South America contains the Rio Amazon, one of the world’s greatest rivers. The Amazon River starts in the Andes of Peru and crosses the country into Colombia then crosses Brazil to end up in the Atlantic Ocean. Running through the heart of the Amazon Rainforest, cruises on the Amazon are some of the most rewarding experiences available as you will be traveling through the world’s largest container of wildlife. Here you can see several different primates, many colorful birds, rainforest animals, large bright butterflies and hopefully some of the rarer animals. Bromeliads cling to the branches of towering Amazon trees where you may spot a sloth or two as they watch you pass comfortably though their jungle home.
Your gateways to this vast tropical wilderness and the Amazon River are Iquitos in Peru and Manaus in Brazil. These rank as two of the largest cities in the Amazon Rainforest and Iquitos is also the largest city in the world unreachable by road. These are also ports on the Amazon River where you can embark fantastic cruise vessels to experience one of the world greatest and most fascinating destinations.
We will first go over cruises from Iquitos in northern Peru and finish up with our selection of cruises for the Brazilian Amazon River from Manaus.
Best Cruises From Iquitos, Peru
Topping this list is the luxury Delfin I Amazon Cruise, which voyages deep into an incredibly biodiverse protected section of Amazon Rainforest called the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. The reserve is a flooded section of forest packed full of wild Amazon Rainforest animals, such as Howler Monkeys, Saki Monkeys, Capuchins, Tamarins and other rainforest monkeys. Here you will also see many colorful birds, rainforest mammals, and butterflies. The Delfin II is the other vessel in the Delfin fleet and offers a similar experience, but with smaller suites. The Delfin II contains 14 suites compared to the more exclusive 4 suites of the Delfin I. Other top cruises from Iquitos include the Amazon Discovery Cruise and the Aria Cruise. Both offer a luxurious cruise in the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve with exceptional service, but first, let’s continue with the Delfin I.
The Delfin I
The beauty of the Pacaya Samiria Reserve is matched by the exquisite decor and luxurious comfort of the Delfin I. If you choose, you can even have your own private cold-water whirpool to keep you cool in the tropics as you watch the pristine rainforest pass by. The Delfin I contains four spacious suites (two with your own private refreshing whirlpool), which quickly get filled owing to the Delfin’s fantastic reputation for care and attention to detail.
Floor to ceiling windows ensure you will not miss any of the sights likely to be seen from your room. Here you can relax on your bed gazing into the virgin rainforest to spot different forest wildlife.
Delfin I Amazon Tours
From the Delfin I, you will explore the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve on modern Kayaks, rainforest walks, and guided boat tours. We will be scouting Amazonia for its impressive collection of animals and plants, which we will then discuss when back on board the Delfin I vessel.
Delfin I Dining Experience
Dining aboard the Delfin I is an experience in itself as you are offered natural, caringly crafted foods. Fresh ingredients are prepared with inspiration from regional foods and reflect Peru’s cultural diversity.
The Delfin I Observation Deck
Sitting on the top deck is the observation area, which with its pure white highly luxurious sofas offers the most comfortable area to observe the Amazon Rainforest. Of a day, this is a fantastic location to spot different animals but at night it transforms into a paradise for stargazers.
The Delfin II Amazon Cruise
The Delfin II is the other vessel in the Delfin luxury cruise fleet. Offering a similar experience to the Delfin I, the main differences are that the Delfin II provides 14 suites compared to the Delfin I Cruise’s four suites.
Delfin II Suites
Suites aboard the Delfin II offer a spacious and luxurious setting where you can relax watching the pristine rainforest of the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve pass by your room. There are 14 suites in total with four Master Suites with 180° panoramic windows, and 10 Suites, four of which can be interconnected to accommodate families.
The Master Suites are located at the front of the Delfin II and feature 180° panoramic windows, a king sized bed, and luxurious bedspread. Regular suites have extra large windows for rainforest observation and can connect together for families. The casual yet elegant design ensures you comfort as you escape from the stresses of a busy life.
Delfin II Amazon Tours
Tours aboard the Delfin II mirror the Delfin I with rainforest expeditions aboard modern kayaks, walking through the Amazon to spot different animals and plants, and skiff outings to explore the waterways of the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. The tours are all led by skilled guides who will talk about the Amazon and its inhabitants throughout your tours.
Delfin II Dining Experience
The Delfin II dining experience is sure to impress, with fresh locally sourced produced to prepare contemporary Creole dishes complemented with exceptional service. Added touches to your dining experience include handmade dishes, locally made table decor, which changes from meal to meal, and instrumental music to create unforgettable experiences.
The Delfin II Observation Deck
The third deck of the Delfin II is where you will find the observation and relaxation area. This is a fantastic place to relax between morning and evening excursions as you enjoy the comfortable open air lounge complete with large and soft sofas. Our bartender is always at hand to provide you with a local or international beverage. Coffee and tea is also always available.
Amazon Discovery Cruise
The Amazon Discovery Cruise is a spacious and elegantly designed ship with floor-to-ceiling windows throughout the vessel ensuring you don’t miss interesting sights of the rainforest. The dining and lounging areas are provided with generous space where you can relax before and after your excursions into the world’s most bio-diverse rainforest.
Suites aboard the Amazon Discovery Cruise consist of single occupancy cabins, the Flora & Fauna suites, the oversized Estuary Suites, and the Amazonia Suite, which is the most luxurious accommodation on the Amazon Discovery. The large windows into the rainforest mean you can lay on your luxurious bed while gazing out your window to spot the occasional monkey or colorful birds.
Amazon Discovery Cruise Tours
Three customized launch boats will take you out down rainforest waterways to find monkeys and other inhabitants. These tours are led by expert naturalist guides who will teach you about the forest on your expedition. We will search for water-living species like spectacled caiman, piranhas, and turtles of the water. And we will scan the forest line for iguanas, crimson tanagers, orange backed troupials, monk saki monkeys and an abundance of other forest life.
Amazon Discovery Cruise Dining Experience
The Amazon Discovery’s dining experience consists of first class cuisine created with influence from the Amazon Rainforest. Enjoy menus featuring roasted meats, lightly grilled fish, fresh vegetables, sun-ripened tropical fruits, and decadent desserts.
Amazon Discovery Cruise Observation Deck
The observation deck is where many guests choose to pass their free time by socializing with other guests in between excursions. From here you can view into the rainforest and see the activity on the river. Enjoy the comfortable chairs and the plunge pool if you feel like taking a dip.
Aria Amazon Cruise
The custom designed Aria has a jet black contrasting hull and is one of the most attractive ships cruising Amazon waters. The Aria Cruise contains 16 spacious suites, generous dining and lounge areas, and an outdoor jacuzzi overlooking the rainforest.
Aria Amazon Cruise Suites
The Aria Cruise suites are a spacious 23 square meters (250 square feet) and each one features air conditioning, polished timber flooring, and the floor-to-ceiling windows to enjoy the Amazon. Your ensuite bathroom features organic bath products and a rain shower. Your comfortable bed features the best quality bedding and many guests comment that one of their most enjoyable experience was to lay in bed watching the Amazon Rainforest pass their window.
Aria Amazon Cruise Tours
We have designed off-vessell expeditions for you to make the most of the Amazon Rainforest aboard the Aria Cruise. From our skiffs, you will be guided around the Amazon’s waterways in the Pacaya Samiria Reserve to spot different rainforest animals, including monkeys, orchids, epiphytic plants hanging from the trees, and colorful birds.
Aria Amazon Cruise Dining Experience
Your dining experience aboard the Aria Cruise provides a worthy distraction from the beauty of the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. Your cuisine was designed by Executive Chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino to provide fresh ingredients with regional inspiration and other contemporary Peruvian dishes. Your dining experience is complemented by Peruvian art, fine china and crystal glassware. Our long serving staff provide personal service and quickly learn guest names and preferences.
Aria Amazon Cruise Observation Deck
The observation deck aboard the Aria is a great place to relax between excursions. The large comfy sofas are a great place to relax while enjoying the tropical rainforest environment. If you would like to cool down, you can enjoy the jacuzzi while still enjoying the sights and sounds of Amazonia.
Aria Amazon Cruise Days
Aboard the Aria Cruise, you have a choice of 3, 4 or 7 nights.
Tucano Amazon Cruise
The Tucano Amazon Cruise is a comfortable cruise vessel for the Amazon Rainforest from Manaus, Brazil. The Tucano Amazon Cruise is an expedition cruise vessel where you will be led by skilled naturalist guides into the Amazon Rainforest. Here we will search for animals and plants of the Brazilian Amazon. Although not a luxury vessel, the Tucano is comfortable with a classical interior styled as a 19th Century steamship. The focus of your experience is getting in touch with nature.
Tucano Amazon Cruise Suites
The Tucano features 9 comfortable cabins, with most featuring individual beds and some containing above and below bunk beds. The cabins all have private bathrooms with a shower, toilet and sink. Your ensuite features hot water pressurized showers. The Tucano Amazon Cruise vessel includes 76 large windows to see the forest and each one can open and close to allow ventilation. In addition to this, all the cabins and the salon are air conditioned. The walls of the suites and salon are solid wood with raised and varnished panelling, and natural, polished wooden timber flooring.
Tucano Amazon Cruise Tours
Tucano Amazon Cruise tours into the rainforest are guided by naturalist guides who all grew up with the Amazon as their home. Our guides will teach about the rainforest and its inhabitants based from their years of experience in this region and their studies.
Waking with the sun each morning, we will head out on launches to scout the rainforest for birdlife and waking howler monkeys. After traveling onwards aboard the main vessel, we will then explore more of the forest aboard the launches or forest walks before a final expedition in the evening.
Tucano Amazon Cruise Dining Experience
Although not gourmet or fine dining, cuisine aboard the Tucano Amazon Cruise consists of fresh and wonderful fruits, fishes and flavors of the Amazon Rainforest. Meals are delicious, wholesome and filling.
Tucano Amazon Cruise Observation Deck
The top deck of the Tucano Amazon Cruise is reserved as an observation deck to immerse yourself in the beauty of the Amazon Rainforest. The top deck is also a great place to soak in the Amazonian sun.