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Amazon Discovery's Sun Deck

Haimark branches out into luxury cruises in the Peruvian Amazon

On Oct. 11, Haimark Limited will launch six-night river expedition cruises along the Peruvian Amazon aboard the new 22-suite Amazon Discovery. Designed for a maximum of 44 passengers, the vessel will offer comfort while touring the diverse river basin with its tens of thousands of plant species, more than 500 types of mammals and 1,500 bird species.

Cruises are priced starting at $3,799 per person, double occupancy.

This ship, the ninth in the Haimark Limited luxury fleet, marks the company's first river expedition itinerary in South America. It offers guided shore and skiff excursions by expert local, English-speaking naturalists, departing from and returning to the port of Iquitos, Peru, according to Tom Markwell, Haimark managing partner, sales & marketing.

Amazon Discovery's interiors are appointed with sustainably harvested tropical hardwoods, Peruvian fabrics and local artwork. Hands-on Peruvian cooking demonstrations will teach the art of preparing dishes from native fruits and vegetables. The Rainforest Spa offers indigenous Yucamani stone massages, avocado wraps and coffee-cacao scrubs.

The company has partnered with the region’s Manatee Rescue Center and the conservationists on Monkey Island to provide experiences for travelers while supporting conservation and preservation initiatives.

The trip begins in historic Iquitos and sails the Itaya River into the Amazon. Travelers visit Monkey Island in the company of naturalists aboard one of the ship’s skiffs to learn how conservationists rehabilitate injured primates and return them to their native habitats. The voyage continues on the Momon tributary to see a traditional dance performance by members of the Bora community at their ceremonial lodge.

Travelers can go 'boto' spotting or swim with these pink river dolphins in the Tahuayo River and venture ashore along the Yarapa River for a naturalist walk in a botanical wonderland of orchids, mosses, birds, butterflies and monkeys. Visitors will see the birthplace of the Amazon: the confluence of the Ucayali and Marathon Rivers.

They can meet the local children of the Shipbo community in San Francisco village, hike among medicinal plants and sail into the protected waters of Peru’s largest preserve, the Pacaya Saminia. A night safari walk into the 'mirrored forest' of Nauto Caño gives the opportunity to spot herons, spectacled owls, fish bats and caimans. A musical performance is offered in Santa Ana village. The farewell dinner is aboard a floating gourmet restaurant featuring the cuisine of chef Carlos Sebastiani.

The 22 suites start at 237 square feet and range up to the signature Amazonia Suite, a 597-square-foot accommodation with a king-size bed and floor-to-ceiling, wraparound glass windows.

Every suite is equipped with a telescope for star-gazing and up-close views of the tropical forest.

Public areas are on all three decks of the vessel and include the open-air Sun Deck for morning yoga, evening cocktails or a dip in the plunge pool; the air-conditioned Canopy Lounge for naturalists' presentations, Peruvian cooking classes and nightly entertainment; and the Andes Dining Room serving rainforest-inspired menus for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Optional pre- and post-cruise extensions with guided excursions include two nights in Lima, four nights in Machu Picchu and/or three nights in Cusco and Lake Titicaca.

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