New river and ocean ships in Cambodia


More river cruise lines are expanding their Asia products in Cambodia with new ships and itineraries along the Mekong River.

Although most cruises start in Vietnam, they travel down the popular river for regular visits to Phnom Phen and Siem Reap.

South American river cruise operator, Aqua Expeditions will launch its first vessel on the Mekong in October.

Called Aqua Mekong, the 20-suite ship features floor-to-ceiling windows decorated in authentic Asian style using local fabrics and materials.

Public spaces onboard include the Observation Deck, where guests will be able to sit in contemporary woven cane planter chairs; and an Outdoor Lounge with a river facing plunge pool.

Aqua Mekong will be the first river ship on the Mekong to have a generous sized spa and fitness centre.

The ship is currently sailing on seven-night cruises from Siem Reap to Tonle Sap and Phnom Penh. The ship then crosses into Vietnam for stops in Chau Doc and Ho Chi Minh.

Avalon Waterways will launch a new 18-suite ship called Avalon Siem Reap in January next year to sail on 13-day itineraries along the Mekong.

Starting in Ho Chi Minh, the ship will travel to Cai Be, Sa Dec, Chau Doc, Phnom Penh, Angkor Ban, Wat Hanchey, Prek Dam and Kampong Tralach before ending in Siem Reap.

The ship will be fitted in contemporary Asian style with wall-to-wall panoramic windows that slide back to create an open-air balcony.

It will also feature the Panorama Lounge for the best views onboard, a shaded open-air observation lounge and a timber-floored dining room serving a mix of western and Asian dishes.

AmaWaterways is also expanding its Asia presence with a second ship on the Mekong called, AmaDara.

A sister-ship to AmaLotus (launched in 2011), the 124-passenger ship will debut on 17 August next year, and will sail on a 16-day ‘Riches of The Mekong’ cruise and land itinerary with visits in Phnom Phen, Siem Reap and Ho Chi Minh.

The vessel will feature outside staterooms and 226-452 square foot suites with a French Balcony and a second full-sized step-out balcony.

There will also be two Western-style restaurants, a swimming pool, fitness center, spa and complimentary Internet.

Onboard entertainment will include folk dancers, live musicals and themed dinners.

In ocean cruising, Cambodia is also attracting lines like P&O Cruises Australia.

The company’s forthcoming ship, Pacific Eden, will be the first P&O vessel to visit Sihanoukville in July 2016.

The ship will arrive during an ‘Ultimate Southeast Asia’ cruise departing from Singapore.