Visit the Amazon in style by enjoying the best Luxury Amazon Cruises in Peru. Delve deep into pristine rainforest of the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve on an unforgettable voyage to one of Peru’s most remote rainforest areas. Spanning more than five million acres of flooded forest, the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve is the largest, protected flooded forest in the world. Due the nature of this fragile ecosystem, the best way to explore is by boat. Aracari shares handpicked recommendations for the best luxury Amazon cruises.
The best luxury Amazon cruises are run by Delfin Amazon Cruises and Aqua Expeditions: Delfin I, Delfin II, Delfin III and the Aqua Expedition’s Aria Amazon and Aqua Nera. Luxury amazon cruises all depart from Iquitos, a short domestic flight from Lima, the capital, or Cusco, the gateway to Machu Picchu.
The best luxury amazon cruises can be booked by individual rooms, or privately chartered for groups and special occasions. Cruises start from 3 nights / 4 days – though to venture into the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve proper you need to take a 4 night / 5 day cruise; shorter cruises will take you around the area near the reserve, but not within it. Aqua Expedition offers longer 7 night cruises.
The Best Luxury Amazon Cruises
The luxury cruises offered by both Aqua and Delfin are first class. Delfin’s vessels operate three and four night programs. Aqua operates three, four and seven night programs. Whichever luxury amazon cruise you choose, you can expect to enjoy hotel-style comforts on board the vessel and a range of activities to explore the natural environment. Activities generally include: boat rides, trail walks, swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding, fishing, canopy walkways and visits to an animal rescue center.
Luxury Amazon Cruises with Delfin
Delfin I: The Delfin I Amazon Cruise is the most luxurious option offered by Delfin, with a total of just four interconnecting cabins. There are two deluxe suites and two master suites. The intimate size, with a maximum of eight passengers, makes it a great option for private charters for families and groups of friends. The Delfin I offers paddle boarding and kayaking in its range of activity options. All drinks are included on board the Delfin I throughout your stay.
Delfin II: Luxury meets authenticity on the Delfin II. Slightly larger than the Delfin I, with 14 large guest suites, the vessel is kitted out with a massage room, observation area, lecture room and sundeck. The Delfin II occasionally runs special departures for guest lecture cruises. The Delfin II offers kayaking in its range of activity options. Most drinks are included on the Delfin II.
Delfin III: The largest of the luxury amazon cruises recommended by Aracari, the Delfin III vessel has a capacity for 42 passenger, with extra space allowing for a gym, spa and indoor/outdoor top deck with a pool. House wine is included with meals on the Delfin II.
Luxury Amazon Cruises with Aqua Expeditions
Aria Amazon: Offering a high level of luxury and comfort with a contemporary style, the Aria fits up to 32 guests in its sixteen design suites. The Aria includes a plush lounge, jacuzzi and exercise room, with top Lima chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino shaping the gastronomic offering. There are two sets of interconnecting suites for families. The Aqua Aria includes biking withing its range of activities.
Aqua Nera: Drawing inspiration from traditional and contemporary style, Aqua Nera is a spacious and elegant vessel providing the utmost in refined comfort. Days are spent on guided expeditions into the Amazon or simply relaxing beside the on board pool. By night, you will experience a refined take on Amazonian culinary traditions courtesy of Chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino, one of Peru’s finest chefs.
Best time to take an Amazon Cruise
It is possible to cruise the Amazon year-round. Boats journey to the Pacaya Samiria Reserve, which sits within the Amazon rainforest and functions like a flooded forest. As such, all vessels slightly adapt their itineraries and start points for high and low water seasons. If you visit in the high water season (November – May), almost every river, creek and lake is navigable, and you will get up-close to birdlife. If you visit in the low water season (June-October) some trails and jungle paths become accessible allowing you to walk more, as opposed to only exploring the natural environment by boat.
Wildlife Watching in the Amazon
The Amazon is brimming wildlife and it is possible to visit the Amazon either by taking a luxury Amazon cruise in northern Peru, or by staying in a luxury Amazon lodge in southern Peru. The wildlife is slightly different. By taking a cruise it is quite likely that you will view the Amazonian grey and pink river dolphins during a visit to Pacaya Samiria – which you won’t spot if staying in a jungle lodge. Asides from enjoying the Amazon from aboard your luxury vessel, excursions are taken daily in groups with fellow passengers in small motorized skiffs. This enables you the best chance to spot pink and grey dolphins, sting rays, manatees, giant otters, and other flora and fauna in the Amazon. If you stay in a luxury judgle lodge, there may be other wildlife you will see instead, like colorful clay licks.
Luxury Amazon Cruises for Families
Generally speaking, these top luxury amazon cruises are best suited to children aged seven and over.