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Vietnam has surpassed four other nations to be named Asia’s top river cruise destination at this year’s World Cruise Awards, which is the most distinguished prize in the cruise industry.

The organisers of the World Cruise Awards, which is a sister event of the World Travel Awards announced on Thursday that Vietnam beat Cambodia, China, Laos and Thailand.

Industry professionals and the media cast votes at the awards and aim to celebrate high achievement in the cruise industry.

Travel to Asia is once again becoming a possibility as some countries begin to open up and others move towards allowing tourism back.

Thailand has opened up to tourists across the world, Singapore has established its travel bubble with Australia and positive signs across Vietnam, Cambodia and the Philippines are pointing towards relatively normal travel in the region in the not-too-distant future.

For cruise lovers one of the crown jewels of the region is a cruise down the culture-soaked waters of the Mekong River, which runs through Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.

While you’d be hard pressed to jump on a cruise in the Mekong next week, there a range of options shaping up over the coming months, if you’re looking for a cruise filled with local street food, peaks into history and endless entertainment.

Heritage Line

When are they sailing?

Heritage Line is set to recommence cruises in the lower Mekong River out of Vietnam and Cambodia from July 1, 2022 and cruises along the Upper Mekong River from Laos from September 4, 2022.

Heritage Line cruises run on five-star boutique design ships, every room comes with a private balcony, there are daily guided tours and dining plus drinks packages are included.

Recommended itinerary: 

The Lost Civilization – Saigon to Siem Reap

This eight-day, seven-night cruise takes you on a luxurious journey up the Lower Mekong.  You’ll pass through Phnom Penh, Kampong Cham and more on your way to Siem Reap. You’ll be getting the small ship experience on either The Jahan or Jayavarman with their 26 and 27 staterooms respectively.

Highlights will include the market town of Cai Be, a floating fish farm at Tan Chau, and a traditional Cambodian feast and performance at an open air gala in Phnom Penh.

Rates start from approximately $4300 per person with a series of departures from July to the end of the year.

More info 

Scenic

Scenic will be making its way through the Mekong as soon as March, with a Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap on March 8 and a Siem Reap to Ho Chi Minh City itinerary on March 12.

Scenic is a luxury brand so expect a lavish journey with all meals and premium international drinks included and an almost 1:1 staff to guest ratio ensuring five-star service every step of the way.

Recommended itinerary 

Luxury Mekong & Temple Discovery Cruise

Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap 11-day, 10-night itineraries run all the way through from March to May giving you plenty of flexibility with dates. From $695 per person you can enjoy all your unboard luxuries, 17 Scenic freechoice activities, stops in Phnom Penh, Angkor Ban, Kampong Cham and more and doing everything from learning about silk weaving, to shopping in Phnom Penh and even taking a tethered balloon ride over Angkor Wat.

More info 

Emerald Cruises 

Emerald Cruises will be back on the colourful Mekong waters come March, with a range of itineraries including a longer 21- day itineraries around Vietnam and Cambodia.

Emerald Harmony Star-Ship gives you the small ship experience, but has also been specially designed to be able to sail into the centre of Ho Chi Minh. With space for 84 guests and 40 crew members you can expect fantastic service and wonderful facilities with a pool, wellness area and Flavours of Asia authentic dining all on board.

Recommended itinerary 

Grand Tour of Vietnam & Cambodia

With Emerald slightly less pricey than its competitors, it’s tough to want to do anything except splash on the 21 day, 20-night Grand Tour of Vietnam & Cambodia.

You can be flexible on dates with a series of options for March and April 2022, with dates picking up again on August 3, 2022 and departing each month all the way until May 2023. Exact price will depend on when you want to depart but expect to pay $6000-7000 per person for the journey.

Through your epic 20-night journey, you won’t actually be on the water the whole time. You’ll have seven nights on Emerald Harmony, 11 nights in hotels and a special further two-nights on the Bhaya Classic Junk for a unique sailing experience.

More info

ATP Touring

ATP Touring runs Mekong cruises aboard Mekong Serenity with luxury service and an Indochine restaurant with a special five-course menu on board. ATP is currently slated to return to the Mekong from March but also has a range of scheduled sailings for later 2022 and 2023 if you’d prefer to take your time.

ATP has a range of itineraries across VIetnam and Cambodia with butler service, Serenity spa and wellness centre, a swimming pool and range of food and beverage options keeping you comfortable while aboard.

Recommended itinerary 

Spiritual Cambodia and The Mekong

This 11 day, 10-night experience includes seven-nights on Mekong Serenity, experiences in 10 destinations and all luxury dining included. There are regular departure dates running all the way from July 2022 through to March 2023, with prices ranging from $4995 to $6095 depending on when you choose to set off.

Highlight experiences include tucking in a tuktuk and exploring Koh Pen, attending a traditional Buddhist Blessing Ceremony and watching the sun dramatically rise over Angkor Wat in Cambodia.

 

More info