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Famous cruise line finally takes to the sea

April 11, 2019 Headline News No Comments Email Email

After operating as a river cruise line for the past 12 years, boutique luxury cruise line Aqua Expeditions is set to diversify its operations later this year and enter the coastal cruises market, before doubling its fleet by 2020.

The coastal move is expected in the final quarter of this year.

So where in the world are Aqua Expeditions’ new cruises heading? That will be revealed next month – but there are already some clues, contained in the following 90-second teaser video, part of a competition, which gives a sneak preview of the three new destinations and a glimpse of the new vessel.

The video is part of a month-long worldwide campaign featuring ‘Guess the New Destination’ sweepstakes to promote the upcoming destinations. Entrants stand to win a 7-Night cruise for two worth USD 15,050 aboard Aqua Expedition’s first explorer yacht.

The move into coastal cruising follows the successful funding in November 2018 of the company’s growth strategy. Four months later, in March 2019, Aqua Expeditions finalised the purchase of a long-range explorer yacht, which is currently undergoing a total refurbishment to assume the role of a modern luxury expedition vessel, catering primarily to affluent explorers.

“Even as we grow, as an owner I remain deeply involved in every aspect of the new vessels from the design details to the itineraries — the same way we started out in 2007,” Aqua Expeditions chief executive, Francesco Galli Zugaro, said.

“As with all Aqua Expeditions vessels, we will be partnering with a renowned designer and also a critically acclaimed chef to deliver a world-class dining experience.”

Scheduled to begin full operations from November 2019, the explorer-class vessel will serve three new destinations with year-round departures. The full announcement on vessel name, facts, destinations and itinerary details will be released globally on 8 May 2019.

That date will also see the unveiling of a state-of-the-art, new-build luxury river cruise vessel to consolidate Aqua Expeditions’ position as one of the leaders in the river cruise market. With this and the recently-purchased expedition vessel in operation, the cruise line will double its fleet — from two to four vessels — by mid-2020.

Luxury travel advisor Virtuoso recently identified ‘River Cruises’ as one of the 10 biggest travel trends in its 2019 Luxe Report, along with ‘Luxury Cruises’. “As travellers increasingly regard river cruises as an attractive way to travel in luxury, our move to increase our river cruising capacity takes advantage of the trend,” Galli Zugaro said.

Aqua Expeditions founder and chief executive, Francesco Galli Zugaro.

He said the fleet expansion and new destinations strengthened the company’s multi-dimensional brand proposition of delivering highly personalised luxury travel experiences centred on:

  • Immersive excursions into wildlife and culture of each region
  • World-class cuisine and dining experiences by renowned chefs
  • Highly tailored guest service and itineraries
  • Designer ships with elegant and contemporary aesthetics
  • A commitment to community, sustainability and preservation

To reinforce its brand values, Aqua Expeditions has refined its brand imagery and its logo, the aqua leaf which reflects the cruise line’s nature-rich destinations and its continuing commitment to sustainability and conservation.

Edited by Peter Needham

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