The small riverboats (and yacht) of Aqua Expeditions have long found favor with Andrew Harper members. The latest addition to the fleet is the 205-foot Aqua Nera, an “expeditionary vessel” based at Iquitos on the Peruvian Amazon. The boat’s 20 air-conditioned suites are relatively spacious at 322 square feet and come with floor-to-ceiling windows through which to watch the jungle slide by. (Some suites interconnect and can be combined to create a much larger space.) Baths provide two sinks and rainfall showers. Public areas feature a refined contemporary design that makes spectacular use of sustainably sourced native woods.
Aqua boats are well known for the quality of their food, and the cuisine on the Nera has been developed in conjunction with Pedro Miguel Schiaffino, a Peruvian celebrity chef renowned for creating refined dishes that employ local Amazonian ingredients. (Seventy percent of all ingredients used on board are sourced from the rainforest or the river.) Typical dishes include hearts of palm soufflé, grilled paiche (a freshwater fish) with huatia (baked underground) potatoes, escolar fish in aji panka chile adobo, and scallops with wild almonds and umari fruit. Amenities include a gym, a screening room, an outdoor bar, a plunge pool and two spa treatment rooms. Shore excursions are aboard four motorized skiffs, each for a maximum of 10 people. Near the town of Nauta, 60 miles south of Iquitos, passengers can also go on extended cycling tours.