Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Barging and River Cruising

If you have questions about barging or river cruising, or if you are thinking about it for your next vacation, come to the Departure Lounge Barging & River Cruising event on March 11th. Continue reading


Authentic Adventures And Extraordinary Experiences

VAST 2015 catalog

If yours is the road less traveled, filled with authentic adventures that enrich, exhilarate, inspire, and transform, we have handpicked a collection of active and specialty travel providers who offer extraordinary experiences as diverse as the world itself. Continue reading

The Great Amazon River Cruise


The wilds of the Amazon jungle turn over flora and fauna on an unimaginable scale, while fostering the indigenous cultures of some of the most isolated people on Earth. The Amazonian terrain—comprising a staggering third of the world’s tropical rain forest, as well as a third of its animal species—can be tough to tackle via land exploration alone, making it perfectly primed for adventure-minded cruises along the Amazon River, where the heat, humidity, and discomforts of the jungle can be met with considerable comfort.

Though the massive and mighty river—the world’s largest, in fact—spans eight South American nations, most larger vessels’ itineraries are limited to segments of the 1,000-mile stretch between the Brazilian ports of Manaus and Belém (the latter is set at the river’s mouth). Expedition vessels, smaller cruise ships, and riverboats, however, can also venture hundreds of miles further upriver to Iquitos, Peru, incorporating stops (usually made with skiffs) in more undeveloped regions of the Peruvian Amazon.

Get a taste of the adventure with this 45-minute webinar focusing on WWF-supported Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. This vast protected area at the very headwaters of the mighty river is replete with wildlife – you won’t find a more pristine rainforest experience.

The beautiful La Estrella Amazonica is custom-designed for navigating the Amazon and its tributaries. Built in the classic riverboat style distinctive to this region and beautifully finished with contemporary conveniences, the ship features 15 generously sized air-conditioned cabins with private balconies from which to enjoy scenes of the passing rainforest and wildlife. The basic 9-day itinerary includes an overnight in Lima and the one week cruise. I can customize your itinerary with extensions in Peru and other destinations in South America.

There are only 3 departures in 2014 for this extraordinary adventure and each cruise is accompanied by a WWF specialist in addition to the expedition leader. Learn firsthand about exciting conservation projects WWF is sponsoring in the Amazon through informative lectures and one-on-one conversations.

Destination: Amazon headwaters in Peru

Departures: May 23, June 20, and October 31

Space is limited to 30 participants on each departure. Call today for an appointment!

About Viviane Tondeur, MBA, CTC, DS: travel advisor affiliated with Departure Lounge, a member of the Virtuoso network. I focus on snow sports, river cruising, and delicious culinary experiences. As an expert FIT and group planner – I specialize in personalizing clients’ travel experiences, and regularly lead tours to favorite destinations.

About Departure Lounge in Austin, TX: sleek, elegant, one-of-a-kind coffee and wine bar with a cool travel discovery zone. Departure Lounge clients enjoy Virtuoso insider access plus complimentary upgrades and amenities. Departure Lounge travel advisors are part counselor, part global concierge and part magician. We follow a specific process in collaborating with you and have some very cool tools to lead you on the right path.

About Virtuoso: travel industry’s leading luxury network with 1,300 of the world’s premier travel providers, as well as exclusive services, experiences, and products.