These few months have been really exciting for us at CF Mekong River cruises. It is low-season and we made every effort to spruce up our ships for the up-coming new season. We welcomed four members of the Croisi Europe technical team who helped in the electrical and mechanical maintenance of our vessels in June 2014. We also welcomed a group of tour operators and agencies on a marvelous familiarization trip on-board our newly refurbished Toum Tiou vessel.
In short, our vessels are ready to go. Enjoy Issue No. 2 of our CFM Beats newsletter.
CF Mekong River Cruises by Croisi Europe
One for posterity…the Croisi Europe technical team (in white) with their colleagues from CF Mekong River cruises (in brown)
Croisi Europe’s technical team gives us shot in the arm.
Four members of Croisi Europe’s technical team made a working visit to CF Mekong River cruises in June this year, transferring valuable international standard skills and knowledge to their local counterparts.
“The team worked on our engines, our generators and our electrical systems to ensure we raise the bar and adhere to the highest possible international standards, “said Naidah Yazdani, Asia Director.
“More importantly, the technical team passed on the skills and know-how to their local counterparts,” says Yazdani. “This way, our local human resources are developed and hopefully, many of the big technical jobs can be done by our local boys in the near future.”
Low Season:Time for refurbishment, renovation and restoration
Picture of newly renovated cabin in Toum Tiou
Toum Tiou: All spruced up and raring to go
Xavier Sladic flashes a wide, toothy smile like a proud dad showing off his newborn. “Come see the changes we’ve made to her,” the Croatian operations manager beams.
The “her” Sladic is referring to is the Toum Tiou vessel. During the low season of 2014, workmen painstakingly refurbished, renovated and repaired the Toum Tiou. New designs were added, each cabin was embellished with light coloured hand-woven mats on the walls, giving the cabins a bright airy feel. Each bathroom was fitted with a sparkling white lotus-shaped sink.
“Yes. We have added luxury and modernity to the boat,” says Sladic, pointing to custom-built lights on the cabin ceiling, “but we ensure that Toum Tiou remains obstinately Indochinese.”
The vessel make-up during the low season is part of the management’s grandiose maintenance and upgrading activities. “In fact, for all four of our vessels, we invest a lot of time and money in ensuring that our ships are in tip-top condition,” says Naidah Yazdani.
The British national has been the prime mover of the low season repairs and upgrade since helming the company six years ago.
Yazdani personally designs the changes, negotiates with contractors and together with Sladic, they oversee the refurbishment of the vessels. At times, new amenities and fixtures are added.
The shower rooms now boast of tasteful stone-tiled floors and large-drawers are placed beneath each bed, giving ample room for guests to place their luggage.
“We make sure that we remain charming yet we give passengers the comforts of an international cruise ship,” says Yazdani.
Agents and Operators awed by Toum Tiou
Agents posing on Indochine sundeck during the breakfast cruise
Toum Tiou hosts tour operators and agents
CF Mekong River cruises hosted six agencies and operators on an enjoyable familiarization trip on-board the Toum Tiou which cruised from Saigon to Phnom Penh (July 25-28, 2014).The passengers on the cruise were from Diethelm (Cambodia), Exotissimo (Phnom Penh), Canadian Bay Travel (Australia), Asia World (Bangkok) and Phoenix Voyages (Vietnam).
“It is imperative that our partners are able to experience the product that they are selling to their customers abroad,” said Naidah Yazdani.Rithy Bok, reservations manager of Diethelm (Cambodia) agrees. “I knew that the Toum Tiou was a unique vessel but I wasn’t aware that it was this cosy and intimate. I truly enjoyed the experience,” he said.
The excursions on board included a boat ride along the Cai Be Floating Market, to the Cham village in Chau Doc as well as a visit to the amazing coconut candy factory.
“Our excursions are special. Since our vessels are relatively small, we are able to navigate to the deeper parts of the two countries,” said Mehran Chinniah, Asia Sales Director of CF Mekong River cruises.
The travel professionals were pleased with the excursions which allow the passengers a glimpse into the “real” Cambodia and Vietnam.
A beaming Hans Went said, “The Toum Tiou is a very saleable product in the Australian market and the excursions offer wonderful experiences to the passengers.”
Upon arrival in Phnom Penh on July 28, the agents then adjourned to the Indochine for an inspection and they were joined by more than 20 Phnom Penh-based agents . A sumptious breakfast was served whilst the Indochine cruised around Phnom Penh.