Luxury Amazon Cruise ~ Chef Hosted
Navigating the culinary treasures of the jungle
The Amazon Basin dances with indigenous flavours, an inspiring landscape of culinary treats that hide beneath the lush rainforest canopy. Much of its pantry is unknown to the rest of the world, aromas and textures concealed by the inaccessibility of the world's largest jungle. Limited-edition cruises with chef Pedro Schiaffino are helping unravel its secrets...
The Experience: A Food-Inspired Amazon Cruise
Picture the Amazon and it is tangled jungle or remote tribes that usually spring to mind. Yet delve beneath images of green wilderness and there's a complexity that's evolved over millennia. More plant species are found here than anywhere else on the planet, something that's made edible by hundreds of tribes passing down ancestral recipes. A specialist Amazon river cruise leads you into this sensual realm, into the charms of South America's green heart, enveloping guests in the exotic wildlife and cultural signposts of the Basin. Celebrated chef Pedro Schiaffino is the culinary navigator, exploring gastronomic secrets and teaching recipes from the unknown.
Causa with Shrimp Escabeche
Introducing Your Guide: Chef Pedro Schiaffino
Much of Chef Pedro Schiaffino's success can be credited to his dedication to native ingredients. He celebrates the cultivation and preservation of indigenous flavours, maintaining a detailed knowledge of where in the Amazon the finest ingredients can be sourced. Schiaffino's cuisine fuses this fresh organic produce with traditional techniques, his menus offering a creative celebration of Peru's culinary heritage.
Pedro Schiaffino's style has garnered world acclaim. His restaurant Malabar was listed in San Pellegrino World's 100 best restaurants and continues to be one of the most innovative places to dine in Peru. He's on the executive committee of the CIA's Latin Cuisines Advisory Council and has been regularly lauded in the international press. Schiaffino isn't bashful or secretive about where to find the best ingredients. Relaxed and enthusiastic, he's always keen to open up the culinary treasure map of Peruvian Amazonia.
Chef Pedro Schiaffino
The Voyage: An Exclusive Gourmet Itinerary
The Amazon is defined by its waterways, meandering rivers that roll past the local life of the rainforest. Each is different. The Peruvian tributaries of Ucayali and Marañon provide an intimacy, making life on the riverside clearly visible as the vessel traverses parts of the Amazon that are rarely seen by foreign travellers. Vivid crimson macaws call from trees while capybara appear along the banks. Then the mighty Amazon River imbues scale, helping to offer a sense of perspective and the enormity of the landscape.
Sail along these three rivers, with a series of unique stops that celebrate the culinary realm. Some excursions are all about the produce, with bespoke market tours and journeys that seek out the freshest locally-grown ingredients. In a land of the organic and authentic, there's always a new scent or an endemic taste to discover. Master cooking classes and interactive Q and A's help transform the raw produce into creative menus and recipes inspired by tradition. Think shrimp escabeche as pink dolphins elegantly swim past, or quinoa crispies as howler monkeys swing along the riverside.
The Menu: Exotic Culinary Treasures in the Amazon
The Amazon Basin is home to some 80,000 species of plant, so it's no surprise that unusual ingredients form the basis of most meals. Fish and native fruits are a natural starting point, along with annatto seeds, wild coriander and some 25 species of pepper. Ancient indigenous cultures have long realised the bounty of this land, each evolving a cuisine that's relative to their specific region. Travel just 50 kilometres along the river and you'll find differing tastes.
Eclectic and evocative, the landscape provides a great diversity of ingredients, with the flavours changing as you journey through different cultures and regions. Various farming cooperatives dapple the banks of the Amazon, supplying yucca (cassava) and an abundance of the often hard-to-find. Pedro Schiaffino is passionate about these havens and their approach to harvesting in a non-intensive manner. The menu explores both fruits from the wild of the harvest, dishes like coconut tapaioca with mango sorbet. Exquisite.
Jungle View Suite
The Vessel: Elegant Luxury Cruising on the Aqua Amazon
An Amazonian cruise is defined by immersion; exotic birds flutter across the vista, javelins of light flicker through the canopy, and a wild soundtrack acts as nighttime's lullaby. The Aqua Amazon is appointed to maximise these wild charms, offering spacious suites adorned with large windows, an elegant indoor decks, and an atmosphere that celebrates intimacy with nature. Throughout the day you can recline on the observation deck, watching wildlife along the river and admiring remote villages that line the banks. The Amazon is a destination for the intrepid, a landscape of flooded forest and wildlife-filled jungle that has never been tamed. The Aqua Amazon provides the counterpoint, relaxed luxury that ensures the journey is indeed effortless.
Discover for Yourself
Limited spaces are available on a number of 2016 cruise departures hosted by Pedro Schiaffino.
Open your senses on the Aqua Amazon with three, four, or seven-night departures.