With most of Peru covered in jungle, river cruising is one of the best, and sometimes only, ways to explore the region—particularly in the dense Amazon. Known for its boutique river cruises throughout Europe, Uniworld is now testing the waters of the Amazon with two deluxe itineraries that will begin on September 23, 2020. For these new launches, the company has engaged the all-suite Aria Amazon ship, based out of the port of Iquitos, for 11- and 15-day all-inclusive tours that let you dive deep into the country and its culture, all with a glass of Champagne in hand.
Owned by Aqua Expeditions, the custom-designed Aria Amazon is a 147-foot-long eco-friendly vessel that accommodates a maximum of 32 guests, ensuring an intimate experience. Each of the ship’s 16 suites measures 250 square-feet, and features hardwood interiors and dramatic floor-to-ceiling windows that provide unparalleled views of the river and rainforest. The Aria Amazon also has a jacuzzi and an outdoor canopied lounge on the top deck, an indoor lounge, a gym, and a dining room serving gourmet cuisine.
While on board for seven days, guests can enjoy curated guided excursions using the ship’s private launch boats, which will take them along the banks of the river and deep into the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve. Activities include an up-close look at the confluence of the Ucayali and Marañón rivers, where the Amazon begins, as well as tours of remote villages, kayaking or swimming in the black waters of the river, and stargazing in the evening.
Uniworld’s itineraries, however, offer more than just river cruising. Both journeys begin with a deep exploration of Lima, where you’ll overnight for three days in a luxury hotel while discovering the city’s colonial landmarks and trendy neighborhoods. This is followed by a transfer to Iquitos—the largest city in the world accessible only by air or water—to embark on the seven-day cruise. The 11-day trip will end upon re-docking, while the 15-day journey continues on to Cusco and Machu Picchu before returning to Lima. Rates start at $12,000 per person and include unlimited spirits and wines, all meals, airport transfers, excursions, on-board entertainment and all gratuities.