What better way to experience all the Amazon has to offer than on a cruise? To get your planning started, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best jungle cruises down the Amazon.
Amazon Riverboat Adventure With G Adventures
G Adventures is renowned for its small group tours in different parts of the world, including an Amazon River adventure. Your nine-day G Adventures Amazon cruise is a round-trip cruise from Lima, Peru. There are daily motorized skiff excursions to search for local wildlife that live along the Amazon. If you’re lucky, you might spot pink dolphins, toucans and sloths.
You’ll have several days in the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve, so there’s ample time to explore the Amazon up close and personal. Your meals are representative of local culture and are traditional dishes you might find in the region. With a maximum of 28 passengers on board, you don’t have to worry about crowds here.
Upper Amazon With Lindblad Expeditions
Lindblad Expeditions has been providing adventure cruises for decades, and now you can join their 10-day Upper Amazon adventure, one of the longest available. Bring your binoculars as you cruise to spot hundreds of birds that may be migrating along the river. You’ll spend time in the Pacaya-Samiria Reserve — five days, to be exact — to explore and learn about the region’s wildlife, like the tamarins, white-throated toucans and pink dolphins, who call this portion of the Amazon home. You’ll also stop in Iquitos, the largest city in the world that cannot be reached by road.
Excursions are staffed with local naturalists so you can get answers to even the toughest questions. Lindblad Expeditions partners with National Geographic on its adventures, so you know the naturalists onboard will be top-notch. Guests will have the opportunity to visit several local villages where you can interact with indigenous people who live along the Amazon, known as the ribereños.
Aqua Expeditions Luxury Amazon Cruises
If you want to cruise in style, look at Aqua Expeditions, which offers some of the most luxurious accommodations on the Amazon. You have multiple itineraries to choose from — 3-, 4- and 7-night itineraries. On the ship, you’ll have jacuzzi tubs and plenty of gourmet meals. Step off the ship for a variety of possible activities, including rainforest hikes, fishing and more. You don’t have to feel guilty about the impact your cruise has on the environment as Aqua Expeditions is outfitted with its own water treatment plant and has nearly smoke-free, fuel-efficient motors in compliance with international and domestic regulations.
With excursions capped at eight guests, this is anything but a standard, packed cruise. And, your private launch boats will get you there in style as they are ergonomically crafted with your ultimate comfort in mind.
Smithsonian Journeys Amazon River Cruise
If it’s history and culture that you’re after, Smithsonian Journeys also has an Amazon River cruise. You’ll visit the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve, but you’ll also explore other parts of the Amazon — about 500 miles worth. You’ll venture up the Maranon and Ucayali rivers in search of scarlet macaws, red howler monkeys, jabiru storks and more.
Your cruise takes place on the Zafiro, a riverboat launched in 2015 that is ideal for small river cruises. It even has a top-deck lounge with floor-to-ceiling windows, an indoor space that is great for lectures and an outdoor bar where you can sit back, have a drink and do a little stargazing.