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14 Iquitos to South America Cruise Reviews

The Delfin III had good sized cabins and bathrooms that had all the amenities one could expect of a river cruise. There are only 20 cabins on board and the crew to guest ratio is almost 1:1. Staff on board was exceptional and extremely ... Read More
The Delfin III had good sized cabins and bathrooms that had all the amenities one could expect of a river cruise. There are only 20 cabins on board and the crew to guest ratio is almost 1:1. Staff on board was exceptional and extremely attentive. On our sailing we had only 4 English speaking guests and the rest were from Lima. In particular we had one large family celebrating the life of a lost loved one. I loved watching the family of play in the pool or playing chess in the lounge. The patriarch had loved the jungle and thus was the perfect place to celebrate his life. The lounge area is where we would meet at night to discuss the next days activities. During the day we had a little pool and sun deck. There were also various classes or activates offered in the afternoon, The lounge was also where we were treated to unlimited pisco sours. While I speak no Spanish our fellow guests wanted to learn more about us, so she invited us for a drink at the bar. The bartender translated back and forth for us over pisco sours questions of what does your family eat at home, to how many children do you have. The same questions we had as we were just beginning to learn about Peru. The one thing about river cruises, regardless if they are in Europe, South East Asia, Africa or South America is that those on board crave making connections with other like minded travelers. The food on board the Delfin was wonderful and represented foods readily available in the Amazon. We had fish, beef tenderloin, chicken and even pork. Food was exceptional as the Delfin is affiliated with Relais and Chateaux. Each time we sat down for lunch or dinner there was another delicious dish. Our maitre d eager explained each of the dishes we ate at meals. He was also an excellent singer and guitar player as we learned on our last full day on board. Visiting the Amazon in Peru is a bit like an African safari, except much of the wildlife you will see will be in the form of birds. I am not a birder, but by day two I was actively searching for the Macaws, hawks and king fishers. You hear the Macaws before you see them, so you have to use your ears as well as your eyes. Ah but to see those beautiful birds in the wild is a sight most won’t see. By day 2 we had also started to spot monkeys (there are over 13 different varieties in the Peruvian Amazon) sloths, bats, rats and Caiman (medium size crocodiles). We went fishing for piranha and had breakfast in the jungle. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
The Delfin III was better than I expected - accommodations, food, service. - Cabin. Our cabin was quite large (unlike other small ship cruises I have been on), with a huge well supplied bathroom, king bed & enough room for us to ... Read More
The Delfin III was better than I expected - accommodations, food, service. - Cabin. Our cabin was quite large (unlike other small ship cruises I have been on), with a huge well supplied bathroom, king bed & enough room for us to store our clothes & luggage. The floor to ceiling window was great. The A/C worked very well & we needed it. - Service. The guides were very knowledgeable, helpful & friendly. The dining room was excellent. I was glad that there was a medic on board because I had intestinal issues that he helped me with. - Food. We enjoyed our meals - lots of variety & good quality. I like that they used locally sourced food. - Programs. The on-ship programs were not very interesting to me. - Excursions. Most of the excursions were on a skiff. I enjoyed the early morning one with breakfast served on the skiff. My favorite was the jungle hike - I wish we had more of these. The guides were particularly helpful on the hike. We also went to a local village which was somewhat interesting. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We had already booked a 12 day Galápagos Adventure with another company. Our travel agent suggested the Aria post cruise as we were already in South America! The Aria is state of the art, gourmet food, 4 enthusiastic knowlegable guides, ... Read More
We had already booked a 12 day Galápagos Adventure with another company. Our travel agent suggested the Aria post cruise as we were already in South America! The Aria is state of the art, gourmet food, 4 enthusiastic knowlegable guides, and adventures galore. Imagine breakfast floating on the Amazon, paddling a dugout canoe with a tarantula swimming alongside, Mimosas in a skiff at sunset and nighttime searches for anacondas! I kid you not! It is worth every cent and memories will remain forever! Please do not buy Jaguar handbags from the locals. You cannot bring them back through customs! But do buy their silver jewellery, fruits, nuts and beaded earrings. Customs also confiscated spices, seed necklaces and bracelets. The Aria Amazon had a great little gift shop with a tasteful selection of both costume and expensive jewellery at fair prices. Meant to have a massage but no time! Be sure to attend cooking class and a Pisco Sour workshop! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We choose the cruise because we are animal lovers and wanted to see he animals of the Amazon in an intimate way. It tuned out that not only was the nature viewing extraordinary but the service we received on the boat exceedeed our ... Read More
We choose the cruise because we are animal lovers and wanted to see he animals of the Amazon in an intimate way. It tuned out that not only was the nature viewing extraordinary but the service we received on the boat exceedeed our expections. The staff and guide made a huge effort to get to know each and every guess by name and learn what their favorite drink was! The cabins were comfortable with amazing views. I highly recommend the 4 night cruise. It was a very special experience. The food was absolutely top notch. Dinners were 4 course foodie experiences ; lunches and breakfasts were buffets. The chef made a huge effort toi integrate the fruits, vegetables and herbs into the menu. The guides were extremely knowlegeable. Every day they took us out on skiffs and we saw everything from three toed sloths to red howler monkeys. The experience on Aqua Expeditions Aria Amazon was 5 stars! Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
The guides have to take top slot here, they were absolutely excellent, hugely knowledgeable about the local flora and fauna and organised some amazing and interesting excursions in the skiffs. On one occasion we nearly landed a 7m Anaconda ... Read More
The guides have to take top slot here, they were absolutely excellent, hugely knowledgeable about the local flora and fauna and organised some amazing and interesting excursions in the skiffs. On one occasion we nearly landed a 7m Anaconda - all very exciting!! The crew were always on hand every day to ensure we were sprayed with mosquito protection before departure and to welcome us back with a cold drink. Catering staff, Robinson in the bar and housekeeping were all first class and very courteous. Breakfast was superb, lunch good but dinner a little hit and miss - great on one evening, not bad on two and definitely not that good on one; the house wines were all perfectly acceptable. Although in the rainy season we rarely had problems during the entire 4 days. On our last night the crew and guides organised a video of our trip and ended the evening with a few songs and music with one chap who stood out above all the others with an instrument similar to a banjo - he was the housekeeper!! A brilliant time was had by all. If you have the time it's worth spending a day or so in Iquitos - the people are very friendly and there are one or two very nice bars and restaurants to help you acclimatise before embarking on the amazing experience. Would we go again - most definitely!! A great big thank you to the entire team. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
My husband and I were part of Lindblad / National Geographic tour of the Upper Amazon on Delfin II for Oct. 29 - Nov. 5, 2017. We have been on 21 cruises, including three expedition cruises (Celebrity Xpedition to Galapagos twice and ... Read More
My husband and I were part of Lindblad / National Geographic tour of the Upper Amazon on Delfin II for Oct. 29 - Nov. 5, 2017. We have been on 21 cruises, including three expedition cruises (Celebrity Xpedition to Galapagos twice and Silversea Explorer to Antarctica) but this was the smallest boat we've been on and our first river cruise. We booked the 10-night package, which included two nights before and one night after the cruise at the Wyndham Costa del Sol airport hotel in Lima. We arrived in Lima late (almost midnight) on the Friday night before our cruise. The hotel is right across the street from the airport, so we could walk to it, which was nice because the taxi line was extremely long. Other than being convenient for the airport, the hotel was nothing special. The room was clean but worn-looking with basic amenities (shampoo, conditioner, soap, lotion, body wash), two bottles of water, and Wi-Fi. The hotel has a spa with a small hot tub (seats about 4) and a tiny pool (15 ft X 7 ft). For the first day, breakfast was included but no other meals, and there were no planned activities until evening. There is nothing within walking distance of the hotel so my husband and I took a taxi to Miraflores, which was about 40 minutes away. There was a Meet & Greet planned for that evening in the hotel bar, but we stayed longer than expected in Miraflores and missed it. Lima traffic is very heavy and "rush hour" lasts until late at night. Breakfast at the hotel was also included for the next morning. After breakfast we met the group for our flight to Iquitos. The flight is one of my few complaints. No effort was made to keep traveling companions together and our seats were all over the plane. My husband's seat was across the aisle and two rows back from mine. The man seated next to me was part of our group, but his wife was seated three rows up. Once we arrived in Iquitos we were taken for lunch at a floating restaurant called Al Frio y Al Fuego. To get there, we had to climb down several uneven steps and board a boat. Lunch was very nice and included beer and wine as well as a selection of juices. After lunch we had a brief tour of Iquitos (about 30 minutes) before heading to Nauta, which was about 2 hours away, to board the Delfin II. Upon arrival in Nauta, we were greeted with cold fruit juice before boarding. Since there were only 26 of us, check-in was quick and we were in our cabins within 15 minutes. My husband and I had cabin 16, located on deck 2, forward port side. Each day had 2 -3 activities that enabled us to see wildlife, flora, and people in the Pacaya-Samiria region. The activities included skiff rides, hikes, kayaking, swimming, and visits to local communities. When hiking, kayaking, or swimming were offered, there was also a skiff ride available for those who preferred a less active excursion. The excursion groups were kept to 10 or less with a naturalist guide assigned to each group to point out and describe the various sights. Even though the hikes were short (no more than 3 miles), they could be strenuous and required walking/climbing on uneven terrain, stepping over roots, crossing rope bridges, wading through shallow streams, and slippery/muddy conditions. Because some passengers were unaccustomed to the tropical climate, the more active excursions were usually in the early morning. Some of the early activities started at 5:30 or 6 in the morning. Excursion examples: Day 1 - Skiff ride before breakfast, hike or skiff after breakfast, evening skiff ride Day 2 - Hike or skiff before breakfast, kayaking or skiff after breakfast, evening hiking or skiff ride Day 3 - Visit to local community after breakfast, evening kayaking or skid ride Day 4 - Skiff ride after breakfast, evening skiff ride Day 5 - Long morning excursion with skiff ride and swimming, evening hiking or skiff ride Day 6 - Skiff ride after breakfast, evening visit to local community During several of the excursions, local people had hand-crafts for sale. Since they only accept Peruvian soles for purchases, it is recommended to have small denominations available for making purchases. Some passengers brought along supplies for community schools, such as markers, pencils, crayons, games, etc. The area is a bird-watchers paradise. We saw too many to remember all of them. other than the birds, we spotted monkeys, sloths, bats, caiman, turtles, iguanas, dolphins, snakes, spiders, and a variety of insects. Our guides were familiar with the daily routines for many of the animals and took us places where we were more likely to see them, such as a favorite tree for the night monkeys or bats. In addition to the daily excursions, there were 1 or 2 afternoon activities on board, such as lectures about the Amazon, photography workshops, and cooking presentations. The evenings were mostly relaxing with a briefing at 6:30 to review the activities for the following day then dinner around 7. The remainder of the evening was free time. The atmosphere on board was extremely laid-back, with most people wearing shorts or casual pants/capris for meals. A couple of nights the crew played Peruvian music after dinner and a few people danced. There is a spa available for those who want a massage, facial, or mani/pedi. I didn't try the spa, but a couple people who did said the therapist was very good, but she didn't speak English very well so communication was a problem. There is also a "gym" that consists of a single elliptical machine. There is no pool or hot tub. Despite the hot and humid conditions, pants and long sleeves are recommended for the daily excursions. Mosquitoes were prevalent and a few people wore mosquito netting hats and gloves to prevent bites. There was organic mosquito repellent available on the boat, but I did not find it to be effective enough. I brought a 100% DEET repellent that I sprayed on my clothes about 15 minutes before I put them on then used 40% DEET spray on any exposed skin. I did not have issues with bites, but the mosquitoes would still buzz around my face, which was annoying. I was provided with a recommended packing list before the trip, but I found that several of the items were provided on board. The list recommended bringing two pairs of shoes for hiking (in case one pair gets wet/muddy), but rubber calf-high boots were provided for the hikes. I never wore my hiking shoes. Flashlights for night hikes and ponchos for rainy days were provided. There were also a few pairs of binoculars that could be borrowed. In addition, most common toiletry items were available, such as shampoo, conditioner, bath gel, soap, Q-tips, and lotion. Meals were very good on board, featuring local dishes. Breakfast was buffet style but lunch and dinner were served as 3-course meals (appetizer, main course, and dessert). Sodas, juice, tea, water, and coffee are included in fare. Beer, wine, and liquor was additional but prices were reasonable. Snacks were available in the afternoons from the bar. Gratuities were not included in the fare, and $150 USD pp was the suggested amount. Our cruise documents said that tips should be paid in cash, but on board we were told that they could be paid with a credit card. American Express and Discover cards are not accepted for payments on board. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We chose this cruise because we had seen it advertised and it suited us. The Aria is an excellent small cruiser with very professional staff and wonderful guides, The cabins were spacious and well appointed, the recreation area very ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had seen it advertised and it suited us. The Aria 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. The crew and guides kept us very well entertained both on the vessel and on the excursions. 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 respect. Finally the video of the trip is a knockout. The only drawback was that we hadn't booked an 8 day cruise. 4 days wasn't long enough.. . Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We were very excited to go on this 5 day 4 night cruise down the Amazon River. We were VERY disappointed to realize we were not really on the Amazon on this cruise but instead on a river that is an offshoot off of the Amazon. We spent ... Read More
We were very excited to go on this 5 day 4 night cruise down the Amazon River. We were VERY disappointed to realize we were not really on the Amazon on this cruise but instead on a river that is an offshoot off of the Amazon. We spent $20,000 for the 5 days for the 4 of us so we had high expectations of luxury. The boat was so magical looking when we arrived late in the evening from hours of a bus trip from Iquitos. The rooms were nice and we got 2 connecting rooms for our family of 4. They were clean and nice at first glance but when you look closer the whole boat (and rooms) have been caulked and re-caulked near windows and in bathrooms and it is getting a little long in the tooth. The vents in the bathrooms had tons of dust so it was kind of gross to look at each time we went to the bathroom (as well as the grungy caulk). Overall the rooms were nice and clean though, just worn. The best part of the boat was the common bar and seating area. it was beautiful and cozy. Nobody used the pool/hot tub the entire time so I am not sure if anyone ever does. The drinks were good but the service to get them was slow and not proactive. We had to ask for drinks every time and go up to the bar. There were virtually no snacks so if you were hungry you were out of luck unless you wanted to eat the same nuts and chips EVERY day. Sometimes it is nice to play a game, have a drink, and have some good things to eat. You get 3 meals and nothing in between. The excursions started very early every morning and it did not feel like vacation. They seemed to try to keep everyone off the boat all day as long as they could so they could clean and prepare for the evening. The animals were so hard to spot on the shores that we wondered if we really saw what our guides told us we were seeing. it was very hard to be in a skiff for 4-6 hours a day in the heat and searing sun and straining your eyes to see wildlife. Our favorite things to do were the jungle walk and visiting a local village (bring things for the kids with you). We skipped out on one thing we really wanted to do which was to fish for pirhana because my daughter got sick from the steamed broccoli she ate on the boat and my son had had a sever allergic reaction to the pine nuts in the pesto he was served the night before so waking up at 6:00 in the morning to go on an excursion was just not doable for us. It was a bummer. Speaking of the food. We had ONE thing we could not have served and it was on our profile and the boat lead spoke to us about it the first day we arrived, My son can not have pine nuts as he is severely allergic to them. In fact we specifically said NO PESTO either since it often has pine nuts. Well, guess what was in the bread sticks and my son unknowingly are them and had a severe reaction and could not breathe and threw up all night. The staff was not helpful and luckilly we travel with an epi-pen since we were in the middle of the Amazon and had no healthcare anywhere in sight. I do want to give the entire staff a bug kudos because they work very hard and try to make everyone happy. We just would not go on this cruise again. In fact we just booked Cambodia/Vietnam next year and have a 7 day river cruise on the RV Javamaran booked and we did not even consider booking on the Aqua Expedition Mekong. The experience was not luxury enough for what the cost is. The food was all local and when we saw the town that the food came from where they sell skinned monkeys and tortoises we realized nothing was flown in special and there was no luxury in the food. It was all local and when you are in the Amazon on a luxury cruise the last thing you want is the local food. Everyone had to eat the same food and you did not get any choices. You get what you get and that is it. The options for kids food was even more slim. I would like to end this by saying that my family of 4 (2 adults and kids ages 11 and 13) travel the world and stay in really nice accommodations and do many adventure travel things together. Our kids have been to 25 countries already and we have been to over 50. here is a link to my Tripadvisor profile to show our travel experience https://www.tripadvisor.com/members/renee94903 This cruise was not worth the money it cost. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Our 5th river cruise in a row which we find far superior than ocean voyages. All have been small group excursions with this being the smallest vessel we have embarked on(only 32 persons) The atmosphere on the Aqua Aria was exciting ... Read More
Our 5th river cruise in a row which we find far superior than ocean voyages. All have been small group excursions with this being the smallest vessel we have embarked on(only 32 persons) The atmosphere on the Aqua Aria was exciting with several adventures forth coming each morning and afternoon. From wild life spotting to piranha fishing we even were able to hold an anaconda on a river exhibition. Highlites included kayaking , drinks on the river and nite cayman spotting/plucking out of the river which was quite special.the river guides from the Aria were an excellent brunch and couldn't do enough to make the journey enjoyable. Meals: breakfast was varied with a small selection of items available as well an additional menu which could be ordered from. Lunch was similar fare with different choices each day. But dinner was a set upto nine courses menu which you would call fine dining, I struggle with this sort of arrangement and found it just didn't appeal at all. We were a mostly Australian group and many struggled with dinner having no choices . Overall I found this to a very good cruise though on the expensive side, Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
I chose this ship because of the length of the cruise and I am so happy I did. The boat is lovely, the staterooms all have balconies, and the upper deck gave a wonderful view of the river. The guides and the boat operators are all local ... Read More
I chose this ship because of the length of the cruise and I am so happy I did. The boat is lovely, the staterooms all have balconies, and the upper deck gave a wonderful view of the river. The guides and the boat operators are all local and really know the area and their ability to spot animals was fantastic. We spent a lot of time on the river, which is the prime reason to take a trip like this and had lots of diverse activities. And the food was fantastic! Lots of fresh fruit, veggies and fish. I will definitely take this trip again. Every thing went just the way they said it would, we never had to worry about a thing, and they always asked for our output. Super people to deal with, from the crew, to the guides, and the support staff. You would never regret it. I made friends for life since they have small groups and you really get the chance to know everyone. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
AQUA EXPEDITIONS ARIA AMAZON 3/10-3/17/2017 Superlatives just aren't adequate to describe this once in a lifetime, high water opportunity. Exploring the Amazon accompanied by excellent guides and service by an exceptional ... Read More
AQUA EXPEDITIONS ARIA AMAZON 3/10-3/17/2017 Superlatives just aren't adequate to describe this once in a lifetime, high water opportunity. Exploring the Amazon accompanied by excellent guides and service by an exceptional crew made this trip a forever memory. The Aria is perfectly suited for small groups. Elegant and spacious, with plenty of hot water, this floating luxury hotel served us well. Everything from cooking classes to necessary 'rain delays' was expertly organized by our enchanting Cruise Director Juliana, Every crew member distinguished him/herself by showing the most preferential attention to each of us gringos. We were courteously treated as beloved members of the Aria family. We will return for a low water tour with the Aria Family! The boat is well maintained. Good food and drink amply available. Every detail from bug spray to proper rubber boot size was well managed. Each guest was furnished a personal Oacaya Wildlife checklist. The guides took some beautiful pictures which were combined into a terrific travel documentary of our trip. We left our email addresses in expectation of receiving our promised copy. A month after the trip, we received it. The only reason dining was downgraded is because when the dining room was full, it was almost impossible to carry on a good conversation with table mates. Yes, there were many opportunities to bargain over local handicrafts. Peruvian or American money gladly accepted! The Aria store had some lovely jewelry and unique clothing items. School supplies may be purchased to give to villagers. Keep in mind you will be visiting remote areas where cell phones, daily newspapers and TV don't exist. And it was great to get away from those distractions! Go with a desire to see some of nature's most exotic creatures up close and natural. Learn about a unique one of a kind ecosystem. Take an appetite with you. Be pampered by an attentive cadre of well trained, dedicated staff. Enjoy, mi amigos! Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We loved the Aria Amazon. The personalised Service was excellent. When we arrived in Iquitos in March 2017 People of Aqua Expeditions were already waiting at the baggage belt to take over all the luggage. All Cabins have floor to ... Read More
We loved the Aria Amazon. The personalised Service was excellent. When we arrived in Iquitos in March 2017 People of Aqua Expeditions were already waiting at the baggage belt to take over all the luggage. All Cabins have floor to ceiling windows which allows breathtaking views even when lying in our bed. And the food was just incredible. I have never eaten better on any other ship so far! But the best is of course the nature and wild life. Although you cannot compare it to Africa we loved the quiet moments when gliding through the water looking out for macaws, sloths and pink river dolphins. We saw them all by the way. Thank's to all the guides who were just brilliant with a great knowledge. On some days you will have optional early morning excursions like looking out for pink dolphins which are really worth waking up early! ( actually we got spoiled since we had twice a private excursion with our guide as on our cruise noone seemed to be an early bird ) One of many Highlights: sundowner on the black waters of Nauta Caño. Definitely not our last cruise with Aqua Expeditions Read Less
Sail Date March 2017

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