PERU: As European rivers become more and more crowded, luxury travelers escape elsewhere in search of somewhere peaceful and less traveled. One place where you would be able to find this is Peru’s Amazon region, aboard one of the few luxury cruise lines sailing the waters of the Amazon.
Peru has always been known for UNESCO World Heritage sites Machu Picchu and Cusco, and more recently, Peruvian food has entered the international spotlight. Now, travelers are also coming for the Amazon, which cover roughly 60 percent of Peru. Home to a dense rain forest filled with an array of flora and fauna, this region is largely inaccessible except via river transport, which is where the Amazon river cruise comes in.
Peru native Aldo Macchiavello and his wife, Lissy Urteaga, own Delfin Amazon Cruises. Delfin has three boats; The Delfin I has four guestrooms and trips average US$1,200 per person, per night; The Delfin II has 14 cabins at $1,000 per night; while The Delfin III has 22 cabins at $800 per person.
“The boats are designed to be an extension of the rain forest. They are built with local know-how and indigenous materials, with strong attention to design elements and sustainability,” said Ines Rodriguez, marketing and sales director of Delfin Amazon Cruises.
Meanwhile, Aqua Expeditions is the work of American/Italian businessman Francesco Galli Zugaro, who worked in the cruise industry in Ecuador for many years before entering the Peruvian market in 2007. The Aria Amazon, Aqua Expedition’s ship, has 16 cabins at $1,250 per person, per night.
“It was my dream to bring the adventure of a great African safari to the Amazon River,” he explains about his concept of soft adventure, “the wildlife component is the key selling point. We frequently walk through forests in search of medicinal plants, and spend time looking for birds and primates, sloths and pink dolphins.”