Scenic Aura

(2:35 a.m. EDT) -- Scenic has revealed details of its new South East Asian river cruises as it prepares to launch two vessels on the Mekong and the Irrawaddy in the 2016/17 season.

From January 2016, 34-suite Scenic Spirit will sail an eight-day Mekong voyage between Vietnamese capital Ho Chi Minh City and Siem Reap in Cambodia, forming part of the 13-day Treasures of the Mekong itinerary.

In 2017 Scenic will also introduce the 22-day Indochina Explorer and Luxury Mekong, which will begin in the north of Vietnam, travel through Laos and Cambodia along the Mekong before concluding in Ho Chi Minh City.

Passengers will be able to choose from a number of new Freechoice activities from cooking classes in Hoi An to tethered balloon rides over Angkor Wat at sunrise. There are also three new Vietnam land extensions.

Meanwhile, 22-suite Scenic Aura will launch in Myanmar (Burma) in September 2016 with an 11-day itinerary between Mandalay and Pyay, part of its new 14-day Mystical Irrawaddy itinerary.

According to the operator, both ships will offer a range of dining venues, a “resort-style” pool deck and bar area (pictured above) as well as a sundeck with open air cinema. All suites are set to feature a separate bedroom, living room and balcony, with beverages, butler service and guest laundry included in fares. The passenger-to-staff ratio will be “almost 1:1”.

Earlybird offers of free flights are in place until 31 January 2016 on any bookings of a Scenic Indochina journey of 13 days or more and any Myanmar itinerary of more than 14 days.

--By Anne Majumdar, Cruise Critic contributor