Rainforest Cruises: What Are the Company's Future Plans?

Recently, I spoke to Jeremy Clubb, the owner of Rainforest Cruises. We talked about the Amazon (of course), his company and the direction it’s going. It’s fascinating, to say the least. Not only the region, but what’s on the horizon for Rainforest Cruises.

One thing I can say is that you will not find a more extensive list of options for Amazon River cruise packages or travel to the Amazon, in general. Jeremy has made it his mission to hand-pick the vessels and itineraries that he believes will provide the greatest range of options and provide the most valuable experiences to his guests . The company offers cruises on 30 different vessels in the four cruising regions in the Amazon – Peru, Brazil, Ecuador and Bolivia. You can see the various packages here.

Amazon River - Photo Courtesy of Rainforest Cruises

What Is Popular With Amazon Rainforest Guests?

When I asked Jeremy about river cruises in Peru vs. Brazil, he said that Peru is more popular than Brazil. There were three main reasons he gave: 

  1. Peru does not require a VISA and Brazil does. It usually takes about six weeks to get a VISA. And it’s an additional expense.
  2. There are more luxury vessels that sail in Peru than in Brazil. Most people who travel in the Amazon, prefer nicer ships.
  3. Machu Picchu is located in Peru, and people who travel to the Amazon will often combine a trip to Machu Picchu with a river cruise.

Machu Picchu in Peru

Jeremy also mentioned that land extensions are popular – tours before or after a river cruise. Rainforest Cruises offers several packages, including those listed below:

  • Peru – Cusco & Machu Picchu
  • Peru – Machu Picchu & Lake Titicaca
  • Peru – Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
  • Brazil – Rio De Janeiro
  • Brazil – Rio De Janeiro & Iguazu Falls
  • Ecuador – Quito, Otavalo & Mindo
  • Peru, Brazil & Argentina – Rio De Janeiro, Iguazu Falls & Buenos Aires

Although, there are many options available, Jeremy said most people choose a land extension that includes Machu Picchu. The tour is recommended before the river cruise mainly because of flight schedules.

Another popular add-on is staying a few nights in a rainforest lodge, particularly in Peru.  According to Jeremy, the lodges are located in a remote, jungle-like area. They are rustic and provide guests with a genuine rainforest experience. He  recommends staying in the lodge before taking the river cruise.

Tree Lodge in the Amazon Rainforest. Photo Courtesy of Rainforest Cruises.

Who Travels With Rainforest Cruises?

I asked Jeremy (out of curiosity) what type of people book travel with Rainforest Cruises. This is what he had to say about the average guest:

  • 45+ years old
  • likes wildlife and reads or watches National Geographic
  • is cultured
  • has more resources available
  • has taken other river cruises, possibly in Europe or the United States
  • looking for a different experience for a river cruise

I also asked him whether very many families book travel with Rainforest Cruises. He said that when they do, it's usually a multi-generational cruise. The families will often charter the boat.

With regard to young children, he said that this type of travel is not really suitable for young children, especially those less than 8 years old. Jeremy said that if a family wants to bring younger children, that his company will recommend an itinerary that is more suitable for them.

Rainforest Cruises: The Company's Future Plans

Although, the company currently offers a few cruises to the Galapagos Islands, it plans to expand in this region and incorporate even more itineraries. 

Jeremy also shared that his company's future plans include adding river cruise packages in Southeast Asia on the Mekong and Irrawaddy Rivers. He plans to carefully select the vessels and itineraries that will best suit Rainforest Cruises' clients.

When I asked him about the decision to expand beyond the Amazon, he said that its a chance to better serve his guests. Rainforest Cruises gets a lot of repeat travelers who have already been to the Amazon and they're looking for something different. Yes, he's actually had people ask him about expanding beyond the Amazon. So he decided that entering the market in Asia was the next logical step for Rainforest Cruises.

One final note is that the company will be launching a new website by June 2015. Jeremy said it will include more information about Galapagos Cruises and eventually about cruises in Southeast Asia. He said that the website will have a more robust search function, which will enable visitors to navigate the site more easily.

To find out more about the company, you can go to rainforestcruises.com. In addition to its land and cruise packages, the website has a lot of very valuable information about the Amazon that you won't find on other websites that serve this travel region.

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Lauri Wakefield is a travel writer who specializes in  river cruises in Europe and the U.S. Connect with her on Twitter and Google+.

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