The reviews we read on-line from a wide variety of sources were helpful and the deciding factor in selecting AmaWaterways. Viking was described as having funky, leased boats, not their own brand. Uniworld had good reviews, but its Ha Long Bay excursion was not part of the package (and the add-on seemed overpriced). Uniworld's boat was too outside oriented. (FYI: We were cautious about the heat, humidity and bugs; but they were not really an issue in January.)
After our fabulous, exotic, eye-opening trip, we agree that the boat, colonial décor, attentive professional staff, regional food menu and highly educated guides were all top notch. The guides were all expert in their areas. We had three of them, one for north Vietnam, one for Cambodia, and one for the Mekong Delta and Saigon. The excursions were all fascinating as well as varied. We visited caves; ruins, temples; markets; silk, rattan, candy and rice cake businesses; Viet Cong hideouts; war museums and many other places of interest.
The means of transportation was varied, too: junk, bus, rickshaw, ox-car, trishaw, tuk-tuk, small boat, etc. What an amazing adventure. I recommend going during the Lunar New Year because the countries are all decked out in vivid decorations, and the people are abuzz in expectation of the long, popular holiday. We are glad we choose AmaWaterways!