In the wild and untamed Amazon jungle, luxury riverboat Aria Amazon cruises deep into the Peruvian Amazon on 3, 4 and 7 night itineraries. Kimberly Rosbe reports on 8 reasons why Aria Amazon Aqua Expeditions stands above the rest.
1:1 crew to guest ratio
To meet and exceed the needs of the sophisticated traveller and ensure highly personalised 5-star service, Aria Amazon Aqua Expeditions maintains a 1:1 crew-to-guest ratio on the river. The 27 staff members aboard each Aria Amazon cruise include a cruise director, paramedic and four English speaking naturalist guides. Onboard the sleek, state-of-the-art vessel, every whim is catered to.
Did you know?
The Amazon rainforest houses the world’s largest and most diverse collection of plant and animal life
World-class Peruvian cuisine
With a mouth-watering menu created by Peruvian executive chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino, Aria Amazon serves world-class cuisine specialising in sustainable produce and ingredients sourced from local markets. In 2018, Chef Schiaffino’s restaurants ‘Malabar’ and ‘Amaz’ in Lima were chosen among ‘Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants’ – an honour which translates to his movable dining room on the Amazon. Chef Schiaffino is also notably the pioneer of the Despensa Amazonica movement which promotes the use of sustainable produce and ingredients from the Peruvian Amazon. Aria Amazon’s delectable menu features the Peruvian Amazon’s most famous produce, the paiche fish. Offering up tastes and flavors from the Amazon, expect inspiring dishes like hearts of palm soufflé, plantain and yucca gnocchi, and Peruvian ceviche made with the succulent river fish.
Small cruise excursions
Expeditions into the jungle and along the river are conducted in groups of eight or fewer. Aria Amazon’s team of expert guides impart their knowledge about the ecosystem with individualized attention as they lead guests in search of spectacled caymans and embark upon fishing trips for piranhas. The lesser human presence translates to more intimate and abundant wildlife experiences in the Amazon, with potentially more sightings. On these small group excursions, naturalists bring guests up close and personal to hundreds of wildlife species – parrots calling out from dense canopies, pink Amazon dolphins frolicking in the dark waters, squirrel monkeys playing in the jungle.
Sheer luxury onboard
The Aria Amazon is custom-built to explore the Peruvian Amazon and the famed Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve in comfort and luxury. Designed by renowned Peruvian architect Jordi Puig, the groundbreaking design showcases modern style with spacious suites and ample social spaces on the top deck featuring a jacuzzi, indoor lounge and bar, and an outdoor observation deck. 16 spacious suites with floor-to-ceiling windows bring the outdoors inside while gliding along the majestic river. The vessel’s design even supports the environment with a water treatment plant that only releases 100% clean and sterile water into the Amazon.
A river cruise with Aria Amazon encapsulates one of the most rewarding nature expeditions in the world. Specifically, the Peruvian Amazon of the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve has one of the highest concentrations of wildlife in the entire Amazon rainforest – exactly the river route of Aria Amazon. Theses upriver Amazon waters are pristine, low in sediment and rich in aquatic life, coupled with an astonishing amount of wildlife on land. In the most biodiverse rainforest and river system on Earth, the Amazon rainforest houses the world’s largest and most diverse collection of plant and animal life including 20% of all bird species. At least 40,000 plant species, 427 mammals, 1,300 birds, 378 reptiles, more than 400 amphibians and around 3,000 freshwater fishes are known to exist in the Amazon.
Beyond the private river expeditions, enjoying kayaking along the river and even swimming with pink dolphins. Guides can take you in search of spectacled caymans or on fishing trips for piranhas. For relaxation time on the ship, Aria Amazon boasts a floating spa with new decor for the ultimate in unwinding.
Aqua Expeditions actively supports numerous conservation projects on the Amazon. In an effort to grow the population of the vulnerable Yellow River Turtle, Aria Amazon Aqua Expeditions actively manage 300 Amazon Yellow River Turtle eggs at any one time. Depending on the itinerary and time of year, guests have an opportunity to participate in nesting the turtles or releasing the hatchlings into the river. Aria Amazon guides also work in conjunction with the Pacaya-Samiria National Park to provide monthly reports on wildlife sightings.
Aqua Expeditions Aria Amazon actively contributes to communities in the Amazon by taking guests to different villages to encourage donations. Aqua’s paramedic health talks for the local villages as well as regular checkups also benefit the indigenous people.