Tucano Amazon ship seen on its starboard side amid green trees in the foreground and background
Female looking out open deck in salon dining room aboard Tucano.
Chairs and table on the bow of Tucano.
pictures and artwork hang on the interior walls of the Tucano ship
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year built
crew members
82 feet
22 feet

The 19th century steamships that explored far into the interior reaches of the Amazon River had large, opening windows, a shallow draft, a broad beam for stability and a sense of style that today we would call elegance. In the Amazon, these same advantages are as true today as they were in the 1890s. The 18-guest Motor Yacht Tucano shares this classic style and is well-suited to the Amazon enabling travelers to voyage deep into the rainforest in style and comfort.

Tucano is not a luxury vessel but is comfortable, intimate, efficient and fun. Designed and built for Amazon river cruises, the Tucano began operating in 1997. The Tucano experience offers the classical elegance of a bygone era combined with the capability and the spirit of modern exploration.

Tucano Review

AdventureSmith Explorations’ Tucano review includes a detailed description of the Amazon riverboat including deck plans and a photo gallery. Our small ship cruise experts have been aboard nearly every first-class vessel in the Amazon. Please read our Tucano review below then contact our Amazon cruise experts to compare the Tucano with other small cruise ships and riverboats offering Amazon cruises, including private charter cruises.

Choose the Tucano for a traditional river boat that goes deep into the Brazilian Amazon jungle. The M/Y Tucano has a wide beam, a flat bottom and a shallow draft. She draws only five feet, which enables her to explore remote Amazon rivers where most other vessels cannot navigate. At 80 feet long, the M/Y Tucano is a big boat with a very large interior space, but she routinely crosses the sand bars that cover the entrances of many rivers in Amazonia, and continues on for tens or hundreds of miles farther into the wilderness. She is able to explore the small meandering rivers where wildlife is abundant but which are closed to almost all other passenger vessels.

While the Tucano retains the appearance of a traditional riverboat, she was built using sophisticated equipment, materials and advanced construction techniques. From the electrical and water systems to the advanced propulsion and navigation systems, Tucano offers all of the convenience, security and comfort of a modern yacht. There are individual air-conditioning thermostats in every cabin as well as volume controls for the boat-wide sound system. The vessel has state-of-the-art communications and navigation equipment so that no matter how far into the world’s greatest wilderness the vessel may explore, there is still contact with the outside world.

Common Areas Aboard Tucano

Given the typical calmness of the Amazon’s rivers, Tucano is able to have three decks resulting in a quite large interior space. The M/Y Tucano has almost twice the interior volume as comparable vessels. This extra space goes into ample overhead ceilings, large cabins, full-size bathrooms and many comforts that would simply not be possible in a contemporary design. In 2018 the Tucano went under a substantial refit. The largest update was a conversion to opening glass walls in the salon creating an intimate experience for guests to experience the sounds of rainforest as they dine.

The cabins, Salon and main corridors are crafted of exquisite solid-wood raised paneling. The deep amber color of the varnished wood is accented by polished brass hardware found throughout the vessel. The walls are decorated with framed botanical prints as well as antique maps from the great era of exploration. Especially important is that the riverboat style allows the M/Y Tucano to have many large windows. Tucano has over 70 windows, all of which are three feet high and can be opened for passengers to enjoy the scent of Amazon blossoms. Every cabin has at least four view windows, which makes the vessel bright and airy.

The Salon of the Motor Yacht Tucano serves as the ship’s library and dining room. It is a good place to observe the forest, read or relax. From this large space, filled with windows and situated at the front of the boat, travelers can view the fantastic Amazon rainforest around the ship. The Observation Deck runs the length of the entire upper deck on the M/Y Tucano. Guests can visit the open bridge and watch the crew navigate the vessel, sit comfortably under the canopy and scan the canopy for monkeys and birds, or simply swing in a hammock in lazy comfort. This deck is open and an exceptional place to observe wildlife. Yellow Category cabin #0 is located on the Observation Deck.

The balcony around the front of the boat is a wonderful place to pull up a chair and observe the forest close up. The salon is airy and has windows all the way around. All of the walls are paneled in lovely hardwood. The Middle Deck has a wide balcony around the entire front of the boat with connecting doors to the Salon. It is a wonderful place to relax with a good book, sip a glass of wine, a soft drink or a beer, or simply to marvel at the splendor of the last great wilderness on Earth.  The Main Deck contains the main entry, a full galley and a swim deck at the stern. Travelers board the launches to the side of the boat through two entries designed for this purpose.

Dining Aboard Tucano

Meals aboard Tucano are not gourmet nor are they fine dining. But the ship has a very elaborate meal service and the cooks make the very best out of the wonderful fruits, fishes and flavors unique to the Amazon. All meals are served from the buffer and are wholesome, filling and delicious. Special diets can be accommodated. The cooks rise before dawn to make a large breakfast, and there is always a tantalizing scent coming out of the galley.

Crew & Guides Aboard Tucano

The staff of the M/Y Tucano are highly trained mariners who bring years of deep forest exploration to Amazon cruises. The guides are bilingual naturalists who not only help spot creatures, but also help travelers make sense of the cacophony of plant and animal life of the rainforest. Guides accompany guests on all excursions, with the entire passenger complement leaving the ship together, either via kayak or skiff. Other guided activities may include hiking and piranha fishing. The cooks prepare elaborate meals always from fresh local ingredients, and sailors safely navigate guests into some of the most fascinating waterways in the world.

Sustainability Aboard Tucano

The M/Y Tucano strives to conduct sustainable tourism and  to minimize the environmental impact of cruises with a focus on waste management, energy conservation and pollution control. All waste materials are returned to Manaus including all recyclable material, which is separated on board the vessel. Where possible, Tucano crew avoids the use of disposable packaging. Energy conservation is achieved by changing cabin linens every other day, “on-demand” water heaters are augmented by solar, and a policy of “low power hours” when generators are turned off when they are not needed (typically in the early morning and late afternoon when the boat is at anchor and guests are ashore). The vessel remains comfortable even without electrical generation because it was designed to offer water, illumination and climate control even without diesel generators operating. The M/Y Tucano has an efficient air-conditioning system functioning in the heat of the day and at night. But even during the low-power hours of the day, the cabins stay cool because the vessel is thermally well insulated. All of the windows on the vessel open and close, and windows in the public spaces are opened in the cool of the afternoon.

The Tucano observes a leave no trace policy, which includes not removing anything from the forest, leaving nothing behind, staying on defined trails, not creating new trails, keeping noise to a minimum and leaving no waste behind. Guides take considerable measures not to disturb wildlife including not getting too close, leaving an area if an animal becomes disturbed and not handling or otherwise disturbing wildlife. 

The electrical system on board the M/Y Tucano is 110 volt/60 cycle alternating current. In the interests of conservation, in the morning and for a short time in the afternoon diesel generators and all other noise making machinery on the M/Y Tucano including the air-conditioning system are turned off. This is a good time to appreciate the wonderful stillness of the wilderness and the subtle natural sounds of the forest.

Cabins & Deck Plan Aboard Tucano

The Tucano features 9 comfortable cabins, each with air conditioning, large view windows and a private bath with a hot water pressurized shower, toilet and sink. Most cabins have individual beds and some have above and below beds. The 2018 refit refinished and redecorated each of the cabins with upgrading fixtures, artwork and amenities, including Egyptian cotton woven sheets.

Cabin Sizes by Cabin Number

Cabin NumberCabin Sq. Ft.Bath Sq .Ft.Total Sq. Ft.
Salon  250
Green Category Cabin 2 with bunk beds aboard Tucano.
Green Category

Cabins #1, #2, #7 and #8 can be configured as Green category cabins with a bunk bed. On request, Green Category cabins may be converted to Blue Category with the insertion of a single twin bed.

Yellow Category Cabin 5 with two single beds aboard Tucano.
Yellow Category

The five cabins in this category (#3, #4, #5, #6, #0) are larger and have beds side by side. The beds in cabins #3-6 can be joined together to form a queen-sized bed. Cabin #0 has a queen-size bed beside a single bed, but a quite small bathroom, and can hold three travelers.

Blue Category Cabin 1 with bunk beds aboard Tucano.
Blue Category

Cabins #1, #2, #7 and #8 can be configured as Blue category cabins, a single stateroom with a single twin bed. On request, Blue Category cabins may be converted to Green Category with the insertion of a bunk bed.

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