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 our experienced river pilot and crew ensure smooth travel and safety on the water.
Designed by Saigon-based architectural firm Noor Design, the Aqua Mekong 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.
Southeast Asia is rightly known for its year round humidity and equatorial temperatures, so we designed the Aqua Mekong’s Observation Deck to culminate at the front with an indulgent plunge pool, poised to soak up the ship’s most panoramic vistas of vibrant river life, fringed by coconut palm under an azure sky. Anyone desire a tropical cocktail with that postcard perfect view? The fully stocked bar is barely more than an arm’s length away.
His restaurants perennially earn Michelin stars and rank on The World’s 50 Best list, yet David Thompson arrived at such accolades for his Southeast Asian cuisine by accident. An unexpected detour in his 1986 holiday plans left the Sydney native in Bangkok. He had to eat, of course and discovered Thai food by “happy serendipity.” The young chef began to study the language as well as the cuisine, eventually finding his way to recipes in Thai ‘books of the dead’ that became his most valuable resource and inspiration.
Thompson returned home to achieve success in Sydney with the 1992 opening of Darley Street Thai and Sailors Thai three years later. The Australian chef was then asked by Singapore lifestyle and hospitality legend Christina Ong to create a Thai restaurant in her Halkin by COMO hotel in London. Nahm opened in London in 2001 and was awarded a Michelin star within six months, the first Michelin ever for a Thai restaurant. Nine years later, Thompson did what many critics considered audacious, bringing Nahm to Bangkok where he has developed a loyal following even among Thais, thanks in part to the finest quality Thai ingredients, including many straight from his own farm in Ratchaburi Province outside the Thai capital. Thompson’s latest restaurant, Long Chim, has locations in Singapore and Perth, both opened in 2015.
As Consulting Chef of the Aqua Mekong, Thompson expands his adventurous palate more broadly around Southeast Asia, incorporating culinary traditions of Mekong River cultures with the freshest ingredients to create indigenous inspired dishes like river prawns with ginger, shallots, tamarind and palm sugar served on betel leaves, Cambodian green curry of catfish and lemon basil cashew nut pudding with coconut cream.
Our experienced river guides lead guests into the sultry jungle on foot, or by bicycle on the riverbanks, in search of enigmatic vestiges of Indochine made famous by Marguerite Duras who grew up along this timeless river, flocks of painted stork, spot billed pelicans and the elusive Masked Finfoot in their last Southeast Asian refuge, flooded emerald forests and bamboo stilt villages accessible only by boat, modern worship of the Golden Lotus in Technicolor splendor and remote Buddhist monasteries still home to noble saffron robed monks who will grant our guests private audiences amidst flickering candles and smiling stone Buddhas.
For Aqua Expeditions founder Francesco Galli Zugaro, the ultimate river safari includes the best creatures comforts on board as well as unparalleled experiences with local experts in small groups exploring a destination. True to that vision are the 20 air conditioned Design Suites of the Aqua Mekong, each one a generous 30 square meters (320 square feet), eight with balconies and all created entirely of local materials with the relaxed sophistication and contemporary comforts of a five star resort.
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