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About Manaus

New York was built on granite, London on clay. But Manaus was built on rubber. As the furthest navigable port on the Amazon, some 1,000 miles from the ocean, the city sprang up as a centre for rubber exports from the Brazilian plantations and became a focal point for trade.

Taking its name from the Manaos Indians who inhabited the region, the city became a huge boomtown at the end of the 19th century, as more and more rubber was harvested from the surrounding rain forest.

As the economy thrived, the locals erected monuments to their success. The most flamboyant being the huge golden-domed Opera House, which was imported, stone by laborious stone, from Europe. At its height, it also boasted palatial mansions and a hedonistic life-style.

Nowadays, the rubber industry has died away, but the city, with its vast crumbling civic building, remains a fascinating gaudy metropolis, set amidst a sea of dense rain forest.

 

Shore excursions in Manaus

Please note: The shore excursions listed are typical for this port. The full programme of shore excursions available for your cruise will be displayed on Cruise Personaliser at least 12 weeks prior to departure.

Manaus City Tour

Activity medium

Duration: 3½ hours

Discover the capital of the Amazonas State, a sprawling city of contrasts with some interesting highlights.

A scenic drive through Manaus will take you along the waterfront and through the historical and modern areas of the city. See the ‘Teatro Amazonas’, Manaus Opera House, built in 1896 in the days of the great rubber boom. Greats such as Caruso have graced the stage of this magnificent building, which has now been restored to all its former splendour.

A visit to the Indian Museum, dedicated to the lost Indian cultures of the region, gives a good idea of traditional lifestyles. Exhibits include wooden blowpipes, feather head dresses and unexplained artefacts.

You’ll also have the opportunity to visit the Art Nouveau-style Municipal Market, which represents a miniature of the previously famous Les Halles in Paris. The stalls sell an immense variety of fruits, herbs, powders and medicinal extracts.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. This tour involves around 1½ hours’ walking. There are approximately 30 steps at the Opera House and a further 20 at the Indian Museum. Heavy traffic may be encountered during this tour.

Rio Negro Cruise

Activity low

Duration: 4½ hours

This unique river tour allows you to experience the beauty and mystery of the Amazon.

A riverboat ride will take you up the dark waters of the Rio Negro to see one of the most awe-inspiring sights in nature. The Meeting of the Waters is the confluence of the Rio Negro and the Rio Solimões. The Solimões is a white water river, muddy with suspended material, whilst the Negro is the colour of black tea. The two flow side by side, but do not join.

The vast ecological park of Lake January Reserve is home to one of the region’s most unusual plants, the giant Victoria-Regia water lily, named in honour of Queen Victoria. The Amazon Lake is filled with the water lilies, their pads looking like elegant dinner plates with delicate crimson ribbing on their undersides. Here, you’ll transfer into motorised canoes to journey deeper into the narrow tributaries known as ‘igarapes’.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by riverboat, canoe and on foot.There are several steps involved when embarking the riverboats and at Lake January. The trail can be slippery when wet. Comfortable, flat non-slip walking shoes are essential. Passengers are advised to take a raincoat, sunscreen and insect repellent. The canoe trip has no commentary. Due to the layout of the canoes passengers will need to bend and step over seating when embarking and disembarking.

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