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Amazon River on Marina


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1 hour ago, Bawbob said:

We have not done the Amazon yet.we are going 2/14/22.  Maybe we will meet  Onboard 

 

53 minutes ago, Bawbob said:

I hope you are mistaken.  Are you going on Marina?

The Feb. 14 cruise is from Buenos Aires to Rio de Janeiro, but isn't an Amazon cruise. Feb. 26 from Rio to Miami is an Amazon cruise.  You can get the exact itineraries here: https://www.oceaniacruises.com/cruise-finder/#sailDates=2022|02#destinations=southamerica .

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22 minutes ago, Bawbob said:

I respectfully disagree.  It does go B/a to rio but continuous up the Amazon on its way to Miami 

Yes, if you're staying on for the second cruise that departs on Feb 26. So you'd be doing b2b cruises for total of 33 days. Presumably you're booked on the "Grand Voyage" that combines the two itineraries.

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Ok, I have not been on the cruise...... but I have 3 couples I know who did...on Oceaina.    Here is what they told me.    1. the river is huge and you sail far away from the shore and can really see nothing..no wild life except at waves bar.    2. The  cruise stops and a bunch of seedy/sketchy third world villages that required armed guards to protect excursions .    3.  The cruise stops long before you get to see any rain-forest.    4  The landscape is blahs flat delta country fir days on end    5.   You have to pay$$$ for a expensive Brazil visa.

Bottom line  they said it was the worst experience when they were expecting much more in scenery and wild life plus it was very hot and humid with bugs galore. ....... The would never go on it again that the cruise lines offer it  just to have another destination...     All in all....it sounded like a good idea at the time.. but failed terribly

That what I was told by 3 couples....    

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I have not taken this cruise, but I have sailed the Eastern coast of Brazil, and never heard so much whining and complaining from fellow passengers in my life.  I had an idea of what I was in for during the next 11 days it took to sail from Rio to BA  - when the pax started complaining at our first stop: Buzios.  Buzios is one of the most gentrified resort towns in the whole country.  I was thinking to myself... "My God, if you think this is 'primitive and a useless stop.... why did we stop here?' then you are in for big, big disappointments until we get to Montevideo.  And I was right.  Constant, unending bitching about why Oceania chose the ports they did in Brazil.  By the 8th day I couldn't take it anymore, and told whoever was complaining to me that it was not Oceania's fault they didn't do any research on the destination they signed on for.
 
My husband and I really enjoyed the primitive, sleepy little coastal towns we tendered to, and our excursion in Santos.  But we had very managed expectations.
 
Brazil is a country with a lot of poverty, very inward-looking, and does not have a well-developed tourist industry for non-Brazilians.  I too have talked with two other couples that have done the Amazon trip on a cruise ship, and both were very disparaging of the whole experience.  I've also talked with birders that have done expedition-style trips into the interior, and they loved the whole thing.  But we are talking vastly different priorities.
 
I think the OP is wise to do some location checking on threads like this before final payment is due.  Since the ports Oceania will utilize in the Amazon will be similar no matter what the cruise line, it may help to post similar questions on CC member experiences on other cruise boards, and on the destination board for South America on CC.
 
Happy sailing!
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27 minutes ago, Queen of DaNile said:

FWIW:  "As of June 16, 2019, U.S. citizens do not need a visa if they are traveling to Brazil for tourism, business, transit, artistic or sport activities, with no intention of establishing residence."

No but there is still that 25% added tax thing while in their waters. I could be wrong on the amount but I think that's close.

 

I actually had the same cruise booked for March of 2021 but decided to cancel it when all this Covid stuff came up. At this point I'm glad I did. 

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55 minutes ago, Kate-AHF said:

Buzios

We did a house exchange several years ago with a couple who have a second (or third) home in Buzios. We LOVED it. Great beaches, restaurants, shops. And it was a stop on our Rio/BA last December. Just wished we'd had more time there.

 

buzios centro.JPG

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54 minutes ago, ORV said:

No but there is still that 25% added tax thing while in their waters. I could be wrong on the amount but I think that's close.

 

I actually had the same cruise booked for March of 2021 but decided to cancel it when all this Covid stuff came up. At this point I'm glad I did. 

good choice

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We took the round trip Miami to the Amazon a couple years ago. We enjoyed the cultural experiences very much, and did not go specifically for scenery or wildlife. The highlight was a tour we arranged with "Tours by Locals" in Manaus which was probably the best shore excursion we have ever taken.

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We have the Feb 26, 2022 cruise booked on the Marina also. We have done 39 cruises but never on Oceania. We had the same exact cruise booked for Mar 19, 2021 and changed it to the Feb  2022 cuz of all the problems going on. Hopefully everything will be somewhat back to normal by 2022. 

 

I have not found a roll call for the Feb 26 cruise. I wish someone would start one. I started one years ago but don't have a clue how I did it. Would be nice to talk to others and get some pointers on the ports and ship, excursions, etc.

 

Grandpabobbylew

Bob and Cindy

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Our last cruise was San Juan R/T ending March 12, 2021 on Viking. About 10 days out of 22 were on the Amazon with 4 or 5 ports.
We had a blast, but I must say that the Amazon was a little bit of a dud. Even with binoculars we saw very few animals. Mostly birds.
Manaus is as far as cruise ships go. Lots of history there and some decent excursions, but there was a stern warning given regarding danger and crime. Very third world. We did take a boat ride to a native tribe which was fun, but very touristy.
No visa required for Brazil. If you port at Devils Island you are supposed to have the yellow fever vac. (Nobody checked). Ship water is an issue while on the Amazon because it’s too muddy for the ship to produce water (laundromats were closed for a week). Bugs were not near the problem we anticipated.

Glad we did it but wouldn’t do it again.




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It's a "love it or hate it" type of cruise - not everyone's favorite.

We did it starting from Manaus (quite interesting) as we ended our Galapagos cruise in Lima.

We enjoyed the stops well enough though would not repeat this itinerary - unlike many others that we could repeat.

That said, it was quite different from most other destinations and one got an idea of a very different life style of the local people - even though it was tourist oriented. Enjoyed the show in a town that it is said to have  the second largest Carnaval after Rio; it was fun observing the kids trying to hustle for a few bucks showing off their local snakes and such or selling local handicrafts. It's a very different world and even a "touristy" visit gives one an idea of what life is like there. You may get to see pink dolphins and piranhas, birds while canoeing along the river branches or hiking on land in the forest and just sailing on a largest river in the world itself has some attraction.

Is it anything like cruising on the Rhine from Amsterdam to Basel? Of course not but I suspect that OP knows that.

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We completed this cruise (our most recent!) in December, 2019.  Fabulous! We sailed on the Insignia, round trip Miami for 26 days. Many sea days (we love sea days), wonderful crew, the best food, and friendly cruisers.  The time on the Amazon was great as were the days traveling in the Caribbean. We may not do this trip another time, not because we didn't enjoy it, rather because the world has many places we have yet to explore. Great adventure for us!  July, 2021 on the Insignia brings us back to cruising, hopeful! Best part? Joining the grand friends met on the Amazon trip. Can't wait.

IMG_0572.thumb.jpeg.e09cc4389977ac21349f2b1953c51dbd.jpeg

Santarem, Brazill

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We did this cruise in 2016 on Regatta.  This might have been an advantage as the number of passengers descending on each port was only half compared to what will be the case with Marina.

We thought that the cruise was excellent, with the Amazon the absolute highlight.  However, the earlier posts are a fair reflection of the range of attitudes of passengers generally.  Of all of the cruises we have taken, this one provided by far the greatest payoff for research leading to arranging independent tours, but at the same time required a very large investment of time devoted to that research.  In general, those of us who participated in independent tours really felt really positive about the experience, whereas those who had not made advance arrangements and left the ship to wander around the ports (which can work on many other itineraries) were quite negative.  Those who took the ship tours fell somewhere in between.

 

For Alter do Chao and Santarem we located a really outstanding young man who had not previously taken shore excursions, but was experienced in multi-day eco-tourism.  We had two memorable days with him (a group of about 12 of us), on the water in Alter do Chao and on land in Santarem - including an excellent visit to Belterra, one of the old Henry Ford settlements.  Unfortunately recent attempts to help friends engage with him for subsequent cruises has revealed that he has moved on.  However, I expect that there will be others out there.

 

Boca da Valeria involves a wander through the tiny settlement, usually accompanied by the local children ($ expected).  As an indicator of living conditions in Amazon villages it is really worthwhile as is the trip upstream with one of the local men in a vessel of often interesting heritage. 

 

We had two days in Manaus with a local tour group whose name I do not recall.  The first day was spent with a very extensive tour on the water to a range of sights around the Amazon and Rio Negro which was thoroughly worthwhile (we had a group of around 40 in 2 boats).  The second (shorter) day was spent within Manaus itself, with the superb Opera House the highlight.

 

For Paratins, the Boi Bumba seems to be the only real choice.  We enjoyed the color and movement and the energy of the performers.  This can only be arranged as a ship excursion.

 

I hope that you find these observations about our experience to be helpful.

 

Mike

Edited by rialannah
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We took a pack of $1US bills with us, which I think was pretty standard.  In addition we took pens/pencils and notebooks which seemed to be well received.  We had some of those left over which we left at the school.

While some cruisers found all of this offensive and thought it shouldn't be encouraged,  there are only about 10 ships a year that call at Boca da Valeria so it is hardly a dominant part of the kids' lives. We were quite comfortable with it.and enjoyed the interaction.  

The boat trip up river - circa 30 minutes - was about $5 per person I think.

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