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Trails of Indochina joins with Heritage Lines to create upscale cruising benchmark with launch of luxury Mekong riverboat in 2009

Heralding what it describes as a new era for first-class cruise travel in Indochina, Trails of Indochina has today revealed details of what, when operational, will represent one of the most luxurious boutique cruise vessels ever seen in the region – the MV Jayavarman.

Operated by Ho Chi Minh-based Heritage Lines and part of a project estimated in excess of  USD 4 million, the 58-metre deluxe river boat has been conceived in what the company describes as a fusion of traditional eastern shipbuilding craft and avant-garde French colonial design overlayed with state of the art technology.

The MV Jayavarman will make its maiden voyage sailing the Mekong River from Ho Chi Minh via Phnom Penh to Siem Reap, the jump off point for Angkor Wat, in mid-July 2009.

Easily boasting the most spacious cabins of any vessel currently plying the Mekong, each of the MV Jayavarman’s 27 staterooms comes complete with private balcony.

Accommodation ranges from two ‘Bao Daop’ Royal Hue themed junior suites (26m sq) to 11 Deluxe standard ‘Indochina-style’ cabins (24m sq) and 14 Superior standard (21m sq), each of which will be themed individually.
The ship’s spacious facilities also include a spa, a spacious restaurant serving eastern and western cuisine, two expansive lounges, a shop and a library spread over 800 square metres on a total five decks.

Heritage Line Managing Director, Thomas Peter said while great pains had been gone to ensure the MV Jayavarman would deliver the highest levels of service, the same process had also gone into the selection of the vessel’s 38-strong handpicked local and internationally recruited management team.

Following her maiden voyage MV Jayavarman will commence operation of a medley of Mekong Delta cruise itineraries structured over two, three, four, five and eight days.

These include an eight-day ‘The lost civilization’ itinerary from Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap, a five day ‘Serenity cruise’ linking Phnom Penh with Siem Reap and a four-day ‘Pearl   of the Orient’ program offering passage between Ho Chi Minh City and Phnom Penh.

Mr Peter said all of the itineraries have been created to offer MV Jayavarman’s passengers with an extraordinary opportunity to fully immerse themselves in the delta’s unique environment with several ‘hands-on’ cultural activities.

These include visits to floating markets, bicycle rides to remote villages and fishing communities and getting involved with local humanitarian projects.

Passengers can even attend a cooking school run by a Vietnamese family.

“This cruise is unique in the sense that our guests are given the chance of experience both pure luxury on-board as well as chance to be a part of the local culture,” he said.

“It is the experience and interaction with locals that will be unforgettable.”

MV Jayavarman is the first of two vessels the company plans to have operating between Ho Chi Minh City and Siem Reap by 2010.

Tag: WRDC,Al Gharbia,Abu Dhabi

Theo – Hotels, Infrastructure, middle east

WRDC announces two new hotels for
Al Gharbia
New projects are a significant step towards the development of the region

The Western Region Development Council (WRDC) – the central co-coordinating body leading development and promoting opportunity in Al Gharbia, the Western Region of Abu Dhabi – today announced the development of two new hotel projects in Madinat Zayed, Al Gharbia. This announcement is a key milestone achieved by WRDC in partnership with local investors and a move that the council believes will trigger a wave of economic development in the region.
WRDC facilitated the development of the projects by extending their local expertise, knowledge and by identifying and analyzing the business opportunities to assist their strategic partners. WRDC will officially hand over the land to the investors on Tuesday this week and will extend its role as a facilitator until the completion and delivery of the projects.
In line with WRDC’s strategic plan and Al Gharbia’s development plan, the large size of the two upcoming developments will provide the local residents with access to local recreational facilities and activities and provide them with further employment opportunities. The new hotels also hope to attract even more visitors to the region.
The first hotel – being developed by a local investor from the region – plans to have 84 double rooms within 6 wings spread across 50,000 sqm and will be situated in Madinat Zayed. The second hotel will be situated in the south of Madinat Zayed and will be owned by Al Dhafra Co-op Society, which was formed to serve the local communities in Al Gharbia.
Both the upcoming hotels will be managed by a specialised operator.
H.E. Mohamed Hamad Bin Azzan Al Mazrouei, Director General of WRDC, said “We are glad to announce these new hotels planned for Al Gharbia – as they are significant steps towards the development of our region. It is WRDC’s responsibility to promote and facilitate development in the region. These new hotels will trigger and support the economic boom by creating job opportunities and providing investors and tourists with a place to stay whilst they are visiting Al Gharbia.”
“The initial studies of these projects identified a positive and rewarding result of such projects on the local community. We want our residents to be self-sufficient and we endeavor to make Al Gharbia an ideal destination to live, work, visit and relax, said H.E. Mohamed Hamad Bin Azzan Al Mazrouei. ”

He added, “I would like to take this opportunity to thank His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE President and Ruler of Abu Dhabi and His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and Chairman of the Executive Council for their continuous support towards Al Gharbia. Our partners; the Urban Planning Council and the Western Region Municipality, who helped facilitated the realization of these projects.  Their support and cooperation coupled with our commitment has been highly instrumental to the success that we have achieved today.”
The planned projects will promote sustainability, provide entertainment and employment opportunities for residents, provide an ideal place to host and sponsor various social events, cater to the demand for hotel rooms in Madinat Zayed and will open up opportunities for small and medium projects.
WRDC acts as a partner and guide to developers, businesses and investors interested in developing and investing in the future of Al Gharbia. The council works hand in hand with its government and business partners to ensure a fast and efficient approval process for plans and project proposals planned for the region.
Al Gharbia, the Western Region of Abu Dhabi comprises of seven cities and Madinat Zayed is the administrative capital of the region and is well known for its history, culture and heritage.

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