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482 Asia River Cruise Reviews

This was our first trip with Viking and we were very pleased. We felt well taken care of during the entire trip. Entertainment and Activities-Viking organized this trip in such a way that we got to see many highlights of China and ... Read More
This was our first trip with Viking and we were very pleased. We felt well taken care of during the entire trip. Entertainment and Activities-Viking organized this trip in such a way that we got to see many highlights of China and Tokyo. Our guide in China was John and he did an amazing job taking care of us. He made the many transfers go smoothly and was exceptionally informative and kind. The ship, cabin , staff, service and food were great. We particularly liked Niko and May. I had a jacket tailored for me on the ship. The jacket is beautiful and fits exceptionally well. There was not a lot of entertainment on the ship, likely because we were kept so busy with excursions, but what we did have was fun and informative. The hotels were absolutely top notch in our opinion. The breakfast buffets were amazing. They provided western as well as eastern cuisine and rivalled any dinner buffet that we have ever attended. The other land based meals were good to great. The shopping areas they took us too were great and explained ahead of time by John - to know what we might want to purchase at each location. We bought a beautiful silk thread picture and were very satisfied with the shipping process that delivered it to our home. Overall, this was a very memorable trip and I would highly recommend it to others. I feel Viking has put together a trip that is the absolute best way to see and experience China. Read Less
Sail Date March 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
A 4 night cruise on the Yangtze was part of our package tour. I have given this ship a 1 star rating only because there is no option for a lower one. Absolutely appalling in every respect - the cabin, dining, no entertainment as ... Read More
A 4 night cruise on the Yangtze was part of our package tour. I have given this ship a 1 star rating only because there is no option for a lower one. Absolutely appalling in every respect - the cabin, dining, no entertainment as such. We had some locals attending dinner wearing singlets. The meals were self serve of a very basic standard. There is no option to upgrade dining not that I'd recommend paying for it. The floors on the cabin decks are "rippled" ie not flat, and they buckle when you walk on them. It was a standing joke amongst the western guests. Service - there was none. Dirty coffee cups, wine glasses were never collected from our cabin for the duration. Passengers had to ask at reception for toilet paper or soap as cabin stewards dont replenish supplies. We enjoyed our Yangtze trip despite this barge, not because of it. Avoid at all costs! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We wanted to go to India on this river and to see, particularly, the Kaziranga National Park (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), home of one-horned rhinos. Also, to do something unusual, off the beaten track. The ship was small and intimate ... Read More
We wanted to go to India on this river and to see, particularly, the Kaziranga National Park (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), home of one-horned rhinos. Also, to do something unusual, off the beaten track. The ship was small and intimate but also spacious enough to accommodate dining and entertainment. Staff were outstanding - very professional, caring, pleasant, cheerful. Nothing was too much trouble. Considerable thought went into the itinerary and excursions. There was a lovely, family feel to the cruise and the guests were all treated with respect and encouraged to mix. Food was excellent and cleanliness and hygiene top rate. There is a swimming pool which is a bonus, especially as it is a smaller ship (40 guests maximum). Excursions were all very well organised and we felt looked after and very well catered for at all times. A very unusual destination and definitely worth seeing if you enjoy wildlife and culture. We saw tea estates and some local, cultural dancing. Also lots of temples. All top quality and very interesting. Highly recommended. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
My wife and I chose Viking - and, specifically, their "Imperial Jewels of China" itinerary, for our first trip to China. Overall, we are glad we did so. Though it was not without concerns and drawbacks. To be clear, the ... Read More
My wife and I chose Viking - and, specifically, their "Imperial Jewels of China" itinerary, for our first trip to China. Overall, we are glad we did so. Though it was not without concerns and drawbacks. To be clear, the experience of visiting China for more than two weeks was fabulous. We have been fortunate to travel well. This was probably our most interesting, brain-stimulating adventure. The scope of change and the pace and magnitude of development are astounding. As are the many inherent contradictions. While both my wife and I wrote extensively about our travels and observations, let me limit this to our Viking experience. Much of this review will focus on the shortcomings and concerns. But let me be clear that our experience was very positive in many, many respects. We were perhaps more adventurous than many in our group; but not adventurous enough to tackle two weeks in so foreign a place as China entirely on our own. Viking provided the opportunity and the structure for us to have this experience. A few notes on the positive side of the ledger. - Our guide, Kobe, was first-rate in so many ways. Others in our group who have been on more guided trips remarked that he was the best guide they had had - anywhere. He was knowledgeable, personable, able to relate to many unique and different people, focused on the details when he had to be, and someone whom it was always a pleasure to be around. - Viking gets very high marks for meticulous and detailed organization. There were roughly 200 people (almost all Americans, Canadians or Brits) on this journey, divided into eight groups of about 25 people each. This is no small undertaking and everything seemed to work seamlessly from our perspective. - The hotels at which we stayed in Beijing, Xi'an and Shanghai were all first-rate in all respects. - Through no fault of Viking, we had missed our day in Wuhan (called "the Chicago of the Orient") due to heavy fog on the Yangtze which forced all river traffic to hold in place for nearly 18 hours. Viking unexpectedly decided to make it up to everyone a day later by chartering a boat for a nighttime cruise of the Huangpu River through Shanghai. Seeing the Bund at night from the water was a real treat. Booking this for 200 people was a class move on Viking's part. I could go on with positives and compliments. But let me turn to the downsides which I hope will be more instructive for Viking. - Only six days of this 15-day trip involved the Yangtze cruise. Yet nearly all of the communications from Viking following our booking focused exclusively on the cruise. There was virtually no mention of the equally or more interesting land portion of the itinerary before and after. So much so that my wife and I checked into our Beijing hotel without really knowing where to meet or whom to contact. Viking would be advised to treat this as a unified, 15-day expedition instead of putting virtually all of the emphasis on the river piece. - We decided to fly into Beijing one day early to have 24 hours to explore on our own (as well as to sleep off a bit of jet lag). For this privilege, Viking charged us a $200 "deviation fee" ($100 per person). Yet Viking provided absolutely no services related to this "deviation". In fact, we had to book our own transport from the airport to the hotel at a price of roughly another $100. When I inquired of Viking's main office as to the rationale for the deviation charge, they really had no answer. - Of most annoyance to us and many others in our group, on four separate occasions Viking paired a buffet lunch (usually very average and nondescript) with some kind of factory showroom tour and controlled shopping opportunity. These were respectively for jade, tea, silk and terra cotta figurines. Clearly, this is a case of Viking getting reduced-cost or free lunches in return for bringing a captive audience to a showroom. From talking with others, Viking is apparently renown for this practice in many locales. That doesn't make it right or advisable or anything that I and others liked. - It would have been nice to have at least one or two unscheduled evenings and the chance to find dinner on our own. Especially in Beijing which is famous for its cuisine. On the whole, the food on this trip was decent and certainly plentiful but undistinguished. - The ship (the Emerald) was quite adequate, but past its prime and not up to Viking standards elsewhere. The dining room is ill-placed on the second level instead of up top with a view. The ceiling in the dining room is quite low which makes it very noisy and hot (with somewhat variable air conditioning). Our cabin was fine, but nothing more than that. Corridors are narrow and floors are somewhat uneven. There is really only one outside deck. A number of nooks and crannies which could make for nice sitting areas are instead given over to onboard merchants selling the usual Chinese fare at vastly inflated prices. I understand that much of this is a function of Viking being required to use Chinese ships. And that a new ship is under construction. Nonetheless... - I am familiar with the usual tipping procedure on cruises whether with Viking or other lines. But the process here was needlessly confusing. We try to be generous tippers, but the number that they added to our onboard bill was exorbitant. Also, there was an ambiguity as to whether this sum also included our guide for the full 15 days. We opted to reduce what we did for the ship's crew and to deal separately and privately with our excellent guide. - Lastly, this is a tricky one, but it needs to be said that our group (and seemingly each group) included people of widely varying physical abilities. Three of the 25 people in our group used wheelchairs or walkers. In no way am I suggesting that folks with such disabilities shouldn't be included in such trips. In fact, I admire their courage and tenacity in continuing such adventurous travel. (And I come with three joint replacements of my own.) But Viking should be more transparent with prospective guests as to the limitations this will cause for others. Why not attempt some selective grouping so that those who are more fit and adventurous can undertake and explore a bit more? That's more than enough. Again, let me make clear that the positive far outweighed the negative with respect to Viking and this trip. Despite the number of words I gave to each in this review. But there are plenty of each. Final word of advice: If you haven't been to China, go. Whether with Viking or some other group or on your own. It is a fascinating place and much of the future is taking shape there. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Smallish boat/ship that has accommodation for about 50 people but with a staff ratio of 1 to 2 cruisers. Huge cabins that are exquisitely equipped, spotlessly clean and unbelievably sound proofed. All cabins have an exterior sliding door ... Read More
Smallish boat/ship that has accommodation for about 50 people but with a staff ratio of 1 to 2 cruisers. Huge cabins that are exquisitely equipped, spotlessly clean and unbelievably sound proofed. All cabins have an exterior sliding door and a full sized bathroom that would do many hotels proud. The shower is full sized and is welcome after a day exploring on the land. Each stop is associated with well organized and interesting tours that are included in the tour cost. Great food and open seating with casual clothing OK for any meal - meals are actually low stress and fun This cruise is well above what you get on most ocean going ships and really sets the bar very high with regard to quality and value for money Non-alcoholic drinks and beer are included and any cocktail or drink ordered is reasonably priced. All meals come with good quality free wine and each day their is a free cocktail happy hour (the cocktails are superb). What sets this cruise apart though is the staff who seem to enjoy your company - nothing is too much trouble. I world definitely recommend this cruise and I am alraedy planning to go again Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
In March of 2019 we did Scenic’s ‘Treasures of the Mekong’ tour and cruise. The trip consisted of 3 nights in Siem Reap, Cambodia followed by 7 days on the Scenic Spirit and ending with 2 day in Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam. Upon ... Read More
In March of 2019 we did Scenic’s ‘Treasures of the Mekong’ tour and cruise. The trip consisted of 3 nights in Siem Reap, Cambodia followed by 7 days on the Scenic Spirit and ending with 2 day in Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam. Upon arrival in Siem Reap we were met any taken to the fabulous Park Hyatt Hotel and that evening we were surprisingly divide into 3 groups, which we stayed in for the remainder of the trip. We were fortunate to be in group 2 which was led the fantastic Duc Ho (called Duke by the group). I can’t say enough about Duc. He was very knowledgeable, humorous and caring. In addition when we were touring Duc always made sure we had clean useable restrooms (not always easy to find in Cambodia) which he called happy houses, hand sanitizer, which he called happy hands, Mosquito repellent, and he insisted on our drinking lots of cold water which was provided both on the boat and on all the buses because it was very hot and humid for the whole trip. Scenic is very lucky to have Duc and should do everything they can to retain him! Our first 2 days in Siem Reap were spent primarily touring the Angkor complex to temples and we always had very knowledgeable local Cambodian guides in addition to Duc. The second day start by rolling out of bed at 3:00 AM for the sunrise at Angkor Wat and ended back at the hotel at about midnight after the most fabulous dinner and show at an old temple I have ever experienced. Scenic really knows how to do things right. The next morning, we boarded buses for an all-day ride to the Scenic Spirit. About 4 in the afternoon we were welcomed aboard the Spirit. The Spirit is a wonderful boat. Our suite was large and well arranged with a very large bathroom, a walk-in closet and a nice sitting area. The bed was heavenly! However there could have been a little more storage space, and in the walk-in closet there was a light that was motion activated and would sometimes come on in the middle of the night while we were turning over in bed or would go off while you were still in the closet but that was then negative about the suite. The food for the whole trip on the Spirit was very good and a nice mix of Western and Asian cuisine. The chef was excellent and always visible when the food was being served. My wife has some food allergies and we met with chef the first day, different and any of the other Scenic cruise we have been on, and then throughout the rest of the cruise he was always advising her what to safe eat and not to eat. The bar and lounge are was very comfortable and always had great service. Our suite attendant/butler was excellent and really took good care of any of our needs. There is a self-service laundry room that was also available for use. The sun deck on the top of the boat was very nice and was used extensively in the evenings both for the local entertainment that was brought on board and just for the cocktail hour, O’gin o’clock. They had a regular bar on the sundeck for making and serving drinks and a few of the daily briefings took place there always at about sunset when it started to cool off. We didn’t use the nice pool area on the stern of deck 3 but it looked very inviting. One of the really interesting parts of the trip as opposed to the more developed European rivers is that in many places when we stopped along the river for a tour the boat simply pulled up to the rives bank and they tied up to a bush put out a gangway and we got off under sometimes rather difficult footing but there were always lots of crew to help everybody get off the boat. Most of the tour were very interesting but probably my favorite was the tour of the Sa Dac wet market. Also, the tour of the Eco Village was very interesting. On the morning of the 7th day we had to say a sad goodbye to the Scenic Spirit, and we boarded buses for Ho Chi Ming City (Saigon). I must say I was really sorry to have to leave the Spirit. The boat itself and the wonderful crew were the absolute best we have experienced on Scenic and it is now our “Gold Standard” and we now compare all of our other trips to the Spirit and it great crew!! Scenic up us up in the Park Hyatt Ho Chi Ming City which was a wonderful 5-star hotel! The highlight of our stay in Saigon was our choice for dinner the first night. Before we left the Spirit, we were given about 5 different choices for different types of dining in Saigon. We chose the “Ride of Your Life” which is a tour on the back of Vespa motor scooters after dark around the streets of Saigon with 3 stops to sample a variety of different but wonderful street foods. Probably about a third of the passengers choose this option and we all absolutely loved the tour. What a lot of fun it was and none of the scooters crashed!!! They even carefully watched out for my wife’s good allergies. But probably the best part of the trip was the wonderful people that were in group 2. The group really bonded, and we all became friends and got along famously together and of course Duc was great. If you are lucky enough to take this trip, I sincerely hope that your group leader will be Duc and he might even sing you a few songs while he plays his ukulele. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
I would like to express in this short note how impressed we were with the Content ,structure and execution of the whole event . As you would expect from 5 star operation , the ship and support vehicles were top notch , all clean tidy ... Read More
I would like to express in this short note how impressed we were with the Content ,structure and execution of the whole event . As you would expect from 5 star operation , the ship and support vehicles were top notch , all clean tidy and operated by competent drivers and crew . Your staff made the event look and feel flawless from start to finish ,and I appreciate how much hard work goes into achieving that alone . As all good companies and employers understand , they are only as good as the staff they employ ,and in this respect you have achieved a gold star standard . From our well groomed Captain who navigated the busy Mekong river ,to the cleaning and laundry staff who worked tirelessly to ensure all was well at all times. ( do they ever sleep ) a great crew ,expertly managed These men and women were and are a real credit to your Empire . Finally but not least of all ,our Scenic guides , of which our principle guide in Group 2 was Duc Duc a handsome and rugged individual (some would say ) lead our small group in and out of various location in an efficient and purposeful manner , feeding us with relevant information and passing on the History of the local area as we progressed through the various locations . He managed to keep us safe , focussed feed and watered ,a real professional . 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
The collection from the airport was not great. We waited for another couple to arrive on a different flight and share the taxi with us for over an hour. Having made a fuss the decision was made for us to continue by ourselves. This should ... Read More
The collection from the airport was not great. We waited for another couple to arrive on a different flight and share the taxi with us for over an hour. Having made a fuss the decision was made for us to continue by ourselves. This should have been dealt with much quicker. We travelled from Guwahati to Jorhat. We had a suite (101) which was comfortable and kept very clean. The additional cost over the standard balcony room was not worth it. We did have dinner in the room on two occasions but the first was a bit of a trial and not very well organised. The staff were delightful and very helpful. We enjoyed most of the excursions off the boat. The tenders used were excellent. There is not much to see whilst cruising but we enjoyed relaxing, both on the top deck and the room's small balcony. Food was very good - we had the non-veg Indian selection for all dinners. What I really did not like was the inability to seat as a twosome for most meals. The first night we were all split up to sit with random guests - I hated being next to two gun-toting far-right Americans who I avoided thereafter. Apart from breakfast we always had to sit with others. I would have preferred having the choice to sit by ourselves sometimes but the dining room had only one sitting with insufficient room for tables for two. Drinks were absurdly expensive which was somewhat money-grabbing considering the overall cost of the week. The naturalist's lectures were delivered in boring monotone. Overall we enjoyed it and I am pleased we did the cruise. 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
Recommended by friends this cruise did not disappoint. Great activities, who could not be impressed by Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom and Bayon Temple.Scenic pay particular attention to the finer detail, arranging trips not experienced by ... Read More
Recommended by friends this cruise did not disappoint. Great activities, who could not be impressed by Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom and Bayon Temple.Scenic pay particular attention to the finer detail, arranging trips not experienced by other cruises in particular the themed gala dinner at an Angkor temple where we were entertained by Apsara dancers, and Wat Hanchey where we had the opportunity to talk to a novice monk. Their enthusiastic and knowledgeable guides ensure you are informed in terms of the history but also relate personal and family experiences that really give everything a context. The ships facilities are superb, cabins offering plenty of space, light and storage, food that challenges the senses, with wine/beer constantly on tap. The onboard staff are the icing on the cake they are attentive, and display genuine enjoyment at ensuring you are having a good time. All of this is packaged with a social consciousness that you do not often experience. It was great to feel that some of the money from this cruise was going directly to local communities. This was not gifted but earned which ensured that there was respect between all parties. Not cheap but bearing in mind everything is included, I would highly recommended it Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
A whole different experience, nothing is left to chance. From the cabins to the spectacular meals, everything is exclusive and worthy. Not a flaw along the cruise, nor a fault, defect or error. Never had experienced such exclusivity. ... Read More
A whole different experience, nothing is left to chance. From the cabins to the spectacular meals, everything is exclusive and worthy. Not a flaw along the cruise, nor a fault, defect or error. Never had experienced such exclusivity. From moment one, timing was perfect, as well as the work of each and every crew member. Almost 2 crew members per passenger, everything has been extremely thought. From the english soaps and lotions to the exceptional Michelin Star level meals to the excursions and fine entertainment, it was worth every cent. Only catch, from now on I’ll never be able to set foot in ordinary cruises. Won’t be able to stand it. Once you try exclusiveness, you’d rather save longer in order to repeat the same experience than rushing to a cheaper, now unfulfilling, experience, Elegant, worthy, peaceful and even balsamic for both heart and soul. Hope the strand keeps this level of excellence Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Friends recommended. This was our first Scenic Cruise. The cruise was excellent overall and the service, food, drinks were particularly noteworthy. Everything was very nicely and efficiently organized and there were no hick ups. It was ... Read More
Friends recommended. This was our first Scenic Cruise. The cruise was excellent overall and the service, food, drinks were particularly noteworthy. Everything was very nicely and efficiently organized and there were no hick ups. It was always nice to see the face of Joyce who was the person in charge of hospitality, every time we came back from a land-tour or went to the dining room. Similarly many of the staff will always welcome us back with a cold towels and a drinks as we returned to the ship. They were always smiling and were ready to serve as as best as possible to increase our comfort. We also enjoyed most if not all Tour Directors and Tour Guides. Only thing we were disappointed with was the optional and sometime the Enrich land tours. Some of them really didn't have any cultural, educational or historical significance - just a simple and almost irrelevant walk-about. Bicycling tour in Champasak (Pakse) was awful,dangerous and boring. The roads were in poor shape and bicycles were also in bad shape. There was a lack of cultural and entertaining tours which would have given us insight of the country's/town's music, dance, traditions or history. Also we found during the dinner time that most people stayed with their country's people like the Australians will sit with Australians and the British will sit with their fiends from UK. So, there were not must opportunities to mix and socialize during the dinner. Scenic should try to encourage cross-socialization. However we met lots of nice people during land tours. The Gala dinner at the Angkor Temple was excellent, very special and well organized. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
For the first time ever, we actually got separation anxiety about disembarking the beautiful ship and it’s amazing crew. The cabin, 304, was spacious and extremely comfortable. Most excellent beds and facilities. Service with finesse ... Read More
For the first time ever, we actually got separation anxiety about disembarking the beautiful ship and it’s amazing crew. The cabin, 304, was spacious and extremely comfortable. Most excellent beds and facilities. Service with finesse and an ever present smile. Dietary requirements were no problem. Each detail of the cruise was managed with finesse. Our Tour Manager was brilliant in his knowledge, humor and understanding. Thank you Huy. Thanks to Tobias, Cruise Director for being ever present and always available to handle requests of all kinds. The food and beverage product was of a high standard and extremely varied. Did not encounter any disgruntled guests during our stay. Would have happily stayed on board to be looked after by our most excellent Butler, Vibol. Ports showed us real life on the Mekong and excursions provided enabled choices that helped to inform and entertain. Embarkation and disembarkation was handled seamlessly. The whole experience was one to be treasured. Note that the journey from disembarkation to Siem Reap is a long one. Do not recall seeing that mentioned anywhere in the brochure. However as with all other Scenic managed activities, it was managed very well. Praise to Scenic’s product on the Mekong. Read Less
Sail Date January 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
Our Uniworld tour, starting in Hanoi and ending in Saigon, was flawless and fully met our expectations. Along with the land tour, we traveled on a 7-night cruise on the Mekong Navigator and, once again, this was flawlessly executed. As ... Read More
Our Uniworld tour, starting in Hanoi and ending in Saigon, was flawless and fully met our expectations. Along with the land tour, we traveled on a 7-night cruise on the Mekong Navigator and, once again, this was flawlessly executed. As to the land tour, the sights visited were directly on point and as advertised, travel arrangements were well done and every element of the tour was meticulously organized. In particular, our tour director (Binh) performed in an exceptional manner. The hotels on the land portion of the tour (Hanoi, Siem Reap and Saigon) were also excellent. As to the cruise portion of the tour, the food was great, our "prestige suite" met our expectations (although the quarters were a bit smaller than a suite on a sea-going cruise ship) and the staff was truly remarkable. From the waiters, to the "butlers," to the people who cared for our cabin, genuine friendliness was the standard - at all times. I also note the Uniworld representative (Roberto) on the cruise was present almost "everywhere" and was very helpful. The only negative I can think of centers on the fact the tour guides (one in Hanoi, one in Cambodia and another in Saigon) were, at times, a little difficult to understand because (of course), English was not their native language. One other point, I became ill (vomiting and diarrhea) one night and the crew was helpful in addressing this situation. Fortunately, i recovered fairly quickly. In summary, I very much recommend Uniworld in general and the Vietnam/Cambodia tour in particular. Both my wife and I fully enjoyed the tour and offer our highest recommendation. As we frequently visited "rustic" sights or areas, those who may be mobility challenged may find portions difficult. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
This is my first review...I have to share this so others will not hesitate to go. Our cruise/tour actually started with 5 nights land based, first in Delhi. You are met at the airport by your Oberoi Hotel Mercedes driver. 4 of us were ... Read More
This is my first review...I have to share this so others will not hesitate to go. Our cruise/tour actually started with 5 nights land based, first in Delhi. You are met at the airport by your Oberoi Hotel Mercedes driver. 4 of us were travelling so there were 2 cars for our us!. The Oberoi Delhi is very nice hotel, clean and the service is absolutely wonderful for our 2 night stay. This is consistent with each of the amazing Oberoi Hotels that are used on this trip. You will get a briefing and meet your Tour Manager. (ours was Vishal..fantastic and totally organized and on top of everything for the entire journey). Our land based Guide (Rishi) was excellent too! We boarded a very clean comfortable bus (there were 2 buses for our group of 27 and never felt crowded) and did a sight see around Delhi and fortunately due to a Political rally that would of had us caught up in traffic, we altered the Gandhi Tomb portion and went to the place he spent his last days. This we recommended to be in the tour in the future instead of the tomb, it is so worth while to see. Agra and the Taj Mahal were the next stop. From the Oberoi hotel, every room has a view of the Taj! It is a short golf cart ride to the main gate. You get to visit twice, once in the afternoon for sunset and then again for sunrise. Do both visits! Next was Jaipur. Here you get to view a place where they make inlaid marble items. (a bit of a tourist stop, no one purchased anything and we never felt pressure to do so). Next was a carpet stop, you get the presentation etc..prices are good. (we actually bought one after we had a super lunch around the corner.) There were lots of other stops too during our stays in Dehli, Agra & Jaipur, this is just a taste. The next day is an early rise for the flight to Kolkata. Upon arrival we are met by our two new local guides & board a bus for our transfer to the Ganges Voyager II, the bus is ok, not as nice and smooth as the ones used for the other cities. A city tour of Kolkata gets you ready for the next leg of your journey. During the travels through India, you will see lots of areas with people living amongst garbage & animals, tough to see, and the honking is constant, (Honking is a language on the road, it will be explained and then you realize how they communicate as they drive). Once you board your ship, if you thought the land portion was crazy hectic, prepare to be swept away!! The service on board is outstanding! The cruise itself is something you can't explain but have to experience! The stops on the Ganges starts with Kalna. This is were you start to realize how friendly the people are in the villages all along the river. They have very little in terms of possessions (comparing that of most westerners). They have a culture and way of life that works for them. The children come up to us to say hello and wave as they are so happy to see us. The smiles go on forever! This is the first step into the incredible life along this amazing river that is used by the people every day. Each day we traveled to a different village and each time it was a new adventure. You will see how families, and their way of life, come together. The colors along the river bank are another highlight. No one in our group suffered with any major stomach issue. A bit gassy one day by one, but didn't stop any plans. We had our vaccinations as recommended, and we all took Ducoral before arriving. There were 3 people on board who had a bit of tummy trouble, don't know if they had used anything prior to the cruise. The water on the ship is treated but we used bottled water for teeth brushing just to be sure and there is an ample supply of water. Each day when you return from the shore excursion, as you enter the ship, you remove your shoes and they clean them and return them to your door in a few minutes. On your shore excursions, the staff from the ship are always around to keep you supplied with hand sanitizers and help you with translation if you need. They are outstanding every day! The food on board was another highlight. If you are not wanting to try the local foods, there is plenty of western style options that they will have or prepare for you. Their Indian cuisine was excellent. So much variety and flavors that you want to keep eating! I will explain my ratings here: This Ganges Voyager II is not Uniworld's own ship, it is used by them but is definitely the nicest one on the Ganges. Embarkation- smooth and easy Cabin, no issue, bathroom counter is a bit small - shower is huge, bed is comfy. Dining - lots of variety of food, even for myself being probably too cautious. Enrichment activities - cooking demo, talks about the way of life of the Ganges people and Saree & turban wearing demonstration, tour of the engine room, yoga twice a day, everyone had fun. Entertainment - couple of Indian dance groups came on board, very colorful and gave you a taste of how deep their traditions are. Small gym- not a lot of time to use it but you can fit it in if you like. Spa has two ladies for facials & massages. My wife had 3 massages and I had one and they were excellent. Onboard experience- above a 5 if I could give it. The crew are your friends and gracious and always there for your every need. wifi service was good in some locations and in and out in others. Might be a few hours without but not too long as I managed ok. Public Rooms- Lounge outside and bar area both on upper deck providing views of the Ganges left and right, just don't know which way to keep looking! Shore excursions- you will get use to the sight of Water buffalo on the streets along with cows and pigs. The people and colors and smiles will stick with you! Value for Money- ABSOLUTELY, this is a great way to see a little part of India. This is a luxury cruise and you get totally immersed into it all on the Ganges. There were so many highlights on this trip, but here are some extras I wanted to add. I mentioned this one above- All the Oberoi hotels, Ghandi's last place residence, Taj Mahal, Rickshaw ride in Kalna, Craftsman in Matiari village, having a try at Cricket in Murshidabad with the crew. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Mekong river cruise, Dec 2018. We chose this cruise because we know and trust Viking, and had not seen much of Asia (this was my wife’s first trip to Asia). This cruise certainly met our expectations: The food was great, the staff ... Read More
Mekong river cruise, Dec 2018. We chose this cruise because we know and trust Viking, and had not seen much of Asia (this was my wife’s first trip to Asia). This cruise certainly met our expectations: The food was great, the staff was friendly, and the ship’s cleanliness was impeccable. We had ground tours before and after the river cruise which were fantastic. A suggestion about the pre-tour: Stick some tissue in your pocket when you leave your hotel. A number of the rest stops do not provide toilet paper. Speaking of the hotels, they are indeed the best in town. The Reverie in Saigon is by far the best hotel we have ever stayed in. Our guide for the pre-tour survived the Cambodian holocaust and told us at length of the horrors of trying to survive under Pol Pot. We visited one of the killing fields, which is not for the faint of heart, since there is a large reliquary filled with skulls. Our guide stressed that if we don’t remember, these things will happen again. We missed the first day because of passport problems. The Viking staff smoothly found us very late at the Hanoi airport and joined us up with the tour. There were a couple of negatives about the river cruise. The shower had a serious ‘flush shock’ problem. If anyone on the same deck flushed, the shower temperature would jump. If someone in the cabin behind ours flushed, the water became dangerously hot. Unfortunately this is a design problem, and it would take a complete re-fit to fix. The second issue happened at dinner when the staff served KFC... Khmer Fried Critters. The plate of crickets and grasshoppers did not bother me at all, my wife has eaten them before and I might try them sometime. However, when a platter of fried tarantulas was placed in front of me, an arachnophobe, without any warning, it was too much. I grabbed my wine and bolted. The staff could have showed some sensitivity in this case. Overall, this was a wonderful experience, and I recommend it to any adventurous traveler. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We have just returned from a fabulous trip down the Mekong River on Scenic’s Spirit cruise ship. The ship, the stateroom suite, the staff, the food and the excursions were all phenomenal. The Hotel Manager, Toby, was on top of ... Read More
We have just returned from a fabulous trip down the Mekong River on Scenic’s Spirit cruise ship. The ship, the stateroom suite, the staff, the food and the excursions were all phenomenal. The Hotel Manager, Toby, was on top of everything. His staff were amazing, friendly and attentive; they were all very genuine and caring people, paying attention to details while enjoying their jobs. The food was tremendous and plentiful offering both Eastern and Western choices. There was at least one shore excursion every day, with most days offering two excursions and sometimes three. The excursions were diverse, interesting and well planned, with a variety of options to choose from to suit different tastes and energy levels. The tour guides were amazing; they were knowledgeable and considerate, engaging both the travellers and the local people. We experienced parts of Cambodia and Vietnam that we would never have seen on our own. We highly recommend this trip. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We have always wanted to visit China to see the difference in cities, culture and landscapes! This Cruise/Land Tour trip was the perfect way to do that. In the two weeks that we were there we saw 6 megacities, flew three domestic flights ... Read More
We have always wanted to visit China to see the difference in cities, culture and landscapes! This Cruise/Land Tour trip was the perfect way to do that. In the two weeks that we were there we saw 6 megacities, flew three domestic flights within China along with experiencing their airlines and airports, in addition to the 7 night, 6 day cruise on the Yangtze river! -Embarkation went smoothly except for a minor glitch of delayed luggage due to customs holding up one bus temporarily. This is not the fault of the cruise staff and we still left on time. Disembarking was a breeze as was transferring to and from the many airports and hotels. Never had to deal directly with our luggage until the time came to check baggage for our return flight home from Beijing! -The hotel accommodations were unbelievably top notch! All were 5*+ and we felt that the Ritz-Carlton in Shanghai and the Wyndham in Xian were the nicest rooms we've ever stayed in! -The food on board the ship and in all the restaurants was phenomenal. So many opportunities to try new and unusual dishes that we'd never heard of or had before. The only "problem" was there was always too much! -Service aboard the ship was excellent from the cabin attendant to our wonderful waitress Alice and waiter in the dining room. Many are multitalented and also provide the passengers with evening entertainment shows! Any requests of staff were handled efficiently and with a smile. -A variety of onboard activities were offered, from experiencing a tea ceremony explanation, having a silk garment made to talks by the tour director and explanations by local experts on the history, culture and sites as we made our way on Yangtze for six days. -The shore excursions and land tours were equally eye opening, everything I expected and so much more! Visiting a 2nd grade classroom in an elementary school was one of many opportunities to interact one on one with the people. The tours did require some physical activity and walking. Climbing 12 floors to the top of a temple, watching the giant pandas in the Chongquin Zoo, exploring the Three Gorges dam and Terra Cotta warriors in Xian. The Three Gorges on the Yangtze were amazing with a chance to see up close one the most beautiful gorges from a Sampan! Walking on the Great Wall may have been the highlight however. There were just so many sites and experiences in this trip! We have been to many places in the world but we both agree that this is probably the most memorable trip we've taken! -The advantages of having a tour director with our group the whole two weeks was unbelievable. Our tour director Roy for our group of 36 people was Amazing. He did everything and I mean everything! He handled every little detail so that we could just enjoy ourselves. He made the difference between a good trip and an unbelievably excellent trip and he should be commended many times over. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
NO COMMENTS ON VESSEL (OR CABINS) BECAUSE THIS WAS HER LAST VIKING CRUISE. A BRAND NEW SHIP IN 2019!!! Our 2-week Imperial Jewels odyssey, Shanghai to Bejing, celebrated our 50th anniversary. It was extremely well-organized by very ... Read More
NO COMMENTS ON VESSEL (OR CABINS) BECAUSE THIS WAS HER LAST VIKING CRUISE. A BRAND NEW SHIP IN 2019!!! Our 2-week Imperial Jewels odyssey, Shanghai to Bejing, celebrated our 50th anniversary. It was extremely well-organized by very competent staff. Airfare booked thru Viking provided direct flights on American Airlines & included all transfer of ourselves & bags. Welcoming Viking escorts met us, took us to our hotels on the first of many tour bus rides & handled check-in. We met our excellent, personable & continually informative Viking escort, Roy Liu, & our "family" of 35 fellow travelers. All 3 cities featured elegant 4-5 star hotels like Ritz-Carlton. We sailed from Wuhan after 2 nights. The tour includes 3 internal flights on Chinese airlines via vast modern airports. Plentiful daily sightseeing utilizes travel days to see things en route. It is a VERY strenuous tour including countless stairs & uneven pavement. (Few wheelchair service opportunities.) Our only excursion-free "day of rest" was the first on the river. Fascinating, constant learning opportunities introduced the culture, history, landmarks, etc.plus activities like daily Tai Chi exercise class. The hard-working, totally service-oriented Chinese crew provided night time entertainment with colorful costumes & folk dancing. No formal nights or casino. Nice bars with live music duo. No smoking. The ship's elegant dining room had 8-person tables; no assigned seats. Breakfast & lunch had both buffet & menu service. Western-style foods are plentiful on board & at hotels, but don't go if you dislike Chinese cuisine. Restaurant meals on excursions usually many dishes family-style on a "lazy Susan." LOVED the food's variety, flavors, & freshness but missed ice cubes! Viking constantly supplied necessary bottled water. (Even used for brushing teeth!) Free-flow "house" wine, beer, soft drinks at meals. ON SHIP: Wi-fi free but seldom available due to geography. OFF SHIP: Wi-fi free at hotels but no Google, Facebook, etc. Need alternative apps. ALWAYS carry toilet paper; ladies, brief wait for western-style public toilets. Highlights too numerous to list included the expected like Terra Cotta warriors & Great Wall & unexpected like a Chinese elementary school & the exotic Goddess stream gorge. This trip does NOT go to the panda breeding center. We adored these charmers at their Chonqing Zoo enclosures. Glad we went south-to-north as Beijing was the peak experience! November chilly but bearable up north, still warm & humid in the south. (October has millions of Chinese traveling for biggest national holidays.) Viking doesn't waste time at overpriced "factory" businesses but took us to a few quality establishments selling silk embroidery, bronzes, jade, etc. The few small shops on board had higher prices than on land & didn't bargain. Most popular was a tailor creating custom-made silk garments that were bargains compared to US prices. Order early! Added-cost excursions: Only 3, We did the Tang Dynasty Dinner/Show at Xian & the Kung Fu Theatre in Beijing. Both FABULOUS theatrical productions with music,dance, thrills, astonishing special effects worthy of Las Vegas. Incredible value! SO GLAD we experienced this journey to an endlessly surprising, dynamic destination! Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
I have always wanted to cruise the Mekong and this boat came to my attention. This boat is out of this world, the rooms are beautiful, the food is magnificent, the breakfast and lunch are self served with something for everyone, the ... Read More
I have always wanted to cruise the Mekong and this boat came to my attention. This boat is out of this world, the rooms are beautiful, the food is magnificent, the breakfast and lunch are self served with something for everyone, the evening meal is waiter service with a good selection of starters, main course and desert. The service is 2nd to none, staff cannot do enough for you and are always smiling and happy the daily tours are well put together and the guides are perfectly appointed for the Campuchia/Cambodia start to the Vietnam My Tho, their knowledge is amazing and the command of the English language is very very good. I cannot recommend this cruise enough, you want for nothing. My thanks need to go to everyone of the staff on board and Mom, Phanne, Bora, Jerry, Wa & Sarif to name only 6 of the 40 staff looking after about 30 of us. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We have been to a 3 weeks trip through Myanmar and booked this 2 days trip to have a different experience in travelling. This short 2 days ride from Mandaley to Bagan was an unforgettable experience for us. We have never travelled by boat ... Read More
We have been to a 3 weeks trip through Myanmar and booked this 2 days trip to have a different experience in travelling. This short 2 days ride from Mandaley to Bagan was an unforgettable experience for us. We have never travelled by boat so it was totally new for us. The RV Strand and especially the crew, thanks Barth! and at least everybody on board - were excellent. Especially the BBQ dinner on the sandbank was outstanding, but also cooking class, beauty tips and how to wear the Longhi will be never forgot. Thanks for the nice picture from all of us. Also the handed recipes are helpful - I will try my best to cook them at home. The whole boat, the sun-deck, bar, restaurant, SPA, the cabins, guided trips outside made a real difference to a lot of things we have seen before. So thank you all again and hope to see you soon in your beautiful country. Annette & Martin Read Less
Sail Date November 2018

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