is not surprisingly a vastly difference experience. And despite the economic and
infrastructure disparity between Europe
and Southeast Asia, river cruise passengers
“should not expect anything subpar” in
Southeast Asia, Schreiner said.
Bigger staterooms, better service
Indeed, as river cruise operators such as
Ama Waterways continue to improve the
product in Southeast Asia, the results mark
a consummate change from the region’s
earlier generation of ships and the sophisticated vessels being rolled out today.
Schreiner noted that the company’s
124-passenger AmaDara, debuting on the
Mekong next year with twin-balcony staterooms and two restaurants instead of just one,
“is a testament to how AmaVoyages is able to
continuously improve in exotic destinations.”
Another prime example is the Sanctuary Ananda, which Sanctuary Resorts, a
company owned by Abercrombie & Kent,
is launching next month in Myanmar. The
Ananda marks Sanctuary’s first project in
Myanmar, and the company is giving ample
attention to the hardware.
For one, the suites will range from 291
square feet to a 721-square-foot suite, a
marked increase in space compared with
many European river vessels. That added
spaciousness is possible in Southeast Asia
because there are no locks on the waterways
and thus fewer restrictions on ship dimensions.
River lines with product in Southeast Asia
are also putting a much bigger emphasis on
service than they have in the past, providing
private butler service for some of the highest
category suite guests, for instance.
The spa element is becoming an increasingly important part of the Southeast Asia
river cruising experience, as well, and river
cruise operators have been steadily amping
up their spa service offerings.
“It’s the hospitality factor that will allow
us to surpass European river cruise product along the rivers of Asia,” said Haimark’s
“It’s the gentle, kind and most of all sincere willingness to serve the guests that
blows veteran cruisers among the European
waterways out of the water.”
Continued from Page 38
As with its Mekong cruises, Avalon
has numerous add-on options to the
• Ship operator: Haimark Travel
• Passenger capacity: 24
• Launch date: September 2015
• Stateroom highlights: There will be
four categories of suites, ranging in
size from 234 to 496 square feet.
• Public area highlights: The ship will
emphasize spa treatments and services. There will be spa cuisine served
onboard and enhanced spa services,
and each guest will receive one complimentary, one-hour spa treatment.
There will also be a ship office, indoor lounge, outdoor observation
deck, restaurant, library and Internet
lounge and fitness center.
• Itineraries: A seven-night cruise
between Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam,
and Siem Reap, Cambodia, pricing
for which has not yet been released.
There will also be several land extensions passengers can choose from,
including Ho Chi Minh City; Siem
Reap; Hanoi and Ha Long Bay, Vietnam; and Bangkok.
Continued from Page 39
Life on the Mekong.