Lush Amazon & the Sparkling Caribbean - Silver Cloud
Set off on a wondrous adventure to the depths of the Amazon jungle and the bright sun of the Caribbean. Wildlife, locals, beautiful, luxurious ship: it's all here.
The Amazon: Drink It In
Travel north from Fortaleza all the way to the Caribbean, taking in some spectacular sights – and sites – along the way. Everything you could possibly want from Brazil is on this voyage – Zodiac expeditions into the mighty Amazon jungle, gastronomic excellence, unprecedented access to local communities. Add to that some wildlife spotting extraordinaire and a delve into France’s South American past, and you have a voyage that certainly ticks all the Brazilian boxes.
Travel Curator’s Insights:
- •Experience 5 full days in the Amazon jungle meeting tribal people, marveling at the giant lily pads, and spotting elusive wildlife with the help of highly skilled guides.
•Relax in breezy, beachside Fortaleza and brilliant blue Caribbean islands like Ile Royal in French Guyana, Paramaribo in Suriname, and Port of Spain in Trinidad.
•Delight in extraordinary 5-star service, Relais & Chateaux fine dining, and a lovely ship's spacious suites all with seating areas.
From $17,460 per person
All embarking crew and guests will require vaccinations. Policies and protocols provided before you book.
Trip Sustainability Awards
Fantastic advances in minimizing carbon footprints at locations.
On the East African Energy Renewal Board
Runs local educational facilities for children.
Day 1: Fortaleza
Lie back and let it all go in Fortaleza - a bright and breezy Brazilian beachside city of relaxation and rejuvenation. Nestled on the north-eastern coast of Brazil, reaching towards the equator, the city is as off the beaten track as a vast state capital can be, and it moves to its own infectious forró rhythms. Get energised for a day exploring - or relaxing - with a morning swim. Dip into the sea at Praia do Futuro, or settle on the sand to listen to the soundtrack of the waves. Fresh coconut water served up from barracas - beach bars – will keep you feeling nice and refreshed. Iracema beach is another urban favourite, while Cumbuco Beach is a tempting option outside of Fortaleza, boasting a vast stretch of idyllic white sand that's punctuated only by the occasional leaning palm tree. Walk streets of ice-cream coloured colonial buildings, or head to Dragão do Mar Cultural Center - a mini-city of arts venues alive with culture and creativity.
Days 2-3: At Sea
Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shoreside.
Day 4: Belem
The gateway to the Amazon River is how Belém, the capital of Para State, is often described. It is located approximately 100 km (60 miles) upriver from the Atlantic on the Pará River, part of the Amazon River delta. Portugal established Belém in 1616 as the first European colony on the Amazon. Belém looks like a modern city, but it has retained its older colonial heart, with squares, churches and facades of traditional blue tiles. These reflect the 17th century architecture of Lisbon. One way to grasp the variety of edible ingredients available in the Amazon region is to visit the Ver-O-Peso Market. The huge outdoor space sprawls across four blocks. It is a city landmark and possibly the largest market in Brazil. Stalls offer typical local foods, vegetables and tropical fruits, and daily supplies of fascinating freshwater fish. Other products for sale include pottery handicrafts, handmade clothing, and charms made by the practitionersof macumba, a spiritual practice with African roots brought with slavery in the 16th century and sometimes labelled as witchcraft or voodoo. Maybe a good luck charm is best.
Day 5: Cruising Breves Narrows
Sailing the Breves Narrows is a chance to explore where few people visit, to immerse yourself completely in Amazonian culture. Let the adventure begin! Possibly one of the most engaging stretches of the Amazon River, Breves Narrows, as its name suggests, consists of a narrow channel of water which meanders among countless islets. Both riverbanks which always remain always in sight, are lined with rich, lush equatorial forest. Hugging the riverbank provides a wonderful opportunity for a close-up view of the exotic flora and fauna as well as the Caboclos people who inhabit the area.
Calm and peaceful, these people are guardians of this watery world with their remarkable local knowledge, passed down through the generations. Their riverside homes on stilts have pontoons stretching to the water from which curious children launch their dugouts to greet passing ships and demonstrate their considerable skills with pirogues. Pink river dolphins in varying shades, from soft pink to a strong flamingo hue, roaring monkeys and exotic birds of all colours, all make for a fantastic photo safari as you glide through the water. Later under a night sky crowded with stars, sit back with a glass of caipirinha, the traditional cocktail of fresh limes and fiery cane spirit and marvel at the mighty Amazon.
Day 6: Guajara
A small black water sidearm of the main river will entice us on our first outing to the Amazon and its people. We visit a small community in part of the Verde para Sempre Extractive Reserve, established to protect the lifestyle of the local people. Their activities include small-scale extraction of products from the forest, tending family vegetable farms, fishing and caring for domestic animals including water buffalo. Three important native palm trees are tended and harvested. Palms attract wildlife as do the flooded fields and the gallery forest on the higher banks between the main river and this side arm. Look out for large green iguanas sunning or resting on tree branches. Particularly hard to spot but worth looking for are sleepy sloths. These are specialists of a casual lifestyle of extended sessions of eating and just hanging about.
Day 7: Rio Balaio & Furo dos Botos
The Amazon rises annually, overflowing its main channel. We will launch the zodiacs to explore the floodplains at the Rio Balaio. With high water levels, small boats can easily travel around the wetland system. A scattering of local people live around the waterway, dependent on canoes and small wooden vessels for movement. Islands of vegetation are magnets for birds. Watch for flying parrots, both small and large, and the occasional birds of prey. On the ground look for Black-bellied Whistling-ducks, the Jabiru Stork and the Horned Screamer (yes, that is a bird!). Larger areas of trees support a variety of forest birds and monkeys. Monkeys love the trees but seldom travel on the ground and generally hate the water and avoid swimming.
Botos means river dolphins. Furo means hole. At the entrance to this narrow channel we have a good chance to see botos. A quiet drift along the channel lets us enjoy the bird chorus and look out for travelling flocks of birds of many species. Who knows what we may see? Perhaps some glorious trogons, shiny anis, pointy-beaked oropendolas or big-billed toucans. The Boto, also called the Pink River Dolphin, is famous for its pink colour. The Boto has an extra-long beak and a large domed head. Another dolphin of the Amazon is the Tucuxi. It is grey, with a typical dolphin shape. The Boto’s dome shapes the sound waves of its sonar (echolocation), enabling it to find obstacles and fish in the murky Amazon waters and amongst flooded trees. Young are born dark grey and fade to become pink as adults. Males are larger and pinker. Think “pink for boys”.
Days 8-9: Manaus
Lying in the heart of the Amazon, hundreds of miles upriver from the Atlantic, Manaus is a busy port city surrounded by the richest rainforest habitat on Earth. Placed strategically at the confluence of two rivers, the town was founded as a fortress by the Portuguese Navy, but quickly became a trade hub for the surrounding area. By the late 19th Century, Manaus was the centre of Brazil's booming rubber industry, and grew rapidly into one of the largest cities in Brazil. The famous Meeting of Waters, where tannin-rich water from the Rio Negro combines with milky water from the Rio Solimões to form the Amazon, can be seen just outside town, and the jungle beckons visitors to explore and discover.
Day 10: Furo Comprido
Meaning Long Hole, Furo Comprido is an old cut-off arm of the river. It lets us explore the forest and the local people. The Amazon changes course as it meanders across the flat lowlands. Loops are sometimes cut off leaving side channels like this. Gallery vegetation at the entrance to the side arm is a good example of plants ‘fighting’ for the best place in the sun. Search amongst the thousands of different green shades of the forest for monkeys and birds. Many are hard to find as they hide from predators, but bright coloured birds like tanagers and manakins show up as they flit amongst the foliage. Flocks of parrots, parrotlets, and parakeets are more obvious. The Blue and Yellow Macaws and the Scarlet Macaw are particularly spectacular—with or without a pirate.
Many people living around the rivers call themselves Cabocles. Ethnically they combine European, Indian and Black African ancestry. When the Portuguese settled Brazil, the Indian population declined from introduced diseases for hundreds of years. Many survivors ‘mingled’ with the newer arrivals to produce today’s Cabocles. Elements of the culture of all the groups persist, such as the Indian use of traditional rainforest foods and medicines.
Day 11: Curua Una
A large open flood plain extends from Río Curuá-Una behind riverside trees. Nearby are hills which are an unusual feature this close to the Amazon. Exploring in Zodiacs allows us to approach floating vegetation to see how these remarkable plants survive without attaching to the riverbed. We can get close to birds from the convenience of the boats. Watch as the birds seek insects amongst the plants or aquatic life below the water surface. Water buffalo have been added to cattle as sources of red meat for local consumption. We will look for caimans as they search for prey near banks or floating vegetation. We spot the eye shine— the red reflection from their eyes in the beams of light.
Day 12: Jariuba
This is a chance to explore where few people visit. The riverside forest supports many orchids and other epiphytic plants growing on trunks and branches of large trees. As well as admiring giant trees, focus on the minutiae—tiny moss and fungi and the vein patterns on rainforest leaves. Much of the Amazon wildlife, like mammals and secretive frogs, hide in the leafy greenery.
Birds are a bit more obvious, especially the smaller birds, such as hummingbirds, that constantly move. Ants are important animals of the forest. Leaf cutter ants carry cutout pieces of leaves back to their nest to use to farm edible fungi. If we are lucky, we may spot army ants marching on the forest floor with attendant antbirds picking off insects. Turtles, caimans and even otters live in the water. Yellow-billed and Large-billed Terns plunge into the river after fish. Overhead, swallows and swifts chase insects.
Day 13: Cajari
The Amazon delta is complex. Many other deltas have one main river channel dividing into several before reaching the sea. In contrast, multiple rivers enter the Amazon delta and several outlets flow to the sea between islands. The width of this entire delta is 325 kilometres (202 miles). The last outing on the river finds us exploring taller rainforest vegetation along a small creek and lets us see how the people live in the delta area. This area once supported rubber tappers and is now part of the Río Cajari Extractive Reserve. It aims for sustainable use and conservation of the forest by the local community.
The people of the delta have adjusted to fluctuating water levels. Tides cause daily variation and the annual cycle of wet and dry seasons alters the river height. See how houses and connecting walkways are built on stilts hammered deep into the mud. The stilts prevent inundation and stop the river washing structures away. Hurricanes are not an issue at the delta as we are on the equator. Of course, they know how to live with rain—heavy rain! They receive over two metres (80 inches) each year. Perhaps you may get hints of how to survive downpours. At least it is warm rain.
Please note an additional call to Macapa will be added for clearance by Brazilian authorities only. Guests will not be able to debark the ship during this time. Clearance will include a safety inspection, health inspection and immigration formalities. Depending on the complexity of the ship this can take several hours.
Day 14: At Sea
Day 15: Ile Royale
You wouldn't know it, as you approach the soft sands and gently waving weave of palm trees, but this tropical paradise once stashed away some of France's most notorious criminals. Home to one of history's most remote and brutal penal colonies, Ile Royale is one of three - somewhat ironically named - Salvation Islands. The neighbouring Devil's Island's title offers some honest insight into how these islands were previously thought of. Nowadays, you'll discover a heavenly escape of tropical beaches, and jungle reclaiming the island from the prison’s imprint and cleansing its dark history within a cloak of verdant green.
Wander to the chapel that was constructed by prisoners, as well as the island's hospital and staff quarters. There's incredible wildlife among the penal colony's ruins too. Cute agouti sniff tentatively at fallen coconuts, vast sea turtles lounge around, squirrel monkeys clamber up through the vegetation, and giant iguanas bask in the sun's glow. Wander the path that loops around the island's circumference to spot them, and to discover the lay of the land. Now administered by the French equivalent of NASA, CNES, the islands are occasionally cleared, as rocket launches roar up into the sky overhead.
Day 16: Paramaribo
Dutch colonial charm still shines through Paramaribao, the capital of Suriname. Many buildings of the World Heritage listed town, built in the 17th and 18th centuries, still stand. The Presidential Palace, the Ministry of Finance and the Garden of Palms are highlights. Birdwatching over coffee is not sitting at a jungle café. At old Peperpot Plantation, it is walking amongst coffee shrubs looking for birds in the overhead tree canopy. The orange flowers of Erythrina trees that shade the coffee plants attract hovering hummingbirds. Other colourful birds at the site include endemic Arrowhead Piculets, dramatic Blood-coloured Woodpeckers, noisy Black-capped Donacobius, and stunning Green-tailed Jacamars. Monkeys and agoutis occur too, eating coffee beans.
When Suriname’s colonial agriculture was at its peak sugar, cocoa, coffee and cotton were grown near rivers in plantations owned by Europeans like Frederiksdorp, with its grand house, established by a Prussian settler. Cruising the Commewijne River reveals the lives of both people and wildlife. Look for estuary loving Profosu or Guiana Dolphins, a local specialty. The culture of the Maroon people evolved in the jungles of South America. Escaped slaves established communities with African skills. Descendants still live in the communities, with traditions linked to African origins. Visiting a community to hear of their lifestyle, beliefs, foods and adapted use of Suriname jungle plants is a prelude to demonstrations of their Maroon culture.
Day 17-18: Georgetown
Jungles, water and wildlife are the themes around Georgetown. They could be in black water tributaries and swamps in the Santa Mission Amerindian Reserve, or the riverside ecosystems of the Mahaica River, or at the massive Kaipaur Falls high in the jungle or even at the manatee pond in the Botanic Gardens. Each location boasts fascinating flora and fauna. Young of the national bird of Guyana, the Hoatzin, have clawed fingers on their wings, a reminder of their dinosaur past. Other avian treats include the Greater Ani, Snail Kite and the Red-shouldered Macaw. Bird song may be drowned out by the loud Red Howler Monkeys. Kaieteur Swifts nest behind the curtain of falling water of Kaieteur Falls, the world’s largest single drop waterfall.
Watercraft and human activity along the banks are reminders of how essential the rivers are to local communities. The Santa Mission, a community of Arawak and Carib Amerindians, allows you to experience village life and see and purchase local rainforest handicrafts.
In Georgetown itself, the water and jungle still mix. Trees have become buildings with timber the main building material. Most spectacular is the cathedral with gothic arches and flying buttresses made of wood. Canals with sluice gates and a seawall protect the city as it is one metre below the high tide level (Dutch influence at work here). Bourda Market is a highlight and a chance to delve into local foods, and even jungle medicines. A good food shop is best followed by a freshly cooked lunch by a local chef.
Day 19: Expedition Essequibo River
If you add together expanses of rainforest, mountains and a liberal splash of rainfall, you produce large rivers. The Essequibo River in Guyana begins in the Acarai Mountains on the border with Brazil. It flows through rainforest and savannah for 1,010 kilometres (630 miles) to the Atlantic where it is a 32 km (20 ml) wide estuary with low fertile silt islands. Georgetown, the capital, is located 21 km (13 ml) upriver from the sea. Ships can navigate along the river for 80 km (50 ml) passing, or calling into, Georgetown on the way. The river was important to the Amerindians before European arrived, and still is. The name of the country, Guyana, is derived from the indigenous Amerindian word Guiana which means ‘land of water’. A whole northern region of South America became Guiana and included British Guiana (now Guyana), Dutch Guiana (now Suriname) and French Guiana.
The Dutch settled in Guyana in 1616 and introduced African slaves to cultivate plantations. The British gained control in 1814, and after slaves were emancipated, they brought indentured labour from India. Independence was gained in 1966. Some key British traditions persist, like cricket. Today, the Guyanese people have many ethnic backgrounds and still rely on the river. The river has always been the main transport artery for the country. Observing the houses and activities of the locals from our ship, or a smaller vessel, tells us of their lifestyle. It often involves some boating and fishing. After all, it is a land of water.
Day 20: Day at sea
Day 21: Port of Spain
The calypso rhythms of steel pans are never far away, as you walk the streets of Trinidad and Tobago's capital, one of the largest cities in the region. Overlooking the Gulf of Paria, between the mountains of the Northern Range and the Caribbean Sea, Port of Spain is home to a famous, flamboyant carnival - and the excitement is palpable as it approaches, with spontaneous street parties spilling out. Whenever you visit, and whatever the excuse, there’s always a fete - a party - happening somewhere. Queen's Park Savannah is a lush green urban sanctuary, while Brian Lara Promenade is a striking tribute to Trinidad’s revered cricketing genius. Scattered with artworks, it's the perfect spot for a little liming – the local term for hanging out and taking it easy.
The waterfront is a lively area of bars and restaurants, and the perfect place to soak in some Caribbean sea air, with the waves splashing close by and fountains spurting. Just to the north of the urban sprawl is the revitalising Chaguaramas National Park. A wild place of shooting bamboo, scampering howler monkeys, and delightful coastal walks. Elsewhere, venture through coffee plantations and wildlife sanctuaries to discover endemic, colourful flora and fauna. As you'd expect from this Caribbean capital, it's a journey for the tastebuds, and the food here is fiery spicy and delicious. Try doubles for breakfast, a curried chickpea flatbread sandwich, before tearing into jerk fish later. You’re certain to come across the ever-present green seasoning sauce, flavoured with fresh coriander, during your explorations.
Day 22: Bridgetown
Bridgetown, the captivating capital of Barbados, combines faded colonial history, captivating tradition, and vivid white beaches plucked directly from your richest imagination of Caribbean perfection. Recently listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, thanks to its beautifully preserved colonial architecture, Bridgetown’s mask of modernity covers a core of complex history and fascinating culture. Sherbet coloured buildings line up to overlook the waterfront of the Constitution River at the ‘The Careenage’ - where gleaming ships bob on the blue water, and peaceful strolls along a wooden boardwalk await.
Stop for a sobering moment at the commemorative plaque honouring the people traded at this spot, when Bridgetown was the British Empire’s most important harbour, and first stop on the Transatlantic Slave Trade crossing. Just five minutes’ stroll from here is Carlisle Bay - a postcard-perfect place where you'll find crystal-clear, turquoise sea water glowing in the Caribbean sun, and a mile of soft white powder sand. A treasure trove for divers, the shipwrecks scattered below the shallow water’s waves are now inhabited by turtles and swirling, rainbow-coloured tropical fish. Head to the backstreets, where street food vendors serve up spicy chicken soup, barbecued pigtails and thirst-quenching coconut water.
There are bargains aplenty to be had on Broad Street, where duty-free malls and souvenir stalls cram together, vying for your attention. Roebuck Street is the spot where one of the Caribbean’s favourite drinks, rum, was discovered - having been created here from the by-products of the island’s booming sugarcane trade. Nowadays, it’s lined with bars splashing every variety of the deliciously spicy dark libation imaginable into glasses. For a touch more culture, visit one of the oldest synagogues in The Americas - Nidhe Israel Synagogue, which was built in 1654. The adjoining museum tells the story of Barbados’ Jewish immigrants, who were instrumental in the island’s development.
Please Note: When travelling in remote regions tide, wind, ice and weather conditions determine the details of our itinerary. While we will do our best to maintain all suggested activities, some of these may be subject to change. Come with an open mind and a great sense of adventure, together we can turn any voyage into a wonderful Expedition.
Excursions: A host of fascinating and exciting excursions are offered during this voyage. Highlights include: Old Belem: Arts and Culture, The Musa Museum & Botanical Garden, Grand Amazon Tour which takes you deep into the Rio Negro tributary of the Amazon, Scenic flight over Manaus and the Amazon, Kaieteur Falls, Botanical Gardens Birding, Market Tour with Chef Delven nd so many more! You'll be able to pick and choose your favorites.
Activity Level: Easy to moderate. Some activity options offered require moderate to high exertion and are not suitable for all activity levels. Alternative activities are always offered at these landings for less active passengers.
Special Offer Details: For a limited time, when Venetian Society members refer a friend who has never sailed with Silversea, and they book a new voyage, you BOTH enjoy $500 savings per suite.
Early Booking Bonus: Save 20% when you book and pay in full by Nov 30.
Air Credit: An $1,800 per person air credit is reflected in the current rates.
I traveled with this operator through the Panama Canal and their highly-creative itineraries like this one show you places you'd never think to go. Do it in style on this wonderfully luxurious ship.
Joy Martinello, Founder
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