As a luxury river cruise ship that was custom built to suit its unique environment, Avalon Waterways’ Amazon Discovery provides comfort and style, as well as plenty of bucket-list-worthy moments that can be once in a lifetime opportunities for many travellers. It was launched onto its home, the exotic Amazon in South America, in 2015, meaning this ship is brand new, modern and extremely impressive.
At 169-foot long and accommodating 44 guests, the Amazon Discovery is intimate, small and extremely special. As one of Avalon’s river cruise vessels, no expense has been spared, and the luxury river cruise label lives on. With indoor and outdoor lounges, a plunge pool, and indulgent sleeping accommodations with panoramic floor to ceiling picture-windows, guests can enjoy every moment of their stay onboard, and every second of their adventures on land.
With an intimate maximum capacity of 44 passengers, and 29 crew members onboard, guests can benefit from an excellent passenger to crew ratio which will reflect the level of excellence of the cruise. All crew speak good English and will tend to your every need, with personalised service at all times.
Of the 29 crew, four are experienced naturalists who will accompany you on your Amazonian adventure. There is also an expert Tour Director and a Cruise Director onboard to ensure every aspect of your cruise runs like clockwork.
There is a spacious restaurant on the Upper Deck that operates an open-seating arrangement. Breakfast and lunch are served in a buffet format, while dinner is a sit-down set menu of multiple courses. Seasonal cuisine is offered every day, freshly prepared from local ingredients, with a choice of Western favourites and Peruvian specialities for the more adventurous guests. Itineraries can typically include a daily breakfast, six lunches (including a farewell lunch in the Amazon) and seven dinners (including a welcome dinner in Lima).
Hot beverages, mineral water, soft drinks, local beers and spirits are available throughout the voyage, at no extra charge. House wine is complimentary with dinner. Guests can also enjoy the services of the upscale bar that serves premium spirits.
As well as the bar, there is also an air-conditioned lounge that hosts nightly entertainment, and an open-air covered lounge on the Sun Deck, where guests can spend leisurely evenings taking in the stunning scenery.
Guests can take advantage of a diverse range of unique cultural activities, interactions with the locals, shore excursions and tours, with the help of an expedition team of multilingual Naturalists. All shore excursions are included in the fare, as well as deluxe skiff boat transfers, and headsets are available for use during guided tours.
When not immersing themselves in the onshore excursions and adventures, guests can make use of the plunge pool and spa on the Sun Deck. The area is also well-equipped with premium lounge chairs and a shade system to offer respite from the sun. Guests can also make the most of a carefully planned activity programme, including cultural performances, educational talks, natural history lectures, cookery classes and tours.
There are 22 staterooms onboard, including one Amazonia Suite (597 sq. ft.), two Estuary Suites (253 sq. ft.), ten Flora Suites (237 sq. ft.) and nine Fauna Suites (237 sq. ft.) There are a range of amenities provided, irrespective of which category of accommodation you choose, including deluxe beds with Peruvian linens and European-style duvets, hairdryer, in-room safe, iPod/MP3 dock with alarm clock, turn-down service, premium bath products, climate control, complimentary reusable water bottle, seating area, pillow menu and telescope.
Added extras for Amazonia Suite guests and Estuary Suite guests include a complimentary 60-minute spa treatment per guest, a personal butler, a stocked mini-bar and bottomless ice bucket, complimentary laundry services, evening canapés, in-room breakfast (on request) and scented baths (on request).
There is a small gym and Rainforest Spa onboard, which can be used by guests during the voyage.
The Amazon Discovery operates the 11 day ‘From the Inca Empire to the Peruvian Amazon’ itinerary, which takes in an array of sights and attractions, from the unspoilt Amazon wilderness to the cosmopolitan city of Lima – Peru’s capital – to the Sacred Valley of the Incas and tours of Cusco, Kenko and Sacsayhuaman. A real highlight of the tour is the phenomenal Machu Picchu archaeological site, set above the Sacred Valley and completely awe-inspiring.
As part of this once-in-a-lifetime itinerary, guests can enjoy naturalist-guided panga rides, swimming with pink dolphins, trips to a manatee rescue centre, Peruvian Paso horse shows and shamanic healing clinics. Extensions to include the Nazca Lines can also be added.