(11:00 a.m. EDT) -- Avalon Waterways will add two Asia-based river vessels to its fleet in 2015. The ships -- Avalon Siem Reap and Avalon Myanmar -- will sail itineraries on the Mekong and Irrawaddy Rivers, respectively.
“Next year, we're introducing our Suite Ship design to travelers looking for a more exotic cruise experience in Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar,” Patrick Clark, managing director of Avalon Waterways, said in a statement.
According to a spokesperson for the line, the ships will be configured slightly differently from the Avalon suite ships currently in operation in Europe. Though they will incorporate the line's open-air balcony feature -- a sliding glass wall that opens almost entirely, converting cabins into an indoor-outdoor space -- they will carry fewer passengers.
Both will carry just 36-passengers in 18 cabins, with cabins measuring 245 square feet, "about 30 percent larger than average."
Avalon Siem Reap will replace Avalon Angkor, which currently sails itineraries for the line on the Mekong river. Notably, Siem Reap's design will allow it to traverse the entire route from Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam to Siem Reap in Cambodia, eliminating a seven hour coach trip currently needed at the end of the itinerary.
Avalon Siem Reap will launch in January 2015, and Avalon Myanmar will launch in September 2015.
--by Jamey Bergman, UK Production Editor