Tuesday, 13 September 2011

AMA launches second boat on the Mekong

Award-winning river cruise line AmaWaterways has launched its second new vessel on the Mekong River, the 124-passenger MS AmaLotus. The 7-night maiden voyage set sail this week after a traditional Vietnamese praying ceremony at the shipyard. The MS AmaLotus joins the MS La Marguerite (2009) in providing distinctive river cruises from Siem Reap, Cambodia to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam as part of the highly-popular “Vietnam, Cambodia and the Riches of the Mekong” program.  
Featuring ultra-spacious 624-sq. ft. Suites; ten Jr. Suites at 290 sq. ft. and standard staterooms at 226 sq. ft., the MS AmaLotus has outside balconies on 90 percent of her staterooms. The d├ęcor combines Colonial elegance with regional Khmer accents, staterooms include comfortable sitting areas, individually controlled air-conditioning, a mini-bar, safety deposit box, kimonos and slippers and luxurious bathtub (Jr. Suites/Suites). Guests enjoy fine dining consisting of both Asian and Western specialties; free-flowing complimentary wine and beer at lunch and dinner with complimentary house-brand spirits and soft drinks throughout the cruise. Onboard highlights include folklore dances, musical performances and culture discussion forums.
The expansive Sun Deck on the MS AmaLotus provides the perfect place to enjoy a refreshing cool drink, take a swim in the outdoor pool or simply admire the spectacular sunsets over the Mekong. The ship also features two lounges, a fitness room, spa and gift shop. The hotel manager aboard the MS AmaLotus is European, and the entire staff is fully English-speaking.
Launched in 2009, the “Vietnam, Cambodia and the Riches of the Mekong” river cruise and land programme is part of the “AmaVoyages” line of river cruises. Separate and distinct from the AmaWaterways European river cruise product, “AmaVoyages” deliver an exceptional experience in some of the world’s most intriguing destinations. The “Vietnam, Cambodia and the Riches of the Mekong” itinerary includes two nights in vibrant Hanoi followed by an overnight aboard a luxury junk in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ha Long Bay. A short flight then transports guests to Siem Reap, Cambodia, the gateway to the magnificent Angkor Archeological Park. A two-night stay there includes tours of world-renowned sites such as Angkor Wat, Ta Prohm, Terrace of the Elephants, Terrace of the Leper King, the Bayon and newly-reopened Baphuon Temple.
From Siem Reap, guests embark on their 7-night odyssey along the Mekong River from Cambodia to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam. Calls include the bustling capital of Phnom Penh and numerous points of historical and scenic interest, including Kampong Chhnang, Oudong, Tan Chau, Sa Dec, Xeo Quyt and Cai Be. Along the way, guests experience the unforgettable hospitality and ancient traditions of this singular part of the world as they visit floating markets, rainforests and Buddhist monasteries; ride an oxcart and a trishaw and participate in the delicate craft of rice-paper making. The “Vietnam, Cambodia and the Riches of the Mekong” program concludes with an overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
The 15 night land-cruise option costs from £2422 per person and includes hotel accommodation, excursions and all meals, wine, beer and soft drinks with meals on board, and the seven night cruise-only option costs from £1060, including excursions and drinks. Contact   www.amawaterways.co.uk or The Cruise Line

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