Aqua Expeditions to Enter the Galapagos Islands

Aqua Expeditions has announced the expansion of its fleet with the introduction of superyacht Aqua Mare in the Galapagos Islands. The seven-suite superyacht is scheduled to set sail on its inaugural expedition on May 6, 2022 and will offer a choice of two personalized seven-night itineraries exploring the archipelago’s eastern and western regions, as well as two 14-night voyages.

The choice of the Galapagos Islands as the destination for Aqua Expeditions’ fifth vessel holds special significance as it is where the company’s CEO and founder, Francesco Galli Zugaro, began his career in luxury travel. This is also the place that inspired him and co-founder Fred Brown to launch their brand of immersive small-ship expeditions on the Peruvian Amazon River.

Designed and built by Italian CRN yard with custom interiors by François Zuretti, Aqua Mare accommodates a total of 16 guests in seven individually designed suites. The 861-square-foot Owner’s Suite is the largest and has a 215-square-foot bathroom. The other remaining suites are no less than 215 square feet each. The vessel’s interior décor includes Bali-sourced plateware custom-made for Aqua and 17th-century prints of local wildlife, all curated by Aqua Expeditions’ director Birgit Galli Zugaro.

At 164 feet and 640 gross tons, Aqua Mare has 30 percent more indoor volume than most yachts in its size class, according to Aqua Expeditions. Guests can expect four decks—a mix of shaded and open sun decks—as well as a six-person Jacuzzi, outdoor barbecue area and an early-morning workout zone.

Aqua Mare Owner's Suite
Aqua Mare Owner's Suite (Aqua Expeditions)

The entire ship is lined with Italian veneer walls and plenty of indoor and outdoor dining options to provide multiple settings for either private meals or group celebrations of 16. There is a Beach Club located at the aft of the lower deck, complete with a hydraulic opening panoramic beam-to-beam window.

The superyacht will have 16 crew members, including two naturalist guides, who will lead twice daily expeditions on two custom-made military-grade black rib tenders with central steering consoles. Each group is capped at only eight guests. Aqua Mare is also equipped with double kayaks, paddleboards and snorkeling gear.

Peruvian chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino—the long-time culinary mastermind behind the Amazonia-inspired menus of Aria Amazon and Aqua Nera—is once again partnering with Aqua Expeditions as consulting chef for Aqua Mare. Taking inspiration from the Coast to the Pacific, Schiaffino will deliver a Peruvian Japanese Nikkei-inspired menu consisting of the freshest sustainable ingredients sourced from local suppliers all the way to the Andes of Ecuador. Highlights include Galapagueña lobster lettuce wraps with Acevichado dressing, delicate potato llapingachos, tuna crudo, barbecued plantains and shrimp ceviche.

Rates on Aqua Mare include all meals and beverages (non-alcoholic, premium wines and beer); local transfers to and from recommended flights; all excursions, Galapagos Park entrance fees and INGALA transit card; laundry service; and internet. A seven-night charter for up to 16 passengers starts from $196,000, including house spirits and a private masseuse five hours per day.

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