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482 Asia River Cruise Reviews

First of all I apologize for the lateness of this review as I've been busy with life since getting back. We went on the Viking Emerald Yangtze River cruise because a.) we wanted to see the real China, and b.) our daughter was ... Read More
First of all I apologize for the lateness of this review as I've been busy with life since getting back. We went on the Viking Emerald Yangtze River cruise because a.) we wanted to see the real China, and b.) our daughter was studying abroad in Shanghai and we decided to tack on a few days at the end of the cruise to visit her. It was our first Viking cruise, and if it was indicative of how Viking operates I am looking forward to being a repeat customer. Our journey started in Beijing. It took use four hours to get through the multiple lines, two artificial intelligence photos, one misplaced bag and countless immigration officials at the Beijing airport. We were sure that the Viking official who was to pick us up would have left by the time we made it through the gantlet. I was preparing to get a cab to our hotel. But no, Leo, who would serve as our guide throughout the trip, was waiting at the end of the maze for us. That got everything off to the right foot. It really is more of a tour than a cruise. You are split up into groups of about three dozen, and you stay in that group the duration of the trip with the same tour guide. You also start to make friends with a variety of people you did not know before. Leo was fantastic. The poor guy was herding cats the whole trip, and it started five minutes into our first tour at Tiananmen Square, where one person made a wrong turn almost immediately as we got off the bus. But Leo was patient, and eventually he was reunited with the group. China is a strenuous tour. But not impossible. There's a lot of walking, Viking did arrange a wheelchair for one person in our group, and even though China is not an accessible-friendly country, he did manage quite well with the aid of a Viking associate. Basically our tour started with land tours in Beijing, Xi'an, and Chongqing. That took about five days. In Chongqing we boarded the Emerald and traveled down the Yangtze for about six days. Then from Wuhan we flew to Shanghai to complete the tour. Viking offers the same tour in the opposite direction. In addition to the tourist sites, we got to see how regular people live, meeting an artist in her home in one of the poorest sections of Beijing, and visiting a primary school that is sponsored by Viking. The food was spectacular. We had Peking Duck in Beijing, and a variety of food throughout the trip both o the ship and in restaurants. I don't drink so I can't attest to the wine and beer, but I heard no complaints. The ship was great. The public rooms and our guest room were well-maintained and clean. The staff was friendly and always available to help. If China is something on the bucket list, I would highly recommend Viking. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
I completed this cruise a week or so ago. The cruise itself in very nice and relaxing. The stops along the river are interesting but this is so very different from one of the European sailings. You really can't explore on your own. ... Read More
I completed this cruise a week or so ago. The cruise itself in very nice and relaxing. The stops along the river are interesting but this is so very different from one of the European sailings. You really can't explore on your own. You are assigned group color and a guide for Vietnam and a different one for Cambodia. Our guide in Vietnam, Sonny, was not good. It was almost impossible to understand him and he yelled all the time. Our guide for Cambodia, Peter, was excellent. AMA Waterways needs to vet the guides a bit better since you are stuck with the same one for several days. Get a bad one and it affects the whole experience. Huong, our Cruise Manager was fantastic. Always there to help. Very nice and genuinely wanted everyone to have a great experience. The ship itself is nice, but very different from the European ships. There are less areas to mingle and the lounge was always set up as a lecture hall rather than a place to talk to fellow guests. The food was very good and they were excellent at managing dietary restrictions. Maria, the Restaurant Manager, was really fantastic. She was always there with a smile and a good word. She also knows the dining room and menus inside and out, so any questions were answered swiftly and accurately. The food at the Chef's Table was okay, but both the meals and service were better in the main dining room. The cabin sizes are similar to the European ships but with less storage. Entertainment was a bit lacking. WiFi is terrible and is something AMA really needs to address. In addition to the cruise, I also booked the pre cruise package in Ho Chi Minh City and the post cruise packages in both Siem Reap and Hanoi. I recommend the post cruise package in Siem Reap (with Angkor Wat) wholeheartedly. It was amazing and Peter, our guide, was teriffic. The pre cruise package in Ho Chi Minh City is not worth it. You can easily see the city on our own in two days. The post cruise package for Hanoi is similarly not worth it, nor is the Ha Long Bay Cruise. I would recommend booking this privately as you will see more. Try to find a Ha Long Bay cruise that does not follow all of the other 700 boats to all the same locations. AMA Waterways continues to be an excellent company to travel with and this cruise would easily be 5 stars with some minor changes. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Interested in going to Vietnam and Cambodia to experience the culture, history, people and the food. While I knew it would be hot, I was not prepared for the humidity. The humidity permeated everything, even the air conditioned rooms. ... Read More
Interested in going to Vietnam and Cambodia to experience the culture, history, people and the food. While I knew it would be hot, I was not prepared for the humidity. The humidity permeated everything, even the air conditioned rooms. We chose Viking because we have cruised with them 6 previous times This was a combination land and river cruise. All of the hotels were Outstanding! The ship was a disappointment. The crew, food, and service was excellent but the ship was too small. Dining was cramped and our cabin was the largest on the ship but small compared to other Viking river boats. Our tour director, Tony, who was with us the entire trip was the best we have ever had. He made the trip! He I would recommend the trip because of the destinations and shore excursions ( especially Hanoi, Angkor Wat, Phnom Penh, Saigon). However, I would not do it again unlike other trips (Egypt, China, Russia etc) that I would do again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We read about the Aqua Mekong in the Andrew Harper Hideaway Report and decided to make it the centerpiece of our tour to Vietnam and Cambodia. We came at the perfect time of the year, at the very end of the rainy season when the weather ... Read More
We read about the Aqua Mekong in the Andrew Harper Hideaway Report and decided to make it the centerpiece of our tour to Vietnam and Cambodia. We came at the perfect time of the year, at the very end of the rainy season when the weather was perfect and the water high enough to make it into the Tonle Sap Lake to see the floating villages. The boat itself was just fabulous, our room extremely well appointed and the public areas delightful. The staff was uniformly excellent and the excursions fascinating, it was truly a life-changing experience to kayak past floating villages and realizing we are some of the only westerners these children had ever seen. If you’re wanting to cruise the Mekong River, I highly encourage you to go with Aqua Mekong, rather than Viking or Uniworld. We are big Uniworld Fans, but in this area of the world, the experience on the Aqua Mekong is more specialized and authentic. David Thompson, the famous Thai chef, developed the menus and the areas we visited are exclusive to this ship. We saw no other boats on the river the entire trip until we got to Siem Reap. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We attended a local presentation. The catalogue gave all the pertinent information. Overall, the tour and cruise were unbelievable. All the activities and sights, eg Angkor Wat at sunrise, pagodas, circus, etc; were exceptional. The ... Read More
We attended a local presentation. The catalogue gave all the pertinent information. Overall, the tour and cruise were unbelievable. All the activities and sights, eg Angkor Wat at sunrise, pagodas, circus, etc; were exceptional. The tour guides were very knowledgeable and considerate. When on shore, the meals in different restaurants were delicious and gave us a taste of their local dishes. The Hotels in Siem Reap and Ho Chi Minh were definitely 5 star and luxurious. The highlight was the attentive staff and excellent food on board the Scenic Spirit. The Gala dinners on board were always well presented and delicious, as were the everyday meals. We thoroughly enjoyed the comforts of our cabin. Our butler was also very helpful and attentive. We learned a lot about the Cambodian people and their culture from the staff we met on board. Activities such as yoga, Tai Chi and swimming helped keep us fit. The massages were very reasonably priced and enjoyable. Also the free laundry facilities came in handy. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
The whole cruise from start to finish was excellent. The staff and crew couldn't do enough to ensure our comfort and overall experience. Cabin, food, service were all first class. Shore visits to local villages along the river ... Read More
The whole cruise from start to finish was excellent. The staff and crew couldn't do enough to ensure our comfort and overall experience. Cabin, food, service were all first class. Shore visits to local villages along the river were exceptional and couldn't be any better!! We would strongly recommend this cruise to those seeking a uniquely real adventure in India and specifically Assam Province. The cruise director Neena, had a great rapport with all the passengers. She hosted the passengers as if they were her personnel guests. The crew on board were absolutely amazing and couldn't have done any more for us than they did. My wife and I have done several small river boat cruises in Asia and the cruise down the Brahmaputra on the MV Maahabahu. Overall this was probably the best small boat cruise we have been on. Looking forward to 2020 when hopefully we will be able to cruise with Neena and ARC again on the Ganges!!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
My wife and I spent an incredible two weeks in Myanmar, and one of the highlights of our visit was our time in Bagan. First, I must share how we got there. We took a four day cruise up the Ayeryewaddy river on the Sanctuary Ananda cruise ... Read More
My wife and I spent an incredible two weeks in Myanmar, and one of the highlights of our visit was our time in Bagan. First, I must share how we got there. We took a four day cruise up the Ayeryewaddy river on the Sanctuary Ananda cruise boat from Yangon to Bagan. The Sanctuary Ananda is a truly five-star experience in every way. The boat itself is small and intimate - a maximum of forty passengers, and with a staff of 43, you are never lacking in friendly and gracious service. The décor is beautiful and evocative, the state rooms are luxurious and spacious, and the food was absolutely amazing. The chef on board was a former head chef at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Bangkok, which was rated the number one hotel in the world for many years. Not only was the food incredible, but you had many opportunities to meet this friendly and dignified gentleman, and even take an intimate cooking class from him on the third day of the cruise. The highlight for me was a torch-lit dinner on the beach of the river- a magical and memorable experience. The final destination of the cruise was Bagan, which should be one of the wonders of the world. Within a relatively small region, there are over 3000 pagodas, stupas and temples, some small, and many grand in scale and breathtaking beauty. These temples were build by the kings of Burma over a period of several centuries, with the oldest ones being nearly one thousand years old. Many of the temples and pagodas are worth a personal visit (cars have access to most of the larger temples, or you can rent a horse-drawn carriage if you don't mind bouncing a lot). However, the best way to see Bagan is by hot air balloon. I recognize that these trips are expensive, but the experience is well worth the cost. We recommend Oriental Balloons, but all three of the operating companies in Bagan offer very modern and professional balloon rides. Well, in closing, Bagan was spectacular, the Sanctuary Ananda was amazing, and we were truly fortunate to have had this chance to visit this wonderful country. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We booked this cruise directly with Aqua Expeditions, and the reservation team was very reactive and helpful. For the two hour transfer from Ho Chi Minh to the ship, we had opted for a Mercedes S-class transfer, which was excellent. ... Read More
We booked this cruise directly with Aqua Expeditions, and the reservation team was very reactive and helpful. For the two hour transfer from Ho Chi Minh to the ship, we had opted for a Mercedes S-class transfer, which was excellent. The ship is gorgeous, with plenty of indoor and outdoor space. We had chosen a double cabin, which means that one cabin was set up as a living room and the other one as a bedroom. Consequently, we also had two bathrooms, which was extremely convenient. We were very happy to have chosen the double cabin, as the cabin otherwise would feel very small. However, other guests seemed perfectly happy with their cabins. The gym is obviously small and only offers some cardio equipment, but it was sufficient for a few days. I had three massages during the cruise, which were excellent. The free laundry service was great. There were only 18 guests (+38 staff) on this cruise, and we quickly got to know each other and it almost felt like travelling with a group of friends. Excursions are offered in the morning and afternoon, and there are often different options to choose from. The excursions were extremely well organised. We particularly enjoyed the bike rides, which was a great way to explore the country side. The biking was pretty easy as it always took place on a flat solid surface, and the bikes are well maintained. There are not really any big sights to be seen. The excursions are all about exploring the local life and people, and enjoying the beautiful surroundings. The food was really great with a variation between Asian and western dishes, sometimes served on the outside deck. The free flow of good wine and beer was a great feature. The service was truly outstanding. The wait staff quickly learned our names, and it was a very warm and personal service. Wifi is only available in public areas, and the speed varies a lot. We had asked to reservation team to provide local SIM cards for us, and it worked very well. It was an unforgettable experience, which I highly recommend. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Just got back from a fabulous trip to India's Golden Triangle and the Ganges River by Uniworld. On land went to Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, staying at the incredible Oberoi hotels. The hotel service, food, ambiance was the best ever. The ... Read More
Just got back from a fabulous trip to India's Golden Triangle and the Ganges River by Uniworld. On land went to Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, staying at the incredible Oberoi hotels. The hotel service, food, ambiance was the best ever. The rooms spacious and elegant. In Agra from the room's veranda you can see the Taj Mahal Embarked smoothly from Kalkuta to the river cruise ship the Ganges Explorer !!, which looks like a New Orleans paddle wheeler. The Cabins were gorgeous and huge, food very good. As someone who hates Indian food I was hesitant about taking this trip, but was able to get Thai (which I love) Chinese and Continental food both in hotels and aboard ship. The soups on the ship were especially good. In our group of 28 only 2 people got sick...they ate street food ! The only secret to staying well is drink and use for teeth brushing only bottled water! The ports all had interesting temples, towns and sights along the way. Found the Indian people to be very friendly and kind. Service at hotels and aboard ship to be wonderful. Staff was dedicated to seeing you have the best trip of your life! Hemesh, our trip leader did everything humanly possible to see that everything ran smoothly. When my husband developed an awful cold and cough an Indian doctor was called by Hemesh and the manager of the cruise who came to attend him. They took care of everything and did not bill us for the visit or medicine. Uniworld did a wonderful job with this fantastic trip. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
This was a wonderful journey, part land tour and part cruise with a company, Viking, that we've come to trust and enjoy. We started in Hanoi, a group of 54 people. We were divided into two groups with each of us having an escort for ... Read More
This was a wonderful journey, part land tour and part cruise with a company, Viking, that we've come to trust and enjoy. We started in Hanoi, a group of 54 people. We were divided into two groups with each of us having an escort for the complete journey. Our escort was from Saigon (the other from Hanoi) and I very much appreciated his frankness and being able to fill in the gaps when talking about the history of Viet Nam and Cambodia. To start, the hotels Viking uses are 5+ star accommodations, from old classic hotel in Hanoi, to a resort in Siem Reap Cambodia, to modern resort in Ha Long Bay, to ultra modern high rise hotel in Saigon. The excursions in Hanoi, Ha Long Bay, Siem Reap (Ankor Wat) was very well organized and very educational. We did the elephant ride among the temples in Siem Reap on our own and would recommend it. The air flight from Hanoi to Siem Reap was on a new Airbus A321; airport terminals were nice and modern. We had a 3.5 hour bus ride from Siem Reap to the Mekong river port to pick up the Viking Mekong riverboat. It is much shorter than their riverboats in Europe, but there are only 26 staterooms on the boat anyway, so it's much more intimate. The first thing that impresses you is the mahogany wood trim and finish all over the boat. The staterooms are slightly smaller that European boats, but all had a queen/king size bed. Each stateroom opens onto an exterior passageway large enough for a couple of chairs and small table to sit and enjoy the river sights. The food was typical Viking, excellent, with many local and standard choices every day. The riverboat only travels during the day (anchor in the river at night except in Phnom Penh where it's tied up, so you're always able to see river sights everyday. We got to our excursions on the river via large sampans which was exciting. Our escorts presented several lectures on the life and history of Viet Nam/Cambodia which were very well done. Viking had a couple of local groups come aboard for entertainment after dinner which was well presented. The bus ride at the end of the river portion into Saigon took us to the Cu Chi tunnels first which was very educational. We had two nights in Saigon at The Reverie, a wildly luxurious hotel, that was included in the basic Viking journey. We wish we had stayed longer. The whole journey including the embarkation and debarkation were effortless; Viking takes care of it all. I strongly recommend this trip and arriving in your departure city (either Hanoi or Saigon) a couple of days early to adjust to time differentials. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
In October we took the Uniworld tour – India’s Golden Triangle and the Sacred Ganges, the river portion of which involved a stay on the Ganges Voyager II. This was our first Uniworld tour, and 3rd river cruise – Russia and Myanmar ... Read More
In October we took the Uniworld tour – India’s Golden Triangle and the Sacred Ganges, the river portion of which involved a stay on the Ganges Voyager II. This was our first Uniworld tour, and 3rd river cruise – Russia and Myanmar being the other two with different vendors. We arrived in New Delhi early to allow additional time to recover from jet lag and started the land portion of our tour on October 19th. We met with the Uniworld Tour Manager (Vishal Bhaskar) and two local consultants who would guide us through the New Delhi, Agra and Jaipur portions of the tour and then the Tour Manager continued with us for the river cruise/Varanasi portions of the tour where local guides assisted him. All of the Uniworld staff were excellent in their roles; knowledgeable of the different areas we were visiting and accommodating of any requests made by guests. The land portion of the tour while exceptional was exhausting and we all were looking forward to boarding the Ganges Voyager II. We were met by the captain and staff on boarding ship and escorted to our room by Mahendra Singh, the Head of Housekeeping. The ship was very clean and comfortable and we were in our room quickly, shown A/C and other controls and our luggage was delivered shortly thereafter. Our Heritage Suite 302 was excellent at the front right of the ship – affording us a view of full bow as we proceeded down the Ganges. We found the room to be compact but quite accommodating (pictures attached). The Sun deck had plenty of loungers and was covered from the sun. At the far end they had an open area which was used for on-board performances by local entertainers and for early morning and afternoon yoga classes (which Uniworld River Cruises has recently added). The instructor was awesome. There was an on-board spa that offered a variety of services that I personally used three times and was used by many other guests. Prices were very reasonable. If there is a criticism of the itinerary it was we did not know when off shores tours would occur each day – so it was difficult to schedule appointments in advance and sometimes one had to reschedule when you found you were in conflict with the off shore tours. The Ganges Voyager II has a sandpan that was used to transport us from ship to shore for excursions. Crew were very diligent ensuring we all had life jackets on for the short transfer to land and for ensuring we could safely climb to shore, as often there was not a fixed dock available. The shore excursions generally were not too long but you should be able bodied to do this tour. There are steps, uneven ground and it was hot and humid. All of the staff of the Ganges Voyager II were friendly and outgoing; working hard to ensure we had a memorable experience. They met our every request and were very gracious when showing some of the male guests how to play cricket, a fun afternoon. Staff were very diligent both on the land tour and the Ganges Voyager II that every time we returned to the bus/ship, hand sanitizer was given to every guest. On tours the security staff carried cold towels/bottled water that were available and offered a “helping hand” on navigating the uneven surfaces. The crew provided wipes for you to clean your feet when bare feet were required and shoe coverings when you were allowed to wear shoes. When you boarded the ship you placed your “off ship shoes” in a cubby with your room number, and wore slippers (or shoes of your choice) back to your room. Your “off ship shoes” are cleaned after every shore experience and returned to your room a few hours later. The post tour visit to Varanasi was excellent and quite different from everything else we had seen on the tour. The food was excellent, both local and western options offered at all meals. Breakfast and lunch were buffet style and dinner was plated service. Wine and beer flowed freely. The local sauvignon blanc was quite good. The Executive Chef (Zaved Islam) was very outgoing and “toned down” some of the spices for us, however if you wanted something more “local” he accommodated individual requests. He even changed his menu to accommodate a “favorite” dish requested by one guest as one of the dinner options. I came to India expecting to encounter poverty, smells and other uncomfortable situations. Only one day did we encounter any smells and that was limited. While most of us had at least one day with “Delhi belly”, this was more due to not being accustomed to the level of spices we were consuming (combined with taking Malaria tablets). I am unaware of anyone who had major issues that required prescription medication. The Housekeeper (Mahendra Singh) and Restaurant Manager (Sagar Chand) were great providing ginger tea or bringing meals (soup) to your room if requested to assist your speedy recovery. The sites visited combined with the exceptional service from Uniworld River Cruises and Ganges Voyager II staff made this a “trip of a lifetime”. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
This cruise was part of a 15 day tour of China with a luxury tour company. The accommodations on this ship were by far the worst of the tour. I have been on several river cruises in Europe and the Yangzi Explorer simply fails every ... Read More
This cruise was part of a 15 day tour of China with a luxury tour company. The accommodations on this ship were by far the worst of the tour. I have been on several river cruises in Europe and the Yangzi Explorer simply fails every comparison test. My room was dirty and stunk of Urine. There were mosquitos and flies everywhere. No screens on the windows. A/C did not work well at all. WiFi was a joke. Management seemed not to care and just gave excuses. The bar on deck six is nice, but the staff needs to be trained better in making cocktails. Service in the bar was friendly but staff seemed overwhelmed if the request was anything that varied off of the mundane. The resturant was nice and the food was good. Breakfasts were excellent with lots of variety. The cruise itinterary was okay. The guide on the boat who commented on what we were seeing was annoying. Talked constantly about nothing at all. If you have been to Norway or New Zealand, the scenery in the Three Gorges will not impress that much. It is pretty and others on the trip found it amazing. I was constantly saddened by the amount of trash I saw floating down the river. As this cruise is often part of larger itineraries, many visitors to China will end up on this boat. If someone had the choice of taking this cruise or not on a visit to China, I would probably say "Don't Bother". The spa is mediocre at best. I booked three treatments. Cancelled the third after the underwhelming experience with the first two. Since this is supposed to be the nicest boat on the river, I do wonder what the others are like. I am also shocked that Sanctuary considers this boat to meet its standards. There is also NO WAY this boat was refurbished in 2017. If it was, Sanctuary needs to complain to the company that did the refurbishment. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
I'm not sure why they call this "low season" - we barely saw a drop of rain in a week! We joined the cruise just north of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, for a week-long trip to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. The ship is 22 cabins and ... Read More
I'm not sure why they call this "low season" - we barely saw a drop of rain in a week! We joined the cruise just north of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, for a week-long trip to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. The ship is 22 cabins and is able to take you all the way into the city, which was so convenient! The ship has a period feel, with lots of polished wood and brass fittings. Our cabin was on the upper deck towards the prow. Plenty of room for clothes and suitcases, it felt very spacious. The bathroom was small, but had everything we needed, including some welcome cabinets above the sink. We couldn't fault the food. Breakfast and lunch were buffets, with plenty of variety over the course of the week, including Cambodian & Vietnamese curries, as well as pasta and even roast pork! The excursions were awesome and the guides excellent. In one week we: saw the sun set over the flooded plains of central Cambodia; rode in an ox cart; visited a 200 year old Pagoda; tasted snake wine in Vietnam and saw the stunning Vinh Tran Pagoda. The crew were all extremely warm and welcoming. Nothing was too much trouble. Can't recommend this cruise or ship highly enough! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
The staff was very service oriented and professional. Opportunity to learn a lot of cultural information about China history, way of life. Fun and interesting people, plus fun shows by the staff. Like the beer and wine at meals at no ... Read More
The staff was very service oriented and professional. Opportunity to learn a lot of cultural information about China history, way of life. Fun and interesting people, plus fun shows by the staff. Like the beer and wine at meals at no additional cost. Smooth ride up a river than in the ocean. Tour guides where informative and English speaking was very good. Will go on another river cruise sometime in the future. Hotel accommodations prior and after cruise were excellent. Air fairs could have been more direct for us living In Seattle than fly to Dallas and then to China and returning to Dallas before proceeding to Seattle. When others in our groups flight did go to Seattle. Weather was great for this trip and our concerns for smog did not develop in the big cities. We had clear beautiful days. Tour buses where great and lots of water was handed out to those who needed it. Great variety of excursion tours to learn culture and opportunities to shop and taste different foods. We would recommend this tour to anybody interested in China. Like that no motorized chairs where able to use this cruise like some ocean cruises. You had to be able to walk so tours were not slowed up. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Never been there, wonderful experience. It was a great experience,guide was wonderful. Would do trip again, if the world wasn’t so big. Looking forward to our next adventure. Met wonderfully people. Really enjoyed traveling with them. ... Read More
Never been there, wonderful experience. It was a great experience,guide was wonderful. Would do trip again, if the world wasn’t so big. Looking forward to our next adventure. Met wonderfully people. Really enjoyed traveling with them. Hotels were excellent. Next time we would be a little bit more aggressive. Money exchange was a bit confusing, use credit cards. Tours were great enjoyed everyday, looking forward to our next trip. Staff was great everything was wonderful. Foods were a experience, difficult to make choices although they tried to give us choices. Beer and wine on board was great, no complaints. We really recommend this trip it was more than we expected. China is a great country, but we really needed more time there. Only complaint was boarding our ship, which was horrible. They really needed a better boarding ramp. Everyone was upset the way we boarded. The ship was great once we were aboard. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
This cruise was chosen as way to see the more rural side of Vietnam and Cambodia and did not disappoint. In fact it went way beyond our expectations. The itinerary is new with many small villages visited, often being transported by local ... Read More
This cruise was chosen as way to see the more rural side of Vietnam and Cambodia and did not disappoint. In fact it went way beyond our expectations. The itinerary is new with many small villages visited, often being transported by local tuk tuk, ox cart or horse cart.The excursions are varied and well run, with a lot of local content , including making pots, basket weaving, cooking pancakes and planting trees. My highlight was one of our 2 school visits and sitting with a 12 year old student, in his open air classroom helping with his lessons. The amenities and space on board were truly amazing. Our cruise was about half full but even if is was at capacity you would never feel crowded. There is space and quiet when needed and a wonderful cocktail hour to mix with others. We dined with everyone on board at at various times during the week and the dining experience was always exceptional. The meals were varied with a lot of local dishes to try and beautifully presented. Lastly, the crew went above and beyond to ensure our safety and the enjoyment of all on board. Be ready for the crew/guest dance on the last night! I genuinely recommend this cruise and can’t wait to try another adventure with Pandaw. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Great itinerary to see China (Beijing/Great Wall; Xian/Terra Cotta Warriors; Yangtze River/3 Gorges Dam & sights) and land portion of tour with excellent guides and 5 star hotels was really outstanding. However, the Viking Ship Emerald ... Read More
Great itinerary to see China (Beijing/Great Wall; Xian/Terra Cotta Warriors; Yangtze River/3 Gorges Dam & sights) and land portion of tour with excellent guides and 5 star hotels was really outstanding. However, the Viking Ship Emerald (actually a Chinese ship with all Viking passengers) was damp and musty with below average service. Humidifiers in hallways should have given us our first clue as to serious problems with the ship. We asked for room humidifier and air filter fans and the crew provided these immediately. Dining room service was unusual for a cruise -- couples had to share menus at dinner and at lunch only one menu per table was provide for 8 people (does Viking have a strange cost cutting effort going on?) -- and wait service was impatient and wanted you to order quickly. My onboard credit was denied and I was curtly asked to prove that I had it. Luckily I had a cruise reservation form that had a Viking logo on it so they could finally give us our $250 credit. We has a suite but no one told us that laundry was free -- the Viking documentation was generic and said we had to pay. All other cruises we have taken have a paper in the room which tells of perks that come with the room. Embarkation to ship at Chongqing was a true disaster, extremely unsafe and must be fixed by Viking. From busses we had to descend many crumbling concrete stairs with no railings dragging our carry on luggage by ourselves with absolutely no help from Viking staff of 10-15 standing by watching us struggle to help each other down the wet and muddy stairs. When we complained the Viking staff said China did not allow the Viking ship staff to help us; however, someone delivered our large luggage from the airport to the ship down those same stairs. The ship is supposed to be refurbished in Dec 2018 so that may help appearance, but probably not service. I give this cruise 3 stars because the guides were terrific (ours was Joshua); tours very good (lots of steps -- not easy, but outstanding); the hotels were 5 star plus; and the itinerary outstanding. I also hope that Viking can fix the embarkation disaster (should be easy fix) and the ship is being refurbished. We hope Viking could train the crew to European standards and print a few more menus. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
This was part of a multi centre trip to China. It was a 6 night cruise down the Yangtze River. Staff, food and excursions were exceptional. However, the boat has a very serious problem with damp/ excessive humidity. We were advised to ask ... Read More
This was part of a multi centre trip to China. It was a 6 night cruise down the Yangtze River. Staff, food and excursions were exceptional. However, the boat has a very serious problem with damp/ excessive humidity. We were advised to ask for dehumidifiers in our cabin when we first arrived. These were provided but made little difference to the dampness overall. Our clothes and bedding were always cold from the damp. The linen in the dining room was damp also. When we arrived at our next destination, I had to take all our clothes out of the suitcases to air them as they were damp! When we returned I advised Viking of my concerns and was informed that the Yangtze River was experiencing high humidity at that time! It is interesting to note that other travellers on this ship sailing at different times were also told the same! Some cabins were definitely worse than others with this problem. I expressed my concerns that if travellers had any respiratory problems, there could be serious repercussions. It is also worth noting that wewere offered £500 off the next trip. This boat is leased to Viking from the Chinese and therefore Viking are unable to rectify this problem themselves. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Having visited Cambodia in the past I wanted to explore the Mekong for my first ever Cruise. This cruise was recommended by a family member and some friends who had also been on the Scenic Spirit. On arrival at the ship we were ... Read More
Having visited Cambodia in the past I wanted to explore the Mekong for my first ever Cruise. This cruise was recommended by a family member and some friends who had also been on the Scenic Spirit. On arrival at the ship we were warmly welcomed and shown to our cabin. The cabin was a delight. It was spacious, very clean and well set out. Heaps of storage space and a great bathroom. The bed was really comfortable and could be raised and lowered depending on my needs . The restaurant an all the staff working to keep it running very smoothly were wonderful. The executive chef Oka did an outstanding job by keeping the meals interesting and varied and prepared to a very high standard. Thank you Oka. The wait staff also did a great job and kept the food and beverages coming with a friendly smile. There was nothing i would find fault with on the Ship. When the time came to leave I really wanted to stay and do the return journey immediately. It was really sad leaving the ship and great crew. This was not my last cruise with Scenic. I will be back Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
I chose this cruise because of the reputation of Scenic and this cruise surpassed my expectations. On this particular cruise there were under forty of us , but normally there are around 60. It was the monsoon period which can put people ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of the reputation of Scenic and this cruise surpassed my expectations. On this particular cruise there were under forty of us , but normally there are around 60. It was the monsoon period which can put people off, but we had very little rain. All the staff and crew were attentive and caring at all times. The spacious rooms are extremely well appointed and have all the amenities you would expect in a five star hotel. There are plenty of spots around the ship to sit and there is a small swimming pool as well as a walking track on the top deck. The onshore excursions were historical as well as fun and entertaining and it is up to you whether to leave the ship or spend the day by the pool. There is also a spa where you can have all the usual beauty treatments as well as massages. This was definitely one of those trips of a lifetime. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Excellent holiday from start to finish. Smooth embarkation and disembarkation. Made to feel special throughout the whole time we were on board. Excursions were geared to cultural learning and emphasis on recent historical detail. ... Read More
Excellent holiday from start to finish. Smooth embarkation and disembarkation. Made to feel special throughout the whole time we were on board. Excursions were geared to cultural learning and emphasis on recent historical detail. Perfect throughout. Celebrated my sixtieth birthday on board. Made to feel very special with a personally iced birthday cake that we shared at dinner with all other passengers. The hotel manager on board the Scenic Spirit, Toby, was very knowledgeable, extremely efficient but had a fabulous sense of humour. He treats his staff very well and is appreciative of their hard work. All the bar staff, waiters, butlers and reception staff rated very highly. All of them worked to a very high standard at all times and nothing was too much trouble. The food was excellent and the kitchen staff accommodated everyone's needs. There was ample choice of food at all meals and many inventive themes at the lunch time buffets. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We have traveled previously with Scenic in Europe and after the first cruise down the Rhine and Moselle they won us over. Everything they do is first class. The Mekong cruise is no exception. The accommodation is first class, staff are ... Read More
We have traveled previously with Scenic in Europe and after the first cruise down the Rhine and Moselle they won us over. Everything they do is first class. The Mekong cruise is no exception. The accommodation is first class, staff are magnificent, dining, service, excursions and entertainment are excellent. You always meet nice people on Scenic. Do yourself a favour and book with them on your next River Cruise..you wont be disappointed. The actual time on board the Scenic Spirit was 8 days with the remaining 5 days on land both in Ho Chi Min (Saigon) and Siem Reap. The accommodation in both those cities was 5 star and excellent in every way. There were organised excursions and/or you could do your own thing. Dining experiences were excellent with first class restaurants on the itinerary both for lunch and dinner and plenty of options to choose from. While the land content is excellent the cruising/on board experience is the icing on the cake and always a highlight of cruising with Scenic. Would we go again....absolutely. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Expect the days to be HOT and humid at each port you visit. If you can stand the heat and like to sweat, then you'll have a great time. I enjoyed the food offered on the ship, the chefs had nightly special, that gave you a chance to ... Read More
Expect the days to be HOT and humid at each port you visit. If you can stand the heat and like to sweat, then you'll have a great time. I enjoyed the food offered on the ship, the chefs had nightly special, that gave you a chance to try foods that you wouldn't have a chance to enjoy otherwise. The crew couldn't have been more helpful, from keeping the room clean, deck dry, and even cleaning your shoes after coming back from shore excursions. The entertainment on board the ship was limited, except they showed several movies about the area, which help you gained a better understand of their culture and customs. Enjoyed visiting villages, palaces, temples, and homes while on the cruse. Took the pre-excursion to Bangkok, Thailand and was glade that I did. Bangkok is truly a colorful city to visit and their temples have the WOW factor that you just can't miss if you want an enjoyable vacation in Asia. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We were on the 11 day Luxury Temple tour with 7 nights on the Mekong River, 3 nights pre-cruise in Siem Reap and an added night at the end in Ho Chi Minh City. Scenic is a top notch Australian tour line that more Americans should ... Read More
We were on the 11 day Luxury Temple tour with 7 nights on the Mekong River, 3 nights pre-cruise in Siem Reap and an added night at the end in Ho Chi Minh City. Scenic is a top notch Australian tour line that more Americans should consider. What a fabulous trip! From the moment we were picked up at the Siem Reap airport we knew we were in expert hands. The Park Hyatt in Siem Reap and the Park Hyatt in Ho Chi Minh City are both beautiful hotels with excellent rooms and amenities. The tour throughout Cambodia and Vietnam is phenomenal. Our Tour Director, Lovy made us absolutely fall in love with our itinerary and the beautiful people and culture of Cambodia. We were wowed at Ankor Wat, the surrounding temples,the Buddhist Monks and Nuns, the Cambodian Circus, and the Killing Fields and Landmine Museum. It is heart breaking to see up close the results of genocide by the Khmer Rouge, but extremely important to learn about, never to be forgotten. We were humbled and grateful to have the experience. The Scenic Spirit is a wonderful ship. The cabins are spacious with heavenly beds and showers. The service overseen by Toby was exceptional. He was dialed in to all of the passengers and their needs, even arranging a late night Tuk Tuk ride around Phnom Penh with a stop at a roof top bar. Scenic is a stand out in our many years of travel. Looking back over the days and nights of this vacation, we are astounded at the enormity of memorable moments, places, and people. If the Mekong is on your bucket list, go with Scenic! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We chose this cruise because I have always wanted to return to Vietnam after servicing there in 1970-71. Being able to visit Cambodia and Thailand were added benefits that provided a very unexpected and memorable experience. Our first ... Read More
We chose this cruise because I have always wanted to return to Vietnam after servicing there in 1970-71. Being able to visit Cambodia and Thailand were added benefits that provided a very unexpected and memorable experience. Our first night destination was Hanoi which proved to be a very nice experience. The Sofitel Legend Metropole was beautiful and the service and restaurant were outstanding. The next morning we departed the hotel on the additional trip to Ha Long Bay. We experienced beautiful scenery, a fun trip on a junk with a nice lunch and a trip to a cavern that was a total surprise. Then we were delivered to our hotel by boat. The Vinpearl Hotel was luxurious and welcoming on its own private island. The next morning we visited a cultured pearl farm and learned about the technique and method used to culture a pearl. Then we were off back to Hanoi. We enjoyed and felt safe going out at night to walk through the city to enjoy all of the weekend festivities around the lake. Our next adventure was to fly to Siem Reap, Cambodia. Visiting the many temples was unbelievable. The pictures you see just don't do them justice.The tour guides, both Viking and local for the entire trip were very knowledgeable and entertaining. After many memorable experiences on land we embarked the Viking Mekong. The ship was beautiful on board (not much to look at from shore). Stateroom was very nice and comfortable, food on board was the highest of quality and the service provided made us feel like we were the only people on board. Perfect! As mentioned earlier our guides were absolutely amazing. The care and concern for our well being was far beyond our expectations. We we got to Saigon our guide, Smiley arranged for me to visit the village in Vietnam that I worked in during the war. The day was a day I will treasure the rest of my life. I felt very proud of what we accomplished and the progress that had been made since 1971. All of the hotels, restaurants and excursions were the best of the best! Handling of luggage and moving us from place to place was perfectly executed. I would make this trip again and again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018

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