The company also reimagined its excursion program to enable greater customization.
Four-week refit in Manaus
The 18-passenger Tucano underwent a four-week refit at a shipyard in Manaus, Brazil, its homeport. Naturetours.com CEO Mark Baker wanted to make the vessel more comfortable and elegant. He orchestrated a full rebuilding of the main salon and dining room as well as replacing walls of windows with glass panels that open and glide into pockets, retaining abundant interior light while also staying true to the company’s mission of sustainability.
The nine outside cabins consist of five large double, two single and two double-berth rooms. All were fully refinished and redecorated with new fixtures and furniture, yielding the look of a classic yacht with polished brass and highly varnished solid wood panels.
New artwork, including many original pieces commissioned for the vessel, were placed in the cabins, where amenities were upgraded to L’Occitane toiletries and 700-thread-count Egyptian cotton woven by Brazil’s premier luxury manufacturer, Artelassé.
A significant portion of the energy used on board is generated by solar panels, including heating water for showers, refrigeration in the galley, making ice and powering the ship's launches. Naturetours.com recently received the Latin American Travel Association Achievement Award for most sustainable tour operator. The company also recently eliminated on-board plastic and now provides free, reusable aluminum water bottles.
Leisurely or active exploration
Travelers can now choose different ways to experience the rainforest, at a leisurely expedition pace focused on the observations of the naturalist guides, or on a more rigorous, intensive excursion with hikes deep into the forest and kayaking in remote streams. They can vary which type of excursion they choose each day.
'We are so excited to have passengers experience our refreshed motor yacht as well as our newly designed expedition offerings,' Baker said. 'We know that each passenger may have their own desires and level of ability in exploring the Amazon and want to make the experience as authentic and tailored to each guest as possible.'
Deep into the Rio Negro
Naturetours.com voyages explore deep into a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site in the least inhabited major river system of the Amazon basin, the Rio Negro. This offers one of the Amazon's most varied environments: high forest with towering trees, eerie flooded forests that stretch for miles upon miles of dark still water, grasslands where crocodiles rest in the day and, at a certain times of year, beautiful deserted beaches stretching as far as the eye can see.
Tucano operates four-night 'Amazon Odyssey' and six-night 'Voyage to the Heart of the Amazon' sailings round-trip Manaus, year-round.
Naturetours.com is based in Jamestown, Rhode Island, with offices in Manaus.