Blue Water Holidays
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Experts in River and Small Ship Cruising Holidays since 2002
01756 706500 +44 1756 706500
Blue Water Holidays - ABTA - ATOL - CLIA
01756 706500
+44 1756 706500
Mekong River Cruises

Mekong River Cruises

Take a trip along the exotic Mekong river through the tropical greenery of Vietnam and Cambodia, and discover the ancient cities, temples and fascinating natural wonders that make South East Asia an intriguing holiday destination

The Mekong River rises in the mountains of Tibet, flows through south-west China and Burma, marks the border between Thailand and Laos, and meanders through Cambodia and Vietnam where its fertile delta forms the region’s agricultural heartland.

APT Asia 2020-21

Cruise Collection 2019 / 2020 / 2021 / 2022 / 2023

About Mekong River Cruises

Thousands of boats ply the waters of the Mekong through Vietnam and Cambodia, from tiny rowing boats to sampans carrying rice, fruit and sugarcane. All life is there: colourful floating markets, river villages on stilts and beautiful Khmer pagodas. Birds nest in huge colonies and five species of dolphin swim the Mekong.

The Mekong river links some of the great cities of south east Asia. Saigon is a startling culture clash - the heart of Vietnamese trade, modern-day Ho Chi Minh City maintains its charm in the Chinese markets and bustling streets amidst grand French colonial buildings.

Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh, is a pleasant riverside city graced with leafy boulevards and dotted with cafés and bars. Visitors are treated to the glorious Royal Palace, the Silver Pagoda, and an unrivalled collection of ancient Khmer art at the National Museum.

Upriver, the Mekong flows from the Tonle Sap, Cambodia’s great lake. Here, locals live in floating villages and make use of the plentiful fishing or tend the miles of rice paddies, flooded by river water in the summer.

At Siem Reap stands the unforgettable temple of Angkor Wat. This pinnacle of ancient Khmer architecture, crowned with soaring towers and decorated with intricate carvings, is one of Asia’s unmissable gems.

Vietnam’s elegant capital in the north, Hanoi, is a laid-back city with tranquil tree-lined lakes at its heart. The country’s turbulent history is now remembered with the Military History Museum and Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, in the peaceful setting of Ba Dinh Square.

Out on the nearby coast is another of Vietnam’s natural wonders. Sailing amongst the mysterious sandstone peaks that rise out of Halong Bay on Vietnam’s east coast is an amazing experience.

A river cruise on the Mekong will usually include time in Ho Chi Minh City and Siem Reap for Angkor Wat. Several variants are available - perhaps adding Hanoi and an overnight cruise in Halong Bay on a modern junk, and perhaps the towns of Hoi An, an ancient market and trading town on the Thu Bon river, and Hue, the former Imperial capital.

Ho Chi Minh statue, SaigonHo Chi Minh statue, Saigon Phnom Penh, CambodiaPhnom Penh, Cambodia Family Transport, VietnamFamily Transport, Vietnam

Highlights of Mekong River

Angkor Wat (Cambodia)

The Angkor Archaeological Park is has one of the most important archaeological sites of Southeast Asia and is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. Angkor Wat is the best-preserved and most iconic of the Angkor temple complex, built in the early 12th century to honour the Hindu god Vishnu. The temple took over 30 years to be completed by King Suryavarman II

Angkor Wat

Halong Bay

The thousands of vertical limestone karsts and islands of Ha Long Bay are a memorable sight. Topped off with jungle vegetation, some of the islands are hollow and contain large cave chambers, whilst others like Cat Ba are inhabited and offer facilities for tourists. Floating villages with a population of fishermen can be seen during cruises through the bay.

Halong Bay (Vietnam)

Hanoi

Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam and renowned for its spectacular colonial architecture and ancient temples. Highlights include the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in the centre of Ba Dinh Square, the One-pillar Pagoda, a historic Buddhist temple and the Temple of Literature founded by Emperor Ly Thanh Tong. Hanoi serves as the gateway to the dramatic limestone cliffs of Halong Bay.

Hanoi (Vietnam)

Ho Chi Minh City

Large cruise ships reach Ho Chi Minh City via the Saigon River and berth in the port of Phu My, whilst smaller vessels can approach along the Mekong Delta. Formerly Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City has many places of interest, including the Cu Chi Tunnels which hid the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War; Reunification Hall, once the Presidential Palace, and the temples and Pagodas of the Cholon Chinatown district.

Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam)

Nha Trang

Nha Trang is an international tourist resort set in a beautiful bay. More lively and urban in character than other Vietnam beach destinations, it is the scuba diving centre of Vietnam. Local artwork can be found on Doc Lop Street and to visit the beaches of Hon Tre Island, take the hi-level Vinpearl Cable Car. Po Nagar Cham Towers are an elaborate series of 8th-century towers and temples on Cu Lao Mountain.

Nha Trang (Vietnam)

Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh is a busy, noisy city, still recovering from the horrors of the Khmer Rouge in the 1970s. Itineraries often include trips to the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek and the grim Tuol Sleng or S21 Detention Centre. Less harrowing is the Royal Palace, and its two magnificent pagodas - the Silver Pagoda and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, and the historic hill-top temple complex of Wat Phnom.

Phnom Penh (Cambodia)

Siem Reap

Siem Reap is the stepping-off point for visits to the magnificent temples of Angkor Wat. In Siem Reap itself, there are French shop-houses, and tree-lined avenues beside the river. The Angkor National Museum has displays tracing the history of the complex, and a short distance away by tuk-tuk is Kampong Phluk Floating Village, built on stilts in a mangrove forest. Siem Reap has good restaurants and several luxurious spas.

Siem Reap (Cambodia)

Tonle Sap

Tonle Sap Lake in Cambodia is a UNESCO Biosphere known for its tranquil fishing villages. It is one of the largest freshwater lakes in Asia during the wet season and home to an abundance of wildlife including crocodiles, macaques and otter. Fishing is the main source of income however the flood plains are used to grow vegetables. Angkor, the capital which is located on the northeastern edge of the lake is a designated World Heritage site.

Tonle Sap (Cambodia)

Customer Reviews

I was very impressed by the organisation of Avalon and in particular the Cruise Director Mark Nicholls. I was also impressed by the care and attention of the ships crew and the comfort of the ship itself. I would recommend this trip to anyone interested in seeing and hearing about local life in two very interesting counties whose people seem resilient to all the terrible traumas they have suffered recently.

I have always wanted to visit both Cambodia and Vietnam so a Mekong river cruise seemed the perfect way of doing this.

Flying with Vietnam Airlines from London to Siem Reap, the holiday began with an overnight stay at the luxurious Angkor Wat Sofitel, lending opportunity to visit the magnificent Angkor Wat temple, a UNESCO World Heritage site and a place on my list of must visits - it didnt disappoint!

Due to the low water levels it was necessary to take a coach journey to join the ship at Prek Kdam. Not being the best of travellers I hadnt been looking forward to this journey, but it actually turned out to be a great way of seeing Cambodia as we travelled inland through the countryside.

The La Marguerite was fabulous and just the right size (only 90 passengers in total), small and relatively luxurious with all the necessary amenities. Cabins onboard are spacious, decorated in a Vietnamese style and the public areas are light, airy and cool - excellent for relaxing. The plunge pool was magnificent for cooling down after an excursion and the all-inclusive drinks onboard were a real bonus!

The food on the cruise was delicious and fresh (I saw it being delivered to the ship each morning!) and with an excellent variety. The mixture of passengers on board (Australians, Americans and British) and open seating dining meant there was always someone new to chat too - although there were some smaller tables and plenty of quiet areas on the ship too, for times were I was feeling a little less sociable.

The places seen on this itinerary were beyond all my expectations. Visiting a number of small Vietnamese and Cambodian towns and villages and getting a real feel for the countries cultures and way off life, with many places still barely touched my tourism.

Highlights of the trip for me included a visit to the Royal Palace in Phnom Penn, home to the Silver Pagoda and a tour to S21 and the Killing Fields made all the more meaningful with the information provided from the expert local guides. I also thoroughly enjoyed the time spent cruising onboard La Marguerite, where I could sit and admire the scenery as we cruised the Mekong passed magnificent stilt house and floating villages.

I would highly recommend this cruise and will hopefully do it again someday - perhaps including Ha Long Bay next time.

this cruise was one of the greatest experiences of my life, and we were taken care of from my first general queryemail to blue water holidays, they answered every email and question I had, the attention to detail was superb.

on arrival we were met by others joining the tour, they were mainly Austrailians, what a great bunch of people, since arriving home they have been in touch by email and sent photos. we felt at home from day one

the cruise itself- the food was delicious plentiful and beautifully presented, the menu was varied and thedrinks readily availible. I even copied some of the menus to show friends when we got home, the waiters were attentive and most spoke excellent English, the excursions were well plannedinterestiingand allowed ample time to see all the sites, I never felt rushed as I have with other cruises. The guest speakers were interesting and explained about every visit we made , he discussed the history of each site and made us all aware of what to look out for and what the significance was of different architecture. I now feel I have a better understanding of the country.

The Hotels we stayed at both before the cruiseand after were excellent, and a special thanks must go to the staff who were so attentive I felt more like a visiting dignatary than a tourist. the hotels are very central to all of the sites and attractions, including the local markets which were certainly colourfull with plenty of bargains to be had. the food in the hotels was lovely and the gala dinner with the dancing was enjoyed by everyone in the group.

Total Reviews: 6 Read More Reviews...