Boutique luxury cruise line Aqua Expeditions is set to diversify its business operations and enter the coastal cruise market in the fourth quarter of 2019, after operating as a river cruise line for the past 12 years.
The announcement follows the successful funding in November 2018 of its growth strategy.
Four months later, in March 2019, the company finalised the purchase of a long-range explorer yacht (see lead artist impression), which is currently undergoing a complete 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,” said Aqua Expeditions CEO, Francesco Galli Zugaro.
“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,” Mr Galli Zugaro said.
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.
Aqua Expeditions to double its fleet by mid-2020
The 8 May 2019 global announcement will also unveil 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. The move by Aqua Expeditions to expand coincides with luxury travel advisor, Virtuoso, naming ‘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,” said Mr Galli Zugaro.
Reinforcing a multi-dimensional brand proposition
The fleet expansion and new destinations strengthen the company’s multi-dimensional brand proposition of delivering highly personalised luxury travel experiences centred around:
- 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