Amazon Voyage


10 Day voyage aboard La Estrella Amazonica

Cruise

The Tour

The rainforest of the Amazon Basin fires the imagination of dreamers and explorers, hinting at an adventure like no other. On this Amazon Voyage, daily excursions allow you to discover the secrets hidden under the rich canopy and along narrow tributaries beyond the river’s edge. Be amazed by the symphony of cicadas and tree frogs, howls from the howler monkeys and songs from the many species of birds found here. Spend evenings cruising the headwaters of Earth’s most legendary river, stargazing and storytelling as Peruvian lore becomes part of your personal story.

La Estrella Amazonica is a riverboat featuring gracious, 21st-century comfort. Each of the 15 airy cabins is air-conditioned with private balcony, and has floor-to-ceiling windows so you are constantly surrounded by rainforest vistas. This riverboat boasts unrivaled public spaces, including the Amazon’s largest open-air Observation Deck, a modern Lecture Room and even a Fitness Room. Two highly trained chefs serve a variety of Peruvian cuisine, and each night you enjoy a guides’ reception.  As a special perk, you can take advantage of complimentary laundry service during your seven nights onboard.

The Amazon Voyage includes a variety of flexible activity options, such as swimming, bird watching, jungle walks, kayaking, village visits, peaceful excursion boat rides, cooking demonstrations and more, so that you enjoy an enriching and fun adventure. Against a backdrop of rainforest and water, create a lifetime of memories. Join us in exploring the diverse ecosystems that comprise the heart of Earth’s greatest wilderness.

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The Itinerary

Amazon River Cruise Itinerary

Day 1 • Friday
U.S. / Lima
Fly independently to Lima, Peru, the nation’s capital and largest city, and transfer to the Swissôtel for the night. (D Aloft)

Day 2 • Saturday
Lima / Iquitos / Embark Amazon Riverboat / Amazon River
Tour historic Lima, visiting Casa Aliaga, a private home dating back to the Conquistadors. See the Cathedral, where Francisco Pizarro is entombed, and Plaza de Armas. Before lunch, tour the monastery and vast catacombs of the Iglesia de San Francisco. Fly over the Andes Mountains to Iquitos. Board our riverboat, home for the next seven days of our Amazon cruise. During a nightly briefing, we’ll review the following day’s Amazon Voyage expedition itinerary and meet the crew. Tonight, we journey slowly toward the confluence marking the beginning of the Amazon River, stargazing and storytelling with our local guides. (B,L,D)
amazon river cruise

Day 3 • Sunday
Confluence of the Amazon River / Río Ucayali

We awake this morning on the Amazon River, seeing some of the ever-changing panorama of jungle life as our Amazon River cruise ship continues upriver. Small villages dot the shoreline, and channels weaving through island mazes provide close-up views of a variety of birds. The confluence of the Ucayali and Marañón Rivers is famous as the beginning of the Amazon River in Peru. Amazingly, we are about 2,400 miles from where the river flows into the Atlantic. The river drops only about 350 feet the entire way! On our Amazon Voyage adventure, travel waterways aboard sturdy excursion boats to areas where we may find marsh birds such as oriole blackbirds, green ibis, yellow-headed caracaras, black-capped donacobis and white-headed marsh-tyrant.  We turn into the Río Ucayali, where we’re apt to find gray river dolphins and Amazon pink dolphins cavorting near the boat and along the shoreline. Later we take an excursion into the surrounding rainforest in search of giant water lilies and elusive wildlife such as monkeys and sloths. As dusk approaches, fishing bats begin their night’s foraging. (B,L,D)

Day 4 • Monday
Río Ucayali / Pacaya-Samiria Reserve

After a peaceful breakfast along the black-water Sapote Creek, we explore a small tributary of the Ucayali. We look for animals including primates, sloths and an enormous variety of birds. Our Amazon Voyage adventure continues upriver to the Pacaya-Samiria Reserve. Although scientific studies are far from exhausted, the Pacaya-Samiria is the known home to 450 bird species, 102 species of mammals, over 130 species of reptiles and amphibians, and countless plants. This afternoon, an excursion into this largest wetland reserve in the world provides the opportunity to see 13 species of primates, including monk sakis, red howler, saddle-backed tamarin and squirrel monkeys. We explore Caro Lake, connected to the river by way of a very small stream, where we may find flocks of greater ani, often seen following monkeys in search of insects disturbed by the monkeys’ foraging. We enjoy a nighttime boat excursion for a chance to find caimans, capybaras, common potoos, frogs and other nocturnal wildlife. (B,L,D)

Day 5 • Tuesday
Rio Pacaya / Pacaya-Samiria Reserve

Spend the day exploring this flooded realm, seeing wading birds such as herons, wattled jacanas and horned screamers. Venturing deep into the rainforest, tour an igapo (seasonally flooded forest), where plant life is very different from what we see along the main course of our Amazon cruise, and walk through the forest. Once we reach the reserve’s second checkpoint, hike around the ranger station. Lucky guests may release turtle hatchlings. A delicious lunch energizes us for afternoon excursions with our expert naturalists, where we may find scarlet macaws, hoatzins, black-collared hawks and red howler monkeys.(B,L,D)

Day 6 • Wednesday
Pacaya-Samiria Reserve

After an early breakfast, we board our excursion boats for access even further into the heart of these vast wetlands. As our Amazon Voyage adventure cruises the narrow waterways, we’ll find birds such as canary-winged parakeets and spectacular blue-and-gold and scarlet macaws. Primates also are fairly common, including noisy squirrel monkeys. We arrive at a ranger station, where we may take a short hike to explore the forest. After a picnic lunch, we gradually make our way back to our riverboat through the maze of waterways. Visit a village along the river, with the chance to learn about the lives of the “Ribereño” people who live there. Accompanied by guides who grew up along the river, this is a fantastic opportunity to stroll through gardens learning about medicinal plants and folklore, visit a school, or join in a game of soccer. The children are especially excited to see their faces on digital cameras and to show off their school and sing Peruvian songs. Learn about medicinal plants and enjoy a blessing ceremony by a respected village shaman. (B,L,D)

Day 7 • Thursday
Río Ucayali / Pacaya-Samiria Reserve

This morning we head back downriver, with a morning wildlife or other activity. Aboard the ship, take advantage of the open-air top deck, learning to make traditional Peruvian dishes or enjoying an enriching lecture. After dark we’ll go out in our excursion boats to listen to the sounds of the rainforest and look for nocturnal wildlife. (B,L,D)

Day 8 • Friday
Amazon River

Wake up early for a morning birdwatching excursion along the Yarapa River. After breakfast, try your hand at piranha fishing in Ubos Lake.  Piranha are very common in the slower-moving water. With luck, we may catch red-breasted, white or black piranha, and feast on our catch this evening at dinner. Once back aboard our Amazon River cruise ship, we enjoy a farewell dinner. (B,L,D)

Day 9 • Saturday
Iquitos / Lima / Depart

In the morning we disembark in Iquitos. Enjoy a walking tour of this frontier city, visiting the IE-funded Las Malvinas urban garden project. After lunch, fly back to Lima and connect with your overnight flight to the U.S.  ( B,L)

Day 10 • Sunday
Arrive U.S.

We arrive Sunday and connect with flights home. (Meals Aloft)

Optional Machu Picchu & Cusco Extension

Day 9 • Saturday
Iquitos / Lima

Late this afternoon, we fly from Iquitos to Lima, and overnight at the Costa del Sol. (B,L)

Day 10 • Sunday
Lima / Cusco / Urubamba Valley

Fly to Cusco — the heart of the Inca Empire. Drive into the historic Urubamba Valley, stopping in Chinchero to browse and shop for Andean handicrafts and alpaca sweaters. Visit the Urubamba Market and spend tonight at the Aranwa Hotel. (B,L,D)

Day 11 • Monday
Machu Picchu

Board the train to Machu Picchu, where we spend the afternoon exploring the ruins with our guide. Our home for the next two nights is the Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel. (B,L,D)

Day 12 • Tuesday
Machu Picchu

Today is yours to explore Machu Picchu or simply relax! Wake up early and hike to the Sun Gate or enjoy some early morning birding in the abundant gardens surrounding our hotel, home to 16 species of hummingbirds. (B,L,D)

Day 13 • Wednesday
Ollantaytambo / Sacsayhuamán / Cusco

Catch the morning train back to the Sacred Valley. Explore the mighty archaeological wonder of Ollantaytambo, where ancient temples and fortresses were built to protect the Sacred Valley. After a Paso Fino horse show at Wayra Ranch, continue across the valley toward Cusco. We stop at Sacsayhuamán — a huge fortress of massive stones which zigzags across the side of the mountain. Spend tonight at the Aranwa Hotel. (B,L,D)

Day 14 • Thursday
Cusco

Stroll the streets of Cusco, exploring the Koricancha — also known as Santo Domingo, Santa Catalina Convent and the Cathedral. After lunch, the afternoon is free to explore on your own before a farewell dinner featuring Andean fare. Return to the Aranwa Hotel for the night. (B,L,D)

Day 15 • Friday
Cusco / Lima / En Route

After breakfast, fly back across the Andes to Lima. Enjoy a superb lunch of local delicacies before an afternoon at leisure. Dayrooms are available at the Swissôtel. Transfer to the airport this evening for flights home. (B,L)

Day 16 • Saturday
U.S.

Arrive in the U.S. and connect with your flight home. (Meals Aloft)

2017 Dates:

August 11, 18, 25
September 1, 15, 22, 29
October 6, 13, 20
November 3, 17
December 15, 22, 29

The Prices

2017 Pricing Double Single
Lower Deck $4,948 $7,422
Upper Deck $5,148 $7,622
Lower Deck Suite $5,148 n/a
Upper Deck Suite $5,348 n/a
Deposit required for Amazon Voyage: $600 per person.
In-Country Air: $399 per person. Limited number of Lower Deck Single Cabins available with no single supplement fees for solo travelers: $4,948
4-Day Machu Picchu Extension Double Single
$2,348 $3,298

Deposit required for Machu Picchu extension: additional $150 per person.
In-Country Air: $399 per person.
Park Fees: $185 per person. 2017 pricing subject to change.

Other

Because conditions at the time of our visit and new opportunities always determine what is possible on the Amazon, our Amazon cruise expedition itinerary is flexible. The itinerary shown is a guide to what we may do, but it’s always subject to change.

Tour includes:

  • Full educational program with lectures and field interpretation
  • All excursions accompanied by English-speaking naturalist guides
  • Nightly guides’ reception onboard with complimentary beer and wine
  • All transportation by land and ship
  • All transfers, porterage and service charges
  • All meals aboard (as noted)
    Legend for Meals: B – Breakfast, L – Lunch, D – Dinner

Not included:  international and in-country airfare; U.S. departure taxes; ticketing fee; air or ship fuel surcharges; tips to naturalist guides and crew; passport fees; and items of a personal nature, alcoholic beverages, etc.

All prices are per person.

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The Highlights

  • The ever-changing panorama of rainforest life and the awesome variety along the mighty Amazon.
  • Excursions offer everything from birdwatching and stargazing to piranha fishing and learning about medicinal plants from a shaman.
  • Guest cabins feature an inviting private balcony with two chairs to enjoy relaxing views.
  • Cabins are approx. 220 sq. ft. and furnished with either one king-size bed or two beds, two nightstands and a desk.
  • Sample local delicacies and international favorites in the Dining Room, which features gracious wooden floors and large windows.
  • Open-air Bar & Sun Deck.
  • Onboard Fitness Room.
  • Daily discussions by naturalists in the Lecture Room, with air-conditioning, comfy sofas, and home-theater system.
La Estrella Amazonica.       Photo by Axel Fassio.
La Estrella Amazonica. Photo by Axel Fassio.
Enjoy the open-air bar deck.       Photo by Axel Fassio.
Enjoy the open-air bar deck. Photo by Axel Fassio.
One of two 18-passenger excursion boats.       Photo by Van Perry.
One of two 18-passenger excursion boats. Photo by Van Perry.
Piranha fishing in Ubos Lake.       Photo by Axel Fassio.
Piranha fishing in Ubos Lake. Photo by Axel Fassio.