At Aqua Expeditions, we like to switch things up for the holiday season. Everyone loves a cozy Christmas – with gifts under the tree and hot chocolate to start the day – but why not add some excitement to the mix from time to time? For instance, we appreciate a Christmas at the beach…in Galapagos, with sea lions and penguins to keep us company. As for New Year’s Eve, the world’s largest rainforest is usually the place to be. Here’s a look at some of the incredible adventures which our guests will get up this December:
Enjoy cocktails in the middle of the rainforest
Sailing the Amazon river is among the most cathartic experiences which life offers. Imagine the air buzzing with the sound of wildlife as you make your way across a meandering tributary. Every now and then, a dolphin leaps out to the surface. You reach for your camera but in the blink of an eye, it has returned to the depths of the reflective black water. The trees rustle as monkeys leap from branch to branch. They’re often camouflaged, but if you look carefully, you‘re able to catch a glimpse. There’s always something happening in the rainforest. Whether it’s the sights, the sounds, or the smells, each moment offers a new discovery to revel in.
While experiencing one of Aqua Nera’s spectacular 4- or 7-night itineraries, head out for a midday tender excursion into the depths of the rainforest. Parked underneath the shade of a riverside tree, sip on remarkable Peruvian cocktails while taking in all the wonders that nature has to offer. With our bartender preparing drinks using the freshest local ingredients, experience an Amazonian expedition unlike any other – one where adventure and luxury combine in seamless fashion.
Find pearls of wisdom at a visit to the pearl farm at Aljui Bay
While sailing to Waigeo – the largest of the four main islands in Raja Ampat – on Aqua Blu, visit the enchanting pearl farm of Aljui Bay. Situated in a remote mangrove-lined inlet, this is one of the region’s hidden gems, rarely visited by tourists.
Take the opportunity to learn the delicate process of cultivating pearls out of oysters at this farm. This is where some of the world’s best South Sea pearls come from. Buy some pearls for yourself and your loved ones as a memory of this incredible expedition and a well-spent holiday season.
As you venture forth, you’ll find yourself walking through a local village – one of the best ways to experience the regional culture. Since the island isn’t much of a tourist spot, your excitement and surprise will be shared by the locals as you interact with them and find out more about their day-to-day lives.
Go diving off the deep end
Diving is a highly rewarding experience and an incredible memory to share with your partner or children. Even more so when it’s done in the coral triangle – the world’s premier hotspot for marine biodiversity. Half of all known species of tropical marine fish can be found in this region, as well 75 percent of all reef-building corals.
While sailing in Raja Ampat on Aqua Blu, we’ll stop at Cape Kri, located along the southern shore of Kri Island. From there, it’s a short tender ride to a dive site that holds the world record for most species spotted – 374, to be exact – in a single 90-minute dive.
Cape Kri features a sloping wall that stretches down 40 meters. It’s home to pristine coral reefs, which feature all the colors of the rainbow and are among the most vibrant in the world. Cape Kri is home to a wide variety of tropical fish as well as seahorses, octopus, and other invertebrates. Other animals which can be found in the region include sharks – with over 20 species recorded, including black-tip and gray reef sharks – and sea turtles.
Kayak through floating villages
Immerse yourself in rich culture as you travel along the Mekong: the largest river in Southeast Asia. Discover heritage and traditions enriched by 2,000 years of human history, from the flourishing of the Khmer empire to the emergence of Theravada Buddhism.
While kayaking in the caramel waters, immerse yourself in the style of life which is common along the Mekong. Get a close insight into the daily activities of the locals, from farming and fishing to silk-weaving and craftsmanship. As you explore the floating villages, you’ll find yourself discovering the intricacies of Cambodian culture.
Be prepared for surprises at every turn as you venture into rural villages and discover what it’s like to live on the Mekong. Led by Aqua’s expert guides, find out what it’s like to live in a town where schools, churches, pagodas, and police stations are all floating. Interact with the local people and learn about the specialties of their villages, whether it’s the renowned silver craftsmanship of Koh Chen or the pottery of Kampong Chhnang.
Dine in luxury in the Galapagos Islands
While exploring one of the world’s most remote and exotic destinations, there’s not much more that you can wish for. The Galapagos archipelago is a world of its own, with wildlife like you’ve never seen and landscapes that belong on another planet altogether. It’s a place to broaden your horizons and open yourself to all sorts of new adventures.
While sailing on Aqua Mare, the days are filled with experiences that you’ll never forget. After all, where else can you snorkel with penguins during the day and walk with giant tortoises in the evening?
This, in itself, seems to tick all the boxes for an exotic expedition. However, in signature Aqua fashion, we go above and beyond to ensure that the adventure continues once you’re back onboard. Aqua Mare’s cuisine is curated by world-renowned chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino. Drawing inspiration from the Galapagos Islands’ dramatic landscape and the Peruvian Nikkei style, chef Schiaffino presents a menu for the ages. Each meal – prepared with the freshest local ingredients – is an opportunity for further exploration and discovery.
Learn more about our exotic destinations and join us next holiday season (or even sooner!). Whether it’s exploring the Peruvian Amazon, the Mekong River Basin, the Galapagos Islands, or seas of East Indonesia, countless adventures and rewarding discoveries await!