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14 Viking Mandalay Cruise Reviews

We had never been to Burma and were intrigued by the political developments there. The cruise itself was very somfortable witrh an extremely attentive staff and the usual Viking good planning for shore excursions The stay at Inle ... Read More
We had never been to Burma and were intrigued by the political developments there. The cruise itself was very somfortable witrh an extremely attentive staff and the usual Viking good planning for shore excursions The stay at Inle Lake was magical, with outstanding accomodations, and the discovery of a waterborne way of life we had never seen before (or since)! The depth of the Budhist faith was another unexpected discovery. It was impossible not to see some temple or other wherever we looked. The Shangri-La hotels at the beginning and end of the cruise were excellent in every way, the Bankok one on the river is incredibly pleasant, indeed we stayed there a few more days. The food on the Mandalay was fine but not quire as good as on othet Viking cruises, probably due to limited availability of ingredients in a very, very poor country. Finally perhaps the best part of the cruise were the other guests all of whom vere interesting and congenial people, maybe there was something special about people chosing to go to a relativelly little travelled country. Read Less
Sail Date December 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
Sail Date November 2016
We wanted to see Myanmar before it is changed forever by mass tourism. This itinerary allowed us to visit not only the major centres of Yangon and Mandalay but also small remote villages only accessible easily by river. We thoroughly ... Read More
We wanted to see Myanmar before it is changed forever by mass tourism. This itinerary allowed us to visit not only the major centres of Yangon and Mandalay but also small remote villages only accessible easily by river. We thoroughly enjoyed meeting some of the local people, especially the children who were so eager to practice their language skills on us. Visiting local markets was very interesting and colourful, as were the gold leaf factory and lacquerware workshop. The addition of a stopover at Inle Lake with a visit to the silk weaving workshop was very special. The ship was wonderful - lovely teak decor and a spacious sundeck. The crew were superb, always ready to assist us, even to the extent of cleaning our shoes whenever we came back onboard. We are so glad we went but disappointed to learn that Viking has withdrawn from Myanmar and this trip is no longer available. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Myanmar (Burma) had been on my bucket list for almost 40 years. This was a great way to explore the country, by land and river, as we saw the bigger towns and the small villages. Nothing (other than the shower pressure/temperature) ... Read More
Myanmar (Burma) had been on my bucket list for almost 40 years. This was a great way to explore the country, by land and river, as we saw the bigger towns and the small villages. Nothing (other than the shower pressure/temperature) could have been better. Tragic that Viking has discontinued this destination as the crew, guides, villagers and others very much benefited from the cruises. Nyo and Moomoo were the best guides ever - so sweet, personable, knowledgeable and open to discussion. Dominique was so hospitable and friendly. The chef was great and friendly. The captain and his whole crew did everything they could to keep us happy and safe. Myanmar was fascinating - we could have used a day more in Inle Lake and Bagan and probably Rangoon. The bedrooms needed more light - especially over the desks but the small cabins were very efficiently arranged. The other passengers and the people of Myanmar themselves, of course, were the highlight of this fascinating trip. Wish Viking went to our other bucket list destinations of the Amazon and Galapagos. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Opportunity to experience Myanmar and its unique culture before the onset of heavy tourist traffic. Great start in Bangkok with a stay at the outstanding Shangdi-La hotel on the river. Flight to Yangon and another fantastic Shangdi-La ... Read More
Opportunity to experience Myanmar and its unique culture before the onset of heavy tourist traffic. Great start in Bangkok with a stay at the outstanding Shangdi-La hotel on the river. Flight to Yangon and another fantastic Shangdi-La hotel. Great excursions and time to explore the area. Flight to Inle Lake to relax at a beautiful resort facility while exploring the unique stilt structures and life on the lake. Flight to Mandalay and local excursions before boarding our ship, a very unique and charming teak vessel with the appropriate asian atmosphere. The social area/sun deck was a lovely environment with very comfortable accommodations and pleasant atmosphere enhanced by a wonderful canopy and well placed fans. Ship's staff among the most attentive and caring that I have experienced. Attention to every detail. Food quality, variety and preparation was five star. Catered to al tastes with choices of western, asian and vegetarian at every meal. Crew was on hand to tend to every need. Ship staff to passenger ratio was nearly one to one. There were two Tour Directors who also served as local guides. The group was split between the two and stayed together for the duration of the trip which fostered a very cohesive group. Our Tour Director, Nanda, was a very well educated local with a significant diversification of talent and knowledge which provided significant enrichment and enjoyment to our experience. One of the best I have had in my cruising experience. Very relaxed atmosphere. Great excursions that brought you to the people and the environment. All transfers and logistics went off without a hitch. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
I have been on three previous Viking river cruises and just love them. Am no longer interested in ocean cruises now that I have done the river ones. Our program director was the best, Mu Mu. She engaged all of his daily and the crew ... Read More
I have been on three previous Viking river cruises and just love them. Am no longer interested in ocean cruises now that I have done the river ones. Our program director was the best, Mu Mu. She engaged all of his daily and the crew as well with singing and dancing. We loved her. We were so lucky to have 14 of us passengers and 28 crew members. truly pampered and spoiled. The food was excellent, not spicy, which was very helpful. presentation was wonderful and service was great. Loved all the daily tours we took with the wonderful air conditioned buses. Dominique the hotel manager was wonderful as well. My only suggestion is that the young lady who was the massage therapist got a bit too personal along our buttocks. It wasn't intentional but we Western ladies are a bit more reserved and we did mention it to each other. We would have liked for the air conditioning unit to go down to 15 deg. C. It was unusually hot during that week, l00 every day and it was difficult for the unit to keep up. Our rooms were lovely and the boat was also spotless and the service was wonderful. Our drivers were very careful and I appreciate having two crew members come along on each of our tours. It kept me from wandering off into the paths of the motorbikes!! I really loved Bagan and the last shrine with the 582,000 Buddha images. Also appreciated all the cold water on hand. Would highly recommend this cruise to my friends. In fact, two sets of friends have already come to see me, look at my pictures and inquired about our trip. Next stop Amazon or Ganges!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Viking has a wonderful Myanmar cruise/tour itinerary. You get a chance to see some of the major tourist sites but also visit small villages. Many people loved the villages most of all. The trip starts in Bangkok at the beautiful ... Read More
Viking has a wonderful Myanmar cruise/tour itinerary. You get a chance to see some of the major tourist sites but also visit small villages. Many people loved the villages most of all. The trip starts in Bangkok at the beautiful Shangri-La Hotel. We arrived 2 days ahead but did not use the Viking pre-tour extension. It was less expensive to take a cab to the hotel (500 baht), upgrade to a deluxe river view room instead of the Viking standard room (still very nice) and book a couple of tours on our own. FYI the hotel will let you store things until your return at the end of the cruise. I enjoyed every single excursion. This is an interesting country. There are no optional excursions. What you see is what you get, plus a lot more! Viking makes this trip worry free. We were taken care of every step of the way. The staff is friendly, helpful and just can’t do enough for you. We travelled in January (a great month to go). It was sunny every day and I did not see a single mosquito. There were very few bugs. Viking said the areas we were travelling had no malaria. A couple of people took malaria pills and stopped because the medication made them feel sick. In January it is very cold at Inle Lake. It dropped to 5C (41F) at night. I wish I had packed warmer clothes. It gets very warm in the day but nights and mornings are chilly. Even if you are not an American, bring US cash. Most of the places we visited took US dollars. I thought I would use local currency from ATMs. In Yangon I tried my bank card plus 3 credit cards and was unable to withdraw cash. Myanmar does not have systems in place to handle all cards. Fortunately at the Mandalay airport there was a KBZ bank ATM that accepted my debit card. Although perfect for me but this trip is not for everyone. You will walk barefoot in temples and walk on some pretty dirty surfaces. (Viking provides moist wipes to clean your feet after.) There are a lot of stairs to climb and some are very steep. At the smaller villages the ship is tied up to a tree. A gang plank lowered and once you cross it, the climb up the bank is steep. This would not be a good trip for anyone with mobility issues. I would say the Viking Mandalay is a bit less refined than European cruises. The cabins and food may not be as fancy but the ambience is more what you expect from being on the Irrawaddy. The experience of seeing Myanmar in more of a traditional way before it changes is what is important. This was an amazing trip that I will never forget and unlike any other cruise I have been on. Kudos Viking! Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
We joined the Viking group in Bangkok and then visited Yangon and Inle Lake before boarding the ship in Mandalay. We were a group of 8 on this 60 passenger ship with a crew of almost 30. Dominic, the hotel manager, took care of all our ... Read More
We joined the Viking group in Bangkok and then visited Yangon and Inle Lake before boarding the ship in Mandalay. We were a group of 8 on this 60 passenger ship with a crew of almost 30. Dominic, the hotel manager, took care of all our needs onboard and MuMu was our excellent guide. I am glad we visited Myanmar before the people and landscape change due to commercialism. The cabin is snug but more than adequate for our storage needs. The ship is a beauty and very well maintained by the crew. Shoes are removed and cleaned after each shot trip. Food was wonderful and so were the wines at meals. Cocktails before diner served by TiTi. We especially enjoyed visiting the villages and seeing everyday life. The people are so friendly and wanting to have pictures taken of their children. Began was the highlight and we enjoyed the movie on board "The Lady" which told the recent history of Burma. Wifi was mostly available on the river except for a few instances. Viking took care of us from start to finish. Wonderful experience. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
The tour began in Bangkok with flights to Yangon/Rangoon, Myanmar. We stayed in the luxurious Shangri La Hotel in Bangkok and Burma. We had great guided tours of the Grand Palace and Schwedegon Palace. We flew to Heho and drove to a ... Read More
The tour began in Bangkok with flights to Yangon/Rangoon, Myanmar. We stayed in the luxurious Shangri La Hotel in Bangkok and Burma. We had great guided tours of the Grand Palace and Schwedegon Palace. We flew to Heho and drove to a vineyard near Inle Lake and stayed at the fabulous Aureum Palace Resort. We flew to Mandalay where we boarded the Viking boat to tour the Irawady/Ayeyerwady River for stops at Bagan, and many other small farming communities along the way. There were Buddhas, temples and stupas in superlative numbers. Our last evening included a champagne gondola ride below the Ubein Bridge. We had many cultural opportunities aboard the boat to learn about dance, puppetry, music, costumes and thanaka. Service, educational opportunities, tours and dining were superior both on land and the ship. We recommend this tour to anyone interested in a comprehensive Burmese experience. Viking does not disappoint. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We have a favourite saying that you never get a second chance at a first impression, well our Viking first impression was simply outstanding. We started our journey in Bangkok staying at the very impressive Shangri La. After a couple ... Read More
We have a favourite saying that you never get a second chance at a first impression, well our Viking first impression was simply outstanding. We started our journey in Bangkok staying at the very impressive Shangri La. After a couple of days, we travelled to Pyay via Yangon. We embarked the Viking Mandalay to a very warm welcome. The crew could not do enough to ensure we were comfortable and relaxed. All services on the ship were first class, the cabin was comfortable and kept very clean by the housekeeping team. The food - breakfast, lunch and dinner was tasty, excellent variety and plentiful and the wines were enjoyable. The destinations [port and shore excursions] were a memorable experience. It was all about the people and their smiles and their pride in their country. Even the dirt roads were swept! Each and every destination/excursion had their 'special' memory. One of the highlights for us was Anzac Day, April 25. I asked our very supportive Hotel Manager Dominik Hofstetter if I could conduct an Anzac Dawn Service on board the ship on April 25. Dominik was extremely helpful and provided all my requests. We had a programme which was typed up and copies made to all attendees. Our Program Director Nan Da read the Anzac oath. Domink even arranged a rose for each attendee to throw into the Irrawaddy in memory of someone special and to those who lost their lives in all conflicts of war. I said to Dominik that it is traditional that a 'Gunfire Breakfast' follows the service. Dominik was again fabulous and provided toasted bacon & egg sandwiches, cold beer, whisky or rum to have in the coffee and he even organised the chef to make some Anzac biscuits for the morning, Absolutely magnificent support from Dominik and all his team. Following dinner each night, there was entertainment on the sun deck which was fun and interesting and usually finished with us Aussies the last to leave - late! Congratulations Viking, we loved it. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
A trip down the Irrawaddy, this s a small river ship, 28 cabins and maximum of 56 passengers. We had already sailed on this river ship in Vietnam and Cambodia, so knew the layout and quirks. This cruise is all inclusive, all meals are ... Read More
A trip down the Irrawaddy, this s a small river ship, 28 cabins and maximum of 56 passengers. We had already sailed on this river ship in Vietnam and Cambodia, so knew the layout and quirks. This cruise is all inclusive, all meals are served in the only dining room at set times, limited menu choices but caters for most tastes. The sail down the Irrawaddy has stops every day to visit either a village or sights but always returning to the ship for all meals. Single beds unless you ask for a double, but a double makes storage access difficult as the beds have cupboards built in. The crew were excellent, drinks included unless you want premium liquors, bar staff remembered your favourite drink. Food amazing, both Burmese and European. Lots of temple viewing, watching sunrise over Bagan was a special moment. Village stops were great but dusty. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
We picked this trip, since Myanmar was an entirely new and exotic destination. The Shangri La hotel in Bangkok was beautiful. We flew to Mandalay for a short tour and where we boarded the boat. The accommodations are very simple, but ... Read More
We picked this trip, since Myanmar was an entirely new and exotic destination. The Shangri La hotel in Bangkok was beautiful. We flew to Mandalay for a short tour and where we boarded the boat. The accommodations are very simple, but practical. It was the same flat bottom style on the Irrawaddy as the Vietnam/Cambodia trip on the Mekong. The food was fresh and delicious - we liked the many local dishes on board. Everything is casual and open seating. Every day we stopped at different villages, with something to see or learn at each one. We saw so many Buddhas and beautiful Temples and Pagodas, with monks and monasteries everywhere. We learned about the history of the country. The education resources are very limited. Politics were bad, but recently things seem to have improved a bit. We had lectures, a movie, various talks, guest monks and craft persons on board. People in the villages were often poor, but seemed very friendly and got by OK. We were on all kinds of fun transportation. Our guide, Dorothy, was wonderful and so full of interesting information. She taught us all, much about her country and often surprised us with a song, a small gift, or a funny story. When we returned from dusty walks, the crew on our boat collected our shoes and sandals we wore and returned them cleaned off to our doorsteps! Nice! We ended Myranmar in Yangon for a couple of nights and then flew back to Bangkok. The only negative was that nearly all 50 of the guests ended with respiratory infections- coughing mostly. Perhaps from so much dust, close quarters, and sharing of serving utensils on board. We were not warned until we were on the ship about the minimal emergency health resources on the trip. Luckily no one had an emergency. Also, minimal wifi available along the river, except in hotel stops. There are 3 main levels on board- access by steep stairs only. Top level is shaded. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
Having travelled in Asia previously, on business and pleasure, I had an idea what to expect. However, I was more than impressed, not only by the views but also by the crew. It was the first time we had experienced a crew that became ... Read More
Having travelled in Asia previously, on business and pleasure, I had an idea what to expect. However, I was more than impressed, not only by the views but also by the crew. It was the first time we had experienced a crew that became totally involved with their passengers, from captain to crew hand. I had been to Bangkok several times before, so had experienced the Thai capital, so we were really looking forward to the trip to Myamar. It started well with a truly warm welcome in Yangoon. After a couple of days visiting the city sights we travelled by coach up country to Pyay. On route we visited the magnificent war cemetery of the forces that fought during the Second World War; truly a thought provoking experience set in a beautiful garden. At Pyay we joined our vessel and started the fascinating. Voyage to Mandalay, with brilliant stops on route that included Bagan, with its many stupas, the highlight of which was the morning expedition to see the sun rise; magical. There were many highlights of the trip, but another impressive visit was to the school and to see the construction and financial commitment put in by Viking to educate the local children. Finally we arrived in Mandalay and after 2 days of visits we left for Thailand and our flight home. It was truly a great experience of a well managed and thoughtful trip, overseen by a fully professional group of people. Remarkable, our best Viking experience so far to a country that is waking up to the treasures of its people, to be experienced by travellers. Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
One could classify this trip as an adventure. Not recommended for beginners. I enjoyed it, my husband did not like it. It began in Bangkok. The guides there spoke poor English. I would recommend doing tours on your own thru the hotel. ... Read More
One could classify this trip as an adventure. Not recommended for beginners. I enjoyed it, my husband did not like it. It began in Bangkok. The guides there spoke poor English. I would recommend doing tours on your own thru the hotel. Those were wonderful, in a private car and with people that knew what they were talking about. A flight to YANGON followed. There we had a good and enthusiastic guide. Do not venture in the streets alone. Broken down, dirty, just like Calcutta. Nothing to buy. Take a taxi everywhere or the heat will get the best of you. This was followed by a 7 hour, uncomfortable bus ride cross country. Hideous bathrooms along the way. Boarded our ship "Mandalay" there. Not up to viking standards. Food wasn't very good. Only oriental menu served. 11 days on the Irrawaddy River. Beautiful sunrises and sunsets. Culture shock along the way. Hot, searing hot. Cabins have AC. Loved visits to some villages and temples. Lots of Pagodas. Hated walking barefoot on their dirty floors. Under no circumstances drink the water. Rinse your toothbrush with bottled water regardless what the hotel manager says. You can get sick there. Naldo take malaria meds and vaccinate against hep A and B, tiphoid. Bugs are everywhere at night when we stop for the night. In spite of all this, it was enjoyable. Do not travel there in poor health. Mother just got their first X-ray machine in Mandalay. No medical care of any kind. You would have to evacuate to bangkok or Singapore. Buy insurance! Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
Viking Mandalay Ratings
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