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The World's Best River Cruises For Superyachts

The World's Best River Cruises For Superyachts

3 of 4 3/4

The Amazon

South America

The mighty Amazon’s headwaters begin in the Andes mountains of Peru before running through Brazil, with tributaries coming from Bolivia, Colombia, Venezuela and Ecuador. It is the world’s largest river by volume and, at around 6,400 kilometres long, also rivals the Nile as the longest – although there is no definitive agreement as to which can claim the title. Fortunately, about 3,700 kilometres of the Amazon is navigable by yacht: from Iquitos, Peru to the mouth of the river near Belém, Brazil.

It was in Belém that 46.3-metre Picchiotti yacht Golden Compass began its Amazonian adventure. “There is no better way to explore the Amazon than by yacht,” says the former owner of Golden Compass, who made the 3,200-kilometre round trip to Manaus, Brazil. “The river is always changing, and the experiences were different and unpredictable every day. The birds and wildlife were as varied as the people and ports we visited,” the owner adds. The locals rely on the river for transport and trade, and some of the owners’ most memorable experiences were interactions with those who call the Amazon home – from buying fruit, fish and handicrafts to donating clothes and school supplies to children. The former owners of Golden Compass believe more yachts should try to venture to the area. “This part of the world is changing rapidly, and not always in a positive way – visiting gives more understanding of the devastation of deforestation, and an appreciation of the changing lifestyle of the natives along the river,” the owner argues.

Golden Compass travelled to Manaus, but there is more to be seen beyond this point. For those who fancy a jungle cruise but don’t want to bring their own boat, the eco-friendly, light-filled, 45-metre Aria Amazon can be chartered in the Peruvian Amazon.

When to go: High-water season is December to May, during which time the water can rise by as much as seven metres, making tender excursions a dream, while low-water season provides better opportunities for hiking ashore.

What to know: Up-to-date charts don’t exist because of the variance in water levels and local pilots are required to navigate the changing conditions. Armed security is also advised.

Who to contact: The former owners of Golden Compass recommend emailing amazonriveryachting@gmail.com for help with planning. Meanwhile, Brazil Yacht Services provides logistical support for clearances, waivers, security, and qualified guides.

Picture courtesy of Creative Commons.

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