Sailing on the All-inclusive Iberostar Amazon Cruise is the safest, most comfortable and stylish way to explore some of the charms of the largest rainforest in the world. Learn all the details to dive into this awesome adventure!

Amazon Cruise Iberostar Vessel


Going on a cruise aboard the luxurious Iberostar Grand Amazon Expedition was the solution I found to experience the jungle scenery in comfort and style. After all, I suffer from herpetophobia, a persistent fear that tends to pop up in natural settings.

Now, you might find the term “herpetophobia” a bit odd. Honestly, I didn’t even know it myself until recently but it basically means that I’m terrified of lizards and geckos of all kinds, big or small.

But despite my fear, I’ve always been drawn to exploring the Amazon Rainforest. Then, thankfully, I found this chance to face my “enemies” head-on. And let me tell you, going on an Amazon cruise was the perfect solution to my particular issue!

Funny thing is, I didn’t spot a single lizard throughout the entire trip and this unexpected twist just made the trip even more unforgettable!




One Trip and Two Destinations


Our Amazon journey was like hitting two birds with one stone. The first was to explore the cultural and historical aspects of Manaus, the capital city. The second was to discover the natural beauty of the Amazon Rainforest.



To do that, we split our time so we could explore the capital during the weekends before and after the Amazon Cruise. This way, my husband and I managed to delve into both the city once called the “ Paris of the Tropics” as well as the largest tropical rainforest in the world.

In total, the trip lasted eight nights, evenly split: half of them in Manaus and the other half aboard the “floating hotel.”


Iberostar Grand Amazon Expedition: What to Expect from the Ship?


The Iberostar Grand Amazon Expedition, launched in 2005, was specially designed for navigating in the Amazon route and offers only two different itineraries, which can be combined. It boasts a total of 72 cabins for two people, plus 2 royal suites.

Accommodating a little bit less than 150 passengers and 65 crew members, the Iberostar Grand Amazon may be smaller compared to the mega-ships that cruise the Brazilian coastline. However, it’s well-equipped and provides a comfortable experience.


Beautiful wooden staircase of Iberostar Grand Amazon Expedition


If you’re used to massive ships accommodating over three thousand passengers, for example, the Iberostar Grand Amazon Expedition might feel a bit modest. But on the bright side, you won’t face the usual issues that come with larger vessels.

So while it might not be the mega-ship experience, it offers a cozy and intimate setting for exploring the wonders of the Amazon.


Iberostar Grand Amazon Expedition


Common Areas of the Iberostar Grand Amazon Expedition


The ship offers passengers two outdoor swimming pools and a jacuzzi, along with a bar and a cozy lounge area on the upper deck.


Pool area of the ship Iberostar Grand Amazon Expedition

Pool area of the ship Iberostar Grand Amazon Expedition


Additionally, guests can enjoy access to a gym and a spa, where massage services are available for an additional fee.


Fitness facilities of the ship Iberostar Grand Amazon Expedition


There’s a single restaurant with only one dinner sitting, ensuring comfort and ample space for all passengers. The ship also features a small theater, serving as a gathering point for entertainment and informative lectures throughout the journey.


Restaurant of the ship Iberostar Grand Amazon Expedition


The Cabins


Interestingly, the cabins aboard the Iberostar Grand Amazon are notably spacious compared to those found on larger passenger ships.

Having experienced over 15 cruises on large vessels myself, I can attest that the cabin I occupied during this Amazon Cruise was the largest by far.

All double cabins boast individual balconies and a range of amenities designed to enhance comfort during the journey: split air conditioning, TV, minibar, comfortable bedding, and a well-equipped bathroom, among others.


one of the suites on Iberostar Grand Amazon Expedition


The Royal Suites


I was very curious about the ship’s two Royal Suites, one of which happened to be unoccupied. So, I asked permission to take a look at it.

Basically, the difference, besides the location (as both are located at the front of the ship), is that they offer much more comfort to the occupants, as they have a sitting area with a cozy sofa and a dining table.


Living room in one of the suites on Iberostar Grand Amazon Expedition


Additionally, the balcony is considerably larger, featuring space for two loungers. Finally, the spacious bathroom has a whirlpool bath, in addition to the usual shower facilities.

Despite being tempted to request an upgrade, the price difference didn’t seem justified, especially considering the limited time we’d spend onboard amidst the array of activities included in the itinerary.


Amazon Cruise: Activities and Tours


One of the standout features of the Iberostar Grand Amazon Expedition is its all-inclusive nature, providing passengers with a curated selection of daily activities. Each day offers at least two outdoor excursions, complemented by onboard entertainment programming suitable for all ages and fitness levels.

Given its higher price point and more refined offerings, the Amazon Cruise tends to attract a more mature crowd, steering away from the youth-oriented adventures favored by some travelers. While not exclusively for seniors, the cruise generally appeals to adult couples without children, with a minimum age requirement of 8 years old.




Exploring the Amazon Rainforest on a 4-Day Cruise

Day 1 – Boarding


Even though the ship’s departure was scheduled for 6:00 PM check-in was available from 3:00 PM onwards.

We wasted no time and boarded as early as possible to start enjoying the ship’s facilities.

The boarding process was smooth, and before we knew it, we were comfortably settled in our cabin.

Naturally, our first stop was the pool deck, where we enjoyed a refreshing drink while taking in the view of Manaus’ port.

The ship offered various activities, including crew introductions, safety briefings, and a welcome cocktail on the pool deck.

And to top it off, we were treated to a memorable sunset accompanied by classical music, marking the beginning of our journey throughout the most famous rainforest in the world.




Day 2 – Navigating the Negro River and Amazon Expeditions


This was the day we truly immersed ourselves in the Amazon Rainforest. We woke up early at 6:00 AM, as we were scheduled to embark on a hike in the Igarapé de Jaraquí region at 8:00 AM.

Led by our guide Samir, we trekked approximately 2.3km through the jungle while he provided invaluable insights into the local fauna and flora.



I must admit, I was a bit apprehensive at first, fearing encounters with lizards along the trail.

However, as we ventured deeper into the jungle, my confidence grew, and I was able to fully enjoy our expedition.

To my surprise, the hike was smooth, without any significant challenges, and even more surprisingly, without a single mosquito bite!



Returning to the ship around 11:00 AM, we attended an introductory lecture on the Amazon ecosystem, followed by a delicious lunch.

In the afternoon, we had the opportunity to visit the bridge, where we received a fascinating explanation of the vessel’s technical details.

The highlight of the day was the boat tour of the Anavilhanas Archipelago, the second-largest river archipelago in the world.

Although we didn’t disembark, we spotted various bird species, as well as two baby alligators and a baby anaconda.

It was an exhilarating experience that will certainly be forever in our memories!



Day 3 – Visiting an Indigenous Community, Piranha Fishing, and Alligator Spotting


A cruise in the Amazon isn’t complete without a visit to an authentic indigenous community, right?

And undoubtedly, exploring the Três Unidos Kambeba Community was one of the highlights of the trip.

We were warmly welcomed by the village inhabitants with traditional dances and the Brazilian National Anthem sung in the local language.

Then, the village chief gave us an insightful presentation about the activities carried out there.

What struck me the most was discovering that despite preserving their traditions, the Kambeba people have excellent infrastructure, including a medical clinic, a school, a small market, a library, and even a cozy inn for hosting tourists.



I was truly impressed by the organization and development of this riverside community. Their hospitality and the harmony in which they live also deeply moved me.




In the afternoon, we went piranha fishing, but honestly, it was not my cup of tea. Instead, the highlight of my afternoon was watching the sunset from the tranquility of my cabin’s balcony.



Alligator spotting, on the other hand, was a bit of a disappointment. Despite our guide’s efforts, the alligators weren’t particularly cooperative. So, sightings were scarce.

Nevertheless, it was fascinating to know that we were somewhere on Negro River, enveloped in darkness amidst the nocturnal sounds of the jungle.

The presence of a group of adorable little monkeys, who seemed just one step away from hopping onto the boat, definitely added huge value to the experience!




Day 4 – Sunrise on the Negro River and Visit to the Rubber Museum


One thing’s for sure: an Amazon cruise demands an early rise to seize nature’s offerings. So, our day kicked off at 5:00 AM because sunrise waits for no one.

As we arrived at the boat’s boarding point, bound for a strategic spot on the river, many hesitated to board due to the looming threat of rain.



Despite the forecast, we decided to brave the weather, and it turned out to be the best decision.

Indeed, the sun remained elusive. However, we encountered a lively troop of capuchin monkeys, who decided to hop on board and entertain us tourists. It was the most enchanting sight, definitely worth the early wake-up call and the boat ride!



In the afternoon, we visited the Rubber Museum Vila Paraíso. It proved to be a fascinating and informative visit.

Additionally, the museum’s history is quite peculiar: it initially served as a film set for a TV show and eventually evolved into a museum.




Day 5 – The Meeting of the Waters of the Negro and Solimões Rivers


The final day of the Amazon cruise began bright and early, as we rose at 6:00 AM to witness the meeting of the waters of the Negro and Solimões rivers.

It’s truly fascinating to observe the phenomenon where both rivers run side by side for about six kilometers without their waters mixing. While the Solimões has muddy waters, the Negro River – as the name suggests – has very dark waters.

After the merging of the two rivers, they are collectively referred to as the Amazon River. Since drop off was scheduled for 8:30 AM, the remaining time allowed for a lovely farewell breakfast and packing up before returning to solid ground.




Amazon Cruise River: Practical Information


Planning a cruise can raise many questions, especially for first-time sailors. Based on these doubts, I’ve compiled a comprehensive post with all the practical tips to prepare for the experience.

However, most cruises share some common characteristics, and an Amazon cruise is no exception.

Yet, being a river cruise and focusing on a more ecological destination, certain conventions of a “fancier” cruise won’t apply.

So, don’t worry about dressing up for dinners, for instance. Passengers dress with a bit more care, but without the formality of larger cruises.

As for the items you’ll need for excursions, keep in mind that you’ll be in a very natural setting.

Therefore, comfortable footwear and clothing are essential. I didn’t have issues with mosquitoes, but it could have been luck, the time of the year, etc.

So, insect repellent should be among your basic items, along with a good sunscreen and hats or caps.


Amazon Cruise Iberostar: My Experience


Honestly, I don’t think you can come back from a trip to the Amazon Rainforest without being totally blown away. I had huge expectations for this destination, and yet I returned home mesmerized and completely convinced that I need to go back to explore more of the vastness that is this sanctuary, so vital for Brazil and the world.

The sounds of the jungle, the colors of all those plants, the unusual flavors – everything contributed to sharpening my senses and realizing how fascinating it is to delve into this wild world.

As for choosing a cruise, I think it was the best option for a first-timer like me, especially considering my fear of lizards. However, for a future trip, I would seek a more immersive experience.

Don’t get me wrong, “ship-hotel” offered a level of comfort and safety far superior to what I would have in a riverside accommodation, for example, but I missed that real connection with nature and the people.

Nevertheless, it was an unforgettable experience. It was certainly a remarkable journey, unlike anything I had ever seen or done before.


Plan you Amazon Cruise Iberostar with Turista FullTime


As you may know, I am a travel agent and run my own company. So, if you fancy an experience like this one, you can count on me to organize every single detail for you.

All you have to do is to contact me throughout this form below and we can start planning an unforgettable trip for you!


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