Thailand has long been noted for exquisite food and gorgeous boats. In recent years these two have found luxurious expression in the growing fleet of big, low-slung dinner-cruise vessels. In 2005 we reported on a 53x11-meter vessel capable of feeding 400 people at a sit-down buffet. A pair of 640 HP Cummins KTA19 M3 engines powered this vessel.
June 2014 will see the game moved up several notches when the dinner cruise vessel Wonderful Pearl makes her grand entry to the Chao Phraya River from her builders, the Mahachai Dockyard on the Ta Chin River just to the west of the Bangkok. At 65 by 16 meters she is significantly larger, although she adheres to a similar 1.5-meter loaded draft for the shallow river and a 5-meter air draft to clear the river’s several low bridges. The added length and beam allows for an increased in dinner guests to 700 people on two decks. Propulsion power has been increased to a pair of Cummins KTA38 M1 engines each delivering 1,000 HP.
With two galley areas, one for international and the other for Thai food, a pair of escalators between decks, a large fountain on the top deck, air conditioning and opulent lighting throughout, the boat will have significant electrical requirements. A pair of Cummins KTA19-powered 350 kW generator sets will meet these demands.
A thoughtful design allows a performance stage to be shared between the upper and lower decks. Dinners on the upper deck will be in a first class area while the lower deck will enjoy an affordable option. Finishing throughout will be a delight, with hundreds or even thousands of LED lights set into ceiling features and finely crafted wood joinery work. The decks feature beautiful Takien wood imported from Myanmar.
In Bangkok, this will be the way to enjoy fine dining while cruising past the iconic landmarks like the Grand Palace, Wat Arun and the many other temples that line the banks of the Chao Phraya River.