The sophisticated boats of Aqua Expeditions, which ply the waters of the Amazon and Mekong rivers, have long been applauded by Hideaway Report members. They have now been joined by a very different vessel, Aqua Blu, a 198-foot “long-range explorer yacht,” which cruises the vast Indonesian archipelago. On seven- and 12-night itineraries, passengers visit the Maluku Islands (formerly known as the Spice Islands), Komodo National Park and the exquisite Raja Ampat Islands within the famed Coral Triangle, the global center of marine diversity and an extreme priority for international conservation efforts. The yacht itself was launched in 1967 as the British survey ship HMS Beagle. She was the ninth Royal Navy vessel to be so named, in honor of the ship that carried Charles Darwin on his momentous five-year voyage around the world. After 35 years’ service, she was decommissioned and converted into a private yacht.
Following extensive refurbishment in 2019, the five-deck Aqua Blu now offers 15 individually designed, sea-facing suites in three categories, plus a Jacuzzi, spa, gym and sundeck, as well as a dining room featuring the gourmet cuisine for which Aqua boats are justly renowned. The yacht is equipped with sophisticated Quantum stabilizers and is certified to the highest levels of safety for ocean voyages.