Aqua Nera

Specifications of Aqua Nera

Year of build2020  /  Age: 4
BuilderHai Minh Shipyard / Saigon Shipyards Co Ltd (Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam)
ClassAmazon riverboat / houseboat
Ferry route / homeportsIquitos Peru
Building costUSD 12 million
Speed12 kn / 22 km/h / 14 mph
Length (LOA)62 m / 203 ft
Beam (width)12 m / 39 ft
Gross Tonnage700 gt
Passengers44 - 60
Decks with cabins2
Sister-shipsAria Amazon, Aqua Mekong
Christened bytba
OwnerAqua Expeditions
OperatorAqua Expeditions Peru

Aqua Nera Review

Review of Aqua Nera

The 2020-built/2021-inaugurated MV Aqua Nera cruise ship is a premium riverboat (also called houseboat) with a modern design and top-quality hotel amenities, providing year-round some of the industry's best Peruvian Amazon cruising travel vacations. Aqua Nera's fleetmates are the riverboats Aqua Mekong (2014, on Mekong River) and Aria Amazon (2010/sistership, on the Peruvian Amazon), as well as the completely reconstructed luxury yacht Aqua Blu (2019) deployed in Eastern Indonesia.

The newbuild vessel was scheduled for inauguration in August 2020 but due to the COVID crisis, it was postponed for April 2021. The boat is owned by Aqua Expeditions (2008-founded, Singapore-based cruise travel company).

Aqua Nera is the most innovative and luxurious riverboat deployed year-round in the Peruvian Amazon and Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve.

MV Aqua Nera cruise ship (Aqua Expeditions Peru)

Designed by Noor Design Studio, the boat's luxuriously appointed interiors and all the 20 staterooms are decorated with high-quality dark (sustainably sourced) woods. Public spaces include Bar Lounge, Restaurant, Gym, Spa, Sundeck with Plunge Pool.

Shipboard facilities and amenities

By continuing the partnership with renowned Peruvian chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino, Aqua Expeditions delivers a sustainable menu that emphasizes fresh ingredients and local produce. 70% of all ingredients used onboard are sourced from the rainforest and waters surrounding the journey. Chef Schiaffino transforms uncommon ingredients into authentic dishes which deserve their place alongside popular Peruvian favorites like ceviche. Onboard Aria Amazon, travelers can savour dishes like hearts of palm souffle, grilled paiche with huatia potatoes, escolar fish in aji panka chilli adobo, scallops with wild almonds and Umari fruit, plantain, yucca gnocchi.

Ship's sprawling balconies are the perfect viewpoints to safely observe Amazon Rainforest's wildlife - mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians.

Next are listed all shipboard-provided complimentary amenities and services.

Aft Sun Deck/Observation Deck with sunbeds (single and double daybeds) is the best spot for photography, birdwatching, riverside scenery observation, evening cinema screenings (movies under the stars), late-night stargazing. Sundeck's Forward Outdoor Bar Lounge (at the bow) is canopy-shaded and equipped with comfortable loungers, 4-seat dining tables, private cabanas, Plunge Pool.

On Sun Deck (top-deck 3) are the Indoor Bar Lounge - boat's venue for social activities, cocktails, port talks, cruise tour itinerary-related presentations.

Aft on Deck 2 is the Indoor Dining Room Restaurant with a Terrace (also serving as an Outdoor Private Dining venue). Ship's menu is designed by Chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino and includes Amazonia-influenced cuisine specialities.

Midship-aft on Deck 3 (starboard) is the Private Screening Room (capacity 10 seats) with theatre-style seating and selection of Amazon-themed films and documentaries. Aqua Expeditions' Cruise Director organizes here private screenings, lectures and multimedia presentations about Amazonia's history, peoples and cultures.

Midship-aft on Deck 3 (port side) is the Games Room (doubles as Library) and the Gym (exercise room fitted with floor-ceiling windows and modern fitness equipment / free weights and training machines).

Midship-aft on Deck 2 is boat's Lobby with two entrances (portside/starboard), Reception (24-hour Guest Services Desk) and Shop (Antique and Artisanal Boutique). Adjacent is the Spa/wellness complex consisting of two treatment rooms (for massages by certified staff/professional therapists) - one single and one double.

MV Aqua Nera cruise ship (Aqua Expeditions Peru)

RV Aqua Nera also has an Infirmary (ship hospital) served by a resident physician/paramedic.

Aqua Expeditions Nera ship has its own fleet of 3 aluminum skiffs (motorized speedboats with max capacity 10 passengers plus 1 crew each) that serve up to 3 daily shore excursions (landings and tours) into Amazonia's tributaries. Passengers also enjoy complimentary kayaking and piranhas fishing in Pacaya River.

The English-speaking tour guides lead all tours - including (by skiffs) to the region's natural swimming pools. Aqua Expeditions' 3- and 7-night Amazon cruises also offer city cycling tours (in Nauta Peru) with the ship's fleet of 10 bicycles.

Aqua Expeditions Aqua Nera cruise prices are inclusive of all meals onboard, all excursions, beverages (non-alcoholic, house wine, beer), the transfers to/from the boat (with the recommended flights), Peru's "Pacaya Samiria" National Reserve entrance fee. The boat is also chartered by the Globus-owned subsidiary Avalon Waterways, as well as other cruise tour operators offering luxury Amazon travel deals in South America. On its Amazon River cruise ship charters, Avalon Waterways offers USA flights-inclusive deals with discount airfare (international USA-Callao-USA and domestic Lima-Iquitos-Lima) with complimentary airport transfers.

Decks and cabins

RV Aqua Nera staterooms (a total of 20) feature elegant design (maximized interior space, enhanced natural light), modern furniture and 5-star hotel amenities.

All Suites are large equally-sized (30 m2 / 320 ft2) and with triple occupancy, as their interior sofas are convertible (form a sofabed for 1 child).

Of all staterooms, 8 Design Suites (forward on decks 1 and 2) can be booked as "family cabins". These 4 pairs of interconnecting cabins (combo-sized 60 m2 / 645 ft2) are connected via sliding doors. Accommodating up to 6 passengers, these "2-room suites" are configured as lounge/living room plus the master bedroom, and with his-and-hers bathrooms.

As standard amenities, all staterooms provide custom-made King-size bed (sized 2x2m, with available twin bed configurations / 1m x 2m), premium bedding (Peruvian cotton sheets, duvets), bedside cabinets with lamps, floor-ceiling and wall-to-wall windows with double curtains, slide-opening double wardrobe (mirrored closet with drawers and electronic safe box), phone (intercom system), round coffee table, lounge sofabed, music docking station (MP3-Player and Cell-Phone Audio Docks), coffee/tea making facility, professional hairdryer, en-suite bathrooms (walk-in shower, overhead rain shower, dual-sink vanities, lighted mirror, natural organic bath- and hair products), individually controlled air-conditioning, complimentary bottled water (replenished daily), 24-hour room service (complimentary).

Aqua Nera Amazon cruise itinerary

The ship cruises on 3- and 7-night itineraries with prices ranging between USDF 4125-10325 per person (double occupancy cabin rates). The boat's homeport (of embarkation/debarkation) is Iquitos Peru.

Besides on Amazon, Aqua Nera cruises also on the rivers Yarapa, Yanalipa and Ucayali.

Aqua Nera's Amazon cruise tours are price-inclusive of daily organized shore excursions - each professionally guided by a local English-speaking naturalist. Tour options include Peru's Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve, rainforest walks, visits to authentic villages, skiff boat rides, wildlife watching, nocturnal cruising. The onboard entertainment program features live performances by local entertainers and artisans.

Aqua Nera - user reviews and comments

Photos of Aqua Nera

Add Photo

Aqua Nera ship related cruise news

Other Aqua Expeditions cruise ships

Aqua Nera Wiki

In November 2018, Aqua Expeditions announced increasing fleet's size by 150% and expanding company's operational destinations with a 2-year, USD 28 million (EUR 25m) investment plan backed by Bison Capital (US-based private equity firm). In a written statement, Galli Zugaro (company's CEO and Founder) announced that the investment allows Aqua Expeditions to introduce coastal cruises (with Aqua Blu) and new adventure travel destinations.

Like the sisterships Aria Amazon and Aqua Mekong, Aqua Nera's design, a small number of passenger accommodations, amenities and all-inclusive deals classified the vessel as "houseboat". Similarly designed is the Chobe River cruise ship Zambezi Queen (Botswana, South Africa).

These houseboats were constructed at Hai Minh Shipyard in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) Vietnam. Aqua Nera was launched (floated out from drydock) on June 29, 2020. The inauguration ceremony featured a traditional Buddhist blessing and the virtual / online participation of Francesco Galli Zugaro. Loaded onto a heavy-lift ship, the cruise ship Aqua Nera departed Vietnam on August 31, 2020, for a 35-day (10630 mi / 17100 km long) repositioning voyage from Vietnam (Saigon) to Brazil (Belem).

Next YouTube video shows the Aqua Mekong ship construction (time-lapse).


Due to the ongoing Coronavirus crisis, the boat's inaugural cruise was rescheduled to April 3, 2021.

Note: You can see the CruiseMapper's list of all river cruise ships and riverboats in the "itinerary" section of our River Cruises hub. All companies and their fleets are listed there.