Demand for more exotic river cruises has helped AmaWaterways more than double sales for the Mekong River in Cambodia and Vietnam in the past 18 months.

Managing director Stuart Perl said it is now the third-largest destination for AmaWaterways in the UK, behind the Rhine and Danube.

“It attracts customers who have done Europe and want something more adventurous but wouldn’t consider coming to these countries alone.”

AmaWaterways is one of five river cruise lines offering three and four-night cruises on the Mekong to agents attending Clia’s river cruise and destination forum in Ho Chi Minh City this week.

Perl said overall river cruise sales in the UK have doubled in the 18 months since the UK office opened in Guildford, and they are also working with twice as many agents. “We are now able to cater for their individual needs as we have got to know them.”

The UK makes up 5% of AmaWaterways’ total river cruise sales but Perl said that will double within four years. “The US books about six months ahead of us so we struggle with capacity. We need to educate clients to book earlier.”

AmaWaterways is launching river ships on the Rhine, Danube and Douro in 2019, and one more in 2020 to meet the growing demand.