Cruise companies bet on Amazon River as luxury tourism destination


New luxury cruise ships will set sail to the Peruvian stretch of the Amazon River amid a robust development of the luxury tourism sector in the jungle region of Loreto, the regional director of Foreign Trade and Tourism, Gina Guerrero said on Monday.

In statements to Andina news agency, the official said that more foreign travelers are visiting the Peruvian side of this natural landmark after the Amazon River and Rainforest was named a new world natural wonder in 2012.

California-based Viking River Cruises will built two 100-meter long river cruise ships with a carrying capacity of 100 people which are scheduled to be delivered by the second half of 2014,’ said Guerrero.

Likewise, the tourist official said the Portuguese company, Mystic Cruises, is already building two other luxury vessels to cruise up the Amazon river from Iquitos to Manaus.

Furthermore, Guerrero stressed that luxury tourism will foster the economy in the Amazonian region since affluent travelers spend on average around US$ 5,000 per week when they are holidaying in Loreto.

Indeed, she noted that the number of high-consumption tourists flocking to Peru will soar 9 percent to 1.8 million visitors this year, after growing 7 percent in 2013.

The Amazon River is the largest river in the world by volume, with a total flow greater than the top ten rivers of the world, combined. It also accounts for almost one-fifth of the total river flow and has the biggest drainage basin in our planet.

_Ed. note: This article originally stated that luxury travelers spent as much as US$7,500 per day in Loreto, as reported by Andina. After reviewing other sources, we have changed that figure to US$5,000._High-profile cruise companies are building top-tier new boats for Amazon River cruises.