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Aqua Expeditions’ newly launched 20-suite luxury river vessel, the Aqua Nera, successfully completed its maiden voyage in the remote Peruvian Amazon from July 3 to July 10, 2021. Thirty-seven guests sailed on three-, four- and seven-night explorations of the world’s most biodiverse rainforest, in an exclusive journey hosted by the company’s CEO and founder, Francesco Galli Zugaro.
Custom-designed by Vietnam-based architect and design firm Noor Studio, Aqua Nera has spacious indoor and outdoor lounges, a river-facing gym with the region’s first designer boxing corner, an observation deck, a billiards room, a private lounge with movie-screening facilities, a spa, and an outdoor plunge pool located at the bow of the ship for panoramic rainforest views.
The inaugural itineraries included encounters with exotic wildlife and adventures ranging from jungle walks, spotting the Amazonian pink dolphins, piranha fishing, kayaking along the river’s narrow black water tributaries, and more. Excursions were carried out in small groups, guided by Aqua Expeditions’ naturalists, who shared their excitement in returning to nature after a long pause in operations.
Peruvian chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino oversaw the cuisine for this exclusive departure. As consulting chef for Aqua Expeditions’ Amazon ships, he premiered Aqua Nera’s new “rainforest-to-table” menu, highlighting the fresh, exotic and largely unknown native produce of the Amazon rainforest, echoing the boutique luxury expedition company’s commitment to sustainability and supporting local producers.
Aqua Expeditions’ focus on sustainable tourism prevails in the construction and design of Aqua Nera with the use of efficient energy sources and recyclable innovative materials across the vessel.
Good to know: A designated onboard health and safety officer guaranteed the compliance of Aqua Expeditions’ health and safety protocols throughout the journey. All crew members were COVID-19 tested for several days leading up to embarkation, as well as guests, who were required to present proof of a negative COVID-19 test result issued within 72 hours of the departure. Aqua Expeditions was also able to facilitate onboard pre-departure Antigen testing for departing guests with results made available onboard within minutes. These protocols will continue as an important part of Aqua Expeditions’ dedication to providing guests with the ultimate experience in safety and comfort.
Aqua Nera is also available for private hire, starting from $153,000 for 40 guests.