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La Estrella Amazonica Cruise Review

Itinerary: Amazon Voyage - January 2016

La Estrella Amazonica

We were very pleased with the trip — all of it.

The two naturalists were exceptional. Both were well-educated aboriginals with an immense knowledge of the environment and the culture. They could spot a woodpecker in a hole in a tree as the skiff went by, even though we guests had trouble seeing it when the skiff moved close and the naturalist pointed it out with his laser. Neither spoke fluent English, but it didn’t matter — both had excellent communication skills. The ship has a lecture room devoted to education.

The tour leader was also excellent — bright, knowledgable and never stopped working.

The opportunity to see diverse wildlife and fauna was excellent — almost as diverse and interesting as the Galapagos.

The food was good, not gourmet, but tasty with second helpings for all who wanted. {The one exception was ‘Italian night.’ Better stick to Peruvian than attempt spagetti or a pizza.}

The cabins are great — Giuliana was impressed with their size, function and clenliness. The air conditioning works. The personal outdoor veranda is nice, but it isn;t really much use since outside is hot and humid in the daytime and the sun goes down early in the evening. The cabin crew did an exceptional job keeping the cabin clean four times a day — even folding towels into swan or elephant shapes.

This is not a luxury cruise, however the service was as good or better than one might expect on a luxury cruise. There were no shortcuts. The cabin and kitchen crew even formed a band that entertained before dinner. Alcohol is available at a reasonable cost.

There were only 19 guests. This surprised me, since I would have expected a full house. I was also surprised that there was only one person under 50, and the median age was probably 65. Everyone was American, except Giuliana and me who as Canadians were the only foreigners. It seems obvious that IE is doing a lousy job advertising, since they should be aiming for a range of ages and nationalities, not just us old farts.

There was only one opportunity to swim and only one to kayak. Much of our time off ship was spent in skiffs. We would have appreciated a bit more non-exercise-room exercise.

We will recommend this trip to our friends, however we will also recommend that our friends contact you to book.

So what about 2017? We are going to avoid North Africa for a few years, but otherwise, we are open to lots of options —rivers in Europe, destinations in Viet Nam, Central or South America, or south Asia.

—R. D. Katz