or more than ten years I've wondered why there are no small cruise ships operating in SE Asia. By small cruise ships I refer to vessels which carry one hundred or less passengers on five to seven day cruises. There are numerous tourist EVs (entertainment vessels) operating on the river in Bangkok providing day trips and dinner cruises as at other locations such as Singapore. Small cruise ships have been operating in the US and Europe for more than 150 years and new ships have recently been designed and built to supply a growing interest. So with the new "mass wealth" in Asian countries it seems only a matter of time before local people as well as Western tourists want to have the same experiences, be it a one day EV, entertainment, dining, off shore casinos, or several days cruising from Bangkok to, Sihanoukville, Saigon, Ha Long Bay, Singapore, Malacca, Penang, Langkawi, Phuket to Rangoon. The small cruise ship or mega-yacht can go places the larger ships cannot and give passengers and guests experiences much more interesting and enjoyable than the larger ships. They can come closer in shore, sail rivers and enter small ports where the big cruise ships cannot. Also being a smaller group of passengers there is a closer "personal bond" between guests and more personal attention compared to ships with several thousand passengers. Sometimes referred to as "expedition cruises" or "mega-yacht cruises", professional lecturers are often on board to give in depth cultural lectures on the locations visited. The vessels are often equipped with rubber boats, diving gear, jet skies, small sailboats and other beach toys. With much of the time spent at anchor at least one large solid passenger tender is available. These cruising vessels, regardless of flag state or operating location, must comply with all international safety requirements and regulations, be well built and well managed. Mega-yacht cruising in Asia:
W. Somerset Maugham coined it all beautifully in his books of Asia in the 1920s. In his short story Mable he starts, "I was at Pagan, in Burma, and from there I took the steamer to Mandalay". And in A Marriage of Convenience, he's on a steamer from Bangkok to Saigon, "We dropped down the river, broad and lazy and smiling and its green banks were dotted with little huts on piles standing on the water edge. We crossed the bar: and the open sea, blue and still, spread out before me. The look and smell of it filled me with elation."
Of course, the world and Asia in particular, has changed hugely since Somerset Maugham's time. air travel, air-conditioning and medicine to note a few, but the sights, sounds, scenery and varying cultures of Asia still have a huge appeal and many of the rivers, ports, beaches and islands have not been greatly explored by yachts and some not at all.
After five months research and ten years of speculation I've designed a 65m (214'), six-deck passenger vessel as a small cruise ship or EV for Southeast Asia. It could well be that within the next year or two we start to see this type of vessel cruising all year from Bangkok to, Koh Chang, Sihanoukville, Ho Chi Min City, Ha Long Bay, Singapore, Malacca, Penang, Langkawi, Phuket, Rangoon and the rivers and islands of Myanmar and Indonesia. Present Status:
It is early days but there seems to be a growing interest. During December 2012, the small cruise ship Aegean Odyssey (461 feet, 378 passengers) did a cruise from Bangkok to Ho Chi Minh City and Singapore. The ship has a draft of 6meters (20.5 feet) so is quite deep for some rivers and small harbours and at 11,500 tons much larger than a mega-yacht but perhaps it's only a question of time before the first serious mega-yacht cruise project starts in SE Asia. General Information: 65m Motor Vessel
These specifications are reduced in size from 120 pages to supply a simplified initial version, in conjunction with the attached General Arrangement (GA) drawing No. MV/65/GAV7 and profile plans, describe the proposed vessel, which is to be built and equipped as a modern steel passenger vessel for operation primarily SE Asia but also worldwide with the exception of areas requiring ice-strengthening and ice stability. The vessel is designed as a twin screw vessel with six decks: Tank deck, Lower deck, Main deck, Upper deck, Bridge deck & Sky deck and a cabin capacity for 100 Passengers. The upper continuous deck, (main deck) is the strength and primary weather deck and the lower deck is the freeboard deck. The lower deck extends from transom stern to stem. The vessel is offered in three versions:
Cruise ship for 100 passengers, entertainment Vessel (EV) for 450 passengers or as a private/charter yacht: Interior layout is based on modular construction so customization is available:
The vessel is to be built with double bottom in transverse watertight sections according to RINA class requirements from the forward engine room bulkhead to the aft bow-thruster room bulkhead. The double bottom will contain tanks for fuel oil and fresh water.
Below the lower deck, the vessel is to be divided into transverse sections according to GA V7 containing:
- aft peak, DB tanks for diesel fuel, tanks for FW and ballast tanks;
- the engine room with tanks for waste oil, drain oil and emergency escape;
- engine workshop with sewage tank plant installed;
- void spaces
- bow-thruster and pump room
- forepeak tanks
Between main deck and lower deck: transverse sections according to GA V7 On main deck: according to GA V7 Forecastle deck arranged with mast, anchor winch, bollards, hawses, hatch to below forecastle. The deckhouse is to have four levels as follows: Main deck – "D"
as GA V7, Containing: main shipboard entrances port & stb, reception area, passenger & service lifts & stairways, main deck passenger cabins including two x Commodore Class double cabins fwd, purser's office, outdoor resting area aft, toilets, side decks port & stb foredeck with anchor windlasses. Upper deck- "C"
as GA V7 Containing: main restaurant fwd with seating for 100 guests, main galley, passenger & service lifts & stairways, children's play area, beauty & hair salon, aft Saloon lounge, dance & bar area, outdoor resting zone, toilets, saloon & restaurant full width of vessel. Bridge deck "B"
as GAV7. Containing: wheel house, captain's cabin & office, passenger & service lifts & stairways, toilets, shop, business centre & computer room, reading room & library, cafeteria & second galley, lounge area, crew's day mess,& outdoor rest area. Sky deck "A"
as per GAV7 containing: Funnel with lift and engine room exhausts & ventilation. Passenger & service lifts & stairway, sun deck aft with sun pads & stairways, awning covered bar & dining area. Below the main deck: Lower deck "E"
as per GA V7 containing passenger cabins, stairway & Passenger lift, service lift, crew quarters and galley, store rooms, air- con & ventilation plant, engine room upper with exhaust and ventilation system, crew companion ladders, aft water tight boat deck and passenger boat embarkation point, swim platform and relaxing area & stairway to main deck. Tank deck "F"
as per GAV7 containing: engine room, fuel & water tanks, pumps room, workshop, stabilizers, passenger lift & stairway, service lift & exercise room, ship's cinema, sick bay and medical room, deep freezers, store & provision rooms, duty free store, ship laundry and stores room & crew companion ladders. Propulsion Engines: 2
x Caterpillar 3516B, C rating of 1492 kW (2,000 HP) and reversible reduction gear box connected to propeller shaft with fixed propellers, final rating of engines, according to design speed and range. Main Particulars
Length over all 213.91 feet 65.219m
Tanks & Capacities
Length between perpendiculars 60.152m
Breadth moulded 12.721m
Breadth on fender 13.272m
Depth to main deck moulded 7.193m
Depth to 'tween deck moulded 4.596m
Construction draft 3.559m
Design draft, summer load line 3.559m
Design Displacement: 1,485 Tons
Air Draft: 23.021m
Fuel Oil: 100,000 Litres (85.36 tons)
Ballast Water: 135,570 Litres (138.95 tons)
Fresh Water: 50,000 Litres (50 Tons) + Water makers
Grey water Tanks: 25,000 Litres (25 tons)
Black water tanks: 25,000 Litres (25 tons)
Lube Oil New: 1,800 Litres
Lube Oil Old: 1,800 Litres Accommodation
Passengers - Maximum 100
Crew (vessel operation) 10
Hotel & Hospitality 25
Total number of persons 136 Displacement
Displacement in metric tons in seawater of specific gravity of 1.025 t/m³ approx. 1,485 tons at draft 3.75 m, subject to design. Power and Speed
Design service speed 12 knots, design range at service speed 6,300 nautical miles. Tonnage
The international tonnage is to be: subject to design
Gross tonnage approx: 1,486 Gt. Rules, Regulations and Certificates Classification and Notation
The vessel and its machinery are to be built under RINA rules and regulations for the classification of Commercial Passenger vessels. National Rules
The vessel is to be built to comply with the regulations and requirements of ....................registered vessels in accordance with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) "Code of Practice for safety of large commercial sailing & motor vessels". Registration incl. certification for issue of national and trading certificates shall be at the expense of the Buyer. International Regulations
The vessel is to comply with the following regulations:
• International tonnage regulations
• International Load-line Convention
• MARPOL regulations
• COLREQ Safety equipment:
In accordance with RINA passenger ship requirements, vessels flag state, IMO, SOLAS, etc. Contact Info
Tel: +668 9748 2285. Fax: +66 38 238 110 Tel UK: +44 (0)
7833 162 474 e-mail:
In the US is the lovely 'The Spirit of Yorktown'
: www.usarivercruises.com/ship/travel-dynamics-international/yorktown/ 'Corinthian II'
: www.scheepvaartwest.be/Corinthian_II.html 'Spirit of Glacier Bay'
: www.icruise.com/ships/cruise-west-spirit-of-glacier-bay-cruise-itineraries.html www.icruise.com/ships/cruise-west-spirit-of-glacier-bay-cruise-itineraries.html 'Variety Voyager'
in the Mediterranean built 2011: www.cruiseco.com/Products/Small%20Ships/Variety%20Voyager/Variety%20Voyager.htm 'Island Sky'
in UK: www.noble-caledonia.co.uk/information/detail.asp?section=vesselspecificinfo&id=2&spid=76 "Clelia II"
: www.cruisetalkshow.com/id91.html "Le Levant"
: www.choosingcruising.co.uk/cruiseweb/ShpDetailsQuery.asp?client=choosing&nShp=322 M/v' Arethusa'
: Croatia: www.brodosplit.hr/Portals/17/Passenger Cruise Ship3.pdf MV "Sherakhan"
(Some details on "Expedition Cruises' can be found at www.expeditioncruising.com/2011/03/cruisecos-exclusive-smallship-cruising.html