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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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”

Robb Report Mexico July /August 2021

“In one of the most spectacular ecosystems, the Amazon, a new species has been born: Aqua Nera, the most recent vessel of Aqua Expeditions.”

Boat International June 2021

“Representing more than half of the world’s remaining rainforest, the Amazon spans nine countries and is home to 16,000 species of tree. The Peruvian Amazon can be visited in superyacht style on board Aqua Expeditions’ new 20-suite Aqua Nera, whose inaugural voyage is planned for this month.”

Prestige Indonesia APR 2021

“Aqua Blu welcomes guests with luxuriously appointed amenities including spectacular observation decks and workout facilities as well as generous and inviting outdoor spaces.”




“Life on Aqua Blu revolves around the water. My journey is a destination deep-dive in every sense. On a seven-day trip, you can do as much or as little as you like. Most days, a group of us don tanks and dive the coral gardens, while others snorkel or swim from the beach. No less blissful, however, are afternoons spent on the sun deck with a drink and a pair of binoculars, spying solitary huts and waterside villages hemmed in by limestone cliffs.”

Town&Country Mar 2021

“I’m finally here (what’s a 38-hour plane-and-airport marathon when I’ve been waiting a decade?) because I found just the right vessel on which to explore. I love wildness, but I also love creature comforts, and the Aqua Blu, the newest boat operating in Raja Ampat, fit the bill.”

Asia-Pacific Boating Jan/Feb 2021

“Aqua Blu started out as a hydrographic vessel chartering underwater terrain in far flung locations. After several refurbishments, its new mission is letting guests explore Indonesia’s most sought-after marine destinations in comfort. It’s a fitting next chapter in this boat’s history.”


“The debut of the boat, Aqua Blu, is Galli Zugaro’s first foray into ocean cruising. It has made visiting this remote part of Asia possible without the challenges of organizing a private charter (though you can do that, too–the Aqua Blu can accommodate parties of up to 30 people, perfect for those who want privacy).”

Virtuoso Life Jan/Feb 2021

“Aqua Expeditions’ new 40-passenger Aqua Nera will join sister ship Aria Amazon in Iquitos, Peru, for expeditions in South America’s richest ecosystems. Daily naturalist-led, small-group excursions depart to spy three-toed sloths and toucans, explore local communities on all-terrain bike tours, kayak, fish for piranhas, and search for the Amazon’s endangered pink river dolphin.”

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