Responsible River Cruises – Wildlife Preservation – Community

In such magnificent natural environments as Amazonia and the Mekong Delta, the team at Aqua Expeditions can see very clearly that responsible, eco-friendly operations play a crucial role in protecting the health of the people, wildlife and natural environments where our river cruises take you. We are genuinely committed to keeping the great rivers of the world clean and beautiful, for today and for generations to come.

Wildlife Preservation & Conservation

Some of our ongoing projects include:

1.  Repopulation projects for threatened species such as Peru’s Taricaya turtle through release programs.

2. Supporting the Manatee Rescue Center in charge of rescuing and rehabilitating orphaned Amazon Manatees.

3. Contributing to the sustainability of Paiches by buying only from certified fish farms where they are nurtured to achieve their optimal consumption and size

Read more about Aqua Expedition’s support of local environmental conservation and wildlife protection initiatives in our Live From the River blog.

Sustainable Travel Policies On The Best River Cruise Lines

To achieve our company goals for sustainable travel & standing out as the best river cruise lines on the Amazon and Mekong, Aqua Expeditions has successfully developed a number of responsible ecotourism practices with standards set well above the environmental protection requirements of local regulations for river cruises.

On our cruiseships, these include:

Fuel Efficiency Our ships’ engines are the most fuel efficient, quiet, and virtually smoke free. We operate a specialized wet exhaust system to minimize the emission of CO2 (carbon dioxide) and reduce our carbon footprint. To minimize noise and vibration on board, our marine generators have been encapsulated. All these measures comply with the latest IMO and U.S. EPA standards.

Engine Emissions
Aqua Expeditions’ vessels are equipped with aluminum speedboats, which are used for excursions to transport guests around Flooded Forests in Peru and Floating Villages in Asia.  In order to minimize erosion to the shores, sound and pollution, the skiffs do not exceed a speed of 10 knots. In addition, it is Aqua Expeditions’ policy that all outboard engines be IMO Compliant with Four Stroke Technology. 

Eco-Friendly Products
By always using biodegradable cleaning products onboard all its vessels, Aqua Expeditions is helping to prevent further contamination of the rivers on which it sails. On the Amazon, Aqua Expeditions uses Ecolab products—the world’s leader in biodegradable cleaning products for the hospitality industry. Everything from hand soap to floor cleaner is supplied by Ecolab. On the Aqua Mekong, the vessel is supplied with the environmentally friendly Enjo products.

Waste Management
All waste is treated onboard in fully contained storage tanks that comply fully with IMO and U.S. Coast Guard standards. The result is 100% clean, sterile water that can safely be discharged into the rivers. Remaining waste materials unsuitable for this process is collected during the journey for delivery at disembarkation for recycling or responsible disposal.

In an effort to help eliminate plastic waste, passengers are provided with a reusable water bottle which can be refilled at two central watering stations.

Aqua Expeditions is equally committed to identifying and helping to meet the needs of the people of Amazonia living in Peru’s Pacaya Samiria National Reserve as well as our Cambodian and Vietnamese neighbors along the Mekong River. This includes environmental conservation and protection of natural resources surrounding these communities, and supporting education as well as environmentally friendly ways for these people to earn their living.

Community Outreach

Aqua Expeditions social outreach efforts include:

1. Educating residents of the communities we visit in natural resources management.

2. Providing ongoing community support to encourage the protection of endangered species such as the Amazonian Manatee, paiche freshwater fish, Taricaya turtles and a variety of great monkeys, as well as aguaje palms, lupuna trees and others indigenous flora.

3. Creating job opportunities: Aqua Expeditions makes a committed effort to employ local guides, whose passion for sharing knowledge creates an unforgettable adventure for travelers. In the Amazon, we also hire local ribereños to join the guides on the guest excursions.

Additionally, many of the unique items used on board or sold at the boutique such as  napkin holders, tablemats, and fans are sourced directly from artisans in the communities which we actively visit and support.

4. Promoting sustainable tourism to residents of the communities we visit as an economic alternative to over-use of natural resources within their territories.

5. With the aim of improving the daily lives of local river inhabitants, Aqua Expeditions created three donation kits (classified into three areas: Sanitation, Education and Nutrition) that are available onboard the Aria Amazon for guests to purchase during the river cruises.

Pack for purposeAqua Expeditions is a proud member of Pack for a Purpose, a global initiative that allows travelers like you to make a lasting impact in the community at your travel destination. If you save just a small extra space in your suitcase to bring supplies for area schools or medical clinics in need, you’ll make a priceless impact in the lives of our local children and families. Learn more about what supplies are needed for our projects in Peru.