Aqua Expeditions Wins First Cruise Awards | Aqua Expeditions

Aqua Expeditions Wins First Cruise Awards for 2019

5 years ago Design, Dining

Aqua Mekong and Aria Amazon crowned Fodor’s Travel Awards 2019 ‘The Best River Cruise’ and receives Australian honor

2018 was a year of evolution for Aqua Expeditions. Notably, we phased out single-use plastics across our vessels such as wrappings for our suite amenities. On the Aria Amazon, we also saw our efforts in growing the native paiche fish population bear fruit. The paiche population has increased to over 9,000 from 489 in 2010, improving the income opportunities of local communities from the sustainable cultivation of this prized catch.

So, it’s great that we’re recognized for our efforts this year by some of the biggest names in tourism. In June, world-renowned travel publisher Fodor’s bestowed us the honor of ‘The Best River Cruise’ in the Fodor’s Travel Awards 2019.

aria amazon exterior view

Aria Amazon helps Aqua Expeditions win the Fodor’s Travel Awards 2019 ‘The Best River Cruises’

It’s worth mentioning that 2018 was also the year Fodor’s Travel Journalist Jacinta O’Halloran sailed with us on board the Aria Amazon, producing a glowing review after learning from our naturalist guides how to tell a Cocoi Heron from the Capped Heron, and getting up-close and personal with a three-toed sloth!

Considering that we’ve come up against heavyweights in European river cruising, this award means a lot to us. If you’re interested, here’s the awards write-up by Fodor’s Travel:

If cruising into the Peruvian Amazon on a sleek-and-sexy riverboat with an Amazon-inspired and derived menu directed by one of Peru’s top chefs; a crew of naturalist guides who really know the Amazon and show genuine joy in sharing it with you; and a captain who only breaks from carefully navigating to play the bongos doesn’t float your boat, then you need to reexamine your flotation criteria. Aqua Expeditions’ Aria Amazon offers a luxurious floating 32-guest boutique hotel experience in one of the world’s most magical environments. Take daily excursions on small skiffs to explore the winding canals and jungles of the Amazon while you look for hawks, howler monkeys, and sloths overhead and rare pink river dolphins, spectacled caiman crocodiles, and anacondas along the river bank. Visit riverside communities, fish for red-bellied piranhas, and lunch on delicious local dishes at a ranger station in the jungle while learning about sustainability efforts. Or just take in the mesmerizing Amazon while you sip a Pisco Sour from the Jacuzzi on the sun-soaked top deck, or watch it glide past the floor-to-ceiling windows in your elegant, air-conditioned suite. As well as river cruises on the Amazon and the Mekong, Aqua Expeditions just launched new cruising experiences in the pristine East Indonesian Archipelago.


Aqua Expeditions Recognized by Travel Industry Experts

Hot on the heels of the Fodor’s Travel accolade is another award, this time from Signature Luxury Travel & Style’s annual Luxury Cruise Awards. The Awards are given out after judging by a panel of 18 leading luxury cruising experts and travel advisors.

The evaluation for the 2019 edition of the awards takes into account six key categories of a luxury cruise line: suites, service, dining, wellness, itineraries and shore excursions. Aqua Expeditions, in winning the Best-of-the-Best award in River Cruisers (Rest of the World), was judged to have the Best Suites, Best Wellness, Best Service, Best Dining, as well as runners-up in Best Shore Tours and second runners-up in Best Itineraries.

Chef David Thompson and Fish Amok

The Michelin-starred David Thompson is on our lineup of Consulting Chefs, whipping up a sumptuous menu with authentic local flavors on the Aqua Mekong.

More significantly, Aqua Expeditions is the only river cruise line to appear in the top 3 positions for all six categories. This is the affirmation of our brand’s commitment to luxury in all aspects of cruising, from 1:1 crew-to-guest ratios offering heartfelt, personalized service to a cuisine experience orchestrated by world renowned chefs.

Ready for Coastal Adventures

Looking ahead, we’re following up our triumphs this year in a big way. We’ll be launching our first ever coastal cruise destinations in East Indonesia: Komodo National Park, Spice Islands and Raja Ampat on board a stunning explorer yacht, the Aqua Blu.


Aqua Blu, our first explorer yacht, will set sail on 16 November 2019.

For river expeditions, our new Amazon river cruise ship Aqua Nera is about to commence building in Q3 2019 and is expected to sail alongside the Aria Amazon come the second half of 2020.

As we grow, one thing will always stay constant. A high level of attention to detail from Founder & CEO Francesco Galli Zugaro will ensure that, no matter which Aqua Expeditions ship you sail, you’ll experience the same standards of excellence paired with highly rewarding adventures in the most fascinating destinations on Earth.

This is and will always be our promise.

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