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Aqua Mekong Luxury River Cruise with Award-Winning Chef David Thompson 5D4N, Limited Edition

Aqua Mekong Luxury River Cruise with Award-Winning Chef David Thompson 5D4N, Limited Edition

Aqua Mekong Luxury River Cruise with Award-Winning Chef David Thompson 5D4N, Limited Edition


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At A Glance Departures

Route: Ho Chi Minh City (SGN) to Phnom Penh (PNH)

Hosted by award-winning Chef David Thompson, these limited-edition luxury Mekong River cruising offers you the unique opportunity to delve deeper into these captivating landscapes between Ho Chi Minh City, in bustling Vietnam to Phnom Penh, the eye-opening capital of Cambodia, as well as an amazing culinary journey along Mekong River with the award-winning chef. Your luxury Mekong journey concentrates solely on Cambodia’s timeless pastoral serenity or traveling back in time as we sail upriver from Ho Chi Minh City and the thriving Mekong Delta past floating villages, colonial vestiges and gilded pagodas to the Art Deco landmarks of Phnom Penh.

Aqua Mekong Luxury Cruise

Join Award-Winning Chef David Thompson On Board
Awarded by Diners Club with International’s Lifetime Achievement for Asia, Chef David Thompson, is a culinary artist who has established himself as a champion of authentic Thai cuisine and brought worldwide attention to Asian cooking. His restaurants perennially earn Michelin stars and rank on "The World's 50 Best" list.

Aqua Mekong Luxury Cruise

Followed by his success in Sydney with opening of Darley Street Thai and Sailors Thai in 1992, 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 star ever for a Thai restaurant.

These limited-edition 2018 Chef-hosted departures will offer an abundance of unique opportunities with some amazing culinary experiences:

Customised Market Tours: Travel with the Chef to local markets to learn about locally grown and harvested ingredients - essential to the freshness of the dishes onboard.
Master Cooking Classes: Attend a cooking class or a kitchen tour hosted by the Chef as he walks you through his secrets of recipe planning, preparation and execution.
Interactive Q&A with the Chef: Find out how the dynamic international food scene is transforming the way the Chef designs his latest visions of culinary creativity.

Trip Highlights
- Chef David Thompson hosted departures
- Sleek and contemporary award-winning interior design
- Kayaking & Cycling excursions
- The Mekong's only forward-facing shaded infinity pool
- The Mekong's only private indoor and outdoor screening room

2019 Departure Dates (Limited Edition):
August: 16
October: 11

This tour is eligible to earn ONLYLUXE reward points.

Please contact us for other departure dates and availability. E: travel@onlyluxe.com.au 

  • Features

    Riveting Cultures
    The cultural diversity along the Mekong is as striking as the surrounding topography. Soaring limestone mountains separate Vietnam from Cambodia, providing a natural boundary that split the two most powerful influences on this region. From India to the west came Hinduism into Cambodia, the state religion of the Khmer Empire at Angkor until the 13th century while Chinese monks from the north brought Buddhism along the ancient trade routes to Vietnam.

    Mesmerising Traditions
    Between Cambodia and Vietnam, Mekong River forms an integral part of each distinct and rich culture, among them the Khmer, Lao, Thai and Vietnamese. It is on these fertile riverbanks that the Vietnamese people grow half their nation’s agricultural product. Sixty million people live, work and play along the river.

  • Luxury Mekong River Cruising Expedition

    Cruising Asia's Mekong River between Vietnam and Cambodia, Aqua Mekong is a floating five-star hotel with a guide to guest ratio of 1 to 1. This is the only ship on this stretch of the river to offer a fully equipped gym, screening room, outdoor cinema, and private launch boats.

    The 62.4 meter (205 feet) Aqua Mekong Luxury River Cruise is designed by Saigon based Noor Design, embodying the aesthetic of a sophisticated five star hotel. Local sustainable materials and artisanal touches of the Mekong’s multifaceted cultures round out these generous interior spaces that welcome guests in the utmost comforts between on and off shore excursions along this fascinating river.


    Spacious and indulgent, yet intimate enough to feel entirely exclusive, the Aqua Mekong incorporates elegantly relaxed 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.

    The ONLY Mekong river boat with a fleet of four private tenders for water-based excursions.

  • The Culinary Journey

    World-class dining program with Consulting Chef David Thompson.

    Awarded the first ever Michelin star for a restaurant serving Southeast Asian food, Australian chef David Thompson moved to Bangkok where his Nahm restaurant ranks at the top of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants. As Consulting Chef of the Aqua Mekong, Thompson incorporates the diverse culinary traditions of Mekong River cultures.

    Under the guidance of the world renowned Thompson, the Aqua Mekong Luxury River Cruise's dishes incorporate the timeless flavours and sustainable ingredients of the Mekong's fertile fields. Thompson built his international reputation on Southeast Asian recipes culled from historic sources, a delectable tradition he continues on board the Aqua Mekong. He brings together the finest recipes of Khmer and Vietnamese river cultures, incorporating the day's catch and the market's freshest produce, be it smoked fish, tapioca and vegetable dumplings, Vietnamese catfish minced with shallots, chilies and Thai basil, or grilled river prawns with peanut relish. Linger over lemongrass tea or something considerably more decadent, like a luscious Vietnamese artisanal chocolate fondant.

    Special Dietary Needs
    If you have special dietary requests, we strongly recommend that you inform us at the time of booking, or at least by 30 days prior to embarkation. Every effort will be made to cater to special dietary needs, and to accommodate special requests, subject to a given product’s availability in Vietnam and Cambodia.
  • Experiences Included

    - Visit Sa Dec local market and the famous house of Marguerite Duras' legendary lover, Mr. Huynh Thuy Le.
    - Guided walk through verdant plantations in a Mekong Delta village and taste local fruits while hearing traditional folk songs performed by villagers followed by a unique unicorn dance.
    - Travel by skiff along Bassac Canal to Chau Doc floating market.
    - Climb Sam Mountain to learn about Buddhist practices from monks.
    - Many self-guided cycling opportunities along river banks or in local villages.
    - Rickshaw ride to visit Tan Chau Market with chef.
    - Try traditional Khmer massage.
    - Learn to cook Mekong inspired dishes.
    - Khmer artisans dyeing and weaving kroma.
    - Touring around Cambodian capital with a guide by motorized tuk-tuk.

    Other Activities at Additional Charges:
    - Additional guided cycling tour in Cambodia & Vietnam
    - Additional guided walking tour in Cambodia & Vietnam
    - Additional guided kayaking tour in Cambodia & Vietnam
    - Cambodia & Vietnam cultural tour
    - Cambodia & Vietnam gourmet discovery tour

    Please contact us if you would like to extend your holiday in Cambodia, Vietnam or Lao. We can tailor make a travel itinerary for you. E: travel@onlyluxe.com.au
  • DAY 1

  • DAY 2

  • DAY 3

  • DAY 4

  • DAY 5

  • What’s included

    - Design suite accommodation each night
    - All meals while onboard
    - Beverages (premium non-alcoholic, house wine and beer)
    - All shore excursions with knowledgeable local guides
    - Onboard lectures
    - Evening entertainment
    - Laundry
    - Bike use
    - Internet with intermittent connection
    - Group transfers
  • About The Vessel

    Aqua Mekong Luxury Cruise
    BUILT: 2014
    PORT OF EMBARKATION: My Tho (Vietnam), Phnom Penh (Cambodia) and Siem Reap (Cambodia)
    ENGINES: 2 New Caterpillars, Tier 3 Emission compliant
    VESSEL LENGTH: 62.4 meters / 205 feet
    TYPE OF VESSEL: River Expedition
    BEAM: 11.5 meters / 38 feet
    DRAFT: 1.5 meters / 5 feet
    CRUISING SPEED: 12 knots
    GENERATORS: 2 New Caterpillars, encapsulated for noise reduction
    ELECTRICITY: 220 volts
    WATER: Reverse osmosis and UV water treatment plant
    AC: Central air-conditioning throughout
    ACCOMMODATION: 40 passengers
    CREW: 40, including a cruise director and 4 English - speaking guides

    - Indoor and outdoor bars
    - Indoor and outdoor dining areas
    - Indoor and outdoor cinema
    - Lobby lounge and outside shaded lounge with day beds
    - Observation deck
    - Library / Games room
    - Gym
    - Spa
    - Boutique
    - Outdoor deck plunge pool measure 3.5m (w) x 5.17m (l) x 1m (d)

    INTERNET: Complimentary internet with intermittent connection.
    LAUNDRY: Complimentary service (no dry cleaning on board).
    BICYCLES: Ten bicycles are provided free of charge onboard, for passengers to explore independently on shore.
    LAUNCH BOATS: Four auxiliary aluminum launch boats each equipped with two four-stroke low emission engines; constant radio communication with the main vessel. Each boat has a capacity of 10 passengers.
  • About Cabins

    There are 20 Design Suites in total onboard accommodating maximum of 40 passengers.

    First Deck: 10 Design Suites each measuring 30 sqm / 322 sq. ft.; 4 with balcony and 6 without balcony.

    Second Deck: 10 Design Suites each measuring 30 sqm / 322 sq. ft.; 4 with balcony and 6 without balcony.

    Design Suites without balconies all have river facing panoramic windows that open and a 4m (13ft) long interior sofa that converts to a single bed.

    Design Suites with balconies all have panoramic windows, sliding glass door and an exterior daybed.

    All suites are air conditioned, with en-suite bathroom.

    Four sets of two interconnecting suites are suitable for families, two sets on each deck.

    California king size bed that can be converted to twins, floor to ceiling river facing windows, large double closets, chest of drawers, password generated security box, iPod docking station, dual sink bathroom with walk-in shower and rainforest showerhead, professional hairdryer, and all-organic natural hair and bath amenities.

    Single Twin Size Bed: 1.05m (w) x 2m (l)
    California King Size Bed: 2.1m (w) x 2m (l)
  • FAQs

    Should I buy travel insurance for my trip to Vietnam and Cambodia?
    We strongly advise travelers to purchase trip cancellation insurance, which will reimburse the cost of air tickets and other non-refundable trip payments. International medical, baggage loss, and delay insurance are also recommended. If you miss the vessel because of a weather-related flight delay or cancellation, Aqua Expeditions will not reimburse the cost of the reservation, since flight delays and cancellations are beyond our control and we must comply with our schedules.

    If the Aqua Mekong is not able to sail (i.e. due to force majeure or mechanical failure), Aqua Expeditions reserves the right to substitute another vessel. If the travelers do not take this option, Aqua Expeditions reserves the right to cancel the trip upon a refund pro rata per cruise night not used or, as an alternative, will offer credit toward a future Aqua Mekong cruise.

    When will I receive my Mekong River Cruise confirmation documents?
    You will receive an email confirmation 90 days prior to the start date for your cruise. Your travel confirmation and Mekong cruise ticket be sent to you following your final payment. We ask that you read these terms and conditions prior to arrival.

    How old do you have to be to cruise on the Aqua Mekong?
    The minimum age to travel on the Aqua Mekong is seven. Passengers must be at least 18 years of age to travel without their parents or guardians. If any occupant in the cabin is under 18, then a passenger at least 25 years old must be booked in the cabin with them. The only exception is that children under age 18 may be allowed to have their own cabin if they are in a connected suite shared by their parents or guardians.

    Does Aqua Mekong Luxury River Cruise welcome families with children?
    Yes, Aqua Mekong Luxury River Cruise welcomes families with children, age seven or older. Four of the suites are interconnected to cater for families. An accommodation for one child or additional adult is available. The naturalist guides are very comfortable working with kids and all of our staff will provide the necessary care for your family.

    Does Aqua Mekong Luxury River Cruise need a minimum number of passengers to guarantee a departure date?
    No, all of the departures are guaranteed. You can find the fixed departures on our website.

    What should I pack on my Mekong River Cruise?
    Life is casual aboard the Aqua Mekong. Bring comfortable walking shoes and lightweight long pants for our nature excursions and for the Buddhist temple excursions, women will need to cover their shoulders and knees. We also recommend a wide-brimmed hat, sunscreen, bathing suit, extra socks, mosquito repellant with DEET, and of course, your camera, with charger and extra batteries. During meals in the dining room guests are required to wear casual clothing and shoes. We recommend taking comfortable walking shoes for excursions on shore. The cruise provide waterproof ponchos with hoods to protect against rain. There will be hairdryers available in every suite.

    How much luggage can I bring? Are there porters available at the airport and the pier?
    The cruise allows you to bring as much luggage as you like, but suggest the use of soft suitcases/bags for easy storage. How much you bring, however, may be determined by the airlines, which have limits on both checked and carry-on baggage. Most domestic and international carriers have a limit of around 20KG per passenger. Porters are available at all the embarkation points, airport and piers. They will make sure that your bags arrive at the Aqua Mekong embarkation point. As soon as you have identified your luggage, the porters will take your suitcases to your suite.

    Will the shore excursions be physically challenging?
    A shore excursion can be anything from a tour of a bustling city to a chance to experience rural Mekong River life to bird watching within a flooded forest or an audience with a learned Buddhist monk. Some excursions do involve considerable walking, but most travelers who are reasonably fit will have no trouble participating in every excursion.

    Are there any planned indoor activities onboard the Aqua Mekong?
    Yes, the cruise has a cooking class specially conducted by the Chefs for all the guests. The Chefs will demonstrate two well-known traditional Cambodian or Vietnamese dishes, concluding the session with a fruit carving demonstration. The dishes that will be demonstrated are rotated, dependent on the voyage and location of the cruise, eg Cambodia or Vietnam.

    Do all suites include a Mekong River view?
    Yes. All suites aboard the Aqua Mekong have outward-facing, floor to ceiling panoramic windows, giving every cabin a river view. Each suite also has an either an outside balcony or interior day bed for enjoying our eye level cruising from the privacy of your Design Suite.

    Is there any difference between the lower and upper-deck suites?
    Dimensions and all features are exactly the same for both decks. Differences in suites exist only between those with balconies and those without balconies.

    Do you have cell, satellite connection or Internet connectivity on board?
    The Aqua Mekong is equipped with Internet service with intermittent connection. For cellular phone service, you may need to activate an international roaming service with your carrier and remember that you may be navigating in both Cambodia and Vietnam. If you need to contact your home or office for any emergency, the Aqua Mekong is equipped with a satellite phone. The cost of your call can be paid directly on board. We will inform you, prior to calling, of the current price of an international call.

    Outgoing calls via the satellite phone are charged at 1.20 USD per minute. These charges will be added onto your overall bill at the end of your cruise. Please note that charges also apply to the receiver of your call made from a satellite telephone.

    We strongly advise you to make your outgoing calls via their personal mobile phones, especially for purposes that does not require your immediate attention. The best option is to wait till the cruise has arrived at a location with a better mobile coverage and/or WiFi connection. This does not incur as much costs and gives you accessibility to make private calls anywhere in the boat.

    Do you have laundry services on board?
    Yes we have laundry service on board and the service is included in the price.

    Can we drink the water aboard the Aqua Mekong?
    When you board the Aqua Mekong, you will be supplied with a complimentary water bottle that is yours to keep. Water refill stations are available throughout the vessel. We recommend that you should not drink the water from the faucet while on board.

    Is motion sickness ever a problem?
    Not typically. The Mekong River is fairly calm, with some gentle waves.

    How do I pay for purchases on board?
    You will be asked to sign for every alcoholic drink at the time you order it. Please keep track of your consumption of alcoholic beverages in order to avoid any confusion at the end of the cruise. You can settle your bar bill, as well as pay for spa treatments and any purchases from the boutique, either in U.S. dollars or by Visa, American Express or MasterCard.

    What about tipping?
    The quality of service should determine the amount of any tip. The cruise onboard information booklet offers a recommended amount range per passenger per day for the crew (to be divided among all the crew members) and a range per passenger per day for the guides.

    Are there smoking areas on the vessel?
    Smoking is forbidden anywhere inside the Aqua Mekong and on the cabin balconies. Smoking is allowed only at the outside lounge and on the observation deck. If you want to smoke in the outside lounge, please ask the bartender for an ashtray. Please never throw your cigarette stubs or ash into the water.

    What is the time zone in Vietnam and Cambodia?
    The time in Vietnam and Cambodia is 14 hours ahead of Pacific Time and 17 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time in the United States.

    What currency is used in Vietnam and Cambodia?
    The dong is the official currency of Vietnam. One U.S. dollar equals about 20,000 dong. The Riel is the official currency of Cambodia. One U.S. dollar equals about 4,000 riel. However, most goods and services are priced here in US dollars, which are widely accepted.
  • VISA for Cambodia and Vietnam

    1. Cruising from CAMBODIA to VIETNAM

    Cambodia Visa
    Option 1 (recommended): Apply for E-visa at https://www.evisa.gov.kh/
    A PRINTED copy of your e-visa must be presented at the airport upon arrival.
    Option 2: Apply for Visa on Arrival at Phnom Penh or Siem Reap airport. Please bring along a passport size photograph.
    Option 3: Obtain visa at the Cambodia embassy in your home country.

    Vietnam Visa
    You must obtain your visa at the Vietnam embassy of your home country. Physical visa must be in your passport prior to boarding the Aqua Mekong. Important: E-visa and visa on arrival is NOT valid for crossing border via waterways.

    2. Cruising from VIETNAM to CAMBODIA

    Vietnam Visa
    Option 1 (recommended): Apply for the visa pre-approval letter at http://www.vietnamvisacorp.com/ which will be sent to your email after 2 working days. When you arrive at your first airport of entry into Vietnam, proceed to the visa counter to obtain your visa. Printed pre-approval letter must be presented, together with a passport photo and US$45 cash for single entry visa.Note: Emergency service (approval within 4 hours) is available.

    Option 2: Obtain visa at a Vietnam embassy in your home country.

    Cambodia Visa
    Option 1: Obtain visa at a Cambodia embassy of your home country. Physical visa must be placed inside your passport.
    Option 2: Aqua Expeditions will process the Cambodia single entry tourist visa for you on-board. Please bring along a passport size photograph. A US$40 fee will apply, paid in cash or charged to your account on the Aqua Mekong.
    Important: E-visa and visa on arrival is NOT valid for crossing border via waterways.
  • How to Get to the Departure Point

    - The departure point is Ho Chi Minh
    - Major commercial flights provide convenient access to Ho Chi Minh

    Enjoy a hassle free, seamless transfer to your luxury travel. Private road & charter flight transfers can be arranged. Contact us for your bespoke transfer arrangements.

    General Cancelation Policy
    - Cancellation outside 120 (or more) days prior to departure, the deposit will be refunded, less a US $300 service charge per person.
    - Cancellation 91 - 119 days prior to departure will forfeit the deposit
    - Within 90 days (including 90 days) prior to departure will forfeit 100% of total payment
    - No shows or premature departures will incur 100% total payment

    We strongly recommend guests protect themselves with travel insurance.

    Please Note:  Cancellations must be advised in email and will take effect from the date they are received by the tour operators. In the unlikely event of aircraft unserviceability, it may be necessary to substitute aircraft to maintain the advertised itinerary. The third party tour operator reserves the right to utilise any type of twin-piston, or single-turbine aircraft. At all times aircraft used are certified to meet the strict conditions laid down by Australia’s civil aviation safety authority (CASA). The Outback Jet is the primary aircraft. In the event of maintenance it may be unavailable. At all times an aircraft of similar standard will be selected. Where possible this will be made clear prior to departure.

    Child Policy
    Seven year age minimum on all departures
    Child under 12 years old will receive a 20% discount
    Third person sleeping on sofa bed will receive a 20% discount
    Third person being a child under 12 years old sleeping on sofa bed pays US $500 per night

    Pre-Existing Medical Conditions and Age Limits
    You need to advise the tour operator on any pre-existing medical condition, mobility impairment and/or disability that might reasonably be expected to increase the risk of your requiring medical attention, or that might affect the normal conduct of a trip and the enjoyment of other trip members. The tour operator may require an assessment of your medical condition from a qualified medical practitioner. If you fail to adequately notify the tour operator of any pre-existing medical conditions and/or disability, the tour operator reserves the right, at its reasonable discretion, to cancel your participation in a trip at any time, including after the commencement of your trip, with no right of refund if your medical condition, mobility impairment and/or disability could be reasonably expected to affect the normal conduct of the trip and the enjoyment of other trip members.

    Force Majeure
    'Force Majeure' means (without restriction) any event which OCT4 Pty Ltd trading as Onlyluxe.club or its third party providers could not, even with due care, foresee or avoid. Force Majeure covers events such as, but not limited to, adverse weather conditions, fire and all similar events beyond our control. In the case of Force Majeure OCT4 Pty Ltd will not accept liability, and reserves the right to change and cancel trips.

    Taxes/Service Charges
    The hotel reserves the right to adjust rates agreed within the contract period in the event of tax alterations imposed by the Federal or State governments.

    Travel Insurance
    We STRONGLY recommend that all guests obtain travel insurance including a cancellation policy and emergency medical care.
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