Set sail on a remarkable expedition cruise across the world’s largest river; the Amazon, stretching across the continent of South America. Explore the wonderfully diverse landscapes, exotic wildlife and traditional cultures that make this region one of the most spectacular in the world. Your 13-day expedition cruise will begin in Cayenne, French Guiana where you will sail along the Atlantic coast of Brazil, visiting tropical destinations such as Macapá, Guajará, Parintins and Lucia, where you will discover magnificent landscapes and significant history. Explore the beautiful city of Belém, where you will be captivated by the huge open-air market and the walls of Forte do Presépio. This region is famed for its unique ecosystems, the only one of its kind in the world – remains the cradle of a protected tropical life, which you will be fortunate to witness.

This Expedition Cruise is onboard Ponant’s Le Dumont-d’Urville ship, part of the Explorers fleet. View full details including deck plans and features onboard here.

Trip highlights

Witness an incredibly rich variety of endemic wildlife including; toucans, hawks, ibises, parrots, insects, iguanas, lizards, monkeys, buffaloes, river dolphins, fish, and more.

In Parintins enjoy a traditional performance from the “the Boi Bumba” festival.

Sail down the many fascinating arms of the Amazon River, the longest river in the world.

Enjoy the privilege of crossing the Equator between Cayenne and Bélem.

In the Salvation Islands, the possibility of strolling among the former prisons in an idyllic setting, surrounded by exotic vegetation.

Itinerary - 13 Days

1 Cayenne

Start your expedition cruise journey in Cayenne, the capital of French Guyana where you can expect to find picturesque beaches, old Creole houses and age-old monuments. Explore the two world-class museums, the Musée local de la Guyana and the Musée des cultures guyanaises where you can learn more about the historic and cultural interests of the region. The Place des Palmistes, with its three soaring Guisanbourg palm trees, is the main square in Cayenne It provides the setting for a variety of events throughout the year.

2 At Sea

During your first day at sea, get acquainted with the luxurious facilities onboard the Le Dumont-d’Urville ship. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species.

3 Macapa & Mucurui, Amazonia

Known as the ‘Capital of the Middle of the World’, Macapa is the only Brazilian city crossed by the Equator line. Explore the military history of this grand city where you can discover the Fortress of Sao Jose de Macapa, built in the 18th century to defend the Brazilian territory during the Portuguese colonization of the Amazon.

4 Aquiqui & Guajará, Amazonia

The Aquiqui River is one of the many arms of the Amazon River where nature thrives. The dense rich forest is filled with an array of diverse flora and fauna including many aquatic birds. If the water is high enough, we will head out on Zodiac® dinghy, where we will be able to explore the branches of the river and you may be able to witness cocoi herons, roadside hawks and anhinga’s, as well as monkey squirrels and iguanas.

Sail down the Guajará River, another arm of the Amazon River with fast-flowing waters edged by a few dwellings. Rich wildlife that can be spotted includes buffalo, sloths, green iguanas and a myriad of exotic bird species that dance above the river and in the forest skies. You may also be lucky enough to spot the famous pink river dolphin in the waters below.

5 Santarem, Amazonia

Sitting on the confluence of the Tapajós and Amazon rivers, Santarem is Amazonia’s third biggest city with a wealth to explore. Renowned for its forests and especially for the small village of Alter do Chão with its beaches worthy of the Caribbean, Santarém offers a wonderful opportunity to discover the Amazonian ecosystems.

6 Parintins, Amazonia

The city of Parintins is known for its traditional festival, “the Boi Bumba”, celebrating cultural diversity in the Amazon, which takes place during the last three days of June. Reminiscent of the world-famous Rio Carnival, “the Boi Bumba” theme closely relates to the Amazon and its rich ecosystems. A performance from this festival will be presented when the ship calls here: an opportunity to admire the beauty of the dancers’ costumes and let the rhythm of the music take you over.

7 Alter Do Chao, Amazonia

Despite its image as an impenetrable land, the Amazon is a wonderful place to explore, even for the more inexperienced explorer. As you sail deeper into the heart of this green paradise, venture between Peru and Colombia to reach Brazil. This exceptional site is an unspoiled and secret refuge for thousands of animals and the handful of tribes who live here, far from any contact with the city, in harmony with nature. Head out on Zodiac® during both day and night to experience your magnificent surroundings.

8 Lucia, Amazonia

9 Breves, Strait of Breves

Take the time to explore the historic city of Belém which stretches along the Bay of Guajar on the Amazon Delta, at the northernmost tip of Brazil. Get lost in the bustling Ver-o-Peso market and its iconic turreted iron structure, the Mercado de Ferro before making your way towards the neoclassic Da Paz Theatre, the Baroque cathedral of Sé and Presépio Fort, whose battlements look out over the old town and the bay. The Bosque Rodrigues-Alves Botanical Garden is a fascinating mini Amazonian forest in the middle of the city that was established in the 19th-century.

10 Belém, Amazonia

Explore the historical city of Belém which stretches along the Bay of Guajar on the Amazon Delta. Head to the lively waterfront which is home to the century-old Ver-o-Peso market and its iconic turreted iron structure, the Mercado de Ferro. Head to the Da Paz Theatre, the Baroque cathedral of Sé and Presépio Fort, whose battlements look out over the old town and the bay. The Bosque Rodrigues-Alves Botanical Garden is a fascinating mini Amazonian forest in the middle of the city that was established in the 19th-century.

11 At Sea

During your first day at sea, get acquainted with the luxurious facilities onboard the Le Dumont-d’Urville ship. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species.

12 Salvation Islands

The historical islands of Salvation are known as the ‘islands of the devil’ due to the strong sea currents which made access perilous. Furthermore, the island is infamous for being the site of a jail with very harsh conditions and where Alfred Dreyfus was exiled. Today, enjoy this fascinating history alongside white-sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters. During your cruise, we invite you to make a timeless journey to visit the many remains of the prison that are still visible, including cells and the abandoned hospital.

13 Cayenne

End your expedition cruise to the Amazon back in Cayenne. Take the time to explore the city in more detail, head to the famous Place des Palmistes square and enjoy the local culture before making your way back home.

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