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Unique Destinations’ Review of Delfin Amazon Cruises

A journey into the Amazon is an experience that many dream about. An opportunity to enter one of the world’s most biologically diverse areas and sight an abundance of exotic species of flora and fauna. In 2006, the Delfin Amazon Cruise company was launched to do just that. Provide guests with this opportunity of an authentic, yet indulent, Amazon experience.

The Delfin Amazon Cruise fleet consists of two river vessels. Created in 1978, then fully refurbished by Delfin in 2006, is the Delfin I.  With 6 wood-panelled, air-conditioned cabins for up to 12 guests, it was the pioneer upscale river cruise operator in the Amazon.

The newest addition to the fleet, the Delfin II, was launched in March 2009. Offering a new level of luxury, the vessel consists of 14 individual air-conditioned suites, including 4 master suites with 180 degree windows viewing the surrounding Amazon Jungle. The 3rd level observation deck is open-air and provides a casual and comfortable place to relax and watch the river go by. The bar offers a range of beverages from the lethal pisco sours to specially created cocktails – just the treat you need while lounging in the hammocks and floating away.

Dining on board one of the Delfin Fleet is an experience in itself. With the Amazon providing a bountiful supply of fresh ingredients, the talented chefs are able to prepare gourmet cuisine to enhance your experience. While on board, you will try several different local fruits and vegetables, some you have never even heard of before.

Before every meal the staff decorate the dining room and tables with bright coloured creations made by the locals. The presentation is so spectacular that guests are photographing each meal to capture the creativity. During meal time the service is impeccable with white-gloved waiters greeting you by name and presenting each plate with an explanation of what it consists of. 

The service provided by the staff on board is impeccable. The friendly barman is always waiting with a tray of ice cold drinks on every return from an excursion. Following dinner, if you’re lucky, the crew might pop into the dining room with guitar and maracas in hand for little performance. And at night, while you are dining your room is “turned-down” leaving your bed ready for slumber and a chocolate on your pillow for  “sweet dreams”.

To reach the cruise, you must fly into the Peruvian city of Iquitos where you will the nbe transferred to the Port of Nauta. From there, the Delfin Amazon Cruise will depart and continue its journey down the Amazon River towards the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve, the worlds largest protected flooded forest. It is said that during the rainy season up to 85% of the forest is flooded and only accessible by boat.

In the Amazon there are two seasons, the flooded and the dry season. Choosing the best time to travel with Delfin Amazon Cruises can be difficult as both seasons offer amazing opportunities and rewards. The flooded season runs from December to April and is generally cooler and wetter, but still hot as the Amazon always is. During this time the rivers and streams are higher allowing navigation to waterways in-accessible during the dry season.  The dry season runs from June to November and is the warmer season. One of the key differences is that the jungle trails are accessible allowing you to explore deeper into the jungle.

During the cruise you will see many amazing sights along the shores of the Amazon River. However the real sight-seeing begins when you enter the skiffs (speed boats) and set-off for shore excursions accompanied by a naturalist guide.

Binoculars are a necessity. While you will be sighting wildlife from all different angles, the binoculars will allow you to get up close and personal and watch the animals go about their daily business. The sights you will see are truly amazing. Inside the Amazon jungle there is so much life:  giant ants carrying leaves back to their nests, pygmy marmosets (the world’s smallest monkey) jumping delicately from branch to branch, sloths lazing about in the canopy of the trees, pre-historic iguanas baking in the sun and giant green lillypads floating atop a lagoon.

All of these sights are awe-inspiring, and in addition to visualizing these fascinating displays there are several prominent experiences in which you can personally take part.

On one of your excursions you will enter one of the small rivers off the Amazon River to do none other than……piranha fishing! The technique of catching piranhas is similar to that of fly-fishing. However the bait is a juicy piece of raw meat! Within seconds of dipping your rod into the water there is swarm or piranhas all fighting to take hold of the bait. With a quick snap of the wrist and a flick of the rod you’ll be sure to catch one. They’re only tiny little creatures but you wouldn’t want to get in the way of their ferocious looking teeth!

If that experience wasn’t enough to get the adrenalin going….. Picture a scene from Australia’s “The Crocodile Hunter” tv series. Cruising up and down the Amazon River in the pitch black of night, floodlight shining towards the river bank. On the sighting of glowing red eyes the skiff edges closer ever so slowly. Then, bam! The guide dives his arms into the water pulls out a wriggling caiman for all to see.

On the more cultural side of experiences, one of the highlights is a visit to a local village located several hours from civilization. Even in such isolation, these villagers have managed to create a little community buzzing with activity. While men are building boats or working on their huts, the women are creating bright coloured weaves and decorations to sell to the tourists. Curious children following your trail, giggling and waiting for the gift of a chocolate or a colouring-in book. A small cost for a tourist, but an amazing gift for a child.  

The most enthralling experience is the sighting of the mysterious pink dolphin.  Considered an endangered species, these playful and curious creatures can be spotted performing water ballet near the river basins and streams. There are all sorts of ancient myths and legends that surround this pick flushed creature. Some say they have supernatural powers and can change their appearance to that of a charming handsome young man…….either way an encounter with one with melt your heart.

So whatever experience it is that you are after, you will be sure to find it within an excursion on the Delfin Amazon Cruise.


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