Beautiful Pearl: Dinner on the Chao Phraya River


Cummins Vessel Reference 765

The Wonderful Pearl on the Chao Phrya River.

In 2005 we reported on a 53×11-meter vessel capable of feeding 400 people at a sit-down buffet on Thailand’s Chao Phrya River. A pair of 640 HP Cummins KTA19 M3 engines powered this vessel. ( This was one of the most opulent boats in the crowded dinner cruise market.

The top deck with a buffet, fountain and stage.

In late 2014 the standard was moved up several notches when the dinner cruise vessel Wonderful Pearl marked her 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 than any other boat in the market. Her length and beam give her the size which she maintains 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 of 650 to 800 people, depending on seating arrangements, on two or three decks. Propulsion power has been increased to a pair of Cummins KTA38 M1 engines each delivering 1000 HP.


The KTA38-M1 main engines.

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 open-air 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.


One of the boat's multiple buffets.

A thoughtful design allows a performance stage to be shared between the upper and lower enclosed decks. Dinners on the upper deck will be in a first class area while the lower deck will enjoy an affordable option. Finishing throughout is 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.


The Wonderful Pearl on Bangkok's Chao Phrya River.

In Bangkok, the Wonderful Pearl makes 2.5-hour dinner cruises along the Chao Phrya Rive. This takes them past the iconic landmarks including the Grand Palace, Wat Arun and the many other temples that line the banks of the Chao Phraya River. (


Dramatic lighting, such as this bar, is a feature of the vessel's interior.

For more information on the Wonderful Pearl dinner cruise:

For more information on the shipyard:

Sakchai Rujiphapra
Mahachai Dockyard Co. Ltd.
200 Suttivaitee Road, Tachalom District
Samut Sakorn, 74000, Thailand
Phone: 66 034 497296
E-mail: [email protected]


For more information on Cummins Marine engines:

Sathit Suwanprasert
Senior Engineer, Marketing Dept.
Cummins DKSH (Thailand) Limited
Phone: 66 23017500 | Extension: 7540
Mobile: 081 913 6599
Fax: 02 3330995
E-mail: [email protected]

Alan Haig-Brown

Alan Haig-Brown

Over 30 years as an author for global commercial marine and fishing publications backed with hands-on experience on commercial fishing boats and coastal freighters makes Alan Haig-Brown uniquely qualified to provide vessel reference articles for Cummins Marine. You can find him in shipyards around the world, and on his own website,

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