River cruising is one of the most popular forms of travel, chosen by families and people of all age groups. Travelling the world and the Amazon on a cruise is usually safe, and the majority of trips pass without incident. The worst thing that may happen to you while on a ship may be to feel seasick for a while, even after the trip is over. Nonetheless, Amazon River cruise safety tips are important to consider.
What travellers should understand is that their safety is a top concern of any river cruise line. Whether you are about to embark on one of the Amazon cruises by Aqua Expeditions or you still have to book your next trip, rest assured that all river cruise lines have security procedures in place to protect you and your fellow travellers.
Once the cruise and the fun begins, you may not remember to use your common sense. For this reason, we have enlisted five essential tips to help you have fun while staying safe on your Amazon river cruise.
1. Respect the wildlife
While exploring the beautiful Amazonian landscapes, you may be lucky enough to get up close with the local wildlife. This includes small animals such as frogs and snakes, but also dangerous predators like alligators, anacondas and piranhas. Although these animals do not usually go out of their way to hunt down tourists, they will most likely attack in self-defence if needed.
In addition, you must be aware of blood-sucking leeches and disease-carrying mosquitoes, which are often hidden in the Amazonian rainforests. If you decide to join an expedition to explore these areas, don’t forget to wear sturdy boots and hiking pants to protect your skin from bites.
After any trip, check your shoes before putting them on again to ensure that there are no insects or other creatures crawling inside. Most importantly, when packing for your Amazon river cruise, always bring a good insect repellent with you, and be sure to use it!
2. Be Aware of Burglars
Travellers usually tend to consider cruises as a sort of “microcosm”, which is far from the land and thus appears safer. Consequently, many feel secure carrying large amounts of cash in their pockets. However, you should use some common sense when on board just as you would when walking on the streets.
There is no reason to bring a lot of money on board, and especially in your pockets. In the majority of cases, everything, from your room to drinks, has been paid in advance. All the other onboard transactions can be carried out by credit or debit card, or even with your room key. You may need some cash on shore excursions, but it is still recommended to take out only a small sum of money.
3. Protect Yourself from Intruders
If your room has a balcony, or if it is close to the top deck, you may be concerned about intruders coming on the ship or in your personal space when the ship is docked. However, cruise companies always restrict access to the top deck through passenger key cards.
This means you must always bring your room key with you. Otherwise, you may not be able to go back to your room whenever you wish to. In some cases, passengers may be given an additional secret security code that can be used to access the ship when it is docked.
4. Bring your ID
When packing for your next river cruise, you can’t forget your ID, which is your passport. Usually, as soon as you go on board, the cruise staff will ask for your passport, and you will be given a laminated card with your room number and your name.
The name on your key and your booking sheet must match exactly the one on your passport. Otherwise, you may not be allowed to remain on the ship. You must always bring your key, which will temporarily become your new form of ID when you are on board and onshore excursions.
In some cases, your picture will be taken before the departure, and you may be asked to sign in every time you go back on board and to wear a special guest badge. If you lose your card, you must let the ship staff know as soon as possible. In addition, don’t forget to close your room’s door every time you leave it, even for a few minutes.
5. Buddy Up
Many solo travellers decide to book a cruise to spend some time on their own, explore the Amazon and relax. If this is your case, it is still advisable to find a friend or two on the ship. This doesn’t mean you must spend all your time with strangers, but it is always a good idea to have someone to look out for you — someone who will notice if you are missing!
Avoid walking around isolated areas by yourself late at night, especially if you feel sick. If you are travelling with your friends but you want to take part in different activities during the day, make a plan to meet up at certain times anyway.
Summary for Amazon River Cruise Safety
Basically, just remember to protect yourself from the wildlife, safeguard your belongings, and keep your ID with you while exploring. Let someone know your plans in case you don’t return.
Cruising can create wonderful memories that will last a lifetime. Just think of what you will see and experience! Be sure to follow these five safety tips, trust your cruise line to provide a safe environment, and have an amazing trip.