Aqua Expeditions has added a brand-new vessel to its fleet, which is says will set “a new standard for deluxe river expeditions on the Peruvian Amazon.” Aqua Nera draws design inspiration from the river's black water lagoons, while offering contemporary and generous interiors.
Custom-built in Vietnam (as was its sister vessel Aqua Mekong), the 20-suite river ship was designed by Noor Design. The Aqua Nera was constructed in under a year, and ceremonially launched with a solemn Buddhist blessing on July 29, 2020. On August 31, the Aqua Nera was hoisted aboard a specially configured ocean-going freighter for the 35-day, 9,250-mile voyage from Vietnam to the Brazilian port of Belém, at the mouth of the Amazon.
Once its crew takes possession in Brazil, they will embark on a modern-day “Fitzcarraldo Odyssey,” a reference to the feat faced by 19th-century Peruvian rubber baron Carlos Fitzcarrald. (His real-life endeavor of transporting a disassembled steamship over the Isthmus of Fitzcarrald was famously translated on screen by German director Werner Herzog, winning him the 1982 Best Director award at the Cannes Film Festival.) From Belém, Aqua Nera will navigate the entire length of the Amazon, a 15-day, 1,500-mile upriver journey to its new home port, the Peruvian city of Iquitos.
Aqua Nera will make its inaugural voyage in late 2020 and operate in tandem with the Aria Amazon, sailing guests into the depths of the Peruvian Amazon. Its expeditions will feature cuisine by Pedro Miguel Schiaffino. Every day, expert naturalist guides will conduct small-group excursions that reward guests with up-close wildlife encounters in the world's most biodiverse rainforest.