Aqua Expeditions was created by Francesco Galli-Zugaro, now a resident of Singapore, to provide ultra-luxurious small ship cruises on the Amazon River. His first ship, the M/V Aqua immediately began to sell out, as word spread about the possibility to enjoy supremely luxurious accommodations and fine dining while exploring remote areas of the Amazon River. Galli-Zugaro also searched to find guides who knew every corner of the Amazon jungle—most had grown up there—providing a powerful travel and educational experience for his guests. His success was so great that almost immediately he began construction on a second boat, the M/V Aria, while also sails the Amazon. Demand from satisfied passengers who wanted the same luxury in other destinations led to the creation of the M/V Aqua Mekong. It is both a business success story and a great opportunity for travelers to explore far-flung destinations in ultimate comfort.
Our Mekong River cruise rates include all meals, soft drinks, and wine with meals, design suite accommodation, excursions with knowledgeable local guides, onboard lectures, and evening entertainment. We will provide transportation from/to the vessel from our rendezvous point. Breakfast will be available on your last day and is included in the rate. One great advantage of our “all inclusive” rates is that you will know in advance exactly how much your Southeast Asia vacation will cost. Your only extra expenses will be airfare, cocktails, boutique purchases, and gratuities.
It is better to book early, especially if your travel dates are not flexible. Most people book their Mekong River Cruise in Vietnam and Cambodia as much as 10-18 months in advance. This is because the M/V Aqua Mekong has lower capacity than a regular cruise ship or lodge, and we are already experiencing high booking demand.
You will receive an email confirmation 90 days prior to the start date for your cruise. Your ticket will be provided at the time of embarkation. Please be sure to read the terms and conditions attached to the ticket.
Travelers on the M/V Aqua Mekong are strongly advised 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. Unfortunately, if you miss the vessel because of a weather-related flight cancellation, we will not reimburse the cost of the reservation, since flight cancellations are beyond our control and we have to comply with our schedules. If the M/V 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 cruise.
Passengers must be at least 21 years of age to travel without their parents or guardians, and the minimum age to travel on the M/V Aqua is seven. If any occupant in the cabin is under 21, then a passenger at least 25 years old must be booked in the cabin with them. The only exception is that children under age 21 may be allowed to have their own cabin if they are in a connected suite shared by their parents or guardians.
Yes, we welcome families with children, as long as they are age seven or older. Four of our suites are interconnected to cater for families. An accommodation for one child or additional adult is available. Our naturalist guides are very friendly with kids and all of our staff will provide the necessary care for your family.
No, all of our departures are guaranteed. You can find the chart of our fixed departures on our website under the Cruise Dates and Rates section.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that you check with your physician before you leave home. You may need to take anti-malaria drugs before you go
Life is casual aboard the M/V Aqua Mekong. Bring comfortable walking shoes, light-weight long pants and long-sleeved tops for excursions, 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 we ask our guests to wear casual clothing and shoes. We recommend taking comfortable walking shoes for excursions on shore. We also provide waterproof ponchos with hoods to protect against rain. There will be hairdryers available in every suite. Our vessel has 220-volt outlets in the staterooms so you should be able to use your shaver with a converter if necessary.
We allow 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 20KG per passenger. Porters are available at all our embarkation points, airport and piers. They will make sure that your bags arrive at the M/V Aqua embarkation point. As soon as you have identified your luggage, porters will take your suitcases to your suite.
Aqua Expeditions has identified different ways to assist the local villages we visit. Please focus your efforts on supporting our initiatives which will be explained to you once onboard.
A shore excursion can be anything from a tour of a bustling major city to a chance to experience rural life along the Mekong River. The excursions do involve considerable walking, but most travelers who are reasonably fit will have no trouble participating in every excursion.
Unfortunately, you cannot. For safety reasons, passengers are required to be with one of our guides whenever they are on land.
A Design Suite will be assigned to you when we confirm your reservation. All suites are described and numbered in our Deck Plan document. You may request a specific suite depending on your preference and we will assign it if available. In order to ensure the optimum safety and comfort of all our passengers, we allow a maximum of three people in each suite.
Yes, all suites have outward-facing panoramic windows, giving every cabin a river view. Each suite also has an outside terrace with day bed and seating area. The dawn light will awaken you in the mornings, and you can see what the weather is like without leaving your suite.
Dimensions and all features are exactly the same for both decks.
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. We also have wireless internet service onboard and throughout the vessel. For cellular phone contact you may need to activate International roaming service with your carrier and remember that you will be navigating in both Cambodia and Vietnam.
Yes we have laundry service on board.
We have a paramedic on board at all times, plus first-aid trained staff can handle minor scrapes, bites or sprains. There are no handicapped facilities.
Once all the passengers have boarded, the crew will conduct a mandatory safety drill. Please be sure to check exactly where the life vests are located in your cabin. Memorize your way to the deck in case an emergency should arise. Consult your Cruise Director or Guide regarding any questions you may have. Life vests are provided for use while onboard the skiffs and you are required to wear them. Always hold the guide or crew member’s hand while embarking or disembarking, since the boat ladder and deck may be wet and slippery. It is important for us to verify that all our passengers are on board prior to departure. There is a check list in the reception area that you must sign upon returning from every visit.
Vietnam and Cambodia are well known for their friendly, hospitable people. However, when traveling in large cities, visitors should be cautious about pickpockets and street crime, as they would be anywhere in the world. Keep your belongings close (don’t keep valuables in a backpack) and avoid wearing flashy or expensive jewelry.
Yes. All cabins have safe deposit boxes for their use.
You should not drink the water from the faucet while on board. When you board the vessel, you will be supplied with a complimentary water bottle which is yours to keep. Water refill stations are available throughout the vessel.
Not typically. The Mekong River is typically fairly calm, with some waves.
You will be asked to sign for every 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 pay your bar bill, as well as for any purchases in the boutique, either in U.S. dollars or with Visa, American Express or MasterCard.
We are often asked what gratuity is appropriate for guides and crew, and our response is that the quality of service should determine the amount of any tip. Once onboard we will recommend an 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.
Smoking is forbidden inside the M/V Aqua. It is allowed only in 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.
You must be at least 18 years old to legally consume beer, wine, and other alcoholic beverages on the M/V Aqua.
If you have special dietary requests, you need to inform Aqua Expeditions 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.
This is rarely a problem. However, if you wish to move to another table, please speak with the Maitre d' or Cruise Director. They will make every effort to seat you with more compatible dining companions...discretely and politely. Room service is not available, but will be provided in the event of passenger illness.
Please contact the Cruise Director.
The time in Vietnam and Cambodia is 14 hours ahead of Pacific and 17 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time in the United States.
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.