Iquitos, Peru (July 13, 2007): The M/V Aqua, the Peruvian Amazon’s first truly luxury expedition vessel, will set off on its virgin voyage January 12, 2008 from the port city of Iquitos, Peru, to explore some of the more remote and pristine areas of the Amazon River and its tributaries. The M/V Aqua will cater to discriminating, adventurous travelers, and will journey into areas only a privileged few have had the opportunity to experience, including parts of the Peruvian rain forest and the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve and flooded forest. Iquitos, where the company is based is located deep in the Peruvian Amazon jungle, only reachable by boat or plane.
The flagship of Aqua Expeditions, the M/V Aqua is a 140-feet-long vessel with 12 spacious and luxurious guest suites, designed by renowned Peruvian interior designer Jordi Puig . All of the suites are 230-240 square feet with large outward-facing picture windows and en-suite sitting areas; eight are interconnected to cater to families. Guests can intermingle in the ship’s dining room, bar, indoor lounge, observation deck and outdoor lounge. Each sailing will have a crew of 14 plus three naturalist guides to accompany guests on local excursions.
Lima star chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino has been appointed to oversee the restaurant, which will offer a menu of fresh, delicious Peruvian fare, served both on-board or on excursions. Owner of Lima’s renowned Malabar restaurant, Schiaffino has designed a dinner menu perfectly matched to the region and paired with select South American wines.
Travelers can choose year-round from three-, four-, and seven-night itineraries. Every voyage is uniquely appealing as the changing seasons vary the sightseeing and wildlife. Guests will venture off the boat daily on a fleet of three launches, each with its own naturalist guide, to navigate the Amazon near its source and to explore the smaller inlets and river systems that make up the flooded forest. Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, located at the headwaters of the Amazon, covers more than 5 million acres and is teeming with wildlife and aquatic life including such threatened or endangered species as the Pink Amazon dolphin, three-toed sloth, black alligator and giant river otter.
Aqua Expeditions is the brainchild of Francesco Galli Zugaro, a former VP of Marketing and Sales of Ocean Adventures, a boutique cruise operator in the Galapagos Islands. Mr. Galli Zugaro is of US and Italian nationality, and lives in Lima, Peru with his wife and three children.