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81 Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) to Asia River Cruise Reviews

We have been with Scenic on numerous tours throughout the world. Scenic have always looked after us fabulously, everything is all inclusive, well catered, the best accommodation, and great guides. At the time of booking, the Scenic Eclipse ... Read More
We have been with Scenic on numerous tours throughout the world. Scenic have always looked after us fabulously, everything is all inclusive, well catered, the best accommodation, and great guides. At the time of booking, the Scenic Eclipse had been held up with construction so we decided on this River Cruise (our first) in lieu of that. Our main goal was the Angkor Wat temple complexes. This ship is apparently more spacious and accommodating than European river cruise ships as the Mekong does not have locks to negotiate, no doubling up of ships for landing docks (most times was bow to shore), and so dimensions could be greater, and cabin sizes larger. Also the staff and crew were predominantly local Cambodians with some Vietnamese, which helped the local flavour. The chef was Balinese Indonesian and he was exceptional. Each cruise season and often between cruises, he would start with several young Cambodians and not just oversee them but teach them. The meals were outstanding. The variation night to night and choices were mouth wateringly incredible. Wine selection was fantastic. The tour of the galley exemplified the care taken in cleanliness and preparation, everything was fresh and made on board, but also the care in ensuring special dietary needs were properly managed with absolutely no cross contamination of allergens, for example. The cabin stewards, dining caterers and waiters, and directors were always extremely friendly, helpful, and always happy. Special mention to Mirko, our cruise director. He was exceptional, always out to ensure everything went smoothly, and in the best spirit. His generosity and humour and obvious care of not just the passengers but all staff was outstanding. We also had local guides for entertainment and information on board, and for the shore excursions. Cambodia's incredible history with decades of war and upheaval and genocide needs to be taken in, as well as its incredible Khmer and Buddhist culture. Our guides were terrific, and the Cambodian guides all had personal histories that were an honour to hear. Our Cambodian guide, Mao, had been a Buddhist monk for several years, and so his amiability and insights and humour were just beautiful. We loved him. Other guides were just as insightful and honest about their and their family's experiences of the Khmer Rouge. Truly heartbreaking but edifying. We would highly recommend the Scenic Spirit to everyone. Should be a bucket list item when paired with Angkor Wat! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
The tour of Ho Chi Minh was an educational enlightment and covered the atmosphere and energy of the city Boarding and leaving the ship on completion of the tour was effortless and very easy The ship and cabin was faultless and an ... Read More
The tour of Ho Chi Minh was an educational enlightment and covered the atmosphere and energy of the city Boarding and leaving the ship on completion of the tour was effortless and very easy The ship and cabin was faultless and an integral part of the tour and well being associated with complete trip. Dining entertaining and services were an integral part of the atmosphere to the point there were no visible conflicts or issues . The crew by natural instincts ensured the traveling parties including USA UK Canada and of course Australia total integrated Port and shore excursions covered events and local environments to the extent the travellers were very comfortable and enjoyed the connections I gave Vietnam 10/10 and believe a new Japanese style economy will emerge in the next couple of decades and I gave Cambodia 12/10 because it is emerging from terrible historic events and managing very competantly Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Overall good cruise with somewhat interesting itinerary on a relatively comfortable ship and a good crew. We saw what we came to see - how real people of the 2 countries live, many historic sites. Clearly Seam Riep and Angkor Wat are the ... Read More
Overall good cruise with somewhat interesting itinerary on a relatively comfortable ship and a good crew. We saw what we came to see - how real people of the 2 countries live, many historic sites. Clearly Seam Riep and Angkor Wat are the highlights of the tour. Rooms are well designed and a bathroom is good size and well functioned. Great hotels selection. However, I want to concentrate my review on improvement areas: 1. Avalon customer Service - the worst. Never had worse experience. Not a single question could be answered by phone. Provide incorrect information regarding visa's to Cambodia, which costs money to its guests, know it, but refuse to take any accountability or correct it. Whole itinerary, with the exception of hotels, is driven by a single goal - not to spend an extra dollar 2.Tips - if it is mandatory, don't call it tips and just include it as part of the overall price. Even if you pre-pay, cruise director and tour guides are still expecting you to pay extra. I didn't understand why cruise director had to publicly announce who pre-paid ( we pre-paid it well in advance) and who did not... and even if you pre-paid, you had to worry that 'crew is aware of it' and submit a voucher . Why should it be my problem that crew is aware? Clearly, employees are not paid by Avalon and 'tips' is their pay, so make it straightforward and leave 'tips' to reward extra service. 3. Entertainment - non existent. On other similar size ships guests are entertained by the crew. This crew does not have extra talents and this is OK. There are many other options. Both countries are known for excellent musical schools, so why not to invite some string quartet to entertain people with good music? Instead, one night we were entertained by the orphanage kids. Great kids and we were more then willing to donate to the orphanage, but as it lasted 15 min, you could still have professional musicians to play for another 45-60 min. Another night we had to listen to a multi talented cruise director sing, but again it could be done by the professional musicians. I guess, the difference is - in both options it was free for Avalon or, otherwise, Avalon would have to pay.Last night dinner - the worst food and entertainment reminding 3rd rate high school or worse. Complete waste of time in otherwise beautiful city, but probably very inexpensive option for Avalon 4.Tours - overall good program. However, why did you bring us to the 'silversmith workshop', which was clearly not a workshop, but rather a way to sell an overpriced silver staff that could be bought for half the price at Siem Reap? That day we didn't have anything else to do, so feels like a way to artificially extend tour by a day.... Or visit to a scarf making workshop, which also has nothing to do with the workshop, but a way to sell scarfs. Also, while it is interesting to see how 'real people' live, it was repetitive and a little too much. Show us how countries developed, show us how middle class lives, take us to the theater... 5. Environment - a little too much of the 'family' staff. Sometimes felt like a cult, when everybody has to be thankful to our 'dear leader' - cruise director (great guy) and tour guides and pay extra for it. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We booked the Scenic Luxury Mekong and Temple Discovery Cruise, which started with a flight from the UK to Vietnam, a night at The Intercontinental Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City and a few hours to explore Saigon (HCMC) before meeting the rest ... Read More
We booked the Scenic Luxury Mekong and Temple Discovery Cruise, which started with a flight from the UK to Vietnam, a night at The Intercontinental Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City and a few hours to explore Saigon (HCMC) before meeting the rest of the group, a set lunch at a typical Vietnamese restaurant in the city and then a couple of hours coach journey (including a comfort stop) to the embarkation port at My Tho. The following seven days were spent on the Scenic Spirit. We loved every minute of the cruise. The ship was spacious and at times we often had the pool area or the upper deck to ourselves. The restaurant and bar areas were very comfortable and all the meals and drinks were to a very high standard. Buffet breakfast and lunches but A La Carte most evenings. We chose to sit with different people most nights and found everyone to be very friendly. Good choice of drinks and cocktails both in the bars and via butler service to our cabin or in minibar. Nothing to pay extra for, except spa treatments and souvenirs from the on-board gift shop plus the Cambodian Visa charge. The on-board staff were very friendly and the service level is top class, We always felt very well looked after both on the ship and whilst on excursions. The Tour Directors and Tour Guides were all great, very knowledgeable and friendly and happy to answer all questions.Thank you primarily to Toan, Tour Director for our group. We enjoyed all the varied excursions and activities (too many to review individually) and tried to do everything that was on offer. Not a great deal of time for relaxing, but just about enough to fit in a few swims, Spa visit etc, but never got around to reading a book on this holiday! The Scenic Spirit is smart and very clean. Hygiene standards are very high. Passengers are expected and encouraged to use hygienic hand gels before every meal and when returning to the ship after each excursion.The chef,very proudly shows off his kitchen and explains about the sources of the food served at the weekly Kitchen visit. Early evening pre-dinner port talks are informative and overseen by the German Hotel Manager, who has a good sense of humour. Entertainment on board was good, often local dance groups but also films, quiz, party night around the pool. In Phnom Penh, we were all given a night tour by Tuk Tuk after dinner, which was good fun. After the 7 night cruise, we were driven by coach to Siem Reap (with various interesting stops en route including lunch at a lovely restaurant and we spent a further 3 days and nights based with the group at the beautiful Park Hyatt Hotel, visiting the local sights including Angkor Wat and Tonle Sap lake. The final gala night at a small temple was simply magnificent and a fitting end to a magnificent tour. We travelled at the end of November and this appeared to be a great time to do this trip, no rain and good water levels. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Best vacation ever! We’ve been on close to 30 international vacations of various types, and this one was indeed exceptional. We booked our Scenic vacation Treasures of the Mekong for Oct. 20 – Nov. 1, 2019. We began in Ho Chi Minh ... Read More
Best vacation ever! We’ve been on close to 30 international vacations of various types, and this one was indeed exceptional. We booked our Scenic vacation Treasures of the Mekong for Oct. 20 – Nov. 1, 2019. We began in Ho Chi Minh City and finished in Siem Reap – which was lovely ending it all with the fabulous Angkor Watt. Although it was considered at the end of monsoon season, our weather was spectacular. We chose this river cruise because we wanted to experience different cultures and locations than we had previously encountered. We chose Scenic because of previous bookings and expected them to deliver “the best”. Scenic has planned incredible experiences for its guests every step of the way. This vacation includes two nights stay in Ho Chi Minh City at the Saigon Intercontinental, seven nights stay on the Scenic Spirit, and three nights stay at the Siem Reap Hyatt. Accommodations throughout were phenomenal. Food at the hotels and on the Scenic Spirit was first class. Scenic carefully chose restaurants and food experiences outside of the hotels and boat, and we enjoyed them all. One of the most fun food-related experiences in Ho Chi Mihn City was the “Saigon at Dark” – a foodie adventure on Vespas. The most memorable and elegant off-the-boat dinner experience was on our last night at Kravan Temple. Unbelievable!! The excursions we chose to go on were all worthwhile. These cultural outings in both Vietnam and Cambodia provide huge contrasts – extreme poverty and luxury, extreme sadness and elation, concern and hope. All that we experienced changed us, informed us and/ or delighted us. There is so much history – both recent and centuries old – that we had read about but never connected to until this vacation. We felt a tie to (as much as you can be in such a short time ) the “real” Vietnam and Cambodia. Cannot miss excursions / experiences in our opinion: Chu Chi Tunnels, Vespa Adventures street food night, War Remnants Museum, Killing Fields and high school prison, Raffles Hotel, Phnom Penh by tuk tuk at night, Phare Circus, monastery at Wat Hanchey, floating village, Angkor Watt, Ta Phrom temple, Kravan temple dinner. The Scenic Spirit is such a beautiful boat. The design is spectacular. Local artists’ work adorns the walls. The spiral staircase, with an elevator in its centre, makes movement between levels so easy. The rear of the boat features a lovely pool area on the third level, an inviting lounge area on the second, and the dining room on the first. We really enjoyed massages at the spa. A big surprise to us was complimentary use of washers and dryers (including laundry detergent). The do-your-own laundry room saved us, as we hadn’t accounted for changes of clothing twice daily (due to the heat). We cannot say enough about the Scenic employees. Our tour director, our guides and the onboard manager and staff were exceptional. There were 50 guests on the boat, and there were 50 staff. We have never experienced such warm greetings and attentive gestures as on this vacation. We acknowledge that every single staff person was engaged and personable. However, we want to name a few who we had more frequent contact with and who contributed immensely to our incredible vacation experience: Bunly, Charran, Endra, Nghia, Dara, Thida, Lin, Srechan, Sreleak, Phally. As an end note, we appreciated that Scenic supports local organizations that promote the education and skills of the local people. We had two dance presentations on the boat that featured young people who were developing skills and being educated beyond that of what their birth situation could provide. The wonderful evening of circus entertainment featured young people from disadvantaged backgrounds who have been acquiring skills in a variety of performing and visual arts. And Scenic made purchases of gifts from local artisans to gift to guests. We love the choices that have been carefully made by Scenic related to social responsibility. As a second end note, Scenic’s environmental initiatives should be mentioned. We were provided with re-fillable metal water bottles. Instead of individual plastic toiletry bottles, porcelain pump units are in the bathrooms. Paper straws are used for drinks. LED lighting is used throughout. Less obvious to a guest is that the boats have efficiencies built in to the waste water system, into the power management system, and into the HVAC systems. Scenic boats also have energy saving high-glazed glass. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We were really impressed by the staff and the vessel from the moment we boarded the Jayavarman.All facilities on board were excellent. Our cabin was well serviced with clean linen at all times and little surprises on the bed at the end of ... Read More
We were really impressed by the staff and the vessel from the moment we boarded the Jayavarman.All facilities on board were excellent. Our cabin was well serviced with clean linen at all times and little surprises on the bed at the end of each day. The dining experince was over and above what we had expected. Our table was excellently serviced by the delightful Moni and others. We would certainly travel with Heritage Line again. The locally engaged English speaking guides both Vietnamese and Cambodian were knowledgeable and friendly. The onshore excursions were interesting, informative and well balanced. Life on board was relaxed and friendly. The pool was a welcome relief at the end of the day in sometimes hot and humid conditions. The staff were always helpful and no request was too difficult. It was an overall wonderful experience which was enhanced by the friendly and helpful staff. Our experience was a great introduction to Cambodia. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We wanted to see a part of the world that was completely new to us and we had never been to Asia. Previous reviews and my desire to visit where my brother served during the Vietnam War led us to choose the Charms of the Mekong on the ... Read More
We wanted to see a part of the world that was completely new to us and we had never been to Asia. Previous reviews and my desire to visit where my brother served during the Vietnam War led us to choose the Charms of the Mekong on the AmaDara. We did the complete program with pre-cruise in Saigon and post-cruise in Siem Reap, Hanoi and HaLong Bay. It was first class all the way. I loved that the itinerary was not all about temples and tourist sites. We got wonderful glimpses into the lives of the people and got to experience visiting homes and schools which was probably our favorite part of the trip. First, let me echo all the positive comments from previous reviewers. The hotels during the land portion are some of the finest we have ever experienced. We especially loved the Sofitel in SIem Reap. The AmaDara is a beautiful ship. Our cruise was not sold out and we were given the option to upgrade our cabin at a tremendously reduced rate, but having looked at the more expensive options decided ours was just fine. All the cabins are in great shape and beautifully decorated. Other reviewers commented that there wasn't enough storage, but we didn't have that issue. We brought collapsible plastic hangars and they helped tremendously. The food on board was top notch and the staff were warm, friendly and very welcoming. Our Cruise Director, AK, was with us for the entire 16 days and handled every situation with grace and class. He made it all look easy, and I'm sure it wasn't. Markus, the Hotel Director on the ship, missed his calling as a comedian. It is apparent that the staff respect him and know the meaning of customer service. The guides in both Vietnam and Cambodia spoke excellent English and were grateful we chose to visit their countries. They each had personal stories to tell which brought the recent history of both countries to life, sometimes in very disturbing ways. Each stop was valuable and offered glimpses into the lives of the people in the regions we visited. The trip to HaLong Bay was a delight, but we wish it had been two nights. The other passengers ranged in age from 40s to 70s. All were in fairly good shape, which is good because there are lots of stairs to climb and uneven pavement. Most were from the US, Canada, Australia and England. They were respectful (mostly) and we enjoyed getting to know them. Here are some things I didn't read in previous reviews that would have been helpful to know: 1. It is really hot and humid!! I was the envy of all my fellow travelers.because I brought with me a battery operated device that went around my neck and had little fans at either end. They can be found on Amazon for about $35 2. They tell you that you need to have your shoulders and knees covered when you visit temples. What I didn't understand was that also applies to sites they consider sacred in any way. There were very few days when we didn't need to follow "dress code", and I didn't pack appropriately for that. Also, for women, you have to be careful that your tops are not revealing. 3. You need to carefully plan for your tips and bring new dollar bills (or Vietnamese Dong) for tips and purchases at smaller markets. They are happy to have dollars in Cambodia, but not Vietnam. 4. You will spend a lot of time on buses, and the roads are not always in great condition, so you might want to bring a Kindle or other device where you can increase the font to make up for the bumps. You will also want snacks. We bought trail mix packets and protein bars at Costco and were happy we had them. I hope you enjoy your Mekong/Vietnam/Cambodia experience as much as we did. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We have just returned from a holiday of a life time thanks to AmaWaterways. We travelled on the AmaDara a beautiful ship. We sailed the Mekong through Vietnam and Cambodia, a most beautiful part of the world with such friendly people. This ... Read More
We have just returned from a holiday of a life time thanks to AmaWaterways. We travelled on the AmaDara a beautiful ship. We sailed the Mekong through Vietnam and Cambodia, a most beautiful part of the world with such friendly people. This was our first river cruise so we were not sure what to expect, but we were made to feel special throughout. The welcome we had at Saigon airport when we first landed was amazing. Tuan, one of the brilliant guides met us and taught us our first words of Vietnamese. This friendliness was to continue throughout the holiday. We had a land tour either end of the cruise, 2 days in Saigon pre cruise and 2 days in Siem Reap post cruise. The level of service was top notch throughout. The hotels were amazing nothing was too much trouble. AK our tour manager met us at our hotel in Saigon and was with us right through the holiday until our last day in Siem Reap. He briefed us every day on the upcoming excursions and was very professional in all aspects of his job. The excursions were well planned, and pitched at levels that all could enjoy. The guides were local and very knowledgeable and even showed us where to get the best photographs. Every need was provided for from water to drink to rainproof ponchos to wear. What we really enjoyed about the excursions was getting a feel of how local people lived and worked along the Mekong. We did also see the well known land marks such as Angkor Wat which was amazing, but it was places like Evergreen Island and Sa Dec Market that will stay with us. The Amadara and her crew made our cruise unforgettable. Thuy,in the Spa provided a wonderful pedicure, Vy provided great support and encouragement to help me make the 500 steps to the Stupa at Oudong. I am so grateful because the views at the top were spectacular. Clarice on reception always greeted us with a smile and was always interested in our day. Phallin in the restaurant made us feel so welcome with her friendly manner. The food on board was delicious with so much choice of both western and Asian cuisines. They even baked a birthday cake for my husband on his birthday! The waiters and waitresses in the restaurant were so friendly but professional. After dinner it was nice to have a drink in the Saigon lounge where there would be game shows which were fun. We particularly enjoyed the traditional dancers in Cambodia. We cannot recommend AmaWaterways and this cruise in particular enough. We were called “Family” throughout the cruise and that is exactly how we felt, like part of a lovely family. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Abercrombie and Kent trip. So outstanding and first class in every way We loved every minute. The crew were so wonderful and expertly trained. The two per day shore excursions were small group with outstanding guides and the dining with ... Read More
Abercrombie and Kent trip. So outstanding and first class in every way We loved every minute. The crew were so wonderful and expertly trained. The two per day shore excursions were small group with outstanding guides and the dining with wonderful Cambodian lunch and French inspired dinners was superb. The chef would also prepare specialty items that we purchased in local markets and even our shoes were taken and cleaned and returned after each excursion. Don’t expect TV tho because the joy of the cruise is being away from all of that. Eating at long beautifully set tables or tables for two if you prefer. The guides were all locals that spoke excellent English and shared their stories of their families survival during the war in Vietnam and the horrible genocide in Cambodia. Many excursions included lunch in gorgeous restaurants with specialty food requests if guests had dietary restrictions such as gluten salt and nuts and vegetarian meals were superb. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We have just returned from the most amazing holiday on the Amawaterways AmaDara, Charms of the Mekong river cruise. We have been lucky and have been on many cruise ships to all parts of the world but have never really fancied a river ... Read More
We have just returned from the most amazing holiday on the Amawaterways AmaDara, Charms of the Mekong river cruise. We have been lucky and have been on many cruise ships to all parts of the world but have never really fancied a river cruise. However we were due to go on an Indian tour which regrettably was cancelled and booked this as an alternative and we were certainly not disappointed. We had 2 days in Ho Chi Ming in a first class hotel prior to embarkation and had booked an on/off bus tour not realising that Amawaterways had arranged a couple of tours so did not utilise the bus and instead did their tour around the city in the morning and the chu chu tunnels in the afternoon. Both excellent with English speaking guides. Our first impression of the AmaDara was wow, what a delightful boat with wood panelling everywhere. Our cabin was beautiful with a Juliet balcony and another balcony with table and chairs to watch the fascinating scenery of Vietnam and Cambodia float past. The bed was huge and the bathroom was big with a lovely large shower cubicle. The whole experience was exceptional, the food was delicious with both western and Vietnamese, plenty of free wine and beers with lunch and dinner and the waiters and all the staff could not do enough to ensure the whole holiday came up our expectations knowing all names and likes and dislikes. The excursions which were all included were very interesting and the guides both in Vietnam and Cambodia were very knowledgeable and made every tour enjoyable and educational. Evening entertainment was varied some good, some not quite so good. On the whole one of the best holidays we have ever undertaken and although we loved the river cruise, we tend to go on long haul holidays and so will therefore not take another river cruise.but can certainly recommend this one. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Having been on many of the European rivers with Emerald Waterways, we wanted to try somewhere a little different but keep to the brand we love and trust. Flights We flew with BA in premium economy, which was well worth it as we ... Read More
Having been on many of the European rivers with Emerald Waterways, we wanted to try somewhere a little different but keep to the brand we love and trust. Flights We flew with BA in premium economy, which was well worth it as we managed to sleep most of the night flight. Ho Chi Minh We stayed two nights in the Grand Hotel prior to the cruise, which was a great way of seeing the city. The street food excursion was the highlight of our stay. But just getting out and seeing the city was great. The ship The brand new ship was only on its third cruise but the crew felt like they had being doing it for years, they were so friendly and nothing was too much trouble. The ship has similar features to the European ships such as the Horizon bar, the restaurant and the sun deck games area. But it feels like less people and less cabins which make the ship very spacious. We think the cabins are bigger too. Emerald know how to look after their guests and they get it right each time. Cabins Our cabin was bigger than we expected, obviously very new and we had a lovely stewardess who even wanted to pack for us when we left. Dining The restaurant had a buffet style centre like the European ships but each evening there was a la carte menu. For lunch, this ship also had a Burger lab at lunch time, where we could create our own burger, we had it once but with so much choice of local food on the buffet and a la carte menu, we only got round to doing it once. Excursions Daily excursions, like we had in Europe, are included. The ship anchors in the middle of the Mekong and small boats took us ashore. But in big cities we docked and walked off. HIghlights included the sailing through Ho Chi Minh City as we set sail. We also enjoyed the Phnom Penh tuk tuk ride. Entertainment Entertainment was early evening, before dinner. Which is great for us as we are not big late night drinkers. A lion dance came on one night and local dancers another. All good stuff. A third night we took a tuk tuk ride for an hour. After a day of excursions, we were happy to head to our cabin. Siem Reap At the end of the cruise we choice to take the 3 night Siem Reap excursion. Be warned, there is a 4 hour coach journey but we got to see a bit more of Cambodia. Well worth the trip as we got to see the Angkor temples over a couple of days. The hotel we stayed in was very nice, and it was central so we could get out and walk on our own. Summary Overall this has possibly been the best cruise we have done. Emerald seem to get it right everytime. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I always had a fascination for Vietnam and Cambodia and wanted to cruise the Mekong river,as I have been very ill my husband treated me for our anniversary. From the minute we left home the whole holiday experience was amazing,the ... Read More
I always had a fascination for Vietnam and Cambodia and wanted to cruise the Mekong river,as I have been very ill my husband treated me for our anniversary. From the minute we left home the whole holiday experience was amazing,the boat,food and the best cabin we have ever had. The excursions were very different from what we normally do and I enjoyed every one,I loved going around Evergreen village and meeting the locals who were very welcoming. The ox cart ride was very different,and the tut tut ride a little scary with all the traffic. I have a special diet and they always made sure I was well catered for. They have an alternative restaurant called The Captains Table for no extra cost, we had a beautiful meal there for our anniversary,and they made it very special. All the staff treated you like family and couldn’t do enough for you. The tour guides were very knowledgeable with a great sense of humour. I love Tai Chi and even that was available. I vote this cruise the best I have ever had. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Two thumbs up. Five stars. Off-the-chart in customer service from the time we landed in Ho Chin Min City to the time we were dropped off at the Seam Reap Airport by the Scenic staff. This was my first time in Asia so I was in culture ... Read More
Two thumbs up. Five stars. Off-the-chart in customer service from the time we landed in Ho Chin Min City to the time we were dropped off at the Seam Reap Airport by the Scenic staff. This was my first time in Asia so I was in culture shock. The Mekong River cruise was a combination of cultural immersion during excursions to being treated like royalty aboard the five star vessel. The staff could not be any more accommodating. I was a single traveler in room 208. I was upgraded to this level because the ship was not completely full. The rooms are huge compared to other ocean and river cruise lines. There is a walk-in closet with drawers, a shoe storage area, a safe, ample space for your hanging clothes, and a minibar that is restocked daily with whatever you want. That's right. Drinks are all inclusive and my drink of choice is Pinot Grigio. There was never a time after my person found that out that my mini bar was without a bottle. There is a sitting area with a sofa, chair, and small round table. There is a balcony that only becomes your balcony when you open the electric balcony window. On the balcony breakfast type table was a live iris that was so beautiful it didn't appear to be real. Next to the bedroom area. There is plenty of space to walk around each side of the king-sized bed. There is a built-in night stand on each side also. The bed can be adjusted to your needs. I could raise the head or elevate my feet as needed. The bed was amazing! Usually, nothing feels as nice as your own bed but this was not the case on the Scenic Spirit. To the right of the bed was the bathroom. It was perfectly laid out. There was a make-up light mounted near the main mirror. The water was always hot with good water pressure. The glass shower had plenty of room. Each room comes with what is referred to as your butler. Honestly, they anticipate your needs and fall over themselves to accommodate you. I have never been treated like such queen in all my life. One of the greatest things about Scenic Spirit is that there are 24 hour washing machines and dryers available, WITH DETERGENT! I only washed three small loads throughout the cruise but how nice not to have to drag dirty laundry home. There is a spa with very reasonably priced services. I had a deep tissue massage on board and it costs about half of what I would pay at home. There is a daily early-morning (light) exercise class that was held in the top deck. They provide fruit infused water after each session. The excursions are so culturally immersive. The excursions were moving, humbling, and educational. Scenic does an awesome job with five star transfer service to and from the airport. Also, the hotels before and after the cruise are high end. Scenic Spirit, with Toby's supervision, ran like a well-oiled machine! Our guides, Duc and Dara, were class acts. Scenic is very blessed to have them. I will forever cherish the memories of my Mekong River Cruise with Scenic. I will never forget Duc or Dara. I will never forget Seyla. I will never forget the children in the villages and so much more. Thank you, Scenic for showing me the Mekong Delta in such a way that had me in tears as I boarded the bus for Seap Reap. The only negative I can offer was with the Scenic USA booking process, namely the flights. There was only one person in this office dealing with flights and she did not respond to emails well, or at all. She also booked an impossible schedule for our return flight which made us miss one of our flights (of 3) on the way home. Just make sure you review your flight situation well before accepting the itinerary. The cruise experience was so great that I won't hold a grudge against Scenic for the flights being poorly planned but the customer service from that area is something they could work on. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This was a small boat cruise maximum 52 cabins. The cabins were beautiful with own balcony and bathroom , We traveled up the Mekong river from Vietnam to Cambodia. We had twice daily on shore excursions and got to explore and experience ... Read More
This was a small boat cruise maximum 52 cabins. The cabins were beautiful with own balcony and bathroom , We traveled up the Mekong river from Vietnam to Cambodia. We had twice daily on shore excursions and got to explore and experience the real river village life. The guides were brilliant and knowledgeable about their country . The crew and services on board were amazing. All our needs were more than taken care of. Tia Chi every morning on the deck was magical .. Scenery beautiful and neat to watch and enjoy the daily lives of the local people on the river. The food was amazing.offering both local and international dishes. The cooking demonstrations were fun, Spa offered a full range of services . The massages were so relaxing. wonderful. The pool and decks and lounges had beautiful comfortable furniture. We had a magical brilliant week Would definitely do it again. i Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This was a wonderful trip. Rather than repeating everything I'll just say I agree with everything the main cruise critic review said. Terrific food. Comfortable cabin. Really interesting trips off the boat with very knowledgeable ... Read More
This was a wonderful trip. Rather than repeating everything I'll just say I agree with everything the main cruise critic review said. Terrific food. Comfortable cabin. Really interesting trips off the boat with very knowledgeable guides. The only reason I didn't give it the extra star is because of how hard it was to get any information from the cruise line. When you call their number you talk to someone who sounds like they are just reading the same information from the website that you are. We booked the cruise only. I asked where and when we would meet the boat. They told us to be at a hotel at 9:30am. We got there at 9:30 and sat around in the lobby for 2 hours waiting to leave. I called to see if they could arrange a flight to our next stop in Siem Reap. They said sure and sent me information about a package with hotel and tour. I asked again about just the flight and they said "No we don't arrange flights" Fine we'll get to Siem Reap on our own. Can you tell us where and when we dock in Phnom Penh? "No clue" They made a point about Visas. They said that although you could easily get a Cambodian visa when you got to Cambodia the one place you couldn't get an instant visa was at the river crossing from Vietnam to Cambodia. So we spent $250 on a visa agency since we had no Cambodian embassy here. Sure enough, every other person on the boat gave the cruise director $40 and got one. Once again, My only problems were communication with Avalon. Once we were aboard we couldn't have been happier. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Treated myself on this cruise for a 70th birthday present. Ships was only half full and besides an English couple, Scandinavian couple & Canadian and 4 Australians the rest of the guests were from the USA. The group bonded well. The ... Read More
Treated myself on this cruise for a 70th birthday present. Ships was only half full and besides an English couple, Scandinavian couple & Canadian and 4 Australians the rest of the guests were from the USA. The group bonded well. The local guides were enthusiastic and knowledgeable and changed in Cambodia. We were divided into two groups for the entire trip with separate buses. Dining was buffet for breakfast and lunch and dinner was a choice of dishes. We would have liked to see more local food on the menu but did notice that many Americans preferred their style of food. Staff were amazing, efficient and friendly. Entertainment was just a pianist but we were lucky that one of our guest was a good singer and Bing the Uniworld rep also played the guitar. Some of the excursions such as the visit to a local school and joining their English class was so much fun! We were told that Uniworld will have a new ship next year January. Please note that March is very hot in Vietnam and Cambodia Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We chose Scenic for the Megong River cruise to Cambodia because the last night included a 1st class outdoor dinner in front of a temple, including a team of Cambodian singers and dancers. This final night dinner was outstanding and I would ... Read More
We chose Scenic for the Megong River cruise to Cambodia because the last night included a 1st class outdoor dinner in front of a temple, including a team of Cambodian singers and dancers. This final night dinner was outstanding and I would suggest that it would also be a perfect event for a Corporate Award evening. The ship was 5 star, very clean, well appointed with staff that were attentive, friendly, gracious and extremely polite. Food, drinks and wine were always plentiful and of the highest of quality. Only 60 people capacity......very nice size. It was a true lifetime experience that any North American would be in awe of partaking. The agenda was intense with a Varity of daily excursions. There is too much to review here, however, the Cambodian small town excursion, that started on ox carts, and the Angkor Wat temple visits were my highlights. I am hard to please but after 11 days I had nothing but positives for the cruise and Scenic the company. Rob, Ottawa Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We have been on several cruises both river and sea since 1980. This was the very best so far for many many reasons. The itinerary was spectacular. Sailing the Mekong River through Vietnam and Cambodia. If you are thinking of doing this. ... Read More
We have been on several cruises both river and sea since 1980. This was the very best so far for many many reasons. The itinerary was spectacular. Sailing the Mekong River through Vietnam and Cambodia. If you are thinking of doing this. DO IT NOW. 5 years from now you will not be able to experience the personal level of meeting local people doing what they do from working on the river, selling in markets or making silver or silk. The Scenic crew was one of the best. You could not want for anyone anytime. The ship was excellent and the staterooms were two times as big as any I have ever seen. We bought the regular fare not the premium but I cannot imagine what else you would need. The food was very different but if you wanted standard fare, it was always available. I could write 10,000 words describing each day but I won’t. JUST DO IT! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We have been on Uniworld over and over in Europe, and opted for a change and booked the Vietnam and Cambodia cruise on the Mekong. Departed Saigon, staveled through Vietnam and then to Cambodia, ending up in Hanoi. We started at the Park ... Read More
We have been on Uniworld over and over in Europe, and opted for a change and booked the Vietnam and Cambodia cruise on the Mekong. Departed Saigon, staveled through Vietnam and then to Cambodia, ending up in Hanoi. We started at the Park Hyatt in Saigon and had 2 days in Ho Chi Minh City. We had been there before, so we took the opportunity to see things not on the schedule (like the War Remnants Museum). Embarkation was smooth and easy, with luggage in our cabin waiting for us. The Mekong Navigator ship is small, but perfect for the 50-60 Uniworld guests. The hotel and cruise staff was terrific and went out of their way to make you comfortable and attend to every need. Food was superb with plenty of great selections, well prepared. The stops on the Mekong were usually quite primitive, as is the country. But you see things you wouldn't see otherwise than on a river cruise. And they were always waiting for you with cook towels and refreshing drinks, and they collected and cleaned the dirt and grime from your shoes! The hotel manager (Roberto) and the cruise director (Hua) were among the best we have had in 9 Uniworld trips. Only issue was that the ship had no elevator -- but we all have to make sacrifices! Stops in Siem Reap, Cambodia at the Sofitel was wonderful, especially visiting the Indiana Jones temples! Pity those traveling in the future, because the trip now stops at Siem Reap and you'll have to see Hanoi as an extension -- but well worth it! Hanoi was amazing. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We booked this cruise directly with Aqua Expeditions, and the reservation team was very reactive and helpful. For the two hour transfer from Ho Chi Minh to the ship, we had opted for a Mercedes S-class transfer, which was excellent. ... Read More
We booked this cruise directly with Aqua Expeditions, and the reservation team was very reactive and helpful. For the two hour transfer from Ho Chi Minh to the ship, we had opted for a Mercedes S-class transfer, which was excellent. The ship is gorgeous, with plenty of indoor and outdoor space. We had chosen a double cabin, which means that one cabin was set up as a living room and the other one as a bedroom. Consequently, we also had two bathrooms, which was extremely convenient. We were very happy to have chosen the double cabin, as the cabin otherwise would feel very small. However, other guests seemed perfectly happy with their cabins. The gym is obviously small and only offers some cardio equipment, but it was sufficient for a few days. I had three massages during the cruise, which were excellent. The free laundry service was great. There were only 18 guests (+38 staff) on this cruise, and we quickly got to know each other and it almost felt like travelling with a group of friends. Excursions are offered in the morning and afternoon, and there are often different options to choose from. The excursions were extremely well organised. We particularly enjoyed the bike rides, which was a great way to explore the country side. The biking was pretty easy as it always took place on a flat solid surface, and the bikes are well maintained. There are not really any big sights to be seen. The excursions are all about exploring the local life and people, and enjoying the beautiful surroundings. The food was really great with a variation between Asian and western dishes, sometimes served on the outside deck. The free flow of good wine and beer was a great feature. The service was truly outstanding. The wait staff quickly learned our names, and it was a very warm and personal service. Wifi is only available in public areas, and the speed varies a lot. We had asked to reservation team to provide local SIM cards for us, and it worked very well. It was an unforgettable experience, which I highly recommend. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
This cruise was chosen as way to see the more rural side of Vietnam and Cambodia and did not disappoint. In fact it went way beyond our expectations. The itinerary is new with many small villages visited, often being transported by local ... Read More
This cruise was chosen as way to see the more rural side of Vietnam and Cambodia and did not disappoint. In fact it went way beyond our expectations. The itinerary is new with many small villages visited, often being transported by local tuk tuk, ox cart or horse cart.The excursions are varied and well run, with a lot of local content , including making pots, basket weaving, cooking pancakes and planting trees. My highlight was one of our 2 school visits and sitting with a 12 year old student, in his open air classroom helping with his lessons. The amenities and space on board were truly amazing. Our cruise was about half full but even if is was at capacity you would never feel crowded. There is space and quiet when needed and a wonderful cocktail hour to mix with others. We dined with everyone on board at at various times during the week and the dining experience was always exceptional. The meals were varied with a lot of local dishes to try and beautifully presented. Lastly, the crew went above and beyond to ensure our safety and the enjoyment of all on board. Be ready for the crew/guest dance on the last night! I genuinely recommend this cruise and can’t wait to try another adventure with Pandaw. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We have traveled previously with Scenic in Europe and after the first cruise down the Rhine and Moselle they won us over. Everything they do is first class. The Mekong cruise is no exception. The accommodation is first class, staff are ... Read More
We have traveled previously with Scenic in Europe and after the first cruise down the Rhine and Moselle they won us over. Everything they do is first class. The Mekong cruise is no exception. The accommodation is first class, staff are magnificent, dining, service, excursions and entertainment are excellent. You always meet nice people on Scenic. Do yourself a favour and book with them on your next River Cruise..you wont be disappointed. The actual time on board the Scenic Spirit was 8 days with the remaining 5 days on land both in Ho Chi Min (Saigon) and Siem Reap. The accommodation in both those cities was 5 star and excellent in every way. There were organised excursions and/or you could do your own thing. Dining experiences were excellent with first class restaurants on the itinerary both for lunch and dinner and plenty of options to choose from. While the land content is excellent the cruising/on board experience is the icing on the cake and always a highlight of cruising with Scenic. Would we go again....absolutely. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Expect the days to be HOT and humid at each port you visit. If you can stand the heat and like to sweat, then you'll have a great time. I enjoyed the food offered on the ship, the chefs had nightly special, that gave you a chance to ... Read More
Expect the days to be HOT and humid at each port you visit. If you can stand the heat and like to sweat, then you'll have a great time. I enjoyed the food offered on the ship, the chefs had nightly special, that gave you a chance to try foods that you wouldn't have a chance to enjoy otherwise. The crew couldn't have been more helpful, from keeping the room clean, deck dry, and even cleaning your shoes after coming back from shore excursions. The entertainment on board the ship was limited, except they showed several movies about the area, which help you gained a better understand of their culture and customs. Enjoyed visiting villages, palaces, temples, and homes while on the cruse. Took the pre-excursion to Bangkok, Thailand and was glade that I did. Bangkok is truly a colorful city to visit and their temples have the WOW factor that you just can't miss if you want an enjoyable vacation in Asia. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We chose this cruise because we had previously been on a Scenic River Cruise in Europe, for Amsterdam to Budapest and it was wonderful. We had never been either to Vietnam or Cambodia so thought this would be the way to see them. We ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had previously been on a Scenic River Cruise in Europe, for Amsterdam to Budapest and it was wonderful. We had never been either to Vietnam or Cambodia so thought this would be the way to see them. We travelled from Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap. Before the cruise we spent time in Ho Chi Minh City, enjoying the clamour of the big city and eating in the local restaurants and after in Siem Reap doing similar things. Everything was thought of with Scenic. The ship was incredible. It is owned and operated by Scenic themselves unlike some of the other tour companies ships. It is luxurious and spacious. The common areas are large and beautifully decorated. Our cabin was large and airy and well appointed. We even had a bed that we could adjust both ends up or down! We had more than enough wardrobe space and plenty of other storage. The shower was the largest I have ever seen on any ship. The service was second to none. I have never felt so spoilt. Our butler was always at hand with drinks, food and any other assistance we needed. The wait staff were incredible. They all were. The entertainment on board was just what we needed, traditional dancing and singing. Really what we were there to see. The shore excursions were well thought out and educated us in the culture and history of both countries. Our tour guide was exceptional as were all of the other tour guides we had. They all were easy to hear and understand with the help of our head sets. The food on board was a mixture of Western food and local food and we enjoyed it all. It was a fabulous holiday. I could do it all again tomorrow. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We chose this cruise specifically for the opportunity to visit the temples of Siem Reap but also to learn more about the people of Cambodia, their bloody history, culture and their cuisine. We particularly wanted to experience River ... Read More
We chose this cruise specifically for the opportunity to visit the temples of Siem Reap but also to learn more about the people of Cambodia, their bloody history, culture and their cuisine. We particularly wanted to experience River Cruising in Asia in a new ship with a fantastic passenger/crew ratio withe space Scenic Spirit seemed to offer. The cruise scored almost a perfect score as we did not make use of the gym or spa. The accomodation was amazingingly spacious with the most comfortable bed we have ever slept in. The ability to to have a real balcony was amazing and the crew superb. Our names and preferences in dining and service wereknown within days of boarding. The Chef is a genius - always coming up with the taste of the local cuisine with only the freshest of foods. Entertainment consisted of local groups of school children coming on board to perform Lion Dances and other entertainments on the large Sun Deck. The highlight of the tour was the Gala Dinner outside the Kravan Hindu temple dating back to the 10th Century with its magnificent Dances, Table decorations and Gourmet food. Our cruise Director Duc To was friendly, efficient, and when my wife became ill in Siem Reap compassionate and caring. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018

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