By Francesco Galli Zugaro
This week we have been busy at the shipyard and were delighted to welcome a film crew from Luxury Cruising Japan, a popular TV show that covers the world’s finest cruise lines. This professional film crew is shooting the “behind the scenes” story of the building of the Aqua Mekong and will return in the Fall for our Aqua Mekong launch event to view and film the finished project.
I led the crew on a personal tour of the vessel, to show them exactly how the boat is being built – what the final layout will look like, where the machinery will be housed, the works! Here we are walking through the main deck of the ship which will house ten cabin accommodations.
We then witnessed the final moments of welding to close off the auxiliary engine space. Of course, I am sporting my Aqua Expedition’s construction gear – including a hard hat topped with a Go Pro camera so that we can also film the evolving progress of the construction of the Aqua Mekong cruiseship.
Below I am watching as the engineering team places the Aqua Mekong’s reverse osmosis water treatment plant in place. This has been imported from Holland, from Hatenboer Water, a company that produces the finest water treatment systems in the world. This system will ensure that we recycle our water efficiently, without causing any harm to the environment in the Mekong Delta.
Now we pass under the completed hull of the vessel. The white markers define the width of the hull’s draft. Although it may not look it, this is incredibly important as it shows that the boat can navigate in shallow waters with a draft of only five feet of water – crucial for year-round cruising on the Mekong River and in Tonle Sap Lake.
Next we pass a Tripyard Safety Supervisor checking on his block of the vessel as the final welding takes place overhead. Beautiful creative displays of the light and shadow between the decks!
We round out our tour comes with Luxury Cruising interviewing me about the whole construction process, right in front of the stern of the Aqua Mekong. If you look closely, you can see the Aqua Mekong logo starting to take shape on the left hand side of the hull. A very exciting moment!
Below you see the huge hydraulic lifts that will eventually be used to lift the Aqua Mekong as she takes her first dip in the water. We will show you how we get her into the Mekong River, and so one step closer to her maiden luxury River boat cruise, in another post!
And this is the backdrop to our Aqua Mekong construction project – an enormous oil rig support vessel is being built right next to us!
And finally, I am delighted to say that all of the welding on-board is now complete and so it’s full steam ahead with the interior fit-out. This is where the sophisticated design of this state-of-the-art ship really starts to take shape. Check back soon for more updates “from the shipyard”. I can’t wait to share it with you all!