Aqua Expeditions has announced the appointment of celebrated Australian culinary identity and Michelin-starred Chef, David Thompson as Executive Chef of the Aqua Mekong river cruise ship scheduled to launch on 30 September 2014.

Aqua Expeditions was the first adventure travel company to introduce 5-star luxury cruises to the Amazon River in Peru on Aqua Amazon and Aria Amazon.

Aqua Mekong will be the cruise operator’s first vessel in Asia, taking guests on a journey on the Mekong River, between Cambodia and Vietnam on a 7-Night Expedition Cruise, 4-Night Explorer Cruise and 3-Night Discovery Cruise.

David Thompson gained an outstanding reputation for innovation and creativity in cuisine excellence in Australia starting with Sydney restaurant, Darley Street Thai, which he opened in 1991 and was voted Best Thai Restaurant for eight consecutive years in The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide, before going onto continued success with Sailors’ Thai in Sydney’s The Rocks, which opened in 1995.

Next came Nahm London where, in 2002, Thompson secured the first-ever Michelin star awarded for Thai cuisine. Two years later, he moved to Bangkok and in September 2010 opened the renowned Nahm Bangkok, recognised in 2012 and 2013 among the 'World's 50 Best Restaurants' by Restaurant Magazine UK.

Aqua Expeditions CEO and Founder, Francesco Galli Zugaro said, in announcing David Thompson’s appointment, he was “determined to identify the very best and most creative Chef in the region for my second river destination,” to continue the acclaimed culinary excellence being achieved by Pedro Miguel Schiaffino, Executive Chef of Aqua Amazon and Aria Amazon.

"As Asia's top ranked chef on 'San Pellegrino World's 50 Best Restaurants,' David is the perfect fit for the exclusive Aqua Mekong, because his unique culinary experience and first-hand knowledge of Asian ingredients and palates will enable us to provide guests with the authentic experience they expect from an Aqua Expeditions cruise,” Francesco Galli Zugaro said.

With a reputation for first-class cuisine influenced by Southeast Asia, Thompson will create an exclusive menu for Aqua Mekong guests, combining the culinary traditions of Mekong River culture with the freshest local ingredients plucked from the markets of Ho Chi Minh City, Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.

"Working with Aqua Mekong will be an exciting challenge and the food will be based on the cooking of Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, the countries which depend on the Mekong River,” David Thompson said.

“I look forward to setting sail."

The 3-Night Discovery Cruise is priced from US$3000 per person twin share including:

  • Suite accommodation
  • All meals while onboard Aqua Mekong
  • All excursions
  • Beverages (non-alcoholic, house wine and beer)
  • Transfers to/from vessel and meeting points in Saigon and Siem Reap
  • Entrance fees en route
  • Internet wireless


For further information and reservations, call 1800 243 152 (Toll Free) or visit

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