Our skiff gently motors up the Yarapa River, a tributary of the massive upper Amazon River in Peru. Around us we hear the screeching of wild macaws...a family of them are perched right above us in their nest. On the river, brightly colored Kingfishers swiftly speed by to search for their morning breakfast...the river is alive with wildlife activity this morning. Suddenly in an overhanging tree, a male wooly monkey appears, while our local naturalist calls to him. The giant monkey excites with displays of male territorial response. He swings from the branches and approaches us with great vigor, claiming his tree. We move on. This is just one example of an atypical excursion I had aboard the Amazon Star.
With expedition river cruising booming, many baby boomers are jumping on board as the benefits of this method of travel makes adventure travel easy...no packing and unpacking, local expedition leaders and naturalists with regional knowledge, and great food three times a day. In the Amazon, the mosquitos and bugs are much less seen on the ship as the boat is moving...unlike a lodge stay.
The wood-trimmed cabins on the Amazon Star are air-conditioned and supplied with comfortable ammenities and storage. The food is served buffet style and filling, featuring local fish, meat, tropical fruits and vegetables combining both Peruvian and Western cuisine. In the evening, the bar hosts its "happy hour," serving up the local Pisco Sour variation while the crew's band performs local Andean music.
With the visit to local wildlife reserves, villages and onboard lectures, there is always something to do for the most active traveler. Paddleboarding and kayaking are offered one morning as an excursion. Piranha fishing is one of the highlights of the trip. The chef onboard prepares the catch of the day at dinner... actually it's quite tasty. One evening excursion is planned to try to observe the nocturnal wildlife as well.