Aqua Expeditions’ Favorite Moments of 2023

2 months ago Amazon, Galapagos, Indonesia, Mekong

It’s been quite a year! From an unforgettable Pink Beach proposal, to Galapagos wildlife encounters, Tonle Sap floating village visits, and once-in-a-lifetime diving, swimming and snorkeling moments in East Indonesia — here are some of Aqua Expeditions’ favorite moments of 2023.

 

Proposal on Aqua Blu

Credits: Bali Buddies

If you’re going to pop the question, it might as well be on the blush-coloured coral sands of Indonesia’s remote Pink Beach in Labuan Bajo, surrounded by the clearest aquamarine waters. This Instagrammable spot on our Aqua Blu voyage is one of the many unforgettable locations that our expedition couples have enjoyed romantic proposals, honeymoon celebrations and special anniversaries in 2023. 

 

Aqua Expeditions offers highly personalized service that includes helping you find the ideal engagement spot. Just loop us into the proposal plans and we’ll do our best to make it a reality.

 

We have the perfect line-up of dreamy sunsets, intimate dinners and private excursions to create memories that you’ll cherish forever. Our small-ship cruises to bucket list destinations like the Amazon, Mekong River and Eastern Indonesia offer ideal getaways for two. If you’ve just said ‘I do’ or are celebrating a relationship milestone, we’ll add a touch of romance with our honeymoon and anniversary specials – think champagne, chocolates, scattered flower petals and a couples massage. Because what’s worth celebrating more than true love?  

 

Swimming with Whale Sharks in Komodo

 

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There’s nothing quite as otherworldly and awe-inspiring than swimming alongside an enormous, speckled whale shark in the deep blue ocean. Journalist Pimpa Bruen had this life-changing experience during an expedition to Komodo National Park in Indonesia aboard Aqua Blu. She described the dive as a ‘must on any adventurer’s bucket list’. We wouldn’t argue with that!

 

Whale sharks prefer warmer, tropical waters, making the tropics of East Indonesia their ideal habitat. Although huge in size – reaching an incredible 20 meters (59ft) in length and 20 tonnes in weight – they’re not to be feared as they have a gentle, shy nature. Book an expedition to Komodo National Park with Aqua Blu and have this magical experience for yourself.

 

Diving and hiking with sea lions

 

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The Galápagos Sea Lions are a familiar sight for our expedition guests on Aqua Mare, with around 50,000 of these protected marine animals calling the archipelago home. Their playful and curious nature, agility on land, speed in water, and distinctive bark make them a firm favorite of visitors to the region. Sea lions are even more animated and active during the breeding season between July to December, but they’re fishing for laughs all year round.

 

Adventurers who joined Aqua Mare in 2023 enjoyed the chance to get up close and personal with these amazing creatures – diving and snorkeling alongside them in the biodiverse waters of the Galapagos. Even landlubbers got to safely interact with the sealions on stretches of sandy beaches during guided hikes.

 

Swimming in the stunning Kali Biru River

 

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Kali Biru, meaning ‘Blue River’, is a cool, freshwater river, running like a streak of cobalt through the thick Waisai jungles of Indonesia’s Raja Ampat Islands. Travelers aboard Aqua Blu floated on Kali Biru’s gentle current, immersing themselves in a natural phenomenon that must be seen to be believed. 

 

This vibrant crystalline water of Kali Biru stays clear even when it’s been raining. It is a sacred place for the local Mayalibit Tribe who believe bathing in its waters makes their warriors stronger. Another legend tells a story of a white crocodile living in the river that will show its form as an indication that a community has violated customary law. 

 

Finding this natural wonder is a long and arduous journey for solo travelers, however a convenient (and unforgettable) visit to Kali Biru is offered on Aqua Blu’s Raja Ampat itineraries.

 

Tonle Sap Lake Floating Villages

Credit: Emilie Cunnington

 

A visit to Tonle Sap in the Mekong Delta is only available to travelers during the high-water season of mid-August to November, when the lake is accessible by river boat. It’s home to 170 floating villages which consist of a collection of stilted overwater huts that hover over the water. Guests on Aqua Mekong were introduced to local villagers and their unique way of life in a region where schools, churches, pagodas, and even the karaoke bar and police station all float.

 

The largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia, Tonle Sap nourished a population of more than one million at the height of the Khmer empire in the 12th century. At present, it continues to provide abundance as one of the most productive fishing lakes in the world, supporting over three million people and providing over 75 percent of Cambodia’s annual inland fish catch.

 

Juane by the Amazon

 

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One of the gastronomic highlights of 2023 was an elegant riverside lunch, savored along the Amazonian river bank by guests aboard Aqua Nera. The menu was designed by renowned Peruvian restaurateur Pedro Miguel Schiaffino, who pioneers the sustainable Rainforest-to-table movement.

 

Guests tried the traditional Peruvian dish, juane, prepared with the freshest local ingredients. This spiced chicken, olives, rice, and egg dish is wrapped in waxy bijao leaves and steamed, taken on jungle treks as a hearty packed lunch. In this special version, Chef Schiaffino included native ingredients such as river fish, wild plants, fruits, and roots.

 

Excited to create some magical memories with us? Reach out to us via our contact page and our Expedition Consultants will assist in planning your next adventure.