Estrella Amazonica Fire on Amazon River Cruise in Peru – On Tuesday, April 12, 2016, around 0200 hours, International Expeditions’ 139-foot-long cruise ship Estrella Amazonica had a cruise ship fire, while sailing on the Amazon River in Iquitos, Peru, South America. Initial reports say the fire was an apparent electrical fire in one of the cruise ship cabins.
An American couple, Larry Morris Hammer and Cristy Jeins Hammer from Omaha, Nebraska died as a result of the fire.
Estrella Amazonica which is registered in Peru, was sailing in the Tahuayo region, heading for the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve. The cruise ship tour operator International Expeditions headquartered in Helena, Alabama is a partner “sister company” of Quark Expeditions.
Estrella Amazonica is equipped for 31 cruise ship passengers with a crew of 16, and typically sails on Saturdays for 7-day Amazon River voyages from Iquitos, Peru visiting Río Ucayali, Pacaya-Samiria Reserve. Cabin bookings are from $4800 to $5200 per person.
The cruise ship was built following SOLAS and MARPOL international guidelines, and exceeds Peruvian safety standards, and is the most environmentally responsible boat on the Amazon.
The International Expeditions website says, “When you travel with International Expeditions, you travel with pioneers in ecotourism. International Expeditions shows you some of the most remarkable places in the world — but does so in a way that’s as enriching as we can make it. Our escorted tours, planned and continuously refined over 35 years, include many elements that would be next to impossible to do otherwise. On our Amazon cruise, for example, we’ll take you further into the river’s tributaries than anyone else, so that you have the chance for some exceptional sightings. And as you learn, you’ll also have a lot of fun and laughter — the joy that comes from making new discoveries in the company of friends who share in the excitement.”
Promotions for the cruise state, “We awake this morning on the Amazon River, seeing some of the ever-changing panorama of jungle life as our Amazon River cruise ship continues upriver. Small villages dot the shoreline, and channels weaving through island mazes provide close-up views of a variety of birds. The confluence of the Ucayali and Marañón Rivers is famous as the beginning of the Amazon River in Peru. Amazingly, we are about 2,400 miles from where the river flows into the Atlantic. The river drops only about 350 feet the entire way!
On our Amazon Voyage adventure, travel waterways aboard sturdy excursion boats to areas where we may find marsh birds such as oriole blackbirds, green ibis, yellow-headed caracaras, black-capped donacobis and white-headed marsh-tyrant. We turn into the Río Ucayali, where we’re apt to find gray river dolphins and Amazon pink dolphins cavorting near the boat and along the shoreline. Later we take an excursion into the surrounding rain forest in search of giant water lilies and elusive wildlife such as monkeys and sloths. As dusk approaches, fishing bats begin their night’s foraging. ”
The Peruvian navy and the local prosecutor are investigating.