You’re on a cruise ship that features an outdoor jacuzzi and exercise room. Your meals are cooked by a gourmet chef. And your cabin is the equivalent of a five-star hotel room. But you aren’t sailing the Mediterranean. And you aren’t cruising the Caribbean. You are in Peru, on the Amazon River, deep in the heart of darkness, aboard the M/V Aria, on a luxury experience from Aqua Expeditions.
There’s something amazing—and perhaps a little unsettling—about being able to experience this much luxury in such a remote location.
Luxury . . .
A trip through Aqua Expeditions is about as high-end as an group travel experience can get. The WOW-factor feature is the accommodations. The M/V Aria has 16 suites, every one equipped with an iPod docking station, a rain showerhead, modern decor—and huge floor-to-ceiling windows. You can gaze out upon the river and wildlife-filled rainforest without even getting of bed. Though, if you can pull yourself away from the luxe linens, there’s also a lounge chair.
There’s also plenty of lounging to be found on the upper deck, where everything from the jacuzzi to the bar and dinning tables are oriented to provide an optimum view.
Those dinning tables are filled with food from one of Peru’s top chefs, who uses fresh ecologically-sourced ingredients to prepare a fusion of continental and Peruvian cuisine.
Then there are all those small touches that makes luxury feel special. You’ll be picked up from the airport in a comfortable Mercedes Benz van. You’ll wait to board your cruise boat in a custom pavilion with comfy sofas. And when you do board your boat, you and your 31 fellow passengers will be served by 24 attentive staff members.
. . . In Remote Peru
Being aboard the M/V Aria is so luxurious that it is easy to forget that outside of your floor-to-ceiling cabin windows is a patch of Earth that, until relatively recently, was one of the most remote on the planet.
Happily, Aqua Expeditions goes to great lengths to engage their guests in their surrounding environment, not merely watch it from the comfort of a lounge chair. Depending on your M/V Aria itinerary, you might go piranha fishing, explore in a dug out canoe, take rainforest hikes, visit a manatee rescue center, and go looking for dolphins, birds, turtles, monkeys and other wildlife. On every cruise there are four English-speaking naturalists who lead day trips and teach about the flora and fauna.
There are many opportunities to interact with local people too. On village visits you’ll have on opportunity to hand out school supplies and fishing kits.
Luxury Amazon River Cruise Options
There are several luxury cruise boats that ply the Brazilian portion of the Amazon. But in Peru there are only two. Both are run by Aqua Expeditions. In addition to the M/V Aria, which set sail in April 2012, there’s the M/V Aqua. The Aqua is small and not quite as luxurious as the Aria (there’s no jacuzzi, for example) but still really, really nice.
On either boat, you’ll be pampered in luxury—in a remote and stunning location.
Hopefully the piranha won’t start fishing you.
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