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Francesco Galli Zugaro founded Aqua Expeditions 13 years ago with Peru’s first luxury river cruise on the Amazon River. The company then expanded its operations globally in 2014 with the launch of the Aqua Mekong on the historic Mekong River, and in 2019 with the launch of the ocean-faring Aqua Blu, which explores the forgotten islands of the East Indonesian archipelago.
As CEO, Galli Zugaro has personally supervised every Aqua Expeditions vessel launch since 2008, completely changing the landscape of boutique cruising on the Peruvian Amazon. After the launch of Aria Amazon in 2011, and on the other side of the world in a Vietnamese shipyard, Galli Zugaro oversaw the construction of the Aqua Mekong, which debuted in October 2014. Unprecedented acclaim followed the ship’s trailblazing style, including prestigious awards from the international design community and fans from the world’s leading travel media including Travel + Leisure, Conde Nast Traveler, Forbes and Robb Report.
Not content with resting on his laurels, Galli Zugaro brought Aqua Expeditions into its first ocean foray in November 2019 with a former British Navy ship, overhauled in a sleek modern style with the help of Dutch yacht designer Cor D. Rover. Aqua Blu offers a variety of 7- and 12-night itineraries to some of the world’s most pristine regions: Komodo National Park, the Spice Islands, and Raja Ampat. In the short time that Aqua Blu has been operating, it already counts rave reviews from Virtuoso Life, Financial Times, Departures, The Times, The Australian and more amongst its accolades.
2020 brings plenty of growth and expansion for the company thanks to the unveiling of a brand-new destination, as well as the introduction of Aqua Nera on the Amazon in early October. These latest additions to the Aqua Expeditions fleet will once again push boundaries and set new standards in boutique cruise design, luxury and guest experiences. Galli Zugaro’s focus also lies in driving sustainable development through travel, prioritizing the social and environmental impacts and solutions of operating in culturally rich and unspoiled natural destinations.
A distinguished speaker, Galli Zugaro is regularly asked to share his insights on innovation, sustainability, entrepreneurship and market trends at a diverse range of leadership gatherings, from Sydney Lux Experience, Cruise 360, and International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM) to Virtuoso Events and Singapore Investment Forums.
Half Italian and half American, Galli Zugaro received his B.A. in Communications from Boston College.
He lives in Singapore with his wife and three children