Is it possible to cruise the world’s mightiest rivers without sacrificing the artifices of a five-star hotel? That was Francesco Galli Zugaro’s idea when he launched Aqua Expeditions, a company specialized in luxury river cruises. The adventurous, almost mysterious cruise departs from Iquitos, a Peruvian city only accessible by river or through four daily flights out of Lima, the capital. Boarding one of the luxurious vessels–Aria Amazon or Aqua Amazon—sets the tone for a precious and exciting experience. With 12 and 16 suites respectively and a capacity for about 30 passengers, these intimate boats were designed by Peruvian architect Jordi Puig with all the amenities of a luxury hotel: private suites, indoor Jacuzzi and a gourmet Peruvian restaurant led by Chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino, whose restaurant Malabar in Lima listed as one of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants list sponsored by S. Pellegrino & Acqua Panna.
The decks are specially designed for relaxation, socializing with friends or enjoying a cocktail while one takes in the pristine, stunning scenery. The large glass windows on the suites offer magnificent views of the vast river and endless jungle. These exclusive three, four, or seven nights safaris allow travelers to enjoy the natural beauty of the Amazon rain-forest and, in particular, the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, a protected sanctuary that is home to pink dolphins, exotic monkeys, manatees and more than 300 different species of birds. Read more about travel. Aria Amazon.
The Aqua Expeditions river cruises are perfect for a romantic experience or a family outing. As a result, the success of this unique company has allowed it to expand by running luxury vessels through the waters of the historic Mekong River, in Vietnam and Cambodia.
Aqua Mekong makes its route in Southeast Asia between Siem Reap, in Cambodia, and Ho Chi Minh, in Vietnam. Excursions include visits to remote Buddhist temples and the great Sap lake of Cambodia. From the Park Hyatt hotel, at the end of the journey, it is possible to continue by bus to the Angkor megapolis, declared a World Heritage Site. ■
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