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30 Aqua Expeditions Cruise Reviews

If you are looking for a luxury expedition cruise in a remote and stunningly beautiful region of the world then consider Aquablu program throughout Indonesia. Cabins are large and well appointed with ample common areas to laze and ... Read More
If you are looking for a luxury expedition cruise in a remote and stunningly beautiful region of the world then consider Aquablu program throughout Indonesia. Cabins are large and well appointed with ample common areas to laze and socialize.The service and food is of a quality you will find in the finest dining restaurants anywhere in the world. A Grade.The scenic backdrops to these dinners and breakfasts are better than you will find anywhere. Beach picnics on deserted islands with crystal clear water and coral gardens at your feet are par for the course. Swimming down freshwater steams through the tropical jungle with flocks of Hornbill overhead is a treat to behold. Visiting local fishing villages and joining in their dance ceremonies is a memorable part of the adventure. Aqua Expeditions offer several different itineraries that are alluring, there are 17,000 islands in Indonesia so one trip is never enough. Combining this ocean going expedition with the serene river adventure on Aqua Mekong is the ultimate combination. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We chose the cruise because we had traveled with Aqua before on the Aqua Mekong. While the Mekong trip was great, this Raja Ampatexpedition was spectacular. The highlights were the amazing diving/snorkeling and the meals, which were ... Read More
We chose the cruise because we had traveled with Aqua before on the Aqua Mekong. While the Mekong trip was great, this Raja Ampatexpedition was spectacular. The highlights were the amazing diving/snorkeling and the meals, which were Michelin quality. those activities were balanced out with regular kayaking and paddling excursions, which were also successful. Every day seemed better than the one before, and different enough to keep everyone happy. The cruise director and crew, even though the itinerary and crew are both fairly new, were near flawless in their execution - we covered a lot of sea and saw different wonderful coves and islands each day. In terms of comfort the boat is spacious, luxurious, with lots of space to visit with others or be alone. The staterooms are elegant, with loads of storage, fabulous bathrooms, and comfy beds. We were particularly lucky in that the boat was not fully booked and the other guests were a terrific group of people. Sorong is not the easiest place to get to, but it's worth it once you step on the ship. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
I always wanted to dive the Raja Ampat area but all of the live aboards looked a bit rough for mine and my husband's vacation dreams. Aqua Blue provides other excursions besides diving and an immersion into the history and culture of ... Read More
I always wanted to dive the Raja Ampat area but all of the live aboards looked a bit rough for mine and my husband's vacation dreams. Aqua Blue provides other excursions besides diving and an immersion into the history and culture of the region. It promised for a better dining experience as well. At this point in our lives we like to be comfortable while traveling. Aqua Blue did not disappoint. It is a lovely ship that rides beautifully. Every one of the crew is a professional. The Chef (Adrian) was dedicated and charming. The food was clean and nourishing with exciting flavors. It was just how we love to eat. The cruise director (Glenn) could not have been more attentive and present every moment. The itinerary was crammed with wonderful adventures but time in between to nap and process your experiences before setting out again. The diving was incredible. We were enchanted by new species every day which was amazing after a lifetime of traipsing the planet on dive "safari" and each of us in the neighborhood of 3000 dives logged. Jamal the dive master was relaxed and could find every targeted species. So much fun. He is very experienced and it showed. Truly a delight! Our room was super comfortable with a great hot shower. We had a lovely time in the Aqua Blue bubble and cannot wait to book our next adventure! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Both embarkation and disembarkation for our cruise were from Iquitos where we were welcomed at the airport by one of our guides, taken to lunch at a local restaurant, then transferred by skiff to the Aqua Amazon. After boarding our ... Read More
Both embarkation and disembarkation for our cruise were from Iquitos where we were welcomed at the airport by one of our guides, taken to lunch at a local restaurant, then transferred by skiff to the Aqua Amazon. After boarding our luggage was delivered to our suites promptly and we had a required introduction to the ship and its safety procedures. We had time to unpack before our first dinner and the cruise director visited our suite to see if we had any questions and to make sure everything was as it should be. The Aria is a small 16-suite ship, all with large picture windows for viewing the river and surroundings. We had a suite on the second floor which I believe provided a better view. The cabins were spacious and well appointed and provided ample room to store our belongings. Beds were very comfortable. The bathrooms were large for a ship. Everything worked and the room was spotless. Since the suites were air-conditioned and the outside was much warmer, an area that was not air-conditioned was provided to keep cameras and binoculars so they wouldn't fog up when we went out on excursions. I thought this was a very thoughtful touch! There were many wonderful things about our trip down the Amazon and the ship itself but I'll focus on a couple. First of all, the guides (and other crew members) were outstanding! Our 4 guides were knowledgeable, professional, and fun to be with. Most if not all grew up in the small villages along the Amazon and had a deep love of and respect for the river, the flora and fauna, and the local people. We had an opportunity to go out in the skiffs with each of them and this made the excursions all the more interesting. Typically we went out on the river after breakfast, returned to the ship for lunch, and went out again in the late afternoon and returned in time for dinner. Sometimes there were optional early morning excursions as well and one time we went out before breakfast and had a special breakfast delivered to our skiffs. Quite a remarkable feat actually. Passengers were loaded into 4 comfortable skiffs so everyone had a view seat and guides made a real effort to make sure everyone could see whatever we discovered before moving on. By the end of the first or second day, the guides had learned our names. I think there's something particularly nice about being addressed by name! In addition to the guides, other crew members were equally professional and helpful. All crew members seemed to work together to assure that their guests had an amazing trip. The food was very good—varied and creative. I was pleased that we had an opportunity to enjoy a variety of local foods as well as some things that were perhaps more familiar to us. Part of travel is experiencing the local culture and food is certainly an important element. Breakfast and lunch were served buffet style and there was always a variety of choices. Dinner was served "family style" and while there was only one main course there were a number of side dishes to choose from. Since tables were small--generally for 4--this family style approach worked well. As guests seated themselves for dinner, one of the dining room staff brought printed menus with the evening's fare and asked if anyone needed a substitution. House wine and local beer were complimentary and were served at both lunch and dinner (and at the bar at other times). I thought the food was excellent and I definitely enjoyed the variety that was provided. As a bonus, during the week our chef led two cooking demonstrations as did the bartender with special drinks. I really enjoyed this interaction with the other crew members. There was a very nice lounge on the top floor of the ship which included a bar. This was where various talks were given by the crew--and a little special entertainment by them as well. Of course the Amazon and its tributaries were the main attraction! It was high-water season so we were able to navigate by boat pretty much everywhere. We saw many birds and some other critters--lots of beautiful scenery--and interesting villages. We were lucky with the weather and experienced little rain but each skiff was equipped with some serious ponchos just in case. We did have one sudden but brief downpour and were glad for a poncho! I was expecting mosquitos but we really had very few. We visited two villages durning the week and took two jungle walks. During the low-water season more time would be spent on land. All and all, it was a wonderful, memorable trip. If you're contemplating an Amazon River cruise, I'd highly recommend booking on the Aria Amazon! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We just spent the past week celebrating a friends milestone birthday on board the Aqua Mekong. It was faultless. The crew went above and beyond in every regard. The activities each day were so well organised with a great variety - ... Read More
We just spent the past week celebrating a friends milestone birthday on board the Aqua Mekong. It was faultless. The crew went above and beyond in every regard. The activities each day were so well organised with a great variety - cycling, walking, kayaking, cultural tours, market tours, etc. Embarking and disembarking each day was smooth without any issues. If you wanted to relax on board, you had the choice of one of the decks, the pool , the media room, the spa or the gym. Food was delicious - both traditional and western, and if you wanted something specific, the chef was always happy to oblige. Cabins were so spacious and so comfortable. Noise level was minimal. I would highly recommend for anyone wanting to experience the culture of two beautiful countries on a ship which is both spacious and intimate and be completely spoilt by the most gorgeous crew. Perfect for both adults and kids. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We travelled to Raja Ampat on Aqua Blu during January 2020 and it was the most magical holiday. My husband and I travelled on Aqua Aria a few years ago and thoroughly enjoyed our holiday and we were very excited when we read about the ... Read More
We travelled to Raja Ampat on Aqua Blu during January 2020 and it was the most magical holiday. My husband and I travelled on Aqua Aria a few years ago and thoroughly enjoyed our holiday and we were very excited when we read about the launch of Aqua Blu travelling through Raja Ampat as it has been on our bucket list of travels. My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of our holiday on Aqua Blu. The yacht was beautiful, the cabins were spacious and tastefully decorated, the daily meals that were prepared were delicious (the chef was very accommodating), the daily excursions were fun and the staff were friendly and hospitable. The daily snorkelling was spectacular and snorkelling with Manta's is a highlight. Our journey was a truly beautiful and memorable holiday of a lifetime. We look forward to doing a few more holidays with Aqua Expeditions and visiting Komdo Islands. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
First i need to qualify myself on writing this review as i am comparing the AquaMekong curise experience with a luxury train holiday experience on Maharajah Express. To sum up, if given a choice, i will go back to Maharajah Express ... Read More
First i need to qualify myself on writing this review as i am comparing the AquaMekong curise experience with a luxury train holiday experience on Maharajah Express. To sum up, if given a choice, i will go back to Maharajah Express train holiday because it is worth the money you spent. For AquaMekong river cruise, there are some good points amongst the many negative points. For good points, the bed room is like a normal hotel room, toilet is spacious too. Water pressure is also very good in the bath room, hence staying onboard is no different from staying in a normal hotel on land.. The other plus point is that cruising on the river is a very stable, very much more stable than cruising on ocean and train ride. If you don't look out the window, you hardly notice the boat is sailing. I considered this a plus point for people who are sensitive to motion sickness. AquaMekong also has another distinctive plus point which is it has only 20 rooms with a maximum capacity of 40 guests, unlike other Mekong cruise ships that can carry more than double to triple the capacity of AquaMekong. During our holiday onboard AquaMekong, we have a total of 18 guests, this make it very cozy, and fairly friendly for all onboard. With a small group, getting on and off the off board activities was fairly smooth and fast as there is no need to wait too long. Those who have holidays onboard the ocean cruise ship will understand what i meant. In addition to that, when you are onboard, you will always be courteously addressed by your first name. AquaMekong make it a point (like the first and business class onboard Singapore Airline) for their service staff to remember and address their guests by their first names. Now the negative points (as compared to Maharajah Express train): 1.) Probably due to the service culture difference, somehow the Indians know how to pamper their guests better. When we were with Maharajah Express, they really treat us like "the Maharajahs" (the king) which is a differentiating factor to make you feel that your money spent is well worth. Another distinct difference is that for Maharajah Express train, every room is entitled to a butler service 24 by 7. The butler will do almost everything on request, this is absence onboard the AquaMekong. I shall not elaborate much here as it is not my interest to promote Maharajah Express here. 2.) Meals and Foods - the meals and foods onboard AquaMekong is not "gourmet type", you are served with merely traditional cuisines from the Mekong delta areas, like Cambodia, Vietnam and Thai cuisine. If these cuisines are not your liking, AquaMekong does have an alternate menu which comprises of burgers, sandwiches and pastas, to ensure you don't get hungry. Whereas foods and meals onboard the Maharajah Express train is really gourmet type, besides that the Chef will visit your table every meals to ensure you have a satisfying meals, the chef will endeavour to prepare any meals you are craving for. 3.) Excursion - honestly there is nothing really interesting to see and visit around the AquaMekong delta area, comparing with the Maharajah Express train ride, you get to visit Unesco sites with great historical culture. 4.) For river cruise on Mekong Delta, i think room with balcony is a mistake because the room and balcony lights at night will attract lots of flies and insects hence it is really a mistake to have rooms with balconies. 5.) AquaMekong has the worse value for money if we compare the per day cost of staying at AquaMekong and Maharajah Express, they are about the same, but what you get in return is world apart. For a rating of 1 to 10, i would give Maharajah Express a 10 and AquaMekong a 1. 6.) The best verdict is "would you come back again?", my answer for Maharajah Express is s definite YES, and NO NO for AquaMekong. Read Less
Sail Date December 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 read about the Aqua Mekong in the Andrew Harper Hideaway Report and decided to make it the centerpiece of our tour to Vietnam and Cambodia. We came at the perfect time of the year, at the very end of the rainy season when the weather ... Read More
We read about the Aqua Mekong in the Andrew Harper Hideaway Report and decided to make it the centerpiece of our tour to Vietnam and Cambodia. We came at the perfect time of the year, at the very end of the rainy season when the weather was perfect and the water high enough to make it into the Tonle Sap Lake to see the floating villages. The boat itself was just fabulous, our room extremely well appointed and the public areas delightful. The staff was uniformly excellent and the excursions fascinating, it was truly a life-changing experience to kayak past floating villages and realizing we are some of the only westerners these children had ever seen. If you’re wanting to cruise the Mekong River, I highly encourage you to go with Aqua Mekong, rather than Viking or Uniworld. We are big Uniworld Fans, but in this area of the world, the experience on the Aqua Mekong is more specialized and authentic. David Thompson, the famous Thai chef, developed the menus and the areas we visited are exclusive to this ship. We saw no other boats on the river the entire trip until we got to Siem Reap. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We booked this cruise directly with Aqua Expeditions, and the reservation team was very reactive and helpful. For the two hour transfer from Ho Chi Minh to the ship, we had opted for a Mercedes S-class transfer, which was excellent. ... Read More
We booked this cruise directly with Aqua Expeditions, and the reservation team was very reactive and helpful. For the two hour transfer from Ho Chi Minh to the ship, we had opted for a Mercedes S-class transfer, which was excellent. The ship is gorgeous, with plenty of indoor and outdoor space. We had chosen a double cabin, which means that one cabin was set up as a living room and the other one as a bedroom. Consequently, we also had two bathrooms, which was extremely convenient. We were very happy to have chosen the double cabin, as the cabin otherwise would feel very small. However, other guests seemed perfectly happy with their cabins. The gym is obviously small and only offers some cardio equipment, but it was sufficient for a few days. I had three massages during the cruise, which were excellent. The free laundry service was great. There were only 18 guests (+38 staff) on this cruise, and we quickly got to know each other and it almost felt like travelling with a group of friends. Excursions are offered in the morning and afternoon, and there are often different options to choose from. The excursions were extremely well organised. We particularly enjoyed the bike rides, which was a great way to explore the country side. The biking was pretty easy as it always took place on a flat solid surface, and the bikes are well maintained. There are not really any big sights to be seen. The excursions are all about exploring the local life and people, and enjoying the beautiful surroundings. The food was really great with a variation between Asian and western dishes, sometimes served on the outside deck. The free flow of good wine and beer was a great feature. The service was truly outstanding. The wait staff quickly learned our names, and it was a very warm and personal service. Wifi is only available in public areas, and the speed varies a lot. We had asked to reservation team to provide local SIM cards for us, and it worked very well. It was an unforgettable experience, which I highly recommend. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
5 members of my family went on the cruise in Cambodia, 3 generations. From the start to the finish everything was seamless and thoughtful, especially on my daughter's birthday. The crew were exceptional and the daily excursions very ... Read More
5 members of my family went on the cruise in Cambodia, 3 generations. From the start to the finish everything was seamless and thoughtful, especially on my daughter's birthday. The crew were exceptional and the daily excursions very enjoyable, with options for all ages and fitness levels. The dining varied daily and there were western options available. The rooms were a generous size and we had four interconnecting rooms, which allowed privacy as well as a sense of togetherness for the whole family. Each night we had a different place for drinks and sometimes dinner, some activities couldn't go ahead sadly due to weather, I would have loved the sundowner drinks on the riverside. I would highly recommend Aqua Mekong to anyone wanting to immerse themselves in a new culture, with luxury every day. Every bit of it was excellent, the last night a highlight, as well as watching the World Cup Soccer final with some of the crew. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
An amazing experience that combines fun, engaging activities (bike, kayak, skip rides and walks) with introductions to culture, history, and local customs. The staff is fabulous and attentive to everyone's needs - beyond belief: They ... Read More
An amazing experience that combines fun, engaging activities (bike, kayak, skip rides and walks) with introductions to culture, history, and local customs. The staff is fabulous and attentive to everyone's needs - beyond belief: They address you by name, respond to your wishes promptly and share of themselves in lectures, tours, and conversation to give you an authentic experience with real people. The food is an awesome combination of local and (to us) new and exciting flavors - and also familiar fare, but all exquisite and fresh and beautifully presented - in various settings (inside and outdoors). Wine and other drinks were of very good quality and generously provided. Accommodations are a dream for a cruise ship: with floor to ceiling windows and a balcony (in our case), we enjoyed the spacious room (and bathroom with two sinks!!) and the views from the first glimpse in the morning in our very comfortable bed. The boat is immaculate, and cleaning service (incl. free laundry service) is seemingly instantaneous. We picked shoulder season (mid-June) which was perfect: lower price, great weather, and the staff outnumbered the guests 2:1. It is well worth to save up for this trip - it was our second with Aqua Expeditions - the Aqua Amazon experience was our first, and equally rewarding. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
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 first cruise and what a wonderful experience we had. The boat is perfect for this river. The suites were beyond my best expectations...I could actually unpack!! The designers definitely knew what they were doing. A big king bed, ... Read More
My first cruise and what a wonderful experience we had. The boat is perfect for this river. The suites were beyond my best expectations...I could actually unpack!! The designers definitely knew what they were doing. A big king bed, comfy too. Drawers and shelves everywhere so you could easily unpack, find your stuff, and repack with no hassles. The bathroom was over the top. Huge Shower for a boat, bigger than some hotels we have stayed at. Lots of water pressure, nice hot water. Rooms were cleaned 3x per day!! I loved this room, we did have a balcony but couldn't use it due to the high heat and humidity plus the bugs at night. So if I were to do this again, I would pass on the balcony. No big deal. The ship manager was running a well oiled machine, she did a fantastic job and whenever we had an issue, she resolved it. Kudos to her. The crew, half Vietnamese and half Cambodian were so nice, helpful, courteous, and wanted us to be happy and satisfied. WE WERE!!! This is the way to travel with their guides, who I think are some of the best guides I have ever met. So informative, they want to teach you about their countries, half were Cambodian and half Vietnamese. There is a definite difference between the two nationalities that really comes out in their personalities and how they deliver the information. We loved the guides. So between the ship manager, crew, guides, design of the boat, everything was more than I every expected. Read Less
Sail Date November 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
Our travel agent said the Aqua Mekong Explorer was the best of the ships on the Mekong River. We saw some other vessels that were good-looking on the outside at least. Whatever, the cruise we experienced was wonderful. It's a very ... Read More
Our travel agent said the Aqua Mekong Explorer was the best of the ships on the Mekong River. We saw some other vessels that were good-looking on the outside at least. Whatever, the cruise we experienced was wonderful. It's a very modern ship. Good-size rooms, decent-size bathroom, air conditioning worked well, which was very important, and the food was excellent. Good maintenance. One criticism: the air conditioning in the bar/meeting room wasn't working. Very uncomfortable. The ship carries about 40 passengers, but we had only 16. There was a Vietnamese and a Cambodia guide. Both spoke good English and were very helpful. We had only a four-night cruise, as the ship cannot go all the way to Siem Reap during low-water season. Each day there were one or two trips in the ship's skiff, which would take us along the shore of side streams and adjacent waters and sometimes into villages and towns. The guides were very informative, and considerate of my physical limitations. My only regret was that we didn't have a full week on the cruise. 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
I wanted to understand some of the history...as a child who grew up in the Vietnam era. So special to spend time in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos - beautiful and unique countries. The people there are largely open to foreigners, the children ... Read More
I wanted to understand some of the history...as a child who grew up in the Vietnam era. So special to spend time in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos - beautiful and unique countries. The people there are largely open to foreigners, the children cry out - hello! what is your name? press gifts of woven reeds upon us. Motorbikes! On the boat - What a relaxing and fasciniating way to spend a week Service was amazing, the staff learned our names right away so we worked to learn theirs. Laundry service every day - what a luxury! Guides excellent - we started in Vietnam with Vietnamese guides and as we crossed into Cambodia another guide, a local Cambodian, was introduced. Very educational and moving. The food was excellent and varied. At breakfast an array of fruit, yogurts and breads - or you could order custom made eggs. Lunch was always a feast - wine pored liberally guaranteed a nap before the afternoon excursion. Dinner also a feast! The vistas amazing....just amazing. I am now exploring dates for an Amazon cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
The first question is, "take a 3, 4 or 7 day excursion"? If my count is correct, the 4 day trip has one more outing on the skiff than the 3 day excursion. The 3 day trip explores one of the two rivers that officially form the ... Read More
The first question is, "take a 3, 4 or 7 day excursion"? If my count is correct, the 4 day trip has one more outing on the skiff than the 3 day excursion. The 3 day trip explores one of the two rivers that officially form the Amazon. The 4 day trip explores the other river. In both you will do virtually the same, see wildlife from the skiff, hike thru the jungle, visit a village, its school and living quarters for a family, fish for piranhas, swim and likely see pink dolphins. The seven day trip does everything virtually twice. My travel companion and I did the 7 day trip and enjoyed every day of the adventure. While I never counted since many of the crew you hardly ever see, AE reports a total of 23 and to a person they could not do enough for you. It was quite amazing. Breakfast was my favorite meal followed by lunch. Evening meals reflected really local cuisine. A couple of nites the meal was outstanding...a couple of nites, just interesting, but I never went hungry. The detail they go to was just outstanding. An example, sitting on my bed just before dinner one evening, a tiny bug crawled across the white sheet and I squashed it with my thumb. It left a tiny black smudge. When I returned from dinner the sheet had been replaced. Oscar, our cabin steward was the best and we enjoyed his skill at folding animal towels. The trips are not cheap but AE has a lot of expense. In addition to the boat crew there is a support staff on shore to take care of everything from the time one steps off the plane until you are delivered back to the airport. Fuel is not cheap on the Amazon and they go thru a lot with the big boat and the three skiffs that go out with every outing. Sometimes, we would run 20-25 miles up a tributary looking for particular critters. So why only a score of three? Booking issues, subtract one!!! I asked multiple times if the boat was running a high water or low water itinerary? Each time I was assured it was the rainy season and the water would be 20-30 ft above normal. I protested the weather patterns were changing and guess what? Thanks to el Nino we had a low water itinerary. Then I wanted to arrive in Iquitos early to explore a bit but was pressured to change my flight to arrive on the 5:45 pm LAN flight. IMHO, that was not necessary. Gift giving gave rise to a lot of discussion among my fellow passengers. AE needs to get a better grip on this. In the school, a couple of people started giving out things. Some kids got something others nothing. The village leader will be at the school, give him/her everything for a fair distribution later. DO NOT BRING CANDY FOR THE CHILDREN! While I gave money at each school, we teach better lessons by purchasing from the stands that quickly get set up upon our arrival. The lesson is a reward for doing something as opposed money for doing nothing. If I were to do it again, I would start early shopping at thrift shops for children's clothes of all sizes. Avoid whites...difficult to maintain white when washing in river water. But cute things for the girls, I seen a lot of sequined tops...boys like sport themes and what ever. Flip-flops are OK but don't work so well wading in water. Croc style would be a better choice. Pack everything in a gym bag and leave it with the leader, it will be put to good use. On the 7 day we visited two living quarters. Things I wished I would have brought for each family, a long stainless cooking fork, durable sharp knives that can be sharpened, metal skewers for kabobs, shears, maybe some 10 lb test fish line and some 1/0 hooks. Is this contrary to what was discussed above? No, they are sharing their life with you...you are sharing with them. So here's the last deduction: February 15, 2016, Virgin Airways flight 025 London Heathrow to JFK returned to LHR after a laser flashed into the cockpit and left the first officer feeling unwell. AE guides have red/green lasers to help guests find animals in the trees...animals that have vision acuity perhaps a hundred times more sensitive than man. Lasers should never be pointed at an animal!!! Lastly, and I hate to bring this up knowing how much detail the crew goes into, the chlorine level in the jaccuzi was perfect at the beginning of the cruise. It was at zero by day 7. This should be checked 2-3 times a week. Overall, it was a fantastic trip and for sure the best way to see the Amazon. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
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