Aqua Expeditions in the Press

Aqua Expeditions is regularly featured by top travel journalists in the travel, culinary and news media. Read below the latest press and news media coverage about Aqua Expeditions – leading guests on luxury voyages on the world’s greatest rivers.

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“With only seven suites and 16 crew, the sleek and chic 50m-long Aqua Mare is small enough to evoke feelings of ownership – you really feel that you are on your own private yacht with a few friends. Think luxury, service, comfort and attention to details – that’s what Aqua Mare is all about and it’s a haven after a hectic day of exploring these islands.” 

Australian Financial Review September 2022

“Getting dropped into a feeding frenzy of whale sharks might not exactly scream “luxury”, nor might spending a week aboard a decommissioned British Navy vessel . But throw in a cruise director who was once a Royal Marine and an owner with a passion for hard-to-reach destinations, and you’ve got Aqua Blu – an adrenaline fuelled take on high-end cruising.” 

House & Garden October 2022

“Mary Lussiana takes a luxury superyacht cruise to the Galapagos, the Pacific Ocean archipelago known for extraordinary wildlife that is found nowhere else on earth.” 

Time Magazine August 2022

“One of the most biodiverse destinations on the planet has recently secured even more stringent environmental protection. Late last year, the leaders of Ecuador, Costa Rica, Colombia, and Panama ratified the more than 20,000-sq.-mi. Hermandad Marine Reserve.”

FT How To Spend It July 2022

“Francesco Galli Zugaro first visited the Galapagos in 1991 and, like Darwin, fell for its unearthly wonders. With his new Aqua Expedition, however, he’s nurturing another species: Homo affluentes rimor. Simon Usborne is the first aboard” 

Gourmet Traveller July 2022

“Twisting my tongue around a cocktail straw, I enjoy a hit of Negroni designed by Singapore mixologists, Proof & Company. There’s a book butterflied on my king-sized day bed, and I can hear anchor chains rumbling out into turquoise waters. Luxury cruise vessel Aqua Blu has moored off an active volcano looming out of the Banda Sea.” 

World Cruise Industry Review Spring 2022

“Prior to the pandemic, more and more cruisers were being drawn to the Mekong’s fascinating network of waterways, offering entry to its stounding natural beauty and its rich cultural heritage. Elly Earls talks to AmaWaterways president Rudi Schreiner and Aqua Expeditions CEO Francesco Galli Zugaro, to found out about the evolution of river cruising in the region, and why the Mekong continues to entice adventurous travellers through a diverse array of itineraries.” 

Departures Spring/Summer 2022

“When it comes to superyachts, the prefix isn’t a measure of magnitude so much as opulence – and now the must-haves in cruising are the few available for these opulent, almost personal vessels. With a svelte exterior styled by Studio Scanu of Italy and incorporating interiors by renowned yacht designer Francois Zuretti, the 16-guest Aqua Mare reimagines the cruising dream.” 

Town&Country May 2022

“‘We do 9-to-5 adventure.” says Francesco Galli Zugaro, founder and CEO of boutique cruise line Aqua Expeditions. Indeed. On the Aqua Blu in Indonesia, I swam with giant mantas; on the Aqua Nera in the Peruvians Amazon, I ogled pods of pink dolphins and had close (really close) calls with piranhas, and then returned at day’s end to the mother ships’ coolly sophisticated suites, star-chef menus, massages, and hot tubs.”

Elite Traveler Spring 2022

“Aboard Aqua Nera – an exquisite vessel that ventures deep into the Peruvian Amazon – guests will be spellbound by interior design features that summon a sense of place, such as the bathroom tiles that reference the Shipibo tribe’s Amazonian prints.”

Canadian World Traveller 2021-22

“‘Today we are going to look for sloths, monkeys, toucans and bromeliads. You are not gonna like it. You are gonna love it!’ The Aqua Expeditions guide then continues the briefing, by pointing on a map to the Peruvian tributary that we were going to navigate before reaching the Amazon.”

Conde Nast Traveller April 2022

“Aqua Expeditions has made a name for itself with small-scale, customer-designed ships that venture to some of the most unspoilt corners of the planet, from the Amazon River to Raja Ampat. So it makes sense that its next yacht – the seven-suite Aqua Mare, which debuts in May – is based in the Galápagos  Islands where twice-daily activities will be led by naturalist guides.”

Sea+I Mar 2022

“Setting a new design standard on the world’s largest river, Aqua Nera was inspired by the namesake black water lagoons of the Peruvian Amazon and designed to leave a minimal impact on this awe-inspiring natural resource.”

an Bord Mar 2022

“The air is electrifying. lightning flashes. It’s been rumbling and growling for an hour. Gusts of wind shake the strangler figs and blacks Mangroves on the river bank. The animal world is intoxicated. Every few seconds, a fish leaps into the air, night monkeys shimmy through the treetops, and birds of prey glide through the air. It’s the first day of the three-day river cruise ARIA AMAZON, a 16-cabin luxury ship that sails the Marañon and the Ucayali, the source rivers of the Amazon.” 

Food and Travel Mexico Feb/Mar 2022

“Dawn in the Peruvian jungle promises a journey of deep transformation. My days, and those of the 40 passengers on board the Aqua Nera, are filled with exciting possibilities: going out to explore the Amazon aboard skiffs, kayaks or walking through the thick vegetation; visit indigenous villages, explore green expanses and winding waterways, navigate slowly between riverside towns or relax in one of the privileged spaces of the ship, letting yourself be surrounded by the beauty of the jungle…”


“The ship [Aqua Nera] provided a serene foil to the wilderness surrounding it, and life on board was relaxing and laid back. As much as I enjoyed the excursions, dining was admittedly my favorite part of the cruise, from alfresco breakfasts to festive meals in the dining room. Peruvian chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino’s innovative menus showcased ingredients sourced from the Amazon, elevating everything with a delicious sense of place.”


“Aqua Nera offers itineraries tailored with once-in-a-lifetime experiences that include intimate encounters with exotic wildlife and exhilarating adventures ranging from jungle walks, spotting Amazonian pink dolphins, piranha fishing, kayaking along the river’s black water tributaries, and more.”

Vogue Turkey Oct 2021

“Floating in the Peruvian Amazon, Aqua Nera and exploring the Mekong River connecting Vietnam and Cambodia, Aqua Mekong are among the most special boats of the award-winning company. With only 20 suites, these ultra-luxurious boats sail deep into the Amazon rainforest and historical treasures along the Mekong coast.”

SEA+I Issue 44

“For Francesco Galli Zugaro the world is not enough. As of 2021 he operates four explorer vessels that ply the Mekong River, the Spice Islands and the farthest reaches of the Amazon River. The greatest adventure? It has just set sail. His latest launch, Aqua Nera, stalks big cats and scarlet macaws in the Peruvian rainforest wetlands.”

Travel+Leisure October 2021

“Aqua Expeditions N°4 River Cruise Line in the 2021 World’s Best Awards”

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