Honeymoon Cruise on the M/V Aria:
Imagine you’ve just checked into one of the coolest boutique hotels in the world—and then, the darn thing starts to move—down the Amazon! That’s when you brace yourself for one of the most romantic, luxurious, and exotic honeymoons imaginable. The M/V Aria is Aqua Expeditions’ second riverboat built to ply the waters of the Peruvian Amazon. With 16 luxury cabins, delectable gourmet meals, excursions into the rain forest, and visits with villagers along the way, you have the formula for an unforgettable honeymoon.
Cabins on the M/V Aria:
Cabins have floor-to-ceiling windows (no balconies), king-size beds with Frette linens, showers with purified water, separate vanity areas, and a sitting area done in a palette of subdued earth tones so as not to compete with the riot of color going on along the Amazon. Décor is a sleek contemporary mix of native woods, sepia-toned photos of Amazon life and fabrics and lighting that soothe the senses. All cabins and public spaces on the Aria are air-conditioned and dehumidified, which provide welcome relief after returning from excursions into the wilds of the surrounding jungle.
Dining on the M/V Aria:
The executive chef, who owns and operates Lima’s renowned restaurant Malabar, created the menus, highlighting the diverse produce that makes Peru a culinary Mecca. Sumptuous buffets greet guests at breakfast and lunch and dinners are 4-5 course sit-down affairs that feature the best ingredients Peru has to offer. The snazzy glassed-in lounge that comprises most of the third floor features a bar where you can sip Peru’s signature cocktail, the pisco sour. Tea, coffee and tasty pastries are also available round the clock. Dress in the daytime is casual. Evenings are casual chic.
Weddings on the M/V Aria:
With advance notice, the entire boat can be taken over by a wedding party. To get the ball rolling, contact Aqua Expeditions and they can help you plan a unique wedding and honeymoon and guide you through the process of marrying in Peru. Couples have four and seven-day itineraries from which to chose.
Honeymoons/Romance Packages on the M/V Aria:
Honeymooners receive, in addition to luxury amenities offered to all guests, treats such as a heart-shaped cake baked onboard, towel sculptures forming whimsical replicas of the birds and animals along the Amazon, and lots of champagne to make sure your trip bubbles right along. Couples will also be serenaded at sunset by talented crewmembers from one of the Aria’s skiffs. Additional accompaniment by the denizens of the surrounding jungle is offered at no additional cost. Chirp. Chirp.
Activities on the M/V Aria:
Relax in your room, peruse books about the Amazon in the library or rev things up on the cardio machines in the boat’s gym. The small, well-stocked shop sells apparel, jewelry and arts and crafts created along the river. Expert guides offer presentations every evening, describing the next day’s excursions. The lounge, and its adjacent outdoor sun deck and large hot tub, is Aria’s social hub. Beer, wine and soft drinks are free of charge; spirits and premium wines are extra. One romantic must is to lie on the deck at night and look up at the starry, starry sky.
Excursions from the M/V Aria:
Each day passengers can take part in at least two excursions up smaller tributaries and into the jungle and villages along the way via eight-passenger skiffs. Expert, English-speaking guides, many of whom were raised along the river, accompany each excursion, and due to their sharp eyes, you are virtually guaranteed to see flocks of wild parrots, macaws and toucans soaring over trees that are home to monkeys, two and three-toed sloth and the ever-elusive jaguar. Guests receive well-designed checklists to keep track of the critters they see on the banks and in the trees along the Amazon. Bring your binoculars.
Drawbacks on the M/V Aria:
Some will see this as a drawback, others as a welcome relief from a hectic world: You will almost completely be cut off from life as you know it. There are no TVs or radios onboard. There is no Internet access and only intermittent cell phone reception (roaming charges can be astronomical). Of course, if an emergency should arise at home, the ship can be contacted via Aqua Expedition’s offices in Lima and Iquitos. So tune out and plug-in to the natural sights and sounds of the Amazon, home to 20% of the world’s fresh water. You can always set your DVR to catch up on "Judge Judy" when you get home.
Find Out More About M/V Aria:
M/V means motor vessel (as opposed to steam ship) and the Aria is an elegant cocoon to explore this remote, mysterious, and beautiful part of the world. Aqua Expeditions is committed to sound ecological and social practices--with outreach programs to help local residents learn about conserving and protecting their environment.
Aria guests are encouraged to bring gifts to pass out along the way: small things, like pens, paper, crayons, T-shirts and the like are welcomed by the people who literally live off the bounty of the Amazon and its shores.
A travel tip: when you get home, casually leave that attractive Amazon checklist on your coffee table to show people you get around.
Calle Iquitos 1167
Tel: (51 65) 60 1053
Toll free number: 1 (866) 603 3687 (US & Canada)
Aqua Expeditions Website
Search for a Flight to Iquitos, Peru
As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary accommodation and meals for the purpose of reviewing those services. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our ethics policy .