The Mekong River has been so so good to AMA Waterways that it the line decided to build another ship for its successful “Vietnam, Cambodia & the Riches of the Mekong” program. The as-yet-unnamed new build is expected to debut in late spring 2011. When completed, the ship will join the ms La Marguerite in offering seven-day Mekong river cruises from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, to Siem Reap, Cambodia and the reverse. The two vessels will depart on the same day of the week, one sailing downstream from Siem Reap, and the other sailing upstream from Ho Chi Minh City.
AMA Waterways' president, Rudi Schreiner, says the Mekong is ideal for river cruising. “The first advantage of the Mekong is its size," he says. "The river is huge, in most places almost a mile wide, so it has a whole lot of potential. The scenery is incredible, with many small villages, islands and temples. The other remarkable thing about the Mekong is that it includes three major cities. You have Ho Chi Minch City or Saigon, the metropolis of Vietnam; Phnom Penh, the capital and largest city of Cambodia, located on the river front with beautiful cafes and restaurants. And, then you have the fascinating town of Siem Reap, with the temples of Angkor. It’s the perfect backdrop for river cruising."
Launched in September 2009, the “Vietnam, Cambodia & the Riches of the Mekong” itinerary highlights the historical and cultural treasures of Southeast Asia. In addition to the river cruise, the program’s features include: two nights in Hanoi, an overnight cruise onboard a traditional Junk in Vietnam’s Ha Long Bay, three nights in Siem Reap, Cambodia and an overnight in historic Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam.
The new Mekong vessel will be larger than the ms La Marguerite (295 feet long, as opposed to 246 feet long) and will accommodate 124 passengers in 62 balcony cabins. It will feature a total of 10 junior suites as well as two suites. Cabin layout and décor will be similar to that of La Marguerite, featuring tropical woods and regional Khmer artifacts.