Delfin Amazon Cruises, founded in 2006, has a fleet of three luxury riverboats that sail on the Peruvian Amazon and its tributary rivers, the Maranon and Ucayali, near the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve. The boats are chartered by a number of travel companies, such as Lindblad-National Geographic but travel agents and individuals also can book directly with Delfin Amazon Cruises. Delifn is a member of the Relais & Châteaux network of luxury hotels and restaurants.
Delfin Amazon Cruises sails three luxury riverboats -- Delfin I, Delfin II and Delfin III -- on the tributaries leading out of the Amazon Basin. Onboard, staterooms are large for a riverboat, with a choice of king or twin beds, and wall-to-wall windows for expansive views. Bathrooms feature separate toilet, sink and shower areas, with the more luxurious suites including bathtubs. Some rooms aboard Delfin II can be interconnected for families, who often come during American school vacations. The ships offer some special activities and menu offerings for children. The minimum age is 7.
Dining on each ship is open seating. The cuisine is Peruvian and every meal features ingredients and dishes that reflect the region's culinary offerings. Expect plenty of fresh fish, fruit and meat. Days begin early, with wake-up calls coming a 7 a.m. or earlier, followed by breakfast and the first expedition by 8:30 a.m. at the latest (earlier for some excursions). When you return from the morning excursion, you'll have a short break to freshen up and relax before lunch, around noon. A second expedition follows in the afternoon, followed by a siesta or enrichment (a film or short lecture) or socializing, and then dinner around 7 p.m.
Each ship is three decks and features seating areas and bars on the top deck. Delfin II and Delfin III have enclosed, air-conditioned areas for socializing and lectures, and Delfin III includes a spa, small workout room, and plunge pool on the top deck.
Most passengers aboard Delfin cruises are world travelers who've come to the Peruvian Amazon to experience the wildlife here. Couples are the most prevalent group of travelers, though you will see groups of friends and families (both single family units and multigenerational families). Typically, family groups travel during school vacations. With the exception of children and teens traveling with their families, the typical passenger falls in the 50- to 80-year-old age range. Passengers are split between travelers from North America (primarily the United States, but some Canadians) and Peru, with Australians and Europeans making up a smaller number of passengers. Presentations, announcements and menus are presented in Spanish and English, depending on the makeup of the passengers.
Delfin Amazon Cruises Fleet
Delfin I, completely refurbished in 2010, is the smallest in the fleet, with room for only 12 passengers in its four suites, and carries a crew of 13. The two Master Suites and Deluxe Suites have private terraces; Deluxe Suites have plunge whirlpools on the terrace.
Delfin II, built in 2009, has room for 30 passengers and carries a 22-person crew. There are 10 suites, with four that interconnect, making for easy family travel, and four Master Suites. All suites have floor-to-ceiling windows, but the Master Suites, all located on the bow of the ship, have panoramic windows with 180-degree views.
Delfin III, launched in January 2017, is the largest in the fleet, with capacity for 43 passengers; it carries 32 crew. Eight Suites and 10 Upper Suites feature floor-to-ceiling windows, but two Corner Suites have expansive windows that wrap the corners of the boat, providing even bigger views. The Owner's Suite, the largest stateroom in the fleet, has a wall of windows spanning the width of the ship, making for the most all-encompassing view onboard. Both the Corner Suites and Owner's Suite include complimentary 30-minute spa treatments for guests, as well as bathtubs and stocked mini-bars.
Delfin I and Delfin II take four- or five-night cruises on the Ucayali and Maranon Rivers, tributaries leading out of the Amazon Basin at Iquitos. The trips leave from a launching pad at Nauta. Most passengers fly from Lima to Iquitos and are picked up at the airport for the drive on smooth roads to the boat. The two boats usually do not travel on the same river at the same time. The day's stops follow an itinerary but depend somewhat on where naturalists think they will have the best sightings.