We always enjoy hearing from our guests in their own words, about what they most enjoyed and remembered from their Aqua Expeditions cruises.
We also encourage all our guests to share photos and videos of their trips with us with their friends and family, on Trip Advisor, Facebook and wherever else you wish.
Here are some recent stories from our wonderful guests at Aqua Expeditions…
Aqua Mekong Guest Testimonial video
Aria Amazon Guest Testimonial video
From a decidedly chilly Sonoma County! Where is my wonderful Southeast Asia heat and humidity?
I wanted to write to tell you how very special and rewarding I found my first experience (and hopefully not the last!) experience with Aqua Expeditions. I have been working in high-end travel all of my adult life, now going on four decades, and I cannot recall a time when I have had the opportunity to work with a ship staff and crew of this calibre of the Aqua Mekong. Capable, professional, friendly, knowledgable. My highest praise and appreciation to all aboard.
I hope we shall keep in touch and please do keep me apprised of developments at Aqua Expeditions. And please do let me know should your travels bring you to Wine Country. I am considered to be an excellent guide!
Kathleen F. – November 2019
We went on the 7-day cruise with the Aria Amazon. A truly wonderful trip.
Luxurious ship, well-kept, great cabins, nice dining room, really nice bar/lounge, out-door jacuzzi and even a small gym with a treadmill and an exercise bike. All members of the crew were extremely nice and helpful.
Cruise directors Fiorella and Jorge are outstanding and extremely professional. Impressive food. It is hard to understand how chef Juan Diego can create meals of this quality and variation considering all the challenges with delivieries in this somewhat remote area.
The four naturalist guides George, Alex, Juan Luis and Roger are all extremely good, very knowledgeable and really nice to spend time with. The excursion programme is well composed, varied and interesting.
The highlight of our trip was the early morning birding excursions with George and Roger. Four years ago I went on a 7-day cruise with the Aqua MekongÂ from Saigon to Siem Reap. This cruise with the Aria Amazon was just as great.
Olle O. (Trip Advisor) – November 2018
We read about the Aqua Mekong in the Andrew Harper Hideaway Report and decided to make it the centerpiece of our tour to Vietnam and Cambodia. We came at the perfect time of the year, at the very end of the rainy season when the weather was perfect and the water high enough to make it into the Tonle Sap Lake to see the floating villages.The boat itself was just fabulous, our room extremely well appointed and the public areas delightful. The staff was uniformly excellent and the excursions fascinating, it was truly a life-changing experience to kayak past floating villages and realizing we are some of the only westerners these children had ever seen.If youâ€™re wanting to cruise the Mekong River, I highly encourage you to go with Aqua Mekong, rather than Viking or Uniworld. We are big Uniworld Fans, but in this area of the world, the experience on the Aqua Mekong is more specialized and authentic. David Thompson, the famous Thai chef, developed the menus and the areas we visited are exclusive to this ship. We saw no other boats on the river the entire trip until we got to Siem Reap.
Lisa K. (Cruise Critic) – October 2018
“An amazing experience that combines fun, engaging activities (bike, kayak, skip rides and walks) with introductions to culture, history and local customs. The staff is fabulous and attentive to everyone’s needs – beyond belief: They address you by name, respond to your wishes promptly and share of themselves in lectures, tours, and conversation to give you an authentic experience with real people. The food is an awesome combination of local and (to us) new and exciting flavors – and also familiar fare, but all exquisite and fresh and beautifully presented – in various settings (inside and outdoors). Wine and other drinks were of very good quality and generously provided. Accommodations are a dream for a cruise ship: with floor to ceiling windows and a balcony (in our case), we enjoyed the spacious room (and bathroom with two sinks!!) and the views from the first glimpse in the morning in our very comfortable bed. The boat is immaculate, and cleaning service (incl. free laundry service) is seemingly instantaneous.”
Sabine S. – July 2018
“We went on a 4 night trip, every day was full of adventure. The food , staff & whole experience was outstanding. Met some lovely people and had a great time I would highly recommend it. We fished for Piranha, saw lots of birds, dolphins , caiman monkeys sloths, & much more. the rooms were nice with panoramic windows to take in the view. Food amazing.”
Chris J. – June 2018
Aqua Mekong was an amazing experience for our family. It is a very careful prepared experience where we were immersed in the cultural landscape of Cambodia and had a different adventure everyday. We had the option to bike or kayak to the beautiful local villages or relax and visit them via speed boats and tuc tucs. The crew was extremely sweet and their attention to detail amazed us. The guides were passionate, knowledgeable and fun! Food was always delicious and the comfort on board is that of a 5 star hotel. Highly recommended! We are looking forward to our next adventure with Aqua Expeditions in the Amazon River!
Daniela F. – May 2018
“I have explored the region of the enchanted rainforest of the Amazon for over thirty years andmarveled at the extraordinary biodiversity and complexity of the worldâ€™s single largest tropical rainforest. The Amazon is home to unbelievable numbers of trees, plants, fish, birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, and invertebrates; a place with undiscovered secrets waiting to unveil its magic. But this time, my latest Amazon exploration was with Aqua Expeditions and their entire Peruvian team. The crew and team were extremely professional and their skilled naturalists, who have grown up in this region, were passionate and knowledgeable about the natural world. As part of this outstanding and fabulous tour onboard the Aria Amazon, I shared my global ecological knowledge with guests, as our local guides shared their expertise and passion for the only place they have known to be home, the Peruvian Amazon. From the delicious local cuisine, to the beautiful accommodations onboard Aria Amazon, to the rich culture of the remaining indigenous people; my journey into the heart of the Peruvian flooded forest, an enormous river system converging into vast flooded plains and forest, is truly a hidden emerald green treasure. This exploration with Aqua reminded me there are still untouched areas of significant biodiversity in the Amazon rainforest, where we need to be the beacons of hope protecting these special places for a more sustainable future. After journeys like this, I am inspired with the greatest sense of hope that we will continue to all work together and keep in motion the many solutions already in place for keeping this magnificent, vital river system alive and thriving. I am looking forward to my next adventure onboard the Aria Amazon with guests from the around the world as we explore together a place that connects us all to nature and to our water planet.â€
Jean-Michel Cousteau – February 2018
“The Amazon River, the jungle, the villages, the animals–the indescribable beauty–all speak for themselves, but our experience was truly spectacular because of your entire staff with whom we came in contact as well as the Aria itself. To begin, the Aria is very special in so many ways! All of the special touches did not go unnoticed–from the impeccable servicing of our rooms, to the towel animals on our beds, to the “good night” treats, to the “welcome drinks” each time we returned “home” to the boat, to the beautifully folded napkins and new accompanying dishes at each meal. But, what truly made this a journey we will never forget, was the staff, all of whom knew us by name from day one!Â Beginning with Juliana and Jorge, they were wonderful Cruise Directors, doing whatever was needed to make sure we were always comfortable, happy and well taken care of. However, the jewel of our trip was our experiences with the Naturalists. Knowing that each of them grew up in the jungle and are now fascinating us with their breath of knowledge about the jungle, the plants, the people, the animals and the birds was truly mind-blowing!Â These individuals could NOT have been more helpful, accommodating, receptive to questions, knowledgeable, and went “well beyond the call of duty” to ensure that we all had an unforgettable experience. And we DID!”
Liz W. – February 2018
“I wanted to write you directly to let you know that we thoroughly enjoyed our cruise on the Aqua Mekong 7 day cruise starting Nov 10. Â I have not been on a cruise since I was 16 and that was 50 years ago. Â I have never been interested in cruising, but my friend, Jon Staub cruises all over the world. Â So when I proposed your ship he said great, letâ€™s do it. Â At the end of the 7 days aboard your perfectly designed ship I asked if he liked the trip. Â His response wasâ€¦..it was the best cruise he had ever been on!!! Â Now that made me very happy because my husband and I thought the trip was â€œperfectâ€ in every way. Â We love the design of your ship. Â Our room #205 was beyond my expectations. Â It is roomy, with enough space around the bed to maneuver without bumping into each other. Â You have plenty of space, not too much, in fact, just the right amountâ€¦.and I really like having both shelves and drawers to work with. Â Shelves are my personal favorite, so I can easily see what I want to wear. Â There was ample hanging space in the closet. Â The bed was very comfortable, lighting was sufficient, corner chair a must, we used it all the time. Â And the bathroom was wonderful, nice big shower, plenty of pressureâ€¦â€¦my only constructive criticism would be the make up mirror should be at a 5 foot height so it would be much easier to use, rather than bending over every evening to put on some make up. Â Otherwise all in the suite was perfection.The common areas are beautifully designed and welcome conversation amongst the passengers. Â On our boarding at Phenom Penh, I just kept sayingâ€¦WOWâ€¦.this ship is beautiful.All of the above would be just okay if the crew wasnâ€™t pleasant. Â But thats not the case on this ship. Â Everyone on board, Cambodians and Vietnamese were so friendly I just canâ€™t say enough about your crew and the manager of the ship. Â The manager, Julie, took care of all our needs and we think made the ship run like a clock. The guides were full of knowledge and wanted to teach us about their country, we love that. Â We organized dinner parties and changed who we ate with and the crew in the dining were very accommodating letting us set up a table for 10 one night. Â The spa ladies were experts at massage and we love that. The bartender also made me a special drink that I like, every night. Â The crew got to know us and we felt that we were taken care of, and we love that. Â Our room was immaculate with fresh towels and I love that. Â I donâ€™t know what else to say but that you have designed and built and crewed a wonderful ship and made our vacation full of great memories.”
Debbie D. – Dec 2017
“The Aria Amazon is an excellent small cruiser with very professional staff and wonderful guides, the cabins were spacious and well appointed, the recreation area very comfortable and the dining room very good. The food was wonderful and gave a good idea of the scope of peruvian food even including the chinese sector so important to them.Â The daily excursions were not to be missed and made us understand the importance of keeping the Amazon and it’s tributaries in pristine condition. To see the wildlife in it’s natural state was wonderful and the view some of the villages and their indigenous inhabitants was charming and meaningful. The guides were terrific in this respec
Dick and Lale – November 2017
“We all had an amazing trip. Can’t find anything that we didn’t like. Far better than Myanmar!! Guess the Aqua Mekong was the highlight. We were lucky to have so few passengers aboard which made it very special for us. We also had the Asian manager for Aqua on board for the first half of the trip, along with the interior decorator, the builder, and 3 travel agents. And David Thompson!! All were interesting and friendly. What a treat. As we were always on our own we had our own skiff and guide for excursions. The excursions were varied and interesting and there were lots for the kids to participate in. The bike rides and canoes were in great demand!! I can’t fault the staff, food (yum) and amazing service on board. Catherine and Winks loved the “magic basket” in our cabins where the dirty clothes disappeared every day and returned clean!!!The chef was very accommodating and arranged early meals for the children, often changing the menu for them. Cambodia was our favorite country. Particularly when we crossed the border and the passing countryside became rural. The weather was kind most of the way. Especially on the boat. In Siem Reap (another lovely guide) we experienced what a tropical downpour really was!! The Vesper excursion we did at night to various restaurants was a very wet adventure as was the night we went to the circus!! Also driving through flooded roads and roadside on our way to the airport on Tuesday.We also were able to curtail some of our daily tours. Like reducing the number of visits to eg temples so we could all spend the afternoons by the pool at the Raffles. We were
templed out by this time. Our guide named a new temple “Raffles Temple” for the tour itinerary!!
But the consensus of the family was it was the best time to go. The big pluses were they we were able to sail up the lake to SiemReap and the relatively small number of tourists.
Also the size of the boat. That is a huge advantage. We passed the new Scenic boat while in Vietnam. We looked like a minnow against it. But not our choice of boat. Too big and too white!!
I’m putting the Amazon on my bucket list on the sister boat to do!!”
Glenice S. – October 2017
“Cambodia was fantastic and I had such an amazing time on the Aqua trip, Thank you SO much for your help. The best thing by far about the Aqua Mekong cruise was the staff on the boat (and the guides who took us on excursions off it). They were so attentive, friendly and welcoming, it really made the whole experience amazing. The food was absolutely INCREDIBLE too. Seriously, some of the best I’ve ever had. I literally looked forward to breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. The boat itself was really nice, too. It’s amazing that the suites were so luxurious and my favourite thing to do was open the window, lie on my day-bed and watch the Mekong go by. I loved it. I would absolutely recommend Aqua expeditions to anyone looking to explore Cambodia in a different way. The cycling excursions (a personal favourite) were a fantastic way to immerse yourself in authentic Cambodian surrounding and I enjoyed every minute of it.”
Lizzie P. – May 2017
“Fantastic! From the time we stepped onboard the Aria Amazon until disembarkation, we were looked after excellently in all areas of the cruise. Guides and crew made the cruise A1 and we will recommend to all our friends.”
Carol S. – March 2017
“Absolutely AMAZING in every way. We joined the Aqua Mekong for a three night cruise from Phnom Penh, Cambodia to My Tho, Vietnam not far from Ho Chi Minh City.The voyage was perfect in every way. Exceptional service, the most amazing meals, beautiful 5* cabin suite, great excursions and guides, incredibly personable staff, real sweet housekeeping staff, fun on-board activities, a wonderful massage and did I say … exceptional service!This was our second cruise with Aqua Expeditions so we enjoyed their Loyalty Program benefits of room upgrade and a nice surprise of complimentary massages. We sailed previously on their Peruvian Amazon cruise. We were so impressed we had to try another.The beauty of Aqua Expeditions for us is the intimate size of their ships. The Aqua Mekong accommodates a maximum of 40 guests in 20 luxury suites. On our sail there were only 10 of us onboard so the staff to guest ratio was off the charts.When we arrived at the dock in Phnom Penh the crew were there ready to whisk us away to the ship. Our cruise director welcomed us as we relaxed in the lounge with a drink and a snack and she explained the details of our cruise. She introduced us to a few of the most important people on the ship… the bartenders. From that point onwards we were personally addressed by our first names with a warm welcome every time we stepped into the lounge. Great cocktails and munchies We spent almost four weeks in Southeast Asia at 5* hotels and this was the first room where we had two sinks. Nice! Great sized bathroom, wonderful shower, very comfortable suite and bed and great views through the floor to ceiling windows. Plenty of space for all our stuff too!The Chefs and wait staff at meals were awesome. They acknowledged our preferences at every meal such as pointing out to me that there were no onions in my dish. Once introduced to all staff we were addressed by our first name every time we saw them. The Chefs’ cooking demonstration was great. The meals onboard were the best food we had on our entire Southeast Asia trip. I brought many of the recipes home with me. I still dream about the Malaysian Laksa. It was so good!! Excursions were great fun. We were greeted by the Captain and crew on every excursion and given refreshing scented towels and a cold drink upon our return. Plus we kicked off our shoes and they cleaned them up and left them outside our suite. The Apsara dancers/entertainment on board was nice. The excursion to visit a local’s home was a delightful and interesting experience. It was a nice surprise to see that the crew had caught up with us to serve us champagne cocktails. We highly recommend booking a cruise with Aqua Expeditions on the Mekong and in the Amazon!!”
Deborah T. – January 2017
Â “Recently finished a 7-night trip on the Amazon on board the Aria. It was an unforgettable and Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â fascinating experience. Truly a trip of a lifetime. The ship, the crew and the guides were outstanding. I Â Â Â Â Â Â would highly recommend this cruise to everyone with a taste for adventure.”
Pat I. – January 2017
Â â€œI have never traveled with some wonderful, well-traveled people and staff and was completely Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â impressed by the overall experience.”Â
Mary S. – November 2016
Â â€œExceeded what we expected, the personalities (the crew) on board were exceptional.â€
Simone B. – November 2016
“After over 160 trips in the last 8 years, and 2 with Aqua, we rate theÂ Aqua Mekong number one for the hotel and dining experience. I use theÂ word hotel interchangeably for cruises and hotels, and Aqua beats themÂ all, land and sea.”
Ron S. – October 2016
“Traveling with the Founder Francesco made it rather special, too. He and his Aqua background are fascinating.Â All in all, the ship, the food, the passengers, Francesco, along with the guides, the skiffs, the bikes, and the activities made it a great experience.”
Robert I. – September 2016
“My experience on the river excursion was wonderful all around. I found the crew at Aqua extremely warm, knowledgeable and enthusiastic, eager to help every guest get the very most out of their very special holiday.”
Elizabeth G. – July 2016
“A true adventure”
“Everything in this cruise far exceeded our expectations. Excellent facilities, service reserved for a five-star hotel, food and drink of the highest quality. I am an adventure traveler from way back. When I am traveling the world, I want to see or do something that is unique and different. TheAria Amazon river cruise is a different type of cruising that takes guests on an adventure not to be forgotten, very different from any others and would definitely go again.”
Maria Ch. – May 2016
We had a wonderful time on the Aria. We had a fun tour of Iquitos and the Manatee rescue center before the cruise and it was one of the highlights. The food and accommodations were wonderful and the staff top notch. The excursions were fun and interesting, and we saw lots of wildlife.Â So, all in all, we had a great trip.
Lucy B. – March 2016Â
The Aria cruise was absolutely wonderful! Everything was perfect. The food was delicious, the accommodations were first rate and the service was excellent. Marina and the rest of the crew were always helpful, kind and knowledgeable. All the guides were extremely professional and knowledgeable. They were so kind and gracious and helpful. I always felt very safe with them. From the first meeting concerning safety, until the final and extremely fun musical evening everything was top notch. I want to thank all of the Aria crew and guides for one of the best trips of my life.
Janet F.P – February 2016
We had a fantastic time on the Aria. So many wonderful memories and the staff was excellent. The boat and accommodations and service and food was above what we dreamed. Everybody on the Aria were smiling and friendly and knowledgeable.
My wife and I are already looking over our calendar as to when we can go on Aqua Expeditions’ Mekong River experience.
Philip & Sabine – January 2016
The trip was a very relaxing experience and saw more animals than I thought. The pink dolphins were in front of our panoramic windows and could see how they were playing outside. A unique moment was when we were in the middle of the Amazon watching the sunset and suddenly the guides took a few glasses of champagne to make a toast with the whole group.
Frederike O. – December 2015
The service on board was impeccable. The crew were smiling, attentive and made sure we were awarded with only the highest standard of hospitality.
Justin and Shuyi L. – December 2015
“What an amazing experience, mere words cannot describe how perfect this Mekong experience is and how seamless you make it for us. The service level is off the chars, the ship is magnificent and the added space is so impressive, the food, the shore excursions so very interesting and varied. It is a wow factor beyond words.
I thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for giving me the opportunity to experience this slice of heaven. I had the best birthday ever!
I met Kim and Anthony, they were lovely but I have to say your crew on that ship are outstanding, each one perfection. I loved talking to all of them as they all have such amazing stories and back grounds.
My journey with you will be in my heart and sould forever, a true feast for the eyes wherever you look.”
Susan B. – September 2015
“The 7-nights that we spent this past June on the Aria will probably be the pinnacle of our travel experience for many years to come. The cruise was amazing in every detail….from the beautiful and well maintained ship to the friendly and professional staff, Aqua Expeditions clearly has set the bar by which other premium travel companies will be measured. The scenery was breathtaking, the guides (with their nearly superhuman eye sight) spotted and showed a vast amount of animals, and the food and presentations were world class. Our cabin was gorgeous and the attention to detail by our cabin attendant was beyond words. Congratulations to Aqua Expeditions for creating such a wonderfully run company and thank you for making our travel experience a life changing event.”
Duncan C. – June 2015
“Thank you so much for a most wonderful experience this past week on the Aqua Mekong.Â I must say that while I had high expectations I never expected it to exceed them so much.Â The ship is a beautiful floating resort and an ideal place to explore places few people see, places less touched by modernity and places with beautiful topography, all from the comfort of the luxurious accommodations and living quarters on board.Â Â But as nice as the ship is, it is you, the team on board that truly create the experience.Â The warm smiles, the personalized touch and the simple yet refined dedication to service make the Aqua feel more like a private yacht than an exploration river boat.Â Â Â The intimacy of the hardware is only embellished by the heart and soul infused in your team which I find remarkable to do in such a short time since launch.Â From the wait staff to the bar tenders, to the amazing tour guides, the house keepers, and the cruise directors, everyone knew us by name after one day, knew our preferences, and always managed to make anything we wanted happen â€“ any time of day.
I was quite impressed with the variation of activities you offered, as I was afraid each day would seem redundant. Â But what most surprised me was how much I just enjoyed watching the world go by on board â€“ and actually feeling amazing staying on board and chilling out rather than rushing to do something every minute.Â Â Â The lectures and selection of movie (sans the tiger one!) really helped bring the destination to life, and I was especially attuned by the philanthropic concepts you introduced on board.
You truly have something special and truly opened my eyes to what Aqua is really all about.
Thank you so much for your hospitality and for making me feel so special!”
Jack S. E.Â – MayÂ 2015
“My wife was very reluctant to undertake this trip, consenting only after seeing the photos of the boat and being assured that she could remain on the boat and watch the scenery go by. As it turns out she took all but one off-boat excursion, and since returning has described the trip to friends as “fabulous” and “one of the best we’ve ever taken”. The most special part of the experience was our guides–George, Jose, Daniel, and Neyser; they are so knowledgeable and personable, their English language skills are impeccable, and they are just some really smart guys. We spent time with each one, and immensely enjoyed the company of each. All in all, this was a great trip, and I would change nothing about it.”
Tom M.Â – March 2015
“IÂ finally had the opportunity to go a few weeks ago, aboard the Aria Amazon. Truly, it was one of the best experiences ever.Â Everything just went perfectly. We had fantastic weather, beginning with a huge Amazonian rain on our first expedition out. But then it cleared just in time for piranha fishing. My son caught 2 piranha and a sardine â€“ the only one on our boat, aside from the guide to catch a fish! The rest of the time, it was perfect.
The staff and guides were really incredible! Such warm and engaging people. We had Ricardo, Alex, Neycer and Roger. Each brought their own unique personality and expertise to the experience, and all were so much fun.
And the boat was wonderful. Very comfortable, spacious and stylish. There ended up being another boy on board the exact age as my son, so they entertained each other and I got to enjoy the upper deck and relax with a book. The food was incredible. Such variety and beautiful presentation â€“ everyone was looking forward to the meals to see what was on the menu.
I traveled with my 81 year old mother and 8 year old son, and all of us thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. There really wasnâ€™t anything we would have changed. My mom is already planning to return 4 years from now.Â Thank you again for creating such a stand-out product.”
Jean F.Â – April 2015
“We were impressed at the friendliness and helpfulness of all.Â The modern design of the boat, excellent Asian food and choice of interesting excursions. Beach cocktails a highlight!”
Gillian and Jay K.Â – January 2015
“The Aqua Mekong is the ultimate in the commingling of modern 5-star luxury and soft adventure. In fact, Aqua Expeditions riverboat cruising, whether on the Amazon or the Mekong, may just be as game-changing in its world as Adrian Zecha’s Amanresorts was when it launched with Amanpuri in 1988.”
Â Nancy Novogrod, Editor in Chief, Travel + Leisure – October 2014
“It was absolutely wonderful. We disembarked just last Saturday and I realized the next group had their cruise this past week and are disembarking today. Our cruise Director Carolina was so gracious and treated us like a family member. The guides and staff were just great – Edgar the bartender was very attentive and knows how to make good martinis. The dining room staff was great too. They made our experience on the Amazon very special and I want to thank them for making our trip one of a life time. We send our hello and thank-yous to all and wish you success and good fortune in the years to come.”
Janet McKinney – Â June 2014
“One of the true “bucket list” items, done before we were too old to experience a true expedition into unexplored area of the Amazon headwaters. Met by an expert team of staff at Iquitos Airport, no bag drag, ushered into Mercedes 30 pax airconditioned vans and driven to the riverboat, Aria, docked at Nauta. Greeted by the pristine uniformed crew of the riverboat and ushered to our spacious staterooms. We dress high casual for our evening meal, a creation of tastes that would delight the culinary world followed by evening coctails on the observation deck and vewing the river by night. Since there is no light pollution, you can see why the ancients marveled at the night sky. The expeditions were expertly tailored to show the flora and fauna and to experience the sights, traveling in four, ten person skiffs to various areas identified by experienced guides. Guides who grew up in the Amazon, were schooled, traveled widely and chose to come back and be a part of a true experience for Amazon travelers. We saw and experienced things one would read in a book or see in a NatGeo magazine. The truly plush and high class riverboat experience can only be described in superlitives. We can’t wait to book our trip to the Aqua sister location in the Mekong and its headwaters.”
Tim & Ann Tarzier – May 2014
“Thank you so much for all that you did for us as part of the wonderful Aqua Amazon Fam trip last week. I really enjoyed having dinner with you and talking politics-a special focus of our tours here. You have a wonderful colleague in Catherine and all of the naturalists and crew on the ship are the best I have come across. I do applaud all of the environmental, health and education efforts Aqua is making for the people of the Amazon. It was a joy to see.”
Joan Russell – May 2014
“The excursion was nothing short of fantastic. The crew were incredible, helpful and very knowledgable. I can’t believe we had breakfast in the middle of nowhere as wellÂ as champagne watching the sunset.Â The food and presentations were first class and cabins very roomy and comfortable.Â Thanks to all for a wonderful memory.”
We will be back!
Edwin and Colleen Maindonald – May 2014
“Back from the Amazon and just wanted to thank you for all your help. It was a wonderful experience in an amazing part of the world. I also was able to meet Pedro at Amaz. He is a great chef and hope he continues to put more of his talent into Aqua.Â Thank you and best regards,”
Lydia Moss – April 2014
“I am writing to tell you what a fabulous time my friend and I had last week on the Aqua. Everyone was energetic, kind, and interested in making sure we were well cared for. The food was unbelievable. The guides were amazing at finding life in the jungle and so very knowledgeable. Carolina, the Captain, the room stewards, waiters, bar tender, EVERYONE was so wonderful.
Also loved the facilities. Great bed, hot showers.Â Thank you.”
Barbara Weiss – March 2014
“I wanted to reach out and say â€œThank Youâ€ for such a wonderful opportunity!
Our trip on the Amazon was amazing; the boat was perfect and the staff amazing! I couldnâ€™t believe at dinner how the staff already knew our names, wow! The naturalists were so passionate about their jobs and eager to share with us all of their endless knowledge. As George kept saying â€œI didnâ€™t like it, I loved itâ€â€¦I would like to add that I have had the chance to travel with many guides all over the world and George is at the top of the list.
Again, thank you so much, I canâ€™t wait to start selling out boats to the Amazon.”
Carol Austin – February 2014
“We thoroughly enjoyed our Amazon visit on the Aria!Â Our room, the food and the service was perfect. Quite an experience and even nicer than we had anticipated.”
Tracy Lovness – January 2014
“I am now back from the cruise and I can’t even begin to tell you how incredible the experience was. The ship first of all is amazing, the cabin size, the comfort level,
the staff was beyond amazing; every single person made this an extra special adventure.
Superb service beyond words, the food selection and quality was outstanding, the expeditions and the guides and boat drivers were sooooooooooooo knowledgeable, they made every adventure exciting and interesting. The care in which they take for each passenger is incredible.
The reaction from the guests on board was also really positive, many experienced cruise passengers and they all agreed that this was one of the best experiences they had.
I thank you all the experience of the Aqua exceeded my expectations!
Wow, now I can sell the product even better!
All my best.”
Susan Brodner – February 2014
“I would like to thank you and Aqua Expeditions for allowing me to experience the MV Aqua on my recent trip to Peru.Â My partner Joe and I absolutely loved every moment of the experience.Â I have worked in the travel industry for 25 years and never have I experienced such a flawless product.Â From the beautiful boat, to the wonderful crew, the superb wildlife and knowledgeable naturalists (in particular, Roland), the food, everything was perfect.Â Our only regret was that 3 nights was not long enough.Â Thanks again and I also wish you success with the new Mekong experience.”
Kate Witton – December 2013
“We had a great experience with the crew of Aqua expeditions!!! We loved our trip!
Please send my best regards to Gabriela!!! She’s great!!
Thanks to Daniel, Julio and Ricardo also!!”
Roberta Sundfeld – December 2013
“Amazing Amazon on the Aqua. First class all the way, loved it!! Thank you!”
Family Miller and Windsor, September 2013
“Aria a highlight â€“ such customer service. Amazing wildlife on the 4 nts â€“ further up into the park â€“ monkeys, wonderful birds.Â Gracias!!!”
Mr. & Mrs. Richardson, August 2013
“The Aqua was super. The cabins were luxurious even with a third body in residence. Fourteen guests total with capacity for 24 – and ten of us were rearranged from a cancelled cruise! Really interesting and friendly traveling companions – no one as young as DeLu but one family had two daughters 20 and 23 who made a big fuss over DeLu. As usual she made friends with her drawing/cartooning talents. The naturalists were very fine and the food absolutely gourmet. The chef always sent someone to ask if DeLu wanted to eat the set meal or something less fancy. She ate the lunches as offered to the group and usually went quick and light on the dinners in order to go to bed early – worked out great.The highlight of the trip was a skiff boat outing on the Pacaya River when the guide trusted his intuition and led the boat into the grasses at the riverbank and pulled on board an 8-foot immature anaconda snake with DeLu sitting in the front seat, alternating between gasping in horror and giggling in delight! What a photo op!Â It ended up probably being an improvement over Plan A to have the two different venues, a variety of guides and swimming pool.Â Curiously enough, the Aqua cruise director told us that the ship was fully booked for the following week.”
Lee Family, August 2013
Now we bet you’ll love this video created by Linda A. about her experience piranha fishing:
“What can I say? It was awesome! We went in July of 2013. The weather was great (upper 80s and rained once over 4 days). The water level had already receded about 12-15 feet, so treking into the jungle was great fun! We saw anacondas, caimans, sloths, monkeys, dolphins manatees and birds of every type.
The staff went beyond my expectations in every way. The cruise director (Anna), the guides (Ricardo, Naycer, Jorge, and Roland, the dining room attendants, the room service, were all top notch! I grew up in Las Vegas where there are more 5 star, 5 diamond restaurants than anywhere on the planet, and I promise you that I have never had any food better than what they served on the Aria! It is truly a must do trip!”
Mr. Joe Cavanagh, July 2013
“Just returned from Peru and a four day visit on the Aqua with my wife and 22 year old son. What a first class experience, great guides, great service, truly an enjoyable and memorable trip. I highly recommend taking a journey with Aqua Expeditions.”
Mr. Thomas Klein,Â July 2013
“Words can not express the great time we had on the cruise.Thank you for helping to make this a once in a lifetime experience for our family.”
Mr. and Mrs. Swoboda, June 2013
“The accommodations were very nice and all the staff (crew, guides) helpful and attentive. The meals were very good and they adjusted to our food restrictions. They provided mosquito netting in our cabin. The education sessions and skiff excursions were very good. We also enjoyed talking with our fellow travelers. We would highly recommend the Aria cruise.”
Mr. and Mrs. Colburn, June 2013
“We enjoyed every minute on the Aria. The delicious meals, the inviting atmosphere and the wonderful crew make it an incredible experience.
The daily excursions and itineraries were perfectly planned and the guides were world class. As a family, we have traveled all over the world and we all agreed our three nights on the Aria were one of the best experiences in all our traveling. The Aria is a once in a lifetime holiday and we hope to return again.”
Ms. Stephanie Goodman, May 2013
“We were surprisingly pleased with our 4-night trip aboard MV Aria. The guides were outstanding. How they managed to find wildlife hidden (to us) high in the tree tops while the skiffs were cruising at 20 knots is amazing. The food was likewise excellent, emphasizing local Peruvian fresh foods. I’m now a convert to camu camu. I wish I could get it at home. The accommodations were also first rate. Lying in bed, watching the world go by through the huge picture window was a wonderful experience.”
Mr. Mark and Donna Blum, April 2013
“We just arrived home. We had the best time everything was even better than expected! Especially the crew, guides! Trip of a lifetime!! Thanks so much we will highly recommend Aqua Expeditions!”
Mr. Jason Wolff, April 2013
“Thank you for making the arrangements for my family to go on the Aria. We had a wonderful time. The staff was incredibly friendly and helpful. The boat is beautiful and the cabins are spacious. It was great to see the animals in their natural setting and to see the floating city in Iquitos and the Villages along the River.”
Mr. Jeff Traugot, April 2013
“We are just back home and I wanted to report that our experience aboard Aria this week was just above expectation. And this was shared by all the passengers representing quite an international range of clients: Canada, Taiwan, US, Australia and France!Â Thank you so much for giving us this great opportunity.Â I have some experience in hospitality and in river cruising in particular and what you ve created is just perfectly balanced: discovery, gastronomy, atmosphere, comfort, organisation, kindness and professionalism of the staff. All went smoothly.Â The boat has been very well thought through as well as itineraries. Really not much to comment on. We saw (we double checked!) 35 different species including Anaconda, Caiman, tarentula, Guacamayo, poisonous snakes, amazing frogs…we fished Pirahnas. Well you know all this.Â In other words just great. Special awards to Ricardo X 2, Georges and Julio. They really made our journeys. The chef is also exceptional. Well done. And Carolina, your new Cruise Director is a lovely person.Â I can assure you that you have now 25 new Ambassadors!Â All the best to both of you, thanks again for your hospitality and I look forward to seeing you soon.”
Un abrazo fuerte
Mr. Yann GuÃ©zennec, April 2013
“There were many memorable moments from the three days we spent on the Aria. We were particularly taken by our ability to connect with not just the land but also the people from the region, from the time we spend with the energetic and knowledgeable guides (all of whom were born and bred there) as well as with the children and teachers in the local village with whom we spent some time on our last day. Thank you for showing us the richness of Amazon with all the comfort that the Aria offered.”
Mr. and Mrs. Lui, March 2013
“My husband and I took this cruise last week. EVERY SINGLE aspect of our interaction with the folks related to the Aqua vessel was beyond our expectations. The crew is professional and masterful! We loved the experience and would highly recommend this cruise to all even remotely interested!!”
Mrs. and Mr. Manly, March 2013
“The Aqua Expedition of the Peruvian Amazon gave us a very good taste of the jungle. The Pacaya-Samiria reserve is spectacular providing us with a lifetime experience. The vessel, staff, food and expeditions were all first class. Whoever takes this cruise will never forget it!!!”
Mr. Vega, February 2013
“Thank you for your email. I am a bit embarrassed you have our feedback form as it was done in such a rush. But we would like to say that we thought Aqua expedition was the best trip of our lives.Â We felt it was a privilege to be able to see so much of the Birthplace of the Amazon, so rich in fauna and flora, in such hospitable comfort. We never normally do a cruise, it is not our thing. But we absolutely loved the Aqua expedition, and we loved the mother ship. We liked that she was small and intimate. And we liked the care that had been taken with everything.Â It was fabulous, all the staff was wonderful and responsive and anticipated all out needs. Neythan was a superb guide and so obviously knew the Amazon that he was an inspiration.Â Gabriella rang a very happy ship and it showed across all the different components, from the restaurant, to the bar, to the rooms to the expeditions.Thank you for the care everyone at Aqua expeditions took, you gave us an experience of a lifetime.”
Mr. and Mrs. Begbie, February 2013
“It was one of the best journey we had ever. We would like to come back again. I made a digital album. Please access to the site below:
Thank you for all things which you have done for us during the cruise. We are looking forward to seeing you again very near future.”Â
Mr. and Mrs. Nakagawa, February 2013
“A rare opportunity to visit and intimately experience a remote and unique part of the world. This boutique tour operator provided cruise guides and naturalists, mostly local, who were very friendly andÂ knowledgeable and went out of their way to ensure their guests were well looked after. The fauna and flora of the upper reaches of the Amazon River are always photogenic, but with eagle-eyed guides knowing the best vantage points the experience was truly amazing. Special mention and thanks toÂ Danial, Julio and Ricky (and a brave cruise director who even tried to teach me to dance). Altogether an unforgettable experience.”
Mr. Shelton, January 2013
“There are no words to adequately describe our adventure. It was amazing. I will send photos (double rainbow at Macchu Picchu) which may begin to tell you how much fun and excitement we had. We all climbed Waynapicchu and made it down too! The guide was amazing from OE. Just a hint..Ben snatched a speckled caiman from the rivers of the Amazon!!!He was supervised, of course, by a guide and it was a small one, only a couple feet long. How thrilling. Aqua was amazing..loved it.”
Mr. and Mrs.Â Kopecky, January 2013
“The cruise was fantastic we had a wonderful time. The staff were very attentive and made our time on in the rainforest amazing. The room was very comfortable and everyone was very friendly. The presentation of the food was also great. It was a great experience.”Â
Mr. and Mrs. McFadzen, November 2012
“Dear Mr. Zugaro,
My wife and I recently took a four day cruise on the Amazon aboard the Aria. The staff aboard the ship was incredibly accommodating and friendly – particularly the director of the cruise, Gabriela Rodriguez, who made the trip so enjoyable by her outgoing personality and participation, as well as her efforts in getting all of the passengers to know one another. Many thanks to Ms. Rodriguez and the rest of the staff aboard the Aria for helping us to create a wonderful experience that my wife and I will remember for years to come.”Â
Mr. and Mrs. Silverman, October 2012
What an amazing experience we had recently on the â€œAriaâ€. We absolutely loved it and without exception it was the highlight of our Peru holiday.Â The â€œAriaâ€ is such a brilliant boat on the Amazon with every convenience including the great bed, spacious bathroom and the picture windows for watching life on the Amazonâ€¦â€¦we havenâ€™t stopped raving about our trip, since we left Iquitos! All the staff were so gracious and accommodating and full of enthusiasm and it was obvious they loved their jobs and their role in helping the ecology of the area. We had 2 fantastic naturalist guides, Julio and George who managed to find all sorts of wildlife and how they did, weâ€™ll still never know. They are great ambassadors for Aqua Expeditions and the area itself and both are good-humoured, intelligent and full of information. My husband, Greg and I loved all the daily excursions and to meet the local people, see the smiling children and enjoy the time with them was very special. All the shipboard staff were fantastic too in the bar, restaurant and throughout the ship. Smiling, professional and couldnâ€™t do enough for everyone on board. Food was excellent and Greg, being vegetarian who eats fish/seafood was really well accommodated as was another guest who was strictly vegetarian. We had such a lovely group of people and everyone of them was as enthusiastic as Greg and I, about their 4 nights onboard. All of us commented that we would travel back to Peru, just to take another Aqua Expedition.
The entire time, from when we were picked up at Iquitos Airport until we left Iquitos was superb and we were still learning enroute to the airport at the manatee rescue centre. Really fabulous experience and product. Every trip to Peru should revolve around Aqua Expeditions as the highlight.Â Thank you to Marylin for all her help in organizing and thank you to Francesco and to all at Aqua Expeditions for making this trip possible. This was the experience of a lifetime.
Mrs. and Mr. Thackray, September 2012
Â “Dear Aqua Crew,
Was wonderful every minute that we spent in the cruise. We’ll never forget all of you. There are no words to describe our experience. We’ve just want to tell all of you thank you very much for everything. Right know we are listening the CD and looking our thousand of photos….. THANK YOU.”
Mr. and Mrs. Wilhelm, July 2012
We had a fantastic trip!!!!!!!!! It exceeded our expectations. You should be very proud of Aqua Expeditions/Aria! From the moment we were met at the airport to the moment we were dropped off a week later, everything was amazing! The boat, the accomodations, the service, the food, the EXPERIENCE! Certainly one that we’ll highly recommentd. Thanks.”
Mrs. Gerdes, June 2012
“Yes, the Amazon is fascinating and for people who appreciate a more personal trip, Aqua Expeditions are just the right size and duration. Our four day, three night cruise during High Water season was a unique experiece on so many levels. You met our expectations for food, caring staff, room design and guides. What we hadn’t expected but fortunately did experience, were the variety and friendliness of the other guests, which now feel more like friends than just fellow travelers. Thank you for attractingÂ such great personalities and helping to create wonderful experiences. There is a wealth of vegatation waiting to be explored.”
Mrs. and Mr. Silver, May 2012
“The experience was absolutely AMAZING from beginning to end. The Amazon and villages speak for themselves. The staff of the ARIA was SO nice and accomdating. The service was excellent and the menus even better! our guides George, Ricardo, Roland and Julio was so very knowledgeable, not to mention cute and adorable. So was the staff in the restaurant, Robinson, Tony and Ericson……..they also sing and dance, who knew?? in one word…EXCELLENT !!”
Mr. Thomas, April 2012
I wanted to thank you for your help in planning a wonderful trip. My husband and I really enjoyed every part of our time in Peru and your suggestion of taking the Aria cruise at the end of our tour worked well for us.Â We had a wonderful time in Peru. The itinerary planned, the guides and drivers were all 5 star.Â The staff of the Aria are superb. The naturalists are so enthusiastic about sharing the Amazon experience with visitors. Ricardo, Julio, Roland, and Jorge never tired of helping us sight wildlife, get good photographs, and learn about the culture and environment of the Amazon. Their love of nature, knowledge of the plant and animal life, respect for the environment, and “people skills” are what we believe made the trip. Also, the rest of the Aria crew in a few short days came to know our personal preferences for food and beverages. On the last day Roberto made guacamole specially for my husband and if he had been able I know he would have provided my husband with barbecued pork for every meal!”
Mrs. and Mr. Smith, March 2012
â€œI and my wife â€“ and 16 other Danish travellers â€“ had the pleasure recently, in February/March 2012, to spend 4 nights/5 days on the boat ARIA, belonging to Aqua Expeditions, travelling the Amazon from Nauta to Iquitos.Â I have read all the reviews about ARIA, including the negative ones. But let me put it as simple as it gets: There is NOTHING negative to be said about ARIA and the trip on the Amazon at the moment. There might have been problems in the past but they have been solved 100%!
In short: If you want to see the Amazon, from a safe and luxurious place, with cabins and food/drinks that exceed your highest expectations, this is THE boat! You get a fantastic experience from the start to the end. In a complete safe environment (a policeman is accompanying the boat all the time) and with cabin facilities that belongs to a 6 star hotelâ€¦Â Every day you will be going on fantastic excursions on the river/in the rain forest. Beautiful sights, exciting views, great experiences etc. etc.Â I can only recommend this boat and the Aqua company at the most.Â Donâ€™t even think of alternatives if you want to see the Amazon and surroundings from a base of luxury!â€
Mr. and Mrs. Goldin (Ranked by Tripadvisor as a â€œprofessionalâ€), March 2012
“We recently returned from a 4 night cruise and we are still feeling the effects of the magic we experienced on your ship. From the moment we arrived at the dock to board the Aria to the sad ending of 4 perfect days and nights, we were treated to the most amazing adventure.Â Visiting the mighty Amazon in all its wonder and glory is so very special.
To be able to explore all it has to offer with your very knowledgeable naturalists was truly a gift. All of the employee’s were so passionate about everything they did. It was obvious they took pride in their work, and their smiles and sincerity was contagious. The food, was superb and being able to taste the fresh juices, fish and vegetables from the Amazon was perfect.Â Thank you for the adventure of a lifetime. Words cannot describe the feelings everyone on the boat felt, it truly was magic!”
Mrs. Moskow, March 2012
“Hi Victoria–My husband, Erik, and I had a fabulous week with you aboard Aqua at the end of February, 2012. Everyone was exemplary on this trip–from the guides to the chefs to the cabin personnel. We highly recommend this trip to anyone who wants to experience the Amazon in a truly unique way.”
Mr. and Mrs. Rifkin, February 2012
“Dear Mr. Zugaro:
My wife, Margaret, and I were on your Aqua cruise February 4 to 11. Over the years we have taken 15 cruises, some expeditions in nature, as the Aqua cruise and have been on safaris and other adventures around the world. This Aqua adventure and cruise was superbly lead and executed by Anita Rodriquez. In particular her leadership of the Aqua team was outstanding. It became very apparent that Anita has earned both the respect and loyalty of the team and has instilled a high degree of team spirit. Furthermore, Anita has an engaging personality that gives her a wonderful way with the shipâ€™s guests. She and the entire Aqua team exhibits a high degree of pride in your company that was evident throughout the cruise. Several crew members in addition to Anita mentioned how much they enjoyed working for your organization.
The person responsible for hiring Anita is to be commended. It is evident from the guides, table staff, boat personnel and other crew that Aqua has a superb hiring program.
I like to hear when my people do well and I felt you would like to know you have a great team on Aqua and a wonderful representative in Anita. I will not hesitate to recommend your company to others. Aqua proved to be one of the best trips in our past 25 years of travel.”
Mr. Swink, February 2012