Some came seeking the fountain of youth, some came looking for gold and some just wanted an adventure, but for whatever reason, South America has always been at the top of every explorer’s list.
Now on Prinsendam, Holland America Line guests can set sail and explore the heart of South America, the Amazon River. During Prinsendam’s 30-day Amazon Explorer departing this November, guests will see the continent’s legendary lands during this unforgettable experience while cruising the world’s largest river.
The voyage begins in tropical Fort Lauderdale where guests will find themselves somewhere between laid-back island time and the fast pace of a thriving city. After enjoying Fort Lauderdale, guests will enjoy two sea days before Caribbean island hopping en route down south.
After a sea day, the voyage reaches South America. The first stop is Devil’s Island, French Guiana, infamous for its prisons of the 19th and 20th centuries. One of its most famous prisoners was Henri Charrière, author of the book Papillon, who allegedly succeeded in an escape by filling sacks with coconuts in order to float to the mainland. After re-living history, cruisers will enter the Amazon at the scenic Barra Norte Sea.
The first stop along the Amazon River is Macapá, Brazil. While many people have not heard of this city, it is certainly a check off of a bucket list, as Macapá bills itself as the city of the middle of the earth because the equator runs through it! A visit to Macapá will be filled with tropical warmth and scenic rain forest views.
The next Amazonian stops are Santarem and Boca da Valeria, Brazil, before reaching the largest city along the Amazon River, Manaus, Brazil for two port days. Manaus is the perfect example of a contrast between modernity and nature as high-rises, buzzing restaurants and beaches are minutes away from the watery jungle.
Following a visit to Manaus, the cruise heads to Parintins and Alter do Chao, Brazil. After crossing the equator, the cruise returns to Barra Norte before reaching Belém, Brazil. Founded in 1616 as one of the first settlements along Brazil’s Amazon River, Belém, the capital of the Brazilian state of Pará, once prospered as one of South America’s spotlight playgrounds for the rich and cultured. While visiting Belém, the action-packed Ver-o-Peso market, the largest open-air market in Latin America, is a requisite first stop for any visitor.
Following the visit to Belém, the exploration continues with two sea days. Guests will again reach the coasts of the Caribbean, by exploring two ports in Trinidad & Tobago. While at Scarborough, a “must-do” is to try curried crab and dumplings, a staple at most of the island’s many food shacks. The next port of call is the capital of Trinidad & Tobago, Port-of-Spain, best known for its colorful carnival full of steel pan orchestras.
After another sea day, guests will land on the shores of Aruba’s capital city, Oranjestad. Oranjestad, is a maze of Dutch-colonial architecture painted in a palette of Caribbean pastels. Along with the quaint Dutch architecture and beaches guests will also find a treasure trove of excellent seafood restaurants, lighthouses and untouched nature that reflect the rugged appeal of Aruba. Two more sea days and the 30-day exploration returns to Fort Lauderdale.