Austria - AT Azerbaijan - AZ Bahamas - BS Bahrain - BH Bangladesh - BD Barbados - BB Belarus - BY Belgium - BE Belize - BZ Benin - BJ Bermuda - BM Bhutan - BT Bolivia - BO Bosnia and Herzegovina - BA Botswana - BW Bouvet Island - BV Brazil - BR British Virgin Islands - VG British Indian Ocean Territory - IO Brunei Darussalam - BN Bulgaria - BG Burkina Faso - BF Burundi - BI Cambodia - KH Cameroon - CM Canada - CA Cape Verde - CV Cayman Islands - KY Central African Republic - CF Chad - TD Chile - CL China - CN Hong Kong, SAR China - HK Macao, SAR China - MO Christmas Island - CX Cocos (Keeling) Islands - CC Colombia - CO Comoros - KM Congo (Brazzaville) - CG Congo, (Kinshasa) - CD Cook Islands - CK Costa Rica - CR Côte d'Ivoire - CI Croatia - HR Cuba - CU Cyprus - CY Czech Republic - CZ Denmark - DK Djibouti - DJ Dominica - DM Dominican Republic - DO Ecuador - EC Egypt - EG El Salvador - SV Equatorial Guinea - GQ Eritrea - ER Estonia - EE Ethiopia - ET Falkland Islands (Malvinas) - FK Faroe Islands - FO Fiji - FJ Finland - FI France - FR French Guiana - GF French Polynesia - PF French Southern Territories - TF Gabon - GA Gambia - GM Georgia - GE Germany - DE Ghana - GH Gibraltar - GI Greece - GR Greenland - GL Grenada - GD Guadeloupe - GP Guam - GU Guatemala - GT Guernsey - GG Guinea - GN Guinea-Bissau - GW Guyana - GY Haiti - HT Heard and Mcdonald Islands - HM Holy See (Vatican City State) - VA Honduras - HN Hungary - HU Iceland - IS India - IN Indonesia - ID Iran, Islamic Republic of - IR Iraq - IQ Ireland - IE Isle of Man - IM Israel - IL Italy - IT Jamaica - JM Japan - JP Jersey - JE Jordan - JO Kazakhstan - KZ Kenya - KE Kiribati - KI Korea (North) - KP Korea (South) - KR Kuwait - KW Kyrgyzstan - KG Lao PDR - LA Latvia - LV Lebanon - LB Lesotho - LS Liberia - LR Libya - LY Liechtenstein - LI Lithuania - LT Luxembourg - LU Macedonia, Republic of - MK Madagascar - MG Malawi - MW Malaysia - MY Maldives - MV Mali - ML Malta - MT Marshall Islands - MH Martinique - MQ Mauritania - MR Mauritius - MU Mayotte - YT Mexico - MX Micronesia, Federated States of - FM Moldova - MD Monaco - MC Mongolia - MN Montenegro - ME Montserrat - MS Morocco - MA Mozambique - MZ Myanmar - MM Namibia - NA Nauru - NR Nepal - NP Netherlands - NL Netherlands Antilles - AN New Caledonia - NC New Zealand - NZ Nicaragua - NI Niger - NE Nigeria - NG Niue - NU Norfolk Island - NF Northern Mariana Islands - MP Norway - NO Oman - OM Pakistan - PK Palau - PW Palestinian Territory - PS Panama - PA Papua New Guinea - PG Paraguay - PY Peru - PE Philippines - PH Pitcairn - PN Poland - PL Portugal - PT Puerto Rico - PR Qatar - QA Réunion - RE Romania - RO Russian Federation - RU Rwanda - RW Saint-Barthélemy - BL Saint Helena - SH Saint Kitts and Nevis - KN Saint Lucia - LC Saint-Martin (French part) - MF Saint Pierre and Miquelon - PM Saint Vincent and Grenadines - VC Samoa - WS San Marino - SM Sao Tome and Principe - ST Saudi Arabia - SA Senegal - SN Serbia - RS Seychelles - SC Sierra Leone - SL Singapore - SG Slovakia - SK Slovenia - SI Solomon Islands - SB Somalia - SO South Africa - ZA South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands - GS South Sudan - SS Spain - ES Sri Lanka - LK Sudan - SD Suriname - SR Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands - SJ Swaziland - SZ Sweden - SE Switzerland - CH Syrian Arab Republic (Syria) - SY Taiwan, Republic of China - TW Tajikistan - TJ Tanzania, United Republic of - TZ Thailand - TH Timor-Leste - TL Togo - TG Tokelau - TK Tonga - TO Trinidad and Tobago - TT Tunisia - TN Turkey - TR Turkmenistan - TM Turks and Caicos Islands - TC Tuvalu - TV Uganda - UG Ukraine - UA United Arab Emirates - AE United Kingdom - GB United States of America - US US Minor Outlying Islands - UM Uruguay - UY Uzbekistan - UZ Vanuatu - VU Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic) - VE Viet Nam - VN Virgin Islands, US - VI Wallis and Futuna Islands - WF Western Sahara - EH Yemen - YE Zambia - ZM Zimbabwe - ZW
  • Newsletter Subscribe to our email newsletter
  • By submitting this form, you consent to our privacy policy .
  • Hidden IP Location

Talk to an AdventureSmith Travel Specialist Call us toll free at 1-877-620-2875 . Call us direct at 530-583-1775 .

Office Hours Monday through Friday, 8am-5pm Pacific Time.

Address 40169 Truckee Airport Road, Suite 201 Truckee, CA 96161

  • 1-855-932-1711
  • My Account Hello Credits My Account Log out

Cruising along the Amazon River.

Amazon River Cruise: Memorable Journey

The Amazon is a river, and a region, of superlatives. It's the world's largest river when measured by volume. With 209,000 cubic meters (55 million gallons) of water flowing into the Pacific each second, it's five times the size of the Congo, the next largest river. The basin it drains is some 7 million square kilometers (2.7 million square miles), making it the largest drainage basin in the world. (By comparison, the contiguous United States is roughly 8 million square kilometers, or 3.1 million square miles.) What most impresses visitors to the Amazon, however, is rarely these numbers. Instead it's the area's cultural and natural riches and the experience of seeing the rain forest extend in every direction. 

As you travel along the length of the Amazon, you'll call at villages that are not just geographically remote, but are far from contemporary culture as well. Some 400 indigenous peoples live in the Amazon, as they have for centuries. On the same journey, you can visit the 19th-century opera house at Manaus and the colonial-era churches in Santarém, Macapá and other cities. Biologically the basin is home to some 10 percent of all the world's known animal and plant species. From jaguars to macaws and pink dolphins to glass frogs, the Amazon is an area of astounding and unique biodiversity.

Hrmm. Looks like you're using an older browser, which means some site features may not work they way they should. For the full gadventures.com experience, we recommend upgrading to the most recent version of your browser . It's worth it! Honest!

View all tours

North America

Central america & caribbean, south america, north africa & middle east.

Few travellers make it to this icy continent, but the lucky ones who do get to explore a frozen Eden ruled by the elements and teeming with wildlife.

G Adventures Land

G adventures sailing & cruises, g adventures private travel.

Whether it’s a family retreat or a girls trip, you can surround yourself with a hand-picked crew and customize a tour that fits you all perfectly.

The Geluxe Collection

Our new line of premium active adventures is officially here. With perfectly paced itineraries, one-of-a-kind accommodations and elevated dining, this is adventure at its finest.

National Geographic Journeys

Go deeper into the cultures and habitats of the places we explore. More is included and you’ll enjoy greater hands-on exploration, interactions with local experts, and freedom to roam.

National Geographic Family Journeys

Are you an adventure-loving family in search of meaningful ways to discover the world together? These tours are specially designed for travellers seven and up and their inquisitive families.

Jane Goodall Collection

Step deeper into the animal kingdom while respecting all of its inhabitants. Our incredible collection of wildlife-focused tours is endorsed by the world-renowned ethologist.

Roamies by Hostelworld

The thrill of adventure. The awesomeness of hostels. Get ‘em both on these immersive small group trips for 18 to 35-year-old travellers.

Why choose us

As the leader in small group travel for 30 years, we know how to do it right: flexible itineraries, freedom to roam, safety, peace of mind, and locally based guides.

Change the world just by having the time of your life. When you travel with us, you become a force for good by acting responsibly and creating positive impact.

Together with our non-profit partner, Planeterra, we ensure local communities touched by our tours benefit from our visits in as many ways possible.

Trees for Days

Leave your destination even greener than you found it! For every day on tour, we’ll plant a tree in your honour and ensure that our forests get to live their best lives.

Travel resources

Last minute deals.

Looking to have the time of your life in the next 90 days or so? You can save big if you’re ready to book now.

Loyalty discount

Back home from a G Adventures tour? Submit a quick trip evaluation to save 5% on your next tour with us.

Student discount

Got proof that you’re pursuing higher learning? Then we’ve got a travel voucher with your name on it.

All travel deals

New ways to save pop up all the time. Here’s where you’ll find every hot deal in one easy place.

Amazon River Cruise

The Amatista boat and some local canoes in the foreground

Our purpose-built riverboat grants you the freedom to explore the Amazon in comfort. Boasting roomy public spaces, a cheery upper deck, and stunning, take-it-all-in sightlines, the ship’s decks are the perfect spot from which to survey the pristine rainforest and the dazzling array of colourful birdlife that inhabit it.

Save 30% OFF select departures when you book by May 31, 2018.

Welcome aboard the Amatista

Your boat at a glance.

Capacity: 28 passengers

Cabins: 7 upper deck cabins, 7 lower deck cabins with A/C

Boat Layout: Interior bar lounge, reading lounge, dining room, observation decks including one covered, one observation platform, lateral passageways

Crew: 15 crew and 2 naturalist guides

  • Two best-in-field naturalist CEO guides ready to share with you the wildlife, people and history of the Amazon
  • Equipped with a skiff to explore smaller tributaries and remote arteries
  • Complimentary tea and coffee served all day; water, juice and snacks available for purchase

smithsonian amazon river cruise

The deckplan of the Amatista

What's it like on board, expert naturalists, the amatista.

smithsonian amazon river cruise

The Experience

smithsonian amazon river cruise

JavaScript seems to be disabled in your browser. For the best experience on our site, be sure to turn on Javascript in your browser.

  • Request a quote
  •  Contact
  • Your luxury cruise with PONANT
  • Africa, Middle East & Indian Ocean

Atlantic Coast

Central America

North America

  • Northern Europe & Scandinavia

Ocean Voyages

  • Oceania & Pacific Islands

South America

The Mediterranean

Transatlantic

  • Show all destinations
  • See all cruises
  • Gastronomy & Wine
  • Polar Expedition
  • Tropical Expedition
  • Art & Museums
  • Smithsonian Journeys
  • Theatre & Literature
  • The Explorers Club
  • Show all themes
  • Back-to-back offers
  • Free Ocean Voyage
  • No single supplement
  • Flight credit
  • L'AUSTRAL
  • LE LAPÉROUSE
  • LE CHAMPLAIN
  • LE BOUGAINVILLE
  • LE DUMONT-D'URVILLE
  • LE JACQUES-CARTIER
  • LE COMMANDANT CHARCOT
  • Expeditions
  • Life on board
  • A different way to cruise
  • Our guests and speakers
  • A tailor-made voyage
  • Why choose PONANT ?
  • PONANT benefits
  • Our Pavilions
  • Our 360-degree destinations
  • A more sustainable tourism
  • PONANT Foundation
  • PONANT Science programme
  • Certifications and distinctions
  • Cruises and destinations

Where would you like to travel with PONANT?

Which period?

What are you looking for?

  • Gastronomy & Wine
  • Art & Museums

The Amazon Cruises

Your criteria

Delete all criteria

The name of Amazonia has an almost mythical ring to it. This extraordinary natural reserve and its mighty river are best explored on water. From encounters with the Amerindian communities, to a voyage through the mangrove to lush natural surroundings filled with wildlife…an Amazonian cruise is an enlightening and rewarding experience.

All about cruises The Amazon Our other destinations

We're sorry, there are no results matching your search.

You should get more results by changing your search or selecting another destination . You can also request a quote and be inspired by one of our experts.

Need some inspiration? You might like these cruises...

The Great Austral Loop

The Great Austral Loop

From the St Lawrence to Greenland, the Last Moments of Winter

From the St Lawrence to Greenland, the Last Moments of Winter

Oriental Wonders & Civilisations

Oriental Wonders & Civilisations

Madagascar & the Mascarene Islands Adventure

Madagascar & the Mascarene Islands Adventure

1 888 400 1082 or contact your travel advisor

More destinations in South America

Patagonia & chilean fjords, must-sees - amazonia.

From the tropical jungle and the multicoloured birds, to the houses on stilts by the ever-present river…below is a list of what you will see in Amazonia . Mention this iconic region, which covers half of Brazil, and your mind conjures up a multitude of images. Watching the wildlife, sailing down the Amazon and coming face-to-face with the Native Americans are just some of the highlights.

Must-Sees - Amazonia

The Essentials - Amazonia

Meeting the native populations, adventures on the Amazon and nature-watching are all highlights of an Amazonian cruise . Here are a few tips and some practical info to help you prepare for your expedition to the tropics .

The Essentials - Amazonia

Explore Amazonia

The People of the Amazon

smithsonian amazon river cruise

Ponant Discovery: the story of a scouting voyage to Guyana

Sailing down the Amazon

Sailing down the Amazon

The Amazon is the river of all records, topping the statistics in terms of flow rate, basin, and its hydrographic network of over a thousand tributaries. In fact, it alone drains almost half of Latin America. A cruise in Amazonia is thus a chance for adventure on its legendary waters. Discover the tropical forest from the river, with enough distance to admire its splendour and scale.

Explore Belém

Explore Belém

Founded in 1616, Belém is now the second largest urban centre in Amazonia after Manaus. Heritage from the colonial era includes the baroque Santa Maria de Belém cathedral . The Teatro de Paz , built in 1878, is one of the most opulent theatres and one of the most important monuments in the country. The city itself is like a continuation of Amazonia. Palm trees line the estuary and fruit trees border most avenues, earning Belém the nickname of “mango tree city.” Finally, the vast Ver-o-Peso market , inaugurated in 1901, teems with buyers who come for the bountiful wares from across the country. Fish, exotic fruit and vegetables, and medicinal herbs deck the stalls with their enticing colours and fragrances.

Travel the Aquiqui River

Travel the Aquiqui River

The Aquiqui River is one of the Amazon's many tributaries. Embark on a Zodiac® boat and explore every last creek as you look for birds such as the cocoi herons, roadside hawks, anhingas and toucans who nest in this lush environment. You may also spot monkeys and iguanas in this great game of hide and seek, for which the vegetation provides the ideal backdrop.

Bask in the sunshine on Alter do Chao beach

Bask in the sunshine on Alter do Chao beach

This spot is popularly known as the Brazilian Carribbean. And Alter do Chao certainly offers some very different landscapes from what we expect in Amazonia. Located on the banks of the Tapajos , a tributary to the Amazon, this small town of 2,000 inhabitants is bathed by a lagoon watered by underground springs . They form a natural lake that recedes down the river's banks during the dry season. The sandy banks that emerge then seem to form an island. The fine sandy beaches, clear waters, and little fishermen's huts with woven palm leaf roofs form the ideal haven in which to relax and get away from it all.

Be amazed by the Strait of Breves

Be amazed by the Strait of Breves

The Amazon's waters are the best way to explore the region and to travel the "green corridor" of the Strait of Breves , one of the high points of a cruise in Amazonia . Here, the tropical forest merges into the muddy waters. It is teeming with life, harbouring a wealth of animal life and an array of birds. And in the midst of it all, there are the people. Deep in the characteristic villages along the canal on the shores of the Amazon, small houses stand on stilts against the lush green backdrop. Laundry dries outside on lines stretched above the timber decks, to which gently swaying dugout canoes are tied. Here and there, children frolic in the water.

smithsonian amazon river cruise

Essential phrase guide*

Hello/good evening: Bom dia/Boa noite Goodbye: Tchau/até logo Welcome: Bem-vindo Excuse-me/please: Com licença/Por favor Thank you: Obrigado (a) Yes/no: Sim/Não How are you? : Como você está/vai ? Very well, thanks, and you?: Muito bem, obrigado e você ? My name's…: Meu nome é…/Eu me chamo...

*40% of Amazonia is in Brazil so we have selected Portuguese, which is spoken there.

smithsonian amazon river cruise

A typical Amazonian dish, Tacacà is found on most menus in Belém's eateries. Before you start to enjoy the soup, there is a special serving ritual to be observed. First a ladle of tucupi, wild manioc root broth, is poured in to a calabash then covered in tapioca, then more tucupi is poured over. Next, jambu leaves (which tingle in the mouth ), prawns , a pinch of chili and garlic are added.

smithsonian amazon river cruise

Myths & legends

Other parts of the world have the yeti, but Amazonia has the Mapinguari . According to legend, after discovering the secret to immortality, a powerful shaman was turned into a giant bear-like creature with red fur, enormous claws and a mouthful of sharp teeth on its belly. It apparently has a taste for human flesh.

smithsonian amazon river cruise

In the spotlight

Land grabbing, access to healthcare and misogyny have all been issues since the election of President Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil, with native people seeing their rights diminished. Faced with decisions that have jeopardised their daily lives, many indigenous women and political leaders meet regularly to make their voices heard. Every year, thousands of representatives of the indigenous tribes hold the "Free Land Camp" on the plaza in Brasilia where the government, congress and supreme court are located, to assert their rights. In April 2019, the police presence was particularly dissuasive and misinformation on the movement profuse.

smithsonian amazon river cruise

Books. An expert on Amazonia, which he has been exploring for the last 30 years, Serge Guiraud has published Amazonie, l’ordre du monde , a wonderful collection of legends told by some of the most isolated tribes in the region. Illustrated with 300 photographs, these age-old stories testify to the Amerindians attachment to their environment and their belief that visible and invisible worlds exist side by side, in total harmony. State of Wonder , Ann Patchett. Doctor Marina Singh, a scientist and researcher for a pharmaceutical company in Minnesota, is sent to Brazil to track down her former mentor, Doctor Annick Swenson. Swenson has apparently vanished in the Amazonian jungle while working on a highly important new drug (a pill that would extend fertility for a number of years), while a colleague and friend of Marina's, who previously visited the area, died under mysterious circumstances.

Music While there is a real melting pot of musical styles in Brazil, the Carimbó is particularly emblematic of Latino rhythms. Its exhilarating beats have their origins in the music brought over by the Portuguese and the Africans to the Nordeste region of Brazil. In 2014, it was added to Brazil's immaterial cultural heritage list.

Film. The Dead and the Others by Brazilian film-makers Joao Salaviza and Renée Nader Messora (2019) is a successful mix of genres. It is both a documentary and a mystical drama, telling the story of Ihjac, a young Amerindian. When his father dies, he is called by his totemic animal, the parrot, to become a shaman. He first refuses but finally accepts his role as "forest warden", a function recognised by the UN in 2007. The film received the "Un certain regard" prize from the jury at Cannes in 2018.

According to a study by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics in 2010, 274 indigenous languages are spoken in the country. Linguists, for whom certain languages are similar, quote a number ranging from 160 to 180 .

Ponant brochures

Want to find out more about our unique and exceptional destinations?

Alt Image

What will your next trip look like The Amazon ?

  • Discover all destinations

Discover other destinations

Northern Europe & Scandinavia

Oceania & Pacific Islands

Africa, Middle East & Indian Ocean

IMAGES

  1. Amazon River Cruise

    smithsonian amazon river cruise

  2. Smithsonian Travel, Worldwide Adventures, Great Values, Cruises, Tours

    smithsonian amazon river cruise

  3. The Most Intimate Ships on the the Amazon river

    smithsonian amazon river cruise

  4. Meet the Luxury Riverboat That Will Take You Into the Remote Corners of

    smithsonian amazon river cruise

  5. The Best Amazon River Cruises: A Complete Guide

    smithsonian amazon river cruise

  6. Anakonda Amazon River Cruise, The Amazon

    smithsonian amazon river cruise

VIDEO

  1. Amazon expedition 1

  2. Amazon River Cruise

  3. Viking Cruise to the Amazon River

  4. Amazon River Cruise

  5. A REAL CRUISE KAREN, Fire Cancels Carnival Cruises, Panama Canal Cruises In Trouble?

  6. Amazon River: From the Andes to the Atlantic

COMMENTS

  1. Cruising the Amazon Waterways

    Aboard the 44-guest Delfin III. 9 days from $5,995. Sail deep into the rainforests of the Peruvian Amazon aboard an elegant small ship, discovering the incredible biodiversity and enchanting waterscapes of the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve. Begin your journey with the cultural highlights of Lima, and opt for an extension to Machu Picchu and ...

  2. Amazon River Cruise

    Smithsonian Journeys, the Smithsonian Institution's Travel Program, offers 350+ worldwide learning vacations led by experts and experienced guides. ... Amazon River Cruise. Exploring the mysterious Amazon River Basin—one of Earth's most exotic natural realms and our planet's largest rain forest ecosystem—is an unforgettable and once-in ...

  3. Top 5 Amazon River Cruises

    Amazon River Cruise with Smithsonian Journeys 10 days aboard the 30-passenger La Estrella Amazonica Itinerary: Iquitos round-trip, exploring the Amazon, Ucayali, and Maranon rivers in addition to ...

  4. Smithsonian Travel, Worldwide Adventures, Great Values, Cruises, Tours

    Smithsonian Journeys, the Smithsonian Institution's Travel Program, offers 350+ worldwide learning vacations led by experts and experienced guides. ... A Seine River Cruise: Paris to Normandy Follow in the footsteps of Impressionists, kings, and the soldiers of D-Day ... Cruising the Amazon Waterways. Starting At: $5,995. Feb. 1, 2025 - Feb. 9 ...

  5. Riverboat Cruises on the Amazon

    At a Glance. Discover the very heart of the Amazon — the biggest, most biodiverse rainforest on Earth — on this private riverboat adventure. Led by naturalists, walk the jungle to find giant trees and exotic plants. Take morning canoe excursions to search for tropical birds as the forest wakes up. After dark, use the boat's spotlights to ...

  6. All About the Ponant Smithsonian Journeys Cruises (as ...

    The Ponant Smithsonian Journeys cruises are a partnership (not a charter like e.g. Tauck, A&K, Backroads, et al) that offers cruises targeted towards an English-speaking audience and differentiating itself through experiences that provide a deeper understanding of the places explored. As of now, those differentiated experiences are mostly ...

  7. Amazon River Cruises: Choosing the Perfect One

    There's nowhere else on the planet quite like the Amazon River. Flowing more than 4,000 miles through a region home to about 10 percent of the world's species, the river seethes with color and life.

  8. Superb Upper Amazon river cruise by International ...

    Amazon River: Superb Upper Amazon river cruise by International Expeditions on Amazon Star - See 350 traveler reviews, 596 candid photos, and great deals for Iquitos, Peru, at Tripadvisor. ... but make sure to bring high powered binoculars with you. This was a Smithsonian Journey and operated by international expeditions aboard the Amazon Star ...

  9. How to Choose Your Amazon Cruise

    Cruises start at about $2,000 for shorter itineraries of 4 or 5 days. Luxury cruises can cost up to $1,000 per person per day, or up to $8,000 for an 8-day cruise, for the most upscale ships. There are a variety of price levels and styles for every budget throughout Ecuador, Peru and Brazil.

  10. Delfin I Amazon River Cruise

    The 8-guest Delfin I is one of the most intimate, luxurious and active vessels from which to experience Amazon Peru. Cruise in splendid harmony through the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve on this 4- or 5-day Amazon cruise aboard the Delfin I, which boasts only 4 suites, each with floor-to-ceiling windows and private balconies—a truly unique Amazon small ship experience.

  11. Smithsonian Journeys

    Voyage Along the St. Lawrence: From Québec to the Canadian Maritimes - with Smithsonian Journeys. Toronto - Boston. LE CHAMPLAIN. Shore excursion in each port of call + transfers included. 11 nights on board. Dates: 10/18/2024 to the 10/29/2024. Starting from $12,040 per person. 20% Ponant Bonus.

  12. PDF THE GREAT AMAZON RIVER CRUISE

    The Great Amazon River Cruise. A Journey through the Peruvian Amazon Rain Forest November 13-21, 2021. Travel with WWF experts along more than 600 miles of the Amazon River and its tributaries aboard the luxury Delfin II—disembarking to explore hidden corners of the rain forest by excursion boat and easy jungle walks.

  13. Amazon River Cruises & River Boat Tours 2024/25

    A combination of a classic style riverboat and 5 star elegance in the Peruvian Amazon. 4 - 5 Days. From. $3,479 USD. Deals. Amazon. Ecuador. Manatee Amazon Explorer. Superior cruising in the Ecuadorian Amazon, pairing comfort and quality with the wild of the jungle.

  14. Smithsonian Journeys

    With Smithsonian Journeys you can cruise the rivers of the world including the Yangtze River of China, the Amazon River of Peru, the waterways of Holland and Belgium, the Rhone & Saone Rivers of Provence, France, the Elbe River through eastern Germany and the Czech Republic, the Mississippi, Columbia, Snake and Hudson Rivers and Great Lakes of North America, the Rhine, Main and Danube through ...

  15. Aqua Nera Amazon River Cruise

    The Aqua Nera Amazon River Cruise begins and ends in Iquitos, Peru (IQT), with the vessel embarking in either Nauta or Iquitos depending on the trip length and low/high water season. Group transfers to/from the vessel are provided when arriving and departing on recommended flights. Plan to arrive on recommended midday flights into Iquitos on ...

  16. Amazon River Cruise Reviews

    Show more filters. 1 - 10 of 199 Amazon River Cruise Reviews. Amazing four nights on the Amazon. Review for a Amazon River Cruise on Aria Amazon. RickSinger. 6-10 Cruises • Age 50s. Read More ...

  17. Smithsonian Travel, Worldwide Adventures, Great Values, Cruises, Tours

    Smithsonian Journeys, the Smithsonian Institution's Travel Program, offers 350+ worldwide learning vacations led by experts and experienced guides. Accessibility Navigation. ... A River Cruise through Burgundy and Provence. Starting At: $5,490. Sept. 18, 2024 - Sept. 26, 2024; Oct. 23, 2024 - Oct. 31, 2024;

  18. Amazon River Luxury Cruises Reviews

    Amazon River Luxury Cruises Cruise Reviews: Read 87 Amazon River Luxury Cruises cruise reviews. Find great deals, tips and tricks on Cruise Critic to help plan your cruise.

  19. Amazing Amazon River Cruises: Anakonda

    Discover the incredible biodiversity of the Ecuadorian Amazon from the comfort of a luxurious all-suite river cruise vessel with air conditioning, kayaks, up...

  20. Amazon River Cruise: Memorable Journey

    The Amazon is a river, and a region, of superlatives. It's the world's largest river when measured by volume. With 209,000 cubic meters (55 million gallons) of water flowing into the Pacific each second, it's five times the size of the Congo, the next largest river. The basin it drains is some 7 million square kilometers (2.7 million square ...

  21. BEST Amazon River Cruises 2024 (Prices

    An Amazon River cruise will take you through some of the most astonishingly biodiverse landscapes in the world. Monkeys, sloths and tropical birds inhabit the trees, jaguars prowl the forest and ...

  22. Amazon River Cruises & Adventure Tours in 2024

    Your boat at a glance. Capacity: 28 passengers. Cabins: 7 upper deck cabins, 7 lower deck cabins with A/C. Boat Layout: Interior bar lounge, reading lounge, dining room, observation decks including one covered, one observation platform, lateral passageways. Crew: 15 crew and 2 naturalist guides.

  23. Amazon River cruises : Luxury cruise to The Amazon River

    Sailing down the Amazon. The Amazon is the river of all records, topping the statistics in terms of flow rate, basin, and its hydrographic network of over a thousand tributaries. In fact, it alone drains almost half of Latin America. A cruise in Amazonia is thus a chance for adventure on its legendary waters. Discover the tropical forest from the river, with enough distance to admire its ...