Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Most of you know how much Ben and I love river cruising, and our personal favorite line is AMAWATERWAYS. We missed out on an opportunity to sail through Vietnam and Cambodia last year on an inaugural sailing of AMA’s La Marguerite. Well, this itinerary has become so popular that AMA recently announced plans for a second ship in the area, scheduled to launch in the summer of 2011. Who would have guessed?

The new ship, which has not yet been named, will be larger than the 92-passenger La Marguerite, which launched last September. The passenger load will increase to 124, and the cabin sizes will be generous: standard cabins at 226 square feet, ten junior suites at 290 square feet, and two suites at 452 square feet each. These compare very favorably with a Deluxe Ocean View cabin on the new Carnival Dream at 220 square feet and a Junior Suite on the Royal Caribbean Brilliance of the Seas with 339 including the 66-square-foot balcony, and an Emerald Princess Suite at 496 square feet including the 496-square-foot balcony.

Like her predecessor, the new ship will also sail through Vietnam and Cambodia, with stops in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Siem Reap (Angkor Wat) and Phnom Penh, Cambodia, as well as numerous local villages. According to our contacts at AMAWATERWAYS, La Marguerite is already almost entirely sold out for the peak season (September through March), a fact that prompted the order for the second ship.

“The Mekong is a magnificent river, ideal for river cruising for a number of reasons,” AMAWATERWAYS President Rudi Schreiner replied to us today. “The first advantage of the Mekong is its size. The river is huge, in most places almost a mile wide, so it has a whole lot of potential. The scenery is incredible, with many small villages, islands and temples. The other remarkable thing about the Mekong is that it includes three major cities. You have Ho Chi Minh City or Saigon, the metropolis of Vietnam; Phnom Penh, the capital and largest city of Cambodia, located on the river front with beautiful cafes and restaurants. And, then you have the fascinating town of Siem Reap, with the temples of Angkor."  He added, "It’s the perfect backdrop for river cruising.”

Sounds like a winner to us!  We are determined to make one of these sailings eventually. If you are interested, please email me in the field at the right, and with enough responses we’ll consider escorting a group in 2011 or 2012.

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