An Exclusive First Look at Mekong Jewel Sailing the Rivers of Vietnam and Cambodia

Courtesy Uniworld

Grand staircases and large rooms are just the beginning.

Cruise lines are always looking for ways to stand out in the market, from unique accommodations to itineraries that include stops in the North Pole. But Uniworld is making its mark by launching the most luxurious ship on the Mekong River. And we got a first look inside.

Interior of the Grande Suite bedroom on board the Mekong Jewel
Trung Nguyen/MF Pictures/Courtesy Uniworld 

The new S.S. Mekong Jewel is everything you'd expect from a five-star hotel, and it's just floating on the water. At 262 feet long, the ship is made of all suites with room to hold only 68 guests. This small number of passengers means larger rooms (the smallest is 339 square feet) and the highest staff-to-guest ratios on the Mekong.

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Interior of the Prestige Suite bathroom on board the Mekong Jewel
Trung Nguyen/MF Pictures/Courtesy Uniworld 

Each of the rooms features a stunning Southeast Asian-inspired design, and many have separate seating areas, double vanity bathrooms, panoramic windows, and even bathtubs with water views. Imagine soaking after a day of adventure as the jungle scenery passes by.

The sundeck and pool on board the Mekong Jewel
Trung Nguyen/MF Pictures/Courtesy Uniworld 

While you could easily stay in your room the entire time, the common areas are equally luxurious. The ship has four decks—the top Sun Deck, Orchid Deck, Lotus Deck, and lower Jasmine Deck—outfitted with lounge chairs, a pool, and indoor/outdoor dining options. In fact, there are two dining venues: one main restaurant and an alfresco eatery on the upper deck. And besides the pool on the Sun Deck, there's also a spa, sauna room, gym, hair salon, nail bar, two lounges, and a wood-paneled library spread among the other decks.

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The restaurant on board the Mekong Jewel
Courtesy Uniworld 

Builders paid just as much attention to the sustainable construction of the ship as the luxurious amenities included. It was made using eco-friendly materials, such as special paint used for the ship's hull, which creates less drag caused by bio-fueling. Specially designed ship propellors were used to increase performance and efficiency, energy-efficient LED light fixtures, automatic air conditioning controls to optimize cooling resources, and a water-cooled air-conditioning system that saves energy.

The ship itself is so stunning you almost forget about the incredible itinerary that comes along with it. Over 13 days, guests will travel from Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap, with visits to Phnom Penh, Angkor Wat, and more. It's truly a jewel of an experience.