Jakarta, Indonesia, May 21, 2019
—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is providing a $10 million loan to cruise operator Aqua Expeditions Pte. Ltd. (Aqua Expeditions), to support its business expansion and boost the tourism potential of Indonesia’s frontier destinations.
In alignment with the government's efforts to accelerate the development of the tourism industry in a sustainable manner, IFC’s loan will support Aqua Expeditions with additional capacity to operate small-scale cruises with low ecological impact to the country’s frontier destinations.
Key destinations on Aqua Expeditions’ itinerary include the Komodo National Park, Labuan Bajo and Maumere (Flores), Spice Islands (Ambon), and Raja Ampat (Sorong). Aqua Expeditions’ unique tourism offerings in these frontier destinations complement the Indonesian government’s ongoing initiative to sustainably develop priority tourism destinations in the country’s archipelago.
“Part of Aqua Expeditions’ core values is an ongoing commitment to sustainability in the regions where we operate,” said Francesco Galli Zugaro, CEO and Founder of Aqua Expeditions. “With our expansion into coastal cruises in the Indonesian Archipelago and our new passenger vessel Aqua Blu, we are delighted to be able to help develop responsible tourism in these iconic destinations. We are honored to have IFC’s support and to collaborate with Indonesia’s local governments and authorities.”
Aqua Expeditions’ operations will integrate local communities in terms of local sourcing, supporting local businesses, and ensuring community engagement. Further, IFC’s support will help the company create a market, contributing to new jobs and putting Indonesia’s frontier destinations on the global map.
“The tourism sector offers significant scope for Indonesia’s future growth. By supporting Aqua Expeditions, IFC aims to create a new tourism subsector, catalyzing further investments by other tourism operators,” said Azam Khan, IFC Country Manager for Indonesia, Malaysia, and Timor Leste. “Cruises to these destinations, if managed well, will open up opportunities and benefit local communities and businesses, particularly micro, small, and medium enterprises in the neighboring areas. This will in turn contribute to Indonesia’s economic growth.”
IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas of the world. In fiscal year 2018, we delivered more than $23 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit
About Aqua Expeditions
A recognized global leader in boutique small ship cruises, Aqua Expeditions explores the world’s most wildlife- and culture-rich destinations across South America and Asia aboard best-in-class vessels of contemporary design. On board, Aqua Expeditions offers tailored itineraries, a low crew-to-guest ratio with personalized service, gourmet cuisine and expert-guided adventure activities and excursions. For more information, visit