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, Alter do Chão and the Salvation Islands where you will discover magnificent landscapes and significant history.

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 some of the many fascinating arms of the Amazon where you can see traditional communities and tribes.

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

Itinerary - 12 Days

1 Cayenne, French Guyana

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 day at sea, make the most of your time onboard Le Dumont-d’Urville. Catch up with our onboard National Geographic Expert and Photographer as they give greater insight into the destination via lectures and workshops or visit the photo gallery area where you can take a look at some of the professional photos that have been taken during your trip so far. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or head to the observation lounge to enjoy some reading whilst taking in your surroundings, where you may be lucky enough to spot some wildlife in the waters below.

3 Mucurui, Amazonia

Information coming soon

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 & Alter Do Chao, 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.

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.

6 Rio Balaio

Information coming soon

7 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.

8 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.

9 Lucia, Amazonia

Information coming soon

10 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.

11 Belem, 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.

12 At Sea

During your day at sea, make the most of your time onboard Le Dumont-d’Urville. Catch up with our onboard National Geographic Expert and Photographer as they give greater insight into the destination via lectures and workshops or visit the photo gallery area where you can take a look at some of the professional photos that have been taken during your trip so far. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or head to the observation lounge to enjoy some reading whilst taking in your surroundings, where you may be lucky enough to spot some wildlife in the waters below.

13 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.

14 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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