Padar Island

Aqua Expeditions | Owner, Francesco Galli Zugaro

February 01, 2021


Our guest today is Francesco Galli Zugaro, the Founder & CEO of Aqua Expeditions – a truly visionary company that has led the way in melding expedition destinations with luxury. This is not your average cruising company – of Aqua Expeditions’ 4 vessels, the largest one has only 20 suites.

Whether you find yourself diving with whale sharks in the Spice Islands of Indonesia, kayaking through floating villages in Cambodia, or spotting pink dolphins and macaws in the Peruvian Amazon… you can be sure that after your 9-5 adventure, you’ll be welcomed back aboard with the finest food, drinks, and comfortable beds that you’ll find anywhere in the region.

Francesco and I discuss how a camping trip in the Amazon inspired the vision for the company, how he personally picks antiques and décor for each room of each ship, some behind the scenes details, and what he loves about each destination.


Listen to hear:

  • 02:18 – What Francesco’s view from his favorite Aqua Expeditions ship is
  • 04:16 – What the vision of the company was in the beginning
  • 06:04 – How his life journey led him to build Aqua Expeditions as a luxury adventure company
  • 08:52 – Why Aqua Expeditions is different than cruising and river cruising
  • 13:39 – About the setting in the destinations they sail in
  • 16:29 – How the itineraries in Indonesia reflect the wilderness
  • 23:50 – Why “wow” moments describe the experience on Aqua Expeditions ships
  • 25:56 – What millennials’ preferences on these expeditions are
  • 29:20 – About the incredible journey of Aqua Nera
  • 31:42 – How up & coming voyages are decided
  • 38:35 – What new trends Francesco believes will shape travel
  • 40:30 – What you will learn about the world after going on expedition with Aqua Expeditions

Listener Exclusive Amenities

Aria Amazon and Aqua Nera:

One 50 minute, complimentary massage treatment on board per adult

Aqua Blu and Aqua Mekong:

One 60 minute, complimentary massage treatment on board per guest

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