This 28-passenger, three-deck expedition ship explores the eerily beautiful Peruvian Amazon in cushy style — think, the cruise equivalent of glamping. Chartered much of the year by Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic for weeklong sailings, the ship also does three- and four-day itineraries for Delfin Amazon Cruises.
What We Love
Spacious Cabins: You may be tromping through mud on shore, but there's no roughing it on board. Everyone stays in a large suite with air-conditioning, big picture windows, and varnished furnishings made of sustainably harvested hardwood.
Local Crew: The naturalist guides are straight from the jungle and have engaging stories to share. Meanwhile, the staff on board treats passengers like family members.
Best Known For
Jungle Exploration: On most days, you'll be heading ashore on a 10-person skiff or on foot, where the machete-wielding guides will lead you on an adventure to spot pink dolphins, monkeys, sloths, and birds such as the plum-throated cotinga.
Good Food and Drink: You can sample a wide variety of delicious Peruvian dishes such as ceviche. Afterward, up at the outdoor bar, be sure to try a pisco sour, Peru's national cocktail.
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Who It's Best For
Mature, Soft-Adventure Types: These cruises are for physically fit travelers with an interest in wildlife. Most on board are aged 50 and up and well educated, well traveled and social (which is natural on such a small ship).
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
It's Expensive: The price for a 10-day itinerary, including hotel nights in Lima and airfare to Iquitos, starts at more than $6,500 per person — not exactly a budget-friendly fare.
You'll Be Unplugged: In the Amazon, you'll be completely off the grid. There's no Internet access and your cell phone will only work sporadically.
Fran Golden is a Cleveland-based contributor to ShermansCruise who also writes for USA Today.
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Delfin II at a Glance
- Line: Lindblad Expeditions
- Number of Passengers: 28
- Ship Size: Small
- Launch Date: 2009