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Sail Date: December 2018
Our Uniworld tour, starting in Hanoi and ending in Saigon, was flawless and fully met our expectations. Along with the land tour, we traveled on a 7-night cruise on the Mekong Navigator and, once again, this was flawlessly executed. As ... Read More
Our Uniworld tour, starting in Hanoi and ending in Saigon, was flawless and fully met our expectations. Along with the land tour, we traveled on a 7-night cruise on the Mekong Navigator and, once again, this was flawlessly executed. As to the land tour, the sights visited were directly on point and as advertised, travel arrangements were well done and every element of the tour was meticulously organized. In particular, our tour director (Binh) performed in an exceptional manner. The hotels on the land portion of the tour (Hanoi, Siem Reap and Saigon) were also excellent. As to the cruise portion of the tour, the food was great, our "prestige suite" met our expectations (although the quarters were a bit smaller than a suite on a sea-going cruise ship) and the staff was truly remarkable. From the waiters, to the "butlers," to the people who cared for our cabin, genuine friendliness was the standard - at all times. I also note the Uniworld representative (Roberto) on the cruise was present almost "everywhere" and was very helpful. The only negative I can think of centers on the fact the tour guides (one in Hanoi, one in Cambodia and another in Saigon) were, at times, a little difficult to understand because (of course), English was not their native language. One other point, I became ill (vomiting and diarrhea) one night and the crew was helpful in addressing this situation. Fortunately, i recovered fairly quickly. In summary, I very much recommend Uniworld in general and the Vietnam/Cambodia tour in particular. Both my wife and I fully enjoyed the tour and offer our highest recommendation. As we frequently visited "rustic" sights or areas, those who may be mobility challenged may find portions difficult. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
A wonderful experience. Knowledgeable tour guides, personal attention and excellent hotels. We were placed in tours with our family grounof 6. Service was excellent. River cruise on Yangtze Rivervwas excellent. Staff was always courteous ... Read More
A wonderful experience. Knowledgeable tour guides, personal attention and excellent hotels. We were placed in tours with our family grounof 6. Service was excellent. River cruise on Yangtze Rivervwas excellent. Staff was always courteous and helpful. We were taken to excellent restaurants and food was outstanding.. Tour guide Johanna gave informative talks about the culture. We saw a great deal of highlights in many cities including the Great Wall, Tianeman Square, Terra Cota burial site and Forbidden city. We have great memories of this fabulous trip. On board entertainment was great and the excursions were very well organized. An unforgettable experience. Transfers were well organized. The food on board was outstanding and very delicious. Truly a very nice trip. Loved the planning and organizing. Staff was courteous and friendly. Air travel was more than adequate and timely. My husband and I were thoroughly satisfied with Viking and it’s staff. Thank you for the wonderful opportunity to visit China. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
While we had twice been to Beijing on business, and had done some sightseeing while there, this was our first trip to China for the purposes of travel only. The entire program was under the direction of Viking Cruises and they more than ... Read More
While we had twice been to Beijing on business, and had done some sightseeing while there, this was our first trip to China for the purposes of travel only. The entire program was under the direction of Viking Cruises and they more than exceeded their reputation for excellence. There were several groups of travelers in the itinerary, none larger than 30 persons, each with a tour guide. Our guide, Richard, was above every expectation in all respects. The hotels were all excellent, and one, the Four Seasons in Shanghai, was one of the best in which we have ever stayed. The well thought out programs were somewhat strenuous, but we all managed to keep up. There were three nights in Beijing, two nights in Xian, which included a viewing to the Terracotta Warriors, three nights in Lhasa, and then, after a flight to Chongqing, five nights on the Viking Emerald with interesting tours at every port on the Yangtze river. Finally, we spent two nights in Shanghai. As an example of thoughtful planning on Richard's part, we were taken to the superb Shanghai museum on arrival in Shanghai rather than squeezing in a visit in an already crowded schedule the following day. This is not a cruise for the fainthearted, but if one is willing to make the effort and try the different foods, it is a great trip. incidentally, the ship is leased, not owned by Viking, and it is very good, but not as good as if they were to have built, owned and maintained the vessel. That is prohibited by the government because of the use of the Yangtze as a major commercial artery in China. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
We chose Pandaw over other, more chic cruises because we wanted to a have a more authentic yet luxurious cruise in Myanmar. The RV Indochina and crew did not disappoint. We were the first to arrive at our ship, and I was worried we ... Read More
We chose Pandaw over other, more chic cruises because we wanted to a have a more authentic yet luxurious cruise in Myanmar. The RV Indochina and crew did not disappoint. We were the first to arrive at our ship, and I was worried we might not be allowed on board. Not a problem. The crew welcomed us, took our luggage, and told us that if we wanted our room that would be fine, or we could explore the nearby town (Sailang). We chose to return and came back to a wonderful buffet lunch with our fellow passengers. This was just the beginning of great hospitality the whole crew exhibited. A few items of note... - The food is outstanding. I would recommend staying with the Burmese cuisine over western style. I have celiac disease. Chef can easily handle gluten-free dining and even wrote a letter in Burmese for me to carry when I left the ship to ensure that I would be safe as I continued my journey. - I suggest the wine program for lunch and dinner if you are a wine drinker. Our house wines were a choice of South African or wines from Myanmar produced with imported grapes. The "local" Sauvignon Blanc was lovely as was the red blend. Soe Moe and Richard are always on hand to fill your glass and will also top you off before heading to after dinner activities. We did not order off the wine list but I did notice that it has both old and new world selections and champagne. - Every night there is happy hour with abundant and tasty appetizers on deck. The local liquors - especially the rum made from local sugarcane - are quite nice and included in the base rate. Johnson makes a great drink. - Our cabin was 206. I would suggest moving back a bit to 208 or 210 on the lower level, or directly above as you will hear anchors up at 6am departures. - Guide service is included. Tin, our guide, spoke great English and was very informative. He knows about all the sites we went to, answering questions that aren't typical guide-book info, and spoke about what was happening in his country with diplomatic aplomb. Guides are the only people who's tips are not included so please remember to tip them. - Our cabin was simple but elegant with a well working A/C. Service was morning and evening. We did have to request some additional shampoo once but that was the only thing we ever lacked. Everything was kept very clean and I give housekeeping kudos for giving us a great space. - Fabian the purser is able to arrange balloon rides in Bagan before the morning excursion. I would suggest adding this to your trip. - One little "luxury" I haven't had on other lines is shoe cleaning. Our excursions could be dusty or muddy, so the crew cleans your shoes after every outing and leaves them by the door. This was awesome. - We had a massage therapist on-board. She gave great massages, but her English wasn't the best so it was hard to give direction. This was the one area I could see improvement. But the massages are so good and affordable I had 3 so really, no complaining. - Expect lots of fun with crew-included dance parties. There was a conga line and sing along on our last night. It felt like the end of summer-camp and will be something I will always remember. I have cruised with several high-end companies and I have to say I thoroughly loved Pandaw. I can't compare it really to a Uniworld or Crystal Esprit because it is completely different. You won't have the crystal and fine china or gorgeous chandeliers. What you will have is a completely local crew who takes pride in their country and their ship and want to share it with you. Their heart is in giving you the best vacation in anemergingc country and for that I give them 5 stars. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
My family and I do a big adventure trip every year and we had been wanting to do SE Asia for a couple of year and just couldn't find anything escorted that lined up with school holiday breaks. We booked about 9 months in advance for ... Read More
My family and I do a big adventure trip every year and we had been wanting to do SE Asia for a couple of year and just couldn't find anything escorted that lined up with school holiday breaks. We booked about 9 months in advance for myself, my active but older parents and my 16 yr old daughter. We have previously done only land packages with Tauck tours and were looking for something close to that level of service and accommodation and we were pretty pleased overall with the AMA experience. We had a day of our cruise cut off due to a typhoon in the area closing the embarkation port. The cruise line added an extra day in Ho Chi Minh City at the Sofitel with lunch and dinner (but no additional excursions), we did not miss any ports but did lose time in pheom phen and had to forgo an excursion there. Accommodations on the land portion (all Sofitels, including the Phokeethra in Siem Reap and Metropole in Hanoi) were first rate. The Metropole is a truly special hotel experience, especially if you are as into history as our family is. We had a category B stateroom on the ship and I was pleasantly surprised (with limited cruise experience) having previously sailed with disney and on an expedition ship in the Galapagos, with the size and comfort of the cabins. The bathroom allowed for a shower without having to do any strange contortions, and there was ample space to spread out a little, dress and relax with two people. We chose the one on the end of the ship by the gym, didn't feel any movement at all, and it was much quieter location. Things we liked: The staff was all very nice and accommodating, but the hotel manager (Marcus) and the restaurant manager (I am horrible and forgot her name but she was beyond fantastic) were standounts. Massage/spa prices were very reasonable for a cruise ship, as were the additional charges for upgraded wines. The included wines were also very drinkable, but I wish they would serve wine by the glass in the bars instead of just at dinner. We did the chef's table one night, I didnt think it was anything extra special. In general the food was perfectly edible, but nothing standout EXCEPT when they cooked local. I wish they had more local options at dinner, where it was pretty much all western style. The local items on the action station and morning noodle soup were always excellent, the rice paper wraps and spring rolls, etc were also fantastic. We tended to leave dinner a little wanting some evenings. They do have more mainstream choices available for every dinner (salad w/chicken or shirmp, hangar steak etc), but when in a place like SE asia, there's too much good local stuff to be cooking up fancy french food - but the brand knows their audience and I'm probably the weirdo who wants to eat pho all the time. The local guides changed with each region, and they were all good, but we were lucky enough to have two really outstanding guides in southern Vietnam and in Cambodia before we got to Siem Reap. Vinh and Buntha really make the trip special with their insight and their stories. Loved all the shore excursions we did from the standpoint of the sights we saw, loved they had options for people with mobility issues or who wanted less challenging temple climbing etc but still wanted to actually see the highlights. The overnight cruise in Ha Long Bay at the end of the trip was also great for scenery and the accommodations on that boat were also really nice. The cooking class and bingo, and a a few of the other daytime onboard programs while the ship was in transit were fun. I wish they had more enrichment, maybe a photography class, more in depth lectures about the history and culture, etc. but what they did have was fun and informative. What i wasn't crazy about: Some of the shore excursions I would have liked to have a little more time allowed at some of the museums and temples, etc. I felt rushed especially at the War Remnants Museum and Temple of Literature, Reunification Palace and the market in Ho Chi Minh City. I also wasn't crazy that for New years eve we were tied up at basically a loading dock in the middle of nowhere Cambodia, and there was no place to get off the ship to maybe check out some local nightlife. The staff tried really hard with the evening entertainment, but it wasn't really my speed, especially in a region known for night markets and such. We were VERY and I recognize VERY lucky that our trip included a few multi-generation families with younger people so there were other people my daughter's age or near it on the trip, which made it more fun for her. the food on the Ha Long bay boat was edible, but nothing to write home about. Also, the wifi on the ship worked intermittently at best and there is no roaming service in Vietnam - no biggie for me, but for some it might be an issue. Also no wifi in the cabins, only the lounge and the sundeck unless you're in a suite. We also didn't get our documents from AMA until about week before we left (2 weeks before the actual tour start date) and as we were visiting another country on our own and 2 days of transit to get there, it left me a little anxious and we were unable to pre-register for shore excursions, as they had already closed by the time we had had a chance to review everything. Overall, we loved the trip, we were fortunate to have some experiences that were really life changing (touring the Killing Fields and S-21 Detention center with Buntha, Sunrise on Angkor Wat), I came back wanting to return to explore more because I found the people so welcoming, and feel like on such a whirlwind trip I didn't get to explore the cities as much as I would have liked to. The river cruise does allow you to get to places like Tan Chau, Sa Dec and the rural areas of Vietnam and the floating villages on the ton le sap, etc in Cambodia where there really aren't western tourist class accommodations. My mom thinks river cruising is now the greatest thing. It wouldn't be my first choice to go back to for something like Europe, but for something more exotic such as the Zambezi, the Irrawaddy I'd probably book another one. It was a good trip for the diverse ages we have in my family, there was plenty of activity for my daughter and i and enough down time to allow my folks to be able to enjoy most of the sightseeing and still relax. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
Most times one looks at pictures and reviews and then books a trip in the expectation that it won't quite be the same as it looks, maybe it'll look a little like the glossy website if you're lucky, but it won't be the ... Read More
Most times one looks at pictures and reviews and then books a trip in the expectation that it won't quite be the same as it looks, maybe it'll look a little like the glossy website if you're lucky, but it won't be the same. This is the first time we've ever "done" a trip where the website and reviews simply did not do it justice. This is an outstanding trip (we went 8 days Mandalay/Bagan/Mandalay on a stunning vessel with crew and facilities beyond reproach, fine foods and brilliant service. WiFi was very patchy - nobody really cared :-) - but don't expect to remain "connected". Absolutely nothing was too much trouble. Special callouts to our Cruise Director AB - we miss you already, and Vijay our guide who looked after us and put up with our million questions. You gentlemen are fine ambassadors for Sanctuary. We enjoyed every minute and can't rate/recommend Sanctuary Ananda and crew highly enough. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
When we told our Travel Agent Friend, Linda Androlia, of Sunstone Tours about our plans to visit Southeast Asia, she said the best cruise line for this area is Amawaterways. She booked it for us and she was right. It was an amazing ... Read More
When we told our Travel Agent Friend, Linda Androlia, of Sunstone Tours about our plans to visit Southeast Asia, she said the best cruise line for this area is Amawaterways. She booked it for us and she was right. It was an amazing cruise. The staff are all local and really know the area and hospitality. The food was delicious and plentiful and we got to taste food from Cambodia and Vietnam. Everyday we disembarked to a new adventure whether is was to be blessed by buddhist monks, visit a remote fishing village or experience the horrific destruction from the American war and the dictators that followed. The tour guides were knowledgeable and did not sugar coat any of the atrocities that occurred during the war. Each room was beautifully appointed with a balcony, not matter what the cost. The whole boat was spotless. We even treated ourselves to a massage, which is comparable to anything I've had in the states. Many evenings we were treated to local entertainment, Dancers from Vietnam and Cambodia demonstrated their beautiful, delicate dances. We were on board during Christmas and the crew serenaded us with Christmas carols, there was even a crew entertainment night. We also had a pre-tour at Angkor Wat where we stayed in the Sofitel in Siem Ream. and a post tour in Saigon again staying at the Sofitel. Both tours were excellent. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2016
A fantastic opportunity to experience a difference culture and a far different way of life. We were not disappointed. From a taste of opulent life in a grand hotel in Bangkok to the simple and basic life in Myanmar. Beautiful people ... Read More
A fantastic opportunity to experience a difference culture and a far different way of life. We were not disappointed. From a taste of opulent life in a grand hotel in Bangkok to the simple and basic life in Myanmar. Beautiful people with a welcome smile for all. A marvelous experience to find a third world country with no begging. A rare experience, there were the usual "vendors", mostly children and young adults, all trying to sell their goods, but no begging and fair pricing for the most part. What a shame that the cruises are coming to end. Viking made the experience a "once in a lifetime" event with a superb agenda delivered from a marvelous old style, classic, mostly teak, river boat, with very large and fully equipped cabins. More like a large hotel suite than a river boat cabin.. A floating hotel staffed by a service oriented crew that sought out ways to make your trip special. Every aspect of the trip was outstanding! From booking, to transfers, to accommodations, to the great meals, and the above average guides. Based on this trip, I will be taking another Viking cruise in Asia. This trip is gone, but if it ever comes back, grab it., Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
Born in China and lived in the US for more than 30 year, I chose the Victoria Cruises because the cruise line claims that they are the only 'American company' on the Yangtze River. It turned out that the advertisement from the ... Read More
Born in China and lived in the US for more than 30 year, I chose the Victoria Cruises because the cruise line claims that they are the only 'American company' on the Yangtze River. It turned out that the advertisement from the Victoria Cruises is a total misleading. On November 11, 2016, we boarded Victoria Grace and started our 4-day Chongqing to Yichang (the three gorges) cruise and it is the worst cruise we even taken (we took more than dozen of cruises including river cruise in Europe). The ship. The so labeled “5-star” ship is absolutely outdated and nowhere close to a 3-star ship, and there is NO elevator. The floors are uneven and you can feel the metal sheet waving underneath the carpet and hear the noise when walking on the floor. Decoration is at the minimal and pale, at least. The embarkation. First, all passengers had to walk about 2 km to board the ship carrying all luggage and there was no help from the ship. When we asked for help to move our luggage to our cabin after we got on the board, we were told that we had to pay for the service by using the local labor whom the ship allowed to do so. During check-in, we were immediately asked to pay gratuities (150 RMB per person) at front because we are not Chinese citizen (however, the ship asked us to pay tip again at the end of cruise which we declined for the experience we had). Be aware that there is no food provided for the first night. The cabin: We had a standard cabin which is small, tired, dated and smelly. Bed is soft, furniture, sheets, bedcover and towels are old. We had toilet and door lock problems during our 4-day cruise. Food: Buffet breakfast and lunch were provided, and dinners were either buffets or Chinese style table dinner. Foods was boring with limited choices. Sometimes passengers had to wait for items to be refilled. Service: The ship provided absolutely minimal service. No greetings, and smiling was almost non-exist. There is thermal bottle in cabin but the room attendant wanted passages to fill the hot water themselves. It was a great effort to get the waiter/waitress to bring a cup of tea or coffee to you during lunch or dinner. Some of the staff were doing better job than others. However, if you complain, then the situation became worse! There was one English speaking person on board but she could not do much because all she could do was listening and reporting it to her boss. Excursions: There were couple of included excursions that were good but the poor air quality and visibility greatly discounted the true beauty of the three gorges. The optional excursions were very expensive and not worth to take. In summary, if you want to cruise the three gorges, go with other cruise lines and do a good homework. Do not simply believe the advertisement and DO NOT go with Victoria Cruises! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2016
We wanted to see China and this trip was the perfect mix of land/water. The highlight for my husband was the Terracota Warriors and for me was sailing down the river looking at the scenery of the gorges. Just magnificent. All the ... Read More
We wanted to see China and this trip was the perfect mix of land/water. The highlight for my husband was the Terracota Warriors and for me was sailing down the river looking at the scenery of the gorges. Just magnificent. All the accomodations were top notch and we felt very well taken care of in every aspect of our journey. Our guide, Arnold, was just the best in terms of his knowledge and his leadership abilities. He made everyone feel welcome and that no question was too silly for him to answer. It was a plus that his photography skills are fantastic and we have some beautiful pictures from our trip that we will cherish. We met very interesting people and are looking forward to sailing with Viking on another trip in the future. Thank you for everything your company did to make our trip so successful. We will always remember my husband's 65th birthday. Read Less

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