© Aqua Expeditions/Richard Mark Dobson
The exceptionally stylish and luxurious riverboats operated by Aqua Expeditions have become established favorites of Hideaway Report readers. The two vessels, Aria Amazon and Aqua Mekong, take a small number of passengers — 32 and 40, respectively — on cruises to remote stretches of the Amazon and Mekong rivers. In 2017 and 2018, five weeklong voyages — two in Peru and three in Southeast Asia — will be accompanied by Jean-Michel Cousteau, the film producer and world-renowned champion of ocean conservation (and the son of legendary ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau). Given the intimate size of the groups, passengers will have the opportunity to get to know Jean-Michel personally. Each evening he will give a talk and then introduce a screening of one of his award-winning documentaries.
Madagascar Diving Nirvana
Many of the world’s coral reefs are in deep trouble, owing chiefly to illegal fishing (often with dynamite) and rising water temperatures brought about by global warming. Fortunately, some of those in the western Indian Ocean remain untouched and virtually unexplored. Scuba enthusiasts will have a new mecca with the opening of Miavana, a 14-villa lodge on Nosy Ankao, the largest of five islands in a protected marine area off the northeastern coast of Madagascar. Designed by architects Silvio Rech and Lesley Carstens, the talented duo behind my recommended North Island resort in the Seychelles, Miavana will offer lemur trekking, helicopter tours, whale watching and fly-fishing, in addition to superlative diving.
St. Kitts Transformed
The opening this spring of the Park Hyatt St. Kitts, a 78-room, 48-suite resort situated on an undeveloped stretch of golden sand, with views across The Narrows to the volcanic island of Nevis, is the Caribbean’s most anticipated debut. Besides the hotel, the development includes The Marina at Christophe Harbour, which will ultimately provide 250 berths, including no fewer than 50 for superyachts of up to 250 feet in length. St. Kitts is located midway between Antigua and St. Barths, currently two of the Caribbean’s principal sailing centers. A marina village is nearing completion, with boutiques, cafés, residences and a Customs house. St. Kitts has long been one of the sleepier Caribbean islands. Its slumbering days would appear to be numbered.