This was a wonderful journey, part land tour and part cruise with a company, Viking, that we've come to trust and enjoy. We started in Hanoi, a group of 54 people. We were divided into two groups with each of us having an escort for the complete journey. Our escort was from Saigon (the other from Hanoi) and I very much appreciated his frankness and being able to fill in the gaps when talking about the history of Viet Nam and Cambodia. To start, the hotels Viking uses are 5+ star accommodations, from old classic hotel in Hanoi, to a resort in Siem Reap Cambodia, to modern resort in Ha Long Bay, to ultra modern high rise hotel in Saigon. The excursions in Hanoi, Ha Long Bay, Siem Reap (Ankor Wat) was very well organized and very educational. We did the elephant ride among the temples in Siem Reap on our own and would recommend it. The air flight from Hanoi to Siem Reap was on a new Airbus A321; airport terminals were nice and modern.
We had a 3.5 hour bus ride from Siem Reap to the Mekong river port to pick up the Viking Mekong riverboat. It is much shorter than their riverboats in Europe, but there are only 26 staterooms on the boat anyway, so it's much more intimate. The first thing that impresses you is the mahogany wood trim and finish all over the boat. The staterooms are slightly smaller that European boats, but all had a queen/king size bed. Each stateroom opens onto an exterior passageway large enough for a couple of chairs and small table to sit and enjoy the river sights. The food was typical Viking, excellent, with many local and standard choices every day. The riverboat only travels during the day (anchor in the river at night except in Phnom Penh where it's tied up, so you're always able to see river sights everyday. We got to our excursions on the river via large sampans which was exciting. Our escorts presented several lectures on the life and history of Viet Nam/Cambodia which were very well done. Viking had a couple of local groups come aboard for entertainment after dinner which was well presented. The bus ride at the end of the river portion into Saigon took us to the Cu Chi tunnels first which was very educational. We had two nights in Saigon at The Reverie, a wildly luxurious hotel, that was included in the basic Viking journey. We wish we had stayed longer. The whole journey including the embarkation and debarkation were effortless; Viking takes care of it all. I strongly recommend this trip and arriving in your departure city (either Hanoi or Saigon) a couple of days early to adjust to time differentials.