- year built
- crew members
- 205 feet
- 38 feet
- 5 feet
- cruising speed
- 12 knots
The 40-guest Aqua Mekong is a custom, architecturally appealing luxury cruise ship designed by Saigon-based architectural firm Noor Design. She is the first five-star small luxury cruise ship to travel up and down the Mekong River between the Mekong Delta in Vietnam and the Kingdom of Cambodia. The Aqua Mekong is also the first cruise ship on Southeast Asia’s greatest river to offer a fitness center, library, screening room and observation deck.
Aqua Mekong Review
AdventureSmith Explorations’ Aqua Mekong review includes a detailed description of the small ship including deck plans and a photo gallery. Our experts have been aboard nearly every small expedition ship in Southeast Asia. Please read our Aqua Mekong review below then contact our small ship cruise experts to compare the Aqua Mekong with other small cruise ships and yachts offering Southeast Asia cruises.
Choose the Aqua Mekong for her Hodkinson’s Indochine influenced aesthetic and her interiors built entirely of local sustainable materials that incorporate natural fibers of the surrounding environment with artisanal touches of the Mekong’s multifaceted cultures. Spacious and indulgent, yet intimate enough to feel entirely exclusive, the Aqua Mekong incorporates relaxed yet refined lounging and dining areas and can accommodate a maximum of 40 guests plus crew. Modern navigation technologies and the highest cruise ship standards as well as an experienced river pilot and crew ensure smooth travel and safety on the water.
Common Areas Aboard Aqua Mekong
Sunlit indoors and out, the top-level Observation Deck aboard the Aqua Mekong is designed to seamlessly connect guests with the constantly shifting landscape, always in air conditioning and utmost comfort. Shade structures and lounge chairs entice relaxations while sliding doors lead to the Outdoor Lounge with its inviting infinity plunge pool–the only one on the Mekong River. At night, the Outdoor Lounge transforms into a movie theater under the stars, with 300 onboard movies to choose from. Both the bow and the stern lounges are outfitted with comfortable sun loungers and a shade canopy, plus a rooftop bar, fully stocked to mix any sip. Gravitate to the Indoor Lounge in the mornings for Vietnamese coffee poured over ice with sweet condensed milk, and for lectures on ecology, culture and wildlife.
A private screening room with theater-style accommodation and a private library/games room provide entertainment for quiet times on board. A small selection of onboard iPads and WiFi add to the entertainment options. For fitness-minded guests, a top-deck, fully equipped gym overlooks the river. Shop for authentic souvenirs in the antique and artisanal boutique. There are two spa treatment rooms, each with single and double massage beds. An infirmary with onboard medical staff is also available in case any health needs arise, and a one-to-one staff-to-guest ratio makes sure every need is attended to. Aqua Mekong’s 40 crew members include a cruise director and four English-speaking guides. Complimentary laundry service makes packing light an easy option.
Dining Aboard Aqua Mekong
Renowned Michelin-starred Chef David Thompson is the Aqua Mekong’s Consulting Chef so you can expect the finest cuisine on board. Thompson is the Australian-born chef formerly of Nahm in Bangkok and the author of internationally acclaimed cookbooks including Thai Food and Thai Street Food. In 2002, Thompson secured the first-ever Michelin star for Southeast Asian cuisine and was recognized in 2012 and 2013 for his place among the “World’s 50 Best Restaurants.” Dining is upscale and contemporary with a focus on Thai, Vietnamese and Cambodian dishes, however other options are available, including special dietary accommodations with advance notice. Breakfast is served buffet style while lunch and dinner are served family style. Tables configurable for 2-20 guests enable both intimate and group dining experiences. Guests can pair creative dishes with a selection from the unlimited wine and beer menu.
Crew & Guides Aboard Aqua Mekong
Aqua Mekong exclusively offers a one-to-one staff-to-guest ratio. Four professionally trained guides lead guests of the Aqua Mekong on daily expeditions aboard comfortable skiffs deep into the Mekong’s tributaries and on foot among Khmer pottery villages, remote mountain monasteries and among the cultural treasures of Phnom Penh. Maximum group size of 10 guests per guide ensure excellent attention to detail. English-speaking, on-staff, professionally trained experts grew up along the Mekong River and know its Buddhist temples, Hindu ruins, Catholic churches and elusive wildlife as well as many of the Vietnamese and Cambodian people they will introduce guests to.
Activities Aboard Aqua Mekong
Land- and water-based activities from Aqua Mekong include cycling (daily), kayaking, swimming, sunrise daily guided meditation and more so that guests enjoy a more diverse, multidimensional experience. The ship carries 10 top-of-the-line Cannondale all-terrain bicycles, with options along the way to bike to visitor sites rather than ride in a car. Many off-ship excursions are on customized aluminum motorized launch boats, or skiffs, carrying up to 10 passengers on two to three daily excursions, with constant radio contact between captains. The Aqua Mekong is privileged as the only Mekong River vessel to have private skiffs.
Shopping Aboard Aqua Mekong
Southeast Asia’s rich artisanal traditions can be found among the treasures in the onboard boutique, designed to offer Aqua Mekong guests the convenience of shopping at their leisure for high quality, thoughtfully selected Cambodian and Vietnamese handicrafts and jewelry as well as Aqua Expeditions signature souvenirs. Items featured include original pieces sourced directly from talented artisans who live and work in the communities Aqua Mekong visits and actively supports. Aqua Mekong is proud that wherever possible, high quality pieces with a philanthropic origin have been selected, allowing her guests’ pleasure to be matched by the life-changing opportunities created for these artisans.
Cabins & Deck Plan Aboard Aqua Mekong
There are 20 Design Suites aboard the Aqua Mekong, all air conditioned with en-suite bathroom, panoramic floor-to-ceiling windows, sitting area and USB plugs throughout the cabin. Four sets of interconnecting suites (two sets on each deck) are suitable for families. Each suite has either one California King bed or two twin beds.