Aqua plots coastal cruis­ing

Travel Daily - - News -

AQUA Ex­pe­di­tions founder Francesco Galli Zu­garo has con­firmed a ma­jor ex­pan­sion pro­gram, with US pri­vate eq­uity firm Bi­son Cap­i­tal to pro­vide $28 mil­lion in new fund­ing.

Zu­garo founded the com­pany 10 years ago with Aqua’s up­mar­ket river cruise prod­uct on the Ama­zon River in Peru, and ex­panded into In­dochina with the Aqua Mekong lux­ury ves­sel.

“I am thrilled that af­ter a decade of chang­ing the face of river cruis­ing on both the Ama­zon and Mekong Rivers, we will ex­tend our foot­print to coastal cruis­ing in ad­di­tional soft ad­ven­ture des­ti­na­tions,” he said.

The ex­pan­sion will see a 150% in­crease in the size of the Aqua Ex­pe­di­tions fleet, Zu­garo added.

He will re­main Aqua’s ma­jor­ity share­holder and “fully in charge of the com­pany’s des­tiny and growth,” with the first de­tails of new ves­sels and itin­er­ar­ies to be an­nounced later this month.

Zu­garo said Aqua had earned a rep­u­ta­tion for bring­ing 5-star lux­ury to river cruis­ing in re­mote ar­eas, and “the iden­ti­cal level of lav­ish­ness and ad­ven­ture” would fea­ture in the new of­fer­ings.

“It is a trib­ute to the con­fi­dence in our brand shown by our guests and travel agency part­ners that we are able to make this sig­nif­i­cant move,” he con­cluded.

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