Mekong Jewel, which has been touted as one of the ‘Superships that will ply the Mekong River between Cambodia and Vietnam, has started its operations
The launching of Mekong Jewel, which is owned by the US cruise line Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection, was held on Jan 3.
Mekong Jewel is one of the four brand-new cruise ships that Uniworld will launch this year.
SS La Venezia, from northern Italy, will start operations in March 2020, while SS Sao Gabriel, which currently plies the Duoro River in Portugal, is scheduled to be launched a month later.
SS Sphinx was originally scheduled to begin ferrying passengers in the Nile River in Egypt today, but a fire on board in late November made the rescheduling of its launching. It will now be put into operation on Sept 26, 2020.
A few months ago, Uniworld chief executive editor, Ellen Bettridge was quoted as saying that their ships are unique and reflects that destinations they serve, referring to Italy, Egypt, Portugal, Cambodia and Vietnam.
Mekong Jewel is about 80 metres long and 13 metres wide. The ship was built by Damen Song Cam Shipyard. It can carry 68 passengers and 44 crew.
The official website of Uniworld mentions that among its state-of-the-art facilities are suite accommodation, restaurant, top-deck swimming pool, spa, sauna, gym, al fresco eatery, library and two lounges.
The ship has the distinction of being built from sustainable and eco-friendly materials, a rarity in the shipping industry.
According to published itineraries, the ship, on every trip, will run for 13 days between Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam and Siem Reap in Cambodia. During those trips, according to Uniworld, guests will have the opportunity to visit well-known tourist destinations like Angkor Wat and Wat Hanchey.
The vessel will also have stops in some river towns/cities in Vietnam like Sa Dec, My Tho, Vinh Long, Cai Be and Cu Lao Gieng Island.
The launching of Mekong Jewel has been described the World of Cruising as among the “Best New Ships Launching in 2020”. The list also includes such famous names as Carnival Cruise Line, American Cruise Lines and Royal Caribbean.
Mekong Jewel replaced its sister ship, Mekong Navigator, which has been operating in the same area since 2017.