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14 Asia River Singles Cruise Reviews

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
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
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
I loved this so much, I want to do one they offer in a different location. The website really does not sell the boat or the experience. The boat is beautiful, about 8 years old and well maintained. Everything feels luxurious. I was ... Read More
I loved this so much, I want to do one they offer in a different location. The website really does not sell the boat or the experience. The boat is beautiful, about 8 years old and well maintained. Everything feels luxurious. I was travelling in low season, so there were only 23 guests (out of total 52) and 40 staff! The food was exceptional (and safe!) - and local to where we were travelling. The staff were always prepared to make changes to whatever you wanted, however. House wine was served foc with meals - I didn’t much like it, so ordered a bottle to suit my choice. But if you were happy with local wine/beer, you are in luck! Good cocktail menu in the bar - I had mango daiquiri. Chop one fresh mango, add 2 shots bacardi, blitz... and serve! There is a lovely small pool on deck - perfect for cooling off in. And the spa had two full-time therapists with a reasonably sized menu, but at AMAZING value. Recommended! The best bit about this cruise are the curated expeditions - all included in the cost. We got to see so much about the real lives and culture of the locals, going to their homes, trying their food, seeing their way of life, travelling the way they do (ox cart, cyclo, tuktuk!) What they don’t tell you, and should, is that you are being followed by a photographer who is recording everything - and you get a FREE CD at the end with all your memories! Bargain! There is free WIFI on board, BUT it is very poor in places, so be warned. Drove me mad. If you need WIFI to survive, buy a sim in both Cambodia and Vietnam - won’t cost you much, and will save your sanity. In Phnom Penh there was a lecture from a University lecturer. Go. He is highly entertaining, and very interesting, on modern Cambodian history. Sounds dry... but one of the highlights. One of the lowlights (in low season) is the transfer from Siem Reap to the port by bus - which took us c. 4 1/2 hours. Yes, it’s boring (there is a comfort break). But the coach is great, and there is WIFI!!! So psyche yourself up and go with the flow... I would suggest not a cruise for kids - no entertainment, all cutural stuff. Also not for those who are less able - as you will be leaping on/off moving boats, in and out of awkward vehicles etc. If mobility is an issue, you don’t like stairs, one to avoid. I went as a single female traveler (age 50) and loved it. Felt completely safe at all times. The other guests were really friendly - left me alone when I wanted it, chatted when I didn’t. I was the only Brit on board - the majority Aussie, with a sprinkling of US, Swedish, Spanish. I regularly just sat on the deck - dozing, reading, listening to music via headphones, just watching the scenery drift past. Incredibly relaxing. In fact, perfect and romantic for a honeymoon?..... This exceeded all my expectations. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Just returned from the Mekong River Cruise including the AMA Land package and enjoyed every bit of it. The ship is a lovely intimate experience, 108 were on board, the majority 50+ seasoned cruisers, various fitness levels, and everyone ... Read More
Just returned from the Mekong River Cruise including the AMA Land package and enjoyed every bit of it. The ship is a lovely intimate experience, 108 were on board, the majority 50+ seasoned cruisers, various fitness levels, and everyone appeared to have a great time. The cabins are very spacious, plenty of storage space, large bathroom for cruising, and enjoyed the small deck to sit out on and watch the countryside go by some days. The shore excursions were optional, and with at least 2 offered every day we did pass on a couple, but sunrise at Angkor Wat and the Buddhist blessing should not be missed. Food on the ship was plentiful, lunch buffets were sometimes a little limited in options, we hit a couple dinner choices that didn't really hit the mark, but a strong 4 for the food and all that they do to try and make you happy. What we most have to commend them for is the Service. The Ship crew all went out of their way to make you welcome and meet your every need, the AMA tour manager (Long) and the Guides we had (Dara/Tek/Jack) shared such a joy for their countries and sharing the history with us that you wanted to spend more time with them. This is not a trip I would take with children as there are no real "activities' for them, but for the 50+ wanting to see these beautiful countries and their heartwarming people, I definitely would recommend this trip. Each day showed a new landscape and a new adventure! Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Can't speak highly enough of the whole experience aboard the Avalon Myanmar cruising the Irrawaddy river, not forgetting the 2 days in the capital Yangon pre -cruise. Myanmar is a fascinating country as yet almost untouched by ... Read More
Can't speak highly enough of the whole experience aboard the Avalon Myanmar cruising the Irrawaddy river, not forgetting the 2 days in the capital Yangon pre -cruise. Myanmar is a fascinating country as yet almost untouched by tourism, and seeing it from the river stopping every day at villages and towns is a great way to get close to Burmese life. The excursions were well planned and varied, but you do need to be mobile and able to walk distances as well as negotiating river banks which are mostly without steps. The cruise director, the local guide, who stayed with the cruise throughout, and the ship's crew were all excellent and the Burmese people in the countryside are just delightful. The accommodation and food exceeded our expectations, and the small passenger capacity ensures a family like feeling within a few days. We were all good friends by the end of the journey. Thoroughly recommended. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
This cruise covered the areas we wished to visit and did not let us down. From pick up at the airport followed by 3 days in an excellent hotel at both ends of the river cruise, to departing, absolutely everything was perfect - even the ... Read More
This cruise covered the areas we wished to visit and did not let us down. From pick up at the airport followed by 3 days in an excellent hotel at both ends of the river cruise, to departing, absolutely everything was perfect - even the weather. The included trips, with choices, covered all taste and ability, the local guides, and Mr Lovi who was with us all trip, were well informed and charming with a sense of humour. One need not put ones hand in pocket at all. The onboard talks of what was on the following day plus some interest talks, excellent. Fellow cruisers very like minded, mainly fit late 60s/70s We have cruised many times but this really is the best ever for organisation, quality and places of interest not to mention the food and delightful staff. Well done Scenic. The initial cost seemed expensive, but not so all things considered. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We spent a day in Bagan and then boarded our cruise. The boat is very new and has highly trained staff in all areas who provide an amazing service. Whether the food, the bar, the courtesy of all the staff, it is second to none. The ... Read More
We spent a day in Bagan and then boarded our cruise. The boat is very new and has highly trained staff in all areas who provide an amazing service. Whether the food, the bar, the courtesy of all the staff, it is second to none. The dining is excellent and french wine was included with all the meals. A highly personal service. The river is interesting and relaxing but not a massive amount to see. The river level was low and the captain did well to navigate through the shallow waters. We stopped at a number of places and the guides were good as were the tuktuk, horse and cart and other modes of transport. The entertainment on board in the evenings was interesting. If you want a posh, up market, luxurious experience, you cannot do better than the Strand Cruise. We would recommend this cruise to all of our friends. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
A fantastic opportunity to experience a difference culture and a far different way of life. We were not disappointed. From a taste of opulent life in a grand hotel in Bangkok to the simple and basic life in Myanmar. Beautiful people ... Read More
A fantastic opportunity to experience a difference culture and a far different way of life. We were not disappointed. From a taste of opulent life in a grand hotel in Bangkok to the simple and basic life in Myanmar. Beautiful people with a welcome smile for all. A marvelous experience to find a third world country with no begging. A rare experience, there were the usual "vendors", mostly children and young adults, all trying to sell their goods, but no begging and fair pricing for the most part. What a shame that the cruises are coming to end. Viking made the experience a "once in a lifetime" event with a superb agenda delivered from a marvelous old style, classic, mostly teak, river boat, with very large and fully equipped cabins. More like a large hotel suite than a river boat cabin.. A floating hotel staffed by a service oriented crew that sought out ways to make your trip special. Every aspect of the trip was outstanding! From booking, to transfers, to accommodations, to the great meals, and the above average guides. Based on this trip, I will be taking another Viking cruise in Asia. This trip is gone, but if it ever comes back, grab it., Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
China seemed like a daunting destination to do on our own, so we decided to sample it with a reputable company, Viking. The trip was beyond our expectations! The entire time we felt like we were very special VIPs. Viking thought of ... Read More
China seemed like a daunting destination to do on our own, so we decided to sample it with a reputable company, Viking. The trip was beyond our expectations! The entire time we felt like we were very special VIPs. Viking thought of everything. It was a relief to just let go and enjoy the experience of such a different culture. The hotel accommodations were 5 star luxury, the food was excellent, the river cruse portion was pampering, the staff was very attentive to every need, the excursions was informative and wonderful. I would recommend this to anyone without hesitation. Go see China with Viking! The tour group is broken in several smaller groups. The tour guide you are assigned stays with your small group of 20 the entire trip. You feel like you become this little family. Our tour guide, Jamie, was the best. She told us many storied and explained Chinese culture to us in a fun way. Even when we flew, the airport experience of easy. Jamie got the tickets, we breezed through security, off to the gate, waited 15 minutes to get on the plane and off we went. Wow, wish we could do that in the US! I would recommend this tour for anyone from the mid-20's on. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
This cruise was the first of the season. Although it was still during the monsoon season, we were lucky in that we only had a half hour delay on one land tour because of rain. It was however very hot and humid throughout the cruise. The ... Read More
This cruise was the first of the season. Although it was still during the monsoon season, we were lucky in that we only had a half hour delay on one land tour because of rain. It was however very hot and humid throughout the cruise. The service and the food was beyond exceptional. I have never had better service or food especially on a river boat. The capacity was 56 passengers, but because this was the first of the season, we only had 9 passengers with 32 crew members. All passengers were solo travelers, and some of the single supplements were waived. The country is still quite unspoiled, and the people were very friendly. They really need tourism in the country. It's only been since about 2012 that tourism has started to take off. We only saw one other international level river boat during the entire cruise. What you will see is many many pagodas. However the highlight for me was when we visited a local school in the village of Pha Hto. The children had very little, but when the passengers distributed school supplies to them, they were very happy. There were two issues, one major and one not so much. The major issue for me was that I found out when I tried to fly from Kunming to Mandalay that my visa was not valid. Myanmar has a policy of electronic visas. Unfortunately the on-line company that I chose was a fraud. Their website was meant to look official, but it was not. I was delayed in China for two days while applying for a new visa. During that time, the AMA Waterways staff in Mandalay failed to answer the emergency contact numbers. I was left on my own, but eventually I was able to connect with the cruise at a location I found on my own by reviewing the detailed itinerary. The second issue was the evening before we were to visit Mount Popa, one of the tour highlights in Bagan, we were told that there would be an extremely large gathering of 80,000 pilgrims. We were not going to be allowed to visit. The following day was a bust, as almost the entire itinerary was cancelled. Because of river conditions the boat ties up every night. When traveling downstream from Mandalay to Pyay, I suggest booking odd numbered cabins. Most nights the odd numbered cabins face towards the river. There is some river traffic at night, but it is less noisy than the local riverbank intrusions and the views are worth it. I encourage everyone to visit this country soon, before the country changes too much. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
After three flights from Calgary, Alberta to Yangon, Myanmar met at the Yangon Airport by Mojo (Cruise Director Assistant). Asked Mojo about exchanging US dollars to chat and asked Mojo about an approximate amount, he suggested exchanging ... Read More
After three flights from Calgary, Alberta to Yangon, Myanmar met at the Yangon Airport by Mojo (Cruise Director Assistant). Asked Mojo about exchanging US dollars to chat and asked Mojo about an approximate amount, he suggested exchanging $300 US. Received 2 bundles, one of $5000.'s and one of $1000's. These funds lasted through the whole 14 days. Used chat to pay tips on board and $.50 per passenger for 1/2 day, $1 for full day, yes that is for the driver and his assistant total/together. Transfer with AMA Waterways to hotel Shang-ri-la. Offered an upgrade, which was an upgrade from floor 12 to floor 22. Great views and less noise. Room was excellent (for me), but did not upgrade on return to Yangon. Brunch (breakfast) is included in room cost, buffet for lunch $22.US and Buffet for supper was $27 US (approx.) I found as a single service was poor. Waited 20 minutes for someone to ask if I would like coffee/tea, and another 15 minutes for it to arrive even when DR was quiet. Discussion (as a tour is referred) day after arrival with a trip to a local market. Walking distance back to hotel, 2 blocks. After two nights we boarded two busses to start our adventure. Three stops along the way (for toilet, drinks at our cost) I believe this trip was 6.5 hours. Arrival at Pyay brought smiles to many faces. The ship looked great and the crew were ready to assist each of us going down the hill to the ship. We all needed assistance, steps are different heights, and steep at embarkation and disembarkation. The crew would be out making steps in the sand for us to climb. We did celebrate US Thanksgiving. Turkey was served the one thing missing was mashed potatoes (baked potatoe served), gravy and stuffing. We never left the DR hungry, if you did it was your choice. Four salads, great bread, sweet breads, condiments, WONDERFUL desserts (including 3 kinds of ice cream + toppings), fruit, cheese. Steak, chicken and one other item were served at request if you do not want the Chefs suggestions. Wonderful entertainment. Beautiful costumes. Our last night onboard with the crew entertainment was the best. The talent was exceptional, Crew showed another side that surprised many. Smith (DR) is a very quiet man, but with a mike in his hand, well he surprised us all. Disembarkation had us flying from Mandaly to Yangon. Luggage was placed in the hallway for 6:30-7:00, Breakfast served from 7:00-8:00, and we left the ship at 8:00. Flew by prop plane, which was excellent (and I hate to fly) and the flight was EARLY. We were taken back to the Shang-ri-la Hotel, after two tours. We had a small wait for rooms to be ready and Mojo reminded each of us our wake up call times and transfers. We were welcomed by a great group of people. This was a ship that gave a feeling of welcome to your home, and that was felt by many in the group. We did have a bug going through the ship and we think nine passengers became ill. Total number of passengers-29, with 2 couples and 1 single canceled. Country is poor and squat toilets are the norm, with the occasional American toilet. Yes on the ship toilet paper is put into the garbage, not in the toilet. We had a group of gals follow us on motor bikes to different stops to sell us items. They would not take our money without us making a purchase. Go with an open mind, this country is changing, but our expectations are different from theirs. Enjoy the smiles, hearing the children laughing, sliding down the sand embankments towards the water and the docking ship, Adults are washing and doing laundry as the ship is docking. Some move sooner then others. Enjoy. NowRose Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
This cruise in the high rainfall month of July could have been anything, however the very little rain we had did not interfere with our activities and excursions, unfortunately for Myanmar the rain arrived and produced devastating floods a ... Read More
This cruise in the high rainfall month of July could have been anything, however the very little rain we had did not interfere with our activities and excursions, unfortunately for Myanmar the rain arrived and produced devastating floods a few days after we left so we were very lucky. The cruise itself was very well organised, varied daily activities and visits to local attractions, information about Myanmar and its people and traditional entertainment by local performers. The food was excellent, just as an example, fresh baked bread warm from the oven with a wide variety of courses and desserts worthy of a good French restaurant. The accommodation was of a high standard and well serviced, nothing seemed to be too much trouble for the staff, we were supplied with bottled water as we left on excursions and on returning our shoes were removed as we boarded, cleaned and returned to us within a few minutes. As with all cruises, there is often some friction and maybe even unpleasantness among the passengers, with the way this cruise was organised we all got along extremely well and formed a number of friendships with a promise to maintain contact. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015

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