Top 10 Reasons to Take a River Cruise
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" of the most interesting and rewarding vacations I've ever enjoyed."
That's what we hear from our customers upon their return from a Mekong River cruise through Vietnam and Cambodia! When we ask them what made it so special, 99% say, "The people and their culture."

The people of Southeast Asia have traveled its rivers, lakes, and streams for thousands of years. The preeminent river is undoubtedly the mighty Mekong River, where the tapestry of life along its banks is as fascinating and varied as the many twists and turns it takes as it knifes its way through China and eventually through Vietnam and Cambodia. Would it surprise you to learn that the Mekong River is one of the world’s longest rivers? We tend to think of the Nile, the Amazon, or the Mississippi when we think of great rivers — well, the Mekong ranks right up there with them.

In fact, it's the 12th longest river in the world, just a tad over 2,700 miles in length. As with many of the rivers in Asia, the Mekong has its genesis high up in the Thibetan highlands. For much of its length it flows mostly southeast. After leaving China it passes through Burma, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and finally Vietnam where it spreads out into an extensive delta near Ho Chi Minh City before ultimately emptying into the South China Sea. Your journey, however, will take up no more than about 300 miles of this passage as you travel from Siem Reap, Cambodia, to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam, on a typical 8-day/7-night river cruise.

When you think of a river cruise on the Mekong, don't picture yourself aboard a "junk."
As the popularity and demand for Mekong River cruises has increased, so has the number of new ships plying the river. Uniworld, Viking, AmaWaterways, Avalon, and the pioneer of the region, Pandaw, have all recently launched new ships containing all the creature comforts you could ever imagine — and all equal to a 5-star land resort. Most of the Mekong River cruise ships are much smaller than the traditional European river ships, holding just 34 to 124 discriminating travelers who want a extraordinary river cruise that allows them to explore by day and enjoy their creature comforts by night.

AmaWaterways. While there have been many new ships, one of the most striking is AmaWaterways premium ship, the AmaDara, launched in 2015. She is one of the larger ships on the Mekong River allowing about 120 pampered guest to sail the Mekong in an elegant and relaxing style. With her breathtaking balcony cabins at a very, very comfortable 226sf, you won't lack for anything in one of these remarkable staterooms. Even better, enjoy a beautiful 334sf suite for only slightly more. Premier has some extraordinary promotions on the AmaDara with SPECIAL SAVINGS on off-season prices for premium 7-night river cruise. Call us to get full details and our low, low prices! (View AmaDara Deck Plan).

Avalon Waterways. For those of us who may be looking for something a bit more traditional without sacrificing any of the extraordinary accoutrements that go along with a 5-star floating resort, you might enjoy sailing aboard Avalon's breathtaking ship, the Siem Reap (View deck plan.).

The Siem Reap is more of a traditional "colonial"-style ship with a very shallow draft. The shallow draft enables her to sail right into Siem Reap and Saigon thus avoiding a 2+ hour bus trip you'd have to make if you sail on one of the larger vessels. That's nice, but what's really nice is that you're in a much more intimate setting with only 36 other pampered guests and a crew of 24. This is the true Vietnam and Cambodia experience that many North American explorers are seeking. The ship is breathtaking with elegant 245sf staterooms with what we believe are the best views from any river ship on the Mekong. Imagine lying in bed in the morning enjoying a cup of coffee with your full-width, floor-to-ceiling glass doors completely open... Can it get any better?

It sure can! Touring with only 36 guests is also completely different on the Siem Reap. Where other ships utilize tour buses to tour, many of your tours from the Siem Reap are enjoyed via... hold on to your hat, Rickshaw, sampans and even, a ox cart or two. Oh, we forgot, an elephant, too. Needless to say, not all the touring is so non-traditional, but much of it is. With a smaller ship such as the Siem Reap, you can get into the smaller, less traveled villages that the big boats can't.

Some of the other Siem reap experiences you'll enjoy are cooking classes teaching you about local dishes you can make at home, visiting local schools and attending/assisting in an English Class, and taking a sampan into one of the floating vegetable markets to shop with the ship's chef, and more.

Now, we did tell you not to picture a "junk" as your river cruise ship. But, you can experience a luxurious overnight cruise on a real, traditional junk if you visit the extraordinary Ha Long Bay (near Hanoi) on an extended Mekong cruise/tour vacation. Check out our Destination Overview of Vietnam's Ha Long Bay!)



Cruising on the Mekong offers an authenticity of experience
that is hard to find in today’s mass tourism industry.

Put this on your bucket list of things to do — we guarantee you won’t regret it! Despite hundreds of years of war, turmoil, and foreign intervention, the Mekong has remained the lifeblood and lifeline of the people and lands that live along its banks. Will the Mekong be exposed to mass tourism in the not-too-distant future? Probably. But for now, the Mekong is still unspoiled.

Think of this Southeast Asian river cruise experience as a classic book whose pages tell the story of ancient empires, colonial subjugation, and finally a modern conflict pitting two diametrically opposed political, social, and cultural entities against each other.


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TERMS AND CONDITIONS: Unless otherwise noted, prices and offers are in USD, cruise only per person, based on double occupancy and do not include airfare, taxes or fees. The displayed prices are based on minimum category riverview window stateroom and applicable only to the sailing date(s) shown. Prices for other dates may vary based on the date and stateroom selected. Other than “Hot Deal” offers, price does not reflect any cruise line or Premier savings. Where Premier includes “prepaid tips” in an offer, it applies only to the cruise portion of the trip and not any land portion or shore excursions. To obtain the best price, please use the "Get Quote" button or call one of our river cruise and small ship cruise specialists. Certain discounts or prices may require full payment at the time of booking in order to be eligible. We urge you to book early as river and small ship cruises sell out almost a year in advance. Prices and availability may change without notice and are not guaranteed until a deposit is received and applied to your reservation. Call 1-855-255-1200, for complete details. We reserve the right to correct any informational or typographical errors. ©2010-2023 Premier River Cruises, LLC, a Travel of America Company. All rights reserved worldwide. CST #1015320-40.

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