As England football fans turn their minds to the Brazil World Cup in 2014, the more adventurous can choose Rainforest Cruises' (www.rainforestcruises.com) new World Cup Manaus Amazon Cruise for a different view of the tournament.
Manaus is the gateway to the Brazilian Amazon and one of the 2014 World Cup cities. It plays host to four group games in a newly built 42,618-seater stadium, the Arena Amazonia. Rainforest Cruises' unique five-day tour gives football fans the chance to watch the matches at this impressive new venue, while discovering the magical lure of the Amazon.
Accommodation for the duration of the tour is a traditional Amazon riverboat, moored at the port in Manaus for game days. The itineraries conveniently work around the tournament. They include a historical city tour with a stop at the lavish Opera House, and a visit to a colourful Manaus market when there are afternoon fixtures, so there's no need to miss a match. Plus, the boat's bar is equipped with a flat-screen satellite TV so you can watch the drama on board if you haven't got tickets.
The cruise sails up the River Cuieiras and into the Amazon, where passengers disembark for a jungle hike. There, a local guide will give the lowdown on jungle survival techniques. There's plenty of time to explore the natural beauty of the fauna and flora, followed by a swim in the Igarape Cachoeira.
An early morning canoe trip, accompanied by the morning chorus of birds on January Lake, makes an idyllic start to any day. And of course there's the chance to come face-to-face with the infamous piranha fish. Guests can also get up close to the Amazon's nocturnal wildlife with dinner in the heart of the jungle and a night safari.
Whatever the outcome of the football this Amazon adventure ends on a high, with a trip to one of Brazil's most amazing natural wonders, the Meeting of the Waters. A remarkable phenomenon, two different coloured waters - the black waters of the Rio Negro and the brown waters of the Rio Solimoes - run side-by-side for almost 10km without mixing.
A five-day World Cup Cruise with Rainforest Cruises starts from £1,299 per person. http://www.rainforestcruises.com.
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