Avalon Waterways has a plethora of fascinating voyages up for grabs for adventurous river cruisers — from journeys along Europe’s most celebrated waterways to the mysterious Mekong. But one of the most exciting new itinerary offerings for the coming year is surely Avalon’s new Amazon River cruises.
Operated in conjunction with Peru-based Aqua Expeditions, Avalon has crafted an intriguing combination land and cruise tour that includes three nights sailing the Amazon River aboard the futuristic m/v Aqua, which was constructed in 2011, making her one of the newest vessels in the region.
Beginning in Lima, Peru, guests are invited to spend two days touring the city before setting off for Cusco and the Sacred Valley. Here, guests can experience Sacasayhuaman, Kenko, Amanakancha and Pisac. At dinner, they can also enjoy a traditional Peruvian Horse Show.
From the Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu calls. Located nearly 8,000 feet above sea level, Machu Picchu is one of the world’s most historic Incan sites, dating back to the 15th century. It was abandoned a century later, remaining undiscovered by the rest of the world until Hiram Bingham came here in 1911.
From Machu Picchu, guests return for more in-depth exploration of Cusco, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the historic capital of the Incan Empire.
Guests then transfer to the Aria before spending three days cruising the Amazon River. Each day, in-depth explorations ashore are offered, guided by certified naturalists who will lead guests on walks of discovery and traditional panga rides in search of wildlife by day and night.
Following disembarkation from the Aria, guests will fly back to Lima, where their return journey onward begins.
The full itinerary:
|Day 1||Lima||Arrival in South America|
|Day 2||Lima||Sightseeing with a local guide; visit San Francisco Monastery and Larco Herrara Museum. Welcome dinner at Casa Garcia Alvarado.|
|Day 3||Lima - Cusco - Sacred Valley||Fly to Cusco; visit Sacsayhuaman, Kenko, Awanakancha and Pisac. Dinner and Peruvian Horse Show.|
|Day 4||Sacred Valley - Machu Picchu||Visit Ollantaytambo and an Incan home; Vistadome train to Aguas Calientes; sightseeing tour of Machu Picchu with a local guide.|
|Day 5||Machu Picchu - Cusco||Second included entrance to Machu Picchu; return train trip.|
|Day 6||Cusco||Sightseeing with a local guide; visit Santo Domingo Monastery and the Cathedral.|
|Day 7||Cusco - Lima - Iquitos||Embark m/v Aria; Cruising the Peruvian Amazon|
|Day 8||Cruising the Peruvian Amazon||Naturalist-guided walks and panga rides in search of wildlife; nocturnal panga cruise.|
|Day 9||Cruising the Peruvian Amazon||Naturalist-guided walks and panga rides in search of wildlife; nocturnal panga cruise.|
|Day 10||Cruising the Peruvian Amazon||Naturalist-guided panga ride; native village visit; visit the Manatee Rescue Center; fly to Lima|
|Day 11||Lima||Your vacation ends this morning.|
One of the coolest features about the Aria are her floor-to-ceiling windows in guest staterooms, all of which face the mighty Amazon. Beds are positioned to face these windows (just like aboard many of Avalon’s European-based vessels), and staterooms all feature cabin service three times per day.
The Amazon might be remote, but the Aria is far from rustic. It features a full Sun Deck, outdoor Jacuzzi tub, an exercise room, a lounge with indoor and outdoor seating options, a boutique, dining room, and an open-air deck that is, as the line points out, perfect for star-gazing from the darkness of the Amazon.
If you’re looking for a completely different kind of river cruise experience next year, Avalon’s Amazon journeys certainly fit the bill.
More information on Avalon Waterways, its fleet and destinations, can be found by viewing our complete Avalon Waterways profile here in River Cruise Advisor.