IE's president Van Perry is back from the Amazon and shares his initial impressions of our new riverboat, La Estrella Amazonica, which debuted in August.
"I have just returned from the inaugural voyage on our new Amazon riverboat La Estrella Amazonica , and she has greatly exceeded our expectations in terms of comfort and spaciousness. The bar deck was a wonderful place for relaxing with enough tables and an informal sofa area to read or visit with our fellow travelers. I definitely consumed my share of Pisco Sours, as well as discovered a new Peruvian cocktail called a Camu Camu Sour which I had never sampled before.
"One evening a number of us went up to the observation deck - the largest on the river - and were greeted by an incredible sky that matched my experiences in the open ocean for clarity and grandeur. The dedicated lecture room was a huge hit! This room is not only for lectures, but also provides an air conditioned space to download your pictures during the afternoon siesta time between excursions. Like always, the expedition skiffs were very comfortable and offered terrific flexibility for wildlife viewings with the seating arrangement and well-cushioned seats and backrests. We succeeded in observing over 160 species, and can lay claim to a unique sighting of several giant river otters. Only the second time in 10 years that our naturalists had spotted this species!
"Finally, one of the many highlights was our kayaking trip down one of the black water creeks. I'd not done this on our Amazon River cruise  before, and our new tandem Hobie kayaks were excellent. Each of the guests on this optional excursion was begging for more time in the kayaks and another chance to experience the river as a ribernero!
"I look forward to sharing this great new expedition ship with you, and more importantly sharing in your discovery of one of the wonders of the natural world …the Amazon River."