View From An Anakonda: Superior Cruising In Ecuador's Amazon
Here is a detailed review from Justin & Maryna Marston of Austin, TX, who went on the first superior cruise in Ecuador's Amazon, on board the brand new Anakonda riverboat:
'Stepping onto the Anakonda ship is like sitting in a brand new BMW. We were on her maiden voyage, and everything had that 'new car' smell. We are very demanding travelers, I have stayed in at least 300 hotels in 50 countries over the last 20 years, but the Anakonda was pretty much perfect.
Even the weather only rained one day while we were there (yes, in a rainforest). The crew were very courteous, and the captain was a real character. The food was fine dining and excellent - amazing given how far away the boat is from the rest of civilization. There were only three of us on the boat during our cruise, but there seemed to be plenty of open spaces so even with a full compliment of guests it wouldn't feel over crowded.
Due to the vessel being so new, it has many electronic niceties. For example, electronic key code locks on the rooms, a radio in the multi-head fancy showers, individual air con in every room, a hot tub, and satellite internet access that works when they tie the ship up. As Murphy's Law would have it, I ended up having to write a proposal for my job in the evenings while on the ship, and Skype / email was critical to my sanity.
The Amazon is a very fast flowing river, but the boat itself is a barge, and there really is almost zero rocking - it's almost surreal that you are cruising down the Amazon with the rain forest each side, but you are in a floating 5* hotel. We never saw a mosquito at any time while we were on the boat (we saw a ton in the rainforest of course). You go from the main cruise barge on little boats that take you out to various places in the jungle - salt licks to see parrots, night trips to spot caimans, a high outlook to watch toucans and parrots, trekking through the forest in boots they provide. We saw five different types of monkeys in our five days there, including howler monkeys.
If you are considering a lodge or a boat, pick a boat - you see more, you fight insects less, and it's a different experience. We picked the Anakonda because, for the money, it is by far the best boat on the Amazon. It's brand new, but not as expensive as the top end boats - just a great deal. I plan to try and send our parents on it next year - one of those bucket list things.'
Rainforest Cruises would like to give special thanks to Maryna for letting us use her fantastic professional photos for this testimonial.