A luxury cruise along the world’s mightiest river—the perfect immersion in the wonders of the Amazon!
The mighty and mythical Amazon River, along with its 1,100 tributaries, forms the world’s largest river basin, flowing through the world’s greatest tropical forest. Inspiring countless legends and epic adventures, this powerful and awe-inspiring natural wonder features a level of biodiversity beyond compare—the Amazon is home to one in ten of the planet’s species (though many are now threatened due to habitat loss). Deep in the forest, native tribes still live the way they have for centuries, paddling silently through the waters in dugout canoes as bright tropical birds flit and monkeys chatter in the dense foliage above.
On our exciting voyage through the Peruvian Amazon, you’ll explore timeless and exotic rivers, islands and jungles teeming with wildlife, while enjoying all the amenities of the M/V Aqua or M/V Aria. Custom-built in 2007, Aqua was the first luxury expedition vessel ever to sail the Amazon and its tributaries — this 130-foot ship accommodates a maximum of 24 guests, at standards that are comparable to a five-star hotel. The new, 147-foot-long M/V Aria is even more luxurious, with 16 oversized suites (each measuring around 240 square feet).
Each day, you’ll venture into the virgin forest aboard a comfortable excursion skiff, accompanied by local guides steeped in knowledge about the Amazon’s flora, fauna and traditions—in the evenings, you’ll return to the ship for a gourmet meal and a blissful sleep in your air-conditioned suite.
Your adventure begins with an excursion on the Tahuayo, a classic "black water" river, so called because of the high tannin content of the water, which gives it the color of tea or coffee. You’ll have the chance to fish for piranhas in Charo Lake, and visit the Yacapana Islands, known by locals as the “Iguana Islands” because of the huge population of these reptiles—like tiny dinosaurs—crawling over the ground and resting in the tree tops.
Next, you’ll explore Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve, a flooded forest covering five million acres at the headwaters of the Amazon basin. You can choose an expedition by skiff deep into the reserve, where you’ll see the famous Kapok trees (the tallest trees in the Amazon Basin), and learn first-hand about the important medical value of jungle plants. Or, accompany a park ranger to hear about sustainable resource management projects in Amazonia. Whichever you choose, be sure to keep your eyes open and binoculars handy. The park is a haven for animal life, with 13 species of monkeys—ranging from howlers, with their cacophonous, guttural cries, to tamarins the size of squirrels—sloths, caiman, a bevy of spectacular bird life, and two kinds of freshwater dolphins, both gray and the famed pink dolphin that features in many local legends. For any lover of wildlife, this is an experience to be cherished.
You’ll rise early the next day for a dramatic sunrise over the birthplace of the Amazon. Here,the union of two major tributaries—the Ucayali and the Marañon—forms the world’s greatest waterway. Then it’s on to Puerto Miguel native village to meet and interact with the local tribe in this highly remote part of the world, and learn about their culture, traditions, and folklore. You’ll also have the chance to see the world’s largest aquatic plant, the giant water lilies or “Victoria Regias.” En route to Iquitos the following day, you’ll stop at a Manatee Rescue Center, where biologists and volunteers care for endangered Amazon manatees. You’ll see what’s being done to protect this gentle and vulnerable species and how the resident manatees are being prepared for re-introduction into their natural habitat.
Like all of our trips, this MTS expedition is a perfect mix of adventure, culture, expert guidance, and immersion into the wonders and mysteries of nature—but with the advantage of a luxurious riverboat and a daily infusion of creature comforts. Your memorable journey on the world’s mightiest river awaits, so climb aboard!
Easy river cruising, wildlife viewing, cultural encounters, and optional fishing
- Enjoy top standards of comfort and service aboard the luxury river cruise ships M/V Aqua or M/V Aria
- Spot the Amazon's spectacular wildlife, including 13 species of monkey, hundreds of species of birds, and unique freshwater pink dolphins!
- Gaze at the breathtaking spectacle of sunrise over the birthplace of the Amazon
- Meet remote Amazonian villagers and learn about their folklore and ways of life
- Visit a manatee rescue center to see what’s being done to protect these gentle, vulnerable creatures
Duration: 5 days Start Location: Iquitos End Location: IquitosDownload Detailed Itinerary
Day 1 : Arrive in Iquitos and transfer to M/V Aqua or M/V Aria
Arrive in iquitos via Lima, Peru's capital, and transfer to the luxurious M/V Aqua or M/V Aria, your home away from home for your Amazon River adventure.
Day 2 : Exploring the Tahuayo River and Yacapana Islands
You'll want to wake early to catch the sunrise over the glorious Amazon, heralding the beginning of your exploration of this new, verdant world. In the morning we'll board comfortable excursion skiffs to explore the Tahuayo, a classic "black water" river, so-called because of the high tannin content of the water, which makes it very dark. As we float down the Tahuayo, occasional fishermen paddling in their dug-out canoes will give us a cheerful greeting. You'll want to keep your binoculars ready to spot a vast variety of wildlife: terns, orioles, blackbirds, black collared hawks, monkeys, and sloth share this wonderful environment with us. Upon arrival at Charo Lake, you can bait your hooks to try to catch one of Amazonia’s fearsome piranhas (and other fish as well). As you fish, trained guides will also tell you the story of the lake and its inhabitants.
After lunch on board, we'll once again board the skiffs to visit the Yacapana Islands, known as the “Iguana Islands” to the locals because of the huge population of these reptiles—like tiny dinosaurs—crawling over the ground and resting in the tree tops. As the sun sets, you will have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see and photograph both gray and pink freshwater dolphins. The people of the Amazon believe that these dolphins turn into humans to steal handsome men or pretty women from their villages during celebrations. Once the sun sets and the jungle is dark, we begin our search for caiman, frogs, bats, and other nocturnal jungle denizens before returning to our ship for dinner and a nightcap.
Day 3 : Two Options in Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve
Option of an all-day visit to the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve to spot wildlife and learn about traditional and contemporary medical uses of native jungle plants, or start the day learning about sustainable resource management projects in Amazonia from a park ranger—including a visit to a local village project—followed by a shorter late afternoon excursion to spot the area's varied wildlife, including many varieties of monkeys and the rare pink dolphin.
Day 4 : Visit the birthplace of the Amazon River, and meet villagers in remote Puerto Miguel
After a short early morning excursion to witness the sublime spectacle of an Amazon sunrise—accompanied by a symphony of innumerable birds, insects, and monkeys—you'll visit the remote village of Puerto Miguel.
Day 5 : Return to Iquitos
Morning excursion and a final lunch on board ship. Afternoon disembarkation with a city tour of Iquitos and a visit to the Manatee Rescue Center to learn about threats to this gentle aquatic mamal, as well as efforts to rehabilitate and reintroduce captive manatees to the wild. Then, transfer to the airport for your flight to Lima.
DATES: Best time to go: Year round Departures: Sep 2 - 6, 2014 M/V Aqua Sep 8 - 12, 2014 M/V Aria Sep 9 - 13, 2014 M/V Aqua Sep 15 - 19, 2014 M/V Aria Sep 16 - 20, 2014 M/V Aqua Sep 22 - 26, 2014 M/V Aria Sep 23 - 27, 2014 M/V Aqua Sep 29, 2014 - Oct 3, 2014 M/V Aria Sep 30, 2014 - Oct 4, 2014 M/V Aqua Oct 6 - 10, 2014 M/V Aria Oct 7 - 11, 2014 M/V Aqua Oct 13 - 17, 2014 M/V Aria Oct 14 - 18, 2014 M/V Aqua Oct 20 - 24, 2014 M/V Aria Oct 21 - 25, 2014 M/V Aqua Oct 27 - 31, 2014 M/V Aria Oct 28, 2014 - Nov 1, 2014 M/V Aqua Nov 3 - 7, 2014 M/V Aria Nov 4 - 8, 2014 M/V Aqua Nov 10 - 14, 2014 M/V Aria Nov 11 - 15, 2014 M/V Aqua Nov 17 - 21, 2014 M/V Aria Nov 24 - 28, 2014 M/V Aria Dec 2 - 6, 2014 M/V Aqua Dec 9 - 13, 2014 M/V Aqua Dec 15 - 19, 2014 M/V Aria Dec 16 - 20, 2014 M/V Aqua Dec 22 - 26, 2014 M/V Aria Dec 23 - 27, 2014 M/V Aqua Dec 29, 2014 - Jan 2, 2015 M/V Aria Dec 30, 2014 - Jan 3, 2015 M/V Aqua Jan 5 - 9, 2015 M/V Aria Jan 6 - 10, 2015 M/V Aqua Jan 12 - 16, 2015 M/V Aria Jan 13 - 17, 2015 M/V Aqua Jan 19 - 23, 2015 M/V Aria Jan 20 - 24, 2015 M/V Aqua Jan 26 - 30, 2015 M/V Aria Jan 27 - 31, 2015 M/V Aqua Feb 2 - 6, 2015 M/V Aria Feb 3 - 7, 2015 M/V Aqua Feb 9 - 13, 2015 M/V Aria Feb 10 - 14, 2015 M/V Aqua Feb 16 - 20, 2015 M/V Aria Feb 17 - 21, 2015 M/V Aqua Feb 23 - 27, 2015 M/V Aria Feb 24 - 28, 2015 M/V Aqua Mar 2 - 6, 2015 M/V Aria Mar 3 - 7, 2015 M/V Aqua Mar 9 - 13, 2015 M/V Aria Mar 10 - 14, 2015 M/V Aqua Mar 16 - 20, 2015 M/V Aria Mar 17 - 21, 2015 M/V Aqua Mar 23 - 27, 2015 M/V Aria Mar 24 - 28, 2015 M/V Aqua Mar 30, 2015 - Apr 3, 2015 M/V Aria Mar 31, 2015 - Apr 4, 2015 M/V Aqua Apr 6 - 10, 2015 M/V Aria Apr 7 - 11, 2015 M/V Aqua Apr 13 - 17, 2015 M/V Aria Apr 14 - 18, 2015 M/V Aqua Apr 20 - 24, 2015 M/V Aria Apr 21 - 25, 2015 M/V Aqua Apr 27, 2015 - May 1, 2015 M/V Aria Apr 28, 2015 - May 2, 2015 M/V Aqua May 4 - 8, 2015 M/V Aria May 5 - 9, 2015 M/V Aqua May 11 - 15, 2015 M/V Aria May 12 - 16, 2015 M/V Aqua May 18 - 22, 2015 M/V Aria May 19 - 23, 2015 M/V Aqua May 25 - 29, 2015 M/V Aria May 26 - 30, 2015 M/V Aqua Jun 1 - 5, 2015 M/V Aria Jun 2 - 6, 2015 M/V Aqua Jun 8 - 12, 2015 M/V Aria Jun 9 - 13, 2015 M/V Aqua Jun 15 - 19, 2015 M/V Aria Jun 16 - 20, 2015 M/V Aqua Jun 22 - 26, 2015 M/V Aria Jun 23 - 27, 2015 M/V Aqua Jun 29, 2015 - Jul 3, 2015 M/V Aria Jun 30, 2015 - Jul 4, 2015 M/V Aqua
2014 & 2015 PRICES
All rates are per person, double occupancy, in US$
2014 M/V Aqua (departures year-round, every Tuesday)
2014 M/V Aria (departures year-round, every Monday)
2015 M/V Aqua (departures year-round, every Tuesday)
2015 M/V Aria (departures year-round, every Monday)
Additional departures available for 3 nights and 7 nights. Please call for details.
Note: All itineraries are subject to change, due to weather and other conditions.
M/V Aqua and M/V AriaAmazon, Peru
M/V Aqua Amazon
The 130-foot-long, M/V Aqua was the first true luxury cruise ship on the northern Amazon River in Peru and was custom built by Peruvian architect Jordi Puig in 2007 to offer an extraordinary level of comfort for her guests.
The M/V Aqua can accommodate a maximum of 24 guests plus crew, and is the perfect size to sail along the Amazon River, providing extremely comfortable lounge, dining and sleeping accommodations as well as modern navigation systems and standards for cruise ship travel and safety on the water.
The M/V Aqua’s twelve oversized cruise ship suites—including 4 Master suites—feature en suite sitting areas and generous outward-facing picture-windows with panoramic Amazon river views. Each of the handsomely decorated, air-conditioned suites measure between 230 to 240 square feet. Four of these suites can be interconnected, to cater to families.
M/V Aria Amazon
Spacious and indulgent, yet intimate enough to feel entirely exclusive, the 16-cabin Aria Amazon incorporates generous dining and lounging areas, including an outdoor Jacuzzi.. The striking black-hulled ship was launched in 2011 and can accommodate a maximum of 32 guests.
Floor to ceiling windows face the Amazon River (with blackout windows for maximum privacy) in each of the 16 Design Suites, four of which can interconnect for families. Handsomely decorated with natural fibers and neutral hues these air-conditioned accommodations with en suite sitting areas and bathrooms each measure 250 square feet.
Properties shown are representative of the accommodations we use on this trip, may not be inclusive of all accommodations we use, and are subject to change.
Expert leadership is the key to an exciting, unforgettable experience. Our trips feature gifted leaders for whom leading trips is a true vocation. Besides showing you wonders you’d never find on your own, they make sure everything runs smoothly and safely without a hitch. They are knowledgeable about all aspects of your trip, and take great pleasure in sharing their insights with you. More than just guides, they positively elevate your experience by being teachers, companions, and the best of friends. You’ll be in good hands with them every step of the way.