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Indigenous cultures, tropical rainforests & wildlife – explore the Amazon with Seabourn

Author: Lucy Abbott

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Seabourn provides the most immersive way to discover the Amazon so start planning your spring 2023 holiday now.

At 11 million years old, the Amazon region is certainly a historic hotspot and endless exploration opportunities await here for adventurers cruising fans.

The navigable Amazon River is a stunning highlight, winding through one of the world's largest unspoiled tropical rainforests, around 2,300 miles from Iquitos, Peru.

As the longest river in the world, by volume, moving through nine countries at an average speed of 1.5 miles an hour, the Amazon River provides 20 percent of the ocean’s freshwater supply.

The Amazon is a bucket list destination, with a beautiful array of exotic flora and fauna, wildlife, vibrant cultures and traditions all revolving around the mighty river.

The most immersive way to visit the Amazon is on an expedition ship, such as Seabourn’s ultra-luxury Seabourn Venture.

So, find out all about Seabourn's Amazon offerings below and plan the cruise of a lifetime.

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Amazon cruise

If you are a seasoned expedition traveller, you’ll already be aware that expedition ships operate seasonally; for example, in regions closer to the Equator, they usually depart during spring or autumn.

Taking advantage of the warmer climate, Seabourn’s amazing Amazon expeditions take place in March and April 2023.

You are sure to experience the best of the Amazon not only from Seabourn Venture’s spacious decks, but also via Zodiac and optional kayak trips through seasonally flooded forests and river channels where you will encounter sloths, howler monkeys and colourful birds, or go piranha fishing.

- READ MORE: Explore the Northeast and Northwest Passages with Seabourn -

Meet historic colonial communities and indigenous cultures and learn about their folklore and traditions all made possible by Seabourn’s incredible 26-person expedition team of wildlife experts, scientists, historians and naturalists who share a passion for creating unforgettable wildlife and destination experiences just for you to enjoy.

Choose from an array of gorgeous itineraries that range from an intensive 10-night Amazon River experience to a more leisurely 22-night voyage that also features coastal Brazil – the choice is yours.

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Seabourn Amazon itineraries

First up is the 10-night Heart of the Amazon cruise, departing March 29, 2023, which explores the highlights of the Amazon in depth – and there are a lot, the journey from Manaus to Iquitos is 1,400 miles-long!

Beginning in Manaus, the largest city on the Amazon and the main port for export and import on the river, you’ll learn the city is located on the waterway, Rio Negro, a few miles from where it meets another river, Rio Solimoes, to form the Amazon at the famous Meeting of the Waters.

- READ MORE: Best expedition cruises for abundant wildlife with Seabourn -

Ensure you admire the Teatro Amazonas, an Italian Renaissance Opera House constructed with imported materials that were brought piece by piece up the river. Keep an eye out for the astonishing pink dolphins of Ariau, too!

After an overnight in Manaus, you’ll travel through a region of the Amazon that is rarely seen by the outside world.

Travel from Rio Jutai, where you can admire unique landscapes such as the flooded forests. Credit: Shutterstock

This can be divided into two impressive areas the Flooded Forests and Backwater tributaries (Manaus to Rio Jutai), an area where local people make the most of the forest’s natural products and cultivate the land this region is best explored by Zodiac, which is a treat in itself.

From Rio Jutai to Leticia (Colombia) is your next exploration destination, the ‘Frontier Amazon’ where the river is narrower and currents stronger.

Picturesque and friendly Leticia is a frontier town, hundreds of miles away from the nearest road, so you can ger a true taste of a traditional Columbian village.

Then from Leticia there’s the Peruvian Amazon, to Iquitos, a fascinating town in the middle of the jungle. It is also a major port with one difference – it is nearly 2,000 miles away from the sea!

The 10-night itinerary can also be taken in reverse from Iquitos to Manaus departing April 8, 2023.

Credit: Seabourn

As Seabourn Venture navigates through the river, the captain and veteran expedition leader will choose from among fascinating sites along this stretch of the Amazon River to plot itineraries for Zodiac and kayak explorations, treks and visits to places and people of interest. Admire stilt and floating houses along the waterfront, flooded forests and wildlife galore.

Expedition team members will also be on deck and in observation lounges offering insights into the passing terrain and pointing out wildlife and other highlights while the ship is at anchor or cruising the river.

- READ MORE: Best expedition cruises for abundant wildlife with Seabourn -

During your travels up the Amazon, you’ll see harpy eagles, sloths, pink river dolphins, toucans and macaws, black spider monkeys, 40,000 plant species, 3,000 types of freshwater fish and 370 reptiles.

Cruise from Rio de Janeiro all the way to Iquitos on the 22-night Colonial Coast & The Heart of the Amazon cruise.

Wander around Recife, a 16th century old town in Brazil. Credit: Shutterstock

Departing March 17, this voyage gives you the full Amazon experience during which you will also visit some of Brazil’s most scenic coastal resorts.

In Armacao dos Buzios, where Brazil’s rich and famous holiday, you’ll find red sand beaches and turquoise seas.

There is plenty to see in each destination Recife has a 16th century old town, while Natal is known for its extensive coastal sand dunes and star-shaped Forte dos Reis Magos, a 16th-century Portuguese fortress at the mouth of the Potengi River.

Seabourn Venture will then enter the Amazon River at Santarem, a busy port; its most famous site for visitors is the “Wedding of the Waters” where the clear, dark Tapajos River meets the muddy ochre Amazon. Due to their different densities, they flow alongside each other for quite some distance – one to snap a picture or cool video of for sure!

Local markets are also fun to explore along the way, and other excursions include visiting the smaller tributaries and forests, and fishing for piranha.

Spot the famous pink dolphins in Boca dos Botos. Credit: Shutterstock

At Parintins, visit a centre that illustrates the history of mankind, both indigenous and immigrant, in the Amazonia region before sailing to Manaus to begin your 10-night Heart of the Amazon adventure.

Combining the full Amazon experience from Iquitos to Manaus, the 22-night Heart of the Amazon and Two Great Continents itinerary is all-encompassing.

- READ MORE: Discover polar bears, walruses and whales on Seabourn’s Arctic cruises -

When traversing Boca dos Botos, you may be lucky enough to spot the famous pink dolphins native to this river.

Fun fact legend has it that these graceful, intelligent creatures possess the ability to transform themselves at night into handsome young men, who court and seduce the unsuspecting maidens of the riverside villages.

Meet a range of stunning animals such as squirrel monkeys. Credit: Shutterstock

Here, the Seabourn expedition team provides opportunities to wave hello to a range of animals such as sloths, howler monkeys, squirrel monkeys and many coloured birds.

Seabourn Venture sails to Devil’s Island once a notorious penal colony providing a perfect place to incarcerate criminals without danger or expense since the shark-infested sea and the trackless jungles ashore made it almost impossible to escape.

Then, finally head to the Cape Verde islands, which became independent from Portugal in 1974, and visit Santiago, a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to the well-restored colonial-period houses.

For more information call Seabourn on 0344 338 8615 or visit

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