Aqua gains funds for fleet expansion

SINGAPORE, 9 November 2018: River cruise firm Aqua Expeditions will increase its fleet from two to five vessels and add new geographic locations over the next two years.

The Singapore-based Aqua Expeditions’ CEO Francesco Galli Zugaro, who launched the company in 2008, announced the expansion Thursday.

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

The expansion of Aqua Expeditions has been made possible by a USD28 million capital injection by the Los Angeles and New York-based private equity firm, Bison Capital.

The company’s press statement said Zugaro would remain Aqua’s “majority shareholder and fully in charge of the company’s destiny”.

Details of new vessels and routings will be announced later this month.

Since its founding in 2008, Aqua Expeditions sells five-star luxury river cruising in remote areas and the same concept will drive the company’s fleet expansion and routings.

“We succeeded in bringing an unprecedented improvement to experiencing both the Peruvian Amazon and the Mekong by introducing luxurious boats from which travellers take safari-like excursions led by expert guides to discover jungles, wildlife and local cultures,”  Zugaro explained.Bison Capital partner, Doug Trusser added: “We are impressed by the brand and product Francesco has built and have a high degree of confidence in him and his team to deliver on the vision and goals of global expansion.”

Aqua Expeditions’ first vessel sailed the Amazon River in Peru in 2011. In October 2014, the company added an Indochina cruise with the launch of the 20-cabin Aqua Mekong that sails the lower Mekong River between Cambodia and Vietnam.