Update: Armed Bandits Raid Luxury Ship on Amazon River

July 29, 2009
Aqua Expeditions' Aqua River Ship

Update, 6:39 p.m. EDT: According to a statement from Aqua Expeditions, "Peruvian news agencies are reporting the capture of those responsible for the unprecedented robberies aboard the m/v Aqua on Sunday night." The company also states that measures are being taken to ensure the safety of future Amazon River cruises. Aqua set sail yesterday with the line's CEO and two police investigators onboard.

(July 27, 6:56 p.m. EDT) -- Aqua Expeditions' luxury river ship, Aqua, was raided by armed bandits on Sunday, reports industry publication Travel Weekly. Six bandits boarded the ship and robbed the 24 passengers of money and other valuable objects. No one was hurt during the incident.

The ship had departed from Iquitos, Peru, on July 25 for a seven-night cruise on the Amazon River. The ship was scheduled to arrive in Nauta on Monday, and from there guests would be transferred back to Iquitos. Aqua Expeditions will take care of all travel arrangements, and will also offer passengers a full refund and a free future cruise.

The Peruvian government is investigating the incident. In an official statement, Francesco Galli-Zugaro, Aqua Expeditions' CEO, says that "nothing like this has ever happened on the Amazon before, and I am grateful to the crew for their calm and efficient handling of the incident, and their efforts to ensure that the safety and well-being of our passengers was their first priority."

Founded in 2007, Aqua Expeditions operates three-, four- and seven-night Amazon River cruises from Iquitos. Its fleet consists of only one ship, the 400-ton, 24-passenger Aqua.

--by Erica Silverstein, Senior Editor