Five Things to Know About Viking River Cruises' Mekong Cruise Ship
Best for: Active adults looking for a stress-free way to see Vietnam and Cambodia
Sails: The Mekong River
At a Glance: The Viking Mekong continues the line’s tradition of destination-centric river cruises with an emphasis on cuisine and culture. The 15-day Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City cruise includes and eight-day cruise and two nights at a Hanoi hotel, three nights in Siem Reap, and two nights in Ho Chi Minh.
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The Design Is Different
Instead of the blonde woods and minimalist aesthetic of Viking’s European river ships, you’ll find gleaming teak decks, mahogany wood paneling, and lots of Asian touches onboard the Mekong. There are also fewer bells and whistles onboard—no room service, for example—but the attentive service and excellent excursions more than make up for it.
All Cabins Are Inspired by the Destination
Warm and intimate, rooms have wood paneling and Asian-inspired details like wood carvings or silk throws and pillows. There are just two types of cabins onboard: A 168 square feet Standard stateroom and a 232 square-foot Jr. Suite, both of which have personal deck space outside.
The Food Impresses
You’ll find plenty of regional cuisine on this ship, but don’t stress if you’re not adventurous: There are always plenty of American options available (eggs, sandwiches), especially at breakfast and lunch. Meals are eaten in the main dining room, and the four-course dinner is the highlight: think dishes like tom kha gai and banana-leaf-wrapped fish, plus standard options like steak and salmon.
There’s an Emphasis on Culture
When you’re on a bucket-list-level trip, the objective is cultural immersion. One day you might attend a traditional Aspara dance show in Siem Reap and the next visit a school in Angkor Wat. And along the way, members of the ship’s staff or a local professor might give a talk on Vietnamese or Cambodian history.
Almost Everything Is Included
In keeping with Viking’s no-nickel-and-diming philosophy, everything from unlimited WiFi to beer and house wine at lunch and dinner are wrapped into your cruise fare. And so are multiple shore excursions led by local guides, such as cycling tour through Phnom Penh, a blessing at a monastery, or a rickshaw ride through Tân Châu, Vietnam.