WHAT IS THE DRINKING AGE ON THE VESSELS?
You must be at least 18 years old to legally consume beer, wine, and other alcoholic beverages in Peru and on board our vessels.
ARE ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES INCLUDED?
The following beverages are included on all of our vessels: Natural juices, soda, coffee, tea, water, beer, house cocktails, pisco cocktails & sours, and house wines with lunch and dinner.
HOW OLD DO YOU HAVE TO BE TO CRUISE ON THE VESSELS?
We recommend travelers are at least 7 years old at the time of travel.
But if we want to go with children less than 7 years old?
Children less than that age can board the vessel only with their parents in a private charter basis and with a disclaimer form signed ahead of time.
WHEN WILL I RECEIVE MY CRUISE DOCUMENTS?
Periodically, you will receive recommended tips, facts, and other information from us leading up to your sail date. 90 days before your departure, we will reconfirm your booking by e-mail. Upon request, we can also send you your confirmation booking number.
WHICH ITINERARY DO YOU THINK IS THE BEST AND WHY?
We offer 3-night and 4-night programs. Which you choose will really depend on how much time you have, and how long you want to spend exploring the Amazon region. We have developed these 2 programs to depart from the city of Nauta, a 1.5-hour drive from Iquitos airport, and give you the opportunity to get to the heart of the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. The only difference between the programs is that you will stay 1 day more experiencing the Amazon with us, making your experience perhaps a bit more relaxed. We also offer a special 7-night personalized program, but that is based only on custom-made charters or private itineraries. Each vessel has its own unique itineraries; contact your trip representative for more details.
DO YOU OFFER HONEYMOON PACKAGES?
No. We do not have a set and specific honeymoon package, but we believe that sailing the Amazon offers an atmosphere that is just right for romance. Imagine enjoying a gourmet dinner for two after a day in the jungle, or sharing a bottle of champagne while watching the sun set over one of the world’s mightiest rivers, or waking up in your king-sized bed to see the colors of the jungle through your panoramic window, or snapping photos of each other in the midst of the rainforest. What is more, the 2 Deluxe Master Suites aboard the Delfin I offer an intimate cool water whirlpool on the private terrace, making it the perfect place to enjoy each other’s company in the fresh Amazon outdoors while gazing at the unbelievable passing landscape. This is a place for honeymooners and you will discover it by being part of it.
HOW MANY PEOPLE CAN I HAVE IN MY SUITE?
In order to ensure the optimum safety and comfort of all our passengers, we allow up to 2 adults and 1 child in each suite aboard Delfin I; 2 adults and 1 child on Delfin II (only two cabins); and up to 2 people on Delfin III. Aboard Delfin II there are 4 suites that can be interconnected to cater to families’ needs.
WHAT IF WE WANT TO FO WITH CHILDREN LESS THAN 7 YEARS OLD?
Children less than that age can board the vessel only with their parents in a private charter basis and with a disclaimer form signed ahead of time.
WHAT’S THE MINIMUM AGE TO TRAVEL ANY OF OUR VESSELS?
We recommend travelers are at least 7 years old at the time of travel.
HOW OLD DO YOU HAVE TO BE TO TRAVEL WITHOUT A GUARDIAN ?
Passengers must be at least 18 years old to travel without their parents or guardians. The only exception is that children under age 18 may be allowed to have their own cabin if they are traveling with their parents or guardians.
WHO IS CONSIDERED A CHILD?
We consider children to be 11 or under.
DO YOU WELCOME FAMILIES WITH CHILDREN?
Yes. We warmly welcome families with children aged 7 or older. On Delfin II, 4 of our suites are interconnected to cater families. Additional accommodation for one child is available in some cabins. Our naturalist guides are very friendly with kids and all of our staff will provide the necessary care for your family. We also have survivor jungle trails, piranha catch-and-release fishing experiences, a wide range of DVDs, and meal menus for kids.
DO YOU ACCEPT GROUP BOOKINGS? ARE CHARTERS AVAILABLE? WHAT ABOUT SPECIAL RATES AND DISCOUNTS?
Yes. We accept both group bookings and charters. We have also special tailor-made charters; please request and fill out our special form so we may know your interests and preferences and thus design the perfect program just for you and your group. Please also request our charter terms and conditions and rates for further information. There are no other special rates, for example for senior citizens, families, or late minute discounts.
IS IT BETTER TO BOOK EARLY?
Yes. Especially if your travel dates are not flexible. Most of our travelers book from 8 months to as much as 18 months in advance. This is because our unique vessels have less capacity than more conventional cruise ships or lodges. The holidays are especially busy times and during these periods, it is highly recommended to book as early as possible.
INSTEAD OF GOING ON AN ORGANIZED SHORE EXCURSION, CAN WE GO OFF ON OUR OWN?
No. For safety reasons, passengers are required to be with one of our naturalist guides whenever they are on land.
WILL I GET BORED OR FEEL CONFINED? WHAT IF I DO NOT WANT TO GO ON AN EXCURSION?
No. Being in the Amazon gives you a feeling of being completely transported to a new world. Every day will be packed with discoveries as you explore remote places, spot unusual wildlife, and meet with local native people. All of our vessels are floating boutique hotels where you will never feel confined. If there are days when you choose not to go onshore for a jungle expedition, you can stay on the vessel, where all our crew will be ready to pamper you. On board the Delfin II & III, there is an Exercise Room and Spa for massages and treatments which you can enjoy. Otherwise, lie back in a lounge chair, breathe in the Amazon air, soak up the sun, read a good book, watch the ever-changing view, and simply experience total relaxation in the heart of the Amazon jungle.
WHAT ARE THE FISHING ACTIVITIES LIKE? DO YOU OFFER FLY FISHING?
Our fishing excursions let you see a bit of what is found underneath the water surfaces. One afternoon, your guide will choose a spot well known for piranhas and other aquatic creatures. From the safe spot of our skiffs, cast your rod and see how many you can catch in one sitting! Our fishing policies are catch-and-release.
As for fly fishing, we currently do not offer this as part of our general excursion schedules. However, we can arrange private excursions during fishing season (about June to September). We also have a variety of equipment for these activities; please speak with your trip representative for more details.
WHAT KIND OF WATER ACTIVITIES WILL WE DO?
Aside from skiff boat rides, you will also get to kayaking, and paddleboarding (Delfin I & II only) in order to get intimate with the water environment.
Kayaks are available on all our vessels. There are 4 kayaks on Delfin I, 6 kayaks on Delfin II, and 10 kayaks on Delfin III; each kayak is fit for 2 persons. Our kayaks and paddles are top-of-the-line and make it easy and effortless for you to navigate the tranquil waters without a worry. We recommend you bring a plastic bag for any electronics in case they get wet.
WHAT IS A SHORE EXCURSION AND HOW PHYSICALLY CHALLENGING ARE THEY?
A shore excursion can be anything from exploring remote tributaries to spotting monkeys and birds along a jungle trail, or from visiting a local village to fishing on one of Amazonia’s beautiful lakes. They vary in level of difficulty, but most travelers who are reasonably fit will have no trouble participating in every excursion. Passengers are divided in groups of 8 people for shore excursions, with each group led by a trained naturalist guide. Guides rotate among the groups so that each passenger can benefit from their specialized knowledge. Our guides speak fluent English (and Spanish of course!). We recommend that groups requiring any other language bring a translator, if necessary.
Each evening, your guides will brief you on what to expect during the next day’s excursions. Typically, you will navigate the Amazon River or one of its tributaries at night, arriving in a new location for a new adventure in the early morning. Passengers opting to go on the early morning excursions will get a wake-up call at approximately 6 a.m. Excursions last 3 to 4 hours, allowing plenty of time to explore, listen to your guide’s explanation, and photograph the abundant wildlife. While most excursions involve “dry” landings, some require “wet” landings, where you will have to step into shallow water and then wade to shore. Your guide and skiff driver will assist you, and rubber boot are provided. We also provide waterproof ponchos with hoods to protect against rain.
When the excursions are in the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, we follow marked trails, walking at a leisurely pace for up to 1 hour. Guests should be in good physical health in order to be able to make the most of their Amazon cruise. The daily nature excursions may include walking on irregular terrain and getting in and out of the skiffs, occasionally requiring some physical effort. We recommend taking comfortable walking shoes for walking on the dry paths.
CAN WE DRINK THE WATER ABOARD THE VESSELS?
No. We do not recommend drinking water from the faucet. When you board the vessel, you will be supplied with fresh bottled water in your room. However, because plastic bottles are so polluting, we encourage our guests to refill their bottles, that way we can all help with preserving this fragile ecosystem. Bottled water will be placed and replenished in your suites and during the daily activities. Water refill stations are available throughout the vessel. Water used in other operations on the boat (cooking, juices, etc.) are fully treated and proven safe for consumption.
IS MOTION SICKNESS EVER A PROBLEM?
Not really. Even though the main Amazon River looks like an open sea, we will be sailing in tributaries and creeks that are some of the calmest waters in the world with almost no waves. In addition, stabilizers and advance availability of accurate weather information have decreased the incidence of motion sickness.
DO YOU HAVE INSECT REPELLENT AND SUNSCREEN PROTECTION AVAILABLE?
We offer complimentary organic options on board. However, we recommend that you bring your own, especially insect repellent products with 100% DEET.
ARE THERE MORE NATURAL WAYS TO COMBAT MOSQUITOES AND INSECTS?
Taking vitamin B12 is a more natural way to gain some resistance to mosquitoes. It can be ingested as vitamin pills or found in some foods with high levels of B12 such as shellfish (clams, oysters, mussels), fish, crustaceans (crabs), soy products (milk, tofu), bran cereals, red meat (lamb, beef), low fat milk, select cheeses, and eggs. We suggest taking B12 supplements around 2-3 weeks before arriving in Iquitos.
DO I NEED ANY SHOTS BEFORE TRAVELING TO THE AMAZON?
No specific vaccination or preventative treatments are required to enter Peru (including malaria and yellow fever). To reference, the USA Center of Disease for travel to Peru nevertheless requires a current yellow fever vaccination for trips to rainforest regions. This vaccination is normally required or recommended for all rainforest regions around the world. Malaria pills are recommended usually when travelling to tropical regions but the places we cruise are Malaria Free Places. No anopheles mosquitoes (which are known to carry the disease) proliferate in the areas which we cruise in. For more specific details, we encourage you to discuss with your doctor.
SHOULD I BUY TRAVEL INSURANCE?
Travelers are strongly advised to purchase trip cancellation insurance which will reimburse the cost of air tickets and other non-refundable trip payments. International medical, baggage loss, and delay insurance are also recommended. Unfortunately, if you miss the vessel because of a weather-related flight cancellation, we will not reimburse the cost of the reservation since flight cancellations are beyond our control and we have to comply with our schedules. If any of our vessels are not able to sail (i.e. due to force majeure or mechanical failure), Delfin Amazon Cruises reserves the right to substitute with another vessel. If the travelers do not take this option, Delfin Amazon Cruises reserves the right to cancel the trip upon a refund pro rata per cruise night not used or, as an alternative, will offer credit toward a future cruise on any of our vessels.
IF WE GO ON AN IQUITOS-BASED TOUR WITH YOU, HOW WILL WE GET AROUND?
We have a set of vehicles that make your transfer easy and comfortable. They vary by size (sedan, van, bus, etc.) depending on the number of travelers in your group. All of them come with air conditioning, are clean and modern, and come equipped with drinks (water, sodas) and snacks so you can replenish yourself throughout the day. Your private chauffeur will be at your disposal for the time of your tour, as well as your local guide.
WHAT IS THERE TO DO IN IQUITOS?
You will spend very little time in Iquitos since your entire journey will be on board the Delfin and on shore along the Amazon River and its tributaries. However, the remote city of Iquitos, accessible only by river or air, will not disappoint. Depending on your specific schedule and interests, we are happy to create a customized itinerary for you if you have an early or late departure.
WHAT IS PERU’S TIME ZONE?
(UTC-05:00). The time in Peru is the same as Eastern Standard Time in the United States. Daylight Savings Time is not practiced.
WHAT IF I DON’T LIKE MY TABLEMATES? IS ROOM SERVICE AVAILABLE?
This is rarely a problem. However, we do have different solutions depending on which vessel you are sailing on. Aboard Delfin I, please speak with the Maître d’ to arrange a private in-suite meal on your terrace. Throughout dinner service, you will have your own waiter to serve you. This is a very enjoyable experience for special occasions such as birthdays or milestones as well. Aboard Delfin II & III, please speak with the Maître d’ or the Cruise Manager to find a table location that works for you. No matter which vessel, our staff will make every effort to seat you with more comfortably and with compatible dining companions, of course with full discretion and courtesy. We do not offer room service.
IS THE CUISINE AS GOOD AS I’VE BEEN TOLD? CAN I GET A SPECIAL DIET?
Yes. The food is simply world class. Our guests enjoy a menu of fresh, delicious Peruvian fare (with a bit of continental influence), whether served on board or out on an adventure. Dinner each evening promises to be a culinary feast for the senses, paired with select South American wines or perhaps a freshly pressed juice. If you have special dietary requests, please inform Delfin Amazon Cruises at the time of booking, or at least by 30 days prior to embarkation because some items may have to be shipped and imported (no roads lead to Iquitos!). Every effort will be made to cater to special dietary needs and to accommodate special requests, subject to a given products’ availability in Peru.
WHAT ABOUT TIPPING?
We are often asked what gratuity is appropriate for guides and crew, and our response is that the quality of service should determine the amount of any tip. From past experience, we recommend an amount in the range of USD 120 per passenger for the crew (to be divided among all the crew members and guides). Please bear in mind that this is merely a suggestion, since we believe that gratuities are a very personal matter. Tips are recommended in US Dollars or Peruvian Soles.
HOW DO I PAY FOR PURCHASES ON BOARD? DO YOU ACCEPT CASH?
You will be asked to sign for every drink at the time you order it. Please keep track of your consumption of alcoholic beverages in order to avoid any confusion at the end of the cruise. You can pay your bar bill, as well as for any purchases onboard, either in US Dollars or with Visa, MasterCard, Diner’s Club or American Express cards. The same goes for any Spa treatments or other charges.
WHAT CURRENCY IS USED IN PERU?
The Sol is the official currency of Peru. One US Dollar equals about 3.20 Soles. We recommend bringing a quantity of Soles with you on board (about 50-100 Soles per person) so you may make some small leisure purchases at the native communities you will visit on your cruise. Tips are recommended in US Dollars or Peruvian Soles.
WHAT SHOULD I PACK?
Life is casual aboard our vessels. Bring comfortable walking shoes, light-weight long pants, and long-sleeved tops, a wide-brimmed hat, sunscreen, extra socks, mosquito repellent with DEET, bathing suits and of course, your camera, with charger and extra batteries on excursions. Binoculars are very important to enjoy the wildlife (provided on Delfin I & II). Do not forget to include some items that you can give away to the locals (t-shirts, pens, and paper are especially prized, and perhaps some chocolates or candies for little kids). During meals in the dining room, we ask our guests to wear casual clothing and shoes. We provide rubber boots for wetland excursions and wet landings, and recommend taking comfortable walking shoes. We also provide waterproof ponchos with hoods to protect against rain. Our Suites all have 220-110 volt outlets.
HOW MUCH LUGGAGE CAN I BRING? ARE THERE PORTERS AVAILABLE AT THE AIRPORT AND THE PIER?
We allow you to bring as much luggage as you like, but suggest the use of soft suitcases/bags for easy storage. If
you have heavy luggage, we can securely store it until you disembark at our offices in Iquitos. How much you bring, however, may be determined by the airlines, which have limits on both checked and carry-on baggage. LATAM Airlines for example, allows 20 kilos (44 pounds) of checked luggage and 8 kilos (18 pounds) of carry-on baggage. Porters are available at both the airport and our port in Nauta. They will make sure that your bags arrive well at our private embarkation port storage facility and your suite. At the embarkation port, you may also tell the guides if there is any luggage you would like to be stored at our facilities so they can give you a special identification tag.
THE BOTTOM LINE
If seeing the glorious flooded forest and getting close-up looks at lots of birds and mammals (and enjoying a slightly cooler temperature) sounds attractive, then the flooded season might be the best choice. (Remember: Despite its name it only gets about 10% more rain than falls in the dry season). If jungle hikes, seeing exotic migratory birds perch on trees as they pass through Amazonia, still having the chance to see monkeys and other mammals, and going on great fishing expeditions top your list, you might be happier choosing the hotter, less rainy dry season. Perhaps the best solution of all: choose one, and we hope that you will like it so much that you may want to return to experience the other season in the Amazon as well.
ABOUT THE DRY SEASON
The dry season in Amazonia coincides with winter in the Southern Hemisphere (from June to October). This is the warmer season, with temperature averaging about 98 degrees Fahrenheit, and, despite its name, the dry season still gets some heavy rains. A key difference is that trails and jungle paths that are flooded from November to May are now easily accessible, allowing groups to explore deep in the jungle (accompanied by fewer mosquitoes than during the flooded season). The flip side of that, however, is that water levels are about 23 feet lower from June to October, which means that many of the creeks and lakes that we visit during the flooded season are inaccessible. Lower water levels, however, can be a bonus in another way: During these months fishing is 100 percent guaranteed to catch a piranha. And while the lower river levels mean that you are farther from the birds that enjoy the jungle canopy, you will have the chance to see dozens of species of migratory birds in flight, something you would completely miss during the flooded season.
ABOUT THE FLOODED SEASON
The flooded season runs from November through May – summer and autumn in the Southern Hemisphere. It is the cooler and wet season, but keep in mind that the jungle gets only a little more than half (60%) of its total rainfall during the flooded season. At this time the average temperature is 86 degrees Fahrenheit, 12 degrees cooler than in the dry season. There are great benefits to traveling at this time of year. Perhaps most important, the rivers and streams are about 23 feet higher, meaning that every river, creek and lake is navigable. You will get to explore more of the waterways of Amazonia, and will have access to plant life and wildlife areas that you might miss during the dry season. Also, that extra 23 feet puts travelers much closer to the jungle canopy, where monkeys play and our beautiful Amazon birds like to roost. In fact, you are very likely to see many more mammals, both monkeys and others, during the flooded season. Increased navigability by water has the flip side that areas to walk and hike are limited at this time, and if we do find usable hiking trails there will be more mosquitoes than in the dry season. Fishing is more limited during these months too, but you still have close to a 50% chance to get out your rod and reel and make a catch.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME OF YEAR TO TRAVEL TO THE AMAZON?
The Amazon basically has 2 seasons: the flooded and the dry season. Both offer rich rewards, fabulous sites, and amazing opportunities to view plant and animal life. The Amazon Basin is as rich, lush, and green as it is because it gets an abundance of rain (12 feet a year on average). In a typical year, that totals 200 rainy days, which means that there will be days of heavy rain even in the dry season. Also it is hot in the Amazon any time of year. Two key points to remember, as you choose between the Amazon in flooded season or in dry season: there will be some rain whichever season you choose, and yet you will see spectacular wildlife and plant life whether you go in wet or dry season. All the rest is details.
WILL I HAVE ACCESS TO A SAFE DEPOSIT BOX?
Yes. All cabins have safe deposit boxes with instructions for their use.
DO YOU HAVE SAFETY EQUIPMENT ON BOARD?
Once all the passengers have boarded, the crew will conduct a mandatory safety drill. Please be sure to check exactly where the life vests are located in your cabin. Memorize your way to the deck in case an emergency should arise. Consult your Cruise Director or guide regarding any questions you may have. Life vests are provided for use while onboard the skiffs and you are required to wear them. Always hold the guide or crew member’s hand while embarking or disembarking, since the boat ladder and deck may be wet and slippery.
ARE THERE SMOKING AREAS?
Smoking is forbidden inside all our vessels. It is allowed only in the outside lounge and designated smoking areas. If you want to smoke in the outside lounge, please ask the bartender for an ashtray. Do not throw your cigarette stubs or ash into the water.
WHAT SERVICES ARE AVAILABLE ONBOARD?
If you need to contact your home or office for any emergency, all our vessels are equipped with a satellite phone. The cost of your call can be paid directly on board. We will inform you, prior to calling, of the current price of an international call. We do not have Internet connection onboard the vessels. For cellular phone contact you may need a special telephone that can operate on a foreign signal. Please check with your carrier. However, keep in mind that most areas outside Iquitos are so remote that you will be unable to get a signal. There is laundry service on all vessels, though not ironing service. We have paramedics on all vessels. There are no handicapped facilities.
IS THERE ANY DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE LOWER AND UPPER-DECK SUITES?
Dimensions and all features are exactly the same for both decks, respective of each boat.
ARE ALL SUITES RIVER VIEW?
Yes. All suites on our vessels have outward-facing panoramic windows, giving every cabin a river view. The dawn light will awaken you in the mornings, and you can see what the weather is like without leaving your suite.
ARE CABINS ASSIGNED IN ADVANCE?
Yes. A suite or upgraded suite will be assigned to you when we confirm your reservation. All suites are described and numbered in the Deck Plan documents. You may request a specific suite or cabin depending on your preference and we will assign it if available.
DOES SAILING ON BOARD THE DELFIN GIVE GOOD VACATION VALUE?
Yes. Our travel experience offers excellent vacation value. Our rates include all meals, very comfortable accommodation, excursions with knowledgeable naturalist guides, Pacaya Samiria National Reserve entrance fees, onboard lectures, and evening entertainment. Transportation from/to the airport if you arrive and depart on our recommended flights is also included. Your only extra expenses will be airfare, select alcoholic drinks, onboard purchases, and gratuities.
WHO SHOULD I CONTACT IF I HAVE A SPECIAL REQUEST WHILE ON BOARD?
Please contact the Cruise Director or your guides.
WILL I BE COMFORTABLE ABOARD THE DELFIN VESSELS?
Yes. Delfin I, II & III are true luxury river vessels that cruise the northern Amazon, and offer extraordinary levels of comfort. Our boats are completely environmentally friendly so that the jungle doesn’t even know we are there. The sizes and capacities have also been carefully designed so that they are the perfect size for sailing into the nooks and crannies of the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve in small groups while offering maximum safety on the water.