Sailin’ with Palin: Some suggestions for cruises to Brazil and the Amazon

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Globe-trotting ex-Python Michael Palin is back on our TV screens, this time exploring Brazil. His new four-part BBC series opened this week in the north-east of the country; next week he goes Into Amazonia and meets the pink dolphins of the Rio Negro.
It might be a long way from the grey shores of Britain to the wide waters of the world’s biggest river, but it’s possible to travel there and back by cruise ship.
Passengers who want to follow in Palin’s footsteps could set out from Portsmouth on January 5 and be at Manaus, in the heart of the rainforest 900 miles from the Atlantic Ocean 15 days later. The 35-night cruise on Fred Olsen’s Boudicca travels to South America via Madeira and the Cape Verde Islands, and visits Macapa, Santarem and Boca de Valeria in Brazil before the overnight stop in Manaus.
It returns by way of the Caribbean, calling at the islands of Tobago, St Vincent, Barbados, St Lucia and Antigua. Fares from £2,799 per person (based on two sharing an inside cabin). Outside cabins available from £4,519 per person.
Carrying fewer than 900 passengers, Boudicca is a small ship by today’s standards – although better able to handle the seas of a Transatlantic crossing than many of today’s giants.
But with just 112 passengers on board SeaDream II can go even further up the Amazon. Voyages next February and March will take the vessel from Bridgetown, Barbados, all the way to Iquitos, capital of the Peruvian Amazon region.
As well as the 20-night one-way cruises, there are options to join the ship at Manaus for a 10-night journey up-river, or two seven-day round-trips from Iquitos which take in remote destinations such as Panelas, Jutai, Santo Antonio do Ica and Amatura in Brazil.
A team of naturalists will be aboard all upper-Amazon voyages providing in-depth information about the great river wilderness in addition to guiding guests on land and water exploration. Award-winning professional photographer Sue Flood will also be aboard, sharing her tips and techniques as she documents each voyage in photographs which will be made available to guests.
Excursions feature the jungle’s exotic plants and animals, Amazonian tribes, museums and markets. Near Leticia, Colombia. guests will arrive by Zodiac inflatables to Monkey Island sanctuary where they will be given an opportunity to hand feed squirrel monkeys.
The journeys next year are the last that SeaDream has scheduled to the region; the ship will be travelling in south-east Asia for the first time in early 2014. Fares start at $5,499 (about £3,500). Click HERE to view SeaDream’s Amazon Voyages Digital Brochure:
Voyages of Discovery’s new ship, Voyager – which makes its debut at the beginning of December, has an 18-day South America’s Discovery Coast cruise from Buenos Aires in Argentina to Recife, Brazil starting next February. Fares from £1,999 per person (based on two sharing an inside cabin).
Next up is a 14-day Portrait of the Amazon cruise from Recife in Brazil to Manaus; Before entering the river system, the ship visits Natal, Fortaleza and Devil’s Island, and then calls at Santarem and Boca da Valeria before an overnight stay in Manaus. Fares for the March 12 departure from the UK start at £2,309 per person.
The ship then makes the return journey from Manaus, out to Devil’s Island, and then on to Trindad, La Guaira (Venezuela) and on to Montego Bay, Jamaica. Fares for the 17-day Amazonian and Caribbean Explorer cruise from £3,209. Flights depart from the UK on March 24.
The company has 50 signed copies of Michael Palin’s new book, Brazil, for the first people to make bookings. Passengers will fly from the UK on February 24 to join the ship, and travel to Montevideo (Uruguay), Sao Paulo, the island of Ilhabela, Rio de Janeiro, and Salvador de Bahia (Brazil).
Also making the journey to Brazil is the venerable Saga Ruby – at the start of what will be her last-ever world cruise; at the age of 40 she will sail into a well-earned retirement later in 2013.
The full circumnavigation will take 109 nights and cover 33,467 miles. But you could just settle for the first 22 nights on board and fly home from Buenos Aires, leaving the ship to round Cape Horn and head across the South Pacific towards New Zealand
Departing from Southampton on January 7 the ship heads first for Tenerife and Cape Verde before crossing the Atlantic to Recife. She then calls at Salvador and Rio de Janeiro, then Montevideo in Uruguay before reaching the Argentine capital. Fares from £5,059 pp (based on 2 sharing a G-grade porthole cabin).

By | 2017-06-15T15:59:42+00:00 26 October 2012|Cruise destinations|0 Comments

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

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