Rio Negro Queen: The Last Trip...Almost.
When Tricia and I landed in Manaus, on March 2nd, 2020, little did we know that this was to be our last international trip for a long while. Luckily, it charged our travel-powered minds for long enough to stand 12 months of domestic lockdown. This last trip was in fact THE trip.
My eco-conscious wife hesitated before making the journey. To her, any commercial exploitation of the Amazon is invasive and destructive. To the bug magnet I am, Amazon implied mosquito domination.
But then, we boarded the Rio Negro Queen. At first, you act cool with the “seen-it-all”-luxury travel advisor attitude. But, soon enough, you are high-fiving each other in your cabin shouting “Whaaaaat!!!!”.
And “Whaaaaat” is exactly what it was: 15 cabins, 15 guides, 15 private boats, a Michelin Chef, a Cordon bleu advisor, two Italian mixologists, a spa, and a plethora of nature experts. The perfect place to lock up and stay clear of the jungle buzzing enemies.
Life in The Jungle Was Suddenly Pure Heaven
During our first of 4 exceptional dinners, a Belgium fishing expert throws “Isn’t it great that we are floating down the side of the Amazon River that is mosquito-free?” Tricia and I glanced at each other and let out one more “Whaaaaat?”
“Mario, Luigi, a celebratory cocktail please”. Life in the jungle was suddenly pure heaven.
An Adventure For Everyone
Rio Negro Queen is for all types of nature lovers. Those who want to photo-safari, swim with pink dolphins or catch the wildlife from their personal speedboat. It’s for those who want to challenge the world record earned by the vessel with a 29-pound Peacock Bass.
And then you have the lifers who want to eat incredible dishes on a powder white sand bar in the middle of the Amazon.
Travel With Heart
But there is one more category of people who will love the Rio Negro Queen–the ones who want to travel with heart. We learned that a 16th cabin was occupied by a live-aboard dentist and an ophthalmologist. My Tricia felt so good accompanying them into local secluded communities and bringing them basic needs they don’t have access to. Some primary care was administered in the villages while the more intricate work was performed on the Rio Negro Queen, at night, while guests were sleeping.
Until our next "Whaaaaat"...
These 4 days left us on a feeling which has lasted ever since. Our hosts, the crew, the experiences, the culinary journey, the adventures, the good done, and all the small attentions which felt made for each person.
The Amazon sunsets are engraved in our souls. Until our next “Whaaaaat”.