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Cruises to Manaus

20 Reviews
Manaus (Photo:Uwe Bergwitz/Shutterstock)

About Manaus

Manaus is the largest urban area on the Amazon. It is also the most important Amazonian port and the capital of the state of Amazonas. With 1.5 million people, it cannot be called a city by Brazilian standards (two million people are required for that designation), but it bustles like a major metropolis. The city is one more surprising sight on an Amazon cruise of many surprises, standing as it does in the middle of the Amazon, surrounded by rivers and rain forests. It lies at the critical juncture of the Rio Negro and the Amazon Rivers, and serves as the port for the entire region.



The town has quite a history. It was a small river village during the 1600's, populated mainly by indigenous peoples. Around 1669, because of its strategic presence on two major rivers, Portugal established a small fort in the town. Manaus grew steadily, increasing in importance as a port and, in 1850, it was named the capital of the Amazonas state. But toward the end of the 19th century, fortune smiled. Rubber trees grow throughout the region (and at that time, only in the region), and with the introduction of rubber vulcanization for use in the growing automobile industry, the city prospered along with the rubber barons who settled there. Much of the significant infrastructure in the town (such as the Opera House) was built by wealthy families who tried to convert the town into the Paris of the tropics. Unfortunately, an Englishman smuggled some rubber seeds out of the country, successfully transplanted trees to Malaysia, and the monopoly ended. The invention of synthetic rubber in the 1920's completely finished off the rubber industry and the high times in Manaus were over.



Recently, Manaus has again emerged as an important commercial center. It continues to be the main port serving the Amazon region; it is also a duty-free zone and the center for travel into the Amazon.



Manaus is a mix of crowded residential areas, bustling markets, office buildings, banks and traffic-filled streets. The town begins at the river's edge and extends outward and upward in a melange of curving streets, narrow alleys and mysterious walkways.

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Viking Sea
Viking Sea

12 Night
Amazon & Caribbean AdventureDetails

1,430 Reviews
Leaving:Manaus
Cruise Line:Viking Ocean Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Zuiderdam
Zuiderdam

128 Night
128-day Grand World VoyageDetails

1,006 Reviews
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
Jan 3, 2024
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Zuiderdam
Zuiderdam

36 Night
Grand World VoyageDetails

1,006 Reviews
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
Jan 3, 2024
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Volendam
Volendam

74 Night
Grand South America & Antarctica VoyageDetails

561 Reviews
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
Jan 3, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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12 Night
Amazon & Caribbean AdventureDetails

1,430 Reviews
Leaving:San Juan
Cruise Line:Viking Ocean Cruises
Jan 6, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Cruise Critic Favorite

79 Night
World CruiseDetails

1,006 Reviews
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
Jan 3, 2024
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33 Night
Grand South America VoyageDetails

533 Reviews
Leaving:Buenos Aires
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
Nov 16, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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21 Night
South America CruiseDetails

730 Reviews
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
Mar 15, 2024
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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12 Night
Amazon & Caribbean AdventureDetails

1,430 Reviews
Leaving:San Juan
Cruise Line:Viking Ocean Cruises
Feb 19, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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55 Night
Grand World VoyageDetails

1,006 Reviews
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
Jan 3, 2024
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21 Night
South America CruiseDetails

730 Reviews
Leaving:Miami
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
Dec 18, 2022
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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21 Night
South America CruiseDetails

301 Reviews
Cruise Line:Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Mar 15, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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24 Night
South America CruiseDetails

281 Reviews
Leaving:Miami
Cruise Line:Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Mar 28, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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19 Night
Brazilian Highlights & The AmazonDetails

1 Review
Leaving:Buenos Aires
Cruise Line:Seabourn Cruise Line
Mar 10, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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22 Night
Amazon Intensive VoyageDetails

696 Reviews
Leaving:Barbados
Cruise Line:Azamara
Nov 18, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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More about Manaus

Why go to Manaus?

Pros:

As far up the Amazon River as an ocean-going cruise ship can get, base for exploration upriver

Cons:

Hot and humid, the city itself has only a few cultural attractions

Bottom Line:

A great place for a river-and-jungle tour, less ideal for independent wandering ashore

Manaus Cruise Port Facilities?

The dock is connected to the shore by a covered bridge, and then a new, high-end (and delightfully air-conditioned) shopping center, Hidroviaria International Terminal. H. Stern and other upscale retailers are well represented; there's also a bar and an Internet/phone center. But a quick exit brings passengers immediately onto the streets of the city.

Good to Know?

The heat and humidity. The city has no real differentiation between seasons; it is either rainy season or not, but it is always hot and humid. Also, Manaus is on a hill, so walking anywhere means walking uphill. Wear loose clothing (shorts and T-shirts are fine) and a hat, use sunscreen liberally, drink lots of your own bottled water, and take occasional breaks from walking. And a related warning: Cultural buildings are either not air-conditioned or only minimally so.

Getting Around?

All of the main sights are within walking distance of the dock.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

The real (or reais). ATM's are usually found in bank lobbies, especially along the Rua 24 de Maio; there are none in the market areas. Many ATM's take only cards with credit card logos. Unless you plan on spending a lot of cash in restaurants or shops, you can survive with a small supply of U.S. currency. Most cultural sights take both reals and dollars. And even in the markets, someone is always eager to exchange dollars for the local currency.

Language?

The official language is Brazilian Portuguese. Although not many residents speak English, the attendants in most attractions do. There always seems to be someone nearby in the markets to translate as needed.

Where You're Docked?

Ships dock at the Porto Flutuante (floating docks), an ingenious structure that rises and falls with the greatly fluctuating river level. A stone retaining wall at the end of the bridge from the dock indicates the high water marks from 1902, when it was built. The town begins at the docks. Check out the number and sizes of riverboats that are docked with your ship; Manaus is the market center for the entire Amazon region, and river dwellers travel up to five days to buy supplies there.


Manaus Cruise Reviews
If your a normal human being and would like to explore a wide range of animals , reptiles , birds , insects and on top all that with so much history from all walks of life , medicine , technology all in the centeRead More
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lujoleasing
Good overall but saw very little wildlife and the rain forest walk was a bit sterile. Make sure you are well covered with Deet etc. We were bitten despite this and it is a Malaria areaRead More
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jjessie
Tour very good scenic giving good understanding of areaRead More
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dlemke
Zoo was small but very informative as to their purpose of rescue Read More
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dlemke

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