Australian cruisers pouring into Asian rivers

Travel Indochina announced the biggest ever Asian boutique river cruise offering this week, saying Australians were pouring onto the region’s rivers in ever increasing numbers.

Bookings were reported 130 percent up on a branch of the business launched only three years ago.

The small boat specialist with 60 itineraries in 12 countries also announced a new partnership with Aqua Expeditions, the luxury small boat company which launched on the Amazon and intends to put a 20- foot, 40-passenger luxury ship on the Mekong in September.

David Thompson, the Australian Michelin-starred Bangkok based chef will be the Aqua Mekong’s executive chef.

Travel Indochina managing director Paul Hole also announced a new ship offering on the Ganges and maintained India river cruising was expanding.

He said it had “got off to a false start” with some companies offering ships that were “less than reliable”.

Ganges Voyager 1 will be launched in September as a tailored luxury vessel for a seven-night itinerary on the Hooghly River, a Ganges tributary.

On Myanmar, Mr Hole maintained his company “couldn’t keep up with demand.”

Mr Hole was launching the company’s 84-page Luxury Asia River Cruise Portfolio at Black by Ezard at The Star in Sydney.

“Having personally shared the experience of sailing on small boats along the Mekong, I am more resolute than ever to bring this style of travel to travellers,” he said.