The M/V Aria is the ultimate luxury cruise ship navigating the northern Amazon River in Peru. Custom built in 2011, the ship resembles a “floating boutique hotel” more than an expedition vessel. The Aria boasts new furniture, flooring, air conditioned units and sliding doors, as well as painting inside and out. The suites’ interiors follow the same trend, with linens made of fine Peruvian cotton, artwork by local craftspeople, and technologies designed to make as little impact on the environment as possible.
The striking 147-foot-long vessel is designed to accommodate a maximum of 32 guests, plus 24 crew members, including a paramedic and four English-speaking naturalist guides. In each of the 16 “design suites” (averaging 250 square feet), soft lighting, natural fibers and neutral hues create a relaxing luxurious enclave of comfort. In your air-conditioned suite, the only challenge may be deciding whether to gaze upon the Amazon from atop your king-size California bed (which can be separated into two twin beds) or do your viewing from the cozy window-side daybed – binoculars in hand.
The vessel’s social areas include an indoor lounge (also air-conditioned), an outdoor lounge, an observation deck (with its outdoor Jacuzzi), and an extremely generous dining room. The indoor lounge serves as a library and a media room with a flat-screen television for watching the latest DVDs. Outside, chairs and loungers are provided for relaxing as the ship winds its way along the Amazon River as well as two Peruvian tributaries.
Three meals are included daily, with "house wines" accompanying dinner. Juice, coffee, soft drinks and water are provided as part of the fare, though bar drinks and wines from the extensive international list are also available. Snacks, too, are provided during the day and in the evenings in the lounge.
Off-ship excursions into the Amazon rainforest from the Aria Amazon showcase unique Amazon wildlife, birds and the plant life of this rich habitat. Each of the ship’s customized aluminum motorized launch boats, or “skiffs,” take up to 8 passengers on two to three daily excursions deep into Amazon’s snaking tributaries. One of the ship’s four world-class nature guides will then introduce you to a world of new cultural contacts as well as Armored catfish, Red bellied piranhas and the beady-eyed heads of Spectacled caimans in these enigmatic black waters.
“I want to thank you for arranging a perfect tour for me. I know you did not have control over who the other people would be, but it all, on all fronts, was perfect. The itinerary was sensational and the boat fabulous.”