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467 Asia River Cruise Reviews

A wonderful, unique opportunity to explore river life in India. The company covers every tiny detail to ensure enjoyment, right from the off. They meet you and allocate a car to share for trips, just three or four to a car. The cabins are ... Read More
A wonderful, unique opportunity to explore river life in India. The company covers every tiny detail to ensure enjoyment, right from the off. They meet you and allocate a car to share for trips, just three or four to a car. The cabins are comfy and well kitted out. Water is plentiful and your personal canister handed out for all tours. The food is varied and delicious, covering a variety of cuisines in India, plus a milder continental option for main course. The catering staff will do anything for you, and are delightful. The onboard naturalist/ tour guide gives talks prior to each trip, which enhances the understanding and enjoyment, and our young man Mayuresh knew so much about birds too. Neena runs the whole experience with a gentle calm, and takes the morning yoga sessions (yog to her). Where else could you stretch out to the morning sun on a deserted island? There is a paramedic on board, so please say immediately if you don’t feel well. He accompanied every trip and was on hand with medication when my husband gashed his leg against a protruding obstacle. Because the river is shallow, we were the only ship in the area, visiting tiny villages on silt islands, and the mooring was stunningly good. At the bank the crew would ensure a safe spot, put down a gangplank and stand with a pole to provide a handrail. Even those unsteady on their feet felt safe. There was such care and attention to detail in every aspect of the trip it made an incredible, unforgettable experience. And the naturalist compiled a video of each day’s events, shown after dinner, which created a record of the holiday to purchase on a USB stick, just to prove you really were on that amazing, different world! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
It was part of a package tour of Cambodia and Vietnam. We were so pleased they chose your vessel as it was the most enjoyable part of the whole trip. The staff made us all feel special and welcomed, nothing was too much trouble. As ... Read More
It was part of a package tour of Cambodia and Vietnam. We were so pleased they chose your vessel as it was the most enjoyable part of the whole trip. The staff made us all feel special and welcomed, nothing was too much trouble. As vegetarian travellers they did their best to accomodate us. We had 7 days of fine dining, each day had a different choice. The table service was 2nd to none. Water was constantly replaced in our cabins so we had no worries about keeping hydrated. The laundry staff were excellent so clean fresh clothes were always available. The cabins were cleaned daily, they were serviced without any inconvenience to us. Staff became like friends to us, they remembered our names and our preferences. I cannot fault this cruise and would love to return, our hearts were heavy when we had to gomas we felt we were leaving our friends behind. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
The cruise was part of a trip including "The golden triangle" and Kolkata. We had expected it to be the climax of the trip, and it exceeded our expectations. The service and staff were exceptional. The meals were varied and ... Read More
The cruise was part of a trip including "The golden triangle" and Kolkata. We had expected it to be the climax of the trip, and it exceeded our expectations. The service and staff were exceptional. The meals were varied and very good. Most meals, the wonderful manager Mrs Singh joined us, recommended what to choose and informed us about what the food contained and how it was made. It could e.g. be Assam specialities. The excursions were all interesting and of high class and the crew always had some surprise to come up with. One interesting excursion was to the Mishing village on a small island in the river, where the people were self-supporting and usually not had very much contact with the rest of the country. They seemed very happy with their life and were of course very interested in us. Another memorable excursion was by tender boat on the riverbank of Kaziranga national park with rich animal life. We had already given up the hope to see a tiger, and started our trip back sipping on a glass of wine provided by the crew, when they shouted "Tiger". The guide told us that it was the same very unusual white spotted female tiger they had seen before exactly on the same spot and at the same time of day marking its fox. Of course because it is a river cruise boat, there was not space for a theater with entertainment neither a gym, but there was a spa and yoga exercises for those interested. The boat was about half occupied on our cruise which may have contributed to the exceptional service, but still we highly recommed this experience. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
The boat was beautiful, our cabin was perfect with a lovely veranda, the food was delicious. A great breakfast selection with everything from Pho to an egg station and lots of fruit. Lunch was also served buffet style, with Asian and ... Read More
The boat was beautiful, our cabin was perfect with a lovely veranda, the food was delicious. A great breakfast selection with everything from Pho to an egg station and lots of fruit. Lunch was also served buffet style, with Asian and European choices. Two soups every day, salad and at least 4 or 5 other choices plus the amazing puddings. A 4 courae dinner with wine was served at the table with a choice. It was all lovely and we are foodies. There was a cooking course one afternoon which was great fun The guide's and the trips were marvelous, very knowledgeable and interesting. We had some very serious tours as well as fun one's and great lectures. We had a range of transport from long tail boats, ox carts, trishaws and a range of rickshaws. The crew was an absolute a joy. They really were quite special, nothing was too much trouble and they clearly have a great cameraraderie. The service really made the trip. It was such a wonderful way to visit Vietnam and Cambodia. Tai Chi on the top deck before breakfast was incredible. The company is very ethical and green, no plastic and they invest in the communities we visited and recruit staff from the schools. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was a trip along the Brahmaputra river and was extremly varied and included many different experiences. We visited villages, including artisan villages, temples and tea plantations. National park including safari. We saw single ... Read More
This was a trip along the Brahmaputra river and was extremly varied and included many different experiences. We visited villages, including artisan villages, temples and tea plantations. National park including safari. We saw single horned rhinoceros, elephant, water buffalo, wild boar and more. On an offshore trip on the tender we were fortunate enough to see a very rare golden faced Bengal tiger, endangered turtles and eagles. We were treated to several different performances depicting local gods and fables. Were privileged to see monks performing their song and dance for God and allowed to tour their conclave. We toured a hemp factory and a tea drying and packaging factory. On board we were treated like honoured guests, every member of the crew were warm and welcoming. The chefs were exceptional. We were always very well looked after both on the boat and on shore visits. I very highly recommend this trip. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This cruise was the keystone of the Vantage 'Mysteries of Angkor Wat & the Mekong River' tour. The Heritage Line RV Jayavarman is a beautiful ship, elegance and comfort melded together. The ship leadership provided skilled ... Read More
This cruise was the keystone of the Vantage 'Mysteries of Angkor Wat & the Mekong River' tour. The Heritage Line RV Jayavarman is a beautiful ship, elegance and comfort melded together. The ship leadership provided skilled management for a safe and enjoyable cruise. The crew always greeted us with a smile and by our names, so personable. The meals were gourmet experiences providing a diverse choice of excellent local dishes, as well as, the best in international cuisine. Activities included Tai Chi in the morning on the top deck, Full Spa services, Stops along the river with guided tours, time to relax and enjoy a book on deck, unwinding in the jacuzzi spa pool on the top deck, late afternoon appetizers, and evening audio/visual presentations. Free WiFi was available in the main rooms, as well as, in the cabins. This is a truly luxurious experience, one not to be missed. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
The strand cruise from mandalay to bagan in myanmar was a once in a lifetime experience, I have never enjoyed a river boat cruise so much, exceptional staff, so endearing, so polite, so helpful. The cabin was beautiful, so clean, so comfy, ... Read More
The strand cruise from mandalay to bagan in myanmar was a once in a lifetime experience, I have never enjoyed a river boat cruise so much, exceptional staff, so endearing, so polite, so helpful. The cabin was beautiful, so clean, so comfy, so quiet. the facilities are amazing and the food was really varied and delicious. The bar, the pool deck and the spa just capped off an amazing experience, thank you to all the crew for a perfect 3 days aboard. It is the perfect way to see the hinterland of Myanmar, you get the sunrise and the sunset from the top decks. I was amazed at how smoothly and quietly the Ship cruised down river, not a mosquito in sight at nighttime. the food really was impeccable and so varied every day, with so much choice from a prepared menu. The massage in late afternoon was the cherry on top, I was a very lucky and spoilt holidaymaker. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We have travelled extensively on ocean and river over the last 20 years and have, with the exception of our October Pandaw India trip, always enjoyed our adventures. On two occasions plans went astray but we were adequately compensated. ... Read More
We have travelled extensively on ocean and river over the last 20 years and have, with the exception of our October Pandaw India trip, always enjoyed our adventures. On two occasions plans went astray but we were adequately compensated. This is the first time I have voiced my dissatisfaction in a public forum and I have endeavoured to report the issues as accurately as possible. We arrived in Kolkata in anticipation of the inaugural 14 day cruise to Varanasi. Unfortunately the late finish to the monsoon season and associated flooding closed the lock at Farraka and prevented our boat Katha Pandaw from reaching Varanasi. We were only notified of this closure at 3.30 pm the day before although Pandaw had knowledge of potential problems with our itinerary some days prior. One hour before we were due to board our boat, we were given the option to cancel but we had accommodation, tours and flights booked for the end of our cruise and we felt we were unable to organise an alternate itinerary without any notice or help let alone compensation for consequential losses. In reality there was no real choice. We were told the amended itinerary, which we did not receive for four days, of one week on the boat Kolkata return and one week by air and bus would be “amazing”. Sadly this holiday was far from amazing and far from the luxury as advertised by Pandaw. We made the best of our first week on Katha Pandaw as the scenery along The Ganges was beautiful. However the boat was not safe nor fit for passengers. In terms of safety, electrical sockets were loose, grouting in showers filthy, tiles were falling off bathroom walls and the showers would suddenly lose all cold water with the result that many passengers were scalded, including myself on three occasions. Our cabin was not as comfortable as on previous Pandaw trips. The mattress on the bed was the hardest we have ever slept on and the majority of passengers were complaining. The air conditioner which needed to be on at all times due to the heat and humidity was the noisiest we have ever experienced. Some were held together by packing tape to try and stop the rattling. The compressor went on and off all night and it was very difficult to sleep. There was no usable soap and only a tiny glass bottle with body wash from which it was impossible to get the contents out. We were told that they tried to buy cakes of soap for the cabins but it was a public holiday! Is this the best Pandaw could do!? Even the representative of the Indian management company who visited the boat following multiple complaints admitted that Katha Pandaw was not ready for passengers. And yet there we were! The only conclusion we could come to was that Pandaw had failed miserably in ensuring the boat was fit for purpose. Staff was new to Pandaw and inexperienced, untrained, without name tags but always charming and polite. The food was well below the standard advertised and offered on other boats. The chef had no idea of the amount of food needed to feed 20 passengers and if you arrived a little late for a meal there would be insufficient food. Following complaints, half way through the journey the quantities increased and so did the variety of the dishes offered. However the presentation and quality never approached the food we enjoyed on other Pandaw boats. The dining area was located indoors but the two air conditioners were totally inadequate to cool the room. The lunch buffet was set up outside so food including rice sat in the heat for far too long before the meal. Whilst on board, we received an email from Paul Strachan, the founder of Pandaw, apologising for (and I quote) the “appalling situation” on board which was “far from the standards you would expect from Pandaw”. We continued on with our second week of the itinerary. We flew to Patna in Bihar and commenced a road trip which proved to be a very difficult and stressful week where everything seemed to go wrong. Two of the hotels were disgusting with torn and dirty sheets which looked like they had not been changed after the previous guests, mouldy bathrooms and air conditioners we did not turn on due to the filth inside them. One day we were in the bus for about eight hours so needed to find a toilet and all our guide could find was a disgustingly dirty pit toilet. In all we lost nearly two full days out of seven with air travel together with numerous hours sitting in a bus. The endless difficulties encountered during this week would be perfect material for a film sequel entitled “The Very Worst Marigold Hotel”!! When enjoying the tours organised by Pandaw whilst on the boat, there was always a tour guide and two other staff members one of whom carried the first aid kit. However on our land tour we only had one guide, albeit an excellent one, with no crew member walking at the rear and no first aid kit. Passenger safety was compromised especially taking into account that many were in their 70’s. We flew to Varanasi with three nights at a beautiful resort about 45 minutes from the city. Our luggage came by road and was expected to arrive late afternoon but we did not receive it until midnight. On our last day we arose at 4 am to travel to The Ganges to enjoy a romantic sunrise cruise. There were to be two small boats and two musicians on each but all we got was one large boat, two musicians and a broken engine which meant we were towed along by an underpowered small boat belching black diesel fumes over us. It took us so long to reach our destination that we needed to return straight to our bus and missed the one hour walking tour of the old town area of Varanasi. Yet another disappointment! In conclusion, regrettably the best day of this Pandaw journey was the day we flew home! 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
While this trip also includes multiple land transfers and exploration of several cities, I'll focus on the cruise portion. Most importantly, it is deceptive call the Emerald a Viking ship because apparently they don't own it - ... Read More
While this trip also includes multiple land transfers and exploration of several cities, I'll focus on the cruise portion. Most importantly, it is deceptive call the Emerald a Viking ship because apparently they don't own it - they most certainly didn't build it. The moment you step on board you will know it is not up to Viking standards. The ship is tired and shabby, at best. While the Viking staff does everything possible to enhance your experience, the boat is not what we were looking forward to especially after some hard land travel for a week before. Immediately upon entering our stateroom we saw something brown all over one of the walls and a great deal of mold on one of the bedside lampshades...the room was so awful I just started to cry. The housekeeping staff were there right away and were incredibly gracious and brought a new lampshade and cleaned the wall, but the mood was set. The bathrooms are dark, poorly ventilated and have yucky plastic showers. The rooms are never quite dry given the high humidity along the river so your sheets and towels always feel a bit damp. There is definitely an air quality issue and I couldn't help but lie in bed and imagine the mold that is probably in the ventilation system. We did ask for an additional air unit which was cheerfully provided and that helped a bit, but I can't imagine the dampness in rooms without it - it was a comment we heard very often while onboard. All of that said, once we settled in the boat was comfortable enough. As always, the Viking staff are amazing and really do try to make up for what is lacking in the ship itself. The food was quite good and the dining service was fine. They have a number of excellent bartenders and we never had trouble finding a quiet space or room to hang out with others from our group. The Yangtze experience itself is ok. Some of the scenery through the gorges is obviously amazing, but the river is VERY polluted and for a good deal of the trip you can hear all the rubbish hitting the ship. The excursions are not the best, but I don't know that there are any better options for Viking to choose from. All in all it would have been fine if this was a lower end company, but it was not acceptable from Viking. Given that the rest of the tour includes much air travel and many hours on buses, it was everyone's goal to get to the ship and enjoy a bit of luxury...unfortunately that just wasn't our experience. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was our second cruise on the Mahabaahu. The first was a week long cruise in October, 2018 downstream on the Brahmaputra River. It was a great cruise. Service was excellent and the ports we stopped at were amazing. When we received ... Read More
This was our second cruise on the Mahabaahu. The first was a week long cruise in October, 2018 downstream on the Brahmaputra River. It was a great cruise. Service was excellent and the ports we stopped at were amazing. When we received notification that the Mahabaahu was planning a 21 day cruise from Kolkata, India to Guwahati, through Bangladesh. We were excited to rejoin the boat and explore what has been virtually tourist free. We were definitely not disappointed. This was a trip of lifetime and lived up to the standards that we expected on the Mahabaahu. The ports we stopped at were to say the least amazing. Service by the crew was amazing. Considering the area we were in a lot of what we were experiencing was brand new both to ourselves as well as the crew. We were looked after extremely well and I felt safe throughout the cruise. Food on board lived up to the expectations that we experienced on the last cruise. Dining was diverse and well prepared with generally a choice every night. Our cabin on this cruise was great!! Spacious with lots of space for storage. Although entertainment on board was limited we dd have several evenings when local artists (musicians, dancers) came on board. These evenings were interesting and well received. On those days/evenings when we were due to go ashore the cruise naturalist, Mayuresh, gave us a short talk on topics relevant to the shore excursion. Out thanks to go out to all the crew and In particular Neena, the cruise director for an amazing once in a lifetime experience. My wife and I are eagerly looking forward to Adventure River Cruises upcoming cruise on the Ganga. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We did not choose this river cruise boat. It was part of a Cruise.co.uk bucket list tour. Three days on the Yangtze. The boat was boarded in Chongquin. A city that I would have liked to spend more time in. It was boarded via ... Read More
We did not choose this river cruise boat. It was part of a Cruise.co.uk bucket list tour. Three days on the Yangtze. The boat was boarded in Chongquin. A city that I would have liked to spend more time in. It was boarded via hundreds of steps. On reaching our cabin, over several metal floors that were seriously buckled and flipped you up as you walked over them, we were not at all pleased. There was a pervading smell of damp, the bathroom had black mound around extremely ageing bathroom fittings. They needed a deep clean and bleaching. Our single beds were falling apart, rust breaking off them. They were wet with damp. Our clothes began to smell and some hand washing done on board stayed wet for three days. Some from our party had mould growing on their washing. Cleanliness was not a priority. Bins were emptied and beds made. I dare not lift the covers to see what the mattress was like!! Our cabin was never hoovered. Cups were dirty. The room thermos of hot water was filled by the room attendant, from the same tap they used for their mops and buckets!! Our cabin floor was buckled and dangerous, especially on night time trips!! Drawers were falling apart and the wardrobe stank. Food was strange. Two hour buffet sitting resulted in food being taken away after just over an hour on two nights. Several items ran out early. The last night Gala Dinner was largely inedible. I resorted to biscuits in my cabin, but the damp had got to them. They were soft. In fact books and passports became wrinkled with the damp, my tin of mints became soft and crumbly and we all ended up with chesty coughs as a result of damp spores. I had previously spoken with Victoria at the World Travel Market and their literature dies not give a true image of their service. Our tour guide said this was their o,desk and cheapest ship and she should be retired! A really nasty experience, saved only by cheap drinks, which may have been reduced to placate us, and the young bar and entertainment team. One star rating, as lowest I could give!!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Thirteen nights, 7 land, 6 cruising. A little background. My husband and I have cruised on Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, and Oceania but never on a river cruise. We did do Galapagos but I don't count that as a river cruise. China was on ... Read More
Thirteen nights, 7 land, 6 cruising. A little background. My husband and I have cruised on Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, and Oceania but never on a river cruise. We did do Galapagos but I don't count that as a river cruise. China was on our bucket list. I was a little hesitant because I am hearing impaired. I can hear but conversation is tough in a noisy environment. Also, I can't use the earpiece/transmitter apparatus because it just sounds garbled. So I knew I had to rely on my husband to fill me in on what was being said. Now that you know that, you realize why my review may be a little skewed. We flew in a day early to try and adjust a little to the 12 hour time difference from the U.S. east coast to China time. Not easy. You can read my hotel reviews on tripadvisor. They were all 5 star hotels and each had its pluses and minuses. Please be forewarned. There is lots of walking. There are lots of stairs and ramps. If you have any mobility problems, I don't think this is for you. On the actual day 1, which is supposed to be arrival day, you check into your hotel. You are given information as to what you will do the next day and what time. The majority of the time, excursions started early, 7:30 or 8am. There were 3 groups staying at our hotel and 3 groups at another. There were also 2 groups who did Tibet and we did not see them until we boarded the ship. Our group had 34 people and everyone was very friendly. Our tour escort, Anthony, was terrific. I wish I could have understood everything he was saying but my husband filled me in on a lot of it. The remaining 2 days in Beijing were busy, Tianamen Square, Forbidden City, Great Wall, and more. You can read the itinerary on the Viking site. The tour bus was comfortable and the air conditioning worked well because it was hot outside. One big problem, kids were not in school yet so every site in Beijing was ridiculously crowded with locals pushing and shoving. Many women had umbrellas to shield the sun and they carried them low so you had to watch out to make sure you didn't get stuck in the eye. Had we known this about the kids, we would have gone a week or two later. After Beijing, we flew to Xian. Checked bags are put outside of your door the night before or early the morning of the flight and you don't see them again until they're in your hotel room or in your cabin. Carry on bags are put in the belly of the bus. We had 3 intra-China flights, Beijing to Xian, Xian to Chongqing, Wuhan to Shanghai. You will be patted down, just accept it. The first two flights I did not sit with my husband but no problem. The last flight we had to leave the hotel at 6am to catch an 8:20am flight (which was delayed). People were not happy about that. No one looked forward to spending time in the airports for the 1 1/2 hour flights. For two of the flights, there was no jetway. Everyone lines up at the gate to get on a bus to take you to the plane. Then, lugging your carry on, you climb the many steps to board the plane. The same thing happened on our trip home from Shanghai and we were on a big Delta 777. In Xian, we all marveled at the Terra Cotta Warriors. But, again, very crowded and hot. One more surprise, the toilets. Many toilets in restaurants, shops, and malls, are squat toilets. Nowhere to sit. At the airport, the stalls are marked as to which type of toilet is inside. From Xian, we flew to Chongqing to board our ship. Stairs, ramp, but once inside, it was really nice. There are 2 elevators but we only used them once. We were led to our cabin on deck 3 and it was fine. Actually better than expected. Comfy bed, Blackout drapes that actually closed all the way. Small bathroom but plenty of vanity and shelf space. Plenty of closet and storage space. Small balcony with 2 chairs. And it was quiet. The service was outstanding. Everyone smiled and made sure that you were happy. The food, buffet for breakfast and lunch, menu for dinner could rival some of the best restaurants. Please note that all of the tables are round tables for 8 people. You are always eating with others. I thought, with my hearing problem, that would bother me but it didn't. We met and talked with so many people from all over the world and made many new friends. Excursions every morning and then, usually, cruising in the afternoon. There were talks about ports or China life. I didn't attend so there were many times I was bored. Some shows in the evening put on by the staff and they were fun. After 6 nights, we flew to Shanghai. Since our flight was delayed and it was raining when we arrived, Anthony decided we should just go to the hotel. We were all very happy. Busy last day. Then, the next morning, we boarded our bus to airport. We were exhausted and we're now trying to get our internal time clock back to Eastern time. So, to summarize: Be prepared for the time difference. Think about when you want to go. Check school schedules and big events. If you have mobility issues, think twice about this trip. Make sure you're up for it because you will miss a lot if you can't climb the stairs or the ramps. In the bathrooms, look for the signs on the stalls as to what time of toilet is inside. Understand that you will always be eating at a table of 8. If you still decide to go, you will be rewarded. There is so much to see and everyone is there to make sure you are happy. The tour escorts are the best. The food and accommodations are top notch. Don't miss the opportunity to visit the school kids. They are charming and they all looked forward to meeting us. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We wanted to go to Vietnam for a long time and we had traveled with Amawaterways before. We knew the quality of the product. After a few days on our own in Hanoi we joined a group of 19 for the pre-cruise, cruise and post-cruise with ... Read More
We wanted to go to Vietnam for a long time and we had traveled with Amawaterways before. We knew the quality of the product. After a few days on our own in Hanoi we joined a group of 19 for the pre-cruise, cruise and post-cruise with wonderful cruise manager Mr Thoai. From the minute we met him, he was totally dedicated and on top of everything because of his continuous hard work. The 3 Sofitel hôtels (Hanoi, Angor Wat,Saigon were 5 stars all the way. The cities were overwelming and we were glad to be with a group, no respect for pedestrians, tourists or not but they were worth visiting . We also had an overnight cruise on Halong Bay and did not expect so many excursions. We especially enjoyed the visit of the caverns. On that ship the food was ok but the room and venues were fabulous. Finally we got to the Amadara : what a beautiful ship ! Hotel manager Markus is in a class of his own. Everything runs smoothly, the food is fabulous (asian or standard), improvement is needed in the dessert section in my opinion. We had free drinks of the day at cocktail time and the free specialty restaurant, la table du chef, is not to be missed ( no complaint about desset there !) Every guide we met spoke English very well and represented Amawaterways with pride. A word of warning : the excursions are not for older people, they are quite active and demand a level of fitness exiting and entering the ship although there is plenty of help. It is a cruise not to be missed and should be on everyone's list! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I have looked at this cruise line previously and when the travel agent suggested it we were very enthusiastic. Our cabin was beautifully appointed and the cabin staff were excellent at attending to our needs. Dining was ... Read More
I have looked at this cruise line previously and when the travel agent suggested it we were very enthusiastic. Our cabin was beautifully appointed and the cabin staff were excellent at attending to our needs. Dining was spectacular, every meal was a delight and the staff were professional and helpful while maintaining a real sense of humour. The onboard activities were very good and informative and the ashore activities gave us a real understanding of the Cambodian/Vietnam people and their culture. We were greatly moved by the past and modern history of both countries. The staff were excellent and attended to everything in a professional manner. I would like to mention staff individually by everyone was noteworthy. We were given a DVD of our time onboard at the end of the cruise that we will treasure and will share with family and friends. I would thoroughly recommend Heritage Line and The Jahan to anyone looking at cruising the Mekong River. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Our travel agent recommended this cruise to us which traveled down the Mekong river from Cambodia to Vietnam. It was the highlight of a fantastic 21 days in Vietnam and Cambodia. The staff are absolutely fantastic with an amazing service ... Read More
Our travel agent recommended this cruise to us which traveled down the Mekong river from Cambodia to Vietnam. It was the highlight of a fantastic 21 days in Vietnam and Cambodia. The staff are absolutely fantastic with an amazing service ethic and extremely friendly. The cabins and other amenities are beautiful. The pool and bar area is a lovely place to relax and watch the world go by from.The food was beautiful and a good mix of cuisines. The service from the staff at meal times was impeccable. The highlight though was the shore excursions. Two each day, each and every one of them was unique and fascinating. We really got away from touristy places and cities and saw how the local, rural people really live. We saw schools, villages, temples, markets, fish farms etc and met and interacted with the locals and with the students at the schools that we visited. Each excursion was incredibly authentic and a real learning experience. I also really loved the fact that the Heritage Line actually supports the schools that we visited and it was good to be able to make a contribution to them also. I would thoroughly recommend this cruise to anyone who is interested in this part of the world. Read Less
Sail Date August 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
Second time we did this cruise and we wanted to show our son's family what it was like. The staff must be handpicked, everyone was like a friend. The food was to die for. My French daughter-in-law kept saying: "I have never ... Read More
Second time we did this cruise and we wanted to show our son's family what it was like. The staff must be handpicked, everyone was like a friend. The food was to die for. My French daughter-in-law kept saying: "I have never had this dish made to such perfection before!" Hope they can keep that chef. Entertainment pleasant and sometimes unusual; like the blessings performed by Buddhist priests. The excursions into the local villages were interesting, humorous and low key. School visits were especially appreciated - both by the children and the visitors. The little pool on deck was particularly nice to use in the heat. Don't be afraid to cruise during the summer months. We had one rain shower! You avoid the crowds everywhere and the ship was full of nice Australians and New Zealanders. We would probably not do this particular cruise again, but Heritage Line has more interesting cruises. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
As a past Scenic traveller this was on my bucket list. This lived up to my expectations, I was part of a land/cruise tour of Vietnam & Cambodia over 22 Nights, Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hoi An, Hue, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) & Siem ... Read More
As a past Scenic traveller this was on my bucket list. This lived up to my expectations, I was part of a land/cruise tour of Vietnam & Cambodia over 22 Nights, Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hoi An, Hue, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) & Siem Reap. This included the 7N cruise. We were a land content group of only 11 (9 aussie,2 Kiwis) due to early tour, 33 on the cruise. Low numbers meant that we were treated as celebrities by the enthusiastic staff who could not do enough for us. We all became friends early on the tour. Beautiful food & open bar made waistlines expand but there was no complaints Special thanks to Cruise Director Sven (he was always there to welcome us back from shore excursions) & all the crew & staff for making it a memorable experience. My recommendation...easy...Do it if you never get to do another one. Read Less
Sail Date July 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

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