Thursday, 9 August 2012

Sail the Amazon aboard SeaDream II


THERE'S a rare opportunity in February and March of next year to not only sail the Amazon River, but to do so aboard the world's most highly-rated boutique motor cruiser, SeaDream Yacht Club's 56-stateroom SeaDream II.

And depending on how much time you've available, you can choose a whole 20-days from Bridgetown in Barbados to Iquitos in Peru, or take shorter itineraries such as 10-days Bridgetown to Manaus in Brazil, 10-days Manaus to Iquitos, or any of these three in the reverse direction, or a 7-day return trip from Iquitos to some of the Amazon's most remote jungle towns and villages.

Prices start from US$6126pp twin-share for 7-days Iquitos return and from US$7731pp twin-share Bridgetown to Manaus or vice-versa, up to US$16,719pp twin-share for 20-days Bridgetown-Iquitos or vice-versa; airfares are additional.

Prices include all onboard 5-star dining and wines with lunch and dinner, drinks from the open bars, nightly cocktail gatherings, use of a 30-course golf simulator, services of local naturalists, botanists and historians at select points of interest as well as an Expedition Leader, onboard gratuities and port charges and taxes.

SeaDream II can carry a maximum 112-guests in 56-staterooms served by 95-crew; for full details see travel agents or visit www.seadream.com

SAILING HIGHLIGHTS: Depending on itineraries chosen, highlights of these unique sailings can include the infamous one-time French penal settlement of Devil's Island off French Guiana, Alto do Chao considered one of the most beautiful places in the Amazon Basin, Manaus with its famed "Opera House in the Jungle" that was first mooted during the rubber boom of the 1880s and took 15 years to build, and the Anavilhanas archipelago comprising100,000ha of islands and canals on the Rio Negro that's one of the largest of the Amazon's tributaries and the largest black-water river in the world.

There's also the opportunity to visit areas alive with birdlife, monkeys, dolphins and huge Victoria Amazonia water-lillies, take Zodiac safaris up narrow creeks, visit remote towns and one village whose population is just 40 families – even to be able to say you have swum in the Amazon.