Sales booming for Wendy Wu Tours’ Victoria Mekong

LATTE chats with WWT's Global Sales Director John Warr

Earlier this year, Wendy Wu Tours revealed a move into the river cruising market in Southeast Asia, with the company now finalising preparation for the debut a new four-star boutique ship, Victoria Mekong. Featuring just 33 cabins, all with private balconies, Victoria Mekong will offer a new experience for the deluxe cruise segment, starting next month.

The hardware will be complemented by a collection of curated group tours in 2020 on three- and four-night sailings between Vietnam’s Mekong Delta and Cambodia’s iconic Phnom Penh.

LATTE discussed Victoria Mekong with Wendy Wu Tours’ Global Sales Director John Warr, to get a better picture of how sales have gone throughout 2019 and where the vessel will be positioned in the market.

John Warr, Wendy Wu Tours Global Sales Director

 John, why was it important for Wendy Wu Tours to enter the charter cruising space in SE Asia?

Following the growing success of our Southeast Asia group tours, bespoke Tailor-Made holidays and our portfolio of cruise extensions, launching our own river cruise vessel on the Mekong River was clearly the next step for us in order to increase our presence in the retion.

How has the market responded to the program’s release in December?

Really well. As Victoria Mekong is unique we’ve seen an encouraging spike in sales since we launched our new Mekong programs this year and are expecting strong occupancy in 2020. We have an extensive sales and marketing campaign to support Victoria Mekong over the coming months.

What is the vision for 2020? 

Our vision with Victoria Mekong is undoubtedly to become the benchmark for 4-star cruising in the Mekong. We are in the fortunate position of having a product offering in Victoria Mekong that is, conceptually, extremely unique as in addition to its state-of-the-art design and contemporary interiors. Victoria Mekong is the ‘greenest’ and most environmentally friendly river cruise vessel on the Mekong River. Everything from its advanced water purification system and its dependency on solar powered hot water to its anti-plastic ethos has been carefully crafted with the environment firmly at its heart. It literally is a game-changer in river cruising.

Can you tell us more about the Victoria Mekong? What are some of the ships characteristics and cabin/suite sizes?

Victoria Mekong is a welcome addition to our portfolio, giving us the advantage of being able to craft our Mekong offering to offer a range of unique and distinctive touring itineraries, giving passengers the opportunity to explore more off the beaten track with unique offshore excursions. The ship features modern contemporary design, spacious accommodation and a superior level of service. Cabin size is bigger (from 25m²) than the normal standard cabin size (starting from 16m²) on most other river cruises and the suite size is 45m². Facilities include a lounge bar, cocktail bar with pool and sundeck, massage room, gym and restaurant with open-kitchen.

What are some of the features of the two VIP suites on board the ship?

A private balcony with 180 degrees view and a bathtub (rather than just a shower as per the other cabins).

What ports will the Victoria Mekong visit on its sailings between the Mekong Delta and Phnom Penh?

Passengers will embark at the port of Can Tho, visiting Tiger Island, Vam Nao on the Cambodian border and the famed silk town of Tan Chau.

Is Southeast Asia just the start of Wendy Wu Tours’ cruise charter operation? Can we expect other charter vessels for programs such as the Mekong and Irrawaddy in the future?

We would love for the Victoria Mekong to be just the beginning for our Asia river cruises program, with plans to venture into China and India.

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